Flagler’s railroad arrived in Key West on January 22, 1912, and the Island City was changed forever. The Conch Tour Train is proud to be the legacy of Henry Flagler’s engineering miracle. In 1958, the World-Famous Conch Tour Train began its first journey—transporting visitors back to the past, sharing thrilling accounts of pirates and Indians, visionaries and artists, and moguls and politicians. Our engineers showcased the glorious architecture and stunning tropical scenery while sharing amusing accounts of the extraordinary moments in time that reveal why there’s no place on earth quite like Key West.
Now it’s your turn to climb aboard the Conch Train. Climb to the top of a real 65-foot observation tower at the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum. Go back to the days when Cuban cigar-makers hand-rolled cigars in Mallory Square as you stroll through the Cayo Hueso y Habana Historeum. Learn about Mel Fisher’s lifelong search for the Spanish galleons and the day when he finally found $450 million worth of treasure. See the wonder and the magic that exemplify the unique personality of America’s Southernmost City. On your Conch Train tour, you will get an overview of the stores and shops in Key West. Later you can crawl Duval at your own pace and enjoy the best Key West shopping has to offer. On board the Conch Train Tour, every moment will be memorable.
Henry Flagler found it so alluring that he built what many deemed the impossible: a railroad extension 130 miles out to sea—just to connect it with the rest of the world. Today, it serves as an everlasting tribute to Flagler and his crew who made it a reality. Ernest Hemingway lived and played as one of the locals while creating some of his best-loved stories. Harry S. Truman came for a few days rest and stayed for hundreds more in the famous Little White House. And many others, John Audubon, Tennessee Williams, poets, artists and leaders, were drawn here to discover the island paradise they heard so much about. Only in Key West could so many different people from some many different parts of the world, come together, live together and be free to be who they are.
Centuries before, native Indians ruled the land and left the remains of their enemies right on the sand after defeating them. So many bones lay on the beach that the island was named Cayo Hueso or Bone Key. Later, settlers came and many trade ships carrying valuable cargo were victims to the treacherous reefs and weather. Wreckers, as they were called, made fortunes salvaging the wreckage and selling their treasures to people from all over the world. It was a time of affluence—a time when Key West was considered to be the wealthiest city in America. Hand-rolled Cuban cigars, sea sponges and wrecker auctions brought visitors in droves to the island—helping the economy and the island’s popularity grow.
Unlike anywhere else in the United States, Key West’s history is amazing and intriguing—abundant with colorful characters, spine-tingling adventures, famous and infamous talents and distinct architecture set in the world’s most marvelous haven of eco-splendor. And the story has yet to end…
Today millions of people flock to Key West to witness its beauty, to raise a ruckus, to be captivated by its entrancing allure and to experience true Key West vacations—once-in-a-lifetime getaways not to be forgotten.