Holidays to Florida Keys and Key West

  • Overview
  • Travel guide
  • Travel advice
  • Currency

Explore the paradise islands of The Florida Keys. Escape the cities, dive the azure clear waters, sunbathe on the silky white sands and explore the vibrant streets of Key West.

Surrounded by the tropical blues of the Gulf and Atlantic, linked by 42 bridges and stretching for more than 100 miles, trips to this beautiful chain of islands are hard to beat. Found on Florida’s southern tip, you can expect a slower pace of life here, particularly from its waterfront resorts and beaches. But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn the tempo up a notch. When you want to liven things up, Key West’s atmospheric downtown area is brimming with attractions, from open-air cafes to trendy art galleries.

The flight time to Florida Keys & Key West is around 9 to 10 hours.

Key West International Airport (EYW), which is often nicknamed ‘the gateway to the Florida Keys’ sits on Key West’s eastern edge. Miami Airport (MIA) is also frequently used as a connecting airport.

Florida Keys & Key West is best for...

Beach lovers: This beautiful set of islands has beach days covered. Celebrated for their unspoilt sands, azure waters and incredible wildlife, they’re nothing short of amazing! You’ve got family favourites like Calusa Beach in Big Pine Key, snorkelling hotspots like Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park in Key West and pretty much everything else in between.

Foodies: There are so many tasty dishes to sample during your time in the Florida Keys & Key West (ever wondered about the origins of Key Lime Pie?). But nothing comes close to the seafood! Big on commercial fishing you could be tucking into anything from pink shrimp to stone crabs and conch fritters. 

Keen divers: If you’ve come here to dive, you won’t be disappointed. There’s just as much to see under the water as there is above it. Swim alongside beautiful coral reefs, shipwrecks and some of the world’s most stunning marine life. Key Largo is a must for wreck dives, while Key West is home to the largest full-service diving facility in the Florida Keys.

Fast facts for Florida Keys & Key West

Language: English is the official language, but Spanish is also spoken by some residents. You’ll notice that the Keys have been influenced by Caribbean culture with popular Cuban and Mexican dishes appearing on its menus, not to mention the fact many of its cities have Spanish names.

Currency: The currency used in Florida Keys & Key West is the US Dollar ($).

Local time: Florida Keys & Key West is 4 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Key West International Airport (EYW), which is often nicknamed ‘the gateway to the Florida Keys’ sits on Key West’s eastern edge. Miami Airport (MIA) is also frequently used as a connecting airport.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Florida Keys & Key West is around 9 to 10 hours.

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at Florida Keys & Key West official tourism website.

Visa and health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Getting around Florida Keys & Key West

By hire car: Home to one of the most scenic drives in the world thanks to its jaw-dropping Overseas Highway and seven-mile-long bridge, driving in the Florida Keys is a bucket-list experience. And finding a rental couldn’t be easier! If you book your hire car before you get there, you could be behind the wheel minutes after you land.

By bike: Riding a bike in the Florida Keys & Key West is a popular way to get around. Filled with beautiful oceanside trails, it’s also a great way to experience the tropical scenery. And you don’t need to worry about finding one either with plenty of rental shops at your fingertips.

By boat: Travelling by sea is a great way to see these islands, and there’s plenty of marinas where you can rent one. Charter one yourself or book a tour and let someone else lead the way.

Events in Florida Keys & Key West

Hemingway Days: This event was originally set up to honour the legacy of Ernest Hemingway. Held over six days in July, there’s so much to get involved in from book signings to a three-day marlin fishing tournament and even a lookalike contest!

Fantasy Fest: Taking place every October around Halloween, come and join in on Key West’s biggest costume party. Spread over 10 days with a different theme each year, the festivities are non-stop. Parades, pool parties, live music, dance acts, contests - you name it, you’ll find it here.

Florida Keys & Key West safety and security

For up-to-date advice on travelling to Florida Keys & Key West, please visit the FCDO website.

Florida Keys and Key West weather

Summer (June to August) is the hottest and wettest part of the year in Florida Keys & Key West. During this time you can experience a maximum of 17 rainy days. But don’t worry, these short showers don’t hang round for long. This is also the start of Florida’s turbulent hurricane season, which runs from the beginning of June to late November. However, storms are more likely between 15th August until 15th October.

Many people choose to avoid this period altogether in favour of the dryer, cooler winter months. December to May is one of the best times to head here. Not only will you experience averages of 23°C and minimal rainfall, but you’re also outside of the hurricane season. Plus, the sea is still warm enough for a dip.

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Best hotels in Florida Keys and Key West