Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mallory Square in Key West, FL - THE place to be at sunset

Way down in Key West, FL is perhaps one of the best spots to catch a sunset in all of the United States of America, Mallory Square.  Mallory Square is located in Key West in "Old Town" near a cruise ship port that went into action in 1984 with controversy from folks that felt it could ruin the sunset shows.  So, the city came up with a policy that required all cruise ships to leave port 2 hours before sunset - problem solved.

View Larger Map

The "sunset celebration" happens each and every day of the year and starts 2 hours before the sun dips into the water.  The celebration includes arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, food carts and a lot of locals and tourists alike.   The price is right - FREE - but you can spend money on the crafts, shows and snacks, if you want.  One year there we got a few coconut drinks, some finger food and tipped a few street artists and maybe spent $20 total, not bad.

A lot of sunset photos are snapped at Mallory Square but the king daddy photo of all is the rare phenom known as the "green flash" sunset.  This happens in the last few seconds of a sunset and requires the atmosphere to be JUST perfect.  The green flash happens due to the refraction of light (as in a prism) in the atmosphere and this just does not happen that often. 

Example video 
(if you can stomach the waves)

So next time you find yourself in Key West you should 100% make sure you swing by Mallory Square and catch at least one sunset.  You might not see the green flash but you'll see lots of interesting people, blue Caribbean-like water and enjoy the Florida lifestyle to it's fullest.

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