Being carless in Key West sounds like a flawless plan. And it is, in the beginning.
A hassle-free 3.5 hour ferry ride from Fort Myers gets me to the city. Once on dry land, I wheel my suitcase to Knowles House, one of several bed and breakfasts within a few blocks of the terminal. (If your hotel isn't close enough to hoof it, grab a taxi.)
So now I've lost my ride home.
I call four rental car agencies before finding one with a car available one way. Problem solved, I head out to enjoy the city. The airport, where my rental car awaits, is nearly 3.5 miles away, but I know I won't be biking or walking.
I might be carless, but I can still call a cab.
IF YOU GO
The Key West Express: This ferry service to Key West runs year round from Fort Myers and from December through April from Marco Island. Boat leaves at 8:30 a.m. and arrives at Key West at noon. Return is at 6 p.m. or catch the boat back another day.
Amenities: Three boats, two catamarans and one monohull, offer air-conditioned interiors and outdoor sun decks. Food and drinks available. Flat screen TVs provide entertainment. Bring a book, video games or cards for more diversion.
Baggage: Two small carry-ons per person. $10 extra for bigger pieces. Bikes and/or contained pets: $30 round trip for each.
Contingency plan: Bad weather can keep the ferry from running. If you're on a schedule, you might have to drive down. If you're already there, you've lost your ride back.
Cost: Round trip fares vary with specials offered: $99 to $145. One-way: $85.50. Parking: $5 daily in Fort Myers; free at Marco Island. Only full-fare tickets are refundable. Otherwise, your unused ticket is good for two years from purchase date.
Contact: seakeywest.com; 888-539-2628