Keys Traveler
Weddings Edition
The Keys for
Weddings
fla-keys.com/weddings
Unique Venues
Ceremony Trends
Destination Resorts
Keys Cuisine
Bob Care (2)
Guests watch the conclusion of a Marathon-area wedding ceremony, as the bride and groom kiss under palm trees on a Grassy Key beach.
Picturesque Keys embrace weddings for everyone
T
here’s no more all-inclusive
destination in which to pledge
“I do” than the subtropical
Florida Keys, the naturally romantic 125-mile-long chain of islands
known as “America’s Caribbean.”
The Keys – framed by the azure
waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the
east and the Gulf of Mexico to the
west – are cherished for their stunning, simple beauty.
The Florida Keys & Key West,
considered one of the top five U.S.
wedding destinations for mainstream couples, is equally popular
with gay and lesbian duos.
It’s little wonder, then, that weddings and honeymoons in the Florida Keys are in such high demand.
And no passports are required.
“The Florida Keys offer enough
variety of attractions that appeal
to every stage of life,” said Liana
Pyne, wedding sales representative
for the Keys tourism council.
“Because you’re on U.S. soil,
a valid marriage license is easy
to obtain,” Pyne said. “Mothers of
brides are interested in coming for
rest and relaxation after a daughter’s big day.
“And brides and grooms are
interested in a ‘mini-moon’ vacation
before a separate honeymoon away
from their guests,” she added.
TheKnot.com has named the
Florida Keys a Top 50 Destination
Wedding Spot, citing its “laid-back
tropical island setting with all the
allure of the Caribbean at a domestic price – and a more convenient
location for guests.”
Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine named the Keys
the top U.S. locale among its “Best
Wedding Destinations” of 2016.
Richly historic venues, casually
elegant resorts, scenic waterfront
locations and beach parks, fiery
sunsets and pastel sunrises add to
the island chain’s appeal.
Key West, the southernmost city
in the continental United States, is
just 159 miles southwest of Miami
and 90 miles from Cuba. Driving
By Captain Ted Lund
Key West is a wedding photographer’s dream for natural and manmade photo backdrops.
2
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Keys Traveler
Rob O’Neal
Aaron Huntsman, left, and William Lee
Jones complete their wedding vows at a
ceremony in Key West.
Keys Traveler
BILL HANSEN CATERING
A sand artist created this custom
sculpture of two loving sea turtles
for a couple’s wedding in the
Florida Keys.
M
Bob Care (2)
there is a romantic experience in
itself: the scenic Florida Keys Overseas Highway includes 42 bridges.
Commercial flights are available
into Key West International Airport
and mainland South Florida cities.
Charter flights can be booked to
Florida Keys Marathon International
Airport.
Finely elegant and casually funky
dining is available throughout
the Keys for bridal luncheons or
rehearsal dinners. Craft breweries,
rum distilleries and lively nightlife
offer venues for bachelor and
bachelorette parties.
Because of the Keys’ year-round
subtropical climate, couples – a
bride and groom, two brides or two
grooms – and family members and
guests can experience never-to-beforgotten adventures.
Couples can marry on paddleboards or bicycles. They can
exchange vows aboard tall ships,
sailing vessels, glass-bottom and
dive boats and luxury motor yachts
throughout the Keys. Scuba aficionados can seal their vows underwater and stay in the country’s
only submerged recreational hotel,
located in a Key Largo lagoon.
Newlyweds can charter a sailboat
to the remote Dry Tortugas National
Park. They can swim with dolphins
or soar in a seaplane above the
pristine waters of the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary.
Throughout the Keys, professional wedding planners are available
to assist with attire, flowers, music,
rings, catering, cakes, photographers and videographers, transportation and officiants.
– Laura Myers
Customized
events among
Florida Keys
wedding trends
any couples tying the knot in the Florida Keys are seeking a subtropical island experience, a customized event and personalized,
creatively designed settings.
“Couples want something personal that speaks to the tone of who they
are,” said Julie Shreck, owner-planner of Simply You Weddings in Key
West. “The biggest trend we will continue to see is anything that is personalized and unique to the couple.”
