Bravo! So all adventurers and tourists must be aware of the way from Miami to Key West. Well, It is truly an exciting chance that holds wonders, and beauty and stops to live a moment full of LIFE. Talking about the timings, It takes about 4 hours to go to Key West from Miami. As for the distance, it is 256 kilometres (or 159 miles) away between these two destinations which allows you to explore the beauty of Florida. I have also marked words on a perfect guide about how to spend “One Day In Miami ” for the persons who want to have one day stop there first.
Here your mind must click on these questions, What are the top stops that you should go for? Where you can have a bite or spend time with your loved ones? What are the places to visit as a solo traveller while having a Miami to Key West drive? Right?
Well, this post is all about your guide on it! I have listed the 20 iconic stops such as the Seven Mile Bridge, Turtle Hospital, Dolphin Research Center, Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, and many more. So, without ado let’s discover the places to stop on a drive from Miami to Key West!
What Is The Ideal Way For Miami To Key West Drive?
The ideal way for a Miami to Key West drive is to embark on a 165-mile road trip that typically takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete. Along this picturesque route, there are several notable stops that can enhance your journey.
These stops include visiting The Everglades, exploring Biscayne National Park, experiencing Key Largo, enjoying the beauty of Islamorada, taking in the sights at Grassy Key, discovering the charm of Marathon, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Bahia Honda State Park, and crossing the iconic Seven Mile Bridge.
Also, there are a few different routes you can take for a Miami to Key West drive, but the most common and straightforward route is to follow the Overseas Highway (U.S. Route 1). Here are the basic directions:
- Start in Miami, Florida.
- Take U.S. Route 1 South, also known as the Overseas Highway.
- Continue on this highway, following the signs for Key West.
- You will pass through or by several notable places along the way, including Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, and Big Pine Key.
Driving by this route, you’ll arrive at Key West, the southernmost point in the continental United States. Also, this route offers stunning views of the ocean and the Florida Keys, and it’s the most popular and beautiful way to make the drive from Miami to Key West.
Why Road Trip From Miami And Key West?
A Miami to Key West day trip is an action-packed excursion filled with mesmerizing views, outdoor activities, and unique experiences. Covering 120 miles, this day trip takes you through the breathtaking Florida Keys, where you can explore turquoise waters, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife. Stretching over 120 miles, this drive takes you through a string of islands surrounded by crystal-clear waters, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife.
Besides, the best time to drive from Miami to Key West is during the dry season from November to May, when you can enjoy comfortable weather conditions and avoid the threat of tropical storms!
A road trip between Miami and Key West can be an enjoyable and lovely experience for several reasons:
Reason 1: It’s A Drive Through The Scenic Overseas Highway
The drive from Miami to Key West takes you through the amusing Overseas Highway, offering views of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay, and several islands along the way. Adding more, the drive from Miami to Key West offers beautiful views along the way, including!
- Overseas Highway – The highway itself is a scenic route that runs along the Florida Keys, offering views of the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay.
- Islands – Along the way, you’ll pass by various islands and islets, including Key Largo, Islamorada, and Marathon Key, providing glimpses of their natural beauty and stunning waters.
- Blue Waters – The blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico can be seen along the drive, offering breathtaking views of the sea.
- Mangrove forests & Wildlife – The drive passes through dense mangrove forests, offering views of these unique ecosystems. Don’t miss out on keeping an eye out for various wildlife along the way, including dolphins, sea turtles, and pelicans.
- Sunsets & Seven Mile Bridge –The drive offers the opportunity to catch stunning sunsets over the ocean and the the Seven Mile Bridge, one of the most iconic landmarks of the Florida Keys, offers breathtaking views of the water and the surrounding islands.
Reason 2: The Path Offers Incredible Stopovers
The drive provides opportunities to stop at various places along the way such as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Islamorada, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State, Bahia Honda State Park, Robbie’s Marina, Turtle Hospital, and Turtle Hospital.
