A Beach Trolley Excursion
Shoofly correspondent and blogger Lisa Monti hails the new Beach Trolley for a test ride and discovers it offers free, convenient - and fun - travel.
- photos by Ellis Anderson
It’s fun, it’s free (thanks to Silver Slipper’s sponsorship), and couldn’t be easier. Just hail the trolley anywhere along its route and climb aboard.
The collection of passengers enjoying the hourlong ride on a recent Saturday afternoon tells a lot about why we live here (casual beach town lifestyle with plenty to do and see) and why visitors are attracted to this place (all of the above, and more).
There were locals with a swirl of small children who stowed a red wagon and stroller behind the driver’s seat for the duration of the ride. When the trolley reached their starting point at Nicholson Avenue, the group stepped off, red wagon in tow.
A solo passenger who was sitting behind the kids in the rear seat was on his way to hear the band playing at the Silver Slipper. No hassle with driving or parking, he said. It wasn’t his first ride, either. After learning about the service, he became a regular rider and has recommended it to friends.
photos from the trolley window
When we got to Main Street, a couple with two young boys got onboard and settled in the trolley’s front seats. They were from Hungary and were camping at Buccaneer State Park on a friend’s recommendation. Oh, the people you’ll meet in the Bay.
It’s easy to see that the novelty of the trolley, with its easy pace and picture-window views of the scenery rolling by, has become a go-to outing for parents and grandparents. And also easy see that the route from Silver Slipper to Main Street, the Depot District, Buccaneer Park and back to the casino is accessible to loads of riders, including boaters at the harbor and campers at the beachfront campgrounds.
CTA describes the Beach Trolley as a stroll along Hancock County’s coastline. Get on board and enjoy the leisurely ride. The service is available through September, when a decision to continue the free trolley rides will be made.
The trolley runs Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.