Are you heading to the Sunshine State?
Then you’ll definitely want to visit Miami, Key West, and everything in between!
Luckily, you can.
Grab your car and hit the road for the road trip of a lifetime.
Miami to Key West is a reasonable drive and there are plenty of hidden gems to stop at along the way.
Continue reading to discover 15 places to stop driving from Miami to Key West.
No Florida road trip is complete without a trip to the state’s best city: Miami!
Miami is known as one of the most vibrant cities in all of the United States.
From the exciting nightlife to the pristine beaches, there is so much to experience in this Florida locale.
Top attractions include Stiltsville, Key Biscayne, Miracle Mile, the Perez Art Museum of Miami, Jungle Island, and the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.
If you’re into sports, don’t miss a Miami Heat game at American Airlines Arena or a Miami Marlins game at Marlins Park.
And of course, don’t miss out on Miami Beach, home to South Beach and the famous Ocean Drive.
Play a game of beach volleyball, swim in the ocean, or grab a cocktail at a bar overlooking the water.
2. Florida Keys Outlet Marketplace
As you make your way to Key West, be sure to stop at the Florida Keys Outlet Marketplace.
This incredible outdoor mall will let you shop ’til you drop!
The open-air complex has shopping to suit all visitors.
Men and women will find stores including Coach, Guess, Gap, Levi’s, and American Eagle.
Meanwhile, sporting goods stores range from Nike to Adidas and Under Armour.
In addition to the multitude of shops, Florida Keys Outlet Marketplace features Spanish colonial-inspired architecture, making it a pleasant place to simply go for a stroll or stop for lunch.
The food court has a variety of eateries, such as Fresh Coco, Inka’s Grill, La Churrasqueria, and Nik Mary’s Pizza.
- Address: 250 E Palm Dr, Florida City, FL 33034, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-9pm; Sunday 10am-7pm
3. Everglades Alligator Farm
If you’re into nature and wildlife, then visiting the Florida Everglades is a must.
This picturesque and fascinating park is home to the state’s many alligators, which is why there are plenty of alligator tours in operation.
Everglades Alligator Farm is one of the best wildlife parks in the state, offering visitors a chance to view alligators, snakes, caimans, and crocodiles in their natural habitat.
Beyond simply spotting the animals, the Everglades Alligator Farm offers airboat tours that will take you through the winding waterways that the Everglades are known for.
All tours include an airboat ride, reptile shows, and general admission to the farm.
Private tours are offered for an additional fee.
- Address: 40351 SW 192nd Ave, Homestead, FL 33034, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5:30pm
4. Alabama Jacks
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the first stop in Florida Keys: Key Largo!
Have a break at Alabama Jacks.
It is a lively waterfront restaurant known for its seafood.
The colourful locale boasts beautiful views of the water and has both indoor and outdoor eating spaces.
The restaurant is famous for its conch fritters, but other popular menu items include crab cakes, fried clams, conch chowder, and fried fish sandwiches.
For those less into seafood, you’re sure to love their “from the land” options, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken fingers.
In addition, live music is played throughout the week.
- Address: 58000 Card Sound Rd, Key Largo, FL 33030, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 11am-7pm
5. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
Make your way farther into Key Largo and you will eventually come to the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.
This Florida state park isn’t too far off from the highway and was founded in 1982.
It is named after Dagny Johnson, an environmental activist who bought up the land in the early 80s and converted it into a park.
The land was previously going to be turned into a giant condominium development.
Florida state park has always been and continues to be a critical habitat for plenty of flora and fauna in the region.
For example, 90% of the Key Largo Woodrat and the Key Largo Cotton mouse populations live in this state park.
All in all, the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is a wonderful place to spot wildlife and go for a walk.
- Address: County Rd 905 & Mile Marker 106, Key Largo, FL 33037, United States
6. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a natural wonder.
That is what makes it such an exciting stop on your Miami to Key West Florida road trip.
This scenic state park is made up of roughly 70 nautical square miles of Atlantic Ocean water.
The park is 25 miles in length and extends 3 miles into the ocean.
Most of the park’s activities revolve around the water.
They include snorkelling, swimming, and scuba diving.
Of course, visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the beach or sunbathing.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is also home to mangroves, where you can kayak, canoe, or paddleboard.
There are also many glass bottom boat tours that leave from the park.
Power boats can be rented too.
Lastly, there is a World War II era shipwreck that can be explored by visitors.
- Address: 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 8am-7:30pm
7. Theater of the Sea
Who doesn’t love marine animals?
Islamorada, Florida’s Theater of the Sea is a marine mammal park.
It is a popular tourist attraction in the Florida Keys and dates back to 1946.
Today, the park is known for its rare wildlife and animals shows.
For example, there is a dolphin show in which the animals perform tricks in front of the audience, such as jumping through a hoop and ringing a bell.
Visitors can even swim with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sting rays, and nurse sharks.
Further, Theater of the Sea houses other types of animals, including sea turtles, game fish, exotic birds, and even lizards.
Finally, the park offers ecological conservation programs for animals.
- Address: 84721 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am-5pm
8. History of Diving Museum
Also in the village of Islamorada lies the History of Diving Museum.
