Best Way to Get to Key West: Fly, Drive and Sail Tricks
Are you ready to unlock an unforgettable journey filled with sun, sea, and scenic beauty? The vibrant and sunny Key West, the southernmost point of the continental USA, awaits you!
- Exploring Your Options: An Overview
- Best ways to get to Key West
- Day trips to Key West from Miami
- Getting Around in Key West
Famed for its spectacular sunsets, pastel-hued, conch-style houses, and coral reefs, it’s a paradise unlike any other.
But before you pack your bags, let’s chat about how to get there. Read on, and we’ll explore together the best ways to reach this tropical jewel.
Exploring Your Options: An Overview
Your journey to Key West can be as diverse as the destination itself, with options to suit every traveler’s style, budget, and time constraints.
Maybe you’re a road-trip enthusiast who loves the thrill of the open road, or perhaps you’re more of a “get me there quickly” person, for whom flying is the way to go.
Or do you fancy the idea of reaching Key West by sea, adding a pinch of nautical charm to your journey? No matter what your preferences are, the good news is that Key West is easily accessible by air, land, and sea.
Best ways to get to Key West
Traveling by Air: The Fast Track
Looking to touch down in paradise in the quickest way possible? Air travel is your best bet. Key West International Airport (EYW), though small, welcomes flights from numerous larger cities.
With airlines like Delta, American Airlines, and Silver Airways offering regular services, you’ll be stepping onto the sun-soaked sands before you know it.
Now, here’s the insider scoop: direct flights to Key West can be more expensive than flights to larger airports like Miami or Fort Lauderdale.
So, if you’re budget-conscious, consider flying into one of these airports and driving the rest of the way. But if time is of the essence, direct flights to EYW can be a vacation game-changer. Just remember to book in advance to snag the best deals and secure your preferred travel times.
Hitting the Highway: The Scenic Route
For those of you with a love for the open road, prepare to be dazzled. The drive to Key West is nothing short of scenic bliss.
The famed Overseas Highway, U.S. Route 1, takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the Florida Keys, stringing together a necklace of islands with 42 bridges along the way.
The highlight? The Seven Mile Bridge, offering unparalleled views of the azure sea on both sides. It’s truly a bucket-list-worthy drive.
Starting your road trip from Miami will take around 3-4 hours, excluding any pit stops. But who would want to miss the charming islands en route?
Places like Key Largo, Islamorada, and Marathon Key are perfect for a lunch break, a quick dip in the ocean, or just soaking up the stunning vistas.
Sailing the Seas: The Nautical Path
Calling all sea-lovers, this one’s for you! Imagine this: the gentle sway of the ocean, the salt air in your hair, and the soothing rhythm of the waves – a voyage to Key West by sea is not just travel, it’s an experience.
Many cruise lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, include Key West as a port of call in their itineraries, making it a luxurious and leisurely way to reach this tropical haven.
For the more adventurous, sailing to Key West in your own boat is another possibility. The island city is well-equipped with marinas like Key West Bight Marina or Garrison Bight Marina that offer facilities for private boats.
Day trips to Key West from Miami
Whether you’re based in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, day trips to Key West are a fantastic way to get a taste of this vibrant island city.
From Miami, it’s about a 3-4 hour drive down the scenic U.S. Route 1 South, aka the Overseas Highway.
The journey is a treat for the senses, with stunning ocean views, charming island communities, and the iconic Seven Mile Bridge along the way.
Bus trips from Miami to Key West
Bus tours from Miami to Key West offer the convenience of transport and guided commentary, making it a great option if you prefer to sit back, relax, and soak up the views.
Companies like Miami Tour Company and Key West Express operate regular services and provide a full day of exploration time in Key West.
Boat trips from Miami to Key West
For a different perspective, boat trips from Miami to Key West allow you to experience the beauty of the Florida Keys from the water. Though it’s a longer journey (usually around 4-5 hours), it’s certainly a memorable one.
Several companies offer this service, providing a unique and enjoyable voyage with the added bonus of spotting marine life en route.
One day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Key West: If you’re in Fort Lauderdale, one enticing option is a one-day cruise to Key West.
These cruises, like those offered by Key West Express, provide a relaxing and luxurious journey, allowing you to arrive in style and spend a day exploring Key West’s many attractions before heading back.
From Fort Lauderdale, you can also consider a day trip by boat. These trips, though longer, provide an unmatched opportunity to experience the allure of the sea while making your way to the southernmost point of the continental U.S.
Getting Around in Key West
Once you’ve arrived, navigating Key West is a breeze. This compact island, just 4 miles long by 2 miles wide, is best explored at a leisurely pace. Want to know the best part? You can leave your car behind and get around just like the locals do!
The Conch Tour Train and the Old Town Trolley offer guided tours around the island, covering all the major attractions. These hop-on, hop-off services allow you to explore the island at your own pace.
Biking is another popular way to get around, thanks to the island’s flat terrain and numerous bike rentals. You could also go for electric cars or scooters, available for rent all over Key West.
But let’s not forget the most eco-friendly and relaxing mode of transport – your own two feet! Key West is extremely pedestrian-friendly. A stroll around town can lead to delightful discoveries, from quirky shops to historic sites and charming cafes.
What is the closest airport to Key West?
The closest airport to Key West is the Key West International Airport (EYW). It’s a small but well-connected airport, situated just a few miles away from the city center.
Direct flights from several major cities land here, making it the quickest and most convenient option for reaching the Southernmost Point.
Whether you prefer the speed of air travel, the scenic beauty of a road trip, the leisurely pace of a bus tour, or the nautical charm of a boat journey, the best way to get to Key West ultimately depends on your personal preferences.
Each mode of travel offers its own unique advantages, making the journey just as memorable as the destination itself.