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Key West Historic Sites

Custom House Key West

Looming over Mallory Square near the Margaritaville Resort & Marina, the Custom House is an iconic Key West institution. An imposing four-story, red brick structure built in 1891, it’s a sight easily recognizable from land and sea. Originally home to Key West’s post office and district courts, today the Custom House is a fascinating museum run by the Key West Art & Historical Society. Their mission is to preserve the culture of the Florida Keys through the exhibition of art, architecture and history to educate the community and visitors.

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Key West Ghost Tours with Ghosts & Gravestones

Many find Key West strange during the day; but after the sun goes down, the restless souls of the island’s frightful past begin to stir. You will hear their tales that have been all but forgotten as you travel the narrow, dark streets of Old Town – filled with 19th century wooden houses that hold on to the secrets of their former inhabitants. Stories so tragic, so chilling, you’ll see why Key West is one of the top ten most haunted cities in America.

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Ernest Hemingway House

5 Stop 5

This lovely Key West home is where legendary author Ernest Hemingway lived and worked for more than ten years. The home and gardens are visited by thousands of people each year, offering a glimpse into Hemingway’s life and a chance to meet some of the descendants of his beloved six-toed cat, Snowball.

West Martello Fort

10 Stop 10

This historic tower was built in 1862 during the Civil War and is one of three remaining Civil War era structures on the island. Although it was often used for target practice by the United States Navy, the fort was never actually involved in a battle. It is now home to the Key West Garden Club.

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Key West Historic Seaport

2 Stop 2

Key West’s historic seaport has long been a hub of activity on the island. Hundreds of years ago, sea captains found the area a useful and safe stopping point in their journeys. It was the epicenter for industries including sea turtle fisheries, shrimp and sponge fisheries. Today, the area has maintained its charm, with a lovely mix of old and new and offering visitors not only a scenic view but also a variety of unique attractions in the midst of restaurants, shops and activities.

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San Carlos Theater

4 Stop 4

As part of the San Carlos Institute, which was founded in 1871 to help the Cuban community in Key West, the San Carlos Theater offers a variety of entertaining productions throughout the year. It’s the first and oldest theater in Key West, and was once a home to touring ballets, opera and theater companies. Today the San Carlos Theater, after a magnificent restoration, offers concerts and other theatrical events.

Oldest House Museum

4 Stop 4

The oldest house in South Florida was built in 1829 by Captain Francis Watlington who was, among other things, a wrecker. Watlington and his wife and their seven (of nine) surviving daughters lived in the house for many decades. A beautiful example of the kind of colonial architecture found in the Caribbean, the house is now a museum that welcomes visitors from around the world. Guests see gold that was salvaged from shipwrecks, paintings, model ships and a separate kitchen. Furnishings, carpets and the house décor all reflect the era of the wreckers and their success that made Key West the richest city in America at one time. There’s also a lovely garden with benches offering a shady spot to rest and relax. Learn a little history, admire the ancient architecture and more at the Oldest House Museum.

Key West Cemetery

13 Stop 13

After seeing some of the city’s most colorful and quirky characters on Duval Street and in Mallory Square, take a moment to visit the Key West Cemetery, where it is said that close to 100,000 original Key Westers are buried. It’s an excursion that offers history, at the bast of lighthearted humor. Located on Solares Hill, which is the highest point of elevation on the island, the cemetery opened in 1847 after bodies from the original cemetery washed ashore during a storm. Stroll through the 19 acres and see if you can find the headstone that reads “I told you I was sick”, or “At least I know Where He’s Sleeping Tonight”.

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Southernmost House

11 Stop 11

One of the most striking and distinctive buildings in Key West, the Southernmost House proudly sits at a prime location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at the quieter end of Duval Street. This impressive example of Queen Anne-style architecture is just one of many iconic Key West attractions. Boasting a long history of hospitality, this building is now a historic adult-only bed-and-breakfast situated on the edge of the Old Town District. The inn boasts a retro, pastel-colored exterior, elegant gables and bold landscaping. It is the southernmost private residence in the United States. Although a few other living quarters are further south, they are located on the Key West Naval Station and are not open to the public. The hotel is one of the most-photographed buildings in Key West.

