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Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

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Cape Coral, Florida
Level Contributor
46 posts
54 reviews
Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

My fiance and I are flying into FLL late in the evening (midnight) and am not sure if it is worth paying for a hotel at $100+ night... we're thinking of just driving straight down to Key West as we're on a budget.

Has anyone done an overnight drive down? Do you recommend? I'd guess there are enough lighting and things to make this a normal highway ride but we just want to make sure it's safe and easy since we've never been down to the Keys before and if there are any good late night stops we should make.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Level Contributor
1,152 posts
41 reviews
1. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

First of all, you will still be paying for a hotel that night in KW which will be much more than in Ft Lauderdale. Second, it is a very long and dark drive. I would get a room in Ft Lauderdale and drive in the early morning. The drive to KW is beautiful and you would miss it driving in the dark. The speed limit on the highway changes often and it would be easy to get a ticket if it's late and you're not aying full attention while being tired from travel coupled with the slow, dark drive.

Cape Coral, Florida
Level Contributor
46 posts
54 reviews
2. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

Actually, we already have reservations set for the next day so we were going to rest and take a nap during the day at our hotel. Basically, we will pretty much be staying up for the night and taking in the sunrise after the drive. But if the drive is dark and dangerous (and trap for speed tickets) we were going to bite the bullet and get a place in Ft Lauderdale for the few hours but to me it didn't seem worth the money when it could go towards rest of our trip...

Los Angeles
Level Contributor
4,208 posts
45 reviews
3. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

There are plenty of low cost motels about 4-5 hours before you get to Key West. I would highly suggest staying in a place closest to the airport. The drive down is not under bright lights and wide lanes, and you would be missing the incredible views of the water that you'd get during a day time drive.

The speed limits change all the time and on several Keys there might be a black and white ready to pounce.

Driving straight to Key West might mean an unsafe trip and if you get there first thing in the morning you'd still have to wait until about 3 PM to check in to your Key West room.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
1,056 posts
35 reviews
4. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

For sure, get a room in FLL. I regret not doing this 3 weeks ago.

The drive is down right dangerous at night after a flight.

Williamsville, New...
Level Contributor
544 posts
64 reviews
5. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

I would get a hotel/motel near the airport. The drive down is part if the experience. It is a drive that needs to be done during the day. If you are looking to watch $ search out cheap rooms around Ft. Lauderdale.

Destination Expert
for Florida
Level Contributor
39,926 posts
21 reviews
6. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

Get a room on priceline or hotwire either near the AP, or along your way (ie the first hour or so no more).

Should be easy to find one a lot cheaper than that. the dirve is long and not very safe if you are tired.

Queens, NY
Level Contributor
848 posts
7. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

I've done the drive down overnight a handful of times. I wouldn't say it's dangerous but I know the route well. There's enough light, or ambient light, most of the way. The only thing I would recommend is to make sure your co-pilot promises to stay awake the entire trip. One time my wife fell asleep around Key Largo and I had a long couple hours in silence. Not good that late at night.

Marathon, Florida
Destination Expert
for Marathon, Islamorada
Level Contributor
12,195 posts
32 reviews
8. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

Chances are you couldn't check into your hotel in KW until close to 3:00.

It's not that bad of a drive, dark and boring - yes. But dangerous, not really anymore then any other dark highway at night. We've found decent rates at the Sheraton near FLL. Under $100 at times.

Level Contributor
260 posts
65 reviews
9. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

If you do drive be extra careful and watch out for Key Deer they are small and hard to see. Be devestating to hit one of those cuties on your vacation.

Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,986 posts
11 reviews
10. Re: Driving overnight from FLL to Key West

I've done the nighttime drive many times as well and don't think its dangerous. Like Blue and Bumpy said, dark and boring but not really dangerous. There are speed traps like on any stretch of road so watch out for that. Its doable, but I think you'll miss so much if this is your first time in the keys. You can get a room in Florida City for around $100 a night then make the drive in the morning when you are refreshed from the trip and its bright and beautiful out. So many things to see and do along the way, it would be a shame to miss them.