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Key Largo to Key West is a classic Florida Keys road trip! Within a 100-mile distance from Key Largo to Key West along the Florida Overseas Highway, you can go snorkeling, kayaking, try many local delicacies, stroll on endless beaches and soak in the views.

You can plan a Florida Keys road trip in several different ways. If your time is limited, then do a day trip from Miami to the Florida Keys. If you have more time, then spend 3 days or even 5 days in the Florida Keys, staying overnight in a couple of places, then driving and stopping along the way from Key Largo to Key West.

In this post, I covered all the best stops and things to do on a drive from Key Largo to Key West that will tick off all the major attractions in the Florida Keys.

Are you planning a trip to Florida? Check out some of my posts to help you decide what to do and see in Florida:

22 Things You Can’t Miss on Your First Visit to Key West

One Day in Everglades National Park (9 Places You Can’t Miss on First Visit)

3 Scenic Drives in Big Cypress National Preserve (Best Stops You Can’t Miss)

What You Need to Know About the Florida Keys Overseas Highway

The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is about a 100-mile highway via US Route 1 (US 1) that runs from Key Largo to Key West. The drive without any stops takes roughly 2.5 hours depending on the traffic.

You will be going on 42 bridges that connect various small islands.

Intrepid’s Tip: 

What you need to know is that there are no tolls on the Florida Overseas Highway. So, once you pass Florida City/Key West county line, you do not have to worry about paying for tolls!

Key Largo to Key West

The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is about a 100-mile highway via US Route 1 (US 1) that runs from Key Largo to Key West.

Key Largo to Key West

The drive along Florida Keys Overseas Highway is one of the most spectacular drives in the United States. The views are simply breathtaking. My recommendation is to take your time and make as many stops as possible to make a memorable trip!

Key Largo to Key West

The drive along Florida Keys Overseas Highway is one of the most spectacular drives in the United States.

Key Largo to Key West

What’s interesting about the Florida Keys Overseas Highway is that large parts of it were built on the former Overseas Railroad, which was heavily damaged and partially destroyed in the 1935 Labor Day hurricane.

The Florida East Coast Railway was financially unable to rebuild the destroyed sections, so the roadbed and remaining bridges were sold to the state of Florida for $640,000. Since the 1950’s the Overseas Highway has been refurbished into a main coastal highway between the cities of Miami and Key West.

Historic Rail Bridge at Bahia Honda State Park in Florida Keys

Historic Rail Bridge. at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys

Key Largo to Key West

A Quick Read: 

The Florida Department of Transportation maintains mile marker signs along the Florida Keys Overseas Highway. Numbering commences at “0” in Key West and ends at Key Largo at “106.”

One of the most popular places to have your picture taken is in front of the US1 mile marker zero sign to commemorate visiting the southernmost point of the United States. The sign is located on the corner of Fleming Street and Whitehead Street in Key West.

MAP of 23 the Florida Keys Road Trip Stops (Key Largo to Key West)

23 STOPS between Key Largo to Key West

There are so many great places to stop and things to do along the drive from Key Largo to Key West, that you will definitely have a hard time deciding what to do. My recommendation is to go through my list and see what sounds the best and interests you the most.

However, I have to say, that if you are driving from Miami to the Florida Keys, then on the way to the Florida Keys, make sure to stop at South Florida’s landmark –  Robert Is Here. It is a fruit stand that has grown into a complete tourist destination in South Florida, and it belongs to the Historic Redland Tropical Trail. The milkshakes that are made with fresh milk and fruit, are simply spectacular! If milk is not for you, then grab one of their smoothies, which contains just ice and fruit. Robert Is Here is located at 19200 SW 344th St, Homestead, FL 33034

NUMBER 1

Snorkel, Dive, or Kayak at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Go snorkeling, diving, or kayaking at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park! It is one of the best stops from Key Largo to Key West.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the first undersea park in the United States. It encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. It was established to protect a portion of the only living coral reef in the continental United States.

There are many snorkeling tours, scuba diving tours, and glass-bottom boat tours at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park that you can choose from. Also, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. So all in all, it all depends on what you are up to.

If you have never done snorkeling, I really want to encourage you to try it. It is a lot of fun! My recommendation is to check out Half Day Snorkel Trip on Reefs in the Florida Keys. This snorkeling trip will take you out onto the water in a catamaran and you will journey to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to explore the reefs and observe marine life. You will get snorkeling equipment and a snorkel vest.