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Southernmost Point

11 Stop 11

Key West is famous for being the southernmost city in the continental United States. When you visit, it’s essential that you make it to the southernmost point on the island, found at the intersection of Whitehead Street and South Street. Here, you’ll see the landmark Southernmost Buoy (a required photo opp) and a whole host of other “southernmost” attractions that make for a fun Key West afternoon.

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Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden

1 Stop 1

A lasting tribute to the most famous and influential residents of Key West, the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden is an oasis shared by all who live on the island. Featuring impressive bronze busts of Ernest Hemingway, Asa Tift, Harry S. Truman and others, the garden also includes a scenic walkway paved with memorial bricks that are purchased by local citizens then engraved with their names or the names of a loved one.

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AIDS Memorial

10 Stop 10

Remembering those who were lost to AIDS, the Key West AIDS Memorial is a touching tribute that makes a lasting impression on all who view it. The names of those who have died from AIDS are inscribed on flat granite which makes a walkway on the way to the White Street Pier. It was dedicated on World AIDS Day in December of 1997 and at that time 730 names were included. Sadly, today there are 1,000 names listed on the memorial – all people who lived, visited or worked in Key West. Each year new names will be engraved until the memorial capacity of 1,500 names is reached. The dedication of the new names occurs on World AIDS Day, which is December 1 of every year. A somber site, many come to remember their loved ones, family or friends.

African American Memorial

10 Stop 10

Key West was never a slave port, but in 1860, 3 slave ships headed for Cuba were intercepted by the U.S. Navy. 1,432 slaves who survived the transoceanic voyage were brought to Key West for care. Despite the best attempts by the island’s residents, 295 are buried in shallow graves near the West Martello Fort.

Audubon House

1 Stop 1 (305) 294-2116 open Daily 9:30 AM to 4:15 PM

The Audubon House marks the beginning of the restoration movement in Key West. Saved from being demolished in 1958, the 19th century Key West gem is a historic museum featuring the artwork of John James Audubon. Famous for his exquisite drawings of birds in their natural habitat, Audubon stayed in the home in 1832.

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East Martello Fort/ Robert The Doll

9 Stop 9

The East Martello Fort, complete with an eight-foot thick granite wall, was built during the Civil War Era to withstand any bombardment but was never completed and never saw any hostile action. The casemates, citadel and courtyard today make up the museum. Among its collection are Key West artifacts, historical records and military memorabilia. Also on display are the state’s largest collections of painted wood carvings and drawings by Mario Sanchez. In addition, the fort is also home to Robert the Doll, the most famous haunted plaything in the world.

Customs House Museum

1 Stop 1

For a bit of history and a look at how Key West got to where it is today, stop in at the Key West Museum of Art and History inside the Custom House. Built in 1891, the Custom House had many uses including a post office, court house and government center. Today, after a $9 million restoration, the beautiful red brick building is as glorious as it was back in the day and is home to moving works of art that portray the colorful past of Key West and historic national events.

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Truman Little White House

1a Stop 1a

A place where an array of leaders, legendary inventors, dignitaries, visionaries and many prestigious visitors were drawn to throughout its history, Key West’s Harry S. Truman Little White House holds a special place in the history of America. Constructed in 1890 to serve as the naval station’s command headquarters during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, this historic site later became the second White House.

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Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum

1 Stop 1

Feel the exhilaration as you climb 65 feet in the air to the top of the observation tower for panoramic views of Key West. Inside the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, you’ll have that opportunity and more. Find out how those who made their living off shipwrecks in the 1850s watched and waited for ships sinking off the coast in Key West.

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Key West Lighthouse

5 Stop 5

If you’re up for a climb, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Key West and the ocean. The Key West Lighthouse was built in 1825 to help the many ships entering the port avoid the hazardous reefs. Today, you can climb the 88 iron steps to the top of the tower for a scenic look at what the lighthouse keepers watched over for more than 120 years. Tour the grounds to see the Keeper’s Quarters which have been restored to their original charm and view the displays of nautical artifacts, antique furnishings, maps and vintage photos.

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Key West Aquarium

1 Stop 1

Welcome to Key West’s first attraction. Meet stingrays and sharks! Watch in wonder as a variety of sea creatures swim around in their natural environment. Come to the Key West Aquarium for an encounter with some of the world’s most mysterious and beautiful marine animals. Since 1934, the aquarium has been wowing guests with its variety of sea species. Listen and learn as knowledgeable guides explain the underwater world that surrounds the Florida Keys.

