Travel from Miami to Key West and get to know southern Florida in less than a day or two. These two cities are only hours apart but feel like polar opposites in terms of people and atmosphere.
Miami and Key West
Miami is a big, sprawling metropolis and an international hub for trade and finance. Much of its economic history revolves around tourism which, in turn, owes its success to the area’s incredible beauty and fascinatingly diverse culture that attract visitors from all over the world. The city of Miami is known for its white, sandy beaches, Art Deco architecture, Cuban influence, culture and arts venues, Caribbean- and Latin American-inspired cuisine, and its sports teams (the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Heat, and the Miami Marlins). Those who choose to vacation in Miami go there for the beach, the parties, the shopping, and the glitz and glamour.
In contrast, Key West is a small island on the tip of the chain of islands that are known as the Florida Keys. The city of Key West is the southernmost city in the continental United States and there is even a much-photographed concrete buoy that marks the southernmost point in the continental US. Key West is actually closer to Cuba than it is to Miami, which is why going there is almost like stepping into Cuba itself. The island is known for its laidback bohemian vibe, strong Cuban presence, civic activities, its week-long PrideFest, and its long history of harboring great artists, writers, and musicians. Apart from these, Key West attracts hordes of tourists that come from all over to visit its famed coral reefs.
If you can only go on one tour in Miami, make it The Ultimate Miami Tour, which takes visitors to the most notable sites and attractions in the city. Other recommendable tours are those of South Beach, Miami Beach, and the Art Deco District, which you can take on foot or on a bike, scooter, or Segway. There are also Seaquarium tours, scuba diving tours, speed boat tours, and seaplane tours. After you’ve had your fill of Miami, you can then travel from Miami to Key West tours to tour the smaller city’s museums, historic buildings, and visit its living coral reefs via snorkeling tours or glass bottom boat tours. There are also parasailing and jet skiing tours for the adrenaline junkie.
If you travel from Miami to Key West by car, you will take the Florida Turnpike and then follow the US 1 south to the Florida Keys. This route will you take you on a breathtakingly scenic drive through more than twenty islands and give you glimpses of southern Florida’s history and rich cultural diversity. You can also take the Miami to Key West Tour bus. Tickets for the bus cost around $50. Shuttle services and taxis are also available. These can pick you up directly from the airport or your hotel and then take you directly to the Keys. Other transportation options include renting a private boat and catching a Greyhound bus.