Jet-ski/Wave-runner tour of Key West
If you like the outdoors, one of the coolest most fun things to do in Key West is to take the guided wave runner/jet-ski tour of the Island. It’s approximately 90 minutes long and will whisk you 27 miles around the entire peninsular of Key West from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s really a blast! There are about 4 or 5 stopping points during the trip where your guide will fill you in a little about the where you are and the history of some of the things that you are seeing, as well as facts, myths and some urban legends of this Island paradise. There’s also plenty of time to jump off your wave runner for a quick swim. Don’t forget to take along your waterproof camera for some amazing photo ops.
There are many businesses the Island that offer these services. Typically, depending on what time of day you go, or which company you choose, the prices vary from anywhere from $99.00 to around $150.00 for each wave runner/jet-ski. It’s best to call around for rates and times. The tours start at around 9am and run hourly till sunset. We typically use the service that operates out of the back side of the Ocean Key Resort Marina called “Hydro-Thunder of Key West”. It’s really convenient for us. They also offer another locationat the Hyatt Resort Marina located at 601 Front St.
Hydro-Thunder also offers a variety of other rentals such as electric cars, scooters and boats. You can call them (305-295-7525) or book your reservation on-line. Here are some others;
Adventure Jet-Ski and Watersports (@ the Galleon Resort and Marina) 617 Front St 305-296-2210
Key West Jet Ski Tours and Rentals 700 Front St 305-393-1109
Key West Jet Ski 245 Front St 305-797-6423
Barefoot Billie’s 3 locations 1500 Reynolds St (@ the Casa Marina Resort, 1435 Simonton St (@the Reach Resort, and 3841 N Roosevelt Blvd (@ the Marriott BeachSide) 305-735-2241
Sunset Watersports (Various locations) (305-296-2554)
Sunset Cruise on the Historic Schooner “Western Union” Maritime Museum
If you’re in Key West for any length of time at all you’ve got to make some time to take a sunset cruise aboard the Schooner “Western Union”. This magnificent wooden schooner was the last tall ship built in Key West and originally constructed to tend the Western Union cable lines between Key West and Cuba. Built in 1939, she is one of the oldest functioning wooden schooners in North America. She is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a Maritime Museum, and is the official flagship of the State of Florida. We actually were fortunate enough to get married on board last year, what an experience!! “Western Union” is docked at Lands End Marina on William St, behind Schooner Wharf Bar.
The crew is simply amazing and make the whole experience that much more fun and memorable. They are very courteous, helpful and just plain fun. The sunset sails depart at 6:30 pm from Schooner Wharf and return at 8:30 pm with check-in and boarding beginning at 6:00 pm. Once on board you can kick back and enjoy the ambiance and beauty of your journey through history to the best spot in Key West to catch the sun slip down over the horizon. You can actually help the crew raise the sails as you’re passing world famous Mallory Square. Complimentary beer, wine and champagne are included as well as various soft drinks and water. Lite snacks and finger foods are also provided along with a live musician, dove release and when the crew fires up the cannons, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time! It’s a very cool way to enjoy a true Key West sunset. Say hello to Captain Lenn for us!
Day Trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park
Any time you’re in Key West you must try to plan on a day trip to Historic Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park. Aboard the Yankee Freedom II, you will depart, weather permitting, at around 8am for the 70 mile excursion. Check-in is no later than 7:30am and you will arrive back in Key West around 5pm. The Yankee Freedom II offers patrons a fully air-conditioned main cabin, a spacious outdoor deck and a full galley serving a variety food and drinks as well as two fully-stocked cocktail bars The trip includes a wonderful continental breakfast, lunch, and complimentary snorkeling equipment is also provided. Once you arrive at Historic Fort Jefferson you will be able to enjoy a guided tour of the fort and have plenty of time for exploring, bird watching, snorkeling the beautiful coral reefs and swimming. You’ll need to bring a few things along with you on your trip including, cash, camera, sunscreen, swimming trunks, a beach towel, a change of clothing and a comfortable pair of walking shoes. The ship holds approximately 150 passengers comfortably.
There’s also SeaPlane charters that will take you to the Tortugas which will get you there in about 45 minutes compared to the two and a half hour ferry journey. If you wish, there is always the option of camping over for a few nights. The Yankee Freedom II is located at Lands End Marina, 240 Margaret St, and the check-in booth is right next to Turtle Kraals Restaurant. Pricing varies as there are a few operators in town that offer service to the Dry Tortugas but you can always call 1-877-394-1741 for more info. The entire history of the Dry Tortugas National Park is really amazing and something very much worth checking out while you’re in town. It’s a really cool, must do thing when you’re in Key West.
Tour of Key West on the Conch Tour Train
Whether or not you’ve been to Key West, one of the first things you to do when you arrive in town is to hop on this happy little train and take a tour of this wonderfully historic Island. It’s the perfect way to get a feel for its rich history before you go anywhere else in town. It just makes the whole experience in Key West that much more meaningful .The fast-paced tour lasts around 90 minutes and covers over 100 factual points of interest and is fully narrated in English by one of many very knowledgeable “engineers” who will inform,entertain you, and take you back in time all at the same time. The tour makes three 10 minute rest stops along the way so if you want to get off and explore on your own, you can catch the next train, which usually come along about every 30 minutes or so.
Tickets for the tour cost around 30 dollars for adults and it’s free for children under the age of 12. You can get discounted tickets if you purchase them online. Military and seniors travel for a few dollars cheaper. The tour begins from the Front St. Depot, one block south of Duval St, which is typically the best place to board, and ends near the Shipwreck Museum just behind Mallory Square. Tickets can be purchased there or at the Station Depot, at the corners of Front and Duval streets, Truval Village at the corners of Truman and Duval streets, or at Flagler Station located at 901 Caroline St. You may also purchase tickets online or by calling 1-888-788-0162.
The Conch Tour train operates 7 days a week from 9am till 4:30pm and if you decide to get off and catch a later train, you must complete your travel on that particular day. The Conch Tour Train has quite a bit of history attached to it and I would consider it a must do while you’re in town. It really is one of coolest things to do when you’re in Key West.
You can find Live Music in Key West literally everywhere I highly recommend the Green Parrot as my #1 venue for live original music from some of the nation’s top performing jazz and blues bands. Here’s a great link to find live music any day of the week. Enjoy!
The Southernmost Scavenger Hunt “Best of the Bars”