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“Smokey and the Red Train”
Review of Red Train Tours

Red Train Tours
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US$17.03*
and up
Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium
Ranked #9 of 117 Tours in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Enjoy more options at a better price than anywhere else in St. Augustine! We offer one day, three day and five day passes and have recently added a "Once around" tour if you are pressed for time. We offer an award-winning 80 – 90 minute, fully narrated historical tour of the Nation’s Oldest City. Our “open-air” Sightseeing Trains cover over 7 miles and visit dozens of historic sites. Our Sightseeing Train tours begin every 20 minutes beginning at 8:30 am. Guests may get on and off at over 20 locations and enjoy free parking at our Ripley owned ticket locations. All guests receive free on-demand shuttle service to and from area hotels, free shuttle service to the Alligator Farm and the St. Augustine Lighthouse with tickets, and $1 passes to “Bayfront Mini-Golf”.
Elburg, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Smokey and the Red Train”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Sometimes, when one visits a locale one has been to before, the calling to "see it like a tourist" can be stronger than the draw of seeing it like a native.
We have all been to or lived in a town where we see tour trams and trolleys, the driver spieling interesting facts, and allow the experience to slip by as one of those things that tourists do.
I would like to tell you right now that our initial experience on the Red Train was so incredible that once we boarded we chose to remain for the entire circuit (which is a lot of stops and considerable time).
Why, you might ask?
in a word - Smokey.
Spell it with me:
S M O K E Y.

You see, any offering is only as good as the people who represent it. Smokey (not his real name, btw) brings to life the city streets and mossy Oak canopied lanes in a way that can only be born of passion to serve. People expect excellent guest service when they go to Walt Disney World, or dine at a five star, Golden Spoon restaurant.

But to get this kind of experience on a tram? Not the norm.
The product itself, a tram where you park and then board and disembark where you please, is exactly how you might expect such a thing to be: a matter of convenience.

Smokey exceeds expectations. While still mindful of his time constraints (it is a tram, therefore paid public transport, and must keep a schedule) his diligent research and delight in sharing things the average person might just wander by and not discover (embedded cannon ball, anyone?) make for an experience that will have you looking at your significant other and asking, "want to stay on? me too." Smokey brought the city of St. Augustine to life, instilling in his passengers a joy in hitting the tram jackpot.
Smokey should be the trainer for all tram drivers and pilots, as he proves himself more than capable. He demonstrates the ability for a single person to speak for close to ninety minutes, only offering the best and most positive takes on his city, displaying what is clearly brilliant understanding and wit. Smokey could have been wearing a Conquistador outfit and it still would not have upstaged his enthusiasm.

When he had to disembark himself, we (and a large group of others) chose to disembark at the very next stop.
This had a great deal to do with the fact the next tour guide was a grizzled broken man (I won't mention his name here, but remember how Bogart said "Play It Again..." and who he was talking to and you'll know) with the personality of a broken soap dish, and less to do with the fact Smokey was no longer with us.

When in Saint Augustine, you'll have lots of options. But there is only one Red Train, and definitely only one Smokey.
Ask for him by name.
Remember: you are paying for the transportation, but with Smokey, you are getting entertainment, passion for America's oldest continuously inhabited city, and an education.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Ronald F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly K, General Manager at Red Train Tours, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Wow - that has to be the nicest review that I think that I have ever read! Thank you so much for taking our tour and for sharing such a wonderful review. Smokey is a great guide and I am sure that he will be so thrilled to read your review. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you choosing the trains, and for sharing such an absolutely incredible review. Thank you!
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English first
Tampa, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A must”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

An hour and a half well spent getting acquainted with the history of the city. Guide was clearly well informed.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Enaye E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
“This was amazing - Really”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Well lets see I lived here in Saint Augustine from 2001-2004 and never really did the things downtown like I wanted. I now work for an amazing company on the Island and they presented me with a very special gift so I am now able to do all the attractions in the city for free.. This RED train tour was awesome. I did it with a 4 and 5 year old and they were really listening to, I think Sam was his name. Super awesome and knowledgeable guy. We had to jump off his train at the Whetstone Chocolate tour and got back on to another conductor that was just as informative. I would love to take the train the whole 90 minutes without a jump off one day.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Cdawnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly K, General Manager at Red Train Tours, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Thank you so much for such a nice review. We are so glad that you enjoyed your tour and that you shared such a wonderful review. We do realize that there are other options in town and we are thankful that you chose us!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Red Train Tour”
Reviewed 6 June 2014

My husband and I took the Red Train Tour that Ripley's Believe It or Not offers. Our Tour Guide Smokey was incredible. He was very knowledge and personable. I highly recommend this tour and Smokey as your tour guide. I hope his bosses can read this because he was great!!!! He waited so I could take pictures and we could not have asked for a better tour guide.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Machele C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
denver, pa.
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Excellent way to see all the historical sites”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

First time to St. Augustine , from Pa. and loved this way of sight seeing. Open areas to have a good view. Everything is explained on your ride and it is very informative. Glad I didn't decide to park and walk, never would have made it, way too much walking. Get off at the stop you want to see. I choose the lightner museum, lovely. got a one day ticket and saved money , senior discount. Also found a discount ticket for my under senior aged friend. No way to see it all if you get off at every stop. If staying more than a day, get the 2 or 3 day pass.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank wolfnater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly K, General Manager at Red Train Tours, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
We are so glad that you found this a great way to view all of our wonderful historic sites! Thank you so much for posting such a wonderful review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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