About Key West International Airport (EYW)
Address: 2516 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, 33040 3927, Fl, Fl
Key West International Airport (EYW) is located approximately 4 miles (6 km) southeast of downtown Key West. Airport car rental counters for Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Thrifty are located just outside the baggage claim area. Alamo, National, and Enterprise are located off-site and accessed by a free shuttle bus.
Key West is the main city and air travel destination of the Florida Keys, and the last outpost of a 110-mile (177 km) island chain linked by U.S. Highway 1 (aka US-1, A1A, and/or the Overseas Highway). Driving in central Key West is characterized by congestion and parking hassles. Otherwise, there’s basically one road in, and one road out — US-1. Public transportation options are limited and time-consuming, so exploring the rest of the Keys — which almost everybody does on a daily basis — is best experienced with a car hire.
Key West is one of the few places on Earth where it’s almost not necessary to rent a car with GPS. The linear orientation of the Keys gives rise to a “Mile Marker” system for navigation, which starts at 0 on Key West and ascends north to the 107.5 mile marker at Florida City, where the route rejoins the national highway system. With over 42 bridge crossings in the chain, it’s a great system for getting around, and many destinations such as Veterans Memorial Park are marked: 39.9, and so on.
Driving from Miami International Airport to Key West (158 mi / 253 km) used to be one of the great American driving experiences, and US-1 continues to be heavily traveled up and down the Keys, but nowadays, most visitors are coming for the beaches and the Key culture. Expect congestion during peak holiday seasons, but otherwise, it’s a fairly straightforward experience.
Choosing your car
You’ll find a comprehensive range of cars available in Key West, starting with the value deals found on Ford compact and Mitsubishi economy cars. There’s no shortage of standard and intermediate options, with 4-door sedans from Volkswagen, Kia, and Chevrolet. Premium models are available from Chrysler and Buick, while Nissan and Hyundai SUVs dominate the all-wheel drive category. For larger groups, the trusty Dodge Grand Caravan 7-9 seater is ideal for hauling people and luggage.
Tips and advice
Speed limits in built up areas are 45 mph unless otherwise posted. You’ll reach top speeds of 55 mph on some of the wider stretches of road.
Vehicles are constantly exiting and joining US-1, and locals routinely drive one or two islands over (or mile markers) to the supermarket or gas station. Keep your road awareness radar tuned to merging traffic.
Accidents frequently close US-1 in both directions. Delays can last up to several hours.
Word on the street is that all Key West airport car rental companies charge additional fees for extra drivers, with the exception of Budget.
If you’re planning to drive north to Miami, be advised that you’ll be entering toll road territory at the Florida City junction.
Both Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and Monroe County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) patrol the Overseas Highway. The FHP drives black cars with tan roofs. Monroe County Sheriffs drive white cars with green stripes.