The Florida Keys archipelago is connected to mainland Florida via the Overseas Highway. If you're traveling from further afield, you can take a ferry from the mainland or fly into the Keys via Miami, Orlando or Jacksonville.
The Florida Keys is connected to Miami by the Overseas Highway, a 113-mile (182-kilometre) road. On a good day (i.e. with minimal traffic), it takes about 4 hours to drive from Miami to Key West, the southernmost island. However, the road can get pretty congested, so don't be surprised if you end up adding an hour or two to your journey. But hey, at least the views are pretty!
Keep an eye on your speed as the speed limits are strictly enforced and change regularly depending on road and traffic conditions.
Greyhound operates services between Miami International Airport and Key West. There are pick-ups and drop-offs at major tourist hubs, including Key Largo, Islamadora, Marathon and Big Pine Key. The journey to Key West takes around 4.5 hours, but again, it could be more depending on traffic. It’s worth booking ahead, especially in peak season.
Keys Shuttle and Florida Keys Express Shuttle run door-to-door services from Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports to Key West. You can request pickups and drop-offs anywhere in between. They operate seven days a week, but there are only twelve seats available on the shuttle so be sure to book ahead.
The Florida Keys has two airports: Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon International Airport. You can fly direct from most major airports in Florida, including Orlando, Miami and Lauderdale, and several other USA cities.
You can take a catamaran to Key West from Ft. Myers Beach or Marco Island with Key West Express. The crossing takes 3.5 hours. An adult ticket costs $112 one-way or $172 return (or $142 return for travel between Monday and Thursday). You can travel as a foot passenger, or with a non-motorized bicycle (for an additional fee of $76).
Don't worry if you don't have a car. The islands are small and walking is a great way to explore the streets, cafes, restaurants and historic buildings. There's also a great public bus network on Key West, Stock Island, Lower Keys, Marathon and mainland Florida.
If you're up for the challenge, you could cycle via the Overseas Heritage Trail. Some sections involve sharing the road with cars on busy sections of the road, so extra caution is required. You could also rent a bicycle for the day and stay on the island tracks where it's quieter.
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