If you have visited Key West before, you already know one thing. This is truly not like anyplace else on the planet. Here the Atlantic Ocean merges with the Gulf of Mexico. On this tiny speck of an island, everything is close by. Getting around presents options that might be impractical or even impossible in your home city.
Most likely, your Key West vacation rental home
will be located in or near Old Town Key West. The compact, pedestrian-friendly scale of the island means you can often walk to your destination. This is how you get to smell the exotic tropical flowers and savor the historic architectural details. Regardless of which Key West neighborhood
you stay in, VHKW can help you find the perfect way to get around. Plus, we want to make sure you have a fun time doing it. For each mode of transportation, we are about to explore, we offer some different vendors for you to consider. Leading each list will be the one the Vacation Homes of Key West Concierge
usually recommends for our guests.
Let's begin with the locals' preferred means of getting around Key West - bicycles. The island is flat, and typically Key West has 259 days of sunshine per year. So bicycles are a perfect fit. Aside from the obvious benefits to your health and vitality, bikes are easy to park. When you bicycle through the charming neighborhoods of Old Town Key West, you will see delightful things you would never notice when you whiz by in a car. You'll take in the classic architecture, stunning flowers and trees, and the endless quirky details which make Key West such a unique and special place. Also, with the single exception of Duval Street, you can ride non-motorized bikes on the sidewalks. Of course, if you choose to ride on the walkways, you must yield to pedestrians. And if you are coming up behind pedestrians, please be sure to let them know you're coming, either with a bicycle bell or call out that you're coming up behind.
Island Safari Rentals
Island Safari Rentals
offers a wide selection of rental bicycles and accessories. Adult Cruisers are the most popular. These are the single-speed classics that offer all you need since the ground is flat. These bikes feature big, comfy seats and simple coaster brakes for super easy touring. Or double your fun with one of their tandem bikes. You'll also find kid-size bikes, tagalongs, and bike trailers for little kids. Island Safari even offers electric bicycles if you really want to take it easy. Scooters are also available for visitors 21 years and up who prefer this popular island method of getting around Key West.
Bicycles can be delivered to and picked up from your vacation rental home. For electric bikes and scooters, you'll need to visit their shop at 424 Greene Street, right off Duval St., near Sloppy Joe's. At the Island Safari shop, experienced staff can offer you hands-on instruction on operation and safety tips.
Bikes, trikes, tandems, trailers, biking apparel, and all the bells (literally) and whistles are waiting for you at 830 Eaton Street, in the Historic Key West Seaport neighborhood
. You can arrange for your rig to be delivered to your vacation rental home, or drop by Eaton Bikes
to see the full selection of rentals as well as the wide range of accessories available for purchase.
This could best be described as a full-service bicycle shop that also offers a wide range of rental bikes. Island Bicycles
is located at Truman Ave. and Grinnell Street in Old Town. The open-air shop has a breezy Caribbean feel, and the helpful, knowledgeable staff will give you a friendly island welcome. But most importantly, they will get you outfitted with just the right equipment you need to send you cruising through your vacation and getting around Key West in style. Some VHKW guests who drive to Key West like to bring their own bikes with them when they come. It's reassuring for them to know that a complete bicycle repair service is available should they need it.
We Cycle Key West Bike Shop
In addition to their main location on Stock Island, We Cycle Key West
has an Old Town shop conveniently located at 326 Southard Street, just behind the Courthouse Deli. You can reserve your rental bike online. You can pick it up or have it delivered free of charge anywhere on the island. Cruiser bikes, adult trikes, and tandems are all available here at reasonable rates. Sales and service are available at both locations as well. We Cycle
treats customer satisfaction as a priority, and its website makes this policy clear:
We've got a driver on the road 9 am - 5 pm every day with full roadside assistance available for rentals during those times. Rent from We Cycle, satisfaction guaranteed.
Scooters and Golf Carts
Sassy little motor scooters are a classic form of Caribbean Island transportation. Key West (the American Caribbean) is certainly no exception. Scooters are simple to operate, maneuverable in traffic, and easy to park. Designated scooter parking spaces are all over town, and there's no charge to park there. Best of all, it's just great fun to zip around in the Key West air and sunshine. For your safety, be sure to listen carefully to rental staff recommendations. And if you are not already an experienced rider, stick to quiet back streets until you get the feel of your scooter.
Golf carts are another option that is available for rent at most shops that rent scooters. Golf cart-type vehicles have recently surged in popularity in warmer climates. They have changed dramatically from the little carts used on golf courses. Some designs look like trucks or old classic cars. Though shaded overhead, you will still be cruising in the exhilarating open air. And depending on your wants and needs these baby cars can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 6 people. Since they are smaller than most passenger cars and much
smaller than pickups and SUVs they are easier to park. They must be parked in legal parking spaces and you are required to pay the same as other vehicles. But, golf carts are easy to fit into tight spaces. Available in gas-powered or electric versions, we'll offer you sources for both.
