I recently had the pleasure of my in-laws visiting us for an entire week. Being that it was their first time coming to visit us in Miami, I came up with an itinerary to keep them busy and show them the very best that South Florida had to offer.
The very first thing on my list was a visit down to Key West! How could I not take my desert-dwelling in-laws to the most tropical destination in all of the United States?!
While I’ve spent many a relaxing vacations on the white sandy beaches of Key West, pina colada in hand, my in-laws aren’t what you would consider “drinkers,” so my game plan for their visit had to be a little different than it usually is when we make the trip down the 7 Mile Bridge.
I devised a sober version of the Duval Crawl. Yes, folks, you can still have fun in Key West without drinking alcohol! We arrived in the early afternoon and my husband and I took them gallery hopping along Duval street, saving the bar experience for later that night when we knew that the live music and entertainment would be at its most fun. We drank fresh coconut water on Smather’s Beach, ate chocolate dipped Key Lime Pie on a stick, and then ended the afternoon with dinner at our first Duval bar: Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
We had dinner and enjoyed the Jimmy Buffet music blasting through the speakers – we chose this location because not only is the food fantastic, but you can order any version of their frozen cocktails in the virgin form!
After we finished dinner, we headed to Irish Kevin’s pub, which is famous for its outrageous musical comedy show. You can always find live entertainment at Irish Kevin’s, making it our favorite bar on the Duval strip. Our favorite performer is Jared Michael Hopgood, and we had the good fortune to find that he was performing on the Thursday night that we were there!
Now, a word of caution about Irish Kevin’s: their shows are not family friendly. They are, however, completely hilarious if you have a crude sense of humor. So much so that you can drink water or soda all night long and still have the time of your life!
After we left Irish Kevin’s, we headed to what would turn out to be my in-law’s favorite bar of the evening, Hog’s Breath Saloon. Being Harley Davidson riders, I think that their opinion may have been slightly subjective…
Hog’s Breath Saloon is just one of many bars that features live music almost every night of the week, but what makes them so different is that their live music is actually in the outside portion of their restaurant and bar, so that you can still have a meal, a snack, or in our case, just sodas, and still enjoy the full experience! It is also quite nice to be able to enjoy the beautiful weather in Key West on a nice night!
After we left Hog’s Breath Saloon, we headed to the world famous Sloppy Joe’s Bar. We had taken my in-laws by Sloppy Joe’s Bar during the afternoon just to show them the famous landmark, but of course we had to go back that night!
The band of the evening was Rumor Mill, and to say that they gave a fantastic performance would be an understatement. When the band begins to set up for their nightly performance, the staff at Sloppy Joe’s clears the tables and sets up a dance floor. Once the music begins, that dance floor is packed until they finish their set!
With great music and a dance floor full of enthusiastic party-goers, you really don’t even need a drink to have a good time at Sloppy Joe’s. My father in-law was itching to get on that dance floor and he’d only had water to drink the entire night! We headed back to our hotel after Sloppy Joe’s, but went back to Duval for one last bar before we left the island to go home the next day.
Willie T’s is one of those bars that you must visit at least once. Every square inch of the bar is covered in $1 bills left by patrons. It is such a sight!
Now, of course you can have a fabulous time in Key West on Duval Street even if you are enjoying cocktails but it’s not necessary!
*Jenn loves to sit by the beach with a drink in hand. You can find her writing about it over at The Rebel Chick.