Lately, we have been getting a ton of questions about renting golf carts in Key West. We will debunk some myths about golf cart and electric car rentals and share some local island info at the same time.
Is it Worth Renting a Golf Cart in Key West?
It depends on how you plan to spend your time on the island. If you are looking to get around town quickly and see as much as possible, then it is definitely worth renting a golf cart. The classic island style of transportation here is the scooter. But, if you have more than two people a scooter won’t cut it. Exploring Key West with a group is significantly easier with golf carts. Plus, it’s a fun way to cruise Key West.
Whether visiting by cruise ship for the day or staying for a week full of Key West excursions, you’ll benefit from having some fun transportation. Golf carts are perfect for a large group (four people or more) to get around the tight streets and island roads.
Plus, at peak heat on blistering summer days, you are not going to want to walk or bike around the island. Golf cart rentals provide shaded canopies so you can get a bit of shade while you head to your next destination.
Where Can You Take a Golf Cart in Key West?
On the island of Key West, you can take a golf cart or electric car anywhere you can imagine (except across that guy’s lawn). They are the perfect way to get around the narrow streets of Old Town–or even go into New Town and grab some groceries at Publix or Winn-Dixie.
If you want to explore a bit farther, you also go up to Stock Island. It is legal to drive them on US-1 on Stock island, however, I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, I would take the first right turn as you cross the bridge to Stock Island. The back streets are where the good spots are.
Can You Take a Golf Cart to Stock Island?
Absolutely. While golf carts are more common in Old Town near Duval Street and Mallory Square, you can take them up to Stock Island. If you’re looking for an adventure and a bite to eat check out Hogfish Grill, The Docks, or Sloppy Joes Dockside. There are a ton of amazing restaurants on Stock Island just waiting to be discovered.
When you drive onto US-1 in Stock Island you will quickly realize that traffic is much faster on this stretch of the road. You are legally allowed to drive on any road that has less than a 35 MPH speed limit. This means that you can drive on this road up until the CVS (just before the bridge to Boca Chica, where it turns to a 45 MPH zone).
Do You Need a License to Drive a Golf Cart in Key West?
The answer to this is pretty simple, yes. For all intents and purposes, renting a golf cart in Key West is the same as renting a regular car from the airport. These golf carts are street-legal and licensed just like a rental car.
All drivers have to have a license to operate on the streets of Key West. This means you have to be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to not only rent one but to drive one around. Sorry, Mom and Dad. Little Jimmy can’t be your designated driver after you’ve consumed alcohol.
How Much Is it to Rent a Golf Cart in Key West?
The cost of golf cart rentals varies throughout the island, but not by much. For less than $100 you can usually get a golf cart rental for three hours or so. Daily rates for 4-passenger gas-powered golf carts sit somewhere around $180.
When it comes to golf cart rentals Key West has a ton of different options. What is important is to pick a company with good verified reviews and newer equipment with high quality standards. No one likes getting into some clapped-out hooptie that is going to break down.
The golf cart rental companies on the island all do things a little bit differently. There are a few companies that will do hotel pickup, airport pickup and drop-off, free shuttle service, free gas, after-hours drop-offs, etc. You’re going to want to do a little bit of research and find out which company works best for your needs. You can always shoot us a text and we’re happy to set it all up for you.
Can I Park a Golf Cart Anywhere in Key West?
Parking in Key West is a challenge, especially in Old Town. This is where rental golf carts shine since their small size lets them slide right into tiny parking spots that a car could never dream of.
Keep in mind that parking a golf cart is the same as parking a car. You must follow all posted signage and pay to park. Be cautious when parking your golf cart, I have seen illegally parked golf cart rentals towed after just a couple of minutes.
Parking a Golf Cart on the Street
When it comes to parking I always recommend using the City of Key West on-street metered parking. Look for the blue parking signs and they will direct you to the nearest meter. Pay that meter and toss the ticket under the wiper blade of your rental golf cart and you are all set.
There is some on-street parking for golf carts around Key West that is free. It is not very common but you will be able to find it a block or two in each direction of Duval Street. When parking you have to be careful to look for the “RESIDENT ONLY” markings in the spots and avoid parking in those.
Off-Street Parking in Key West
While you’re cruising around Key West in your golf cart, you will spot a bunch of parking lots advertising all sorts of rates. I don’t usually recommend using these as most are daily rates between $20-$40 and do not allow you to move around Key West.
Where Can I Take a Golf Cart Rental?
The first thing that you realize when you get to Key West is that there is no shortage of things to do, see and explore. There are tons of different Key West excursions, tours, museums, art galleries, and, of course, bars.
Some of the most popular places to take a Key West golf cart rental are:
- Southernmost Point Marker
- Harry Truman Little White House
- Stock Island
- Customs House Museum
- Key West Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters Museum
- Cruising Duval Street and the heart of Old Town Key West
One of my personal favorite places to cruise Key West with a golf cart rental is down at the south shore of the island. The long stretch of South Roosevelt Blvd between the Key West Airport and Smathers Beach is a good spot to open her up and let it rip.
Gas-Powered Golf Carts or Electric Cars?
When it comes to gas golf carts versus electric cars the arguments are endless. I personally like the gas golf cart rentals more and here are my reasons.
Gas has some real advantages when it comes to endless range and power. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen people pushing electric golf carts up the bridge at Garrison Bight. It is nice to know that you can pull into any gas station around town and fill up quickly to keep exploring.
Electric cart rentals have their perks, too. They are definitely quieter and have a fun style. The Polaris Gem Electric Cars have better seats and suspension but at the cost of having to pull over and recharge for hours. If you are considering a three-hour rental, I am sure you will be fine with an electric car by taking additional safety precautions. Any longer a rental time, and I would choose a gas golf cart rental.