Our Concierge's choice is in the heart of the Historic District at 401 Southard Street (just off Duval St.). Pirate Rentals
offers perfectly maintained scooters and gas-powered or electric golf carts. Of course, they provide free customer pickup and drop-off at your Key West Vacation Rental
home. The friendly staff will show you the ropes for the safe and trouble-free operation of your scooter or cart. You'll be zipping around Key West like a real Conch in no time.
Sunshine Scooter Rentals
This friendly Mom and Pop shop offers a full array of scooters, gas and
electric carts, and even bikes. Locally owned and operated, Sunshine Scooter Rentals
prides itself on its meticulously maintained fleet of vehicles. Their main store is located at 1910 North Roosevelt Blvd., and they have an Old Town outpost behind 301 Duval Street on Caroline Street. They offer a free shuttle service to get you to and from your pickup and drop-off destination. And, of course, they'll instruct you in the operation of your vehicle when you pick it up.
Choose from single or double scooters, Vespas, 4, 6, or 8 passenger gas golf carts, or 4 or 6 passenger electric cars. HydroThunder
operates a storefront Welcome Center at 150 Simonton St. where they offer carts and electric cars. And a block away, at the Hyatt Hotel, you'll find their rental desk where all their vehicles, scooters included, are available. They offer a free shuttle service to get you to their shop and they operate seven days a week, 8 AM to 10 PM. Unsure which vehicle type is best for you? The helpful staff will be glad to steer you in the right direction.
Arcimoto Key West Electric Vehicles
Classifying their featured transports as Fun Utility Vehicles, Arcimoto
offers an entirely unique way to move around the island in style. With a wide wheelbase in front and a single rear wheel, these sporty little two-passenger vehicles offer superb stability and easy maneuverability. Plus, they come in bright, sexy colors! If you need to accommodate anywhere between three and six passengers, they can fix you up with Electric Gem golf carts, too. These are brand new carts, with lots of excellent features. Backup cameras, Bluetooth speakers and lockable trunks are standard. Free delivery to wherever you're staying is included, and they will walk you through the super-easy operation of whichever vehicle you select.
Minty's Golf Cart and Scooter Rentals
If you're a regular visitor to Key West, you will probably remember Moped Hospital. The sunny yellow former service station dominated the corner of Truman Avenue and Simonton Street. Well, now it's mint green, and it is home to Minty's
. Here you'll find your choice of single or double scooters, and four or six-passenger gasoline-powered golf carts. They also offer a limited number of environmentally-friendly electric golf carts (just give them a call at 305.296.3344
to check on availability.)
For some of our VHKW guests, their own two feet are enough. Depending on what neighborhood
you're staying in, and where you want to go, walking may be ideal. But most will want to go with one or more of the transportation options we've mentioned above. That means you'll have to think about where to park your ride.
Parking bicycles is a snap almost anywhere. Bike racks are located all over town and are always free. Just be sure to always
lock it up, even if you'll only be a minute. Unfortunately, bikes can have a way of riding themselves off into the sunset.
Scooters also get to park for free on Key West streets. But you must look for a designated scooter parking spot. Scooter parking is interspersed with the usual spaces for cars.
Now for the shocking news. Parking regulations (and prices) for golf carts and electric cars are the same as for regular automobiles. That means that in Old Town especially, finding a legal spot can be a challenge and pricey! Throughout the Historic District metered spaces line many blocks. The pay station kiosks are usually near the middle of the block. Here you can enter your license plate number, select your time to park, and pay. As you move a block or two off the main corridor streets, free parking dominates the more residential areas. However, there's a catch.
Many of the spaces here are marked Residential Parking Only
. Unless you have a resident parking pass affixed to your windshield, expect to get a ticket. (Rental vehicles do not
have these permits.)
The reality is that during busy times in Key West, there will not be much street parking available. In that case, seek out one of the several municipal parking lots or private lots found around the Historic Area. The City of Key West Old Town Parking Garage
is a convenient place to park and offers daily and monthly parking permits.
If your Key West Vacation Rental
is located in New Town, or in Mid Town there are generally parking spaces on the street where you can park for free. Many VHKW vacation rentals have off-street parking spots. Check individual listings or call us for specifics.
Bus Service - The Duval Loop
Making the rounds of the Key West Historic District? Key West Transit provides a FREE service for locals and visitors alike. The Duval Loop
operates seven days a week, 8 AM to 10 PM. You can hop on and hop off as often as you'd like, and never give a thought to parking or whether to have an extra drink. There is even a real-time tracking map
where you may see where the bus is located, and estimate when it will get to your stop. The Duval Loop Bus arrives at each stop every thirty minutes, and during peak times, every twenty minutes. This is a great service to use when site-seeing with children and adults who may grow tired from walking.
Key West Transit also operates reasonably priced bus routes that crisscross Key West and extend as far as College Road. on Stock Island. Please refer to their Schedules and Route Maps
page for details.
