A Little Bit Of History

Ripley’s Red Train Tours is one of the oldest attractions in the state of Florida and boasts a past as colorful as the trains themselves! Operating continuously since 1953, our trains were born from the “Saint Augustine Trailer Train Wars” between H.L. “Slim” McDaniel and Joseph “Joe” McClure. The trains were incorporated in 1967 and later became the property of another St. Augustine legend, Mr. A.H. “Hoopie” Tebault.

In 2004, Ripley Entertainment, Inc. purchased the trains. St. Augustine had long been a favorite vacation spot of Robert Ripley, who frequently stayed at the Hotel Warden on San Marco Ave. Ripley tried to acquire the hotel as a museum in which to house his collection of oddities in the early 1940’s but was unsuccessful. In 1950, a year after his death, his dream was achieved and the Castle Warden became the first permanent Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Acquiring the Red Trains seemed a natural progression in growing Ripley’s legacy in St. Augustine!

FAQ’s

Where do the tours start?

Tours depart hourly from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Where can I buy my tickets?

We encourage you to reserve year seat online, but tickets can also be purchased by calling (904) 824-1606 or visiting the following locations:

  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not, 19 San Marco Avenue
  • The Visitor Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Drive
  • Bayfront Mini Golf 111 Avenida Menendez

Where can I park?

Paid parking is available at the parking garage at the Visitor Information Center. Free parking is available for Red Train guests at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, 19 San Marco Avenue.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, we are proud to be pet friendly!

Are there any restrictions?

Ripley’s Red Train Tours require our guests to take one step approximately 13” off the ground. Fold-up wheelchairs and collapsible walking aids may be taken on the train, but guests must board under their own power.

Are the trains enclosed?

Our Red Trains are open-air vehicles with bench-style seating and easy access in and out from both sides of the train.

What happens if it rains?

During inclement weather, our Red Train conductors will provide free ponchos to guests. In the event of extreme weather conditions, trains may be directed to the nearest shelter and remain there until it passes.

What about discounts?

We are proud to offer active military and their immediate family members 50% off with a current I.D. These tickets must be purchased in person. Children under four (4) are also free!

Are the trains and the trolleys the same?

Certainly not! Ripley’s Red Train Tours is St. Augustine’s original sightseeing tour and has been operating since 1953. Our trains sit lower to the ground than the trolleys, allowing for easier on-off access. They are also much more nimble—our Red Trains travel down Aviles Street, the oldest street in St. Augustine. Trolleys simply can’t fit down this narrow path! While the trolleys offer all day passes, Ripley’s Red Train Tours are a one-time around, 60-minute narrated tour, focusing on the sites and our city’s history.

Can I eat on board?

Our Red Train conductors might get jealous, but they won’t get between you and your munchies! We do, however, ask our guests to be courteous, clean, and mindful of the safety and comfort of others.