Mile Marker Zero, Key West

  • Post last modified:August 10, 2023
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Key West marks the southern end of one of America‘s most iconic roads. Mile Marker Zero celebrates the almost unimaginable US Route 1, running from Key West all the way to the Canadian border. Although placed on a humble street corner, Mile Marker Zero means too much to be missed.

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Why visit Mile Marker Zero

Where Whitehead and Fleming streets quietly intersect, framed by swaying palm trees, Mile Marker Zero reminds you of life’s unlimited opportunities. US Route 1, starting in the tropical Key West, connects East Coast hubs including Miami, Washington DC, NYC and Boston.

The longest north-south route in the USA, US Route 1 gives you 2,370 miles (3,814 km) of reasons to visit Key West’s Mile Marker Zero.

Yes, I-95 may be the most traveled East Coast route these days: Time is precious, and I-95 is quicker. But for a road trip experience, US Route 1 still is the clear winner.

Refreshingly so, you often get a one-on-one with Mile Marker Zero. Overshadowed by the island’s Southernmost Point, the southern end of the continental US, this street corner remains quiet at most times.

So, while marveling at US Route 1’s scope, take that mandatory photo of Mile Marker Zero at your own pace, without fellow visitors waiting in line.

Do you want to drive US Route 1? Its most southern part, the famous Overseas Highway, is a great choice. Framed by roadside attractions and offering lovely water views, it’s the one and only route through the Florida Keys.

Tips for visiting Mile Marker Zero

A few tips can make your visit to Mile Marker Zero even better.

  • Admire the Kapok Tree: It seems like the fun photo opportunities never end in Key West. Under the radar, The Kapok Tree — with branches reaching out like arms — stands only steps south of Mile Marker Zero.
  • Use your feet: Most often, the best way of getting around Key West is by foot. As the Florida island is so compact, 1.25 miles (2 km) from north to south, you have all Old Town attractions at your fingertips.
  • Beat the heat: The endless summer is one of the top reasons to visit Key West. However, don’t let that tropical sun get the better of you: Summer is the hottest time to visit Key West, but take precautions year round.
Golden sun shining on Mile Marker Zero in Key West, Florida
Mile Marker Zero during sunset.

Things to to near Mile Marker Zero

Checking Mile Marker Zero out is just one of many unique things to do in Key West. No matter if you prefer a quiet walk surrounded by butterflies or a big night out, Key West is an island that delivers.

  • Sloppy Joe’s: Do you need to cool of a little bit? Sloppy Joe’s, the most storied bar in Key West, is conveniently located just 0.3 miles (0.5 km) from Mile Marker Zero.
  • Hemingway Home: Many celebrities have fallen for the charm of Key West. Ernest Hemingway, a one-of-a-kind writer and personality, lived on Whitehead Street for almost 10 years.
  • Key West Lighthouse: 88 steps take you up to the crown of Key West’s tallest structure, Key West Lighthouse. On top of Key West, the lovely bird-eye perspective alone makes a visit worth it.
  • Mallory Square: Follow Whitehead Street north from Mile Marker Zero, and you soon arrive at Mallory Square. Every evening this place turns into an awe-inspiring show of sunset colors and street performers.
  • Southernmost Point: Among all the sights in Key West, the red-capped Southernmost Point is the most photographed one. This is not only the end of Key West but also the end of the contiguous USA.
  • Key West Butterfly Garden: That Key West is a destination for everyone is impossible to miss at the Butterfly Garden. Strolling among colorful butterflies is an activity that amuses visitors of all walks of life.
  • Fort Zachary Taylor: Although Fort Zachary Taylor is slightly separated from other Old Town attractions, its Caribbean-like beach and clear waters reward you greatly. For history, explore the historic fort too.

Distances from Mile Marker Zero

Sloppy Joe’s0.3 mi / 0.5 km
Hemingway Home0.4 mi / 0.6 km
Key West Lighthouse0.4 mi / 0.6 km
Mallory Square0.5 mi / 0.8 km
Southernmost Point0.7 mi / 1.1 km
Butterfly Garden0.8 mi / 1.3 km
Fort Zachary Taylor1 mi / 1.6 km

Where to stay near Mile Marker Zero

The best hotels near Mile Marker Zero provide excellent vantage points for discovering all that Old Town has to offer.

Marreros Guest Mansion – Key West-style lodging

It’s warm year round, chickens roam freely and cats have six toes — yes, Key West is the definition of a quirky destination. Fitting the bill perfectly, Marreros Guest Mansion is an eye-popping hotel near Mile Marker Zero. At this gem, colorfully styled without going over the top and with Mile Marker Zero on its doorstep, you always have that unique Key West vibe present.

Old Town Manor – Rock yourself to sleep

The history of this Victorian house, built in 1886, fascinates: Today’s Old Town Manor has functioned as a grocery and butcher store, doctor’s office and boardinghouse. Then it’s the tropical gardens: enter an oasis featuring carefully selected trees, blooming flowers and fish ponds.

How to best take all this in? Sit down in a rocker on the timeless porch.

Need more options? See all the best places to stay in Key West.

Mile Marker Zero FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about visiting Mile Marker Zero in Key West, FL.

Where is Mile Marker Zero located?

Mile Marker Zero in Key West is located at the corner of Whitehead Street and Fleming Street. This is one street away from Key West’s main drag, the always busy Duval Street.

Why is Mile Marker Zero famous?

Mile Marker Zero marks the southern end of US Route 1. Extending for 2,370 (3,814 km), US Route 1 is the longest north-south route in the USA.

What are fun things to do near Mile Marker Zero?

First, photograph The Kapok Tree across the street. Then, tick off other top sights near Mile Marker Zero, including Sloppy Joe’s and the Ernest Hemingway Home.