- Key Largo – A popular stopover, Key Largo is known for its beaches, scuba diving, and snorkelling opportunities.
- Islamorada – Sometimes known as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World,” is a well-liked destination for anglers.
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – A popular stop that provides chances for diving and snorkelling on the coral reef that surrounds it.
- Bahia Honda State Park – A popular stop for beach-goers, Bahia Honda State Park offers swimming, sunbathing, and snorkelling opportunities.
- Robbie’s Marina – A popular spot for tarpon feeding, Robbie’s Marina is located in Islamorada and offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and dolphin encounters.
- Turtle Hospital – In Marathon Key, the Turtle Hospital provides an opportunity to learn about efforts to save and rehabilitate sea turtles.
- Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center – The centre is located in Tavernier and offers opportunities to learn about and observe various species of birds.
These are just a few of the many stopover options along the drive from Miami to Key West, allowing you to make the most of your road trip.
Reason 3: The Drive Though Miami To Key West Is Flexible
A road trip allows for greater flexibility in terms of stops, detours, and the overall pace of the journey for several reasons:
- Control over stops – When driving, you have the flexibility to make stops at any point along the way, whether it’s to stretch your legs, take photos, or explore a new place.
- Customizable itinerary – A road trip allows you to plan your own itinerary, making it easy to add or remove stops, detours, or activities based on your interests and schedule.
- Freedom to explore – With a car, you have the freedom to explore side roads, take detours, or visit lesser-known places that may not be accessible by other modes of transportation.
- No set schedule – Unlike other forms of transportation such as buses or trains, a road trip allows you to set your own pace without being tied to a set schedule.
- Ability to change plans – The flexibility of a road trip allows you to change plans at a moment’s notice, whether it’s due to weather, traffic, or a change of heart.
Reason 4: It is A Drive Of Unlimited Adventure
A road trip between Miami and Key West can be a great adventure for those who love to explore and discover new places. However, the Miami to Key West route is adventurous for the following reasons:
- Scenic drive – The drive from Miami to Key West is a beautiful scenic drive with views of the ocean and unique landscapes along the way.
- Water activities – Key West is known for its crystal-clear waters and offers a variety of water activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, and fishing.
- Historic sites – Key West is rich in history and has several historic sites such as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.
- Unique wildlife – Key West is a wildlife sanctuary and is home to a variety of exotic birds, sea turtles, and other species.
These factors make the Miami to Key West route an adventurous and exciting destination for travellers.
Reason 5: It’s A Cost-effective Road Trip
A road trip can be a more cost-effective option compared to flying or taking a tour. The Miami to Key West route is cost-effective because it is a popular tourist destination, which means there is high demand and a lot of competition among airlines, bus companies, and other transportation providers. Also, the route is relatively short, which means lower costs for fuel and other operational expenses.
Maimi To Key West Drive The 20 Iconic Stops To Must Explore
Along the way, visitors can explore the Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Everglades National Park, the Coral Castle Museum, and downtown Miami. The Miami to Key West drive attractions to visit, from scenic views of the Florida Keys to snorkelling, trying fresh seafood, and visiting charming seaside towns, plus reaching the iconic southernmost point marker in Key West. Let’s explore them in detail!
Downtown Miami or The Bustling City Centre
The Miami to Key West drive includes the following road exploration through downtown Miami:
- Miami Beach – A scenic drive along Collins Ave and Ocean Dr in Miami Beach provides views of the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Art Deco Historic District.
- Little Havana – It’s the stop in Little Havana offers a taste of Cuban culture and cuisine, with street vendors selling traditional Cuban food and live Latin music.
- Brickell – A drive through Brickell provides views of the city’s high-rise buildings and the Miami River.
- Coconut Grove – From the downtown, a drive through Coconut Grove offers a chance to explore this historic neighbourhood, with its tree-lined streets and charming restaurants and shops.
