A Florida Keys Road trip, down the Florida Keys highway is a bucket list activity in Florida.
Up until we spent three months driving across America, I’d never heard of the Florida Keys and Key West. When I found out about this chain of islands off the southern coast of Florida, I was amazed!
The Florida Keys are made up of clear blue water in the Gulf of Mexico and when we got to visit the Florida Keys, I realized that driving to Key West is beautiful too. It truly is a case of things not being about the destination but the journey too. As you leave mainland Florida, 113 miles of road, flanked by beautiful ocean views, lay ahead of you until you reach Key West.
At Key West you’re so far south you’re actually closer to Cuba than you are to the USA! As you road trip to Key West from Miami, there are turquoise waters on either side of the road, palm trees, and the occasional turtle crossing the road along the drive.
We did a Key West day trip as we were keen to make it back up the coast of Florida to watch a rocket launch at Kennedy Space Centre.
It also makes a fantastic Miami road trip if you’re based in Miami on your Florida vacation.
While it means you’re in for a long day, a Miami to Florida Keys day trip is totally doable and makes for an awesome day. However, if you do have the time, I’d recommend you break your trip up into 2, or more, days by staying in Key West. This gives you a bit more time to travel down and up the coast.
This Florida Keys road trip was one of the highlights of our USA road trip, check out my guide below for your Florida Keys road trip itinerary to see my favorite places to stop and take in the views as well as a few of the best places to stay in the Florida Keys.
DiscoverCars: Compares car rental companies and prices for your Key West road trip
Hyatt Key West: Waterfront resort & spa with private balconies, on-site spa and fitness center, outdoor pool, hot tub, water sports facilities, and two on-site restaurants.
Table of Contents
About the Florida Keys and where are the Florida Keys?
The Florida Keys is made up of hundreds of islands, also called “keys”. The islands are joined by a series of bridges, the longest of which is the Seven Mile Bridge joining Knights Key with Little Duck Key.
The road that travels from mainland Florida to Key West at the bottom of the Florida Keys, and links the Florida Keys islands, is known as The Florida Keys Overseas Highway.
The Florida Keys Highway is 113 miles in length and was rebuilt in the 1980s after a hurricane destroyed the railway that was there in 1935.
You can still see some of the old railway bridges today and some of them have been converted into fishing bridges. As you drive, you’ll likely see some eager fishermen out on the bridges.
The first Key you get to is Key Largo and the last is Key West. So yes, you can drive to Key Largo too, there’s no need for a boat.
The Florida Keys Mile Markers get to 0 in Key West, at the southernmost point of the US. Most of the stops below are right off the highway and pretty much everything is well signposted.
If you do a Florida Keys roadtrip from Key Largo to Key West it would take roughly 2.5 hours with no stopping.
However, you’re going to want to stop, trust me!
How to get to Florida Keys?
If you’re wondering: ‘can you drive to Key West, Florida?’ You totally can!
Driving Florida Keys is easy as there’s just one highway; you can’t really get lost!
Highway US 1, or The Overseas Highway, is one of the most scenic drives in the world and you’re going to love it!
But first, here are a few tips on how to do a Florida Keys road trip from Miami to the Florida Keys.
While you can go from Miami to Key West in one day – we went from Homestead to Key West and back in one day – I’d recommend making your trip to Key West longer if you can.
The Miami to Key West drive takes about 4 hours in one go, but you’ll want to stop off along the way so staying somewhere for a night means you’ll have more time to spend doing all the fun things to do in the Florida Keys that I’ve listed below.
If you’re staying in Miami and need to rent a car for your road trip to Key West, I recommend booking through either Discover Cars or Rental Cars. These two sites work in a similar way and I’ll typically check both of them to find the best deals on car rentals.
Best Key West day trip tours
If you don’t want to rent a car or are traveling solo and want to meet other travelers in The Keys, then booking a day tour to Key West from Miami is a good way to experience the beauty of this area of Florida.
Though you won’t get to stop at all the places on this list, you’ll still stop at some of the most popular ones. Plus, these tours often include things to do in Florida Keys such as an activity like snorkelling, which is always fun.
- Miami: Key West Day Trip with Snorkeling and Open Bar: The best tour from Miami to Key West for young adults (or those young at heart). This tour includes a snorkeling and sailing trip from Miami to the world’s third-largest living coral reef in the Florida Keys. After snorkeling in the crystal clear waters, enjoy the open bar on the return boat trip and have some free time in Key West.
