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 Street journey is unquestionably one so as to add to your bucket checklist, and a drive to Key West from Miami will transport you to the Caribbean with no need 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 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 without site visitors. You might drive on to Key West from Miami in a single afternoon however that will take all the enjoyment out of visiting the superb stops and the Florida Keys along the way in which.
Abroad Freeway to Key West
When driving from Miami to Key West, you may be taking one of the crucial distinctive street journeys on the earth by a sequence of 800 Keys which can be related by a collection of 142 bridges spanning 124 miles. (Observe: Not all Keys are reachable by automotive)
The Key West Abroad Freeway is 113 miles long. 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 in the expertise. At instances, 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 would be able to try right here 33 of the Best Things to Do in Key West, Florida. We even have a publication 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 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 enjoyment really takes place.
Miami to Key West Map
Are you able to discover the very best 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 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 recognize it, it is best to take your time and spend the evening on a few Keys earlier than reaching your last vacation spot. The steer 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 onto the Key West Worldwide Airport without ever leaving the island. Despite the fact that we love Key West, we predict that will be a disgrace as the opposite Florida Keys have quite a bit to supply. So even if you’re 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 the 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 for a five-hour flight, you’re driving straight to the tropics!
You’ll 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 way in which 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 suggestions to take a look at Huge Betsy, the enormous lobster, and Theatre of the Sea. Details here
Toll Roads: Florida has numerous toll roads and we advise getting a SunPass. All tolls in Florida are collected electronically when you don’t have a Solar Move, you may be billed using the TOLL-BY-PLATE system place you may be charged a $25 payment on the prime of the toll. Verify 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 Seashore, 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. Because of that feat of engineering, 3 million guests make their solution to the Florida Keys annually.
It’s straightforward 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.
Prime Issues to See on a Miami to Key West Street Journey
Our drive to Key West begins at 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 way in which 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 evaluate charges at CarRentals.com
After touchdown at 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 without seeing the glitz and glamor of Miami.
Take a stroll alongside the white sands of South Seashore and discover the attractive architectural designs of the Artwork Deco District. Don’t neglect 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 akin 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 frontrunner in tourism in the USA for many years so there’s something for each finance and journey sort. However, to get you begun, listed here are a couple of our suggestions.
- Mid-Vary – Proper on the seaside and alongside Ocean Drive, Marriott Stanton is an excellent alternative for touring households. Take advantage of two on-site swimming pools, spas, saunas, and a fitness center with the seaside and eating places all within strolling distance. Check rates and reviews on Booking.com
- Luxurious – Occupying a complete metropolis block, 1 Resort South Seashore is the epitome of Miami’s luxury. Soak within the expansive floor-to-ceiling ocean views, with beautiful decor and the most important rooftop pool in the town. Check rates and reviews on Booking.com
- Price range – Miami isn’t a haven for financial vacationers, however, Resort Shelley comes with cozy rooms with Artwork Deco attractions. Take pleasure in fashionable facilities, free WiFi, and near 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 a Worldwide Biosphere Reserve and is house to quite a few 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 a fantastic cease in your Miami to Key West Street Journey. If you wish to ebook a tour from Miami as a substitute for driving, you’ll be able to ebook 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 location whereas cruising by the water. The park additionally has trails and 4WD excursions. Learn Extra: Best National Parks – USA Edition
The place to remain 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 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 wonderful place to remain. It’s situated simply off Freeway 1 and makes for a fantastic gateway to the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
- Home2 Suites by Hilton – Is one other good selection within the coronary heart of the Florida Metropolis.
3. Key Largo
Issues are getting thrilling now. The primary ceases off the mainland out of your Miami to Key West street journey is Key Largo. you’ll be able to keep it for a full trip when you like! We did this throughout our first journey to the Florida Keys, and my brother did simply the final yr when he took an extended street journey all the way in which 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 Club. The Caribbean Membership is the oldest bar within the higher keys, courting again to 1938.
It has seen numerous motions over the 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 a fantastic place to cease for some Key Lime Pie, a Bloody Mary or to hearken to some stay music.
There are many issues to do in Key Largo, so we advise spending a minimum of the evening right here and testing a couple of the objects 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 a quarter-hour to drive.
4. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
If you’re seeking to have a journey, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is among the prime issues to do in Key Largo. It’s house to the one residing 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 situated in simply 25 ft 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 areas 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 seaside home. You’ll be able to ebook many Key West water sports activities on the lodge.
- Mid Vary – Key Largo Reefhouse Resort – You’ll be able to by no means go improper with a Marriott. It’s our favorite mid to upper-range lodge chain. It has an onsite marina and dive store providing loads of water sports activities to ebook 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 John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
5. The Fish Home
An important 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 a fantastic 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 on the path to the Florida Keys is Alabama Jacks. Sitting between two barges within the mangroves, it’s famous for its conch fritters.
Widespread with motorcyclists Alabama Jack’s is situated below Card Sound Bridge which is the outdated toll street on an alternate route from Florida Metropolis. As an alternative to taking Freeway 1, take 905A card sound street. However be warned, you might 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 grow to be 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 Street Journey is Islamorada Key. We liked 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 wish to click on off of our street journey itinerary, let’s undergo all of the issues that you just can’t miss.