Now, what you need to know is that snorkeling Christ of the Abyss is probably the most famous underwater attraction at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It is also known as Christ of the Deep. It is a bronze statue of Christ mounted on a cement base in one of the grooves of a patch reef. The statue is in about 25 feet of water, but, while you are snorkeling you should be able to see the top of the statue.

Christ of the Abyss, Key Largo, Florida

Snorkeling Christ of the Abyss is probably the most famous underwater attraction at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It is also known as Christ of the Deep.

Key Largo to Key West

Also, the area around the statue is pretty good for spotting some corals that are in relatively good condition and a variety of tropical fish. Be on the lookout for groupers, snappers, grunts, angelfish, nurse sharks, moray eels.

Florida Key to Key West

Be on the lookout for groupers, snappers, grunts, angelfish, nurse sharks, moray eels.

Key Largo to Key West

Florida Keys to Key West

The area around the statue is pretty good for spotting some corals that are in relatively good condition and a variety of tropical fish.

Key Largo to Key West

Paddling at John Pennekamp is a very popular activity. So, rent a canoe, or a kayak, or go paddleboarding at John Pennekamp State Park and explore the many channels and mangrove creeks within the park. If you have never done kayaking or canoeing, then join a small group tour. Check out Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Adventure in Key Largo. This tour is fun and educational!

The winter months are the best time for wildlife viewing. You can spot osprey, herons, egrets, cormorants, pelicans and below the surface look for stingrays, mangrove snappers the occasional manatee wading around.

Key Largo to Key West

Paddling at John Pennekamp is a very popular activity. So, rent a canoe, or a kayak, or go paddleboarding at John Pennekamp State Park and explore the many channels and mangrove creeks within the park.

Key Largo to Key West

The last thing you should look into is glass-bottom boat tours. Hands down, it is the most relaxing experience you can have observing the marine life and looking at the corals from a safety of a glass-bottom boat. My recommendation is to try Key Largo Glass Bottom Boat Adventure Tour.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

  • Location: 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, mile marker 102.5
  • Hours: 7 days a week, 8 am till 7 pm

NUMBER 2

Have an Amazing Lunch or Dinner at The Fish House Restaurant and Fish Market

The food at The Fish House is absolutely amazing!  If you are going to stop for lunch or dinner between Key Largo to Key West, this is the place! Fresh fish is their commitment, brought daily from dock to table. The Fish House remains one of the only existing establishments that purchase from local commercial fishermen and fillets all fish on-premise.

What you need to order here is Today’s Catch prepared Matecumbe style. It is a house specialty! Matecumbe style is fish topped with fresh tomatoes, shallots, fresh basil, capers, olive oil, and lemon juice, then baked.

This Fish House favorite has been featured on the Food Network with Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

Now, another one of my favorites is Shrimp & Scallops Key Lime. It is a house specialty and it is simply delicious. What you will get are large shrimp and scallops, sautéed with lime juice, white wine, garlic butter, mushrooms, scallions & a touch of hot sauce, served over rice.

The Fish House in Florida Keys

Today’s Catch prepared Matecumbe style. It is a house specialty! Matecumbe style is fish topped with fresh tomatoes, shallots, fresh basil, capers, olive oil and lemon juice, then baked.

The Fish House in Florida Keys

Another one of my favorites is Shrimp & Scallops Key Lime. It is a house specialty and it is simply delicious.

The Fish House Restaurant and Fish Market 

  • Location: 102401 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, mile marker 102.4
  • Hours: 7 days a week, 11:30 am to 10 pm

NUMBER 3

Try Hogfish at Sharkey's Sharkbite Grill

Sharkey’s Sharkbite Grill has been around since 2001 and it is a local favorite spot. The first floor has Sharkey’s Pub and Taphouse with 32 taps and a full liquor bar. The second floor offers a quiet family-style dining room serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also dine on the patio and watch the boats go by as you are enjoying either a cold beer or having some of their tasty food.

My recommendation is that you try the hogfish here. Hogfish is a Florida Keys delicacy and a local must-try fish. I would say that they are as rich as scallops, flakier than Mahi, and possibly sweeter than Grouper. It can have it cooked in several ways. Don’t be afraid to try it! If you decide to give it a try, then Sharkey’s Sharkbite Grill is the best place on the Florida Keys road trip!

If you are not up to it, they have plenty of other stuff to try and it is all good!

Key Largo to Key West

My recommendation is that you try the hogfish here. Hogfish is a Florida Keys delicacy and a local must-try fish.

