Climate

Though it’s warm and tropical in the Keys, it never gets higher than about 97°F. The peak in summer is usually about 89°F, with the temperature staying a few degrees cooler than Miami because the Keys are surrounded by ocean (and refreshing ocean breezes). The coldest it gets is usually in the 50s (when some people dress like a blizzard has descended), and water temperature stays in the 80s most of the time. The thunderstorm season begins by late May, and then everyone buckles down for the feared hurricanes – if they arrive, expect them in late summer and early fall.

Discount Cards

In Key West, there’s the Key West Bar Card (www.keywestbarcard.com).

In the rest of the Keys:

  • Keys Coupons (www.keyscoupons.com)
  • Keys Kash (www.fla-keys.com/keyskash)
  • Mile Marker Coupons (www.milemarkerdiscounts.com)

South Florida is a very competitive tourist destination, so persistence usually pays dividends.

Being a member of certain groups gives access to discounts, usually about 10%, at some hotels, museums and sights. Simply carry the appropriate ID.

Auto-club membership Present a valid membership card, such as AAA (www.aaa.com) or one from your home country for discounted lodging rates.

Students Any student ID is typically honored; international students might consider an International Student Identity Card (ISIC; www.isiccard.com).

Seniors Generally refers to those aged 65 and older, but sometimes those 60 and older. Join the American Association of Retired Persons (www.aarp.org) for more travel bargains.

Tourist Information

The Monroe County Tourist Development Council’s Florida Keys & Key West Visitors Bureau runs an excellent website (www.fla-keys.com), which is packed with information on everything the Keys has to offer.

Check www.keysnews.com for good daily online news and information about the islands.

Travel with Children

Check out some of the following options to entertain the kids:

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center Get an understanding of the region’s environment.

Glass-bottom boat tours at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Your own window to the underwater world.

Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory Pretty flying things.

Turtle Hospital Learn about these fascinating endangered creatures.

Conch Tour Train Kitschy, corny, enjoyable tour.

Key West Ghost & Mysteries Tour Only slightly spooky, but younger kids may find this one a bit scary.

Key-deer spotting Kids go crazy for cute mini-deer.

Key West Cemetery Get Gothic with these often humorous tombs.

Robbie’s Marina All sorts of activities, including the ever-popular tarpon (giant fish) feeding frenzy.