Hi @prettyinpink11: Mr TTR and I LOVE the Keys, infact that is where we Eloped to for our Destination Wedding… just the 2 of us marrying on the Beach.
The Keys are spectacular year-round… BUT July will be super-hot and humid !! You can fly in, or drive down along the Overseas Highway (one of the prettiest drives in America). If you fly in to somewhere else in Southern Florida than KW, I suggest Fort Lauderdale over Miami if you have a choice, Miami Airport is a zoo !!
The Overseas Highway is gorgeous. Be sure to have your camera at the ready, cause you’ll take photos as you go. And plan twice as long for the drive vs what you read on Google Maps, because you’ll want to stop here and there along the way… and it is a 2 lane road, one southbound and one northbound, so if there is any accident or delay… it will be slow going (or traffic on a weekend etc)
Accommodations in The Keys are expensive… because it is just like going to the Caribbean (but all the comforts of home). $ 200 or under will be tough, but do-able (most Hotels we’ve found start at about $ 250 or $ 300… depending on WHERE you are in The Keys, proximity to the Waterfront, Beaches, or in KW Duval Street).
If you stay in KW consider looking not at the Brand Name Hotels but the smaller private Hotels, Guest Houses, B&Bs etc. And as I said the farther off Duval the less you’ll pay. BUT it is nice to be within walking distance… because parking a car is a nightmare !! Getting around the island can also be done by Tour Trolly (good way for an overview and getting around at least one day with their hop-on & hop-off service), or you can rent a Bike, Scooter or Moke. Or get around by cab or pedi-cab.
Mr TTR and I like the Southernmost Hotel Group which is at the far east end of Duval… near the Southernmost Marker… but it isn’t cheap accommodations (I’d call it moderate). Stay in the Southernmost Hotel (vs Southernmost on the Beach) and you can still enjoy all the benefits of the Resort. Rooms are clean, and the staff great !!
When you are on TripAdvisor, be sure and check out not only the Reviews Section for Accommodations (Hotels, B&Bs, Rentals etc) – Restaurants – and Things to Do… but also check in on the Forums (like the Boards we have here on WBee) you can chat with Destination Experts and Locals and get great info / feedback and any Questions you have answered personally.
Hope this helps,
PS… Here is a post that I did for another Bee… it has a TON of great info in it.
PPS… I have oodles of info to share… you can always drop me a PM (personal message) here on WBee