Key Largo to Key West

If you are not up to trying hogfish, then they have plenty of other things to sample. 

Sharkey’s Sharkbite Grill

  • Location: 522 Caribbean Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037, just east of mile marker 99.7
  • Hours:7 days a week, 7 am till 12 am

NUMBER 4

Enjoy the Best Key Lime Pie at Mrs. Mac's Kitchen

“Eat Well, Laugh Often, Live Long” is the motto at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, the longest-running restaurant in Key Largo.

My recommendation is that you try Konk chowder with conch in a tomato base, alligator tenders, or lobster bites. Another one of my favorites is Caribbean-style crab cakes loaded with real crabmeat, lightly seasoned, and served with honey mustard aioli.

Sandwiches are good too! You will love Fish-On-A-Bun and Superfishwich.

Finally, you need to try Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen award-winning chili, known as the best in the Florida Keys. it is full of flavor, a bit spicy, made fresh daily and you can add cheese and onions.

However, the star here is the famous key lime pie! It is excellent! I would say, it is slightly tart, but not too tart, and super creamy. The crust is awesome! It is made with fresh beautifully flavored graham crackers. Hands down, the best key lime pie between Key Largo to Key West.

Mrs. Mac's Kitchen in Florida Keys

One of my favorites is Caribbean-style crab cakes loaded with real crabmeat, lightly seasoned, and served with honey mustard aioli.

Mrs. Mac's Kitchen in Key Largo

The star here is the famous key lime pie! It is excellent! I would say, it is slightly tart, but not too tart, and super creamy. The crust is awesome!

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen is so popular that there are two locations in the Florida Keys. My recommendation is that you visit the original Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen at 99336 Overseas Highway. You will love the decor of license plates from all over the world!

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen 

Location: 99336 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, mile marker 99.3

Hours: Monday-Saturday 7 am till 9:30 pm, closed on Sundays

NUMBER 5

Try Key Lime Muffins at Harriette's Restaurant

Another place that you should not miss is Harriette’s Restaurant. And, two things that you need to try are biscuits and key lime muffins! Hands down, the biscuits are the flakiest and softest biscuits you will ever have, and key lime muffins are super moist and delicious!

Key Largo to Key West

Key lime muffins are super moist and delicious!

Key Largo to Key West

Hands down, the biscuits are the flakiest and softest biscuits you will ever have.

Harriette’s Restaurant 

Location: 95710 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, mile marker 95.7

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 6 am to 3 pm

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Key Largo to Key West
Key Largo to Key West

NUMBER 6

Visit Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary

The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, also known as Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of native and migratory wild birds that have been harmed or displaced. It provides a humane shelter for those birds that cannot be released. Also, it educates the public towards the importance of coexistence with all wild bird species.

Stop by and visit the non-releasable wild birds! Take a walk along the boardwalk, watch the sunset, see a pelican feeding.

Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary in Florida Keys

Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of native and migratory wild birds that have been harmed or displaced.

Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary in Florida Keys

Stop by and visit the non-releasable wild birds!

Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary

Location: 93600 Overseas Highway Tavernier, FL 33070, mile marker 93.6

Hours: Open 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free (donations are very much needed and appreciated)

NUMBER 7

Try Delicious Key Lime Pie at Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory

What can I say, Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory is another place to sample some key lime pie. And, hands down, Blond Giraffe’s pies have the best crust of all the pies that I have tried between Key Largo to Key West. I think you will love the lime filling with the meringue topping.

Make sure to check out their beautiful garden and leave a lock!

Blond Giraffe Key Lime Factory in Florida Keys

I think you will love the lime filling with the meringue topping.

Blond Giraffe Key Lime Factory garden in Florida Keys

Make sure to check out their beautiful garden and leave a lock!

Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory

Location: 92220 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, FL 33070, mile marker 92.2

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 9 am to 8:30 pm

NUMBER 8

Have Dinner and Watch an Amazing Sunset at Marker 88 Restaurant

Marker 88 is a bay-front restaurant offering great beachside dining and amazing sunsets!

Marker 88 Restaurant in Florida Keys

Marker 88 serves fresh Florida seafood, hand-crafted cocktails, local brews, and our famous homemade key lime pie.

Key Largo to Key West

So, first of all, make a reservation and make sure to arrive before sunset. Sunsets are absolutely spectacular from Marker 88!

Marker 88 Restaurant view at sunset

Sunsets are amazing from Marker 88!

