A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Destin vs. Key West for Resorts, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Destin or Key West?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Destin and Key West can help you decide which place is right for you.

Destin

Destin is a peaceful, family-friendly, and beautiful beach town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the beaches, shopping, and food.

Key West

Key West is a quaint, laid-back, and bustling town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is an attractive and quaint destination worth visiting as well. It's also known for nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Destin and Key West: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


How is Destin different from Key West?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Key West and Destin. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Destin or Key West better for Food?

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Destin and Key West.

Destin offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The area has great seafood including crab chowder, seafood gumbo, and fried fish.

Key West has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The town is known for its stone crabs, conch fritters, and Mahi Mahi sandwiches.

Destin
Key West


Is Destin or Key West better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will usually choose Key West over Destin.

Key West has plenty to do after the sun goes down. This area has some of the most lively nightlife in the Florida Keys. There are quirky bars and fun hangouts where you can spend the evening.

Destin doesn't offer many options. The region is more popular as a family-friendly beach destination than it is for it's nightlife. Head to the Harbor area for the most lively nightlife.

Destin
Key West

Is Destin or Key West better for Resorts?

Luxury resorts are fairly comparable in Destin and Key West.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Destin. Popular options include the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, as well as Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa.

Key West is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. There are a number of high end resorts around the island, many with recognizable names such as the Hyatt and Hilton. Prices can be high, but these resorts often come with reliable luxury.

Destin
Key West

Is Destin or Key West better for Beaches?

Destin and Key West are good choices for a beach vacation.

Destin is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. This area is famous for its powdery white sand, beautiful blue waters, and calm waves.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Key West. One of the best beaches in the area is Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. The beach has soft sand and stunning turquoise water. As is typical in the Keys, the water stays shallow for great distances.

Destin
Key West

Is Destin or Key West better for Shopping?

Both Destin and Key West are good shopping destinations.

Destin is a great destination for shopping. In the shopping centers around town you'll find a number of unique boutique shops that are fun to explore.

If you're looking to go shopping, Key West has some nice offerings. While it definitely has its share of gimmicky souvenir shops and t-shirt stores, there are still a number of art galleries and local shops around Key West where you can enjoy shopping.

Destin
Key West


Is Destin or Key West better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Destin or Key West.

Destin is a very family-friendly place to visit. The area has beautiful sandy beaches, calm waters, and plenty of activities like Big Kahuna's Water Park.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Key West is very family-friendly. Families that enjoy snorkeling, aquariums, water sports, and exploring new places will enjoy visiting here.

Destin
Key West

Is Destin or Key West better for Couples?

Both Destin and Key West are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Destin is a nice destination for couples. For a relaxing beach vacation, this is a nice option for couples. A lot of the accommodation is in the form of condos, so it may not have the romantic resort vibe you're going for though.

Key West makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. From Mallory Square to the beautiful nearby parks, Key West makes a wonderful, romantic destination. Whether it's your honeymoon, an anniversary, or simply a couples' retreat, Key West is a great option.

Destin
Key West

Is Destin or Key West better for Public Transit?

Both Destin and Key West offer public transit options.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Destin.

Public transit is quite limited in Key West. Public transportation in Key West is limited to a few buses.

Destin
Key West

Is Destin or Key West a more walkable city?

Key West is generally more walkable than Destin.

Key West is somewhat walkable. The town is the most walkable part of the Florida Keys. The area around Mallory Square and Duval Street is the most pedestrian friendly.

Destin is not a very walkable beach town. The area is very spread out so you'll need a car to access restaurants and most forms of entertainment.

Destin
Key West


Should I spend more time in Key West or Destin?

How long in Destin or Key West?

Both Destin and Key West have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Destin is 5-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Key West is 5-7 days.


  • How many days in Destin or Key West? Ideal Length of Stay
    Destin 5-7 
    Key West 5-7

One day in Destin or Key West?

The beach town of Destin offers shopping and food. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the quaint destination of Key West. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Destin or Key West?

Destin is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Key West is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Destin or Key West?

Destin is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Destin, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Key West. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Destin or Key West?

Destin is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Destin has to offer. This beach town offers something for everyone.

Many travelers enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the bustling destination of Key West. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Which city is cheaper, Key West or Destin?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Destin is $153, while the average daily cost in Key West is $441. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Destin and Key West in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Destin $89
    Key West $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Destin $178
    Key West $212
Compare Hotels in Destin and Key West

Looking for a hotel in Destin or Key West? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Destin


Hotels in Key West


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Destin $40
    Key West $41

Typical Local Transportation prices in Key West

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Key West:


  • Rental Car for One Day
    $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Key West

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Key West:

  • Key West International Airport One Way Transfer: $53
  • Miami & One-Way Transfer by Motor Coach Bus: $54
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Key West Airport to Hotel: $116
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Key West Airport: $116
  • Round-Trip Transfer: Fort Lauderdale to Key West: $198
  • Private Airport Transfer in Key West, Florida: $209

Is it cheaper to fly into Destin or Key West?