- From Miami: Key West Bus Tour: This no-frills bus tour from Miami to Key West includes round trip transport, a tour guide, free time in Key West and you can add-on snorkeling, a trolley tour in Key West, and more.
- Miami: Private Romantic Sunset Flight with Champagne: For under $150, book this special 1-hour flight over the Florida Keys at sunset
- Miami & Key West: One-Way Transfer by Motor Coach Bus: If you want to do your own thing in Key West and plan on spending multiple days there, book this 1-way bus transport from Miami to Key West
Where to stop on a Florida Keys road trip
Here are some of the top Florida Keys attractions and places to stop on a Florida Keys road trip.
If you think I’m missing any of the best places to visit in the Florida Keys, let me know.
Map of Florida Keys points of interest
This Florida Keys map will come in useful for your road trip from Miami to the Keys.
It has all the places to stop on the drive from Miami to Key West that are mentioned below.
You can add it to your Google Maps so that you can see the points of things to see in the Florida Keys as you’re driving through the Florida Keys (just don’t look at it while driving!)
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
This is one of the first places you’ll come across as you leave mainland Florida and begin the drive down to Key West.
The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was the first undersea park in the whole of the United States and, together with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary next to the park, there are 178 nautical square miles of coral reef, seagrass beds, and mangrove swamps.
It’s also the ONLY living coral reef in Continental US. It costs $8 per vehicle, plus 50 cents per person to enter the park. With that ticket, you can come and go all day (although if it’s too busy you’ll be refused reentry).
Once you’re there you can enjoy snorkeling, swimming, going scuba diving, taking a wildlife hike, or simply relaxing.
If you want to go snorkelling at John Pennekamp State Park, there are some great tours you can join. Taking a tour is ideal if you didn’t pack your snorkelling gear and it gets you further out to the reefs which you can’t really do if you don’t have boat access.
This half-day Key Largo snorkelling tour is a good option with great reviews and one of the best things to do in Key Largo.
You’ll journey to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Or, if you’re travelling as a family or group of friends, this private snorkelling tour is an ever better choice.
If you’re not much of a snorkeller, then this glass-bottom boat tour in John Pennekamp gets you out onto the reef where you can see the fish and the coral without needing to get wet!
- Good to know: Most of the Florida Keys beaches aren’t sandy, so be prepared for rocks!
- Location: Key Largo, Mile Marker 102.5
The Fish House
Make sure to pay a visit to The Fish House in Key Largo. It’s the perfect spot for a delicious lunch with all the classic dishes the Florida Keys have to offer and is one of the best Key West road trip stops.
Whether it’s the crispy Conch Fritters, the flavorful fish tacos, or the juicy Florida lobster and stone crab, you’re in for a treat.
Since The Fish House in Key Largo opened in 1982, it’s been a classic place to stop between Miami and Key West.
Start off your culinary adventure with the sweet and savory coconut shrimp, then dive right into a hearty portion of Mahi Mahi – trust us, you’ll enjoy every bite!
- Location: 102401 Overseas Hwy at Mile Marker 102.4
Sharkey’s Sharkbite Grill: A Harbor Hangout
For a laid back restaurant with good food and great drinks right on the waterfront, head to Sharkey’s Sharkbite Grill in Key Largo’s marina.
This is one of the best places to stop for tasty pub food and some great drinks. If you’re not the designated driver, or are stopping overnight in Key Largo, their jumbo-sized rum buckets are something of a crowd pleaser.
- Location: 522 Caribbean Drive, just east of Mile Marker 99.7
Mrs Mac’s restaurant for comfort food
If comfort food is what your heart (and stomach) desires, then Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen should be one of your next stops on the way to Key West.
Since it bega in 1976, Mrs. Mac’s has won numerous awards and it’s not just because of its great food, it’s also because its just a cool and quirky place to hang out. It’s also the area’s longest running restarant which is pretty cool!
The walls inside are lined with license plates from all over the wowrld and the ceiling is lined with dollar bills.
It’s definitely something a bit different and one of my most memorable stops along this drive.
Mrs Mac’s serves up comfort food all day long. Expect dishes such as pancakes and large breakfast plates, chilli, crab cakes, lobster baskets, burgers and more.