Key Largo to Key West

Now, as far as food choices, my recommendation is to try coconut shrimp, onion-crusted Mahi Mahi, and key lime pie.

Marker 88 Restaurant 

Location: 88000 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33070, marker 88

Hours: Hours vary, however, in general, they are open from 11 am to 9 pm

NUMBER 9

Stop at Rain Barrel Village

Ok, so you need to see and take some pictures with Betsy the Lobster. And, that is about it, in my opinion.

There are a couple of very nice stores that feature items from local artists. But all in all, the rest of the stores are pretty much typical places with cheap souvenirs.

So, take your obligatory photo with Betsy and keep going!

Rain Barrel Village in Florida Keys

Take your obligatory photo with Betsy and keep going!

Key Largo to Key West

Rain Barrel Village 

  • Location: 86700 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, mile marker 86.7
  • Hours: Open daily, 9 am to 5 pm

NUMBER 10

Swim in Dolphin Lagoon at Theater of the Sea

Theater of the Sea offers dolphin, sea lion, and parrot shows, bottomless boat rides, fish and reptile tours. In addition, they have some interactive programs where you can swim with dolphins, sea lions, or swim the rays or sharks.

Probably the best offer is: Swim in Dolphin Lagoon at Theater of the Sea. You get to snorkel in the lagoon surrounded by dolphins!  What is nice is that if you book one of their interactive programs, then the general admission ticket is included in the price. So, check out everything that they offer and see what is best for everyone.

Key Largo to Key West

Probably the best offer is: Swim in Dolphin Lagoon at Theater of the Sea. You get to snorkel in the lagoon surrounded by dolphins! 

Key Largo to Key West

Theater of the Sea

  • Location: 84721 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, mile marker 84.5
  • Hours: Open daily, 9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Cost: General Admission – Adults $44.95, Children 3-10 $29.95, Seniors $40.46; Animal Interactions Programs – Prices vary.

NUMBER 11

Explore The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum

The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum is a not-for-profit educational institution focused on the Story Of Man’s Quest to Explore Under the Sea. The majority of the Museum’s artifacts have been provided through the generous support of its founders, Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer, who hold one of the largest collections of historic diving equipment and research documents in the world.

The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum

The majority of the Museum’s artifacts have been provided through the generous support of its founders, Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer.

Key Largo to Key West

The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum

  • Location: 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, mile marker 83
  • Hours: Open daily, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Cost: Adults $15, Children 6-11 $7

NUMBER 12

Have a Sunset Dinner at the Morada Bay Keys Beach Café & Bar

The Morada Bay Keys Beach Café & Bar is a bistro café situated on a  beautiful palm-lined beach overlooking blue waters. It is an awesome spot to have some great food, chill, relax, and watch a sunset. The Café’s menu is a blend of the Caribbean and American cuisine made with the freshest in local seafood and produce.

La Morada Beach Cafe in Florida Keys

The Morada Bay Keys Beach Café & Bar is bistro café situated on a  beautiful palm-lined beach and overlooking blue waters. It is an awesome spot to have some great food, chill, relax, and watch a sunset.

Key Largo to Key West

My recommendation is to try Thai Key West Tacos made with shrimp crispy tempura battered, spiced sriracha aioli Thai basil cilantro pesto, toasted coconut flake. And, Morada Bay Margarita with jimador tequila, cointreau, sour mix grand marnier floater served in a 32oz mason jar.

Morada Bay Cafe in Florida Keys

The Café’s menu is a blend of the Caribbean and American cuisine made with the freshest in local seafood and produce.

Morada Bay Cafe in Florida Keys

Morada Bay Margarita with jimador tequila, cointreau, sour mix grand marnier floater served in a 32oz mason jar.

The Morada Bay Keys Beach Café & Bar

  • Location: 81600 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, mile marker 81.6
  • Hours: Open daily, 11 am to 9 pm

NUMBER 13

Feed Tarpon at Robbie's

Robbie’s is a great experience at least once, while you are traveling from Key Largo to Key West. And, tarpon feeding is fun and worth the stop! Tarpons are large and come out of the water to grab the fish.

But beware, of the pelicans. They want the fish too and they bite! So, all in all, it is fun feeding the tarpon and fending off the pelicans.

Tarpons at Robbie's in Florida Keys

Tarpons are large and come out of the water to grab the fish.

Key Largo to Key West

Feeding tarpon at Robbies in Florida Keys

And, tarpon feeding is fun and worth the stop!

