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How to get to Key West

Old Mar 29th, 2006, 08:21 AM
  #1  
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How to get to Key West

What is the best way to get to Key West? Fly into Miami and rent a car, Fly into Miami and take the shuttle then get a car in Key West, or just fly into Key West? There's not a lot of difference in cost adding up everything, but would I miss something if I just flew to Key West?
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Just fly into Key West.

While the drive is gorgeous (in my opinion) you also get to see a lot on the flight.

Also, it is a four hour trip each way which will give you eight extra hours in Key West.
 
Old Mar 29th, 2006, 08:40 AM
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I agree....BEST way is to fly.

Not the end of the world to drive, and can be fun the first few times or so....but I still say the BEST way is to fly.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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I agree. If you are simply going to Key West, fly there.

The drive becomes a lot less gorgeous if you're stuck for an hour waiting for them to clear an accident on one of the bridges, or if you're just stuck in a major traffic jam -- not a rarity on the road through the keys.
 
Old Mar 29th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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Drive. We always take four days each year getting to Key West from FLL/MIA. Remember, you're on island time (or should be....)

For some reason, we generally find better sunsets in Key Largo.

The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehab Center, MM93.6.

The Turtle Hospital, Sombrero Beach and Pigeon Key, all in Marathon.

Bahia Honda State Park, MM37.

The National Key Deer Refuge, about MM30.

There's much more you'll find, if you're on island time. Oh, yes, you'll miss something--a lot of the flavor of the Keys--if you just fly into Key West.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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I agree with driving. It should be done at least once. Make a trip out of it like Bookhall has suggested.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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If you're planning a visit over a holiday weekend when traffic is horrible, and depending on your point of origin, you might consider the ferry from up the Gulf Coast:

www.keywestshuttle.com

You just might miss A LOT of bumper-to-bumper traffic.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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I typically fly into Key West but you need to do the drive at least once. The Ferry is a good option if & when it runs. Do the drive if you have sufficient time.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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If I have the time, I like to fly into Miami or Ft.Lauderdale, rent a car and drive down. The next morning, I return the rental car to the airport, then fly home from Key West.

I really love the drive down, but really don't like the drive back up the keys. It also depends on how early in the day you get to Miami.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 05:42 PM
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Fly in.
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Fly. We spent a week in Key West, and rented a car so we could do part of the drive toward Miami. I'm not easily bored, but I was on that part of the trip. It's great for about the first 30 minutes.
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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I guess I can't leave well enough alone. We've driven between Key West and Miami any number of times and I just don't see the allure. Yes, I love being in the keys, but why the heck drive down and risk running into a wreck or traffic jam when you can take a 30 minute hop from Miami?
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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I have driven it and also flown directly to Key West. I hate the drive. Although it is pretty, I want to be in Key West and am in a hurry. That is the longest 4 hours of my life. I say the only way to drive it is to stay in another Key along the way. That way in breaks it up and you can enjoy the trip both down and back up again. Stay one place on the way down and another coming back.
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Old Mar 30th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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Consider this possibility..since there usually aren't any drop off charges for cars rented one place in Florida and dropped at another, fly into Miami and rent a car and take the drive down. Fly home directly from EYW.
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 03:45 AM
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Intrepid: Though I like the drive, I did that open-jaw a number of times before I retired. Another advantage to it is you can drop-off the car as soon as you get to Key West and use bikes.

Only problem is in season, it can be hard to get that flight out of Key West. A lot of people do it....
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 03:55 AM
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Sorry, I just have to disagree. A HUGE part of the draw of the Keys for me IS the drive - especially the bridges and the views of the water. Having said that, I have never gotten in heavy drive traffic, so my advice would depend on WHEN you are going.

If you just plan to "do" Key West, then fly back and forth. Personally, I would drive down from Miami and fly back from Key West if the cost were the same. I never just "do" Key West without visiting other keys - so I'd like the flexibility of having the car the entire time.

It is all dependent on what kind of trip you want and how you like to travel.
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 04:02 AM
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Fly!
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 04:14 AM
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I agree w/Starrsville, we oftentimes stop in Key Largo for a couple of days then continue on to Key West & also stop at Bahai Honda. By the same token we have flown in & out of Key West & never gotten a car. I would say it would depend on the time as well. If you have a week, take your time & wander out. If only a long weekend, fly straight in. We usually connect in FLL, it is easier & quicker than Miami.
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Old Mar 31st, 2006, 07:08 AM
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The problem with flying into Florida then driving to Key West is not the drive in but the drive out. If the drive is 4 hours and your flight home from Florida is say noon, when do you leave Key West? You don't know because you don't know if there will be a tie-up on the way north. So you leave a lot of time and then spend 2 hours sitting in an airport. My advice is to fly in and don't even rent a car in Key West. It means that it will cost you 7.50 / person to be driven to your hotel, and the same on the way back, but this way you can spend more time vacationing than driving/worrying. Rent a bike instead.

Pjk
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Lots of opinions and lots for me to think about - thanks. Do I understand that I really don't need a car once we get there? Any preference for staying on the Gulf side or the Atlantic side. Or any recommendations at all for accommodations. We'll be staying in a timeshare and I haven't checked availability yet.
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