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Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

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Boston...
posts: 36
reviews: 45
Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

Hi! I have yet another question. You've all been extremely helpful so far, I thank you!

My daughters and I will be down June 15-23. Never been to FL before other than Disney so this is a much anticipated trip. I've already received GREAT traveling tips so far. I think this is my last question...whew!

We REALLY want to see Key West. I've looked at taking the Key West Express but that only allows approx 4 hours on the Island and is VERY pricey for a day trip.

How would it be to drive? I know it takes approx 5+ hrs but I'm a road trip kinda girl anyway so wouldn't mind. I have a rental that I'm already paying for anyway. Is there a lot of traffic? I figure leave at 5AM, to get there by 10:30AM and stay until whenever.

What do you all think about that????

Tampa, Florida
posts: 7,000
1. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

The ferry will be very expensive especially if you have to pay for everyone.

I'm sure that you'll be advised to stay at least overnight if you drive .... and it's a very scenic drive .... don't rush it.

Boston...
posts: 36
reviews: 45
2. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

Doesn't make sense financially to spend the night in Key West since I've already paid for the condo in Ft. Myers Beach :/

I figure we can leave at 5AM, have 7+ hours there and then head back???

Edited: 4:42 pm, May 21, 2012
Tampa, Florida
posts: 290
reviews: 7
3. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

I have never driven to the Keys and stayed less than three days. It's so beautiful there and it is a long drive. We like to stop in Marathan and Islamorada on our way down. Sunset time in Key West is so much fun because that is when the entertainers come out. I watched The Cat Man and his flying cats and loved it!!! Check out his website: http://www.catmankeywest.com/

The Florida Keys is an entire vacation on it's own..in my opinion. You will love it if you decide to venture down there!

Ft.Myers Beach,FL
Destination Expert
for Fort Myers Beach
posts: 3,212
reviews: 9
4. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

Its a 7 hour drive, you must drive slow thru Deer Key. The Ferry is 3 hours...?

Florida
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
posts: 1,084
reviews: 40
5. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

That's a loooong drive. Would you be taking 75 across to Miami and then down? If so you wouldn't get to Key West until 11a or 12p. If you hang out for 5 hrs before heading back you'll be taking Alligator Alley back across in the dark and there are no lights on there. I wouldn't recommend that. It's not worth the effort in my opinion. Save your visit to the Keys until you can spend a few nights and really enjoy the experience.

Edited: 10:44 pm, May 21, 2012
Fort Myers Beach...
posts: 316
reviews: 30
6. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

You will likely end up having about the same amount of time there on a day trip if you drive or take the ferry. Driving will probably be cheaper but figure 12 to 14 hours drive time for round trip vs 7 for the ferry.

I did a day trip there my first time and wish I hadn't.

Chicago
posts: 182
reviews: 22
7. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

As Terry mentioned, one of the best parts of KW is going to Mallory Square to watch the sunset celebration. In mid-June, the sun won't be setting until after 8PM, I would guess. By the time you watch the sun sink into the water and enjoy all the performers in the square and hit the road, it will be well after 9PM.

Would you be able to safely drive 6 hours in the dark after hitting the road at 5:30 that morning?

If you really want to see KW, look to see if there are any super cheap motels to rest your head for a few hours, so you can explore the island a bit the next day beforew heading back. They have the most beautiful coral and aquatic life in the Keys, so the snorkeling is amazing!! I know you'd be paying twice for accommodations that night, but if you can find a good deal, it would be worth it.

Edited: 11:23 am, May 22, 2012
Boston...
posts: 36
reviews: 45
8. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

From Fort Myers Beach, the ferry is at the very least 4 hours. That's based on all the reviews I read. By the time it gets to Key West it's already 1PM and the boat boards to leave at 5PM. Only 4 hours to browse and walk around. Hardly worth it for the $150 round trip fare.

Boston...
posts: 36
reviews: 45
9. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

Thanks everyone!

So, from Fort Myers Beach, the ferry is, at the very least 4 hours each way. That's based on the many reviews I read. By the time it gets to Key West by ferry, it's already 1PM and the boat boards to leave at 5PM. Only 4 hours to browse and walk around. Hardly worth it for the $150 round trip fare.

As for driving...I'm a driving machine. I drive frequently from MA to NYC...just over 4&1/2 hours. Piece of cake. So, the driving wouldn't be a problem. Based on all I've read from tripadvisor reviews and times plotted from Mapquest...looks to be just over a 5 hour ride each way. Throw in some traffic...I could do it. I don't mind driving on 'dark roads' GK...no problemo. I'm an adventuress at heart.

However, I think I will take your advice Kchickie and look for an inexpensive room to lay my head....I'd hate to be having an amazing time, and have to leave before the witching hour of 9pm!

Thanks again all!!!! Advice taken :)

Tampa, Florida
posts: 7,000
10. Re: Day trip: Ft. Myers Beach to Key West...worth it?

Or extend your visit a couple days - if the airline doesn't charge to change the reservation - and at the end of your stay on FMB head out to Key West for a couple days.