Key Largo to Key West

Robbie’s of Islamorada 

  • Location: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, mile marker 77.5
  • Hours: Open daily, 6:30 am to 9 pm
  • Cost: Admission to the dock is $2.50 per person (once per day). Each bucket of fish is $4.00 (5-8 fish per bucket).

NUMBER 14

Hike in Long Key State Park

Long Key State Park has one of my favorite hikes in the Florida Keys! It is called Golden Orb Trail and it swings an arc through the heart of Long Key and ends up at views of the Atlantic Ocean. Formerly a loop trail, it was chopped apart by damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

It is a 1.2-mile easy hike that will take you through a “tropical rockland hammock, traverse the desert-like tidal rock barren – where the “soil” underfoot is sun-bleached pieces of coral – and end up on a coastal berm, a hurricane-crafted sand ridge defining the island’s perimeter.” Source: Golden Orb Trail

Long Key State Park in Florida Keys

Long Key State Park has one of my favorite hikes in the Florida Keys! It is called Golden Orb Trail and it swings an arc through the heart of Long Key and ends up at views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Long Key State Park in Florida Keys

It is a 1.2-mile easy hike that will take you through a tropical rockland hammock, traverse the desert-like tidal rock barren and end up on a coastal berm, a hurricane-crafted sand ridge defining the island’s perimeter.

Long Key State Park

  • Location: 67400 Overseas Highway, Long Key, FL 33001, mile marker 67.5
  • Hours: Open daily, 8 am till sunset
  • Cost: One person, $4.50; two or more people, $5.50 plus 50 cents per additional person

NUMBER 15

Book a Dolphin Encounter or Family Dolphin Splash at Dolphin Research Center

Dolphin Research Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 marine mammal education and research facility providing sanctuary and a forever home since 1984.

And, hands down, this place is awesome! And, I can say without any doubt that the animals are happy there, well taken care of, and respected!  The heart of their mission is the welfare of every animal that is in their care. Whether they are born here or come from rescue/rehabilitation centers or other facilities, each receives the finest possible care and a safe, healthy, enriching home for life.

My recommendation is to book either a Dolphin Encounter or a Family Dolphin Splash. Both programs are great and you get an up-close and personal experience with several dolphins.

What I like about Dolphin Research is that they limit visitor numbers, so groups are always small!

Dolphin Research Center in Florida Keys

My recommendation is to book either a Dolphin Encounter or a Family Dolphin Splash. Both programs are great and you get an up-close and personal experience with several dolphins.

Key Largo to Key West

Dolphin Research Center 

  • Location: 58901 Overseas Highway | Grassy Key, FL 33050, mile marker 59
  • Hours: Open daily, 9 am to 4:30 pm
  • Cost: General Admission Adults $28, Military/Veterans $25, Children (4-12) $23. Interactive Programs – prices vary

NUMBER 16

Go Kayaking, Hiking, or Snorkeling in Curry Hammock State Park

Hands down, Curry Hammock State Park is one of the best places to stop and explore on your road trip from Key Largo to Key West. It is the largest undeveloped parcel of land between Key Largo and Big Pine Key! Kayaking, hiking, and snorkeling are my favorite things to do at Curry Hammock State Park. In addition, it is a perfect spot for a picnic or a stroll on the beach.

First of all, there are two kayak paddling adventures that you can check out:

  • The 1.5-mile path circumnavigates Little Crawl Key and takes approximately one hour. This sampler trail makes the most of its time, featuring a mangrove tunnel, deepwater lagoon, grassy flats, sandbars, and an open ocean.
  • The 5-mile path will require at least four hours, but this will take you along mangroves and out around another island. Most take this opportunity to do a little kayak fishing.

Kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent in two-hour increments:

  • $21.50 – paddleboards and double kayaks
  • $17.20 – Single kayaks

If you are visiting on a Friday, then sign-up for a ranger-led Mangroves Matter Kayak Tour (every Friday at 10 am).

Now, do not miss a fabulous hike through the tropical hardwood hammock forest. You will be going on top of ancient fossilized coral that was once living underwater, so make sure to wear appropriate shoes. The coral rock now serves as a high ground for hardwood trees so they can keep their roots high and dry out of the saltwater. This rare habitat is an oasis for local and migrating wildlife. Be on the lookout for different birds!

The trailhead is located one mile south on U.S. 1 from the park’s main entrance. Before you head out, stop at the ranger station and pick up a map.

