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 while not having to hop on a airplane.
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 fuel stations are in operation. Most sights are working – nevertheless, test for restricted hours of operation.
The Miami to Key West drive is 164.4 mi by way of US-1 S and takes 3 hr 30 min with out visitors. You could possibly drive on to Key West from Miami in a single afternoon however that might take all the enjoyable out of visiting the wonderful 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 one of the distinctive street journeys on this planet by means of a sequence of 800 Keys which are related by a sequence of 142 bridges spanning 124 miles. (Word: Not all Keys are reachable by automobile)
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 you could take a look at right here 33 of the Best Things to Do in Key West, Florida. We even have a publish devoted to Miami Learn extra: 30 Fun Things 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 actual 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 really takes place.
Miami to Key West Map
Are you able to discover the most effective stops from Miami to Key West on one of many nice street journeys on this planet? We’ve included a map you could observe alongside in your drive to Key West to make issues simpler.
The drive from Miami to Key West may be executed in 3 1/2 hours however to essentially recognize it, you must take your time and spend the night time on a few Keys earlier than reaching your ultimate vacation spot. The prompt 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 predict that might be a disgrace as the opposite Florida Keys have quite a bit to supply. So even in case you are flying on to Key West, rent a car 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 actual 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 an alternative 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
We extremely suggest renting a car in Miami to your Key West Highway Journey. Test Rental Automotive costs and comparisons at CarRentals.com
Get your Key West Overseas Highway Self Driving Tour that highlights the highest sights 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 large lobster, and Theatre of the Sea. Details here
Toll Roads: Florida has a variety of toll roads and we propose getting a SunPass. All tolls in Florida are collected electronically if you happen to don’t have a Solar Cross, you can be billed using the TOLL-BY-PLATE system the place you can be charged a $25 price on high of the toll. Test the Florida Turnpike website for particulars.
Concerning 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. Essentially 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. Due to that feat of engineering, 3 million guests make their option to the Florida Keys annually.
It’s simple to seek out sights and issues to do on the Abroad Freeway by following the mile markers. The street is well-marked with Mile Marker Zero situated in Key West. When driving south from Key Largo, you’ll be counting down from mile marker 106 letting you understand how far you need 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.
High Issues to See on a Miami to Key West Highway Journey
Our drive to Key West begins on the Miami airport the place you may decide up your rental automobile 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 automobile costs, you may examine charges at CarRentals.com
After touchdown on the Miami Airport, pick up your rental car (a convertible is preferable) and begin your journey in Florida’s most fun 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 gorgeous architectural designs of the Artwork Deco District. Don’t overlook to drive your rental car alongside Ocean Drive and hop on a ship and take a tour of Millionaires Row. There’s a popular 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 includes takes you thru the glitz and glamor of the Artwork Deco District to see historic landmarks corresponding to Versace’s decadent mansion and beloved Hollywood stops showcasing the likes of Miami Vice. For extra Miami sights, learn our publish Things to do in Miami
The place to Keep in Miami
Miami has been a pacesetter in tourism in the US for many years so there’s something for each finances and journey kind. However to get you began, listed here are a couple of of our suggestions.
- Mid-Vary – Proper on the seashore and alongside Ocean Drive, Marriott Stanton is an outstanding alternative 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. Check rates and reviews on Booking.com
- Luxurious – Occupying a complete metropolis block, 1 Lodge South Seaside is the epitome of Miami luxurious. Soak within the expansive floor-to-ceiling ocean views, with beautiful decor and the biggest rooftop pool on the town. Check rates and reviews on Booking.com
- Funds – Miami isn’t a haven for finances vacationers, however Lodge Shelley comes with cozy rooms with Artwork Deco allure. Get pleasure from fashionable facilities, free WiFi, and near all of the motion. Check rates and reviews on Booking.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 variety of endangered species together with the Florida panther.
Positioned simply 30 miles west of Miami, the Everglades Nationwide park is a wetland oasis primed for an eco-adventure and makes for an ideal cease in your Miami to Key West Highway Journey. If you wish to e book a tour from Miami as an alternative of driving, you may e book this non-public tour to discover the immense 1.5 million acres. Details here.
Everglades Nationwide Park additionally provides Airboat excursions so that you get to see every kind of locations whereas cruising by means of the water. The park additionally has trails and 4WD excursions. Learn extra: Best National Parks – USA Edition
The place to remain in Everglades
We advise 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 inexpensive choice glorious place to remain. It’s situated simply off Freeway 1 and makes for an ideal 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 may keep for a full trip if you happen to like! We did this throughout our first journey to the Florida Keys, and my brother did simply final yr when he took an extended 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. Motion pictures and songs have been written about Key Largo, and soak in a few of that nostalgia go to The Caribbean Club. The Caribbean Membership is the oldest bar within the higher keys, relationship again to 1938.
It has seen a variety of motion over the many years, 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 ideal place to cease for some Key Lime Pie, a Bloody Mary or to hearken to some dwell music.
