Is Key West Expensive? Unveil The Cost Of A Memorable Vacation

Is Key West Expensive? Unveil The Cost Of A Memorable Vacation

Conch Train - How To Do Key West On A Budget?

Is Key West expensive when planning a vacation? As one of the premier vacation spots in the United States, Key West Florida can get pricey for travelers. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to scrap your plans for a trip to Key West just to save money. Let’s put it all in perspective.

Why is Key West so expensive? According to experts, it’s the cost of a hotel room that really pushes up pricing for a trip to Key West. The Miami Herald places the average price per night at $299 for standard double hotel rooms in Key West. With the cost of living in the Florida Keys being above average, the cost of goods here also helps to drive up costs for a rental car or dinners at restaurants in Key West.

Ready for the good news? Plenty of travelers still manage to experience Key West on a budget every single year with some smart planning tips. You may be about to become one of them! Key West will actually surprise you with its wide range of free or affordably priced attractions, historic sites, and excursions.

In fact, the price to enjoy the local culture in Key West is exactly $0 at many popular attractions. Are you ready to hear about how to do Key West on a budget? These seven tips will show you how to vacation in Key West Florida without breaking the bank!

1) Find An Affordable Excursion For Groups

If you’ve written off the idea of enjoying a guided excursion while visiting Key West, it’s time to completely rethink what’s possible. You may have already figured out that you can save money in Key West by sharing a hotel room. What you may not have figured out is that you can apply the same logic to sharing an excursion.

By booking a private boat with your friends or family, you can pay much less per person than you’d pay using another option. The best part of this little trick is that you’ll get VIP treatment instead of being cramped on a public boat.

Key West Boat Trips proudly offers private boat and snorkeling tours with affordable per-person rates. Make memories that will last a lifetime with our experienced captains, affordable prices, and excursions to amazing destinations around Key West Florida. Add one of these excursions to your trip to Key West with our lightning-fast booking:

  • Sandbar hopping with add-on stops at the mangrove trails of Mud Keys and Snipe Point sandbar
  • Sandbar trips for groups of six or more aboard dual 27-foot Hurricane deck boats that will be driven side by side by our captains
  • Key West lunch cruise with opportunities for snorkeling or relaxing on the boat
  • Key West dinner cruise with a fresh seafood feast that’s prepared by your captain while you relax in the turquoise water
  • Mud Key Mangrove Safari
  • Boca Grande island time and snorkeling with add-on stops at Woman Key and Ballast Key

We offer the best prices for Key West boat tours with snorkeling and sandbar exploration. Book your priceless adventure with Key West Boat Trips today!

Affordable Sandbar Exploration Near Key West

2) See The Best Free Attraction In Key West During The Sunset Celebration At Mallory Square

Don’t miss the sunset celebration that takes place every night at Mallory Square if you want to experience a piece of Key West history and culture. Starting about an hour before sunset, food vendors and street performers gather at Mallory Square to celebrate the nightly sunset!

You can save money by grabbing some local “street food” cuisine instead of sitting down at one of the restaurants around Duval Street and Mallory Square before heading out to party for the night.

View Of Sunset From Mallory Square

3) Feel The Warm Breeze In Hair As You Drive Across The Florida Keys

If you wish you had the budget to experience multiple islands when you visit Key West, the dream may be in reach without the need to necessarily book hotels in other spots. You can actually use the world-famous Overseas Highway to build some “mini road trips” into your Key West Florida vacation.

The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile highway that carries U.S. Route 1 through the Florida Keys to Key West. Here’s what you’re looking at for distances between Key West and other parts of the Keys:

  • Key West to Big Pine Key: 29 miles
  • Key West to Little Duck Key: 38.1 miles
  • Key West to Marathon: 45 miles
  • Key West to Knights Key: 45.6 miles
  • Key West to Islamorada: 80 miles
  • Key West to Key Largo: 97.8 miles

The lower portion of the Overseas Highway contains the Seven Mile Bridge. Starting in Knights Key, the bridge brings travelers to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. The views alone make this route one of the best free attractions in the Florida Keys!

As the southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West is the last stop on the Overseas Highway.

Pro tip: If you’re dreaming of baking a little road trip into your Key West vacation while also saving money, you can consider looking for cheaper tickets to Miami International Airport instead of Key West International Airport. From Miami, you can rent a car to drive to Key West.

The Overseas Highway

4) See The Key West Lighthouse For Under $20

While prices in Key West for entry to local attractions can sometimes reflect the higher cost of living, there’s one popular landmark that offers an affordable day of fun. We’re talking about the beautiful Key West Lighthouse. Located on Whitehead Street, this structure with an 88-step spiral leading to an observation deck with priceless views of the island and surrounding tides envelopes you in stories about its keepers through the centuries!

Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the lighthouse charges just $15.50 for adult entry when you book online ahead of time. Youth tickets can be purchased online for $7.50. All kids under age 7 are free. Discounted tickets costing just $11.50 are available for seniors, college students, and retired military online.

Lighthouse In Old Town Key West

5) Visit The Key West Butterfly And Nature Conservatory For Under $20

A visit to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is more than just a walk through a garden; it’s an immersive experience that brings you closer to nature’s beauty and diversity. A tropical paradise filled with vibrant butterflies, exotic birds, and lush flora. A tranquil escape that promises an unforgettable experience for nature lovers.

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is another treasure of the Florida Keys that surprisingly won’t break the bank. While general adult admission is $17.50, kids get in for $12.50. All kids age 3 and under are free. This attraction also offers discounted senior and military tickets for $14.50.


6) Experience Key West’s History For Free At The Key West Cemetery

The 19-acre Key West Cemetery located at the foot of Solares Hill is completely free to walk through. With its park-like setting, this cemetery is the perfect place to reflect on the diverse history of the island’s residents.

As you stroll among headstones, you’ll find the names of international millionaires, Spanish-American War veterans, Cuban cigar makers, Bahamian mariners, missionaries, and people from all backgrounds. The cemetery is the final resting place for nearly 100,000 people who have lived and loved in Key West.

Historic Cemetery In The Conch Republic

7) Take A Self Guided Walking Tour Of Key West

While it’s worth considering a guided walking tour or trolley tour when you visit Key West, you can also see most of the big landmarks without any help. Here’s a look at some essential spots and attractions in Key West for your itinerary:

  • Old Town Key West
  • The grounds at Saint Mary Star of the Sea
  • Boat watching at the Key West Historic Seaport
  • The Key West Garden Club at West Martello Tower
  • Smathers Beach and Higgs Beach
  • The Southernmost Point Buoy marks the southernmost point in the continental United States at 1400 Whitehead Street

Pro tip: The Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West is a must-visit landmark. It’s not just a photo-op, but a symbol of Key West’s unique location, being just 90 miles from Cuba. The vibrant buoy also represents the city’s colorful and quirky charm.

Southernmost Point Buoy

Is Key West Expensive? It Depends On Your Itinerary!

While there’s no way around the fact that some things in Key West simply cost more than the national average, you don’t have to put off a Key West vacation. The tips above clearly demonstrate how you can enjoy full days of fun and sightseeing without constantly taking out your wallet.

We’re passionate about making priceless Key West experiences affordable for our guests. Contact Key West Boat Trips to start planning a surprisingly affordable private excursion for your crew!

Affordable Boat Ride - Key West Boat Trip

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