A Caribbean-flavored destination, the beautiful Florida Keys archipelago lures travelers with splendid beaches, wildlife, and crystal clear waters. A superb chain of islands connected by a 161-kilometer-long All-American Road, known as the Overseas Highways, Florida Keys makes for a fabulous road trip experience rewarding travelers with breathtaking views dipped in spectacular blue waters.
A destination on its own, the road will take you across dozens of beautiful overwater bridges, past magnificent scenery and to the vibrant Key West, the end of your journey and one of the most popular destinations in Florida. The archipelago stretches from south Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, Key West marking its southernmost point.
A nature lovers’ paradise, Florida Keys is one of the best scuba diving spots in the US, as well as a great camping, fishing, and kayaking destination. Take your time to visit the charming little towns and resorts you’ll find along the way and disconnect from routine and worries. Focus your attention on all that nature has to offer and try to imitate the locals’ laid back lifestyle.
From Key Largo to Marathon
While Key West is the jewel of Florida Keys’ crown, you’ll discover several other resort towns as charming and vibrant. Your Overseas Highway adventure starts in Key Largo, a destination beloved by outdoorsy travelers and eco-adventurists. Home to the fabulous Everglades National Park, the largest sub-tropical wilderness on the USA’s mainland, Key Largo is often visited by travelers eager to admire this park’s flora and fauna and enjoy excellent hiking and canoeing adventures. The Everglades National Park covers an area of 610,684 hectares and is inhabited by a variety of endangered species, like the green turtle, the Key Largo Cotton mouse, and the American crocodile. Another attraction in Key Largo is the fantastic John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a natural playground for snorkelers and divers eager to discover the underwater world of the Florida Keys.
The road continues south to Islamorada, also known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World. Considering the village’s reputation, fishers will have a blast during their Islamorada holiday, while seafood lovers will have the chance to indulge in fresh fish and seafood. An enchanting artisan village, Islamorada is also a great place to admire and acquire handmade souvenirs to remind you of your Florida Keys holiday.
Moving on, you’ll get to Marathon, a perfect holiday destination for families, set on 13 islands in the Florida Keys. Marathon is known for its large variety of accommodations, as well as for its impressive number of activities and fun things to do. Water activities are the number one choice for many tourists, especially boating and fishing. Don’t miss your chance to admire the dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center and connect with nature along the Crane Point Hammock and Nature Trail or on a hiking adventure in the Curry Hammock State Park.
From Lower Keys to Key West
Once you get to the Lower Keys, you’ll suddenly feel the need to slow down your pace, especially after crossing the spectacular Seven Mile Bridge. Crossing this bridge will feel like floating over the water. The Lower Keys is dominated by crystalline green-blue waters and reigned by the presence of the Big Pine Key, the largest key of the Lower Keys. Stop along the way at the National Key Deer Refuge to encounter an impressive population of miniature deer and head to the Bahia Honda State Park for a chance to sunbathe on some of the best beaches in the US.
Your last and most phenomenal stop will be Key West. A muse and source of inspiration for Ernest Hemingway, Key West was founded by shipwreck salvagers in the 19th century. Different than all the other resorts in the Florida Keys, Key West is a haven for funky people who have lost any notion of time and live in harmony with the surroundings. Leave your car in the parking lot and discover Key West by foot, bicycle, or trolley.
The city is enchanting and beautiful, lined with an abundance of cafes and legendary pubs and home to several museums, galleries, and theaters. It’s impossible not to notice its appetite for life and to fight the urge to dream about moving here one day. Visit Ernest Hemingway’s house and the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, as an homage paid to Key West’s most famous residents: Ernest Hemingway and John Audubon. Wander the streets of the Old Town district and climb the 88 steps to the top of the historic Key West Lighthouse to capture spectacular views of the area. Relax and engage in some people watching at Mallory Square and end your evening with a cruise aboard the Jolly II Rover. #
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