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Preferred Way to Arrive

San Francisco...
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Preferred Way to Arrive

I am arriving in FT Lauderdale on July 2nd, and have a reservation for a fun 5 days in KW beginning the next day. In past years I took a small commuter plane from FLL, but I think there might be better ways that are less expensive. Also wondering if there are any boat options to get to KW.

Thanks!!

Pennsylvania
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1. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

get a one way rental car and enjoy the 3-4 hour ride down. get an early start as it's holiday time. i think the only boat option is out of fort myers.

Marathon, Florida
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for Marathon, Islamorada
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2. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

Take the drive down - you need to at least once. It's a beautiful drive and many great places to stop along the way.

You can do a one way rental.

West Palm Beach...
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3. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

I agree, rent a car at FLL airport, try to get a convertible, get a map, you want to take the turnpike all the was down, do not take I95, the drive is the most beautiful drive in the world! You can stop at all kinds of places on the way down to the key west.

Key Colony Beach...
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for Florida Keys
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4. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

The 4th of July weekend will be busy. Be prepared for a slow trip down. Thursday may not be so bad, but Friday will be a bugger.

Look through my posts I have given 8 - 10 places to stop. Just something to think about. If the traffic is bad, stop ONLY on the gulf side on the way down.

I LOVE the drive. I love the sounds, smells, sights, birds, water, bridges, fisherman, trees, quirky buildings, quirky statues, places to stop and eat, drink, and shop. I love the drive.

I'm a journey is as important as the destination kind of guy.

Deception Island
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5. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

If it were me and a few weeks later in hurricane season I would consider keeping the car instead of doing a one way rental. It's not a good feeling when they issue a mandatory visitor evacuation leaving you with no place to stay and no way out either. Just a thought. I think the dates you are looking at are still fairly hurricane safe but a local could better advise on that.

Connecticut
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6. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

Someone posted do not take I95 take the turnpike all the way down? What is the turnpike route number?

Isn't there only one road that goes in and out of the keys? I am planning on driving from Miami and thought it would be pretty easy to do.. now I am worried there is more than one way?

Can someone help clarify this for me?

Thanks again for your help!!

Deception Island
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7. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

From Miami you want to take floridas turnpike till it ends at Florida City.

Then it's just U.S. 1 all the way to key west with one option being at florida city you can take Card Sound road which takes you by Alabama Jacks if your interested in a stop to put you in keys mode. It's a little resturant/bar in the mangroves that many make a stop at. Card Sound road eventually merges back into U.S. 1 a few miles past Alabama Jacks.

If you don't do Card Sound Road you cross the new bridge on a section of road known as the 18 mile stretch that has a pretty nice view of the area too.

Enjoy the drive and your trip!

Queens, NY
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8. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

We used to always fly directly to KW on American through Miami. When JetBlue started it's service to FLL we started using that because it was considerably less expensive and we travel to KW often. Now, I'm completely with Buffetguy. I, too, love the drive. I'm amazed that I don't get tired of it. There are so many beautiful sights to see and great places to stop. If you don't mind it eating into a bit of your KW time, I'd try the drive.

Cleveland, Ohio
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9. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

Ditto on if you haven't done the ride down to do it at least once... it's a great ride and tons of unique and amazing things to see/experience.

Now to be fair, while the drive down is great.... when you're leaving and have to drive back early in the morning... it can be a bit of a bummer and a drain.

But again, if you haven't done it.. it's very much worth the effort. Cost can be different with where one is from... for me from Cleveland, it's pretty much equal on flying directly in as opposed to flying into FLL and the cost of renting a car and gas.

Key Colony Beach...
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10. Re: Preferred Way to Arrive

The rental car places are all in the same area in MIA. Its really quite easy to get to the expressway or toll road or Florida Turnpike (same thing).

Take 836 W (Dolphin Expressway) to the Turnpike. Follow the signs to Key West from the airport. Ask the rental car place for directions. Its not that scary.

Have $4.00 is $1.00 bills for the tolls.

The drive back CAN be draining - but then isn't leaving any vacation draining? If you don't party like a rock star the night before, you can embrace the drive and enjoy it.