Dave and I’ve taken a Miami to Key West street journey 3 times 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 Road journey is unquestionably one 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-lengthy island chain. Plus fuel stations are in operation. Most sights 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 might drive instantly to Key West from Miami in a single afternoon however that will 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’ll be taking some of the distinctive street journeys on the earth by way of a sequence of 800 Keys which are related by a sequence 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 actually soak within the expertise. At occasions, you’ll be fully 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 may take a look at right here 33 of the Best Things to Do in Key West, Florida. We even have a submit devoted to Miami Learn extra: 30 Fun Things to do in Miami, Florida. These are nice sources 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 really takes place.
Miami to Key West Map
Are you prepared 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 may observe alongside in your drive to Key West to make issues simpler.
The drive from Miami to Key West will be achieved in 3 1/2 hours however to actually admire it, you must take your time and spend the evening on a few Keys earlier than reaching your ultimate vacation spot. The instructed 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 instantly to the Key West Worldwide Airport with out ever leaving the island. Although we love Key West, we expect that will be a disgrace as the opposite Florida Keys have loads to supply. So even if you’re flying instantly 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 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 5-hour flight, you’re driving straight to the tropics!
You can 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 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 Massive Betsy, the large lobster, and Theatre of the Sea. Details here
Toll Roads: Florida has a variety of toll roads and we recommend getting a SunPass. All tolls in Florida are collected electronically in the event you don’t have a Solar Cross, you’ll be billed using the TOLL-BY-PLATE system the place you’ll be charged a $25 price on high of the toll. Test the Florida Turnpike website 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. 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 Thirties the Abroad Freeway adopted the East Coast Railroad line which was broken by a hurricane. Thanks to that feat of engineering, 3 million guests make their method to the Florida Keys annually.
It’s straightforward to discover sights and issues to do on the Abroad Freeway by following the mile markers. The street is effectively-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 you may have to go to Key West. Good!
Now that you’ve a little bit of background on the freeway, let’s see what there’s to do on a Miami to Key West street journey.
High Issues to See on a Miami to Key West Road Trip
Our drive to Key West begins on the Miami airport the place you’ll be able to choose 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’ll be able to 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 submit Things 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 funds 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. Take advantage of two on-web site swimming pools, spas, saunas, and a health club with the seashore and eating places all inside strolling distance. Check rates and reviews on Booking.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 biggest rooftop pool on the town. Check rates and reviews on Booking.com
- Price range – Miami isn’t a haven for funds vacationers, however Resort Shelley comes with cozy rooms with Artwork Deco attraction. Get pleasure from fashionable facilities, free WiFi, and shut to all of the motion. Check rates and reviews on Booking.com
2. Everglades Nationwide Park
Since you’re driving, you can also 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 numerous 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-journey and makes for an incredible cease in your Miami to Key West Road Trip. If you would like to e book a tour from Miami as a substitute of driving, you’ll be able to e book this personal tour to discover the immense 1.5 million acres. Details here.
Everglades Nationwide Park additionally gives Airboat excursions so that you get to see every kind of locations whereas cruising by way of the water. The park additionally has trails and 4WD excursions. Learn extra: Best National Parks – USA Edition
The place to keep in Everglades
We propose staying in Miami or Key Largo and making a day journey to Everglades Nationwide Park. However Florida Metropolis is a superb cease to break up your Miami to Key West Drive and is shut to each the Florida Keys and Everglades.
- Travelodge by Wyndham in Florida Metropolis is an inexpensive choice wonderful place to keep. It’s positioned simply off Freeway 1 and makes for an incredible gateway to the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
- Home2 Suites by Hilton – Is one other sensible choice 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’ll be able to keep for a full trip in the event 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 encircling 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 a long time, most notably internet hosting Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall as they filmed the film Key Largo. It’s nonetheless a household-run enterprise and an incredible place to cease for some Key Lime Pie, a Bloody Mary or to pay attention to some dwell music.
There are many issues to do in Key Largo, so we recommend spending no less than the evening right here and trying out a couple of of the objects we’re about to point out 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 high issues to do in Key Largo. It’s house to the one residing coral reef in the USA and if you would like to discover underwater, that is the place to go.
What makes snorkeling or scuba diving totally different in Key Largo is that you may dive to see “Christ of the Abyss” a 9-foot-tall underwater statue of Christ positioned 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 probably the most stunning 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 e book many Key West water sports activities on the lodge.
- Mid Vary – Key Largo Reefhouse Resort – You’ll be able to by no means go mistaken with a Marriott. It’s our favourite mid to higher-vary lodge chain. It has an onsite marina and dive store providing loads of water sports activities to e book on the lodge.
- Price range – 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
An incredible 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 incredible ambiance 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 route to the Florida Keys is Alabama Jacks. Sitting between two barges within the mangroves, it’s famend for its conch fritters.
In style with motorcyclists Alabama Jack’s is positioned beneath Card Sound Bridge which is the previous 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 want to have the money to cross the toll bridge.
7. Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen
For a singular and scrumptious slice of Key Lime Pie head to Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen that was so good its turn into well-known within the higher keys. You’ll be able to order an entire key lime pie to go!
8. Islamorada Key
The following island in your Florida Keys Road Trip 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 not miss.
We propose spending an evening on Islamorada Key to actually take pleasure in its laid-again vibe. Scroll 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’ll be able to spend the whole day. Benefit from the day hanging out at Robbie’s Marina. There’s an incredible restaurant, out of doors outlets and loads of water sports activities depart 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 repeatedly for some meals and to say whats up. He ultimately introduced his associates 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 method to see the bridges and keys from above. It’s a stunning 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. In case 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 would like to do some buying, 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’ll be able to’t miss it, simply search for the large 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 beloved sampling their microbrews. The Florida Keys Brewing Firm additionally has a trip rental the place you’ll be able to keep. The house owners are tremendous pleasant and get this, he’s Canadian!
