Key West, known for its pristine beaches, vast snorkeling and diving adventure excursions, and coral reefs, is located just over a hundred miles from Naples. This island city in the Florida Keys is home to the southernmost point of the US and promises a vacation like no other.
There is no direct ferry from Naples, Florida to Key West, however, you can drive to the port of Marco Island, a short 30-minute drive away, or Fort Myers, about 50 minutes away, and take a passenger ferry from there to reach the sunny island of Key West.
Read on to find out about how to reach Key West from Naples, the available ferry options, and our top tips to get to Key West in the fastest possible way.
Is there a ferry from Naples to Key West?
While there's no direct ferry from Naples to Key West, you can board a ferry from the nearby ports in Marco Island or Fort Myers (short drives from Naples), which will take you directly to the Island of Key West.
Unfortunately, the ferry doesn't allow cars since Key West isn't a drivable island, so you'll have to park your vehicle at Marco Island or Fort Myers.
Once you arrive in Key West, you can take a taxi to your hotel or apartment rental, and for traveling within the island, hiring a cycle is bound to be a good idea.
Both crossings take about 3 and a half hours, so you'll be in Key West by noon, just in time for a chilled cocktail by the beach.
The Marco Island ferry only runs seasonally through the winter months, so weather conditions are usually tame (devoid of storms like in the summer), though they may cause delays occasionally. The Fort Myers ferry runs year-round if the weather conditions are suitable.
The ferry will arrive at Key West Harbor, less than five minutes from the center of the city (home to landmarks like Duval Street). Take a look at the table below for travel times and distances to Key West via ferry.
How to reach Key West from Naples
The most convenient way to travel to Key West from Naples is to drive to either Marco Island or Fort Myers, leave your car there, and then take the ferry to the island. Key West is a very walkable island, so you won't need a car to visit its famous sights.
If you're looking for alternative options, you can even drive the entire way from Naples to Key West, which is a five-hour journey, or take a flight, although the options to fly between these two cities are somewhat limited.
Getting from Naples to Marco Island
The drive from Naples to Marco Island should take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. The route begins near Naples Beach and follows local routes to get to US-41 South, which travels through Sugden Regional Park, Naples Manor, and Capri Paddlecraft Park to arrive at Marco Island.
An easy drive that is bound to have stellar views, especially if you drive around sunrise, it's a great pit stop between your journey to Key West!
Driving from Naples to Fort Myers
Besides the ferry between Marco Island and Key West, there are several other ways to get to the island. If you'd like to travel by ferry, another alternative route is taking the ferry from Fort Myers, less than an hour's drive from Naples.
If you're in the mood to take a road trip, you can also drive from Naples to Key West. An almost five-hour drive, you'll get to drive through the scenic Everglades National Park at the southern tip of Florida and follow along US-1 South (with unparalleled oceanic views) to get to Key West.
Though some flights go from Fort Myers and Naples to Key West, they're often impractical and have long stopovers, rendering them not a viable option.
How long does it take to reach Key West from Naples?
The ferry from Marco Island to Key West will take approximately 3 and a half hours, though it may be subject to change depending on the weather.
The ferry will depart from the marina of Marco Island and take you directly to Key West Harbor, located a five-minute drive from the center of the island, where you can explore the best of your destination. The overall journey will be around 4 and a half hours.
The Fort Myers ferry also takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to reach Key West, which means the total travel time from Naples to Key West will be upwards of 5 hours.
How much does it cost to travel to Key West?
To get to Key West via ferry, you'll have to take the Key West Express, which operates both the primary route from Marco Island as well as the Fort Myers to Key West route.
The round-trip cost for an adult is $185 and varies if any seniors or children travel with them. The cost for a one-way adult ticket is $130. The prices remain the same throughout the season (for the Marco Island to Key West ferry) and the year (for the Ft. Myers to Key West ferry).
However, schedules may vary depending on the weather. It's important to note that since Key West is a relatively small island, it is not a car ferry, though you can take cycles if you'd like (which is a great way to explore the island).
Things you need to know about traveling to Key West from Naples
The ferry between Marco Island and Key West runs 7 days a week, though it departs only once daily, in the morning and returns around sunset.
The drive from Naples to Marco Island is easy and scenic, taking between half an hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic. It follows local routes to get on a US Highway, making it a reasonably direct route.
The Marco Island ferry runs only once a day (operates on all seven days of the week), leaving early in the morning, usually around 8am and returning in the evening, around 5pm, though the schedule may change depending on weather and route conditions.
You should arrive at the port around an hour before 8am as boarding closes by 7:30am — though double-check with the ferry operator or your travel agent for real-time information.
If you decide to take the ferry between Fort Myers and Key West, the duration of the ferry and schedule remains the same, though it runs all year round.
Best time to visit Key West
The ferry from Marco Island to Key West runs seasonally (in the winter months), while the alternate route (Fort Myers to Key West) runs all year.
Though Key West is known to be a rather expensive destination, traveling in both the fall and summer months is recommended for a budget-friendly trip, although the summer months are prone to hurricanes and other tropical storms.
Most of the crowd is attracted to the island to soak in the warmth of its winter sun, making November until March a pretty busy time to visit. With vast beaches, cocktails by the pool for days, and events like the Southernmost Regatta and the Key West Food & Wine Festival, no wonder the winter months are a fan favorite!
Things to see once you reach Key West
While it may just appear like a regular island, Key West is home to several unique attractions, many of historical significance that are worth exploring when you're visiting.
Whether going to museums and art galleries is more your speed or you're just looking for a beautiful view to relax across from, you're sure to find what you're looking for!
- Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum - Situated across the Key West Lighthouse is the historic home of the infamous Ernest Hemingway. A celebrated author and personality, his French-colonial residence turned museum is one of the top places to visit on the island!
- Smathers Beach - With a half-mile-long shoreline, Smathers Beach is the perfect place to hang out during your time on the island. A popular destination for water sports and adventure excursions, or lounging on a picnic blanket under the coconut trees, if that's more your beat.
- Southern Most Point of the Continental USA - One of the most famous destinations on the island is the buoy that marks the southernmost point of the Continental USA. With beautiful ocean views, it's a must-do for any tourist that makes their way to Key West!
- Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park - Centered around a fort that dates back to the Civil Rights Era, this state park is known for its scenic landscapes, trails, and snorkelling opportunities.
- Duval Street - Known to be the party center of the island, Duval street runs across the breadth of Key West and is home to some of the city's best shops, pubs, and attractions.