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Best way to get to Key West from the Midwest?!

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Hi....I will be traveling to Key West in mid-October, and I am trying to create an efficient travel plan. Ideally, I'd like to fly all the way there, and from my short amount of research, it looks like flying into Ft. Lauderdale then taking a smaller place to KW might be the way to go. (I believe my options for air are Continental and Cape Air.) That's Option #1. Here's Option #2: Fly into Ft. Meyers, somehow get to Ft. Myers Beach, then take the Key West Express Ferry, but it only sails from Ft. Myers Beach @ 0830, too early to make a connection from an earlier morning flight. I'd have to fly in the night before, stay nearby, an be a the dock for the 0830 departure, then reverse this plan to fly home. (The Ferry arrives from KW @ 9 pm.) Option #3: Fly into Ft. Lauderdale, taking a shuttle bus down to KW. Shuttles leave every 2 hours beginning at 1030 am. If my connection was late, I simply wait a few hours for the next one. Are there any other modes of travel to consider? The last thing I want is to be stuck in Atlanta on a 6 hr. layover. My time is the biggest thing I'm trying to conserve.

Next item: lodging. On a previous trip, I stayed at Ambrosia Too, a lovely B&B, but likely closed now. This time, I'd prefer a more populated property, one with a great pool, hopefully an outdoor bar, not too far away from the action. My friends will be staying at The Galleon, so if it was close to that, great, but it wouldn't be a dealbreaker.

More questions: Is the A & B Lobster House still wonderful? Is Kino Sandals still there? Where is the best coffee? Where is the best place for an outdoor lunch on the water? (I remember a great place for fritters with a hot mustard dip and cold beer - I'd love to go there again.) I visited a rooftop bar during the middle of the day for a cool drink, and stayed a few hours, just drinking in the water view. It was in the middle of town, in a location where a big cruise ship eventually sailed in and ruined the view. Still, that serene afternoon sticks in my mind, and I want to go back. Any idea where this was?

More info: I'll be traveling and staying solo, but meeting up with other friends in town for a wedding. I'm looking forward to renting a bike and biking the island on my own. I want to stay in a well-lit place with lots of other people, not the secluded (but lovely!) B &B choice I made the last time I visited. All suggestions welcome for lodging.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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