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We take great pride in providing an itinerary that showcases all the great aspects of each city during our tours. The most popular stops on our Key West tour include the Historic Seaport, Duval Street, and the Southernmost Point.

Our Key West tour is 13 miles long and averages 90 minutes from start to finish, but our hop-on, hop-off tour is designed for you to hop off at any stop, explore a Key West attraction or neighborhood, and hop back on when you are ready to resume your Key West sightseeing experience.

The Key West tour travels through Bahama Village, Old Town, Truval Village, and the Historic Seaport.

Our Key West tours run 364 days per year (365 in leap years). We’re closed on the Saturday of Fantasy Fest (October).

Old Town Trolley Tours of Key West operates the city’s largest fleet of sightseeing vehicles, and this allows us to pick up and drop off more frequently than any other trolley company. The frequency of the trolleys depends on the time of the year, traffic, and weather conditions.

One of the must-visit places in Key West is Mallory Square, which is famous for its stunning sunsets and street performers. Old Town Trolley is unique and fun and the most convenient way to get to Mallory Square. The tour takes you through the winding streets of Key West, past colorful houses, lush gardens, and sparkling waterways. The tour guide gives you a brief history of the city’s landmarks, including the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, the Southernmost Point, and the Truman Little White House. The trolley takes you to the entrance of Mallory Square, where you can get off and start exploring on foot. You can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, admiring the breathtaking views of the sea and the distant horizon. You will also find many street performers here, who entertain visitors with their unique talents, including magic tricks, fire dancing, and acrobatics.

With so much to see and do, it can be challenging to explore the city in a short amount of time. Luckily, there is an easy and convenient way to tour Key West — with a Key West Old Town Trolley Tour. Sit back and relax while the trolley takes you to all the major sites and attractions in the city. With its open-air design, you can enjoy the warm Florida breeze and scenic views while learning about the city’s rich history from knowledgeable tour guides. You can visit popular landmarks such as the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Harry Truman’s Little White House, and the famous Southernmost Point buoy. You can take advantage of packages that include admission to the Truman Little White House, the Key West Aquarium, and the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum.

The short answer is that it depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re looking to get a taste of the excitement, two days may be enough. You will have ample time to explore the many museums, art galleries, shops, and restaurants that this beautiful city has to offer. When you’re on a tight schedule and want to experience Key West in a day, Old Town Trolley Tour is the perfect solution for you. The beauty of this tour is that it covers more than 100 points of interest, making it easy for you to hop on and off as you please.

If you’re planning to visit, don’t miss out on the chance to discover the most famous attractions in Key West. The must-see attractions in Key West include the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, the Historic Seaport District, and the Key West Lighthouse. Additionally, make sure you visit the Southernmost Point buoy, stroll down Duval Street, and enjoy a slice of Key lime pie! The city is rich in history and culture, and an Old Town Trolley Tour is a perfect way to experience and explore the city’s famous landmarks. The attractions mentioned are some of the top-rated tourist destinations that you should include in your itinerary. Don’t miss the chance to visit these fantastic places and see the colorful and lively locations that have captured the hearts of tourists worldwide.

If you are visiting Key West, you will want to take a stroll down the lively and vibrant Duval Street. This bustling street is the heart of the city, a veritable hub of tourist activity. It is a must-visit destination that offers something for everyone. From dining and shopping to nightlife and fascinating attractions, Duval Street has it all. The street is home to several historic landmarks, shops, restaurants, and entertainment spots. You can explore the street on foot, by bike, or by taking a ride on the famous Conch Tour Train or Old Town Trolley Tour. The street is home to several popular tourist attractions, such as Crowne Plaza La Concha, Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Pie Shoppe, and the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.

The first must-visit location that everyone should see in Key West is the Southernmost Point buoy. This famous landmark is located at the southernmost point of the continental U.S. The buoy has become an iconic spot due to its colorful appearance and its proximity to Cuba, just 90 miles away.

Another stunning vista to experience is Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, located on the southern tip of Key West. Fort Zachary is favored for its beautiful beaches and striking views of the horizon. This lovely spot is a perfect place to enjoy some relaxation, taking in the beauty of the surroundings.

The Old Town Trolley Tour is perfect for travelers who want to explore and witness the beauty and history of the city.

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