evank516
Topic Author
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

First Time Traveling to Key West

Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:35 am

Hi All:

So I've decided to treat myself for my birthday and take my long wanted trip to Key West. After losing my mother last year I just decided to do whatever I want, and since my birthdays are now sad, I thought I would run away for it.
First thing's first, I'm flying on Delta, and yes, I'm on a 737 into EYW (one bucket list item crossed out). My travel dates are July 18-22.
So, I've booked the flight, and I'm still hotel shopping just in case a friend of mine decides to join me, but I'm leaning toward the Best Western Hibiscus Motel near Duval Street. I'm open to any ideas for a budget conscious traveler going to Key West (an expensive city) for the first time. I am hoping to see a waterspout while I'm there too (another bucket list item). So here are my dilemmas:
1) I land in EYW at 11:39 AM on July 18th. Any ideas on what to do until I can check into any hotel? Maybe a good plane spotting location?
2) Any objections to the Best Western Hibiscus (keep in mind, I just need a clean place to sleep with my own bathroom and close to the activity so I don't need to rely too heavily on quick transportation).
3) What should I check out?
4) Any other advice is welcome!
 
flymia
Posts: 7084
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

Re: First Time Traveling to Key West

Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:30 am

Seaplane ride to Fort Jefferson? It isn't cheap, but it's certainly an adventure. Key West is small, so I wouldn't worry about location to much unless water views are your concern.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
ryan78
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:29 am

Re: First Time Traveling to Key West

Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:41 pm

1) By the time you land, get off the plane, pick-up your bag (unless you're taking a carry-on) and get outside in a taxi and to the hotel its probably almost 12:30ish. In my experience most hotels if they have open rooms will get you in a room, even before the posted check-in time. If the room is not ready then I'm sure there is a place for them to hold you bag so you can walk around for a while before your room is ready. I've never spotted when in Key West but just looking on Google Earth, there is a small road that runs parallel to the first 1000ft of runway just North of the airport, the fence looks to be about 450ft from the center-line, right in the touchdown zone, streetview shows a clear view as well.

2,3,4) I've never stayed there but just looking on tripadvisor it's ranked #14 out of 50 hotels in Key West. It will be just fine but the location looks to be really good. You're about a 5 min walk to the beach, 10 min walk to the "Southernmost Point in the US" monument, 15-20 mins from Fort Taylor and just 2 blocks away from Duval St. When I was in Key West I spend most of my time in and around Mallory Square on the North West side of the island, about a 1 mile walk straight down Duval St from your hotel. Lots to see an do, lots of bars etc. Don't miss the sunsets in Mallory Square and check-out the Key West Harbor Front at night, lots of live entertainment & great seafood. If you have no problems walking Key West is really easy and safe to see on foot.

Also as flymia suggested, checkout Key West Seaplane Tours and the trip to Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas Islands. I've done it and highly recommend doing the half-day trip (4hrs) with an afternoon departure. It's $260 per person and includes flights, park entrance, a lunch with soft drinks and snorkel equipment. When I went we took an afternoon departure and left on our return as the sun was setting. The pilot slowed it down and banked the plane back and forth so that pax on both sides could watch the sunset and take pictures, we had about 20 mins extra flight time! Also when you go to board the plane ask the pilot if you can sit in the cockpit, there is a seat up there where all the instruments and yoke/pedals are removed to seat an extra passenger. Was really cool to sit up there, to me it was well worth the $260 and I would definitely do it again with someone who has never been. Check out keywestseaplanecharters.com
 
evank516
Topic Author
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: First Time Traveling to Key West

Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:35 am

flymia wrote:
Seaplane ride to Fort Jefferson? It isn't cheap, but it's certainly an adventure. Key West is small, so I wouldn't worry about location to much unless water views are your concern.


Seriously considering it. Prices went up though. It's over $300, but considering it.

ryan78 wrote:
1) By the time you land, get off the plane, pick-up your bag (unless you're taking a carry-on) and get outside in a taxi and to the hotel its probably almost 12:30ish. In my experience most hotels if they have open rooms will get you in a room, even before the posted check-in time. If the room is not ready then I'm sure there is a place for them to hold you bag so you can walk around for a while before your room is ready. I've never spotted when in Key West but just looking on Google Earth, there is a small road that runs parallel to the first 1000ft of runway just North of the airport, the fence looks to be about 450ft from the center-line, right in the touchdown zone, streetview shows a clear view as well.

