The Key West Ferry, more formally known as the Key West Express, is the ferry from Fort Myers Beach to the old harbor at Key West. The Ferry costs about $146 round trip for adults, and only $81 for children. The boat departs Fort Myers Beach at 8:30 am, once per day, with schedules varying based on the seasons. The return trip from Key west departs at 6pm.
The FMB to Key West ferry is pretty laid back. Ticketing and boarding begins at 7:00am, the earlier you arrive, the sooner you board, so you can ensure you get a good seat (especially important if you have a group). We arrived about 7:30 and had no problems finding two seats; we decided to sit on the back deck where we were sheltered from the wind, and were a bit warmer than the air conditioned inside of the boat. People started drinking as soon as they set foot on the boat, and we got to listed to the door slam every thirty seconds as people went back and forth to the bar and restrooms.
For some reason, the Key West to FMB ferry is a bit more cut throat, and people show up hours ahead of time to get in position to claim the best seats. The ferry website claims ticketing and boarding begin at 5pm, but I have no doubt people were lining up at least an hour or two earlier. The return trip is another drunk fest, only this time many people have already been drinking all day, so it is louder and more obnoxious than the trip to Key West.
Even though the party boat theme can get old, this is still much better than the 6 or 8 hour drive from the Tampa Bay Area to Key West.
There *IS* public transporation in Key West and it is CHEAPER than any other way of getting around except walking or riding your own bike. You can park at the city garage and take the bus. There are 6 routes and they go all the way out to Stock Island, and are not just limited to tourist areas. You can download the routes from the website below.
1-Day $3.00/Unlimited Use (MUST be purchased from bus driver)
3-Day $6.00/Unlimited Use (MUST be purchased from bus driver)
7-Day $12.00/Unlimited Use
31-Day Rolling (Full Fare) $25.00/Unlimited Use for 31 Days
31-Day Rolling (Reduced Fare) $15.00/Unlimited Use for 31 Days (Senior Citizens, Students or Disabled Citizens)
WHERE TO BUY PASSES:
The Mail Spot 819 Peacock Plaza (Searstown)
The Mail Spot, 1075 Duval Street (Duval Square)
KWDoT Office, 627 Palm Ave Albertsons (Key Plaza)
ALL BUS OPERATORS
$0.50/trip Senior Citizen: (a person 55 years or older) must have an ID ($2.00) issued by the KWDoT office, or a valid Driver's License or Florida State ID.
$0.50/trip Student: A person with a valid school ID.
$0.50/trip Disabled Citizens: any person who receives a reduced fare ID from our office, based on documented permanent disabilities.
Children under 5 ride free with paying adult
Reduced fare passengers must present proper ID when boarding (seniors, disabled citizens and students).
Transfers are available free of charge.
Fare boxes and bus operators will not give change - you must have exact change.
There is also a FREE program to allow Bikes On Buses
"KWDoT's "BOB", Bikes On Buses Program, allows customers to take a bicycle on the bus by securing it onto a bicycle rack, attached to the front of every city bus. "
Since i was there for a wedding, they ordered us cute little trolleys to take us back and forth. It was neat to be able to sit in an open air vehicle, it was EXTREMELY hot that day (and i had to wear my brides maid dress), and the drivers were full of cool info to give. Some of them think they are comedians, i love when people do that!
I'm not sure where this guy actually took off from, but spotted this ultralight flying just above the center of town.
This guy's got a great bird's eye view of all the festivities during 'Fantasy Fest 2001'!
ISLAND WATERSPORTS JET SKI RENTALS, 245 Front Street, Hilton Resort & Marina, Key West, Tel: (305) 296 - 1754, www.island-watersports.com
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