Sunshine Cities: Miami to Key West Itinerary
Take part in a South Florida special with excitement in every moment. A Miami to Key West trip is a scenic experience that everybody should enjoy at least once in their lives. This three- to four-hour drive between sunshine cities reminds you that the journey is just as grand as the destination, as it takes you through the Florida Everglades, over the iconic Seven Mile Bridge, affording you the opportunity to see all of the best of the Florida Keys. So, now that you have your Miami to Key West itinerary all worked out, be sure to buckle up and hit the road for one of the most unforgettable rides of your life.
8 Cool Stops Along the Way
Don’t Leave Miami Without a Cuban Breakfast
You can keep it light with some Cuban toast and coffee, or you could go all the way with a box loaded with pastries and a plate of ham and eggs. Either way, there’s no way you can set off on a road trip out of Miami without a proper Cuban breakfast. With so many popular breakfast spots among the locals, the two standouts would have to be Islas Canarias and Versailles Restaurant. Islas Canarias has proudly served the community since 1977 and has the stellar reputation of making the best croqueta in all of Miami. In a similar vein, Versailles Restaurant mirrors the thriving Cuban culture present in Miami and boasts the title of the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant. There is no better way to set the tone for your Miami to Key West trip than with a life-changing meal.
An Airboat Tour of Everglades National Park
The wild backyard of South Florida, Everglades National Park is an incredible ecosystem like no other. An airboat tour with the experts of Everglades Safari Park is sure to enrich any Miami to Key West itinerary. With each tour spanning only 30 to 40 minutes, it’s the perfect excursion on your Miami to Key West trip. Experience what it’s like to be just feet from a real-life alligator. Learn all about the plants throughout the Everglades while traversing the shallow waters on a state-of-the-art airboat. Perfect for families, large groups, couples and lone travelers, an airboat tour of Everglades National Park is an unparalleled view of this fascinating ecosystem.
Explore Key Largo – The First Key
Just a short way from Everglades National Park, Key Largo is a wonderful little archipelago off of mainland Florida that can make you feel like you’re halfway across the world. Home to the second largest artificial reef in the world, Key Largo reminds you to make room for exciting marine wildlife in your Miami to Key West itinerary. An ideal destination for all kinds of water activities, such as fishing, diving, snorkeling and kayaking, there is no shortage of fun in Key Largo. Embark on the African Queen canal cruise or see John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Let the tide wash up at your feet while watching a beautiful sunset. No matter what you do in Key Largo, you’ll be glad you made it part of your Miami to Key West trip.
Have an Unforgettable Snack at Blond Giraffe Key Lime Factory
Regarded by many as home of the best Key lime pie in Florida, this bakery is a must when taking your Miami to Key West trip. A staple in South Florida for over 20 years, Blond Giraffe Key Lime Factory may just ruin all other pies for you. With over 70 items to choose from, this bakery is dedicated to putting smiles on faces with their award-winning goodies. Enjoy a slice in their on-site serenity garden and then take a whole pie for the road. Pick out your favorite piece of Blond Giraffe merchandise to remind you of the best slice of Key lime pie you ever had.
Relax in the White Sands of Islamorada
A village of islands encompassing six of the Florida Keys, Islamorada is home to beautiful beaches, pristine waters and the sport fishing capital of the world. With numerous parks, beaches and other attractions, Islamorada possesses the pizazz toinclude it on a Miami to Key West itinerary. Visit the Plantation Yacht Harbor Marina and stroll between the incredible boats exuding pure decadence. Launch your kayak from Green Turtle Hammock Nature Preserve and keep your eyes peeled for those gentle giants of the sea: manatees! Breathe in the perfectly salted air of Islamorada and make your Miami to Key West trip one to remember.
Sombrero Reef in Marathon: The Third Largest Reef in the World
A distinct spur-and-groove coral reef characterized by large fingers of coral, the reef off of Marathon, Florida, is a marvel of Mother Nature living just under the world’s nose. Full of exciting marine life, snorkeling Sombrero Reef guarantees visitors a close encounter with the wonders of the ocean. With sites you never thought you’d witness outside of an aquarium, Sombrero Key is an incredible place to enjoy a submerged experience in the wild. A riveting addition to any Miami to Key West itinerary, Sombrero Reef is something you’re not going to want to miss.
(getty image – fpo)
Visit Bahia Honda State Park
A gem of the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda State Park is a great addition to your Miami to Key West trip. Exceptional for those who enjoy the great outdoors, Bahia Honda State Park combines all the best parts of land and sea. Take a hike through the park’s nature trail, which leads you to the best view of the entire island. Look to the skies and count all the different species of birds flying overhead. Cast a line and wait for a bite in one of the premier fishing spots in all of the Florida Keys. With no limit to the excitement waiting for you at Bahia Honda State Park, be sure to include it in your Miami to Key West itinerary.