Curry Hammock State Park in Florida Keys

Little Crawl Key takes approximately one hour. This sampler trail makes the most of its time, featuring a mangrove tunnel, deepwater lagoon, grassy flats, sandbars, and open ocean.

Curry Hammock State Park in Florida Keys

The trailhead is located one mile south on U.S. 1 from the park’s main entrance. Before you head out, stop at the ranger station and pick up a map.

Curry Hammock is a great place to learn to snorkel and practice your skills! Curry Hammock’s shallow seagrass flat, where marine life is abundant. The seagrass serves as an excellent nursery for many of the marine species of the Florida Keys.

Curry Hammock State Park

  • Location: 56200 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050, mile marker 56
  • Hours: Open daily, 8 am till sunset
  • Cost: One person, $4.50; two-plus people, $5.50

NUMBER 17

Visit Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is a great stop if you are traveling from Key Largo to Key West with small kids. Basically, it comprises tanks and pools where you can observe the marine life, feed different animals, and snorkel in a small made-made lagoon.

They offer Big Shark Bay Encounter, where you get to feed adult Nurse Sharks (no getting into the water). Next, they have Stingray Cove Encounter, and you actually will get a wetsuit and get into one of the tanks and feed stingrays. Finally, check out Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter. You get to snorkel in a coral reef tank.

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters 

  • Location: 56200 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050, mile marker 56
  • Hours: Open daily, 8 am till sunset
  • Cost: General Admission Adult $24.50, Children $17.50. Encounters are extra and prices vary.

NUMBER 18

Spend Time and Enjoy Beautiful Sombrero Beach

Sombrero Beach is a beautiful sandy beach and a great park with picnic pavilions, volleyball courts, restrooms, and showers. Make sure to stop at Sombrero Beach, spend some time, and enjoy this beautiful place.

Sombrero Beach in Florida Keys

Make sure to stop at Sombrero Beach, spend some time, and enjoy this beautiful place.

Key Largo to Key West

To top it off, Sombrero Beach is a turtle nesting beach! From April through October it is not unusual to have Loggerhead Turtles (primarily) coming on to the beach at night to lay their eggs.

Sombrero Beach in Florida Keys

Sombrero Beach is a turtle nesting beach.

Key Largo to Key West

Sombrero Beach 

  • Location: Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon, FL 33050, mile marker 50
  • Hours: Open daily, 7 am till dusk
  • Cost: Free

NUMBER 19

See Turtles Up-CLose at the Turtle Hospital

The Turtle Hospital (Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. They are a fully functioning veterinary hospital for sick and injured sea turtles. They rescue, rehab, and release sea turtles in the Florida Keys.

You can take a guided educational tour of the hospital facilities and the sea turtle rehabilitation area. The educational experience lasts approximately 90 minutes and provides a presentation on sea turtles as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the hospital facilities and rehabilitation area. At the end of each program, you can feed the permanent residents.

Turtle Hospital in Florida Keys

The Turtle Hospital is a fully functioning veterinary hospital for sick and injured sea turtles.

Turtle Hospital in Florida Keys

The Turtle Hospital rescues, rehabs, and releases sea turtles in the Florida Keys.

If you are planning on visiting The Turtle Hospital, then my recommendation is to make a reservation as soon as possible! To make a reservation, either call at (305)743-2552 or click here.

The Turtle Hospital 

  • Location: 2396 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050, mile marker 48.5
  • Hours: Open daily, 9 am to 6 pm. Educational programs run every 30 min. The last one is at 4 pm.
  • Cost: Adults $30, Children (4-12) $15

NUMBER 20

Drive Over the Ocean on the Seven Mile Bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge is one of the most gorgeous and breathtaking drives between the Atlantic and the Gulf! There is nothing else like it!

Seven Mile Bridge in Florida Keys

The Seven Mile Bridge is one of the most gorgeous and breathtaking drives between the Atlantic and the Gulf!

Key Largo to Key West

The views along the way are awesome with the blue sky and aquamarine color open water in any direction and some islands here and there. It is a must scenic drive to do and most definitely a bucket list item.

Seven Mile Bridge in Florida Keys

The drive along the Seven Mile Bridge is a must scenic drive to do and most definitely a bucket list item.

Key Largo to Key West

NUMBER 21

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park is an absolutely beautiful park with views all around. The beach is awesome with turquoise waters. There are restrooms, dressing rooms, outdoor showers, and a snack shop. Plus, there is plenty of parking available.

