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Top Tours

 
Key West Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour
"Explore Key West while hopping on and off at any of our designated trolley sightseeing stops. Visit over 50 points of interest with this all day pass as our expert guides provide live narration and entertainment with stories only locals could tell! Audubon House) LaConcha Hotel (Margaritaville Oldest House Museum) Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center (Fort Zachary Taylor State Park U.S.S Mohawk) Higgs Beach (White Street Fishing Pier West Martello Tower) Southernmost Point (Southernmost House Mansion Upper Duval Street Shopping) Ernest Hemingway House Museum (Lighthouse Museum Bahama Village) Key West Bight (Schooner Wharf
From $20.00
 
Key West Ghost Walking Tour
"Florida’s Key West has a history full of pirates wreckers smugglers and other sinister characters. On this nighttime ghost walking tour explore Key West’s haunted side with your expert guide and prepare to be spooked! As you wander down dimly lit streets and eerie alleys listen as your guide tells first-hand stories and legends of Key West's most infamous haunted places. Learn of ghosts and ghouls as you visit the Hard Rock Cafe Banyan Resort Eaton Lodge
From $21.00
 
Key West Aquarium
"Get up close and personal with sea life at the renowned Key West Aquarium. Make your way to the aquarium and begin your tour of various underwater worlds. Learn about the lives of the creatures of the sea. Explore the diverse habitats of different parts sea urchins and hermit crabs in the Touch Tank. Watch the aquarium’s sharks turtles and rays eat during feeding time and find out about their eating habits. You can even pet a live shark if you dare. Through its association with the Turtle Hospital and the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network the aquarium is home to a number of sea turtles recovering from injuries. Enjoy your visit with these survivors. And don’t miss the Atlantic Shores Exhibit — a 50000 gallon tank reminiscent of a mangrove environment that is teeming with tropical fish."""
From $15.00

Parking Tips (7)

Parking is limited at best during major events

During high season or any major event, parking can be almost non-existent near Duval Street even if you have a reservation at the Bed & Breakfast or small motel-hotel.

Don't even think about parking in a resident's zone unless you have specific permission.

There are parking garages, meters and some free side-street parking but again, if there is something going on in Key West (which seems to be most every weekend), then parking may be both expensive and limited.

Be cautious driving on the one-way streets, the narrow streets and the streets where either the conch train operates.

TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
TheTravelSlut
Dec 19, 2006

Bicycle Theft Prevention

This scene shows a relatively calm day at one of the major intersections in Key West. It is Bike Week in Daytona and there are a lot of motorcycles in town (although there aren't any in this picture). Plus it is the beginning of Spring Break (cf shirtless fellow on the moped). You can also see a trolley tour vehicle and one of the three wheeled scooters. But there aren't any cruise ships in town and most of the RVers have left so the streets aren't as enthronged as they can be.

Traffic in Key West can be complete gridlock. The sensible way to avoid sitting in traffic is to walk, take the city bus for $1.00 or ride a bicycle. Key West in general is very bicycle friendly, with bike paths along the upper end of the island (parallel to Roosevelt Blvd) and the traffic in the old part of the city doesn't move much faster than a bike.

However you should be aware that there is now an ordinance in Key West that bicycles that are chained to city property (like parking meters, street signs or lamp posts) or anything other than a designated bike rack will be impounded.

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grandmaR
May 28, 2005

Parking Fines

Because Key West is such a small place, with narrow streets, parking is a problem. So the city assesses fines for parking illegally.

Please NOTE: The residents of Key West have just as much trouble as the visitors do, and therefore in some areas there are spaces which are designated as RESIDENTAL. Not only is it selfish to park your car in one of those spaces for the entire length of your stay, but you will get a ticket.

Do NOT ignore the markings on these parking places (see photo) which are painted on the street and will fade in the hot Key West sun.

Parking Fines
Violations must be paid within 10 calendar days or an additional late charge of $5.00 will be assessed. After 20 days, an additional late charge of $5.00 will be assessed - total late fee of $10.00 per ticket. Parking violations will be considered delinquent after 30 days and sent to a collection agency.

OTH Vehicle parked on public right-of-way facing oncoming traffic $35.00
SID Vehicle parked on sidewalk on a public right-of-way $35.00
FIR Vehicle illegally parked near a fire hydrant (within 15 feet) $175.00
DES Failure to park vehicle within authorized parking space $35.00
NPZ Parked in a designated no parking zone $35.00
RV RV/Oversize vehicle parked illegally on a public right-of-way $75.00
HAN Unauthorized use of handicapped parking space $250.00
OTH Other parking violations to wit: $35.00
FLN Parked in designated fire lane $175.00

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grandmaR
Nov 12, 2006

RV Parking

This picture was taken from the car while driving along the beach. There is one RV parked as far as possible under the palms, and you can see another one reflected in the side mirror.

There are two hazards with parking. One is the sun. Vehicles get very hot in the sun, and shade is at a premium.

Second is parking. Overnight parking of RVs is prohibited. The streets are narrow with little place available to turn.

