A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Key West vs. Sarasota for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Key West or Sarasota?

Should I visit Key West or Sarasota? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Key West

Key West is both a city and an island as well as the southern most Florida Key. It is also the southern most city in the continental United States. The island is only about four miles long and one mile wide. The total land mass covers just 4.2 square miles. The most famous street in town is Duval Street, which runs just 1.1 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. There are 14 blocks. The size of the island doubled during the 1950s when many of the salt ponds along the eastern side of the island were filled in.

Sarasota

Located on the Gulf Coast of southwest Florida, Sarasota is a popular city known for its thriving arts scene, selection of restaurants, plenty of shopping, and beautiful beaches. The metropolitan area is a hub of city culture, while the beaches offer escapes of fine white sand and aqua waters.

Which city is cheaper, Sarasota or Key West?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Key West is $170, while the average daily cost in Sarasota is $279. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Key West and Sarasota in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $106. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Key West the cost is $212 on average.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Sarasota, $332 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Sarasota, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $166, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Key West $106
    Sarasota $166
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Key West $212
    Sarasota $332

Food

The price of a meal in Key West can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $38 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The price of a meal in Sarasota can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $110 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $44 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Key West $38
    Sarasota $110

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: $69
  • Private Secret Food Tour of Key West: $103
  • Secret Food Tour of Key West w/ Private Tour Option: $221

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sarasota

For Sarasota, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Downtown Walking Food Tour in Sarasota: $99

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Key West is $41 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Key West $41
    Sarasota -
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:

  • Private Airport Transfer in Key West, Florida: $209
  • Round-Trip Transfer: Fort Lauderdale to Key West: $198
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Key West Airport: $116
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Key West Airport to Hotel: $116
  • Key West International Airport One Way Transfer: $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sarasota

Also for Sarasota, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Sarasota Airport SRQ: $32
  • Private Departure Transfer to Sarasota Airport SRQ: $32
  • Sarasota to Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $112
  • Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Arrival Private Transfer: $112
  • Sarasota Airport to Hotel Private Transfer: $133
  • Sarasota Private Transfer - Hotel to Airport: $133
  • Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $224
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $453
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $615
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Port Canaveral: $658

Is it cheaper to fly into Key West or Sarasota?

Prices for flights to both Sarasota and Key West 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.





Entertainment

Key West's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $26 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing expenses in Sarasota, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $9.08 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Key West $26
    Sarasota $9.08

Tours and Activities in Key West

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

  • 2 Hour Private Highlights of Key West Walking Tour: $99
  • 2-Hour Private Sunset Cruise around Key West: $200
  • 2-Hour Private Sunset Cruise on Tiki Bar Boat in Key West: $457
  • 4-Hour Private Sand Bar Cruise on a Tiki Bar Boat in Key West: $565
  • 6th Sense Haunted Tour of Key West: $25
  • Adults only Champagne Celebration Sunset Cruise from Key West: $79
  • All-Inclusive Water Adventure Excursion in Key West: $129
  • Booze Cruise Key West Private Charter: $248
  • Cultural Walking Tour of Key West with Food and Drink Tastings: $240
  • Do It All Watersports Adventure with Lunch: $148
  • Easy Stroll Audio Tour Downtown Key West: $7.99
  • Florida Keys Afternoon Reef Snorkel & Sail Adventure: $69

Tours and Activities in Sarasota

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sarasota.

  • Public Art Tour: $39
  • Psychic Sunday Tour: $40
  • City Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota: $43
  • Tiki Trivia Trolley Tour with Local Performer and Guide: $43
  • Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota for Private Groups & Corporate Events: $45
  • Infamous Sarasota - Happy Hour City Trolley Tour: $46
  • Sarasota Bay & Lido Key BEST Mangrove Kayak Tour: $50
  • Kayak Tour through Mangrove Tunnels: $51
  • Paddleboard or Kayak Tour Through Mangrove Tunnels: $51
  • Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Ecotour: $51
  • Scenic Paddling Tour with Gourmet lunch on the Beach included: $60
  • Sunset Cruise Private Charter in Sarasota: $60

Alcohol

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Key West per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Key West $13
    Sarasota -

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 Key West and Sarasota, we can see that Sarasota is more expensive. And not only is Key West much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Key West would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Key West 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 Sarasota would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sarasota than you might in Key West.

Budget Your Trip

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Key West vs. Sarasota Travel Comparison

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