We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

A Mini-Trip to Key West, Florida: Part 1- Introduction & Driving to Key West

A Mini-Trip to Key West, Florida: Part 1- Introduction & Driving to Key West

Million Mile SecretsA Mini-Trip to Key West, Florida: Part 1- Introduction & Driving to Key WestMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Emily:  Daraius and I went to Key West for 3 days in October for a mini-vacation.

We drove from Fort Lauderdale to Key West on the Overseas Highway, which was a beautiful drive.  Thanks to Daraius, the car rental cost us more than it should have. 🙂

We stayed at the Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, and had a relaxing break in Key West.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Emily On The Bahia Honda Bridge On The Way To Key West

A Quick Trip To Key West, Florida Index

We only had 3 days in Key West, so we couldn’t do everything which we wanted to do.

Ideally, I wanted to spend more time seeing the many sites along the Overseas Highway which connects Miami to the Florida Keys –  including the John Pennekamp State Park near Key Largo, the Turtle Hospital, and a few other sites.

But we didn’t have much time for this trip, so we stopped only at the important sites – CVS and the Bahia Honda Park.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Daraius Does’t Like Standing Still for Pictures!

Planning

Daraius used Southwest points and our Southwest Companion Pass to fly from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale using Southwest points.  He was speaking at Frequent Traveler University in Tampa and decided to take a few days to visit Key West!

Daraius was going to use 22,000 Hyatt points for each night at the Hyatt in Key West, but then found a great rate for ~$190 including taxes!  We don’t have an unlimited supply of Hyatt points, and preferred saving those 22,000 Hyatt points to stay in Hyatt hotels which cost $600+ a night.

Hyatt Regency Key West
At The Hyatt in Key West

Once in a while, we can pay $190 for a splurge hotel room.  But we wouldn’t pay $600 a night!  That’s why we collect miles and points!

We rented a car from Fort Lauderdale and drove to Key West, which cost $90.

However, when we got to the airport in Key West, Daraius realized that we (Daraius) had made a mistake and that Alamo was expecting the car in Fort Lauderdale and not in Key West!

So, we had to pay extra for the rental and scramble to get the car to its off-airport lot.  On the other hand, Daraius doesn’t mess-up often, so I’ll give him a pass this time!

We flew on Southwest from Key West back to Austin and again made good use of our Southwest Companion Pass.

Overseas Highway

We left Fort Lauderdale around noon, and then drove through the Florida Keys.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Driving On The Overseas Highway

Thankfully, there was no traffic on the highway.  We went in late September which is low season, and also drove down on a Monday.  We’ve heard horror stories about bumper-to-bumper traffic during summer weekends!

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
We Lucked Out And Avoided Traffic On The Overseas Highway

Along the way, we stopped at a restaurant in Islamorada called Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen for a key lime freeze.  It was yummy!

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Emily Enjoying A Key Lime Freeze At Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen

We also stopped at a few CVS pharmacies along the way to stock up on Vanilla Reloads.  And each store had lots of Vanilla Reloads!

There is a lot to do along the drive to Key West, from visiting one of the many state parks to the Turtle Hospital.  We didn’t have time to stop-over at many sites during the drive, but vowed to return one day.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Emily Enjoying The Serenity Along the Way to Key West

We made a brief stop for a couple of photos.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Emily by The Overseas Highway

Bahia Honda State Park

We did make time to stop at Bahia Honda State Park.  We had to pay $8 for our car to enter the park.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Bahia Honda State Park

There were a lot of things to do, including camping, swimming, and snorkeling.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
There Were Lots of Activities At Bahia Honda State Park

We went for a quick swim and snorkeling.  The snorkeling and swimming was okay.  There was a lot of seaweed strewn throughout the water and on the shore, but the water was very shallow, clear, and warm.  There may be better swimming beaches somewhere else in the park.

The soft white sand felt good beneath my toes!

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Emily Enjoying The Sand Between Her Toes At Bahia Honda State Park

We then went to walk on the Old Bahia Honda bridge which was built above the railroad tracks.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
We Walked On The Old Bahia Honda Bridge

There were some beautiful views as we approached the bridge.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
The Views From The Bridge Were Gorgeous

Under the bridge was the railroad that once connected the Florida Keys, which was replaced with the Overseas Highway, or US 1.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
The Overseas Highway Was Built Above The Railroad That Originally Connected The Keys

Two sections of the Bahia Honda Bridge were removed so boats could pass through.

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
The No Longer Used Old Bahia Honda Bridge Has 2 Sections Removed For Boat Passage

We hung out for a bit on the bridge and then drove to Key West!

Using Miles And Points To Get To Key West
Daraius Enjoying The Views (& Squinting From the Sun!) on The Old Bahia Honda Bridge

Bottom Line

We wish we had more time to explore the different Florida Keys on our way to Key West.

But we still had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

18comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

nice report! I enjoyed and look forward to seeing more

been there 15 times now from baltimore. it is not a kid place or beach place. all about restaurants,bars, partying site seeing. much better latitude n attitude. bikes are better. merlin guest house good, absolute BLUE HEAVEN breakfast Schooner Wharf at harbor.

We’re considering, at this late date, driving down (from New Jersey……) to the Florida Keys over Christmas – 2 adults and 2 teens. I have ~ 140,000 Chase points that I could transfer for a hotel stay.

Any suggestions of the best use of Chase points for a hotel in that area? Maybe Marathon would be cheaper…….? We’ve never been, so any advice would be appreciated. I’ve successfully transferred Chase points for hotel stays at Hyatt’s but haven’t tried any of the other hotel partners……..a hotel with suites so we have extra space would be preferable…..but maybe everything’s all booked up by now………

@cj- The freeze was great! Next time we will go for breakfast.

@Matt S- Thanks for the tip! Looks like a great hotel.

@scott- Ha! That’s when you find a CVS to stop at. 🙂

@Steve M- The beaches were not that great in Key West, but there are some beautiful ones nearby, such as the beaches in the Dry Tortugas State Park. We also rented bikes, which was a lot of fun. Duval Street had some great people watching. We will cover these activities in a future post so stay tuned!

Went to Key West in September and I was disappointed with the beaches there. How about that tiny runway they have at the airport? A little different experience… The gf and I rented bikes because it’s so easy to navigate there and the couple we were with rented a car so we could drive the highway from key to key. Did you make it to Duval street?

Load more