Event attire for a laid-back Keys wedding? Men sometimes opt to don
shorts, tuxedo jackets and sandals, with women choosing sun dresses
instead of traditional gowns.
Wedding requests include “a consistent theme of unconventional experiences such as live wedding painters, cigar rollers and steel drums with
ambiance enhancers such as café lighting, live bands and sunrise ceremonies and brunch receptions,” said Jennifer
Tacey, senior catering
sales manager for
Hawks Cay Resort near
Marathon.
Although Keys weddings typically have
60 to 100 guests, the
average number of
attendees is climbing
to 120 to 200 guests,
A bride and a guest get into the music with a steel drummer.
said Liz Seligman,
owner-planner of Island Life Events in Islamorada.
“Clients are doing away with the traditional protocol of a reception and
seeking more of a party atmosphere,” Seligman said. “We create an atmosphere of a gorgeous ballroom on the beach.”
Also trending are casual bayside seafood boils with natural island décor
and rustic repurposed wooden tables, said Mark Calibo, director of sales
and marketing at Key Largo’s Playa Largo Resort & Spa.
Couples are seeking sophistication even with beachside settings. Requests may include lots of tropical foliage and sometimes vintage décor,
said Susan Howarth, director of sales at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa,
an exclusive island property near Big Pine Key in the Lower Keys.
“Our couples aren’t really wanting over-the-top extravagant as much as
they are wanting simple, elegant and intimate,” Howarth said. “We’re also
seeing destination weddings that do not want to leave the U.S. but still
want a tropical locale — warm destinations without needing a passport.”
– Laura Myers
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3
RON MODRA
Florida Keys Destination Resorts
Create Wedding Memories
The bride and groom can make a grand
entrance by seaplane at Little Palm
Island Resort & Spa in the Lower Keys.
Photograph by Rob O’Neal
W
eddings at Florida Keys
destination resorts are
truly memorable affairs.
Throughout the Keys, hotels and
planners can assist couples with
virtually all elements — including
dramatic wedding arrivals by
boat, helicopter, seaplane or even
parasail.
In the Upper Keys, Key Largo’s
new 14-acre, 144-room Playa
Largo Resort & Spa offers an
8,000-square-foot event lawn, wedding gazebo and 6,000-square-foot
ballroom to accommodate up to
380 wedding guests. The Autograph Collection Hotel — the first
new-build resort in the Upper Keys
4
in 21 years — includes 10 secluded bungalows, a three-bedroom
beach house, full-service spa and
6,000-square-foot beach. Playa
Largo’s “bungalope” weddings
are an intimate way to marry, with
accommodations in a two-level waterfront cottage and cocktails and
hors d’oeuvres for nine people.
Visit playalargoresort.com.
Key Largo’s new six-villa Dolphin
Point Villas will host wedding parties of up to 100 people. The twostory, three-wing Nautilus House
estate, with five bedrooms and five
baths and a private pool, can sleep
10. See dolphinpointvillas.com.
At Key Largo’s Largo, a gated
sanctuary resort, up to 100 guests
can gather on a private pier for
bayside weddings. Largo has a
5,000-square-foot lodge and six
separate 800-square-foot bungalows. Go to largoresort.com.
Adventurous honeymooning divers can experience Jules’ Undersea
Lodge, the United States’ only submerged recreational hotel. Located
underwater in a lagoon in Key
Largo, the lodge has hosted more
than 10,000 overnight visitors.
Dive into jul.com.
In the heart of Islamorada, the
214-room oceanfront Cheeca
Lodge & Spa, built in 1946, offers 27 acres of lushly manicured
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Keys Traveler
grounds, more than 4,600 square
feet of versatile space and a picturesque Tahitian-style Spa Island.
Its Bougainvillea Ballroom has
12-foot ceilings and 2,100 square
feet for parties of up to 120. Its
1,870-square-foot Sunrise Room,
with Atlantic Ocean views and an
open-air terrace, has capacity for
100. Examine cheeca.com.
The Islander Resort, A Guy Harvey Outpost, features cottage-style
accommodations with full kitchens
and screened-in lanais. The Islamorada resort’s Blue Marlin Ballroom
and Tarpon Terrace each comprise
2,760 square feet. Set on 11,000
square feet of scenic oceanfront
Keys Traveler
Keys cuisine features fresh seafood
F
ood stations showcasing Florida Keys
seafood are among
top trends for wedding
festivities. Creatively
prepared cuisine is artfully — and organically
— enhanced with fresh
tropical lime and coconut, mango and papaya.
