Key West is small and compact in size and some streets are both narrow and have obscured sidewalks or side paths.
Be extremely careful driving as pedestrians (sometimes intoxicated, sometimes jaywalking) will walk right out in front of you driving from a previously hidden area.
Be careful on the streets of bicylists and people riding scooters or Vespa's that may not be used to operating them. It is easy to be distracted while looking and at the sites of key West.
Key West also has a "conch "train that operates on both main and side streets.
When travelling to Key West, try not to go when they're having bike week in Daytona. I grew up in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts, and I know lots of people who ride Harley Davidsons and lead the "biker" lifestyle.
However in Key West we had to deal with white collar suburban bikers who get on a bike and think their Hells Angels. They attempt to put on a "tough guy" attitude and it's funny watching them have a mechanical problem and see them relize they have no idea how a motorcycle works. If you ride it you should know how it works.
People like this make it harder for the true bikers who get a bad wrap.
I'd also like to thank the idiot that was staying at the Blue Parrot inn with the black and red Harley fat boy, and checked out on March 3rd at 7AM. The rest of the guests and myself would like to thank you for waking everyone up while you sat outside on Elizabeth street reving up your bike for 25 minutes. Did it make you feel like more of a man? next time take Viagra it's cheaper.
This post isn't a knock on bikers. I know there are lots of riders that love the open road, and the wind in their face and respect people, I am just addressing the minority that buy the bike as a status symbol and have no respect for anyone or anything including their bikes. They just buy the bike because they can afford it. I love how a Harley looks, I think their works of art but some people abuse them.
So in closing just relize that at certain times your quiet time in paradise may be interupted by the loud growl of a Harley
Key West is a 2 mile by 4 mile island. The Old Town section (the interesting part) is less than half that size. Perfect size for walking and bike riding. Park the car and get some exercize! You'll see more as well.
If driving US 1 from Miami to Key West, pay attention to the speed restrictions on Big Pine Key. Speed limits are reduced because of the endangered key deer, and they are strictly enforced. Hitting a key deer is worse than hitting a busload of nuns.
Florida Turnpike Toll Booths
Watch the exact change booths. Those bloody things ripped us off so many times. If you’re using pennies and dimes be careful. They don’t count them correctly most of the time. At one point we chucked in 15 pennies and 6 dimes for the 75 cent toll, it counted it up and said we still owed 56 cents. USE QUARTERS!! That’s the best advice I can give you.
Key West is just the right size for a scooter. Rent one for a day and you'll be able to see most everything you want to see in the historic district. Having said that, I should add BE CAREFUL if you are renting a scooter. Drive defensively, don't ride drunk and think seriously about a helmet. Its best to stay in the historic seaport district with rental scooters. Traffic gets fast and heavy on the other end of the island.
Any other place and the Cops motto is to 'Serve and Protect', but in Key West they're 'Protecting Paradise'
Holiday weekends can be traveler’s nightmares getting onto the Keys. Traffic on the
Overseas Highway backs up to Florida’s Turnpike at times