This unique museum is filled with exhibits, equipment, and artifacts that showcase the history of scuba diving.
It is a non profit educational institution that aims to teach visitors how diving has evolved over time.
Exhibits at the History of Diving Museum include “The South Florida Adventure,” “Beebe’s Lab and Marine Biology,” “Underwater Photography,” “The Treasure Room,” and “Evolution of Regulators and Rebreathers.”
There is also an aquarium where visitors can marvel at all kinds of colourful fish.
There are events held throughout the year, featuring authors and biologists from the region.
- Address: 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
9. Robbie’s Tarpon Feeding
Are you a fan of fishing or wildlife in general?
Then don’t miss out on Robbie’s Tarpon Feeding, the next pitstop on your Miami to Key West road trip.
Robbie’s Tarpon Feeding is just what it sounds – a place where visitors can feed famous tarpon fish.
Tarpon are a very large species of fish that live in the Atlantic Ocean.
At Robbie’s, you’ll get to take part in the breathtaking experience – feeding a tarpon right from the dock.
Each day, the dock at Robbie’s receives a school of over 100 tarpon fish.
Visitors are encouraged to toss bait fish at them and watch as these silvery creatures rise to catch their snack.
This is an excellent photo opp!
- Address: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 7am-9pm
10. Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
When in the Florida Keys, exploring the ocean is necessary.
And the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters lets you do just that!
This marine life facility offers once in a life time experiences with some of the ocean’s most amazing creatures.
Snorkeling, scuba diving, and feeding activities can all be done here.
There are seven different “encounters” available to visitors.
This includes the Big Shark Bay Encounter with nurse sharks, a Stingray Encounter, and a Coral Reef Encounter with plenty of vibrant tropical fish.
There are also several exhibits and tanks for guests to explore, such as Tarpon Basin, Predator Reef Tank, and Tide Pool Touch Tank.
- Address: 11710 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
11. Turtle Hospital
Marathon, Florida is where you will find the Turtle Hospital.
This animal hospital is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and then releasing lost or injured sea turtles.
As a working hospital, they offer guided educational programs throughout the week.
Tours are 90 minutes in length and include a walk through the hospital’s facilities and the sea turtle rehabilitation area.
This behind the scenes program tour allows visitors to catch a glimpse into sea turtle life and the recovery process when they are injured.
Each tour ends with a feeding, where you will finally get to interact with these gentle and adorable creatures.
- Address: 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 8:30am-6pm
12. Seven Mile Bridge
We bet you’ve never driven across a bridge this beautiful!
The Seven Mile Bridge is infamous in the state of Florida.
The bridge connects Knight’s Key in the Middle Key to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys.
Despite the name of the bridge, it is just under 7 miles in length (6.79 miles to be specific) and spans the turquoise blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
When it was first built, it was considered one of the longest bridges in the world.
It is part of Route 1, which definitely makes it one of the most scenic highways in the world.
You will definitely be tempted to pull over and take photos.
Fun fact: The Seven Mile Bridge has been featured in multiple American films, including 2 Fast 2 Furious, Burn Notice, True Lies, and License to Kill.
13. National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center
Once you’ve crossed the bridge and made it to Big Pine Key, your first stop should definitely be the National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center.
This national wildlife refuge is roughly 8.5 acres in size and offers the unique experience of getting to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
The park is home to the endangered Key Deer, as well as a wide range of other threatened or endangered animals.
The National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center is made up of forests, wetlands, marsh, and a wilderness area.
Visitors to the refuge can walk through the Nature Center, which explains key information about these majestic deer.
There is also an observation deck, called the Blue Hole Observation Platform, that overlooks a quarry filled with freshwater.
Osprey, herons, alligators, and other birds live here.
Finally, there are plenty of scenic nature trails to go for a short walk or hike.
- Address: 179 Key Deer Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-3pm; Closed Sunday
14. No Name Pub
Your last stop en route to Key West is none other than the No Name Pub.
This eclectic tavern is known for its classic American food, tasty cocktails, and relaxed ambience.
The pub is a staple of the community, having been established back in 1931.
In 1931 it was a general store but by 1936, an extra room had been added and the pub that we know as No Name Pub was born.
Since then, it has consistently been rated one of the best casual dining establishments in Florida.
The menu has food to suit all travelers, ranging from pizza and chili to smoked fish dip and sandwiches.
There’s no doubt about it – No Name Pub is definitely worth the drive and is the perfect place to grab a snack before reaching your final destination.
- Address: 30813 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, United States
- Opening Hours: Daily 11am-10pm
15. Key West
You’ve made it to your destination of Key West.
And rest assured, it won’t disappoint.
This tropical locale will make it hard to believe you’re still in Florida.
It will feel like you’re on a secluded island in the Caribbean.
The island is known for its pastel-hued houses, sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters.
Here are some must-see attractions in Key West
- The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
- the Southernmost Point of the Continental US
- Mallory Square
- Duval Street
- Smathers Beach
- Truman Little White House
- The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
We hope this list has shown you that Miami to Key West is definitely worth the drive.
From swimming with dolphins at Theater of the Sea to relaxing with a cocktail in hand at No Name Pub, you’re sure to enjoy this warm and sunny Florida adventure.
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