Dave and I’ve taken a Miami to Key West street journey thrice plus as soon as from Miami to Key Largo. With winter in full swing, we thought it was time to replace our Florida Keys street journey itinerary for 2023. This nice American Highway journey is unquestionably one so as to add to your bucket record, and a drive to Key West from Miami will transport you to the Caribbean without having to hop on a aircraft.
Miami to Key West Drive
Hurricane Replace: The Florida Keys stay open after Hurricane Ian with the infrastructure intact. All 142 bridges are open connecting the 124-mile-long island chain. Plus gasoline stations are in operation. Most points of interest are working – nevertheless, examine for restricted hours of operation.
The Miami to Key West drive is 164.4 mi through US-1 S and takes 3 hr 30 min with out site visitors. You can drive on to Key West from Miami in a single afternoon however that might take the entire enjoyable out of visiting the superb stops and the Florida Keys alongside the best way.
Abroad Freeway to Key West
When driving from Miami to Key West, you can be taking some of the distinctive street journeys on the earth via a sequence of 800 Keys which are related by a collection of 142 bridges spanning 124 miles. (Notice: Not all Keys are reachable by automotive)
The Key West Abroad Freeway is 113 miles lengthy. This chain of islands off the southern coast of Florida divides the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico and every Key has its personal actions and advantages for visiting.
As you head south to Key West, take your time to essentially soak within the expertise. At instances, you’ll be utterly surrounded by water. Briefly, the drive to Key West is as spectacular as it’s distinctive.
We’ve shared some enjoyable issues to do in Key West that you would be able to take a look at right here 33 of the Finest Issues to Do in Key West, Florida. We even have a put up devoted to Miami Learn extra: 30 Enjoyable Issues to do in Miami, Florida. These are nice assets to learn earlier than you start your Miami to Key West drive.
Whereas the Miami to Key West drive is 164 miles, the true street journey begins on the gateway to the Florida Keys. Whereas this street journey information begins in Miami, it focuses extra on the stops from Key Largo to Key West as that’s the place the majority of the enjoyable actually takes place.
Miami to Key West Map
Are you able to discover the perfect stops from Miami to Key West on one of many nice street journeys on the earth? We’ve included a map that you would be able to observe alongside in your drive to Key West to make issues simpler.
The drive from Miami to Key West might be performed in 3 1/2 hours however to essentially admire it, it is best to take your time and spend the night time on a few Keys earlier than reaching your closing vacation spot. The recommended period of time for a Miami to Key West street journey is 7 days.
Key West is a vacation spot unto itself and many individuals fly on to the Key West Worldwide Airport with out ever leaving the island. Regardless that we love Key West, we expect that might be a disgrace as the opposite Florida Keys have rather a lot to supply. So even in case you are flying on to Key West, hire a automotive for a day or two to see these different stops within the Florida Keys.
Suggestions for Driving From Miami to Key West
When you get to the south of the mainland in your drive from Miami to Key West, the true street journey begins simply previous Florida Metropolis crossing over Jewfish Creek. Crossing that first bridge is thrilling. It feels such as you’re heading to the Caribbean however as a substitute of a five-hour flight, you’re driving straight to the tropics!
You may be following mile markers for reference all through your street journey together with your abroad freeway. You formally enter the Florida Keys at Mile Marker 127 at Florida Metropolis with is on the Junction of the Florida Turnpike and U.S. 1. You’ll then observe the mile markers all the best way to Mile Marker 0 in Key West.
Key West Abroad Freeway Self-Diving Tour
Get your Key West Abroad Freeway Self Driving Tour that highlights the highest points of interest from Miami to Key West together with Hollywood landmark the African Queen riverboat to Plantation Key, the Smuggler’s Haven. It additionally offers ideas to take a look at Large Betsy, the enormous lobster, and Theatre of the Sea. Particulars right here
Toll Roads: Florida has plenty of toll roads and we recommend getting a SunPass. All tolls in Florida are collected electronically in case you don’t have a Solar Cross, you can be billed using the TOLL-BY-PLATE system the place you can be charged a $25 charge on prime of the toll. Test the Florida Turnpike web site for particulars.
