Parking, Key West
Parking sucks pretty bad here in Key West. When we arrived in town, we grabbed a metered spot on the street for a few hours. Later we parked in our hotel's lot for about $10 a night. We also used their electronic meters that are located about one per street and you throw the little receipt in your window. Finally, our second night in town, we stayed out by the harbor and here we found some free parking, though everyone was fighting over these rare free spots in the dirt.
Lesson: once you find a spot, just leave your car there and walk as much as you can.
Duvall Street and free parking:
You can park on US1/Truman Ave in front of the catholic church and El Rancho motel. Park on North bound side, you will have to turn around at the strip mall on Simonton Street. You are two to four blocks form Duvall St depending on where you park.
Mallory Square and Historic seaport Boardwalk:
Truman Ave to Simonton St, turn right go 7 1/2 blocks to fenced in parking lot on left side of street or turn right at next corner (Greene St) there is more parking lots there. These are convenient lots, charged us $10 (cash only per day and the attendants were helpful with directions. Also if you turn right on Caroline St and go 2 1/2 blocks on the left hand side is a nice lot that has a maximum of $16.25 per day cash or credit.
I didn't use any city parking meters, they don't have a maximum and seemed like a hassle
finding a parking space near key west's attractions is a nightmare. also if you are lucky to find one parking is extremely expensive. meters near mallory square run $ 3 per hour and on duval street 25 cents for 10 minutes. any where east of simonton street on truman blvd, parking is FREE ! on truman blvd you can park for free 24/7 and it is only a two to three block walk to duval street. let's do the math parking at mallory square for 8 hours will set you back $ 24 or you can park on truman walk a couple of blocks and save enough money for 8 free beers.
Parking in Key West can be hard. They have a couple of lots that charge $10 a day, but, they raise the prices at will. Metered parking is available for 25 cents per 10 minutes (bring a lot of quarters). My wife and I parked in Zachary Taylor State Park. The entrance fee for the 2 of us and the car was $6.00 and you can park until sunset. From the park it's about a twenty minute brisk walk to Mallory Square.
There is a large garage on Mallory Square. Driving to Key West takes a long time, but some of the scenery is very beautiful. If you have time, use the Card Sound road detour; it takes you through some beautiful scenery of northern Key Largo.
Key West runs two parking facilities. One is the Old Town Parking Garage at 300 Grinnell Street which has 250 spaces. The lower level is meter parking ($1.00 per hour) and is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. The upper level is available after 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday and holidays. To utilize the upper level you must use a pay station at the rate of $1.00 per hour. $1.50/hour, or $10./day maximum $75./monthly permit, plus tax, or $80.63 total/month, and they are limited to total monthly passes sold per month.
The parking garage is one of the stops regular city buses. The bus costs $1.00 or for $3.00 you can get a daily pass to ride wherever you want to on the island.
There is also a lot near Mallory Square where parking is $ 3.00 / hour, no maximum $150./monthy permit, which is also limited to the total number sold per month, and does not include sales tax of .75%, or $161.25 total/month
If you don't use the City facilities, you will have to park at a meter on the street (if you can find one), or go to a non-city parking lot. City Parking meters are enforced Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to Midnight and Sunday, Noon to Midnight. Rates are $1.00 per hour INCLUDING holidays.
See the URL below, or my transportation tips for more details
This photo shows Duval Street from the Oldest House/Wrecker's Museum looking down toward historic St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 401 Duval.
The AMAZING thing about the photograph is that it shows a parking space at a parking meter without a car in it. I can only account for this by figuring that spring break isn't in full swing yet, there are no cruise ships in town, and the meter is about 4 blocks from Mallory Square. Meters take quarters and an hour is $1.00. Areas that are largely residential may have parking reserved for the residents. (see third picture)
Parking is VERY difficult in Key West. Some hotels do not even have any free parking. If you are planning to drive to Key West, find out first if you will have parking when you get there.
Some businesses and places like churches and tourist attractions like the lighthouse have limited parking. One of the big problems with the House and Garden tour is finding parking. Some people do the tour on a Conch Train, and some do it on bikes to avoid the parking problem.
This sign (which is near Garrison Bight) shows the parking rates in various garages. Parking spaces are VERY hard to come by and almost all the legal ones in town are metered. The meters take quarters.
See Warnings - parking rates for lots and garages not operated by the city may be considerably more than the rates listed below.
Parking Rates Mallory Square:
$ 3.00 / hour, no maximum
$150./monthy permit, which is limited to the total number sold per month, and does not include sales tax of .75%, or $161.25 total/month.
Old Town Garage:
$1.50/hour, or $10./day
maximum $75./monthly permit, plus tax, or $80.63 total/month, and they are also limited to total monthly passes sold per month.
rates go into effect for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Fantasy Fest week at
$5./hour for Mallory Square or $25./max / day
$3./hour at the Old Town Garage, or $15./max/day.
Parking Meters in the City:
Parking meters are enforced Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to Midnight and Sunday, Noon to Midnight. Rates are $1.00 per hour INCLUDING holidays.
Parking Meters on Smather's Beach:
Parking meters are enforced Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, Noon to 4:00 p.m.. Rates are $1.00 per hour and holidays are free.
City Hall Parking Garage
The City of Key West has a parking garage located in the 600 block of Simonton Street. The lower level is meter parking ($1.00 per hour) and is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. The upper level is available after 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday and holidays. To utilize the upper level you must use a pay station at the rate of $1.00 per hour..
During my trip to Key West I drove a car, and this was fine until we got into Key West. Our Sebring Convertible was great out on the highway, but in Old Town it wasn't the best way to get around.
We had a place to park through our guesthouse but in old town the best way to get around is by walking or scooter. There are several places on Truman near Duval Street to rent scooters at $22-35 or so. I would recommend this.
You can't park just anywhere in Key West. The resident only spaces are clearly marked. If you park in one of these you WILL get towed. I saw at leat 4-5 cars being removed around old town.
Be sure to obey all traffic rules, Key West has a local government which relies on the income of visitors. Beyond taxes, parking fees impact a significant portion of the city's budget. Pay your parking meter, park in approved zones and park well (ie: inches from the curb).
All of this comes to a head during Fantasy Fest when your vehicle will be towed away for illegal parking quicker than you can spot a "painted" lady.
When you visit Key West, remember to use the new Key West Park n Ride facility on the corner of Grinnell and Caroline Streets. Just follow the signs once you get to Key West marked 'P'ark N Ride. It's only $3.00 per day to park your car and ride the shuttle to the downtown area including Old Town, the Southernmost Point, Mallory Square and all the points in between.
The shuttle arrives and leaves the park n ride facility every half hour (top and bottom) of each hour and while you wait you can visit one of the many shops, restaurants or bars within the newly renovated Key West Bight area which is the location of the park n ride.