Getting In & Around Key West
Just 2 miles by 4 miles in dimension, yet brimming with vacation adventures, Key West supplies perhaps the most fun per square foot of any U.S. city. Located 150 miles from Miami and 90 miles from Havana, this tiny jewel is big on fun! Read on for everything you need to know about getting into and around Key West when you come to the Florida Keys for your next vacation.
ARRIVING IN KEY WEST
Two airports serve Key West. The first is Key West International Airport (airport code: EYW), located on the southeast corner of the island. Miami International Airport (airport code: MIA) is another choice for those who come by air. Flight times from some major cities to Miami or Key West are: 3 hours from New York, 4 hours from Chicago, 2 ' hours from Dallas, 4 ' to 5 ' hours from Los Angeles, and 8 to 8 ' hours from London. Travelers flying into Miami may travel the additional 150 miles south to Key West by rental car, taxi, or shuttle bus.
By Boat or Ferry
The Key West Ferry brings visitors between Fort Myers Beach and Key West. The trip on the 116-foot boat includes Continental breakfast. A second ferry service is Key West Express, which runs between Key West and Marco Island/Fort Myers. For those with boats, arrival in Key West is via the Intracoastal Waterway, through the Card, Barnes, and Blackwater sounds, and then into Florida Bay. Another route is through Hawk Channel, a buoyed passage through the Atlantic Ocean. Boaters should be sure to make marina reservations ahead of time, as slips are limited!
Greyhound Lines provides bus routes between Miami International Airport and Key West, and also has routes throughout Key West.
From Miami, drivers should take route 836 West, and then turn south on the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike and U.S. Highway 1.
GETTING AROUND KEY WEST
Two popular tour attractions on Key West include the Conch Tour Train and the Old Town Trolley Narrated Tour.
By Public Transportation
Due to limited and costly parking on the island, public transportation is highly encouraged for longer jaunts around Key West. Four color-coded public bus routes are run by the City of Key West Department of Transportation between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. Many visitor centers, hotels and shops provide bus schedules; bus fares are 75 cents for one trip, or $3.00 for an all-day pass. For those with cars, the city provides a Park 'n' Ride garage, available 24 hours a day, at Grinnell and Caroline Streets. Buses run from the Park 'n' Ride into Old Town at no charge; parking fees are $1.25 per hour or $8.00 per day.
The islands second public transportation option is the Bone Island Shuttle, which runs in a circle around Key West from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., stopping at eateries, lodging sites and attractions. Unlimited-use passes, which can be purchased at hotels or from Key West Welcome, are $7.00 per day or $15 for three days.
By Bike or Moped
Bikes and mopeds can be rented around the island for affordable and quick transportation that makes navigating Key West a cinch. Bicyclists should be aware that all riders 16 years of age and under are required to wear a helmet, and those 4 years and under must be in a sling or child seat.
Walking is a great way to experience Key West, especially the famous areas of Duval Street and Mallory Square.
Car rental fees in Key West begin at $25 a day, or $140 a week. Parking is hard to come by, and costs a lot, so driving is discouraged on the island. However, for those who must drive, the Homestead-Florida City Chamber of Commerce has printed a good quality Keys road map, available from the Tropical Everglades Visitor Center in Florida City for $5.50. Many visitors enjoy renting a two- or four-passenger open-air electric car, available from Key West Cruisers.