In regards to the Key West Abroad Freeway
The Miami to Key West drive then takes you thru Islamorada and on to Anne’s Seaside, Lengthy Key, and Marathon till you attain Key West.
There are 42 bridges connecting 34 of the 800 keys from the mainland to Key West spanning 124 miles. Probably the most well-known bridge on the street journey from Miami to Key West is the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon.
Abroad Freeway to Key West Historical past
Constructed within the Nineteen Thirties the Abroad Freeway adopted the East Coast Railroad line which was broken by a hurricane. Because of that feat of engineering, 3 million guests make their technique to the Florida Keys annually.
It’s straightforward to seek out points of interest and issues to do on the Abroad Freeway by following the mile markers. The street is well-marked with Mile Marker Zero positioned in Key West. When driving south from Key Largo, you’ll be counting down from mile marker 106 letting you understand how far it’s important to go to Key West. Good!
Now that you’ve got a little bit of background on the freeway, let’s see what there may be to do on a Miami to Key West street journey.
Prime Issues to See on a Miami to Key West Highway Journey
Our drive to Key West begins on the Miami airport the place you possibly can decide up your rental automotive to begin this iconic street journey and drive all the best way to the southernmost tip of the Continental United States in Key West. How cool is that? For rental automotive costs, you possibly can examine charges at CarRentals.com
After touchdown on the Miami Airport, decide up your rental automotive (a convertible is preferable) and begin your journey in Florida’s most enjoyable metropolis. No journey to South Florida can be full with out seeing the glitz and glamor of Miami.
Take a stroll alongside the white sands of South Seaside and discover the attractive architectural designs of the Artwork Deco District. Don’t neglect to drive your rental automotive alongside Ocean Drive and hop on a ship and take a tour of Millionaires Row. There’s a fashionable cruise that takes you by the estates, with nice return views of the Miami skyline. And ensure to take a look at Miami’s nightlife.
This highly-rated tour contains takes you thru the glitz and glamor of the Artwork Deco District to see historic landmarks reminiscent of Versace’s decadent mansion and beloved Hollywood stops showcasing the likes of Miami Vice. For extra Miami points of interest, learn our put up Issues to do in Miami
The place to Keep in Miami
Miami has been a pacesetter in tourism in the USA for many years so there’s something for each finances and journey kind. However to get you began, listed here are a number of of our suggestions.
- Mid-Vary – Proper on the seashore and alongside Ocean Drive, Marriott Stanton is an excellent selection for touring households. Benefit from two on-site swimming pools, spas, saunas, and a fitness center with the seashore and eating places all inside strolling distance. Test charges and critiques on Reserving.com
- Luxurious – Occupying a complete metropolis block, 1 Resort South Seaside is the epitome of Miami luxurious. Soak within the expansive floor-to-ceiling ocean views, with beautiful decor and the most important rooftop pool on the town. Test charges and critiques on Reserving.com
- Price range – Miami isn’t a haven for finances vacationers, however Resort Shelley comes with cozy rooms with Artwork Deco allure. Get pleasure from trendy facilities, free WiFi, and near all of the motion. Test charges and critiques on Reserving.com
2. Everglades Nationwide Park
Since you might be driving, you may make a detour out of your Miami to Key West drive and see Everglades Nationwide Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Web site is an Worldwide Biosphere Reserve and is house to a lot of endangered species together with the Florida panther.
Situated simply 30 miles west of Miami, the Everglades Nationwide park is a wetland oasis primed for an eco-adventure and makes for an important cease in your Miami to Key West Highway Journey. If you wish to ebook a tour from Miami as a substitute of driving, you possibly can ebook this personal tour to discover the immense 1.5 million acres. Particulars right here.
Everglades Nationwide Park additionally affords Airboat excursions so that you get to see every kind of locations whereas cruising via the water. The park additionally has trails and 4WD excursions. Learn extra: Finest Nationwide Parks – USA Version
The place to remain in Everglades
We recommend staying in Miami or Key Largo and making a day journey to Everglades Nationwide Park. However Florida Metropolis is a good cease to interrupt up your Miami to Key West Drive and is near each the Florida Keys and Everglades.
