The Conch Tour Train or the Old Town Trolley? Both of these Key West tours are great options, and here’s how to choose!
There are numerous Key West tours you can experience on our little island, including our two favorites: the Conch Tour Train and Old Town Trolley. Both provide a history of Key West and a ride around town with various stops. Here’s the breakdown between these popular Key West tours to help you choose your favorite!
Conch Tour Train:
The World Famous Conch Tour Train originated in 1958 and has a very distinct “train” look, providing an open air tour. The train stays in the “Old Town” Key West area and dedicates their tour to the architecture and history of the island. At 70 minutes long, you have the option to take a break and get off at any of their four stops to explore different areas of Old Town: The Station Depot at Front and Duval Street, Truval Depot at Truman and Duval, Sails to Rails Museum at Flagler Station on Caroline Street and Mallory Square.
Purchase your tickets from Old Town Manor’s concierge, then enjoy a 10 minute walk to their Front Street depot near Mallory Square. The tour operates from 9 am to 4:30 pm daily and conveniently departs every half hour.
With so many things to do in Key West, we highly recommend hopping off at the train’s Truval Village stop. Located on the upper end of Duval Street, you’ll be only minutes from some of the top Key West Attractions including the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Southernmost Point, Hemingway House and Key West Lighthouse. Since pick-ups occur every half hour, you are free to re-board the train at any of their 4 locations as long as you have your sticker and boarding pass. This gives you time to explore, experience the attractions, grab a photo, or some fudge (available at the Station Depot)!
Old Town Trolley:
The Old Town Trolley “Hop on, Hop off” tours have been delighting Key West passengers since 1980. They are widely known in other tourist destinations such as Savannah, St. Augustine, Boston and more. With 13 different stops to get off the trolley, you’ll be able to visit the best Key West beaches and attractions a little farther than walking distance, such as the East Martello museum.
Resembling a San Francisco trolley car, the Old Town Trolley is higher up, giving you a nice raised view while you travel around town. Wooden benches and large open windows allow for comfortable viewing, and vinyl panes can be pulled down to offer some protection if a storm comes through. This tour also leaves every half hour from 9-4:30 daily, with a stop conveniently located only a block away from the manor and 2 blocks away from Rose Lane Villas on Duval Street.
This alternative option for Key West tours has two major differences than the Conch Tour Train. First, the Old Town Trolley goes around the entire island of Key West, not just the downtown area. Second, they offer 13 different stops along the tour instead of 3, making them a great alternative to renting a car, taking a cab or riding the bus to get to the other side of the island.
The Bottom Line:
The best part of both Key West tours? You can sit back and relax while someone else does the driving! Pricing is different for each tour. The Old Town Trolley, being the longer tour, is $44.95 for each adult passenger and $15.00 for children 4 to 12 with children under 4 riding free. The Conch Tour Train is $34.95 for each adult passenger and $15.00 for children 4-12 with children under 4 riding free. No discounts are available for either ride, but you do get a tour of the Hemingway Company Rum Distillery for free with either ticket.
When it comes to Key West tours, the Conch Tour Train and Old Town Trolley are the way to go. Not only will you get transportation, you’ll receive a detailed tour of our Key West history by lively tour guides. You’ll also have the opportunity to admire our unique Key West architecture dating back to the 1800’s. From beautiful gingerbread lacework, 2 and 3-story cigarmakers’ cottages, and Conch houses with wraparound verandahs, you’ll love learning about the little details that make our island so special.