Traveling to Key West

New York Times Article - Travel Section

"Jimmy Buffet has practically made a cliche of the laid-back, end-of-the-road life-style...I worried that the Keys might have turned into a parody of itself, a theme park called Margaritaville. So I designed my trip to cut costs and avoid crowds...I stayed in the Lower Keys...they stretch southward from the spectacular Seven-Mile Bridge...I found other reasons to like the Lower Keys as I investigated further. They are a trove of nature preserves, on land and sea...The climax of my kayaking excursion was our slow approach to a mangrove cluster that sheltered dozens of cormorants and some reddish egrets. A reddish egret remained motionless for long suspense-filled moments, fluffing and unfluffing its elegant crown feathers. Then, all at once, the cormorants got wise to our little caravan and took off with a commition of hooting and flapping."
Air Travel Arragements:
Key West International Airport is serviced by most of the major airlines is 20 minutes away (305-296-5439).

Miami International Airport is 3 hours (305-876-7000).

Ft. Lauderdale International Airport is 3 hours 20 minutes.

Boat Travel:

There are two ferry companies that go Key West - Ft. Myers in about 4 hours if you have a flight from Ft. Myers or Tampa. Tampa is a good place to get to. It's generally cheaper than Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. (West Palm often has better fares with major airlines than Ft. Lauderdale and Miami and the driving difference is minimal, about 1/2 hour or so)

Atlantis Express Ferry: www.atlantisexpress.com 800 273-4496 ($50 each way)

Fast Cats Ferry: www.fastcats.org 239 332-7777 ($69 each way)
Travel Suggestions:
It's always good to have alternatives in case one city is really much cheaper to get to than another which is usually the case in Florida, wherever everybody is going is going to be expensive. Off season of course you can get to Key West roundtrip for $180 - $200 per person!
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