Trolley Tours, Key West
These ticket booths are all over town, and some activities can be arranged at your hotel. If you plan to do a lot, go to www.entertainment.com and buy a book for Key West. We saved about $150.00 with our book on all museums and tours and restaurants.
We spent most of one day riding around on the Trolley Tour. We picked the Trolley Tour over the Conch Train so that we could get on and off at any of their 12 stops all day.
We really thought this was worth the money as we did not know our way around the island and it is difficult to find parking at most of the stops. Not to mention that parking is fairly expensive.
There was a conch train and a trolley tour stop two doors north of our hotel so we were able to walk over and leave the car at the hotel.
We saw the Southernmost Point, East Martella Museum (home of Robert the Doll), Hemmingway home, Duval Street and Mallory Square from the Trolley.
I recommend that you get on right when they start running in the morning if you want to have time to make the whole circuit. We did not get started until close to noon and had to skip about five stops.
We found CityView Trolley Tours online and booked our tickets OPR (old person rate - or active duty military) for $18 each -- $29.95 for the same tour option if bought through the Cruise line! We had printed off the route line and knew that the first stop was right in front of the Key West Museum of Art & History (the former Customs House - it's red, you can't miss it) at Pier B where we were to dock. It is a very short, flat walk to the first stop. If you buy online you can't just board the bus, you have to get your ticket validated. They will give you a 'hop on' sticker to ensure ease of entry whenever/wherever. The sticker is good for the entire day so you don't have to feel rushed. The CityView shopfront is directly across from the museum, as is the bus. Push the 'easy button'.
A bit about the buses - they were clean and the seats were comfortable. They are open air with very little obstruction to prevent good picture taking. We had three different drivers during the day and they were all wondrful. My personal favorite was Captain Heather. She is funny, smart, and engaging. What a delight! I really feel like I know quite a bit about Key West now. The drivers work for tips so you'll be dropping dollars in the basket on a regualr basis if you 'hop on and hop off'. You might as well be prepared - it's definitely worth that little extra. Not the same old boring blah, blah, blah.
Our personal agenda took us to the Butterfly Conservatory first, then we walked a few blocks to the Southernmost Point, and then to Hemingway's House. We could have ridden to all of these as each of these locations are stops on the line, but it would have been such a short ride that we preferred to walk these several blocks. Once we left Hemingway's, we caught the bus back to the dock area - seeing a lot of new places as we went. We did a little shopping and had lunch at Sloppy Joe's. Then we got back on the trolley at Stop 1 and did the entire route to make sure that we hadn't missed anything.
I've been to Key West twice before and have even done the Conch Train. This tour by CityView was BY FAR the best way to see Key West in my opinion. Lots of information, lots of laughs, comfort, ease of entry/egress - all positive. If I'm ever in Key West again, I'll go with CityView and just hop off at different places. Good job, CityView!
If you don't take the Conch Train tour, the main alternate possibilities are the Bone Island Shuttle or the Old Town Trolley.
Of the three main trolley tours, the Old Town Trolley is the one that I have NOT taken. This appears to be slightly different from the Conch Train in that it allows 9 places where you can get on and off, and the Conch Train has only 2. Adult Price - $18.00 which I think is more than the Bone Island Shuttle (Price includes tax and fees)
Boarding Locations/Stops: (1) Mallory Square, (2) Historic Key West Seaport, (3) Simonton Row - Simonton and Greene St, (4) La Concha Crowne Plaza, (5) Bahama Village Market, (6) Key West Welcome Center, (7) Wyndham Casa Marina Resort, (8) Southernmost Trolley Stop, (9) Truman Ave. & Duval St. (10) Angela & Duval Streets.
For cheap transportation, we bought Bone Island Shuttle tickets - they were at that time (2001) $5 each. Now they are $7 each.
They don't have a canned tour like the Conch train does, but for tips (or if asked) the driver will tell you about the place. There are many more stops and they go out into the rest of the island (and to all the major hotels), which the Conch train doesn't do.
It is enclosed, so it can be A/C, but it is harder to take pictures through the window. The different little buses/vans are painted with different aspects of Key West.
Definitely a must to tour the city. You can get off and on at each stop. The conch train is the best one and the most easy to use and spot when getting back on.