Want to know the best ways to get to Key West from Miami in 2023? Click here to find out about car rentals, buses, planes, boats, and organized tours in detail.
Key West is one of the bucket-list destinations for many people. However, you may try to squeeze in a short trip to Key West when you’re in Miami.
In that case, you may think what are the best ways to get to Key West from Miami? There are plenty of options for traveling from Miami to Key West. The most common ones include planes, buses, car rentals, and boats.
You’ll also find organized tours that’ll take you to Key West with a list of things to do when you get there. Let’s explore all these different options for travel in detail.
Car Rentals From Miami To Key West (3-4 hour drive)
The most popular and loved way of getting to Key West from Miami is by road. And if you’re not driving with your car, then the three options available to you are car rentals, buses, and shuttle services.
Miami car rentals to Key West services are popular because the road you’d use to get there is absolutely stunning. People love the scenic views they encounter when they go by road and US 1 is arguable one of the most beautiful road trips in the US.
The view on both sides of the Overseas Highway (US1) road makes the 165 -mile-long journey pleasing and something to remember. It’ll usually take around three and a half hours to complete this journey. The drive is composed of traveling from island to island via 42 bridgest that connect the mainland of Florida to Key West.
Our Choice: If you are going to rent a car, the rental company you can trust with the highest reviews is Hertz. Their address is 3900 Northwest 25th Street, 33142, Suite 410 and you can call them at (305) 871-0300.
Insider Note: During rush hour, plan to add an additional 45 minutes to your route. This is extremely important if you are traveling to make a certain tour in Key West. Check out this list for some bucket-list, must-do ideas on things to do while in Key West.
Here’s a list of all the cool places where you may want to stop on your drive to Key West from Miami:
Key Largo: It’s a one-and-a-half-hour ride from Miami. You can go snorkeling, swim with the dolphins, watch birds, and try out lobster rolls when you get there.
Islamorada: It’s about a 2-hour drive from both Key West and Miami. The main attractions here are visiting the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center and hand-feeding the tarpon at Robbies of Islamorada.
Long Key: There are a ton of outdoor activities you can do at the Long Key State Park such as snorkeling, kayaking or you can just chill and enjoy great food at The Florida Boy Bar and Grill.
Big Pine Key: One of the most attractive places on this journey is the Big Pine Key. It’s only 40 minutes from Key West and it’s all about wildlife preservation here you’ll see some amazing endangered species in the National Key Deer Refuge so drive slow and keep your eyes open.
Okay, so those were the spots. Now comes the question- what about the cost? You can easily find cars that are available for rent for 4-5 people at about $100 per day. Yup, cost effective and adventurous at the same time.
It’s worth it even if you’re alone in our opinion. But when traveling with a group, you can split the bill and get there at a cheaper price. Most car rental services allow you to drop the car when you get there. So, you don’t have to worry about returning the car. Drive down and fly home!
If you’re driving with your own car or a rented car, keep in mind that parking is difficult to find and expensive in Key West. But don’t worry, here’s our guide on some free parking spots in Key West to help you out.
Buses From Miami To Key West (5-6 hour ride)
Taking a bus from Miami to Key West is the most budget-friendly option, especially, if you’re a solo traveler. You can score one-way bus tickets for as little as $25 and for about $40 for a round trip.
You can even get tickets for a lower price at times if you book them in advance. One of the most popular bus services is Greyhound. They’re available in many locations and you can call them at 1-800-231-2222.
The downside to taking this bus is that it makes frequent stops and you can expect it to take six hours to get to your destination.
So, which should you pick – a car or a bus? The advantage of cars over buses is that if a particular spot appeals to you, you can make a stop there and enjoy it. It’ll also take less time to get to Key West by car.
On the other hand, a bus journey is cheaper. You can take a passive approach and enjoy the scenery without focusing on driving. Weigh the pros and cons and decide which one is better for you.
Flights From Miami To Key West (30 minute flight)
If money isn’t an issue for you, the best option for you is to look for flights to Key West and book a plane ticket. The journey to get to your destination will only take 30 minutes to 1 hour tops.
The cost of Miami to Key West flights ranges from $200 – $300 for round trips depending on what time of the year you’re traveling. You can score plane tickets at Expedia at the best prices depending on when you’re traveling. The cheapest option is usually to go directly to American Airlines website to book tickets or call them at 1 (800) 433-7300. Historically, they are the cheapest flight option that runs daily flights out of Miami.
The other flight options for you are to book a private jet or to take a seaplane. Hiring a private jet is costly but also is the quickest way to get there with flight times as little as 18 minutes. The seaplane from Miami to Key West is a much cheaper private option currently only $650 per person (3 person minimum).
Ferry’s & Boats From Miami To Key West
If you want to get to Key West by sea, you have two options – a charter boat or a ferry. Is there a ferry from Miami to Key West? Unfortunately, there’s no such service. But you can book a charter boat from Miami.
The ferries to Key West are only launched from Fort Myers and Marco Island by The Key West Express. You can call them at 239-463-5733 anytime from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST for further details.
The location of their office is Ft Myers Beach, Florida 33932. You can use take it if you’re okay with driving for 2.5 hours from Miami to get to these places.
Organized Tours From Miami To Key West
Another affordable option for a day trip to Key West and doing fun activities when you’re there is to go on an organized tour. You’ll find many options for an organized tour by clicking here.
These tours have different packages with cool activities like snorkeling, glass bottom boat rides, and parasailing along with a round trip included. It’s perfect if you’re not looking to stay there.
It costs between $60 – $140 per person depending on the package you choose. The downside here is that you have to wake up pretty early to go on these tours and you can’t make any changes to the itinerary.
Wrapping It Up
Now, you know the best options for getting to Key West from Miami. We always recommend taking the road and traveling by car to enjoy the view. But to each, his own.
We’ve presented all the popular choices in detail with the costs and duration so that you can pick the mode of transport that fits your needs the best. Good luck!
For more info and local comments regarding camping at Fort Jefferson. Click here for our most recent Dry Tortugas post with comments.
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