- Travelodge by Wyndham in Florida Metropolis is an reasonably priced possibility wonderful place to remain. It’s positioned simply off Freeway 1 and makes for an important gateway to the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
- Home2 Suites by Hilton – Is one other good selection within the coronary heart of Florida Metropolis.
3. Key Largo
Issues are getting thrilling now. The primary cease off the mainland out of your Miami to Key West street journey is Key Largo. you possibly can keep for a full trip in case you like! We did this throughout our first journey to the Florida Keys, and my brother did simply final yr when he took a protracted street journey all the best way from Canada to Key West. They made a base in Key Largo and explored the encompassing islands and even did a full-day journey to Key West with Key Largo as their base.
Key Largo is fairly superior. Films and songs have been written about Key Largo, and soak in a few of that nostalgia go to The Caribbean Membership. The Caribbean Membership is the oldest bar within the higher keys, relationship again to 1938.
It has seen plenty of motion over the a long time, most notably internet hosting Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall as they filmed the film Key Largo. It’s nonetheless a family-run enterprise and an important place to cease for some Key Lime Pie, a Bloody Mary or to take heed to some stay music.
There are many issues to do in Key Largo, so we recommend spending not less than the night time right here and testing a number of of the gadgets we’re about to say as you observe alongside on this Miami to Key West street journey.
- Miami to Key Largo is roughly 70 miles and takes 1 hour and quarter-hour to drive.
4. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
If you’re trying to have an journey, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is among the prime issues to do in Key Largo. It’s house to the one dwelling coral reef in the USA and if you wish to discover underwater, that is the place to go.
What makes snorkeling or scuba diving totally different in Key Largo is that you would be able to dive to see “Christ of the Abyss” a nine-foot-tall underwater statue of Christ positioned in simply 25 toes of water off the coast of Key Largo.
Guide this snorkeling tour from Key Largo – this half-day tour takes you to essentially the most lovely places within the Florida Keys Nationwide Marine Sanctuary and Pennekamp State Park. Discover the coral reefs of Molasses, Elbow, French Reef, and the well-known Christ of the Abyss on Dry Rocks.
The place to Keep in Key Largo
- Luxurious – Playa Largo Resort – The Playa Largo Resort and Spa has luxurious rooms, bungalows, and a seashore home. You’ll be able to ebook many Key West water sports activities on the resort.
- Mid Vary – Key Largo Reefhouse Resort – You’ll be able to by no means go fallacious with a Marriott. It’s our favourite mid to upper-range resort chain. It has an onsite marina and dive store providing loads of water sports activities to ebook on the resort.
- Price range – Dove Creek Resort and Marina – This intimate boutique resort was impressed by Caribbean Hemingway Hideaways. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, in Key Largo, Dove Creek lodge sits adjoining to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
5. The Fish Home
An ideal cease for lunch is the Fish Home to seize a staple Florida Keys dish of Conch Fritters, fish tacos, and Florida lobster and stone crab. It’s an important environment and has been a Key Largo staple since 1982. We loved a starter of coconut shrimp adopted by a scrumptious portion of Mahi Mahi.
6. Alabama Jack’s
One other quirky place that may solely be discovered en path to the Florida Keys is Alabama Jacks. Sitting between two barges within the mangroves, it’s famend for its conch fritters.
Widespread with motorcyclists Alabama Jack’s is positioned underneath Card Sound Bridge which is the outdated toll street on an alternate route from Florida Metropolis. As a substitute of taking Freeway 1, take 905A card sound street. However be warned, you could have the money to cross the toll bridge.
7. Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen
For a novel and scrumptious slice of Key Lime Pie head to Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen that was so good its develop into well-known within the higher keys. You’ll be able to order a complete key lime pie to go!
8. Islamorada Key
The following island in your Florida Keys Highway Journey is Islamorada Key. We liked Islamorada Key a lot, we wrote a complete article about all of the issues to do. Issues to do in Islamorada. However simply in case you don’t need to click on off of our street journey itinerary, let’s undergo all of the issues that you just can’t miss.
We recommend spending an evening on Islamorada Key to essentially take pleasure in its laid-back vibe. Scroll right down to see why.
