How to get to Key West - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Travelling
The Florida Keys is a one hundred and twenty mile island chain and is linked to mainland Florida by U. S. 1, the Overseas Highway. I estimate the driving time from Miami to US1 is approx one hour. Some people only want to go to the Upper Keys so this is not too long a journey. However if you have the time do go further down the Keys they are very beautiful and your drive is rewarded by arriving in Key West.
If you are traveling by car from the north, take the Florida Turnpike south to just below Ft. Lauderdale and Exit 4 joins the Turnpike. The Turnpike ends at US 1 in Florida City so then you follow U. S. 1 south into the Florida Keys.
If you are coming from Florida' s west coast (the Gulf Coast), take 1-75 Alligator Alley east to the Miami exit, and south to the Turnpike Extension. We have traveled along Alligator Alley many times but have yet to see an alligator! However it is an interesting drive with signs denoting Indian settlements along the way and not too busy. Be careful not to exceed the speed limit as there are always a lot of sheriffs patrolling this area.
The drive to Key West from the mainland will take about three and a half hours on US1. We usually drive south of Miami stay overnight and then go straight down the Keys the next day. The first time we went to Key West we decided to stay one night in Miami and a second night in Marathon to break up the journey however in hindsight we felt we should have traveled straight down to Key West.
Once you are in the Keys, U. S. 1 becomes the Overseas Highway, which is like the Keys Main Street!
If you fancy taking the Greyhound Bus this service makes scheduled stops along the route between Miami International Airport and the Florida Keys and Key West.
The Amtrak train takes you as far south as Miami, where you can transfer to the Keys Shuttle bus.
Some visitors opt to fly into Miami International Airport or even Fort Lauderdale and hire a car; the routes to the Keys from the airports are well sign posted.
I believe you can also get high-speed passenger ferries from Fort Myers and the journey takes just over three hours.
Once you get to Key West we tend to go on foot or take one of the many taxis and bus trips. It is quite a journey to Key West but we feel it is worth it.
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