Getting to the Keys

A Florida Keys travel guide will help you get to the Keys and get around easily while on vacation. If you are planning a vacation to the Florida Keys, you already know about a lot of the fun and exciting things to do and see in this lovely chain of islands. You might, however, need a little help with the details of getting here, or Florida Keys travel, and where to stay once you get here. There are several different ways of arriving in the Florida Keys and numerous types of accommodation choices as well.

Getting to the Florida Keys

You can fly into a major international airport such as Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) or Miami International Airport (MIA). These airports are both within driving distance to the Keys. They are both very large airports so airfare will be cheaper than flying into Key West International Airport or Marathon Airport. Sometimes flights into West Palm Beach airport are cheaper, too, depending on where you fly in from. Keep in mind that West Palm Beach is two hours driving from the start of the Florida Keys, whereas Fort Lauderdale will be about an hour, and Miami half an hour. (These times are without any delays in traffic, which happen oftenin Southern Florida). Flying into Key West will tack on about $80 to your airfare, but it’s worth it for some who are staying in Key West, who don’t like to drive, or who have already driven the Overseas Highway through the FLorida Keys. This drive, by the way, is one of the most picturesque drives in the United States, and particularly popular via motorcycle or in a convertible with the top down! Flying into Key West means you won’t have to rent a car, so your extra money spent on the airfare will be saved by not spending on a car rental. Marathon Airport has flights too, but much less frequently than Key West airport.

Driving, once you fly into an airport, will be frustrating until you reach the Overseas Highway, which is what they call US 1 once you hit the Florida Keys. Southern FLorida is very congested, so sit back and stay calm, and plan for lots of extra time. Even the Overseas Highway can get congested on a Friday night, but the further you go west, the more the traffic thins out. By the time you cross the Seven Mile Bridge out of Marathon heading for Key West, there are noticable fewer cars on the road.

If you fly into Miami, you do have the option of taking a ferry service from Miami to Key West. It leaeves every morning and takes about four hours to reach Key West. No car rental required! This is perhaps one of the more pleasant ways to go about your Florida Keys travel. The service leaves Key West every afternoon at 5 or 5:30, heading back to Miami. It’s a fun way to go, and the ride is spectacular back to Miami because you’ll catch a splendid sunset as you leave Key West.

Greyhound buses leave Miami every day and travel throughout the Keys, all the way to Key West. Service is limited, with few trips, but there is daily service. If you arrive at FLL or MIA airports, there’s the Keys Shuttle. This is a minivan serivce for passengers who don’t want to drive. The shuttle service leaves several times a day from both airports and stops all through the Keys.


The Florida Keys are famous for chic resorts with all-inclusive services such as on-site charter fishing guides, private beaches, pools and dining. You can also find older motels along the Overseas Highway, which offer lower rates but sometimes it’s the luck of the draw on quality. In Key West your lodging choices multiply: Guest houses, chain hotels, and inns can be found everywhere in the small city, and where you stay is up to your budget and taste. For more information, go here.