Key Largo to Key West road trip

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Driving from Key Largo to Key West is a bucket-list experience. The Overseas Highway, taking you from key to key all the way down to Key West, is one of the truly great American roads. Also capturing the highlights along the way, this itinerary ensures that you make the most of the splendid occasion.

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  • Total distance: 97 mi / 156 km
  • Total driving time: 2 h

1. Key Largo

An appreciated escape from the mainland hustle and bustle, the 33-mile (53 km) Key Largo welcomes you to the Florida Keys. Meet the archipelago’s largest island, giving you plenty of reasons to linger.

Highlights:

  • Overseas Highway – Enter the breathtaking highway that will take you all the way to Key West.
  • John Pennekamp – Dive, snorkel or take a glass-bottom boat tour around lively coral reefs.
  • African Queen – Cruise tranquil canals aboard the African Queen, the steamboat made famous via the namesake 1951 movie, starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.

More info: Best Key Largo resorts

Overseas Highway sign in Key Largo, Florida, USA
From Key Largo to Key West on the Overseas Highway.

2. Islamorada

  • Driving distance: 17 mi / 27 km
  • Driving time: 0.5 h

Prepare to get wet. Water activities abound in Islamorada, known as the sport-fishing capital of the world.

Highlights:

  • Indian Key – Paddle the short distance over to the island that once was the seat of Dade County but nowadays is uninhabited.
  • Robbie’s – Feed hungry tarpons, sit down for a meal and browse the souvenir shop at a Florida Keys institution.
  • Alligator Reef – Book a diving or snorkeling trip to the iconic offshore home to not only colourful fish but also a shipwreck and a lighthouse.

More info: Things to do in Islamorada & Islamorada lodging

Clear waters, white sand and swaying palm trees in Islamorada, Florida
Islamorada’s world-class setting.

3. Marathon

  • Driving distance: 30 mi / 48 km
  • Driving time: 0.5 h

Before you know it, you have arrived at the Florida Keys’ heart, halfway between Key Largo and Key West.

Highlights:

  • Sombrero Beach – Chill at one of the area’s most beautiful sand beaches.
  • Florida Keys Turtle Hospital – Learn and support the rehabilitation of Florida Keys turtles.
  • Crane Point – Blend human history with a lovely 1.5-mile (2.4 km) hike through hardwood hammock and mangrove forest.
Aerial view of iconic Seven Mile Bridge spanning the clear blue waters of the Florida Keys
The iconic Seven Mile Bridge, just west of Marathon.

4. Lower Keys

  • Driving distance: 21 mi / 34 km
  • Driving time: 0.5 h

The distractions are few in the Lower Keys, and that’s exactly the appeal.

Highlights:

  • Bahia Honda Beach – Splash in shallow water while admiring the view of a historic rail bridge.
  • Key Deer Refuge – Marvel at the smallest deer in North America, the 30-inch (76 cm) Key deer.
  • No Name Pub – Have a cooling drink on Big Pine Key (if you can find the establishment).
Bahia Honda State Park in Florida Keys,  overlooking the historic Bahia Honda Rail Bridge
View from Bahia Honda Beach.

5. Key West

  • Driving distance: 29 mi / 47 km
  • Driving time: 0.5 h

After a spectacular road trip, you have arrived in Key West! This is both the end of the Overseas Highway and the continental United States.

Highlights:

  • Hemingway Home – Explore Hemingway’s former home, still enjoyed by descendants of the writer’s cats.
  • Duval Street – Raise your glass on the lively main strip where the quirky restaurants and bars never seem to end.
  • Southernmost Point – Prove that you reached the end of the road with a photo at the touristy but vivid buoy on Whitehead Street.

Where to stay in Key West

Bed down at the romantic Almond Tree Inn in the island’s center, or try the Blue Marlin Motel to stretch your budget.

Booking.com
Statue depicting railroad tycoon Henry Flagler sitting on bench outside Flagler Station in Key West
You have arrived in Key West.

Road trip from Key Largo to Key West FAQ

How long is the Key Largo to Key West road trip?

This ultimate Key Largo to Key West road trip is 97 miles (156 km) long, taking roughly 2 hours excluding any stops along the way. If you start at the southern tip of Florida’s mainland, where the Overseas Highway technically begins, the drive is 113 miles (182 km).

Where should I stop between Key Largo and Key West?

The main stops included are Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Lower Keys and Key West.

How many days do I need for the Key Largo to Key West drive?

Because the distance is so short, you can easily drive from Key Largo to Key West in just a day, or even an afternoon. However, that’s not how the Overseas Highway is best experienced. To make the most of the drive, we strongly recommend spending at least a few days on the way down to Key West.

Keep planning your Key West trip

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