2,3,4) I've never stayed there but just looking on tripadvisor it's ranked #14 out of 50 hotels in Key West. It will be just fine but the location looks to be really good. You're about a 5 min walk to the beach, 10 min walk to the "Southernmost Point in the US" monument, 15-20 mins from Fort Taylor and just 2 blocks away from Duval St. When I was in Key West I spend most of my time in and around Mallory Square on the North West side of the island, about a 1 mile walk straight down Duval St from your hotel. Lots to see an do, lots of bars etc. Don't miss the sunsets in Mallory Square and check-out the Key West Harbor Front at night, lots of live entertainment & great seafood. If you have no problems walking Key West is really easy and safe to see on foot.

Also as flymia suggested, checkout Key West Seaplane Tours and the trip to Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas Islands. I've done it and highly recommend doing the half-day trip (4hrs) with an afternoon departure. It's $260 per person and includes flights, park entrance, a lunch with soft drinks and snorkel equipment. When I went we took an afternoon departure and left on our return as the sun was setting. The pilot slowed it down and banked the plane back and forth so that pax on both sides could watch the sunset and take pictures, we had about 20 mins extra flight time! Also when you go to board the plane ask the pilot if you can sit in the cockpit, there is a seat up there where all the instruments and yoke/pedals are removed to seat an extra passenger. Was really cool to sit up there, to me it was well worth the $260 and I would definitely do it again with someone who has never been. Check out keywestseaplanecharters.com


I'll look into the spotting area for sure. EYW is a unique airport so I want to kind of absorb it like the Avgeek I am lol. I definitely plan to explore Duval Street and I'm hoping there's a good nightlife while I'm there. It seems like there is. Any good places to eat that you could recommend (I should mention I'm celiac). Do most places take credit cards or are there a lot of cash only restaurants?
 
ryan78
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:29 am

Re: First Time Traveling to Key West

Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:14 am

evank516 wrote:
I'll look into the spotting area for sure. EYW is a unique airport so I want to kind of absorb it like the Avgeek I am lol. I definitely plan to explore Duval Street and I'm hoping there's a good nightlife while I'm there. It seems like there is. Any good places to eat that you could recommend (I should mention I'm celiac). Do most places take credit cards or are there a lot of cash only restaurants?


There's a song that goes "Welcome to Key West my friend, where its always Saturday night." And that is very much true, especially in late July when everyone is on summer holidays, it should be a fun time. I've only ever been to Key West for a few day trips or overnights while staying in Marathon Key so I'm not too familiar with restaurants. I can't remember what the place was called but there was a great seafood restaurant by the wharf about 3 blocks from East from Mallory Square, right on the waterfront, great live entertainment and awesome oysters! Be sure to visit the "World's Smallest Bar" on Duval too. There is also a Cuban Sandwich shop inside a laundromat somewhere on or around Duval St. There is a little window that faces the sidewalk with a menu on the side, we stumbled across it late one night on our drunken walk back to the hotel and it was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. Been back to Key West twice since then and I still haven't found that place yet.

Everywhere takes credit cards, it is essentially the same as the US mainland but a lot more relaxed & on "Island time". Shouldn't be a problem, but beware it is a very touristy area so there is always the risk of some type of fraud. Restaurants it's fine to pay visa but at bars I tend to pay cash as it's a lot easier and faster. Keep in mind that it is still the United States, albeit a little more quirky then most cities. :D
 
User avatar
rayanjames
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:27 am

Re: First Time Traveling to Key West

Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:35 pm

You can actually have beach time in Key West until you check-in your hotel. It will refresh you for sure. There is Higgs Beach and Smathers Beach, both very nice. And there is the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor.

If you drive down, you could stop at Sombrero Beach, or Bahia Honda.

http://www.sky-tours.com/

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: XAM2175 and 4 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos