BlogSashay Your Way to the Best Drag Bars in Key West

Sashay Your Way to the Best Drag Bars in Key West

The History of Drag in Key West

You’ve heard all about Key West’s gorgeous beaches, historic sites, and wild nightlife. But if you’re looking for an evening out with a dramatic flair, get ready to dive into what kind of drag bar Key West offers. From raucous shows to intimate piano bars, Key West offers outrageous entertainment that celebrates artistry and diversity. In this guide, we’ll sashay through the top venues to experience the island’s vibrant culture. You’ll meet talented queens, kings, and everything in between while taking in comedy, dance, live music, and more. With makeup and costumes galore, it’s time to sparkle as you explore this spirited corner of paradise after dark. Let’s get glamorous!

Top 3 Drag Bars to Experience Key West Nightlife

Drag queens have been dazzling audiences in Key West for decades. Back in the day, drag shows were mainly for the local LGBTQ community, performing in dimly lit bars. But today, drag has become mainstream entertainment, with glittering shows at popular bars and theaters drawing crowds of all kinds.

How did this evolution happen? Key West has  always embraced individuality and self-expression. In the 1970s, as Key West became a gay vacation  destination, drag shows took off. Talented queens like Sushi and Chi Chi LaRue wowed audiences at clubs like the Monster and the historic 801.

In the ’80s and ’90s, drag became more glamorous. With inspiration from RuPaul and queer pop culture, queens put on higher-production shows. The stunning Aqua Lounge, opened in 1992, was an early venue for  larger-scale drag revues. 

Today, you can catch hilarious drag bingo, lip-sync shows, and full-on Vegas-style revues. At the Aqua Lounge or the historic La Te Da cabaret, queens like  Hedda Lettuce,  Sushi, and Chi Chi DeVayne (formerly LaRue) are icons.  Whether it’s  comedy, lip-syncing, or  dance, these queens showcase the drama, wit, and charisma that make drag a perfect expression of Key West’s open and welcoming spirit.  

So next time you’re in Key West, get ready to sashay your way into a new nightlife experience. The drag scene will give you memories that truly sparkle.

Meet the Queens: Spotlight on Key West’s Drag Superstars

If glamour and entertainment are calling your name in Key West, head to one of the iconic drag bars along Duval Street. Start your evening at Aqua Nightclub,  where talented queens put on dazzling shows with comedy, lip-syncing and dancing. The outdoor bar is perfect for people watching before the 9 pm show.  

Next, sashay over to 801 Bourbon Bar, a cabaret style venue featuring live singing and interactive performances. Their happy hour show at 6 pm is free and a great way to kick off the night. Stick around for the main event at 10 pm where you’ll laugh, cheer and maybe even join in on some dancing.  

End the night at La Te Da, the legendary Continental Room. This historic Key West landmark opened in the 1950s and still hosts spectacular revues with elaborately costumed queens, live singing and risqué comedy acts.  Shows at 9:30 and 11 pm feature Key West’s most established performers. With reasonably priced drinks in an upscale yet unpretentious space, La Te Da is a must for experiencing drag nightlife at its finest.

Whether you’re looking for an outrageous night on the town or just want to see what the hype is all about, Key West’s drag bars deliver world-class entertainment in an accepting setting. So get glammed up, bring your best wig and heels, and prepare for an unforgettable night embracing the vibrant drag scene.

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