The place to Keep in Islamorada
Islamorada is a superb place to make a base earlier than heading farther south. From right here you’ll be able to 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 keep in Islamorada providing cottages and rooms with Marina and Atlantic Ocean views. There are water sports activities on web site and you may e book scuba diving, glass backside boat excursions, and snorkeling journeys. It additionally has the favored Tiki Bar on the seashore so even in the event you aren’t staying there, make certain to have a cocktail or slice of Key Lime Pie at this world-well-known location.
- Hadley House Resort – We stayed at Vacation Home Resort a boutique resort with cottages. I’d suggest staying on the constructing overlooking the water. Cottages are set again from the ocean and the lodge constructing appeared a lot better. Your $25 resort price 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 Middle to Aquarium Encounters it has all of the makings for a great 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 effectively, Sombrero Seaside and Coco Plum Seaside are good locations to hang around. And there’s a canine park which is an efficient cease if you’re 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. Yow will discover resorts starting from luxurious to funds. 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 among the hottest stops on a Miami to Key West drive. This heartwarming cease allows you to see the work that goes into the rehabilitation of injured sea turtles. We love supporting tasks like this and proceeds in 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
Ensure 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 biggest segmental bridge on the earth! This lengthy bridge connects the higher Keys to the Decrease Keys.
Ensure 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 Massive Pine Key
You’ve gotten now entered the Decrease Keys. You’ve made it farther than most, so maintain going! Coming throughout 7 Mile Bridge, most individuals b-line it to Key West because it’s most certainly been a protracted drive, however Massive Pine Key and Bahia Honda State Park are two nice locations to cease for no less than a couple of hours.
Do you know that there are wild deer within the Florida Keys? Massive 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!
In case you like seashores, you’re going to love Bahia Honda State Park. This state park has almost totally 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 Title Pub
Whereas on Massive 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 superb place to spend a couple of days taking within the Caribbean ambiance. Key West now not seems like the USA, it seems 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 among the most taking place locations in Key West and it is a great spot to watch the sundown over the Gulf of Mexico. There are many issues to do in Mallory Sq. as effectively, so be certain to head over there throughout the day. If you’re on the lookout for 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’ll be able to even convey 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-working 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. Book your ticket in advance
- The Memorial Sculpture Backyard is positioned instantly in entrance paying tribute to well-known patrons of the theatre and residents. Take a stroll by way of the traces of sculptures of well-known residents together with the busts of Ernest Hemingway, Harry S Truman, Tennessee Williams, and lots of different vital folks.
22. Occasion on Duval Avenue in Key West
It’s no secret that individuals come to Key West for partying, and Duval Avenue is the place to do it. You’ll be able to go bar hopping all evening lengthy on Duval Avenue. 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 would like to be part of a tour of Duval Avenue to see the highest bars and eating places whereas making new associates, 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 in the event you 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 way of the mangroves, take pleasure in snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and revel in a sail on an eco-pleasant catamaran with Honest Eco Tours.
- Book this top-rated Sundown Tour tour right here free from worries as excursions will be canceled up to 24 hours prematurely with a full refund.
- Look for more water and sunset tours here with Get Your Information to discover your alternative of floating bars, schooners, and catamarans that may take you out to watch the gorgeous sunsets. They provide final-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 Positioned (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 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 may take a dolphin-watching tour or we had it as a part of our Sincere Eco Tour. When reserving a dolphin or wildlife tour be certain to use a sustainable acknowledged tour operator like Sincere Eco Excursions based mostly out of Key West or You Can e book this Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling Tour in Advance.
25. Mile Marker 0 – Key West
Properly, 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 Avenue simply south of Duval Avenue.
You’ve earned it. That is the tip of the road and a preferred place to make word that you’ve accomplished your drive from Miami to Key West. Wasn’t it wonderful?
Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park
You might have reached mile marker 0 however would you like to maintain this Miami to Key West street journey going a little bit longer? From Key West, you’ll be able to attain some of the distant nationwide parks in the USA. 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 throughout the Spanish American Warfare. You’ll be able to take a day journey out to discover the island and delightful sandy seashores and you may even camp in a single day on Backyard Key. Book this cruise from Key West to Dry Tortugas or you’ll be able to e book a flight to the nationwide park as effectively.
The place to Keep in Key West
There are a lot of locations to keep within the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West. However in excessive season it may be almost unimaginable to e book a room with out reservations. We propose selecting one place to keep and making it your own home base to discover the Keys.
La Concha Crown Plaza is the right place to keep within the coronary heart of the motion, is positioned instantly on Duval Avenue. 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 Critiques 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’re within the Florida Keys, it’s straightforward to discover. With Key Largo being the northernmost island, it’s your decision to transfer on to Islamorada or Marathon. Key West is pricier than different keys, so it’s your decision to select a trip rental on one of many smaller keys.
When to do a Road Trip to Key West from Miami
We’ve 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. 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 increased costs and a variety of crowds. However you’re 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’s important to plan accordingly. Hurricane Irma did intensive injury to the Florida Keys in 2017 however it has recovered properly. This yr Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian however the Florida Keys managed that hurricane quie effectively. That stated, we’ve been to the Keys in October and had wonderful 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 high stops on a drive from Miami to Key West. The Florida keys are so considerable, it’s going to take a number of journeys to actually see all of them. Tell us what we missed and we’ll be certain to add it on throughout our subsequent rip.
Plan Your Road Trip to Florida the Florida Keys with these different Florida guides