- Coral Gables – Coral Gables is known for its Mediterranean-style architecture and beautiful parks, making it a great place to stop and stretch your legs during the drive.
These road explorations provide a glimpse into the diverse cultures and sights that make Miami unique, making the drive from Miami to Key West an enjoyable and memorable experience
Coral Castle Museum A Mysterious Monument Stop
The Coral Castle Museum is a popular sight to see in Florida, known for its unique construction and mysterious history. Located in Homestead, Florida, it was built by Edward Leedskalnin over 28 years ago using only hand tools and was made entirely of coral rock. The museum is a mystery because it is unclear how Leedskalnin was able to move and carve such massive stone blocks by himself.
Visitors can explore the castle and see the intricate stone sculptures, including a 9-ton gate that can be opened with just a touch, and a rocking chair made from stone. The museum is a popular destination for tourists and is considered one of the most unique and unusual sights in Florida.
Everglades National Park Where Wilderness Preserve
The Everglades National Park can be a stop along the Miami to Key West drive, providing a chance to experience the unique wetlands and wildlife of the Everglades. Some ways to explore the park include
- Airboat tours – Take an airboat tour of the park to see alligators, exotic birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
- Hiking trails – Hike the park’s trails to see the diverse vegetation and wildlife that make the Everglades unique.
- Wildlife viewing – Observe the park’s wildlife, including manatees, otters, and a variety of bird species, from designated wildlife viewing areas.
- Canoeing and kayaking – Get up close and personal with the wetlands and animals by paddling the park’s rivers.
The Everglades National Park offers a unique and exciting experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, making it a great stop on the Miami to Key West drive.
Homestead-Miami Speedway Racetrack
The Homestead-Miami Speedway is a popular stop for those driving from Miami to Key West, offering a fun and exciting day of racing and car-related activities. Here are some reasons why you might spend a day at the speedway:
- NASCAR races – The Speedway is a NASCAR race track, hosting several races throughout the year, including the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series. You can check out the schedule calendar and if it’s on the same day you are driving through then must go for it.
- Track experiences – The speedway offers various track experiences, allowing visitors to drive or ride in a race car, or even experience a simulated race.
- Car shows – The Speedway also hosts various car shows, featuring classic and exotic cars, providing a chance for car enthusiasts to see some rare and beautiful vehicles.
- Entertainment – In addition to racing and car-related activities, the Speedway also offers concerts, food, and shopping, making it a fun and diverse day trip destination. Check out it’s ticket details now!
Spending a day at the Homestead-Miami Speedway offers an exciting and thrilling experience for race fans, car enthusiasts, and those who enjoy fast-paced action and entertainment.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located on the island of Key Largo in Florida and is a popular destination for visitors due to the following reasons:
- Reefs – The park is home to the only coral reef that is still alive in the whole continental United States, providing chances for snorkelling and scuba diving to view the colourful coral.
- Water activities – In addition to snorkelling and diving, the park also offers boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding, allowing visitors to explore the park’s waters and scenic mangroves.
- Nature trails – The park has several nature trails that offer the chance to see native plants and wildlife, such as manatees, sea turtles, and various bird species.
- Historic sites – The park is home to the Christ of the Deep statue, a 9-foot bronze statue located in the park’s waters, and the Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas National Park, a historic fort accessible by ferry.
- Relaxation – With its crystal clear waters, lush vegetation, and scenic beaches, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.
These features make John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park a unique and exciting destination for those visiting the island of Key Largo and looking for a nature-filled adventure.
Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen Or A Delicious Pit-stop
Driving from Miami to Key West, Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen is a popular pit stop and grasps the greater attention of the avid food lover. The restaurant is known for its classic Florida Keys cuisine, including seafood dishes and Key Lime pie.
Plus, Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen is a popular stop for tourists driving from Miami to Key West because of its reputation for serving classic Florida Keys cuisine. This pit stop is famous for its fresh homemade Key Lime pie and seafood dishes. Its location along the scenic Overseas Highway also provides a beautiful view of the Florida Keys, making it a great place to take a break and enjoy a meal while taking in the sights.
