Key West Travel Information
When to Go
'Just another day in paradise' is probably the best way to describe Key West's weather from October to June: it rarely gets below 18°C (65°F) or above 32°C (90°F). This makes it a summertime weekend destination for overheated Miamians, and a year-round attraction for the rest of the world's population, all of whom seem to be here during the tourist season (December through to April).
Hurricane season, from June to October, lets budget travelers enjoy lower costs and less crowded beaches, but just remember that one little hurricane can ruin your whole vacation. Of course, an emergency evacuation across 256km (159mi) of flimsy-looking bridges has great 'amusing anecdote' potential.
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Between December and May things cool down to comfortable temperatures, although the humidity can still be stifling. You can expect average temperatures between 15°-24°C (59-75°F) and very little rain, at least compared to the following months. Summer in Key West is steamy and tropical, with a canopy of sticky heat and regular afternoon showers. The hurricane season peaks in mid-September.
The easiest way to travel the Keys is by car, though traffic along the one major route, US Hwy 1, can be maddening during the winter high season. Greyhound buses serve all Key destinations along US Hwy 1, departing from downtown Miami and Key West; you can flag one down on the Overseas Highway.
If you fly into Fort Lauderdale or Miami, the Keys Shuttle provides door-to-door service to most of the Keys (reserve at least a day in advance). The very purple Ambiance Sun buses have wi-fi, multi-channel entertainment, fleece blankets and full meals. Greyhound (3535 S Roosevelt Blvd) has two buses daily between Key West and downtown Miami.
You can fly into Key West International Airport (EYW) with frequent flights from major cities such as Miami or New York, flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco usually have to stop in Tampa, Orlando or Miami first. American Airlines and US Airways have several flights daily and Cape Air flies between Key West and Fort Myers.
Key West is best navigated on foot, especially in Old Town, or by moped. Try Keys Moped & Scooter. Bicycle hires can be found on the Duval St area, hotels and hostels. Other options include the City Transit System, with color-coded buses running about every 15 minutes or the ridiculous electric tourist cars, or 'Conch cruisers,' which travel at 35mph.
Health and Safety
Key West is generally safe, with low crime rates; violent crime and aggravated assault are both below the national average.
Hurricanes are generally sighted well in advance, allowing time to prepare. When a hurricane threatens, listen to radio and TV news reports.