9. Robbie’s Marina
Robbies Marina is the place to be in Islamorada with watersports, eating places, bars, and points of interest, it’s a place you possibly can spend your complete day. Benefit from the day hanging out at Robbie’s Marina. There’s an important restaurant, out of doors retailers and loads of water sports activities go away from right here.
10. Feed the Tarpon
A novel factor to do in Islamorada is to feed the tarpon at Robbie’s. After nursing an injured Tarpon method again in 1976, the pleasant Tarpon named “Scarface” got here again time and again for some meals and to say howdy. He ultimately introduced his mates and the tarpon have been coming to the docks ever since to leap out of the water for a tasty deal with.
Parasailing within the Florida Keys is an incredible technique to see the bridges and keys from above. It’s a beautiful view to see the bridges spanning over blue waters with islands dotting the panorama.
You can also make out the coral reefs and it actually is a blast. When you’ve by no means gone parasailing earlier than, that is the place to do it. Parasailing with Sundance Watersports.
12. Different issues to do on Islamorada
If you wish to do some procuring, head into Rain Barrel Sculpture Gallery at Rain Barrel Village, it’s been one of many prime Florida Keys locations for greater than 40 years. You’ll be able to’t miss it, simply search for the enormous rock lobster out entrance.
If you’re staying over or have a delegated driver, don’t miss hitting the beer backyard of the Florida Keys Brewing Firm. We liked sampling their microbrews. The Florida Keys Brewing Firm additionally has a trip rental the place you possibly can keep. The homeowners are tremendous pleasant and get this, he’s Canadian!
The place to Keep in Islamorada
Islamorada is a good place to make a base earlier than heading farther south. From right here you possibly can discover Duck Key, Decrease Matecumbe Key to the South, and Plantation Key to the North.
- Postcard Inn at Vacation Isle – That is the preferred place to remain in Islamorada providing cottages and rooms with Marina and Atlantic Ocean views. There are water sports activities on website and you may ebook scuba diving, glass backside boat excursions, and snorkeling journeys. It additionally has the favored Tiki Bar on the seashore so even in case you aren’t staying there, make sure that to have a cocktail or slice of Key Lime Pie at this world-famous location.
- Hadley Home Resort – We stayed at Vacation Home Resort a boutique resort with cottages. I’d advocate staying on the constructing overlooking the water. Cottages are set again from the ocean and the resort constructing appeared significantly better. Your $25 resort charge covers using Rise up paddleboards and kayaks. There’s parking and a pool.
Marathon is a metropolis that spreads throughout a number of Florida Keys. Beginning simply previous Duck Key it spans throughout seven keys: Knight’s Key, Boot Key, Key Vaca, Fats Deer Key, Lengthy Level Key, Crawl Key, and Grassy Key islands.
From the Dolphin Analysis Heart to Aquarium Encounters it has all of the makings for a great household trip. Marathon can be the gateway to Seven Mile Bridge and Pigeon Key Island.
There are some good seashores on Marathon Key as effectively, Sombrero Seaside and Coco Plum Seaside are good locations to hang around. And there’s a canine park which is an efficient cease in case you are touring with pets. Learn 18 Finest Seashores in Florida for Enjoyable within the Solar
The place to Keep on Marathon Key
Marathon has plenty of choices for lodging and is extra reasonably priced than Key West. You will discover accommodations starting from luxurious to finances. Lots of people take day journeys to Key West from Marathon.
14. Turtle Hospital
What we advocate visiting is the Turtle Hospital. The Turtle Hospital is among the hottest stops on a Miami to Key West drive. This heartwarming cease permits you to see the work that goes into the rehabilitation of injured sea turtles. We love supporting initiatives like this and proceeds to your guided tour and entrance go to assist save the ocean turtles. Learn extra: 10 Methods to Assist Save the Oceans – World Oceans Day and Past
15. Keys Fisheries
Be certain that to cease at Keys Fisheries for lunch. We loved chillaxing on the out of doors patio. It’s a quick meals joint the place you order from a window after which discover a picnic desk within the packed restaurant. Get the grilled Mahi Mahi, Conch Chowder, or its signature dish, the Lobster Reuben.
16. Seven Mile Bridge
Leaving Marathon Key, Seven Mile Bridge is the most important segmental bridge on the earth! This lengthy bridge connects the higher Keys to the Decrease Keys.