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
The distinctive geological structures at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park are well recognized. It is situated in the Florida Keys along the Overseas Highway between Miami and Key West. It includes quarries and coral reefs that have been petrified, which offer a glimpse into the region’s geologic past. Here are the main features of Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park to explore!
- Fossilized coral reefs and quarries – The fossilized coral reefs and quarries at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park are its main attraction. The quarries provide a unique opportunity to see and learn about the geologic history of the Florida Keys, including the formation of the coral reefs and the area’s past as a centre for quarrying.
- Guided tours of the quarries – The tours provide an opportunity to see the fossilized coral reefs and learn about the geologic history of the Florida Keys, including the formation of the coral reefs and the area’s past as a centre for quarrying.
- Hiking trails – Must explore the trails wind through the park and provide access to the fossilized coral reefs and quarries, as well as other scenic areas. The trails are well-maintained and provide a great way to get some exercise and take in the sights of the park.
- Picnic areas – Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park has picnic areas for visitors to enjoy a meal or a snack while taking in the park’s scenic beauty. The picnic areas are located in peaceful, shaded areas and provide a great place to relax and enjoy the Florida Keys scenery.
Islamorada Or Coastal Gem
Islamorada is a charming small beach town located along the Overseas Highway between Miami and Key West in the Florida Keys. Known for its stunning beaches, clear turquoise waters, and relaxed island vibe, Islamorada is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, snorkelling, and swimming, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun. With its laid-back atmosphere, delicious seafood restaurants, and picturesque scenery, Islamorada is a must-visit for anyone travelling from Miami to Key West.
Robbie’s Marina A Quirky marina
Driving further, Robbie’s Marina has been considered one of the quirkiest stops on the Miami to Florida Keys drive because of its unique atmosphere and offerings. Robbie’s Marina is a popular tourist destination known for its tarpon feeding, where visitors can hand-feed massive tarpon fish from the docks.
The marina also features a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as a lively atmosphere with live music and other entertainment. With its combination of outdoor activities and entertainment, Robbie’s Marina provides a quirky and fun experience for visitors, making it a must-visit stop on the drive from Miami to the Florida Keys.
Morada Way Arts District For Artsy Eyes
The Morada Way Arts District is a popular stop for tourists travelling from Miami to Key West. The district is a vibrant and eclectic area known for its art galleries, studios, and unique boutiques. Visitors can explore the district’s charming streets and admire the works of local artists, as well as purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts.
The Morada Way Arts District is also home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a great place to relax and enjoy a meal or drink while taking in the sights and sounds of the area. With its vibrant arts scene and charming atmosphere, the Morada Way Arts District is a must-visit stop for anyone travelling from Miami to Key West.
Dolphin Research Center A Marine Research Hub
The Dolphin Research Center is a beautiful and educational stop for tourists travelling from Miami to Key West. The centre is dedicated to the study and protection of dolphins and other marine mammals and provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about these fascinating creatures.
Visitors can participate in interactive programs, observe dolphins and sea lions in their natural habitats, and learn about the centre’s research and conservation efforts.
Plus, the centre is also home to a variety of educational exhibits and interactive displays, making it a great place for families and children to learn about dolphins and the ocean. With its beautiful surroundings and educational offerings, the Dolphin Research Center is a must-visit stop for anyone travelling from Miami to Key West.
Turtle Hospital & A Rehabilitation Sanctuary
The Turtle Hospital is a beautiful and educational stop for tourists travelling from Miami to Key West. The hospital is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of sick and injured sea turtles and provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about these magnificent creatures and the efforts to protect them.
Visitors can tour the hospital, meet the staff and patients, and learn about the various treatments and procedures used to help the turtles recover. The Turtle Hospital is also home to a variety of educational exhibits and interactive displays, making it a great place for families and children to learn about sea turtles and the ocean.
