A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Fort Lauderdale vs. Key West for Resorts, Beaches, Couples, and Nightlife

Should you visit Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Fort Lauderdale and Key West. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a scenic, bustling, and spirited coastal city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Key West

Key West is a active, lively, and quaint town. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. It's also known for scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and nightlife.

How is Fort Lauderdale different from Key West?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Food?

Both Fort Lauderdale and Key West offer a number of unique restaurants to choose from.

Fort Lauderdale offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Seafood is the obvious option with popular dishes being fish tacos, sea bass, and scallop risotto.

Visitors will find a budding food scene in Key West. The town is known for its stone crabs, conch fritters, and Mahi Mahi sandwiches.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Nightlife?

It's hard to distinguish whether Fort Lauderdale or Key West has a better nightlife scene.

The people in Fort Lauderdale know how to have a good time. Most people head to the beach, Las Olas Blvd, River Front and The New Hard Rock Seminole Hotel Complex for the best bars and clubs.

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.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Resorts?

There are resorts to choose from in both Fort Lauderdale and Key West.

Vacationers flock to Fort Lauderdale for its luxury resorts. Luxury beachfront resorts are plentiful in the area. Several of the most impressive include the Ritz-Carlton, W Fort Lauderdale, and the Dalmar.

Key West is known as a popular and fun resort destination. 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.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

You'll find places where you can go scuba diving or snorkeling in Fort Lauderdale and Key West.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Fort Lauderdale. Popular snorkeling spots nearby include the Vista Park Reef, Pompano Beach, and Hollywood North Beach Park.

Key West has a few good snorkeling spots. There are a number of dive shops and snorkeling excursions that leave from Key West. Like many tourist areas these days, the coral shows its damage from the crowds, but you'll likely see some barracuda or a Grouper.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Beaches?

Fort Lauderdale and Key West both offer beautiful beaches.

Fort Lauderdale offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a fun boardwalk, and impressive views, the beaches here are among the best in the area.

Key West is considered a top beach destination. 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.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Key West and Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale is a great destination for shopping. For interesting local boutiques head to Las Olas Boulevard and for name brand stores you'll want to visit Sawgrass Mills Mall.

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.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Families?

Both Fort Lauderdale and Key West are family-friendly destinations.

Fort Lauderdale is a very family-friendly place to visit. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a number of kid-oriented activities the kids will be entertained. Fun activities include Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, Butterfly World, and Funderdome.

Key West is a very kid-friendly coastal city. Families that enjoy snorkeling, aquariums, water sports, and exploring new places will enjoy visiting here.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West better for Couples?

Fort Lauderdale and Key West both fun destinations for a couple.

Fort Lauderdale is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Fine dining, beautiful beaches, and great shopping make for a great romantic getaway. Couples and honeymooners love relaxing at the beaches in Fort Lauderdale.

Key West is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Key West a more walkable city?

Fort Lauderdale and Key West both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Fort Lauderdale is very walkable. It is one of the most walkable Florida communities with a boardwalk and several pedestrian areas that are fun to wander around.

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


Fort Lauderdale and Key West: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


Should I spend more time in Key West or Fort Lauderdale?

How long in Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

Both Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Key West is 5-7 days.


  • How many days in Fort Lauderdale or Key West? Ideal Length of Stay
    Fort Lauderdale 3-7 
    Key West 5-7

One day in Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

The beautiful coastal city of Fort Lauderdale offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. 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.

The active destination of Key West offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

Fort Lauderdale 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.

The quaint town of Key West offers scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. The entire area has lots to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

Fort Lauderdale is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Fort Lauderdale, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

Key West is a great place to explore. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This town offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to spend here.

A week in Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

Fort Lauderdale is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. 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 Fort Lauderdale has to offer. This coastal city offers something for everyone.

The active town of Key West offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Which city is cheaper, Key West or Fort Lauderdale?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Fort Lauderdale is $146, 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 Fort Lauderdale and Key West in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fort Lauderdale $77
    Key West $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fort Lauderdale $154
    Key West $212

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $41
    Key West $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Transfer From Fort Lauderdale to Airport/Port: $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: Fort Lauderdale Int. Airport (FLL) to Fort Lauderdale: $28
  • Private Airport Transfer: Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale Int. Airport (FLL): $28
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami Cruise Port Transfer: $34
  • Private Arrival Transfer: FLL Fort Lauderdale Airport to Fort Lauderdale City: $41
  • Private Departure Transfer from Fort Lauderdale City to Fort Lauderdale Airport: $41
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami City or Miami Beach: $55
  • Transfer in Executive Private Vehicle from Fort Lauderdale City to Airport: $57
  • Transfer in Executive Private Vehicle from Fort Lauderdale Airport to City: $57
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Port Everglades - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Port Everglades to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Fort Lauderdale - Arrival Private Transfer: $62

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 Airport Transfer in Key West, Florida: $209
  • 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

Is it cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale or Key West?

Prices for flights to both Key West and Fort Lauderdale 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
    Fort Lauderdale $39
    Key West $308
Typical Food prices in Fort Lauderdale

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Fort Lauderdale:


  • Quick Lunch
    $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Fort Lauderdale

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Fort Lauderdale.

  • All You Can Eat BBQ Dinner and Show at Tropical Isle with Sightseeing Cruise: $60

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.
    Fort Lauderdale $12
    Key West $26

Tours and Activities in Fort Lauderdale

Here are a few actual costs in Fort Lauderdale for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Beach Cruiser Bike Rentals in Fort Lauderdale: $11
  • Fort Lauderdale Historical Walking Tour: $12
  • 1-Hour Interactive Pirate Adventure Cruise in Fort Lauderdale (Family-Friendly): $23
  • 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruises: $23
  • Fort Lauderdale Daily Sightseeing Cruise - On the Venice of America: $27
  • Everglades Eco Adventure: 2-Hour Sawgrass Recreation Park: $28
  • Jungle Queen Sightseeing Cruise: $33
  • Everglades Airboat Tour & Gator Boys Alligator Rescue Show from Fort Lauderdale: $37
  • Ft Lauderdale Cocktail Cruise: $45
  • Island Time Boat Cruise: $45
  • 1-Hour Bike Tour of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park: $47
  • SUP PUP Paddleboard Tour: $47

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
    Fort Lauderdale $27
    Key West $13
Typical Alcohol prices in Fort Lauderdale

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Fort Lauderdale are as follows:


  • Beer
    $7.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Party Bike Bar Crawl: $59

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 Fort Lauderdale and Key West, we can see that Key West is more expensive. And not only is Fort Lauderdale much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Fort Lauderdale would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Fort Lauderdale vs. Key West Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.