Everyone wants to go to Key West. It’s tropical, has a crazy personality and is America’s own little slice of the Caribbean. But what’s the best way to get to this sun soaked rock?
You could drive. You could fly. You could take a boat.
The drive is spectacular. There’s nothing quite like cruising down US 1 with the windows down, tiki bar hoping your way all the way to Key West. But unless you live in South Florida, the drive can be long and tiresome.
Flying can be quick, but Key West isn’t exactly a top aviation hub. Getting flights to and from Key West can be expensive and there’s always a layover some place.
Boating to Key West sounds nice but you don’t know anyone with a boat and wouldn’t it take a forever and day to get there? Prepare to raise anchor, because I’m about to tell you the best way to get to Key West…and it is by boat.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you know I’m a big fan of the Key West Express. The Key West Express is the high speed ferry boat that travels between Fort Myers and Key West Florida. They also leave out of Marco Island Florida. The boat pulls out of it’s Ft. Myers port around 8:30am and ties up in Key West around 11am. A relaxing 3 1/2 hours later and you’re walking down Duval looking for a cold rum drink.
They have a big boat and a bigger boat, depending on how many passengers traveling that day. Each boat has air conditioned cabins, sun decks, televisions.
What makes the Key West Express the best way to travel to Key Crazy though? Fort Myers, on the Southwest Florida coast, has a shiny new international airport and flying in and out is a breeze. Jump on a plane bound for Fort Myers, cab it down to Ft. Myers Beach and hop the Key West Express. Believe it or not, this might be a cheaper option for many travelers.
The biggest reason the ferry is the best way to get to Key West is because it turns getting to your destination part of your vacation. Getting there is half the fun! The Key West Express is stocked with a full bar (hello Boat Drinks!), has a variety of food items and the crew does everything to make your voyage a great one.
Then on your return trip there’s a good chance you’re going to be treated to one of the best sunsets you’ve seen. The Key West Express pulls out of Key West at 6pm and arrives back in Ft. Myers around 10:30pm. This puts you out in the open sea when the sun decides to climb down from the blue sky and melts into the Gulf of Mexico. I was on the boat a few weeks back and witnessed one hell of a sunset. Makes leaving Key West just a little easier knowing that mother nature might dazzle you on the open water.
So I’ve sold you taking the ferry down to Key West but you don’t know when to go. How about September 20th. That weekend (Saturday the 22nd) is the 2nd annual Conched in Key West Charity Bar Crawl. Come support Reef Relief and enjoy a rum drink or 3 on the streets of Key West. It will be a legendary time and it’s for a great cause. Click the “Conched” link above for more details.
Here are some more photos of a three hour tour that’s filled good times, good drinks and smooth seas.