Couples often request
A showcase of indigenous Florida Keys seafood.
“Floribbean”-themed
menus combining indigenous Keys seafood with spicy Caribbean and Latin
flavors. A Cuban-style pig roast is popular for casual rehearsal dinners.
Boat-to-table seafood — sweet Key West pink shrimp, succulent stone
crab claws, fresh ceviche, yellowtail snapper or hogfish — is often requested as an entreé or in a bountiful seafood station.
Dessert trends include melt-in-your-mouth Key lime creations and metallic-gold cakes. Colorful desserts include hand-rolled, ganache-filled Key
lime “cupcake sushi” cakes. Mini Key lime tarts are also popular, styled
after the island chain’s famous signature Key lime pie.
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5
Andy Newman
By Laura Myers
and sprawling over 25 acres, the
private island just south of Big
resort has 114 oceanside villas
Pine Key, is regarded as one of
and 25 contemporary bayside
Florida’s most romantic resorts and
townhomes. For more details, go to features a three-night “Exclusively
guyharveyoutpostislamorada.com.
Yours” wedding package. Included
In the Middle Keys, the 60-acre
are 30 one-bedroom suites, breakHawks Cay Resort on Duck Key
fast, lunch and dinner for up to 60
near Marathon — one of the Keys’
guests; valet parking, welcome
largest resorts — has 25,000
cocktails, motor yacht transfers,
square feet of waterfront function
watersports, resort dockage,
space for weddings with up to 250
wedding planner services, nonalcoguests. Events include welcome
holic beverages, taxes, fees and
receptions, pool parties, sunset
gratuities. Advance notice of six
cruises, fishing excursions, on-site
to 12 months is required. Examine
dolphin swims and farewell brunchlittlepalmisland.com.
es. The resort features 250 twoOn a 27-acre private island just
and three-bedroom villas and 177
off Key West, Sunset Key Cottages
guest rooms. See hawkscay.com.
features 40 cottages, an island
In Marathon at the 125-room Faro beach, pool, boutique spa and the
Blanco Resort & Yacht Club, known
waterfront Latitudes restaurant.
for its historic lighthouse, couples
A three-bedroom “special event”
can anchor their love with a variety
cottage offers private beach-style
of wedding packages for two to
space ideal for boutique weddings.
200. Event options include a jetty
Visit sunsetkeycottages.com.
ceremony, yacht club lawn plated
In Key West, the gracious 18or buffet dinner reception or a
room Southernmost House, an
“dock-tail” party on the docks at the adults-only pastel-hued Victorianfull-service marina. The property’s
style property on the Atlantic
Sunset
Key’s
laid-back
atmosphereOcean,
offers aoffers
relaxing
respite
for attendees
Hyatt Place
hotel
includes
1,800
6,700
square
feet
staying at the Westin Key West Resort & Marina or the island’s cottages.
square feet of flexible indoor funcof space for weddings, as well as
tion space and two event lawns.
a heated infinity pool. The Historic
Visit FaroBlancoMarina.com.
Hotels of America property can be
In the Lower Keys, Little Palm
booked exclusively for up to 300.
Island Resort & Spa, on a 5.5-acre
Visit southernmosthouse.com.
Paddleboard yoga is a great group activity in the Keys.
Planning timetable for Keys weddings
Only-in-the-Keys venues offer intriguing options
6
Andy Newman
W
eddings in the balmy Florida
Keys can be romantically
barefoot or dressy, more
elegant affairs. Unique venues
found nowhere else in the world are
available for pre-event festivities,
nuptials, wedding receptions and
honeymoons.
Unusual venues — historic forts,
picturesque homes of famed
authors and artists, and waterfront
or underwater settings — reflect
the Florida Keys’ historic, literary,
artistic and maritime heritage.