Prices for flights to both Key West and Destin change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Destin $41
    Key West $308

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Key West

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Key West.

  • Key West Sunset Dinner Cruise with Tropical Buffet: $68
  • Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner and Open Bar: $90
  • Private Secret Food Tour of Key West: $103
  • Secret Food Tour of Key West w/ Private Tour Option: $221

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Destin $14
    Key West $26
Typical Entertainment prices in Destin

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Destin are as follows:


  • 1 Day Rental Umbrella and Chairs
    $40

Tours and Activities in Destin

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Destin are as follows:

  • Summer Breeze 1 Hour Segway Tour 2:30 pm Daily: $38
  • Small Boat Sunset Cruise in Destin: $45
  • Seas The Day 1.5 Hour Segway Tour 11 am daily: $49
  • Harbor Lights Tiki Cruise through Destin Harbor: $50
  • Tiki Harbor Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Private Banana Boat Tour: $53
  • Tiki Sunset Cruise: $61
  • Crab Island Sandbar Adventure: $82
  • 4 Hour Fishing Trip on a Catamaran with an Experienced Captain: $799

Tours and Activities in Key West

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Key West are as follows:

  • Self-Guided Bike Tour to Key West Beaches and Back Roads: $7.19
  • Easy Stroll Audio Tour Downtown Key West: $7.99
  • The Ghosts of Key West Walking Tour: $20
  • Key West Scavenger Hunt Adventure Mobile Experience: $21
  • Key West Ghost Tour: $24
  • 6th Sense Haunted Tour of Key West: $25
  • Haunted Walking Tour with Psychic Guide: $27
  • The Dark Side of Key West Ghost Tour: $28
  • Southernmost Key West History and Culture Small-Group Walking Tour: $28
  • Old Town Key West Literary Walking Tour: $30
  • Key West Ghost and Mysteries Guided Tour: $32
  • Southernmost Key West Historical Tour in Small Group: $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Destin $39
    Key West $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Key West

Also in Key West, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Key West Haunted Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour: $23
  • Yes, Queen! Drag Queen Pub Crawl of Key West: $34
  • Key West Pub Crawl: $35


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Destin and Key West, we can see that Key West is more expensive. And not only is Destin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Destin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Destin and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Key West would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Key West than you might in Destin.


When is the best time to visit Destin or Key West?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Destin or Key West in the Summer?

Both Key West and Destin are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Destin for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Key West because of the beaches, snorkeling, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Destin is around the same temperature as Key West. Typically, the summer temperatures in Destin in July are around 82°F (28°C), and Key West is about 84°F (29°C).

It's quite rainy in Destin. In July, Destin usually receives more rain than Key West. At this time of the year, Destin gets 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain, while Key West receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Destin 82°F (28°C) 
    Key West 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Destin or Key West in the Autumn?

Both Key West and Destin during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Destin because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Key West this time of year.

In October, Destin is generally cooler than Key West. Temperatures in Destin average around 69°F (21°C), and Key West stays around 80°F (27°C).

Key West gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Destin. Destin usually gets less rain in October than Key West. Destin gets 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain, while Key West receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Destin 69°F (21°C) 
    Key West 80°F (27°C)

Should I visit Destin or Key West in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Destin and Key West. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Destin this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Key West for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Destin is much colder than Key West in the winter. The temperature in Destin is usually 50°F (10°C) in January, and Key West stays around 70°F (21°C).

Destin gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Destin usually receives more rain than Key West. At this time of the year, Destin gets 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain, while Key West receives 1.7 inches (43 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Destin 50°F (10°C) 
    Key West 70°F (21°C)

Should I visit Destin or Key West in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Destin as well as Key West. Many travelers come to Destin for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Key West in the spring for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Destin is cooler than Key West. Typically, the spring temperatures in Destin in April are around 68°F (20°C), and Key West is about 77°F (25°C).

Destin usually gets more rain in April than Key West. Destin gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Key West receives 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Destin 68°F (20°C) 
    Key West 77°F (25°C)

Typical Weather for Key West and Destin

Destin Key West
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 70°F (21°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 71°F (21°C) 1.4 inches (36 mm)
Mar 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 74°F (23°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 77°F (25°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
May 74°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 81°F (27°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 83°F (28°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm) 83°F (29°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Nov 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 72°F (22°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)


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Destin vs. Key West Travel Comparison

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