If you’re looking for the original, visit Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen at mile post 99.3, Mrs Macs II is a little further down the road. Expect to wait in line at peak meal times.
- Location: 99336 Overseas Highway, Mile Post 99.3
If the wait at Mrs. Mac’s feels too long or you simply want a less touristy vibe, then Harriette’s Restaurant is another great place to try if you’re looking for where to eat on drive from Miami to Key West.
Just a quick drive down the Overseas Highway, Harriette’s serves hearty breakfast and lunch with a local touch. This place is best known for their scrumptious Key Lime muffins – they’re a must-try!
Even if you’re not hungry as you go past, I recommend getting some for the drive!
- Location: 95710 Overseas Highway, mile marker 95.8
Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary
The Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary is home to over 100 birds that are unable to return to the wild, including owls, pelicans, vultures, and hawks.
This sanctuary provides a haven for these birds and it’s heartwarming to see these birds cared for in an environment like this.
The sanctuary is free to visit, but donations are appreciated to help the sanctuary to keep doing their work.
- Location: 93600 Overseas Highway, Tavernier, mile marker 93.6
Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory
The Florida Keys are famous for their Key Lime Pie, and there are countless places claiming to have the best.
My husband is a big fan of Key Lime Pie and while the muffins at Harriette’s are tasty, you can’t beat the classic pie format for this tasty treat. For us, it was definitely one of the best places to stop on drive from Miami to Key West.
The pies at the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Factory are definitely up at the top when it comes to the best key lime pie.
You can also enjoy their beautiful outdoor seating area which is shaded and peaceful, making it the perfect place to enjoy your pie.
- Location: Tavernier, Mile Marker 92.2
Marker 88: Beachfront Restaurant & Bar
Fancy a meal by the beach under the shade of palm trees? Marker 88 on Plantation Key offers exactly that.
This beachfront restaurant and bar makes some delicious hand-crafted cocktails, fresh seafood, local beers, and of course, (more) Key Lime Pie.
The best part is the beach setting with tables righgt on the waterfront. Whether you’re hungry or not, this is a must-stop place for a drink on the drive to Key West.
- Location: Islamorada, mile marker 88
Rain Barrel Sculpture Gallery
As you continue driving to Key West, make a quick stop at the Rain Barrel Sculpture Gallery on Plantation Key for some quirky photo opportunities.
Here, you can click a picture with a giant lobster statue (really!) and browse other interesting art works.
There’s a collection of small shops here which sell all sort sof souvenirs and gifts including Tiki heads and windchime as well as artworks and jewlery.
- Location: Plantation Key, Mile Marker 86.7
History of Diving Museum
The History of Diving Museum is a must-visit for those whos love scuba diving or who are fascinated by the underwater world.
In this museum in the Keys, you’ll find the largest collection of dive helmets, scuba gear, armored suits, and diving memorabilia in the world.
This vast collection was accumulated over 40 years by Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer and alongside the artefacts are well-designed and informative displays.
- Location: Islamorada, Mile Marker 83
Florida Keys Brewing Company
If you’re a beer lover and enjoy checkign out the different beers as you trave, a stop at the Florida Keys Brewing Company is a must.
Just across the street from Morada Bay this brewery is one of the best places in the Keys to try some local beers. They offer a wide range to choose from and the best way to sample them is to get a flight where you can try multiple beers (small sizes) in one go.
It’s what my husband and I typically go for when we visit a brewery since we can never decide on just one!
- Location: Islamorada, 200 Morada Way, Mile Marker 81.6
Morada Bay Beach Café
As you’ll have gathered, there are quite a few places to stop on the drive to Key West with beahfront settings; it’s one of the things I most love about this area.
Another great option is the Morada Bay Beach Cafe where you can drink and eat amongst the palm trees and beautiful sandy beaches.
This restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner but it’s just as good for something more casual if you go earlier in the evening or for lunch.
- Location: Islamorada, Mile Marker 81
Midway Café & Coffee Bar
The Midway Café & Coffee Bar on Islamorada is an ideal stop for a quick coffee, snacks, or a light meal while exploring the Keys.
Known for their delicious sandwiches, smoothies, and pastries, it’s a beloved spot among locals and tourists alike. Their coffees and iced drinks are the perfect pick me up as you continue towards Key West.
- Location: Islamorada, mile marker 80.5
Robbie’s Restaurant & Tarpon Feeding
At Robbie’s Restaurant on Islamorada you can feed some huuuuge fish.
