A Mini-Trip to Key West, Florida: Part 1- Introduction & Driving to Key West
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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.
A Quick Trip To Key West, Florida Index
- Part 1 – Using Miles & Points To Get To Key West
- Part 2 – Hyatt Key West
- Part 3 – Things To Do In Key West
- Part 4 – Eating in Key West, Florida
- Part 5 – Key West Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
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.
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.
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.
We left Fort Lauderdale around noon, and then drove through the Florida Keys.
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!
Along the way, we stopped at a restaurant in Islamorada called Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen for a key lime freeze. It was yummy!
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.
We made a brief stop for a couple of photos.
Bahia Honda State Park
There were a lot of things to do, including camping, swimming, and snorkeling.
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!
We then went to walk on the Old Bahia Honda bridge which was built above the railroad tracks.
There were some beautiful views as we approached the bridge.
Under the bridge was the railroad that once connected the Florida Keys, which was replaced with the Overseas Highway, or US 1.
Two sections of the Bahia Honda Bridge were removed so boats could pass through.
We hung out for a bit on the bridge and then drove to Key West!
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!
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