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda Ste Park is an absolutely beautiful park with views all around.

Key Largo to Key West

What is really neat is that there is a scenic trail that leads up to the Old Seven-Mile Bridge. The views from the top are breathtaking.

Bahia Honda State Park in Florida Keys

What is really neat is that there is a scenic trail that leads up to the Old Seven-Mile Bridge.

Key Largo to Key West

A Quick Read: 

The Old Seven-Mile Bridge was a part of the Railroad That Went to Sea and it was a result of innovative engineering and years of toil from 1909 to 1912. It stayed open for 23 years until the devastating Labor Day Hurricane in 1935 that washed away miles of railroad.

The Old Seven Mile Bridge was too narrow and not ideal for cars, so in 1982, the new Seven Mile Bridge was opened.

Bahia Honda State Park in Florida Keys

The Old Seven Mile Bridge was too narrow and not ideal for cars, so in 1982, the new Seven Mile Bridge was opened.

Key Largo to Key West

Bahia Honda State Park has a concession service that offers daily snorkeling tours to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary features one of the most spectacular reefs in the Florida Keys with plentiful Elkhorn and massive Star coral.

There are two daily departures at 9:30 am and at 1:30 pm. Each trip provides 1.5 hours of snorkeling, plenty of time to explore this fabulous coral reef. An adult ticket costs $29.95 and a ticket for a child (under 18) is $24.95.

You can rent kayaks as well to explore the beautiful waters that surround Bahia Honda State Park. A single kayak costs $12 per hour or $36 for a half-day. Double kayak costs $18 per hour or $54 for a half-day.

Bahia Honda State Park

  • Location: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, mile marker 37
  • Hours: Open daily, 8 am till sundown.
  • Cost: $8 per vehicle (two to eight people). A 50-cent Monroe County surcharge will be added per person.

NUMBER 22

See Deer at the Big Pine National Key Deer Refuge

National Key Deer Refuge is spread over 25 islands and Key deer are found on these 25 islands. Your best bet to be able to see Key deer, is at Big Pine Key, which is part of the National Key Deer Refuge.

Key Deer Refuge in Florida Keys

Map of National Key Deer in the Florida Keys. Image Credit: FWS

Key Largo to Key West

The Key deer is the smallest sub-species of the Virginia white-tailed deer found throughout most of North America.

Because the Key deer population is low and remains under threat of extinction from human interaction, the subspecies are federally listed as endangered. The current population is estimated at over 800.

Key deer can best be seen at dawn or dusk throughout Big Pine. Please help keep the Key deer wild by not feeding them!

Key Largo to Key West

The Key deer is the smallest sub-species of the Virginia white-tailed deer found throughout most of North America.

Key Largo to Key West

The National Key Deer Refuge has a visitor center on Big Pine Key where you can pick up some maps and find out about the best and recent sightseeings of Key deer.

There are a couple of trails as well: the Jack Watson Wildlife Trail and the Fred Mannillo Wildlife Trail.

In addition, there is the Blue Hole. It is a short hike from the visitor center. The Blue Hole is an abandoned limestone quarry. The rock material removed was used to build many of the original roads on Big Pine Key. The freshwater, dependent on rainfall is layered over saltwater, which flows through the limestone. Wildlife here includes fish, turtles, birds, and alligators.

The Big Pine National Key Deer Refuge

  • Location: 30587 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, mile marker 30.3
  • Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm

NUMBER 23

Stop at No Name Pub to Check out the Decor and Have a Beer (skip food)

No Name Pub is a small restaurant with a casual atmosphere and an interesting decor of many, many $1 bills pinned all over the roof and walls.

My recommendation is to check out the place, have a beer and move on.

No Name Pub in Florida Keys

No Name Pub is a small restaurant with a casual atmosphere.

No Name Pub in Florida Keys

No Name Pub has an interesting decor of many, many $1 bills pinned all over the roof and walls.

No Name Pub 

  • Location: 30813 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL 33043
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm

KEY WEST: 22 Things You Can't Miss on Your First Visit to Key West

Key Largo to Key West – Florida Keys road trip ends in Key West! Now, for ideas to do in Key West, I have compiled an amazing list of things you can’t miss on your first visit to Key West! Make sure to check it out!

How Much Time Do You Need for Key Largo to Key West Drive with Stops?

First of all, just to drive from Key Largo to Key West (no stops!), it will take you 2-3 hours. If you want to stop along the way, then, I am recommending that you reserve at least 2-3 days to make some stops and visit a few places and do some activities.