The wild Tarpon, also known as Silver Kings since they have shimmering scales, that live in the waters around there can grow up to almost 2.5m long and weigh over 90kg!
Keen fishers from all the world come to the Florida Keys just to have the chance to catch one and if you visit Robbie’s you can buy a bucket of bait and hand-feed the Tarpon from the docks. It’s certainly a unique experience.
This is a must do in the Florida Keys…if you dare!
The tarpons at Robbie’s Marina are wild, but over time they have become used to humans coming here to feed them. The marina is home to 100s of tarpons who definitely aren’t shy; often leaping out of the water to get the food fisrt!
Birds have also cottoned on to this and so you’ll have plenty of them hanging around waiting for feeding time too.
Both kids and adults can enjoy this, but do take care as the animals are big and they are wild too.
Robbie’s Marina also offers a relaxed waterside dining experience and they run fishing and boating tours. You could easily spend an aternoon here!
- Location: Islamorada, Mile Marker 77.5
Walk the sand bar at Anne’s Beach
Anne’s Beach sand bar which is best visible at low tide allows you to walk far into the ocean so you’ll feel like you’re walking on water.
The shallow water depth, even far from the shore, means you’re only ever knee-deep in the ocean. Since the water is pretty warm, it’s a great place to stretch your legs during your drive and feel refreshed.
- Location: Mile Marker 73.5
Long Key State Park
Your Florida Keys road trip should definitely include a stop at Long Key State Park.
Once the site of a luxury resort, this state park now offers a different kind of luxury – that of lush greenery, tranquil waters, and diverse wildlife. The resort fell victim to a hurricane in 1935 and has remained closed since.
Nowadays you can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, snorkelling and swimming or just hanging out on the beach with a good book.
The Golden Orb Trail, an easy 1.1-mile loop, takes you through mangroves and along the coastline, it’s a great trail to walk in the park.
Entrance costs $4.50 for one person and $5 for two people plus 50 cents for each extra person.
- Location: Long Key, mile marker 67.5
Discover Marine Life at Dolphin Research Center
Though the dolphin research center is a popular place to visit on the florida Keys, I don’t personally recommend it.
They claim to prioritise educationa nd research over entertainment, but given they allow you to swim with the dolphins and have programs like paint with the dolphins, I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t more about entertainement than caring for them.
The turtle hospital further down the Keys seems more worthwhile to support.
Picnic at Curry Hammock State Park
Curry Hammock is a beautiful park in the Florida Keys. It’s a great spot for a picnic lunch, but you can also kayak through mangrove swamps and go kite boarding and snorkeling. Kayak and SUP rentals are available at the ranger station.
Taking a walk through the tropical hardwood hammock forest is well worth doing as you can hike on top of ancient fossilized coral that was once living under water!
To enter this state park costs $4.50 for 1 person or $5.50 for two or more people. You can also camp here overnight or cycle, run or walk a section of the Overseas Heritage Trail.
- Location: Mile marker 56
Experience Underwater Wonders at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
For those traveling with kids, the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is a must-visit.
At the aquarium you can see a diverse range of marine life including starfish, turtles, tortoises, stingrays, horseshoe crabs, moray eels, sharks, alligators, and tropical fish await to greet you.
The aquarium even allows you to feed and interact with nurse sharks and stingrays, making your visit both educational and exciting.
- Location: Marathon, mile marker 53
Soak up the Sun at Sombrero Beach
Sombrero Beach offers a glorious stretch of white sand that is perfect for spending a leisurely afternoon.
A short detour off the Overseas Highway, it’s worth the trip for the peace and quiet you can find here.
From April through October, you might even catch sight of Loggerhead turtles nesting on the beach, but remember not to disturb them.
- Location: Marathon, mile marker 50.5
Visit the Turtle Hospital
The Turtle Hospital gives you a unique insight into the marine life conservation. It’s dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured sea turtles and the hospital plays a crucial role in preserving the delicate balance of Florida Keys’ rich marine ecosystem.
The hospital’s mission is about nursing the sick turtles back to health and also educating the public about the importance of environmental preservation. This was one of my top places to stop on the way to Key West.
You’ll get to witness various stages of turtle recovery from initial medical procedures on newly admitted patients in the Turtle Trauma Center to later stages of rehabilitation in the Turtle Yard and large saltwater swimming pool.