Be certain that to take the ferry throughout to Pigeon Key which was a former work camp of the Florida East Coast Railway. You’ll be able to catch the ferry over from Pigeon Key Reward Store at mile marker 48.
17. Bahia Honda State Park and Large Pine Key
You might have now entered the Decrease Keys. You’ve made it farther than most, so hold going! Coming throughout 7 Mile Bridge, most individuals b-line it to Key West because it’s most definitely been a protracted drive, however Large Pine Key and Bahia Honda State Park are two nice locations to cease for not less than a number of hours.
Do you know that there are wild deer within the Florida Keys? Large Pine Key homes the endangered Key deer, and they’re protected by Nationwide Key Deer Refuge Nature Heart. These small deer really swim between islands!
When you like seashores, you’re going to love Bahia Honda State Park. This state park has practically absolutely recovered after Hurricane Irma however components of the park are nonetheless being restored. Bahia Honda State Park has tenting and two seashores of word. Sandspur Seaside has reopened after Hurricane Irma and has restrooms and pavilions and Calusa Seaside.
18. No Identify Pub
Whereas on Large Pine Key, cease for lunch at No Identify Pub. This cease is price it simply to see the greenback payments hanging from its ceiling. No Identify Pub dates again to 1931 when it was a fishing retailer. In 1936 they a restaurant was added and the No Identify Pub was born.
19. Key West
Congratulations! You’ve made it to your closing vacation spot in your drive from Miami to Key West which is clearly Key West. Key West is a good place to spend a number of days taking within the Caribbean environment. Key West not looks like the USA, it looks like slightly slice of the tropics.
20. Southernmost Level – Key West
The very first thing most guests do in Key West is head to the Southernmost Level marker. That is the southernmost level on mainland USA and everybody that makes it to Key West stops right here for his or her required photograph op.
21. Watch Sundown at Mallory Sq., Key West
Mallory Sq. is among the most occurring locations in Key West and it is a great spot to look at the sundown over the Gulf of Mexico. There are many issues to do in Mallory Sq. as effectively, so you’ll want to head over there throughout the day. If you’re on the lookout for a enjoyable journey, ebook a sundown tour on Aqua bikes to take pleasure in views of Sundown Key and Key West from the water. You’ll be able to even deliver two drinks together with you.
- The Maritime Museum – The Mel Fisher Heritage Maritime Museum shows many artifacts from Seventeenth-century ships.
- The Waterfront Playhouse – The longest-running theatre in Florida has nightly rotating exhibits all yr lengthy.
- Key West Shipwreck and Treasure Museum – There’s a 65-foot lookout tower, shipwreck artifacts, and actors recreating the Seventeenth-century really feel wearing interval clothes. Guide your ticket prematurely
- The Memorial Sculpture Backyard is positioned immediately in entrance paying tribute to well-known patrons of the theatre and residents. Take a stroll via the strains of sculptures of well-known residents together with the busts of Ernest Hemingway, Harry S Truman, Tennessee Williams, and plenty of different essential folks.
22. Celebration on Duval Road in Key West
It’s no secret that folks come to Key West for partying, and Duval Road is the place to do it. You’ll be able to go bar hopping all night time lengthy on Duval Road. A few of our favorites are Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, (no journey to Key West can be full with out visiting Jimmy Buffet’s) and the Arduous Rock Cafe, Lucy’s Retired Surf Bar, Sloppy Joes, Virgillios, Rick’s Café, and our private favourite The Wine O Bar and Lounge.
If you wish to be a part of a tour of Duval Road to see the highest bars and eating places whereas making new mates, take a look at this improbable pub crawl tour that stops at 5 prime rated pubs with a cocktail at every cease.
23. Get on the Water in Key West
Journey lovers will take pleasure in Key West and in case you don’t get on the water, you’ll be lacking out. A wonderful tour is to ebook an eco-tour to discover Key West Wildlife Refuge. Go kayaking via the mangroves, take pleasure in snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and revel in a sail on an eco-friendly catamaran with Trustworthy Eco Excursions.
- Guide this top-rated Sundown Tour tour right here free from worries as excursions might be canceled as much as 24 hours prematurely with a full refund.
