on February 1, 2010
We were hesitant to attend the sunset celebration at Mallory Square when we first arrived in Key West because we heard how popluar of an attraction this was. We thought that we would have to get into Old Town (downtown Key West) very early just to find decent parking and then have a headache trying to drive back to our hotel afterwards. Add to the headache of trying to do all this with a small baby and we were shaking in our shoes at the thought of going. But I'm here to tell you, there was no need to worry!There are many places to park in Old Town, you just have to be wise to where you park. You can park in Mallory Square (parking lot), but be prepared to pay, plus you have to drive through some extremely congested areas, worrying about people on foot, on bicycles, scooters and electric cars. We parked on Southard St. which is very close, only a 5-10 min walk, and the walk is beautiful itself! There are no individual meters but you pay to park in the block that you're in. There is one meter where you go to pay for how long you want to park for. It's $1.25/hour and you can choose different increments of time. You can pay by cash or Visa, it then prints you out a ticket that you put on your dashboard and then you're off. The celebration is a definite feast for the eyes. The sunset itself would be beautiful enough, but there is so much more. Buskers of all shapes and sizes are there to entertain you, before, during and after the sunset. It is crowded, but everyone is in jovial spirits, so it isn't a hassle to deal with. As an added note, if you have young children many people will be drinking, so if you don't want your children to be exposed to that sort of thing, a sunset tour on a boat might be a better choice for you.Great experience - it almost feels "carnival like" when you're there and it's up to you whether or not to enjoy it!
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