We propose spending an evening on Islamorada Key to actually 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 sights, it’s a place you’ll be able to spend all the day. Benefit from the day hanging out at Robbie’s Marina. There’s a fantastic restaurant, out of doors outlets and loads of water sports activities depart 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 manner again in 1976, the pleasant Tarpon named “Scarface” got here again repeatedly for some meals and to say hiya. He ultimately 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 a tremendous solution 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. When you’ve by no means gone parasailing earlier, 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 miss it, simply search for the enormous 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 liked sampling their microbrews. The Florida Keys Brewing Firm additionally has a trip rental for the place you’ll be able to keep. The house owners are tremendously 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 preferred 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 ebook scuba diving, glass backside boat excursions, and snorkeling journeys. It additionally has the favored Tiki Bar on the seaside so even when you aren’t staying there, be sure 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’d advocate staying on the construction overlooking the water. Cottages are set again from the ocean and the lodge construction appeared a lot better. Your $25 resort payment 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 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 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 nicely, Sombrero Seashore and Coco Plum Seashore are good locations to hang around. And there’s a canine park which is an effective 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 numerous choices for lodging and is extra inexpensive than Key West. You’ll find motels 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 allows you to see the work that goes into the rehabilitation of injured sea turtles. We love supporting tasks like this and proceed on 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 meal 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.
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 Present Store at mile marker 48.
17. Bahia Honda State Park and Huge Pine Key
You may have 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 definitely been an extended drive, however, Huge Pine Key and Bahia Honda State Park are two nice locations to cease for a minimum of a couple of hours.
Do you know that there are wild deer within the Florida Keys? Huge 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 almost 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 Seashore has reopened after Hurricane Irma and has restrooms and pavilions and Calusa Seashore.
18. No Title Pub
Whereas on Huge Pine Key, cease for lunch at No Title Pub. This case is priced 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 last 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 environment. Key West now not looks like the USA, it looks like just a little 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 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 nicely, so remember to head over there in the course of the day. If you’re searching for an 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 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-running theatre in Florida has nightly rotating reveals all yr long.
- 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 immediately at the entrance paying tribute to well-known patrons of the theatre and residents. Take a stroll by the traces of sculptures of well-known residents together with the busts of Ernest Hemingway, Harry S Truman, Tennessee Williams, and lots of different necessary folks.
22. Occasion on Duval Avenue in Key West
It’s no secret that folks 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 long on Duval Avenue. A few of our favorites are Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, (no journey to Key West can be full without visiting Jimmy Buffet’s) and the Arduous Rock Cafe, Lucy’s Retired Surf Bar, Sloppy Joes, Virgillios, Rick’s Café, and our private favorite The Wine O Bar and Lounge.
If you wish to be part of a tour of Duval Avenue to see the highest bars and eating places while making new pals, try this fantastic 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 when 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 by 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 will be canceled as much as 24 hours prematurely 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 beautiful sunsets. They provide last-minute bookings and full refunds on cancellations within 24 hours of the tour.
Certainly, 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 stay 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 remember to use a sustainable acknowledged tour operator like Sincere 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
Nicely, you made it! All the way in which to Mile Marker 0, the underside of the USA. It’s customary to seize a selfie at this signal situated on Whitehead Avenue simply south of Duval Avenue.
You’ve earned it. That is the tip of the road and a well-liked place to take notice that you’ve got accomplished your drive from Miami to Key West. Wasn’t it superb?
Dry Tortugas Nationwide Park
You’ll have reached mile marker 0 however do you wish to maintain this Miami to Key West street journey going just a little longer? From Key West, you’ll be able to attain one of the crucial distant nationwide parks in the USA. Positioned (113km) 70 miles south of Key West, Dry Tortugas is a spectacular day journey.
Positioned in the course 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 the course of the Spanish-American Conflict. You’ll be able to take a day’s journey out to discover the island and exquisite sandy seashores and you’ll even camp for a single day on Backyard Key. Book this cruise from Key West to Dry Tortugas or you’ll be able to ebook a flight to the nationwide park as nicely.
The place to Keep in Key West
There are lots of locations to remain within the Florida Keys from Key Largo to Key West. However, in the excessive season, it may be almost inconceivable to ebook a room without reservations. We propose selecting one place to remain and making it your own home base to discover the Keys.
La Concha Crown Plaza is the proper place to remain within the coronary heart of the motion, is situated immediately on Duval Avenue. The foyer is inside strolling distance from all the highest key west sights. There’s a pool for the company solely. There’s a luxurious rooftop spa and beautiful sundown views. Verify 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 liked 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, you might wish to transfer on to Islamorada or Marathon. Key West is pricier than different keys, so you might wish to select a trip rental on one of many smaller keys.
When to do a Street 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 manner 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 inexpensive lodging and excursions that aren’t booked up.
December to February is the excessive season and also you’ll have greater costs and numerous crowds. However, you’re just about assured a good climate.
Late February to April is one other good time to go for decreased charges and a good climate.
June to November is hurricane season and it is very important to plan accordingly. Hurricane Irma did a depth 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 quite nicely. That stated, we’ve been to the Keys in October and had a superb climate. The summer season months are sizzling and moist.
We have 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 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 considerable, it’ll take a number of journeys to actually see all of them. Tell us what we missed and we’ll remember to add it on throughout our subsequent rip.
Plan Your Street Journey to Florida the Florida Keys with these different Florida guides