Town Tours, Key West
If you've been reading all of my tips, you probably know that Key West is an easily walkable town. But if for some reason you'd prefer to do a trolley tour, The Conch Train appears to be a dependable and viable option. We did NOT do this tour, preferring the pedestrian route. But, as the Conch Tour Train has been in operation in Key West since 1958, they must be doing something right for the tourists. :)
The cost per adult is $25, which can be discounted 10% if you buy tickets ahead of time online. (See website below)
The Conch Train is a little "Disney Shuttle type" vehicle that makes a slow circle all around Key West, showing you the various sights. Among the places advertised that you'll see are the Aquarium, The ShipwrecK Historeum, Flagler Station, The Hemingway House, Sloppy Joe's Bar, Mallory Square, The Truman Little White House, Schooner Western Union and the Key West Handprints Fabrics place. They also say "much more". DO note that it says "see", not "visit".
The tours depart every thirty minutes from Mallory Square, starting at 9 am daily. The last tour departs at 4:30 pm. The whole shebang will run about 90 minutes. So, if you're into doing sunset at Mallory Square, hop on the last train at 4:30 and slide back into Mallory Square just in time for sunset...on daylight savings time anyway.
Sit and ride around this hot town! When you get off, you will know a lot more about Key West!
$20.00 per person.
Buy one get one free with the Entertainment Book! Almost paid for the book with one activity.
Get familiar with Key West
Well it isn't a real cheap way of traveling around Key West but it is a nice way to be driven through Key West and listen to the stories the tourguides got to tell you.
Pirates and more
They will tell you stories about wreckers, pirates and more of Key West colourfull history. You can get of anywhere where you like and continue the ride when you want to (keep in mind the operating hours 9:30 am to 4:30p.m).
What to do
They tell you about the history but they also tell about the things you can do in Key West, Places to dine and to shop.
Price for an adult is $20, children 4 through 12 years $10.
You can board the train at 9 stops, every 30 minutes.
Picture taken June 2000
The Old Town Train is a neat way to first orientate yourself with Key West. I recommend doing it first. The guide also goes into great detail about the history. The train tour is 90 minutes long, but you do stop for a break at the midway point. They also give you good coupons for other Key West attractions.
When we found out how expensive taxis were, we decided to try and return our rental car to the airport more cheaply.
So we bought Bone Island Shuttle tickets - they were at that time (2001) $5 each. Now they are $7 each.
Then Bob dropped me off at a hotel near the airport, returned the car and walked from the airport to the hotel. We spent the rest of the day riding around on the shuttle.
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. The one upper right has what looks like an eagle, and the one on the left says "In Memory of Nell" and there is a cat and some chickens on it.
Old Town Trolley Tours allows you to get off and on at any of the touristy stops. When you're ready, just re-board and it's on with the tour.
Operating Hours: Daily. 9:00 am to 4:30p.m. 365 days a year
Tour Length: 90 minutes
Of the three main trolley tours, this is the one that I have NOT taken. This appears to be slightly different from the Conch Train (the original tour) in that it allows 9 places where you can get on and off, and the Conch Train has only 2.
Old Town Trolley Tour
Regular Price.......... (Online Price)
Adult Ticket $29.......... ($26.10)
Child Ticket (4-12) $14.....( $12.60)
Children Under 4 FREE
Stop #1: Mallory Square: (photo 2)
Stop #2: Key West Seaport:
Stop #3: Simonton Row at Greene Street:
Stop #4: Crowne Plaza La Concha:
Stop #5: Bahama Village: (photo 3)
Stop #6: Key West Welcome Center:
Stop #6A: Best Western Key Ambassador:
Stop #7: Casa Marina Resort:
Stop #8: Southernmost Trolley Stop: (photo 5)
Stop #9: Truval Village:
Stop #10: Angela Street depot on Duval Street: (photo 4)
The other tour vehicle - the Bone Island Shuttle is mostly between hotels and is a closed bus type vehicle if it is even still running.
Riding the Conch train in the midsummer heat is not reccomended. This is a slow slow trolley type sigh seeing tour which will cook you to a pulp. You will be traveling at a blistering 5 miles an hour, listening to angry traffic noises behind you the entire way. My reccomendation? Walk! This is a tiny island!!
The Hop on Hop off Trolley Tours of Key West provide the visitor the opportunity to see the sights and then go back and stay a bit longer to explore those areas that are of interest.
There are a number of options to choose from. Adults cost $30.40 for a two day pass while children under 13 are free. NOTE local taxes, fuel surcharges, etc are extra.
The Old Town Trolley is a hop-on/hop-off bus, and was a great way to get around Key West to see all the main tourist spots and to get from one place to another. The trolley stops are all over, and the trolley's seem to stop every 20 minutes or so. AND, the $30 ticket is good for TWO days! I really enjoyed the trolley tour, and our guide "Buddy" was hilarious!
Military and Senior Discounts are available.
You can use it as a 'taxi' for part of the day. We would take it down to Duval Street, eat, then take it back to our hotel. Shower and get ready for dinner, then take it back to Duval Street. Saved us a lot of money!
If you've never been, and want to learn a little about the history of Key West, the trolley is a fairly cheap way to go about doing it. Aside from that, Key West is not that big of an area (at least not the touristy part) and you can easily walk around. Another neat thing to do is rent bicycles or scooters. That is how the locals get around and there are parking stations for them all over the place.
Enjoy...the Keys are great.
For our first full day, we did the Trolley Tour. You can get on and off all day at 12 different stops. The stops are all over the island so chances are that there will be one near where you are staying. Parking is hard to find and expensive in the old town/Duval Street end of the island. All of the attractions and museums are accessible from the trolley route and if you don't like your guide, you can just get off and get on a different one.
I would recommend getting on when it first starts in the morning and planning on doing it all day as we started close to noon and were unable to get to all the stops. There is also a conch train but it does not allow you to get on and off.
Coming back to Key West this year, I find it very difficult to understand why all these websites cannot get it right. THE ONLY GREAT BUS/SHUTTLE SERVICE IN KEY WEST IS UNFORUNATELY NO LONGER OPERATING. The company, whom i have contacted had no comment and STILL sends out brochures with the bone island shuttle on the cover. This should be followed up since it is FALSE ADVERTISING.
Since i was there for a wedding, they ordered us cute little trolleys to take us back and forth. It was neat to be able to sit in an open air vehicle, it was EXTREMELY hot that day (and i had to wear my brides maid dress), and the drivers were full of cool info to give. Some of them think they are comedians, i love when people do that!