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“Don't die wondering!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden
Ranked #15 of 56 Nightlife in Key West
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: clothing optional bar
Ft Lauderdale, FL
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Don't die wondering!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2008

I happened to be in Key West right smack in the middle of Spring Break. Now, Key West is not a big Spring Break destination, but the character of the town changes depending on whether a cruise ship has brought a bunch of camera-toting tourists or whether college students are cutting loose, or it's Fantasy Fest.

I had been to Garden of Eden during the daytime before, when it is laid back and few people there. Still, if you want to lay out and get a tan while enjoying a drink this is the perfect place for it. It's hassle-free for the ladies, to boot.

So this particular Friday night started with a handful of "regulars" (familiar bantering with the DJ and bartenders), curious tourists and Spring Breakers popping in and cutting out, and couples hanging around to enjoy the wonderful evening.

I wasn't there for the music, but the DJ would move between stuff older folks would recognize to stuff for a younger crowd, then back again. It kept the floor bouncing with a varying crowd. It's not a big place, but it felt like a good crowd most of the night.

I took advantage of the clothing option and was enjoying a beer and rocking to the music while trying not to look too much like a wallflower.

So a (presumably) married woman, with the approval of her husband, asked ME to dance! So who was I to say no? While I'm dancing with her a young college girl joins in. So here I am dancing bare-[--] naked with two fun-loving ladies. This is living!

If you're into FUN, you'd be a fool not to give Garden of Eden a visit. The rest of you, enjoy the sunset at Mallory Square.

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4 Thank BoteMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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CT
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Only in Key West”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2008

The Garden of Eden Bar, in downtown Key West, is located on the roof of the Bull & Whistle Bar right on Duval Street. It’s an open-air bar, usually with a nice breeze blowing across it and a lot of sunshine on clear days. It is one of the most unique bars I have ever been to, since it is clothing-optional – yes, that means that the patrons visiting the bar can take off all their clothes and roam about the roof top area completely naked if they want to. Unlike clothing-optional resorts or beaches, where most of the people who visit there do so for the express purpose of getting partially or fully nude, at the Garden most of the people remain clothed. I think that this is because of its setting. Unlike the resorts and beaches that are usually in secluded areas and involve an intentional effort to get there, the Garden is situated right there amongst a bunch of other bars, restaurants, and stores right on the main drag. The building is not that tall and you can look over the small wall that surrounds the roof top area and watch the people walking around on the street below (see the attached picture). It’s really a very public place and is easy to access. Anyone from the street (21 years old and older) has only to climb two flights of stairs to enter the bar. As a result, you get a lot of people who are just curious to see what is up there, but have no intention of participating in the clothing-optional aspect. The bar area is not very large and is also very open. That means if you choose to take off your clothes, everyone in the place will be able to see you doing so and will be able to watch you walk around and enjoy your drink au-natural. So usually only the bold and uninhibited strip down to get the full experience of being at the Garden. The majority simply enjoy their drinks, enjoy the nice roof top breeze, and, of course, enjoy watching the bold and uninhibited do their thing. There are lounge chair for sunbathing set out on the dance floor during they day, which are often removed at might to increase the dance floor area. After 9:00 PM a DJ plays music so people can dance on the dance floor. Seeing the naked dance is usually quite entertaining.

There were times when it was not that crowded - maybe 4-7 people total (days and early evening), and other times there were like 40-50 people up there (later at night). Some stayed for most of the night and others came to have a drink or two or see what the Garden was all about, but left after a short while. After about 10:00PM there were usually a good number of people on the floor with a good flow of people coming and going.

The gender of the crowd was a pretty even mix of guys and girls and both seemed to enjoy it equally. I was there three nights and although it took a few drinks on the first night to work up my nerve, I decided that I as not going to miss out on this unique opportunity, so I became one of the “bold and uninhibited” and for many hours each night I was “sneakers only”. I noticed that the Garden experience can be very different from night to night. For instance, the first night was a little slow – maybe 25 people total at any one time with only about three or four naked guys. Even though there were many girls, none removed any clothing. This was a little disappointing for the guys, but the girls who were there seemed be enjoying the Garden “view”. Also, there was very little dancing the first night. The second night was very different. There was about 40-50 people at any given time on the floor. There were, again, about three or four guys that got naked but this night there were like three girls totally naked and about six others either topless or in panties only. People (clothed and unclothed alike) were dancing a lot and we (the naked or near naked) even formed a train and danced in circles around the floor – like people do at weddings. It was an awesome night in the Garden. The third night was also crowded but different from the first two nights. This was a Friday night “pajama party” and clearly had a lesbian twist. It was clear that the woman DJ leaned in that direction. As a result, the girls took off the most, although I don’t think any girl got totally naked like the previous night. Lesson learned here is that if you don’t find what you are looking for the first night, try again, it could be a very different experience the very next night. Second lesson learned is that it usually takes one bold naked guy to get the guys going and one bold naked or topless girl to get the girls going, Once there is a naked guy and girl, more guys and girls will eventually follow. The garden experience is really what you make of it.

I highly recommend the Garden of Eden to anyone, male and female alike, who is 21 or older and is in Key West and is not offended by the sight of a naked person. I found it to be a very friendly place (as long as you don’t try to take pictures) and a place where the clothed and unclothed alike will have a great time. Even if you don’t participate in the clothing optional aspect, you will have a fun time watching and come away with a great story to tell after you get back from your vacation.

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21 Thank willyb80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Overrated”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2008

Maybe I've lived in Key West too long, but I thought the Garden of Eden was just ho-hum. On a Saturday night during spring break from 11 - midnight it was mostly clothed tourist voyeurs and a handful of naked middle-aged to older men amid a few topless women. Mediocre dj, no atmosphere, and no comfortable seating. There is a body painting area in the back corner so if you're looking to be painted outside of fantasy fest that would be the place to go.

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2 Thank daxcois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tennesee
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Be sure to check the DJ schedule beforehand!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2008

DJ Andi Wilson ruined my experience here, if not for the terrible music it would have been a great time.

Helpful?
1 Thank Barney_in_Orlando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Florida
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A true Key West experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2007

This is one of those places that most people will only see once in their lifetime, so take advantage of it - it makes a great story for the folks back home!

This is a clothing-optional bar - no....not a strip club - the CUSTOMERS are the ones who are nude!

After hiking up the stairs of the Bull (1st floor) and the Whistle (2nd floor) to the 3rd floor rooftop terrace, you are greeted by a large sign warning you that all cell phone use and camera use is strictly prohibited and that any such offending device will be immediately destroyed. This is the only "rule" of the Garden of Eden.

Upon entering, we were greeted by the sight of about 40 people milling around: more then half were clothed (fellow curious tourists like us, I assume), a handful of topless (and one bottomless) women, and about 15 naked (or mostly naked) men. So, it was basically like any nude beach in America - men hoping to see naked women (or other naked men), and gawking spectators.

There is a full bar and a DJ booth, as well as a body painting area. Most of the topless women had their breasts painted, so they were not quite so exposed. The atmosphere was friendly and not too sexual, surprisingly.

We only stayed for a drink or two and then decided to bar-hop to the other places on Duval Street, but I am glad that we at least checked it out. It's one of those things that makes you shake your head and say, "Wow...only in Key West!"

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8 Thank flipflopdiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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