Although Key West only covers 7 square miles, it seems like every inch of the island is covered in New Year's Eve festivities. From drag queens to parrotheads, there's a party for just about everybody, as the island's myriad of NYE celebrations cater to a wide range of personalities, much like Key West itself. No matter which you choose, you can count on a good time. That said, here are some of the most popular things to do on New Year’s Eve in Key West year after year.
Reserve a Sunset Cruise
Book a cruise to watch the last sunset of 2021 while reflecting on the past year. Fury Water Adventures presents a special NYE live music sunset sail on their state-of-the-art catamaran. Witness beautiful views of the famous Key West sunset while indulging in light appetizers, frosty margaritas, Champagne, beer, and wine. See your New Year’s Eve options and book ahead.
Enjoy a Special New Year’s Eve Dinner Menu
Let Key West’s best chefs do the cooking this year. Key West’s top-notch restaurants are rolling out special New Year’s Eve menus of their own. Settle in for a night with delicious takeout or celebrate the arrival of 2022 at Antonia’s on Duval Street. The cozy eatery will feature a special prix fixe four-course menu with savory dishes like seafood chowder, surf and turf carpaccio, and spinach and garlic tortelloni. Seven Fish will also have a dedicated New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu, as well as Milagro, Martin’s, Hard Rock Café, and more. Reserve your table ahead of time at OpenTable.
The Shoe Drop with Sushi
Led by Key West's beloved drag queen Sushi, the shoe drop is more elaborate than it sounds. Every year at the Bourbon St. Pub, Sushi hops into a giant, glittering red heel to be lowered to the ground as the crowd counts down. Originally made of paper mâché and chicken wire, the shoe has evolved over the years to a much safer apparatus of fiberglass and stainless steel. It's something to see, especially with Sushi's elaborate costumes.
Dropping of the Conch Shell
Sloppy Joe's annual Dropping of the Conch Shell has been going strong since 1993. In fact, before the event was established, there weren't any "official" New Year’s Eve gatherings. Now there's always a crowd at the corner of Greene and Duval. Come early to get a spot on Sloppy Joe's rooftop or stay down below to dance and catch beads.
The Lowering of the Pirate Wench
A bit further from the Duval Street crowd, is the Schooner Wharf Bar's Lowering of the Pirate Wench. From her station on the mast of the America 2.0, co-owner of the Conch landmark and resident pirate wench, Evalena Worthington, slides down the line in full pirate attire, with the countdown to the new year in the background. It's definitely one of the most unique ways to spend the evening. And as always, there will be plenty of live music, dancing, and drink specials.
Livestream Duval Street
Totally exhausted from a magical evening of festivities but don’t want to miss out? Stream live webcams from around Key West and watch aerial views of all the New Year’s Eve action. Get a glimpse of Old Town from a safe distance by visiting our live webcam guide to see the Duval Street Cam, Key West Butterfly Cam, Two Friends Karaoke and Rooftop Cams, Sloppy Joe’s Bar and Stage Cams, and more.
Plan a Champagne Toast
Snuggle in at 24 North and cap off the evening with a Champagne toast of your own. Pick up a few bottles of your preferred bubbly to pop open at midnight. Visit Uva Wine Shoppe on Fleming Street to choose from a limited production of estate-grown wine, Conch Town Liquor & Lounge on N Roosevelt Boulevard for a large selection of Champagne and Prosecco (and only a half-mile from 24 North!), or Key West Fine Wines on Eaton Street for a carefully curated selection of the world’s most delicious wines. The shop features top-notch bubblies like Cristal Champagne, Gimonnet Special Club Champagne, and a number of "Special Club" vintage Grower Champagnes from H. Goutorbe, Paul Bara, Marc Herbrat, and Pierre Gimonnet.
What are you waiting for? Book your New Year’s Eve stay in Key West. Check out our nightly rates at 24 North Hotel, one of the most family-friendly hotels in Key West. We have a Starbucks on site, shuttle service to Old Town, and our pool area is one of the best on the island. See our special offers, which include special rates for Florida residents.