Key West is 160 miles from Miami (180 miles from the Miami airport) and 90 miles from Cuba. You can fly directly to Key West, drive down from the mainland or take a cruise. To the surprise of many, we do have an airport. In fact, the first international flight was from the Key West Airport to Cuba in 1913. So, you will be flying into the Key West International
Airport. Direct flights originate in Charlotte, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. The view of the Caribbean waters from the air is stunning.
If you’re driving, you’ll cross 42 bridges between the mainland and Key West. It’s a beautiful drive with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, but it’s not a speedy drive. The road is only 2 lanes most of the way and you’ll go through several small towns where the speed limit is 35mph, and they mean it! You’ll also go through the protected Key Deer area. If you’re lucky you’ll see one of our Key Deer, animals that grow no bigger than large dogs and are found only in the Keys. And, you’ll feel the difference in attitude as soon as you cross into the Keys. Everything slows down. So, take your time and enjoy the ride.
If Key West is one of your ports of call on your cruise, well, that’s a whole blog onto itself! I think I’ll save that topic for next time!
Key West is a very small island, only 2 miles wide by 4 miles long and extremely flat! In fact the highest elevation in Key West is a spot called Solares Hill and it is 18 feet above sea level.
Being such a small island and with so much architecture from the 19th century, roads are narrow and parking for cars is scarce and expensive. With the beautiful weather and laid back lifestyle, bicycles are the perfect way to see the island at your leisure. There are plenty of places to rent bicycles, you can even have them delivered to your hotel.
Bicycles were the way that Renee and Matt from Colorado Springs, CO arrived at Smathers Beach for their Vow Renewal Ceremony. They were staying at a B&B at the other end of the island so it took them a leisurely 15 minutes to get to Smathers. On the way to the beach they found many nooks and crannies of this island that they were going to explore after their ceremony. Places that you’d never see cruising by in a car.
So, when you get here rent bikes and go explore. And, make sure you have lights for riding after dark. You’ll discover parts of Key West a lot of people never see and you won’t feel nearly as guilty about stopping at Kilwins for ice cream or fudge when you know you’ll pedal it off!
A lot of people ask me if they need to show their Birth Certificates to get a marriage license. The answer is no. All you will need to show the Clerk at the Courthouse is your photo I.D. It may be your driver’s license, passport or any other I.D. that matches your name with your face. They just want to make sure you are who you say you are.
And, if you have been married previously you will need to write on the license application the date your last marriage ended, but no one will ask to see any paperwork.
People come from all over the world to get married in Key West for many reasons: the warm weather, the beautiful beaches and because it’s so easy!
So, no matter where you are from consider Key West for your destination wedding. Charline and Mike from Belgium did just that and were married on Smathers Beach on a beautiful day while back home they were expecting a high of 40 degrees. Brrrrrr!
At the stroke of Midnight, Tuesday, January 6, 2015 became an historic day in Florida’s history. At that moment, same sex marriage became legal in Florida and the courthouse opened up to grant marriage licenses. There were more than 400 people at the courthouse celebrating the first 3 gay couples who legally wed.
36 states now recognize same sex marriages.
There is still a 3 day waiting period after you get your marriage license if you live in Florida unless you take the 4 hour pre-marital course. There is no waiting period if you live outside of Florida.
Congratulations to the 3 couples that took the plunge at midnight on Tuesday and congratulations to all those couples now eligible to be legally wed!