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Driving From Key Largo to Key West: An Unforgettable Journey Through the Florida Keys

key largo to key west

Embarking on a drive from Key Largo to Key West is a journey that promises breathtaking views, unique attractions, and a taste of the quintessential Florida Keys experience. The Overseas Highway, stretching over 100 miles, connects a chain of tropical islands with 42 bridges, offering travelers a one-of-a-kind road trip. 

Whether you’re flying into Florida and renting a car or driving from another part of the state, this guide will help you make the most of your adventure. Don’t forget to download our Florida Keys Guide ebook and map for detailed tips and recommendations!

How to Get There

how to get to florida keys

Travelers have several options for reaching the starting point of this scenic drive. You can fly into Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, or Key West International Airport. 

Renting a car is straightforward at any of these airports. From Miami or Fort Lauderdale, head south on US 1, also known as the Overseas Highway, until you reach Key Largo, the first of the Florida Keys.

The Drive: Key Largo to Key West

drive from key largo to key west

The drive from Key Largo to Key West takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours without stops, but with so much to see and do, it’s best to take your time. The Overseas Highway offers stunning ocean views, quaint roadside attractions, and plenty of opportunities for memorable experiences.

Here are some tips for your road trip:

  • Best Times to Drive: Early morning or late afternoon to avoid peak traffic and enjoy cooler temperatures.
  • Traffic Considerations: Weekends and holidays can be busier. Plan for potential delays, especially on the Seven Mile Bridge.
  • Safety Tips: Drive carefully, watch for wildlife, and follow speed limits.

Discover hidden-gem beaches,  explore the Florida Keys food scene, find the perfect accommodation, experience the Keys’ stunning waters, and much more.

Key Largo (Mile Marker 90-110)

key largo drive

Known as the “Diving Capital of the World,” Key Largo offers beautiful underwater parks and a variety of marine life. It is the first of the Florida Keys and sets the tone for an adventurous and scenic road trip.

Best Beach

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (MM 102.5) Enjoy the pristine waters and explore the coral reefs either by snorkeling or taking a glass-bottom boat tour.

Can’t Miss Activity

Snorkeling and Glass-Bottom Boat Tours: The park’s underwater attractions are a must-see, offering a glimpse of vibrant coral and marine life.

Best Attraction

Spiegel Grove Shipwreck: This massive sunken ship is a paradise for experienced divers.

Where To Eat

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen (MM 99.4): A local favorite known for its hearty meals and Key Lime Pie.

Where To Stay

Hotel: Playa Largo Resort & Spa (MM 97): A luxurious resort with a private beach and stunning ocean views.

RV Park: Key Largo Kampground & Marina (MM 101.5): Offering full hookup sites and a marina for boating enthusiasts.

Tavernier (Mile Marker 90-97)

tavernier drive

Tavernier is a quieter, more laid-back area perfect for nature lovers and those looking to explore the mangroves and wildlife. It offers a serene environment away from the busier parts of the Keys.

Best Beach

Harry Harris Park (MM 92.5) A family-friendly beach with picnic areas and shallow waters with rock-free entry.

Can’t Miss Activity

Kayaking in the Mangroves: Explore the serene mangrove tunnels and spot local wildlife. It’s a family-friendly activity for all skill levels.

Best Attraction

Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center (MM 93.6) Learn about and see the efforts to rehabilitate injured birds. It’s always great to meet wildlife that are well taken care of.

Where To Eat

Old Tavernier Restaurant & Lounge (MM 90.6) Enjoy a diverse menu with a mix of seafood and classic dishes.

Where To Stay

Hotel: Atlantic Bay Resort (MM 92.5) Offers charming cottages with beachfront views.

RV Park: Blue Fin Rock Harbor RV Park & Marina (MM 97) Provides a relaxing environment with marina access.

Islamorada (Mile Marker 77-90)

islamorada drive

Famous for its sport fishing, Islamorada is a hub for anglers and water sports enthusiasts. The area boasts beautiful beaches, exciting attractions, and a vibrant dining scene.

Best Beach

Founders Park (MM 87) A great spot for swimming, with amenities like a pool and marina.

Can’t Miss Activity

Fishing Charters: Islamorada is renowned for its world-class fishing opportunities.

Best Attraction

Theater of the Sea (MM 84.5) Marine park offering animal shows, swimming with dolphins, and more.

Where To Eat

Morada Bay Beach Café (MM 81.6) Dine with your toes in the sand while enjoying beautiful sunset views.

Where To Stay

Hotel: Cheeca Lodge & Spa (MM 82) Luxurious accommodations with a private beach and golf course.

RV Park: Islamorada RV Park (MM 81.8) Offers spacious sites and easy access to local attractions.