The following is a notice on the Key West website:

"A Note For RV'ers From The City Of Key West


"More and more often recreational vehicle owners traveling in South Florida are opting to experience the scenic beauty available along U.S.1 and drive to Key West. Unlike other areas of the United States, campgrounds and waste-pumpout stations are limited in Key West. One popular campground along the city’s historic seaport has been sold and the grounds will eventually be the location of a hotel, limiting the already short supply of campground space on the island.

"..RVers planning on an overnight stay should make reservations ahead of time, since most of the season the few campgrounds in the Lower Keys are often sold out - especially on weekends and holidays.

"City ordinances forbid overnight parking on city streets, parks and beaches [Emphasis added]. It also forbids RVs in excess of 20 feet in length or seven feet in width from parking on city streets; these vehicles may park in designated parking lots, but not for overnight. Signs have been placed along U.S.1 advising RVers of the parking prohibition.."

The second picture in the series has several signs in it. The sign on the right points to the Sigsbee RV park (military only). The military has RV sites on Sigsbee, Trumbo and Truman Annex. Except for Sigsbee, these are 'dry' sites - no water or electricity connections. The Sigsbee site has a waiting list and you can only occupy the site for 2 weeks and then you have to go back to a dry site.

The sign with red lettering beyond it says

NO
RV Parking
On City
Right
of Way

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grandmaR
Sep 15, 2005
 
 
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Don't forget your cash!

Parking can get pricey in the downtown areas of Key West. Some lots and garages charge $4 per hour and a maximum of $32 for a day. If you are going for a short period, the hourly lots may be a good choice for you, but if it's all day/night you plan to hang out, I suggest a lot with a flat rate (most go for about $15 or so and are privately owned by the locals, some in lots next to their homes).

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HotRodEtte
May 30, 2006

GUARD YOUR AUTO IN KEY WEST

I warn folks planning to take a trip to the Keys to be sure and take along two things: several thousand dollars for bail money and the phone number of a good lawyer. I lost 5 vehicles to the Monroe County/ City of Key West towing scam in the 5 years I lived there. The way it works is this: they have an obscure ordinance on the books, (one of thousands) which prohibits the parking of any vehicle for over 24 hours in the same spot. Cops go around with a piece of chalk and mark your tire to see if you have moved your car. If it hasn't moved by the next day you will come out of where you are staying, (unless it is one of the millionaire-resorts with valet parking-imagine that) and discover your car is missing. When you call the police they will NOT tell you they towed it away. They will have you fill out a stolen vehicle report, After several days , when your towing bill is in the hundreds of dollars, you will find out your car is in one of the towing company storage yards. You either pay them what they charge or lose your car. They like the cars the towing company can re-sell quickly, especially convertibles. Another scam is they will pull you over for some excuse, then claim the car you are driving has been reported stolen. Mostly they just tow your car, but sometimes they haul you in to their new jail which the locals call the "Stock Island Hilton". You will be there over the weekend until Monday morning when they let you see the judge. You don't have to be guilty of doing anything, they just take whoever they choose to jail. There is no accountability because the people in charge get a percentage of each car they have towed. Try to take at least one friend along, because the cops don't like witnesses. Don't travel at night, and watch out on Fridays and Saturdays because that's when they like to fill the jail up. The government pays them for every day you are in there. There is a slogan you hear down there: "Arrived on vacation, Left on probation." BE CAREFUL, or take your vacation somewhere decent.

fordude
Nov 15, 2002

No Parking

I would recommend arriving in Key West during the week if you can, I did and was luck to find street parking, but it is extremely difficult to find, even on a wednesday, if you can't you will have to pay $14 a day for parking. Make sure that you do not park in the resident spaces, it will be marked on the pavement.

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bluejaxx
May 12, 2007

Top 5 Key West Writers

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grandmaR

"The Parents of a "
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doug48

"key west florida"
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Ericasmurf99

"Key West, Florida"
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tpangelinan

"Key West Driving Trip May 3-12, 2003"
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TheTravelSlut

"Key West one of my favorite spots in North America"
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Things to Do Near Key West

Things to Do

Duval Street

Galleries, shops, bars and big beautiful homes with huge porches. Key West is a small island city with a very diverse population. It's a wealthy community, with plenty of regulars just trying to make...
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Things to Do

West Martello Tower

When we lived in Key West there in the late 60s, they hosted a flower show in the winter. If you go at the time of the flower show they have some amazing flowers that you can see in addition to the...
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Things to Do

St. Mary's Star of the Sea Catholic Church

Saint Mary Star of the Sea was established in 1851, making it the oldest Catholic parish in Key West and the fifth oldest in the state. The present church was completed in 1905 (the first church was...
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Things to Do

Cemetery

On the grounds of Hemingway House is a unique cemetery for the six toed cats that live there. Hemingway named his cats after famous people, and that tradition has continued - as can be seen by reading...
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Things to Do

Butterfly Conservatory

Before we cruised to Key West, I had done a lot of research about what to see. I fell in love online with the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. It was our first stop in Key West (CityView Trolley...
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Things to Do

Southernmost Point

It's free and easy to find .. and a must do if your there. . We have only been there twice and don't know that we will return but it was a lot of fun. a party place year round. After that you have to...
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Getting to Key West

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