In Key Largo, couples can enjoy
an intimate ceremony aboard the
African Queen, the original vessel
from John Huston’s classic 1951
film starring Humphrey Bogart and
Katharine Hepburn. Couples also
can get married at the dock. Visit
africanqueenflkeys.com.
Certified divers can exchange underwater vows at the Christ of the
Deep statue, located in the Florida
Keys National Marine Sanctuary
and adjacent to Key Largo’s John
Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Couples also can marry at fascinating Pennekamp, the nation’s first undersea park. Visit floridastateparks.
org/park/Pennekamp.
In Islamorada, Morada Bay’s
Pierre’s Restaurant & Lounge and
The Beach Cafe are island-style settings known for their delicious cuisine and scenic sunsets. Pierre’s is
a two-story colonial plantation-style
venue and The Beach Café fronts a
palm-lined white beach overlooking
Florida Bay. Across the highway is
The Moorings Village & Spa, an 18acre resort with 18 cottages and
homes. Visit MoradaBay.com.
At Theater of the Sea, also in
Islamorada, wedding parties can
enjoy a private dolphin and sea lion
show before an evening ceremony
with up to 200 guests. Visit
theaterofthesea.com.
In the Marathon area, couples
with a love for marine mammals
can marry at Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key. During a “Private
You can take a ride and get married
on the African Queen in Key Largo.
Dolphin Encounter,” a dolphin can
serve as a wedding attendant or
deliver the ring for an unforgettable
proposal. Visit dolphins.org.
At Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon, couples can
schedule an event for up to 300
people amid natural mangrove hammocks and the aquarium’s grounds
that extend to the serene waters of
Vaca Cut. Explore floridakeysaquariumencounters.com.
Bahia Honda State Park in the
Lower Keys is a picturesque beach
park. Couples can marry in the park
or on the Bahia Honda Rail Bridge,
built by Henry Flagler as part of the
Florida Keys Overseas Highway.
Visit floridastateparks.org/park/
Bahia-Honda.
In Key West, literary aficionados
can speak their vows outdoors on
the grounds of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. Famed
author and Nobel Prize winner
Hemingway lived in the Spanish colonial villa, a registered National Historic Landmark, and wrote famous
works there during the 1930s. Up
to 100 guests can be accommodated. Private evening house tours
can be arranged. More details are
at hemingwayhome.com.
The Harry S. Truman Little White
House, Florida’s only presidential
museum, offers lush palm-framed
gardens and three lawns that span
an acre. The museum can host
indoor rehearsal dinners. During his
administration from 1945 to 1953,
President Truman spent 11 working vacations at the sprawling West
Indian-style residence. For specifics,
go to trumanlittlewhitehouse.com.
Get a marriage license
A
pplying for a marriage license
is a relatively simple procedure in Florida’s Monroe
County, home of the Keys.
Applicants must be at least 18
years old to marry. Couples under
18 should contact the county clerk’s
office for legal requirements.
A valid photo identification with
date of birth — such as a driver’s license, passport, student or military
ID, or foreign registration card — is
required.
Current cost of the license is
$93.50, with a discounted rate for
Florida residents showing proof of
premarital class attendance.
Monroe County’s Clerk of Court
has several Keys locations.
Offices are in Key West at the
Monroe County Courthouse, 500
Whitehead St.; in Marathon at the
Marathon Branch Courthouse, 3117
Overseas Highway or mile marker
48.5 oceanside; and on Plantation
Key at the Upper Keys Government
Center, 88820 Overseas Highway
or mile marker 88.5 bayside.
Once obtained, the license must
be used within 60 days. Couples
marrying in the Keys can also
obtain a marriage license anywhere
in Florida.
For additional required details,
visit clerk-of-the-court.com or call
305-292-3458 in Key West; 305289-6027 in Marathon; or
305-852-7145 on Plantation Key.