With its beautiful surroundings and educational offerings, the Turtle Hospital is a must-visit stop for anyone travelling from Miami to Key West.
Seven Mile Bridge Or A Scenic Span
The Seven Mile Bridge is a major highlight of the Miami to Key West drive and is considered one of the most scenic bridges in all of Florida. The bridge spans seven miles over the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, providing breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding islands. The Seven Mile Bridge is a popular spot for tourists to stop and take in the views, take photos, and enjoy the fresh sea air.
The drive over the Seven Mile Bridge is a unique and unforgettable experience that showcases the beauty of the Florida Keys, making it a must-visit stop for anyone travelling from Miami to Key West.
Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is a popular attraction located in the Florida Keys, on the drive from Miami to Key West. This state park boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the Keys, including the renowned Sandspur Beach. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, fishing, and hiking, as well as sunbathing on the sandy shores and swimming in the clear waters.
Also, Bahia Honda State Park is home to several nature trails, offering a chance to explore the lush vegetation and wildlife of the area. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway or an action-packed adventure, Bahia Honda State Park is a must-visit destination on your Miami to Key West drive.
National Key Deer Refuge Nature Center
The National Key Deer Refuge Nature Center is an iconic stop for tourists travelling from Miami to Key West. The centre is located in the heart of the Key Deer Refuge, a protected area that is home to the endangered Key Deer, a small subspecies of white-tailed deer found only in the Florida Keys. Visitors can learn about the history, ecology, and conservation of the Key Deer and other wildlife in the area through interactive exhibits, guided walks, and educational programs. The nature centre is a great place for families and children to learn about the natural wonders of the Florida Keys and is a must-visit stop for anyone interested in wildlife and conservation.
Dry Tortugas National Park Or Remote Paradise
Dry Tortugas National Park is a stunning and remote stop for tourists travelling from Miami to Key West. The park is located 70 miles west of Key West and is known for its clear waters, abundant wildlife, and historic Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century military fort. Visitors can explore the fort, go snorkelling, bird watching, and fishing, or take a guided tour of the park.
The park is also home to several bird species and sea turtles, making it a great place for wildlife enthusiasts. With its unique history and breathtaking scenery, Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-visit stop for anyone travelling from Miami to Key West.
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is an iconic and popular stop for tourists visiting Key West. This historic property was the home of the famous author Ernest Hemingway from the 1930s to the 1940s and is now a museum dedicated to his life and legacy.
Visitors can tour the property and see Hemingway’s writing studio, swimming pool, and beautiful gardens, as well as learn about his life and works through interactive exhibits and guided tours.
The museum is also home to dozens of six-toed cats, descendants of Hemingway’s own pets, which are a popular attraction for visitors. With its rich history, beautiful grounds, and fascinating exhibits, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the life and work of one of America’s greatest writers.
Smathers Beach Key West Florida
It is a famous stop in Key West, Florida, known for its stunning natural beauty and recreational opportunities. This half-mile-long beach is located on the southern coast of Key West and is one of the largest and most popular beaches on the island. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities including swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling, and windsurfing, and the beach is also a popular spot for picnics and beach volleyball.
The clear turquoise waters and soft sand make Smathers Beach a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and its close proximity to many of Key West’s other attractions makes it a convenient and enjoyable stop for anyone visiting the island.
Wrap-Up: Miami To Key West Drive
I’m hoping that after reading this blog post, you’ll appreciate why the trip from Miami to Key West is so enjoyable. The drive from the famous Seven Mile Bridge to the quaint Key West is lined with beautiful beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, artistic centres, and undersea activities. Delicious food can be had at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, renowned tours can be had at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and undersea wonders may be seen in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Some of the highlights of this trip include the eccentric Robbie’s Marina, the beautiful town of Islamorada, and the enigmatic Coral Castle Museum.