Perched on the most southern tip of Florida, Key West is just 90 miles from Cuba and has a unique, laid back, Island vibe unlike anywhere else in the U.S. It has a wet and dry season but when the sun shines, its palm tree lined sandy beaches attract tourists looking for a break away from the hustle and bustle of city life. For those who get itchy feet lounging around sipping cocktails, there are plenty of nature reserves, water sports, cinemas and historic hot spots on offer. Key West has got a quirky edge to it that has always attracted artists and free spirits alike. This influence can be seen in and around town; you can even visit Ernest Hemingway’s old house, which is now a museum and considered a literary landmark.
A hatchback is the best option for Key West. It’s small and nippy enough to navigate around the town and also has enough power to tackle the freeway.
Driving in Key West
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
There is only one main road leading into Key West and it is the most southern coastal town in Florida, making it very easy to find.
Parking is notoriously expensive in Key West, so double check the cost if your hotel doesn’t offer a free space.
Many locals choose a bicycle as their preferred method of transport and as a result of this, maximum speed limits are lower than you would expect. Speeding is taken very seriously here and is well policed.
Highlights & Hotspots
Dry Torugas National Park is almost 70 miles west of Key West and the majority of its 100 square mile park is mostly open water, with seven small islands dotted around. It’s not only stunningly beautiful but educational too. Once you have explored the wildlife around the park, you are more than welcome to snorkel in the clear waters. You can access the park via boat taxi or seaplane.
Cinemas are ten a penny in the US, however the Tropic is a picture house that’s been given a Key West twist mixed with a bit of old school 50s glamour and this is glaringly apparent on arrival when you are instantly confronted by a Marilyn Monroe statue and neon signage. Although small, the cinema offers ample seating and the concession stall is popular, selling cider amongst other things.
Ernest Hemingway House is a charming museum that was home to the literary legend for approximately 10 years. He even penned some of his classics here. Along with an abundance of Hemingway possessions and artefacts, the house is home to several six and seven toed cats, in the same way as it did when the writer resided here.
Key West International is a small airport that does not accept big jets from landing due to its tiny runway. However you can fly in from most airports in Florida if you want to travel a little more comfortably.
Fares are not on the cheap side, so many choose to fly into Miami International Airport and drive, which will take you roughly 3 ¬Ω hours.