There are also guided tours, where you can learn about different turtle species, the types of injuries they commonly suffer, and the treatments they receive.
There’s another great turtle hospital on Jekyll Island in Georgia, but if you’re not visiting Georgia, then this is well worth a stop!
- Location: 2396 Overseas Highway, Marathon
Seven Mile Bridge
Driving across the Seven Mile Bridge is a key part of any Florida Keys road trip; you actually can’t avoid it if you’re going all the way down to Key West
As you cross this bridge, you’re surrounded by breathtaking vistas of clear blue waters, pretty islands, and bright Florida skies.
Built in 1982, the new bridge is very impressive and you can also see the old Seven Mile Bridge which runs parallel to the new one.
Today, the old bridge serves as a route for pedestrians and fishermen, allowing visitors to experience a slice of history while enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings.
- Location: Mile Marker 47
Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is a tropical paradise that’s over 500 acres big and is home to some of the best snorkeling in Florida.
With three stunning beaches – Sandspur, Calusa, and Loggerhead there’s plenty to explore and it’s an ideal place for a beach day in the Florida Keys.
Besides lounging on the beach, the park has several nature trails and you can also go kayaking and fishing.
The park also has an interesting history and you’ll find what remains of Flagler’s East Coast Railway.
Entrance costs $8 per vehicle.
- Location: Mile marker 37
Meet the Key Deer in Big Pine Key
Big Pine Key is one of the larger islands in the Florida Keys and it’s also home to the super cute and endangered Key Deer.
These miniature deer are only about 2-3 feet tall at the shoulder and are a special subspecies of the White-tailed deer. They’re only found in the Florida Keys so it’s pretty special to see them.
Their numbers have dwindled over the years due to poaching and habitat destruction, making it more crucial than ever to observe these delicate creatures respectfully.
The National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key was established in 1957 to help make a safe area for the Key Deer. You can see the deer wandering about and grazing on the vegetation in the park.
Drive slow, keep an eye out for the deer and don’t feed them.
- Location: Mile marker 30.5
No Name Pub
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience with a side of history, the No Name Pub on Big Pine Key fits the bill.
This pub started as a small general store and bait and tackle shop in 1931 before adding a room for a restaurant and bar a year later. In the 1950s, it became more well known as a brothel – it’s certainly got a colorful history!
It’s the pub’s quirky interior which makes it stand out today though as, over the years, visitors have started a tradition of attaching signed dollar bills to the walls and ceiling.
It’s estimated there’s about half a million dollars’ worth of bills on the walls and ceiling now!
- Location: 30813 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key
Your Florida Keys road trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the southernmost city in the continental U.S., Key West. Famous for its stunning sunsets, colorful historical homes, lively nightlife, and the iconic Mile Marker 0 sign, Key West is a city that never fails to entertain and fascinate.
- Location: Mile marker 0! You’ve made it.
What to do in Key West, Florida Keys
You’ve reached the end of Florida Keys but there’s still so much to see! Check out the following things to do in Key West if you’re still wondering what to do in Florida Keys.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Florida’s southernmost state park, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park was originally built for defence purposes but is now popular with tourists travelling the Florida Keys.
You can take a guided tour of the fort or enjoy the beach and bicycling within the park.
The beach here is a little rocky but the water is turquoise green. You can also tour the fort which still has Civil War cannons in the walls and around the grounds.
See the southernmost point
One of the top things on people’s “what to see in Key West” lists is the southernmost point market. This marker in Key West marks the Southernmost Point in the Continental USA where you’re only 90 miles from Cuba!
You can also find Mile Marker 0 at the end of U.S. 1 for a photo op by the sign.
It gets suuuuper busy here though so go early in the morning or late at night or you’ll have to join the back of the (very long) line.
Eat your weight in tasty Florida Keys foods
The Florida Keys has its own types of food, one of which being conch fritters.
Conch fritters are fritters made with conch meat, flour, egg, milk, peppers, and onions, and are usually rolled into a ball and fried.
They’re on the menu in pretty much every restaurant on between Miami and Key West. Conch fritters make a great road trip snack, so stock up!
Another food you’ve got to eat on your trip to Key West is Key Lime Pie. It’s delicious and makes the perfect sweet treat while watching the sunset in Key West.