I usually fly in and rent my car in Miami. Although, sometimes, flying into Fort Lauderdale is less expensive. On top of that, it is only a 30-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. So, make sure to check the prices for both airports.

What Is the Best Time for the Florida Keys Road Trip?

Hands down, spring and fall are the best to plan and head to the Florida Keys. The temperatures are between 70-80 F, the water is awesome for snorkeling, and the rain is almost none. Winter is beautiful as well with temperatures at about 65-75 F and also not much rain.

With that being the case, my recommendation is to avoid going to the Florida Keys in the summer. First of all, it is hurricane season. Second, temperatures are in the high 90’s and humidity is unbearable, plus bugs are everywhere. Also, it rains a lot!

Where to Stay Between Key Largo and Key West: 7 Amazing Places to Stay in the Florida Keys

7 Amazing Places to Stay in the Florida Keys:

Atlantic Bay Resort – located in Tavernier. This beachfront resort is 2 miles from Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, 8 miles from the Theater of the Sea, and 10 miles from the Dolphin Cove Research Center. Tavernier city center is 6 minutes walk away. You can enjoy snorkeling near the hotel’s private beach and an outdoor pool. All guestrooms feature a small refrigerator, microwave, and cable television. Some suites at Atlantic Bay Resort also include a fully-equipped kitchen or kitchenette and views of the gulf or pool.

Anglers Reef Gateway – located in Islamorada, just a 4-minute walk from Windley Key. Anglers Reef Getaway provides beachfront accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, and a private beach area.

Largo Resort –  located in Key Largo, 1.6 miles from John Pennekamp State Park. Largo Resort has accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden, and a private beach area.

Grassy Flats Resort  – located in Marathon, 5 miles from Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters. Grassy Flats Resort and Beach Club provides accommodations with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a bar, and a garden.

Playa Largo Ocean Residencies – located in Key Largo. The units come with a kitchen that includes a dishwasher, microwave, and a fridge.

Deer Run on the Atlantic – located in Big Pine Key, this adults-only bed and breakfast is eco-friendly, sustainable, and beachfront. Recycled water barrels and solar energy are used property-wide. A full organic, vegan breakfast is served daily. A mineral spring saltwater pool with a spa is on-site. Free bikes, kayaks, and snorkel gear are provided at Deer Run on the Atlantic.

Courtyard by Marriott Marathon the Florida Keys – you will be a 5-minute walk from the Turtle Hospital and a 16-minute drive from the Dolphin Research Center. A microwave, coffee machine, and small refrigerator are featured in each room at this Courtyard by Marriott. A flat-screen TV, desk, and private bathroom with a hairdryer are also included. A 24-hour front desk and a fitness center are available at the property. There is an on-site restaurant, The Bistro, as well.

Intrepid Scout's 6 Favorite Stops Between Key Largo to Key West

So, this is a lot of stops and places to see, and things to do between Key Largo and Key West. What if you only have time to do a few things. Here are my favorite 6 stops between Key Largo and Key West:

  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – it is one of the best stops between Key Largo and Key West. You can snorkel, kayak, take a glass-bottom boat tour, or hike. It is a great spot and you can easily spend here 3-4 hours!
  • The Fish House Restaurant – there are a lot of choices for lunch or dinner between Key Largo to Key West. My go-to place is always The Fish House Restaurant. You will love all their creations, the food is fresh and delicious!
  • The Morada Bay Beach Cafe and Bar – another great place is The Morada Bay Beach Cafe and Bar. I love their food and drinks. However, it is an awesome spot to head to before sunset and have a great dinner on the beach watching a sunset (reservations recommended).
  • Feeding Tarpon at Robbie’s – you can’t miss it! It is just so much fun! So, buy a bucket of fish, fend off the pelicans, and feed tarpons.
  • Dolphin Research Center – make sure to visit and book one of their encounters. It is a great place where all animals are well taken care of and genuinely respected.
  • Sombrero Beach – the lovely sandy beach! Snorkel, kayak, or just chill on the beach.

In addition, I need to mention to you Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail that you might want to check out as well. The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail  (FKOHT) is a 90-mile multi-use trail that runs parallel to Florida Keys Overseas Highway. This recreational pathway incorporates 23 of the historic Flagler Railroad bridges, offering a scenic venue for hiking, running, bicycling, or skating.

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to the Florida Keys? Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process for your trip to the Florida Keys!

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