One of the USA’s most famous and classic road trips, the Overseas Highway, US1, jumps from Key to Key over 113 miles, either ending or beginning at Key West, just 90 miles from Cuba.
Along the journey, we’ll track the story of how a determined Henry Flagler fought engineering, financing, hurricanes and some ridicule to build an Overseas Railway. Those tracks forged the initial route and became the foundation on which the road was eventually built upon.
Hear how famous musicians, writers, adventurers and other characters have also been charmed by the Florida Keys and Key West’s unique location and way of life. They came to chase huge fighting fish, find buried treasure or just themselves.
Snorkel, scuba or take a glass bottom boat to get up close to the living coral reefs, fish and an old Spanish shipwreck, of the Florida Keys at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
We’ll point out areas to keep your eyes peeled for the endangered Key Deer, the smallest of North American deer and visit the lovely beach at Bahia Honda for an up close up view of the old rail bridge.
As we loop Key West, appreciate the brightly coloured Key West style houses, including Ernest Hemingway’s, which open to visit. Grab a selfie at the striped buoy that represents the Southernmost Point in the Continental USA.
Take some time to wander Duval Street. You’ll quickly find yourself slowing to Key West pace.
South Beach, Downtown Miami, or Key West
It is possible to drive the Overseas Highway and return to Miami in a single day, but expect it to take 10-12 hours. It’s much more enjoyable to spend over a couple of days or a week staying in Key West, Marathon or other Keys along the route
Between Miami and Key West, it’s around 168 miles – expect 4 hours driving time depending on traffic
Key West is the southernmost point in the United States, and famous for its beaches, water activities, coral reefs, lively nightlife, historic sites and brightly colored houses.
The crime rate in Key West is very low and the area is considered safe, but you should still take care especially at night around lively Duval Street.
The best months to visit Key West are March, April and May with continuing warm weather, less crowds and more reasonable rates. Winter is peak travel season, and the most expensive.
Driving from Miami to Key West is one of the USA’s most famous and classic road trips. The Overseas Highway, US1, jumps from Key to Key over 113 miles, and is a stunning drive lined with brilliant blue beaches and green trees.
It’s around 166 miles along the Overseas Highway US 1 South between Miami and Key West. While it would be around 3.5 hours to drive, expect it to take 6 hours with a few sightseeing stops and lunch along the way.
Marathon is roughly half way and has a wide selection of restaurants, bars and holes-in-the-wall for great seafood. If you grab a table at Key Fisheries open air fish house, you can enjoy views overlooking the bay, while chowing down on conch fritters.