There are many issues to do in Key Largo, so we propose spending not less than the night time right here and trying out a couple 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 seeking to have an journey, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is without doubt one of the high issues to do in Key Largo. It’s house to the one residing coral reef in the US and if you wish to discover underwater, that is the place to go.
What makes snorkeling or scuba diving completely different in Key Largo is you could dive to see “Christ of the Abyss” a nine-foot-tall underwater statue of Christ situated in simply 25 toes of water off the coast of Key Largo.
Book 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 may e book many Key West water sports activities on the lodge.
- Mid Vary – Key Largo Reefhouse Resort – You may by no means go improper with a Marriott. It’s our favourite mid to upper-range lodge chain. It has an onsite marina and dive store providing loads of water sports activities to e book on the lodge.
- Funds – Dove Creek Resort and Marina – This intimate boutique lodge was impressed by Caribbean Hemingway Hideaways. Positioned on the Atlantic Ocean, in Key Largo, Dove Creek lodge sits adjoining to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
5. The Fish Home
A terrific 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 ideal 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 situated beneath Card Sound Bridge which is the previous toll street on an alternate route from Florida Metropolis. As an alternative 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 may order a complete key lime pie to go!
8. Islamorada Key
The subsequent island in your Florida Keys Highway Journey is Islamorada Key. We beloved Islamorada Key a lot, we wrote a complete article about all of the issues to do. Things 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 advise spending an evening on Islamorada Key to essentially take pleasure in its laid-back vibe. Scroll all the way down to see why.
9. Robbie’s Marina
Robbies Marina is the place to be in Islamorada with watersports, eating places, bars, and sights, it’s a place you may spend all the day. Benefit from the day hanging out at Robbie’s Marina. There’s an ideal restaurant, outside outlets and loads of water sports activities go away from right here.
10. Feed the Tarpon
A singular factor to do in Islamorada is to feed the tarpon at Robbie’s. After nursing an injured Tarpon means again in 1976, the pleasant Tarpon named “Scarface” got here again many times for some meals and to say hi there. He finally introduced his pals 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 option 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 may make out the coral reefs and it really is a blast. If you happen to’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 high Florida Keys locations for greater than 40 years. You may’t miss it, simply search for the large rock lobster out entrance.
If you’re staying over or have a chosen driver, don’t miss hitting the beer backyard of the Florida Keys Brewing Firm. We beloved sampling their microbrews. The Florida Keys Brewing Firm additionally has a trip rental the place you may keep. The house owners 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 may discover Duck Key, Decrease Matecumbe Key to the South, and Plantation Key to the North.
- Postcard Inn at Vacation Isle – That is the most well-liked place to remain in Islamorada providing cottages and rooms with Marina and Atlantic Ocean views. There are water sports activities on web site and you’ll e book scuba diving, glass backside boat excursions, and snorkeling journeys. It additionally has the favored Tiki Bar on the seashore so even if you happen to aren’t staying there, be certain that to have a cocktail or slice of Key Lime Pie at this world-famous location.
- Hadley House Resort – We stayed at Vacation Home Resort a boutique resort with cottages. I might suggest staying on the constructing overlooking the water. Cottages are set again from the ocean and the lodge constructing appeared significantly better. Your $25 resort price covers using Get 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 Middle to Aquarium Encounters it has all of the makings for a superb household trip. Marathon can also be the gateway to Seven Mile Bridge and Pigeon Key Island.
There are some good seashores on Marathon Key as properly, 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 Best Beaches in Florida for Fun in the Sun
The place to Keep on Marathon Key
Marathon has a variety of choices for lodging and is extra inexpensive than Key West. You could find resorts starting from luxurious to finances. Lots of people take day journeys to Key West from Marathon.
14. Turtle Hospital
What we suggest visiting is the Turtle Hospital. The Turtle Hospital is without doubt one of the hottest stops on a Miami to Key West drive. This heartwarming cease enables 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 Ways to Help Save the Oceans – World Oceans Day and Beyond
15. Keys Fisheries
Be sure to cease at Keys Fisheries for lunch. We loved chillaxing on the outside 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 biggest segmental bridge on this planet! This lengthy bridge connects the higher Keys to the Decrease Keys.
Be sure to take the ferry throughout to Pigeon Key which was a former work camp of the Florida East Coast Railway. You may catch the ferry over from Pigeon Key Present Store at mile marker 48.
17. Bahia Honda State Park and Large Pine Key
You will 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 almost definitely been an extended drive, however Large Pine Key and Bahia Honda State Park are two nice locations to cease for not less than a couple 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 Middle. These small deer really swim between islands!
If you happen to like seashores, you’ll love Bahia Honda State Park. This state park has practically totally recovered after Hurricane Irma however elements of the park are nonetheless being restored. Bahia Honda State Park has tenting and two seashores of notice. Sandspur Seaside has reopened after Hurricane Irma and has restrooms and pavilions and Calusa Seaside.
18. No Title Pub
Whereas on Large Pine Key, cease for lunch at No Title Pub. This cease is value it simply to see the greenback payments hanging from its ceiling. No Title Pub dates again to 1931 when it was a fishing retailer. In 1936 they a restaurant was added and the No Title Pub was born.