- Search for extra water and sundown excursions right here with Get Your Information to seek out your selection of floating bars, schooners, and catamarans that can take you out to look at the beautiful sunsets. They provide last-minute bookings and full refunds on cancellations inside 24 hours of the tour.
Considered one of our favorite issues to do in Key West was to go to the Situated (113km) 70 miles from Key West, the Dry Tortugas is among the most distant nationwide parks in the USA. Learn all about it at Our Key West Trip with IHG Rewards Membership Factors
24. Go Dolphin Watching off the Coast of Key West
200 bottlenose dolphins stay within the heat waters off the Florida Keys and you may take a dolphin-watching tour or we had it as a part of our Trustworthy Eco Tour. When reserving a dolphin or wildlife tour you’ll want to use a sustainable acknowledged tour operator like Trustworthy Eco Excursions based mostly out of Key West or You Can ebook this Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling Tour in Advance.
25. Mile Marker 0 – Key West
Effectively, you made it! All the best way to Mile Marker 0, the underside of the USA. It’s customary to seize a selfie at this signal positioned on Whitehead Road simply south of Duval Road.
You’ve earned it. That is the top of the road and a well-liked place to make word that you’ve got accomplished your drive from Miami to Key West. Wasn’t it superb?
Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park
You will have reached mile marker 0 however do you need to hold this Miami to Key West street journey going slightly longer? From Key West, you possibly can attain some of the distant nationwide parks in the USA. Situated (113km) 70 miles south of Key West, Dry Tortugas is a spectacular day journey.
Situated in the midst of the Gulf of Mexico, Dry Tortugas can solely be reached by boat or seaplane. It was used as a fort between 1845 and 1876 to defend throughout the Spanish American Warfare. You’ll be able to take a day journey out to discover the island and exquisite sandy seashores and you may even camp in a single day on Backyard Key. Guide this cruise from Key West to Dry Tortugas or you possibly can ebook a flight to the nationwide park as effectively.
The place to Keep in Key West
There are various locations to remain within the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West. However in excessive season it may be practically inconceivable to ebook a room with out reservations. We recommend selecting one place to remain and making it your property base to discover the Keys.
La Concha Crown Plaza is the proper place to remain within the coronary heart of the motion, is positioned immediately on Duval Road. The foyer is inside strolling distance from all the highest key west points of interest. There’s a pool for visitors solely. There’s a luxurious rooftop spa and beautiful sundown views. Test for Evaluations and pricing on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
Perry Resort Key West is a quiet retreat on the marina of Inventory Island. Inventory Island is an extension of Key West that feels worlds away. This boutique resort has elegant rooms overlooking the waterfront. What we liked about it was the native vibe. Test it out on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
As soon as you might be within the Florida Keys, it’s straightforward to discover. With Key Largo being the northernmost island, you might need to transfer on to Islamorada or Marathon. Key West is pricier than different keys, so you might need to select a trip rental on one of many smaller keys.
When to do a Highway Journey to Key West from Miami
We now have taken a street journey to Key West from Miami in October, November, and December. December is method too busy and you’re going to have the best costs.
November is a quieter time and the climate is nice. You can even discover extra reasonably priced lodging and excursions aren’t booked up.
December to February is the excessive season and also you’ll have greater costs and plenty of crowds. However you might be just about assured good climate.
Late February to April is one other good time to go to for decrease charges and good climate.
June to November is hurricane season and it is very important plan accordingly. Hurricane Irma did intensive injury to the Florida Keys in 2017 nevertheless it has recovered properly. This yr Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian however the Florida Keys managed that hurricane quie effectively. That mentioned, we’ve been to the Keys in October and had superb climate. The summer time months are scorching and moist.
We had been additionally in Key West for Fantasy Fest in October. This can be a busy time, however it’s a distinctive time to go to to see the loopy characters that stroll the streets.
And these are our prime stops on a drive from Miami to Key West. The Florida keys are so ample, it should take a number of journeys to essentially see all of them. Tell us what we missed and we’ll you’ll want to add it on throughout our subsequent rip.
Plan Your Highway Journey to Florida the Florida Keys with these different Florida guides