Florida Keys’ Dolphin Research Center
Get up close and personal with the ocean’s most fascinating creatures at the Dolphin Research Center. Whether you’re walking in or planning ahead, there is fun to be had at this immersive facility. Witness firsthand as experts conduct behavioral sessions with dolphins and sea lions. Take it one step further and swim with the biggest personalities in the sea. Education booms outside of the classroom at the Dolphin Research Center. Stop by on your Miami to Key West trip!
Drive Across the Seven Mile Bridge
The original Seven Mile Bridge was born as part of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway. After the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the bridge was sold to the United States government and adjusted for automobile use. The updated version of the bridge in use today was completed in 1982 and connects Marathon to the Lower Keys. While not used for transportation, most of the original structure still stands today and serves as a popular fishing pier amongst the locals. The Seven Mile Bridge is one of the longest in the world, and a drive over this modern marvel is something out of a movie.
The Old Seven Mile Bridge, directly adjacent to the updated bridge on the ocean side, is a popular running and biking trail amongst the locals. Just over 2 miles of Old Seven (as it has been affectionately nicknamed) are traversable today, and people from all over have flocked to it since its reopening in January of 2022. Located at Mile Marker 47 in Marathon, there is a parking lot at the start of the bridge. While it does remain full most of the time, many visitors do not stay very long, so the turnover of parking spots is relatively quick. However you decide to experience this infrastructural piece of American history, Seven Mile Bridge makes a great addition to any Miami to Key West itinerary.
Once You’ve Arrived in Key West…
You’ve made it! The four hour drive was made a breeze by the mesmerizing views and thrilling stops along the way. But, now that you’re in the sunny island city of Key West, it’s time to round out that itinerary with all kinds of exhilarating attractions that Key West has to offer!
See the Sunset
Once you’ve witnessed the world’s most breathtaking sights, it becomes clear that they couldn’t have been created by the hands of humankind. Admiring a Key West sunset puts all your troubles behind you for a brief moment and fills you with gratitude for the world at our fingertips. Land lovers can enjoy the spectacle from Mallory Square’s Sunset Celebration, where hundreds of tourists congregate to see the marvelous sunset every evening. Fury’s Commotion on the Ocean Sunset Sail is another option that turns this nightly occurrence into a celebration, with live music, drinks and the pristine waters to augment the experience.
Fury’s Ultimate Adventure H2.0
Do it all on the water with this Fury excursion. Fury’s Ultimate Adventure H2.0 is the best way to jam pack your day with nothing but fun. Make some wakes on a speedy Jet Ski, and soar above the ocean on Fury’s parasail. All this and more at Florida’s largest ocean water park!
Take a Tour Through History
More than just sunshine and white sand beaches, Key West is a city bustling with history. Take a tour of the Truman Little White House and stand where former president Truman changed the course of American history. Visit the picturesque Ernest Hemingway House and Museum and breathe the same air of inspiration as the Nobel Prize-winning author. Visit the Key West Shipwreck Museum and learn the history of wreckers and their contribution to the island. Whether you realize it or not, your Miami to Key West itinerary is teeming with educational opportunities.
Explore the Nature of Key West
An island built on a unique ecosystem, all kinds of foliage and wildlife are waiting to be discovered throughout Key West. Take Fury’s Island Adventure Eco Tour and explore the sandbars on a paddleboard. Or, hop on Fury’s one-of-a-kind glass-ottom boat and get the best view of North America’s only living reef. See it all at once at the Key West Aquarium. Make sure your Miami to Key West trip makes the nature of Key West a priority.
Eat, Drink, Come Together
All along Duval Street are bars and pubs held in the highest esteem by the locals. Join them in the island-time ambience of Key West’s bar scene. Plus, only 90 miles from the island nation of Cuba, you’re not going to want to leave Key West until you’ve had yourself a hot plate of Cuban food. Try a beer from any number of local breweries on the island, and don’t forget: You’re in the birthplace of Key lime pie! Key West is a foodie’s heaven!
How long is the drive from Miami to Key West?
The drive spans just over 160 miles and lasts between three and four hours.
Are there gas stations between Miami and Key West?
Yes! There are plenty of gas stations along the way.
When is there the most traffic between Miami and Key West?
Midday on weekends usually sees the most traffic between Miami and Key West.
Can my electric car make it from Miami to Key West?
Fully charged, the average electric car can travel between 250 and 500 miles. The drive from Miami to Key West is just over 160 miles.
How many Keys are there between Miami and Key West?
The Overseas Highway (US 1) from Miami to Key West connects 34 islands in the Florida Keys.
Can I stop and take pictures on the Seven Mile Bridge when driving to Key West?
Unfortunately, no. There is nowhere to stop along the 7-mile bridge, and doing so would be unsafe. However, Old Seven Mile Bridge, directly adjacent, is the perfect place to walk, bike or jog, and take plenty of photos of the scenic view.