Ride Shares and Taxis
Lyft and Uber operate in Key West just as they do everywhere else. So to summon your ride, just use your app as usual. We've found that the drivers often travel from Miami to work in Key West. Sometimes they do not know much about Key West. But since they use GPS software to guide them, they will still get you where you need to go. Rest assured, they are operating legally. For purposes of ride-sharing, Miami Dade County is combined with the Florida Keys and Key West in Monroe County.
Key West has its share of taxi services, and some patrons receive very satisfactory service from them. While VHWK cannot specifically endorse any individual company, patrons seem to have the best results when they schedule a pickup in advance. Service can be a little hard to find later at night when it's pretty much the luck of the draw. Just Google Taxi Service in Key West and trust your instincts to tell you which way to go.
Guided Tours in Key West
There is so much to savor in our unique little island, and many people prefer to discover it on their own. But there are also many delightful ways you can jump-start your awareness. A guided tour conducted by someone who is knowledgeable and island savvy may be for you!
Guided Walking Tours
Hidden Key West Walking Tours
Each year from the end of October through May 1, Hidden Key West Walking Tours
offers a variety of small group and private tours. Each of these focuses on a specific area of interest and is guided by an island local with expert knowledge of their subject. History, legends, architecture, or spooky stuff ... choose the one that's right for you.
Key West Art Walk
Perfect for the art lover, curious visitor, or anyone searching for an inside perspective on Key West's vibrant culture. Key West Art Walk
will take you on a tour of the local galleries and studios which populate the Historic Seaport District
of Old Town. Enjoy a beautiful morning walk in the Florida Keys weather and learn about the local art, culture, and history of Key West.
Key West Ghost and Mysteries Guided Tour
With a reputation for hauntings, spirits, and weird tales, Key West is a wonderful place to get your spook on. Key West Ghost and Mysteries Guided Tour
offers an entertaining visit to some notorious haunted sites and a helping of scary stories to go along with it. The tour departs at 9 PM nightly year-round.
Key West Historic District Small-Group Walking Tour
Check this out for a walking tour that concentrates on the rich history and culture of Key West.
Key West Historic District Small-Group Walking Tour
offers an information-packed two-hour tour for only 10 people at a time. You'll wind up with a better understanding of how this fascinating island evolved. A sleepy little outpost in the ocean, over several centuries, became the vibrant, thriving town we know today.
Jimmy Buffett Tour
Year after year, devoted Parrot Heads migrate to the little island where it all began. The Jimmy Buffett Tour
will help you fill in your mental picture of the nutty little island you know from his songs. The two-hour tour launches at Jimmy's Margaritaville Restaurant on Duval Street and winds up with drinks at the legendary Capt. Tony's Saloon.
Original Key West Pub Crawl
We can't really put this category to rest without mentioning the Original Key West Pub Crawl
. This well-known tour will have you hitting a handful of the island's dozens of bars and includes a drink in each one. You, and somewhere around 35 new friends will make the rounds over a two-and-a-half-hour span. And We doubt you'll need to be rocked to sleep that night!
Possibly the very best way to take in the many delights Key West has to offer is by a guided bike tour. The easy, flexible pace of these tours allows you to see and learn so much about Key West in 2 hours or so. Plus, you're out enjoying the fresh ocean air and making new friends.
Lloyd's Tropical Bike Tour
Lloyd Mager has been living in Key West for over 45 years. He is undeniably one of the dwindling numbers of true Key West characters. Lloyd has accrued a wide-ranging familiarity with all things Key West. And this includes a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the tropical flowers, trees, and fruits that abound here. When you ride with Lloyd's Tropical Bike Tour
you may pause your tour for an encounter with some crusty old Conch (a Key West native) who will share some bit of (possibly true) Key West lore. Or you may get to sample a piece of ripe exotic fruit Lloyd has spotted around town. You will most definitely learn a lot about the neighborhoods, landmarks, flora, fauna, and allure of Old Key West. Many visitors treat themselves to this tour repeatedly, year after year. And they always learn something new.
Key Lime Bike Tours
Leaving 122 Ann Street in the Historic Seaport neighborhood
, your tour will take you through the history, charm, and beauty that is Old Town Key West. And it will end with you eating a slice of authentic Key Lime Pie. What could be better than that? Key Lime Bike Tours
offers a morning and an afternoon tour each day, seven days a week. Your guide is sure to be entertaining, knowledgeable, and always delighted to share this 2 ½ to 3-hour experience with you. Included in the tour price are the bicycle, helmet, and bottled water, and the Key Lime pie is complimentary!
At VHKW we trust that somewhere in this post you have found your
perfect way to get around Key West. As you make your plans, please don't forget to include walking activities. You'll slow down to an island tempo, notice more enticing details, and feel fully alive on this magical island we call home.
WARNING: Key West may be habit-forming!