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Keys Traveler
At least a year (12 months) before desired wedding month
r Select Florida Keys venue and wedding date
r Choose alternate backup venue
r Hire full-service or day-of wedding planner
r Research hotels, secure hotel room block
r Research flights into airports: Key West (EYW), Marathon (MTH), Miami
(MIA), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Naples (APF)
r Review policies for obtaining a Florida marriage license
r Announce engagement, take engagement photos
r Create personal wedding website as information source
Nine months before wedding
r Visit Florida Keys for tour of venue, food tastings, hair and makeup
sessions; meet with wedding planner and vendors
r Choose wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, attendants)
r Create gift registry
r Begin shopping for attire: wedding and bridesmaid dresses, groom and
groomsmen or attendant apparel
r Create guest list and gather email and physical addresses
r Send “save the date” cards with location and hotel room block details
Six months before wedding
r Book travel, discuss details with wedding party
r Coordinate with planner to secure vendors (photography, catering,
cake, flowers, décor, music, officiant, transportation, hair and makeup)
r Purchase wedding rings
r Create itinerary, including group activities, for guests with details on
welcome reception, rehearsal event, wedding and farewell brunch;
include suggestions for individual Keys activities and how to book
r Book group activities with required deposits
r Order invitations
Three months before wedding
r Mail invitations
r Confirm all event details (floral arrangements, photography package,
song lists, menus, cake, etc.) with vendors
r Order guest favors, welcome bags and thank you gifts for bridesmaids,
groomsmen, attendants and family
r Begin writing vows and choose readings for ceremony
Two months before wedding
r Confirm documentation, begin process to obtain marriage license
One month before wedding
r Ship amenities for wedding and reception to venue or planner
r Contact hotel with details on welcome bags for delivery to guests
r Finalize hotel room block and release extra rooms
r Print programs, itineraries, welcome letters
r Finalize last-minute details with vendors
r Finalize wedding timeline and guest itineraries with wedding planner
r Create seating chart and give to wedding venue
r Complete attire fittings; arrange for steaming of wedding attire
Two weeks before wedding
r Create photo list for photographer
r Confirm details for prenuptial events: bachelor, bachelorette parties
r Share, post contact information with wedding party
At least one week before wedding
r Pack, travel to the Florida Keys
r Conduct final meetings with wedding planner, venue and hotel
fla-keys.com/weddings
r Pick up marriage license
Keys Traveler
Keys Traveler
Weddings Edition
Editor
Andy Newman
Managing Editor
Carol Shaughnessy
Senior Writer
Laura Myers
Copy Editor
Buck Banks
“Keys Traveler” is published by the Monroe
County Tourist Development Council, the
official visitor marketing agency for the
Florida Keys & Key West. Copyright 2017.
Director: Harold Wheeler; Sales Director:
Stacey Mitchell; Wedding Sales Manager:
Liana Pyne
Cover photograph of Samantha and
Benjamin Spaulding, following their
wedding in Islamorada, by Bob Care.
Average monthly
sunrise and sunset
times for the Keys
MONTH SUNRISE
January
7:15 a.m.
February 7 a.m.
March*
6:45 a.m.
7:30 a.m.
April
7 a.m.
May
6:45 a.m.
June
6:40 a.m.
July 6:45 a.m.
August
7 a.m.
September 7:15 a.m.
October
7:25 a.m.
November*7:30 a.m.
6:45 a.m.
December 7:05 a.m.
SUNSET
6 p.m.
6:20 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
7:40 p.m.
7:50 p.m.
8 p.m.
8:15 p.m.
8:20 p.m.
8 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7 p.m.
6:45 p.m.
5:40 p.m.
5:40 p.m.
