If you would like to avoid road traffic to the Keys and make the trip a watery adventure, Key West Express ferries people from Fort Myers Beach on a daily basis (and Marco Island in season) to Key West’s historic seaport. The trip, just under four hours, is cheaper than airfare, and doesn’t require months-in-advance booking.
Key West Express. Besides driving or flying to Key West, you also can take a ferry via Fort Myers (most days, year-round) or Marco Island (seasonally, December through April). Key West Express operates a pair of air-conditioned catamarans with sundecks, full galleys, bars, and big-screen satellite TVs. Vessels are for passengers only and do not take motorized vehicles, including motorcycles. Besides the flagship 170-foot Key West Express, there's also the 155-foot Big Cat Catamaran. Port to port, the ferry ride is 3½ hours each way, and group discounts are available. Round-trip and one-way fares vary depending on time of purchase. Round-trip-ticket segments can be used on different days if you decide to extend your Key West stay. 1200 Main St., Fort Myers, Florida, 33931. 888/539–2628; www.keywestexpress.us.