Marathon (Mile Marker 47-60)

marathon drive

A family-friendly destination with a variety of activities including dolphin encounters and historic sites. Marathon is a mid-way point in the Keys, offering a mix of relaxation and adventure.

Best Beach

Sombrero Beach (MM 50) A picturesque beach perfect for picnics and swimming. White sand beach and wheelchair accessible.

Can’t Miss Activity

Dolphin Research Center (MM 59) Interact with dolphins and learn about marine conservation.

Best Attraction

Seven Mile Bridge: Drive or bike across one of the longest bridges in the world, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Where To Eat

Sunset Grille and Raw Bar (MM 47) Enjoy fresh seafood with a stunning view of the sunset.

Where To Stay

Hotel: Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort (MM 48.5) Spacious beach houses and tropical gardens.

RV Park: Grassy Key RV Park & Resort (MM 58.7) Well-maintained park with excellent amenities.

Big Pine Key (Mile Marker 29-33)

big pine key drive

Known for its natural beauty and wildlife, including the tiny Key deer, Big Pine Key is perfect for outdoor adventures. It is a haven for those who love nature and tranquility.

Best Beach

Bahia Honda State Park (MM 37) One of the top-rated beaches with crystal clear waters and soft sand.

Can’t Miss Activity

Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Explore the calm waters and observe marine life up close.

Best Attraction

National Key Deer Refuge (MM 30.5) Home to the endangered Key deer, a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.

Where To Eat

No Name Pub (MM 30.5) A quirky and historic pub with great food and an interesting atmosphere.

Where To Stay

Hotel: Deer Run Bed & Breakfast (MM 36) Eco-friendly accommodation with a cozy atmosphere.

RV Park: Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge (MM 33) Ideal for anglers and nature lovers, with excellent facilities.

Key West (Mile Marker 0-4)

key west drive

The southernmost point in the continental U.S., Key West is known for its vibrant nightlife, historical sites, and beautiful sunsets. It offers a lively and culturally rich experience with plenty to see and do.

Best Beach

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park (MM 0.5) Offers a mix of history and beautiful beach landscapes.

Can’t Miss Activity

Sunset Cruise: Experience the famous Key West sunset from the water.

Best Attraction

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum (MM 1) Explore the residence of the famous author and its unique history.

Where To Eat

Blue Heaven (MM 0.5) A popular spot known for its delicious brunch and unique ambiance.

Where To Stay

Hotel: Island City House Hotel (MM 0.5), Southernmost Point Guest House (MM 0) Both offer charming accommodations with a historic feel.

RV Park: Boyd’s Key West Campground (MM 5) Well-equipped campground close to all the action in Key West.

The Most Beautiful Drive In The US: Key Largo To Key West

Driving from Key Largo to Key West is more than just a road trip; it’s an adventure filled with stunning scenery, exciting activities, and unforgettable memories. From snorkeling in Key Largo to enjoying the vibrant nightlife in Key West, there’s something for everyone along this iconic route. 

Don’t miss out on the best tips and hidden gems—download our Florida Keys Guide ebook and map to enhance your travel experience and ensure you don’t miss a thing!

Related Articles

Planning your Florida Keys RV road trip doesn’t need to be overwhelming. We’re traveling down the Overseas Highway from Key Largo to Key West, eating, paddling, snorkeling, and more! Read on.

Join us as we explore how to make the most out of your Miami to Key West drive. From must-visit attractions to hidden gems, dining delights, and practical tips, this guide will help you craft an unforgettable journey along the Overseas Highway.

When is the best time to visit Key West? You might be wondering about that while planning your next vacation with friends or family. In this blog post, we’ll break down the different seasons and factors that can help you decide the ideal time to visit Key West.

Key Largo To Key West FAQs

Yes, it is definitely worth the drive from Key Largo to Key West. The drive is approximately 100 miles and takes about 2.5 hours. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning ocean views, scenic bridges, and charming towns.

Yes, there are several transportation options from Key Largo to Key West. You can drive yourself, allowing you to stop and explore along the way. Alternatively, there are shuttle services and buses that operate between the two locations. Additionally, some tours offer transportation that includes sightseeing stops.

Both Key Largo and Key West have their own unique charm and appeal, making them difficult to compare directly. Key Largo is ideal for those who enjoy water activities and a quieter, more relaxed environment. Key West, on the other hand, is famous for its vibrant nightlife, historic sites, and cultural attractions.

Generally, it is cheaper to stay in Key Largo than in Key West. Key West tends to have higher accommodation costs due to its popularity as a tourist destination and its more extensive range of attractions and activities. Key Largo offers a more affordable range of lodging options, including budget hotels and vacation rentals, making it a cost-effective choice for travelers.

Author: Janelle

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