*Months with Daylight Savings Time shifts
More precise times at:
timeanddate.com/sun/usa/key-west
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7
Bob Care
ANDY NEWMAN (2)
9336
Pa-hay-Okee
Overlook
Shark Point
Traveling Tips
To Florida Turnpike
to Miami
Sisal Pond
Ponce De Leon
Bay
Oyster
Bay
Shark River
Island
Mahogany
Hammock
Sweet Bay
Pond
to the Florida Keys
Whitewater Bay
Cape
Sable
North West Cape
Everglades
National
Park
Card
Sound
Ocean
Reef Club
1
905
Crocodile Lake
National Wildlife
Refuge
Nine Mile
Pond
Long
Sound
Alligator
Bay Davis
Cove
Seven Palm Lake
Middle Cape
Canal
Long Madeira
Bay
Bear
Lake
Lake
Ingraham
Middle Cape
9336
Snake Bight
Flamingo
East Cape
Canal
Middle Lake
Garfield
Monroe Lake
Bight
Madeira
Rankin Santini
Terrapin
Bay
Bight Bight
Bay
Terrapin
Shark
Madeira
Point
Point Mosquito Crocodile
Point
Point
Point
Umbrella
Big Key
Key
Rankin
Key
Samphire
Keys
Bradley
Key
Barnes
Sound
MILE
110
Trout
Cove
905
Shell Key
Deer Key
East Cape
Hawk Channel
Point Mary
Cross
Key
North Dry Rocks
Elbow Reef
City of Washington Wreck
MILE
105
Boggy Key
Dry Rocks
“Christ of the Abyss”
Largo
Sound
Grecian
Rocks
Buttonwood
Sound
Newport
John Pennekamp
Coral Reef State Park
MILE
100
MILE
95
Hospital
Key
East
Key
Middle
Key
Marquesas
Keys
Barracuda
Key
Garden
Key
Sugarloaf Key
Saddlebunch
Keys
Cudjoe Key
20
15
Florida Keys
National
Marine Sanctuary
Western
Dry Rocks
Sand Rock
Key Key
MILE
0
SOUTHERNMOST
POINT
Lower
Sugarloaf Key
Stock
Island
Key West
Intl. Airport
MILE
5
1
Geiger
Key
Maryland
Shoals
Boca Chica Key
ven
e
Old Se
Bridg
Mile
No Name
Key
Ohio Key
MILE
MILE
25
American
Shoal
10
U.S. Naval
Air Station
Grassy Key
Little
Torch
Adolphus
Busch Sr.
Wreck
MILE
40
30
MILE
1
Bahia
Honda
State Park
Florida Keys
Marathon
Airport
Pigeon
Key
Seven
Mile
Bridge
Newfound Harbor
Coral Heads
Looe Key
Reef Preserve
Cayman
Salvor
Wreck
Western
Sambos
Eastern
Sambos
50
Layton
65
s of
MILE
70
1
Long Key
MILE
Conch Key
Long Key State
Recreational Area
Duane
Wreck
Davis
Crocker Reef
Reef
Teatable Key
MILE
60
Duck Key
Florida Keys
National
Marine Sanctuary
Eagle
Wreck
Alligator
Reef
ts
rai
of
a
rid
Flo
St
Tennessee
Reef
MILE
55
Hammock
State Park
Deer Key
East Turtle
Shoal Two Humps
Herman’s
Hole
Thunderbolt
Wreck
East
Washerwoman
Samantha’s
Strait
Conch
Reef
West Turtle
Shoal
The
Snake
Coffins
Patch
Boot Key
Sombrero
Reef
Bibb
Wreck
Plantation Point
Vaca Key
Delta Shoal
Big Pine
Shoals
Pelican
Shoal
Long Point
Key
MILE
1
Seven Mile Bridge
Artificial Reef
KEY WEST, FL
Eastern
Dry Rocks Joe’s Tug
Knight’s
Key
MILE
45
Molasses
Reef
Windley Key Fossil
Reef Geological
Hen and
State Park
Upper
Chickens
Matecumbe Key
Reef
Lower
Matecumbe Key
Fiesta Key
Marathon
Coupon
35
Bight
Summerland Ramrod Key
Key
Key Newfound
nel
Harbor Keys
Chan
Hawk
MILE
Key West Golf
Fleming Dredger’s Course and CC
Key
Key
Middle
Torch
Key
MILE
80
Big Pine
Great White Heron
Key National Wildlife Refuge
Spiegel Grove
Wreck
Indian Key
Florida Keys
National
Marine Sanctuary
MILE
1
MILE
Big Coppitt
Key
Lignumvitae Key
75
National
Key Deer
Refuge
Key West
Crawfish
Key
MILE
Big Torch
Key
Cottrell
Key
85
Man
Key
Benwood
Wreck
Pickles
Reef
Plantation
Key
Windley Key
Shell Key
Great White Heron
National Wildlife Refuge
Gulf of Mexico
Alexander’s Wreck
Islamorada
Key
West
Key West National
Wildlife Refuge
Straits of Florida
60 miles west of Key West,
and 37 miles west of the Marquesas Keys
90
MILE
Woman
Key
Neustra Señora
de Atocha Wreck
Dry Tortugas National Park
1
French
Reef
MILE
Boca Grande
Key
Gulf of Mexico
Bush Key
Fort
Jefferson
Tavernier
Florida
Bay
Archer Mule
Key Key
Loggerhead
Key
White Banks
Rodriguez Key
Cottrell
Key
Carysfort
Reef
Key Largo
Blackwater
Sound
Eagle Key
Porpoise
Point
Joe Kemp
Key
Florida Keys
National
Marine Sanctuary
Dagney Johnson
Largo Hammock
Botanical State Park
Atlantic Ocean
Flagler’s Barge
Wreck
da
Flori
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Vandenberg
Wreck
The 125-mile-long Florida Keys island
chain is linked to mainland Florida by U.S.