Visit Ernest Hemingway’s house
One of the top places to see in Key West is the home of renowned writer, Ernest Hemingway. He owned a house right in the heart of Key West, which is now a museum open to visitors. The house is quite charming and Hemingway lived and wrote here for more than ten years.
If you’re a Hemingway fan, you’ll get a glimpse into the world and culture that influenced so many of his writings.
But the best part? The place is filled with cats. More than 40 six-toed cats. Apparently, Hemingway owned a six-toed cat, and this cat’s dependents continue to live at and roam freely around the house!
Watch the sunset in Key West
Key West has a Sunset Celebration every single night, and for good reason.
The sunset we saw was amazing and the crowd goes wild when the sun finally disappears for the day.
After sunset, Mallory Square comes to life with entertainment including magicians, jugglers, clowns, musicians, and artists.
Alternatively, you can take a sunset cruise around the island just as the sun sets. This one is one of Key West’s most popular sunset sailing trips. You’ll get a sunset cruise and can enjoy the open bar as well as a great selection of appetizers, and live music.
Try Jet Skiing in Key West
Heading out on jet skis is super fun and this Key West jet ski hire incudes a second rider for free. So, if you don’t mind sharing, it’s great value!
With four daily tours, you can easily find a time that fits with your schedule and your guide will lead you out to the Southern Most point, submarine pits, Key West Harbor and even a local sandbar.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Almost 70 miles west of Key West is the very remote Dry Tortugas National Park.
At a whopping 100-square miles, this US National Park has 7 small islands to explore. You can’t drive to this one though, you’ll have to park your car up in Key West and take a boat or a seaplane to get out to it.
This day tour to Dry Tortugas from Key West is a great way to visit. It includes your return transport onboard a catamaran as well as a tour of Fort Jefferson and time for snorkelling. It also includes National Park fees as well as snorkel gear, your breakfast and lunch.
It’s worth the extra effort though as the water colour is incredible and it’s teeming with coral reefs and marine life.
Go shark viewing in Key West
Travelling to Key West with kids, or just love sharks and marine life yourself? Then this shark viewing tour is a must-do in Key West.
Get up close with sharks and other marine wildlife on this boat tour from Key West. Travel on board an eco-friendly, 34-foot catamaran just a few miles off the coast of Key West.
See dolphins, stingrays, turtles and birds and learn about Key West’s waters, and watch as the sharks come up close!
Go snorkelling from Key West
There are loads of snorkelling and boat trips that depart from Key West. This Key West snorkelling tour is one of the best Florida Keys activities.
This Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Eco Cruise Tour takes you out to where bottlenose dolphins are known to live and play. You can watch them from the boat and it’s a super cool experience.
Alternatively, try this Key West Sandbar Excursion & Kayak Tour with Lunch & Drinks. You’ll head out to a shallow area where you can snorkel, swim and play in the waters. You can also enjoy lunch, take a guided kayak tour, and get unlimited drinks.
Take a Key West Trolley Tour
Explore the best that Key West has to offer on this narrated, hop-on hop-off trolley tour where you can view over 100 of Key West’s top attractions.
The trolley tour includes a guide who’ll share history of the city with you as you ride around at a leisurely pace, getting on and off whenever you want.
You can book a one day or two day pass depending on what other plans you have and it’s a great way to learn more about Key West during your trip!
Where to stay in the Florida Keys
If you’re looking to break your Miami to Key West road trip up into two or more days or have a Florida Keys weekend getaway, then have a look at these Key West hotels which are amongst the best hotels in Florida Keys.
I’ve included some that are in Key West, as well as a few in Key Largo which is a good place to break up the drive if you’re coming straight from Miami since the distance from Key Largo to Key West is about 100 miles.
Best Key West Hotels
- Simonton Court Historic Inn & Cottages: This adult-only inn in Key West is two minutes from Duval Street. It incudes breakfast and has 4 outdoor pools, bicycle hire, and a lovely garden; private parking available upon request.
- The Mermaid & The Alligator: Offers an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, shared lounge, a sun terrace, and a hot tub; concierge service available and close to several points of interest.
- Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa: A waterfront resort on Key West Island, three minutes from Duval Street, offering private balconies, on-site spa and fitness center, outdoor pool, hot tub, water sports facilities, and two on-site restaurants.
Best Key Largo Hotels
- Hampton Inn Key Largo: Just off Highway 1, this hotel offers an outdoor pool, private beach, boat dock, rooms with a flat-screen TV, daily breakfast, and a gym; close to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Everglade National Park.