19. Key West
Congratulations! You’ve made it to your ultimate vacation spot in your drive from Miami to Key West which is clearly Key West. Key West is a good place to spend a couple of days taking within the Caribbean environment. Key West now not appears like the US, it appears like a little bit 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 picture op.
21. Watch Sundown at Mallory Sq., Key West
Mallory Sq. is without doubt one of the most occurring locations in Key West and it is a great spot to observe the sundown over the Gulf of Mexico. There are many issues to do in Mallory Sq. as properly, so make sure you head over there in the course of the day. If you’re in search of a enjoyable journey, e book a sundown tour on Aqua bikes to take pleasure in views of Sundown Key and Key West from the water. You may even carry 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 reveals 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. Book your ticket in advance
- The Memorial Sculpture Backyard is situated straight in entrance paying tribute to well-known patrons of the theatre and residents. Take a stroll by means of the strains of sculptures of well-known residents together with the busts of Ernest Hemingway, Harry S Truman, Tennessee Williams, and lots of different vital individuals.
22. Occasion on Duval Road in Key West
It’s no secret that individuals come to Key West for partying, and Duval Road is the place to do it. You may 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 Laborious 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 part of a tour of Duval Road to see the highest bars and eating places whereas making new pals, take a look at this fantastic pub crawl tour that stops at 5 high 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 if you happen to don’t get on the water, you’ll be lacking out. A superb tour is to e book an eco-tour to discover Key West Wildlife Refuge. Go kayaking by means of the mangroves, take pleasure in snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and revel in a sail on an eco-friendly catamaran with Honest Eco Tours.
- Book this top-rated Sundown Tour tour right here free from worries as excursions may be canceled as much as 24 hours upfront with a full refund.
- Look for more water and sunset tours here with Get Your Information to seek out your alternative of floating bars, schooners, and catamarans that may take you out to observe the gorgeous sunsets. They provide last-minute bookings and full refunds on cancellations inside 24 hours of the tour.
One in all our favorite issues to do in Key West was to go to the Positioned (113km) 70 miles from Key West, the Dry Tortugas is without doubt one of the most distant nationwide parks in the US. Learn all about it at Our Key West Vacation with IHG Rewards Club Points
24. Go Dolphin Watching off the Coast of Key West
200 bottlenose dolphins dwell within the heat waters off the Florida Keys and you’ll take a dolphin-watching tour or we had it as a part of our Sincere Eco Tour. When reserving a dolphin or wildlife tour make sure you use a sustainable acknowledged tour operator like Sincere Eco Excursions primarily based out of Key West or You Can e book this Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling Tour in Advance.
25. Mile Marker 0 – Key West
Nicely, you made it! All the best way to Mile Marker 0, the underside of the US. It’s customary to seize a selfie at this signal situated 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 notice that you’ve got accomplished your drive from Miami to Key West. Wasn’t it wonderful?
Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park
You might have reached mile marker 0 however do you need to hold this Miami to Key West street journey going a little bit longer? From Key West, you may attain one of the distant nationwide parks in the US. Positioned (113km) 70 miles south of Key West, Dry Tortugas is a spectacular day journey.
Positioned 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 in the course of the Spanish American Conflict. You may take a day journey out to discover the island and delightful sandy seashores and you’ll even camp in a single day on Backyard Key. Book this cruise from Key West to Dry Tortugas or you may e book a flight to the nationwide park as properly.
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 not possible to e book a room with out reservations. We advise selecting one place to remain and making it your property base to discover the Keys.
La Concha Crown Plaza is the right place to remain within the coronary heart of the motion, is situated straight on Duval Road. The foyer is inside strolling distance from all the highest key west sights. There’s a pool for visitors solely. There’s a luxurious rooftop spa and lovely sundown views. Test for Evaluations and pricing on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
Perry Hotel 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 lodge has elegant rooms overlooking the waterfront. What we beloved about it was the native vibe. Test it out on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
As soon as you might be within the Florida Keys, it’s simple to discover. With Key Largo being the northernmost island, you could need to transfer on to Islamorada or Marathon. Key West is pricier than different keys, so you could need to select a trip rental on one of many smaller keys.
When to do a Highway Journey to Key West from Miami
We’ve got taken a street journey to Key West from Miami in October, November, and December. December is means too busy and you’ll have the very best costs.
November is a quieter time and the climate is nice. It’s also possible to discover extra inexpensive lodging and excursions aren’t booked up.
December to February is the excessive season and also you’ll have larger costs and a variety 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 in depth harm 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 properly. That mentioned, we’ve been to the Keys in October and had wonderful climate. The summer season 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 high stops on a drive from Miami to Key West. The Florida keys are so ample, it’ll take a number of journeys to essentially see all of them. Tell us what we missed and we’ll make sure you add it on throughout our subsequent rip.
Plan Your Highway Journey to Florida the Florida Keys with these different Florida guides