Highway 1, the Overseas Highway. Visitors
can fly into Miami International Airport (MIA)
or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
Airport (FLL) and from there can reach
the Keys by airport shuttle bus or rental
car. Travelers can reach Key Largo, the
gateway to the Keys, in about an hour from
Miami or an hour and 45 minutes from Fort
Lauderdale.
Air Service to the Florida Keys
For an up-to-date roster of commercial
airlines and on-demand charter operators
serving Key West International and Florida
Keys Marathon International Airports, go
to fla-keys.com/how-to-get-here.
Driving Directions
From Miami International Airport (MIA),
take LeJeune Road south to 836 West.
Take the Florida Turnpike south toward Key
West.
The Turnpike ends at U.S. 1 in Florida City.
Follow U.S. 1 south about 22 miles
to Key Largo and you and your travel
companions will be in the Florida Keys.
From Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), exit the airport and
follow the signs for I –595 West. Take 595
to the Florida Turnpike and follow the signs
for the Florida Keys.
From farther north, take the Florida
Turnpike south to just below Fort
Lauderdale, where Exit 4 joins the southern
portion of the Turnpike that ends at U.S. 1
in Florida City. Follow U.S. 1 south into the
Florida Keys.
From Florida’s west coast, take I–75
(Alligator Alley) east to the Miami exit, and
south to the Turnpike Extension.
Driving Data to Keys/Key Largo
FROM MILESKM HOURS
Miami 5080 1
Fort Myers 200
320
4
Tampa 300480 6
Orlando280 450 5.25
Distance from Miami
REGION
MILES
Key Largo
50
Islamorada76
Marathon111
Lower Keys 128
Key West
159
KM MILE MARKER
80
107–90
122 89–66
178 65–45
205
45–4
254
4–0
Via Bus
Bus/shuttle connections from MIA and
FLL to the Florida Keys allow traveling to the
Keys without renting a car.
Via Boat
Ferry connections from Fort Myers or
Marco Island to Key West are offered
via the Key West Express. Voyages take
approximately 3.5 hours.
Extensive details on getting to the Florida
Keys & Key West are available at:
Weather/Climate
Wherever you are right now, chances are
the weather is better in the Florida Keys.
That’s true even on a summer day. The
hottest it’s ever been in Key West is 97° F
(36° C), and that was in 1880. At the
peak of summer, the average high air
temperature is about 89° F (32° C). The
Keys are devoid of superhighways or
urban sprawl to absorb and radiate the
sun’s heat. And the subtropical islands are
cooled by sea breezes.
In the winter, the Keys are typically the
warmest region in the continental U.S.
There has never been a frost in Key West,
according to the U.S. Weather Service.
Below are the average monthly air
temperatures for the past 30 years,
according to the Key West weather office.
Temperatures in blue shades are Fahrenheit
and those in light red are Celsius.
fla-keys.com/how-to-get-here
facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest
Help and More Information
@thefloridakeys
youtube.com/FloridaKeysTV
keysvoices.com
Insta
@thefloridakeys
If you’re traveling in the Keys and
need any help, call the toll-free visitors
assistance line at 1-800-771-KEYS. It’s
staffed 24 hours a day. To contact visitor
offices in the Keys, call 1-800-FLA-KEYS.
The Keys website at fla-keys.com has a
live chat feature with visitor information
specialists available during regular U.S.
weekday business hours to aid travelers in
vacation planning.