- Reefhouse Resort and Marina: Set on 17 acres of waterfront, this resort offers sport fishing, coral reef diving, a full-service spa, outdoor pool, fitness center, beachside relaxation, and multiple dining options; iguanas can be seen roaming the shore.
- Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection By Hilton: This resort is on the Gulf of Mexico, offering private beach access, water sports facilities, 2 outdoor swimming pools, a modern fitness center; close to John Pennekamp National Marine Sanctuary and Theater of the Sea marine animal park.
FAQs on the Florida Keys road trip stops
What are the Florida Keys?
The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida in the United States. They form the southernmost part of the continental U.S. and are known for their beautiful tropical landscapes, rich marine life, and unique cultural heritage. The archipelago consists of over 1,700 islands, but only about 43 of them are connected by bridges and are accessible by the Overseas Highway (U.S. Route 1).
How far is Key West from Miami?
It’s 165.5 miles from Miami to Key West, Florida which will take you between 3.5-4 hours of continuous driving. The distance isn’t too long but you’ll want the best part of the day (and ideally more) to see the best of The Keys!
How long does it take to drive along the Florida Keys?
The drive along the Florida Keys from Miami to Key West typically takes around 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and whether you make stops along the way.
How long are the Florida Keys?
The Florida Keys are 120 miles from the tip of the mainland to the furthest key, Key West. However, if you were to measure from the topmost key to the Dry Tortugas, the archipelago stretches for about 150 miles.
Can you drive to Key West?
Yes, you can drive to Key West. It’s connected to the mainland by the Overseas Highway (US 1), a stunning 113-mile roadway that links all the main islands of the Florida Keys and ends in Key West.
How many days should you spend in the Florida Keys?
The number of days to spend in the Florida Keys depends on your interests, but ideally, a minimum of 3-4 days would be best to fully explore the area.
Where do you stop on the road to Key West?
There are numerous places to stop on the road to Key West, including Anne’s Beach, Long Key State Park, Dolphin Research Center, Curry Hammock State Park, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, Sombrero Beach, Turtle Hospital, Seven Mile Bridge, Bahia Honda State Park, and No Name Pub.
Can you travel the Florida Keys by car?
Absolutely, you can travel the Florida Keys by car. This is one of the best ways to explore the islands at your own pace.
When is the best time to drive from Miami to Key West?
The best time to drive from Miami to Key West is typically in the late morning to early afternoon, avoiding both rush hour traffic and the more intense afternoon heat. This timing also allows for stops along the scenic route for sightseeing and meals. In terms of season, winter and spring offer pleasant weather and less rainfall.
How far from Key Largo to Key West?
Key Largo is about 100 miles from Key West. To drive non-stop from Key West to Key Lago and vice-versa would take you about 2.5 hours. But there are plenty of great places to stop along the way.
Final thoughts on driving the Florida Keys
DiscoverCars: Compares car rental companies and prices for your Key West road trip
Hyatt Key West: Waterfront resort & spa with private balconies, on-site spa and fitness center, outdoor pool, hot tub, water sports facilities, and two on-site restaurants.
A road trip through the Florida Keys offers a great combination of natural beauty, rich history, and marine life. Our day trip to Key West was one of the highlights of our trip and I wish we’d had more time to spend exploring the area.
From the breathtaking views at Anne’s Beach and Long Key State Park to the educational wildlife experiences at The Turtle Hospital there are so many awesome places to check out on the Florida Keys drive.
Whether you’re exploring the colorful marine life at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, enjoying the peaceful Sombrero Beach, or grabbig drinks at the unique No Name Pub, there’s something for every traveler to enjoy.
Looking for more things to do near the Florida Keys after your drive to Florida Keys? Check out this driving tour of the Everglades National Park near Miami or book an eco tour of the Everglades by kayak.
Last Updated on July 13, 2023 by Hannah
Hannah started That Adventurer after graduating back in 2013 and has documented all of her adventures since then. From backpacking South America to city breaks in Europe, a 3 month road trip across the USA in a self-converted van and 6 years living in Canada, you’ll find posts on all of this.
Hannah specialises in active travel and on That Adventurer you’ll find hiking, walking, biking, skiing and all sorts of active travel guides to allow you to see a destination in an adventurous way.