If you're looking for a road trip that's full of adventure, look no further than the Florida Keys. This archipelago of 800 tropical islands stretches 120 miles off the coast of Florida, and is one of the warmest and sunniest destinations in the United States. From Key Largo to Key West, you can explore a variety of cays, snorkel, dine at seafood restaurants, try lime pie, go shopping and enjoy endless views of the sparkling aquamarine waters. The best time to visit the Florida Keys is between March and May, after the tourist season ends and when hotel rates are more reasonable.
It's best to avoid the peak hurricane season of August and September. The hottest months in the Florida Keys are July and August, with average high temperatures of 90 degrees. June, August and September are the months with the most rainfall. The best airports to start a road trip to the Florida Keys are Miami International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL), about 30 miles north.
I would recommend at least a week to see the best of the Keys. You can save time on your Keys road trip by paying extra for your car rental and only making the one-way trip. Here's our guide to the best things to do in Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and Key West for your Miami to Key West road trip adventure. Read on for the full details of each step of the itinerary, including more places of interest, restaurants, tours and recommended hotels and Airbnbs.
Key LargoKey Largo is the first stop on a road trip from Miami to Key West, and is famous for its first-class diving and snorkeling.
Route 1 or Card Sound Bridge: Take the slightly longer Card Sound toll road if you want to stop at Alabama Jack's bar. Key Largo is also known for water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding and fishing. To the west, on the continent, is the Everglades National Park. The must-see sights in Key Largo include Robert Is Here Fruit Stand, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Caribbean Club Classic and Tradition Key Largo Dive Bar with Incredible Sunset Views, Pilot House Restaurant, Sundowner's Key Largo seafood restaurant with a glazed dining room and outdoor waterfront seating.
IslamoradaIslamorada is a town made up of 6 of the Middle Keys, and the midpoint between Miami and Key West. It is known as 'the sportfishing capital of the world' due to its many marinas offering deep sea fishing charters.
The must-see sights in Islamorada include Theater of the Sea Marine Mammal Park, Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, Indian Key Historic State Park and Robbie's Marina.
MarathonMarathon is located in the middle of the Florida Keys island chain. It is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. The must-see sights in Marathon include Sombrero Beach, Crane Point Museum & Nature Center, Pigeon Key Historic District & Marine Science Center and Seven Mile Bridge.
Big Pine KeyBig Pine Key is located at mile marker 30 on US 1 in Monroe County. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida as well as some unique wildlife such as wild deer and endangered species like key deer.
The must-see sights in Big Pine Key include National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center & Museum, Blue Hole & Nature Trail and Bahia Honda State Park.