Last Updated on March 31, 2024

The drive from Key Largo to Key West is a bucket list road trip. It’s simply one of the most beautiful drives you’ll ever experience.

This Overseas Highway part of the journey connects Southern Florida to the Southernmost Point in the US. 

The road is marked with Mile Markers that end at Mile Marker zero upon your arrival in Key West.

This highway spans 113 miles and takes roughly 2.5 hours without stops. But sometimes, the fun in travel is making stops along the way to a destination.

A drive to Key West takes you through a chain of 800 Keys connected with 42 bridges. The most famous bridge is the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon.

Along the way, a chain of islands off Florida’s southern coast slices the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

You can drive directly from Key Largo to Key West in less than half a day. 

But to experience this unique part of the world, think about spending a few nights on one or more Keys before arriving in Key West.



Beach chairs and tiki hut in Key Largo
Kayaks at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Harry Harris Beach and Park Lagoon Florida Keys
Founders Park village in Islamorada Florida

Photo credit – Wikimedia

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park Entrance / gate

Photo credit – Wikimedia

Theater of the sea Florida Front view/ entrance

Parade of Nations Exhibit in History of Diving Museum – Photo (c) Wikimedia

Parade of Nations Exhibit in History of Diving Museum

9. History Of Diving Museum

About 90 minutes south of Miami near Mile Marker 83 in Islamorada, you’ll arrive at The History of Diving Museum.

This museum preserves artifacts, documents, photographs, and oral history about the history of diving. 

Inside is a history spanning nearly 4,000 years of the quest to explore the depths of the sea.

Exhibits include breath-holding apparatus’, diving machines, helmets, and underwater suits. 

You’ll see one of the largest collections related to diving history in the world.

It’s a unique location for anyone with a passion for man’s exploration of the underwater world.

View to Old Bahia Honda Bridge from Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

10. Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail- Fishing Pier

If fishing excites you, you’ll want to visit the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail.

The historic bridges of this trail have some of Florida’s most popular spots for fishing.  

Cast your line from the fishing platforms along the trail to land your big catch.

Enjoy magnificent views of the Florida Keys and watch pelicans and osprey joining the fishing fun.

Bring your fishing pole and experience the thrill of fishing on The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail.

A close-up view of the exposed mangrove trees at Long Key State Park Florida

11. Long Key State Park

The beautiful Long Key State Park affords numerous recreational opportunities.

Fill your day of adventure at the park with hiking, kayaking, birding, flats fishing, snorkeling, or picnicking. You can rent a kayak from the ranger station.  

The park is a great place to view the abundant natural plant life in the Keys and has restrooms and several picnic tables.

After sustaining Hurricane Damage in recent years, the park is open again after January 1, 2023.

The park’s hike-in and tent-only campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are the only camping option in the park.

12. Keys Cable Park

Halfway to Key West on Grassy Key, you can experience a fun way to shred water via an overhead cable system. 

The 7-acre lake at Keys Cable Park offers two cables to pull riders on wakeboards, waterskis, or kneeboards across the picturesque water of the Florida Keys. 

This experience is a water-ski adventure, but you are pulled by a motorized cable versus following behind a boat. 

A higher tow point makes for an easier ride than conventional water skiing. Staff is available for sports coaching in cable riding.

With Mangroves protecting the lake from wind, you’ll find perfect riding conditions here.

And the cable systems here are powered by the sun providing a green source of wakeboarding. 

The speed of the ride is adjustable for various ability levels.

Bottle Nose Dolphin At Dolphin Research Center Florida – Photo (c) Wikimedia

Dolphin-Research-Center at Grassy Key, Florida

13. Dolphin Research Center

Visit a nonprofit education facility to learn about dolphins. You can spend an hour or a whole day up close with dolphins. 

Educational presentations are offered in an air-conditioned theater.

Learn fun facts about dolphins in narrated sessions, observe current research, and see dolphins at play.

You can meet dolphins up close and participate in a dolphin encounter swim.

And there’s more than dolphins at this center. Say hello to exotic birds.

Observe sea lions in a natural outdoor setting.  Staff is available to answer your questions about marine life at the center.

A blue kayak along the shore of Coco Plum Beach Florida

14. Coco Plum Beach

Sandy beaches are not abundant in the Keys, so Coco Plum Beach is particularly attractive as it offers lots of sand.

This beach is perfect for a romantic stroll and a place to enjoy solitude.

People come here to catch the sun’s rays, relax, read a book, or swim in the water.

This beach is also a sea turtle nesting area. And it’s also a dog-friendly beach.

So, if your dog is traveling with you. add this stop to your itinerary.

 15. Key Colony Beach Golf

If golf is your game, stop at Par-3  Key Colony Beach Golf. It’s a quaint course in a beautiful setting on the Florida Keys.    

The total par-27 course has a distance of 962 yards. The average hole is 108 yards.

Pack your 9-iron, wedge, and putter for a few hours of fun. And don’t forget your suntan lotion.

You might even run into the occasional iguana on these grounds.

Key Colony Beach at Marathon Florida

16. Sunset Park Beach

Sunset Park Beach offers clean sand, paths for strolling through a meadow located next to the beach, and room for kids to play and build sandcastles. 

The park offers a few tables and bathrooms. Take a walk to the end of the small pier and admire the beautiful view. 

Take your shoes off, sit on a rock, and let your feet dangle in the water.

As the name suggests, the best time to visit is just before sunset. Look west to watch the sun disappear below the horizon.

There are plenty of benches to sit on and watch the setting sun.

Sombrero Beach in Marathon Florida Keys
Aerial view of Bahia Honda State Park Bay
Smathers Beach Entrance
Birds at Higgs Memorial Beach Park with beach background

Photo credit – Historic Tours of America

Key West Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour

22. Old Town Trolley Tours Key West

Once you’re in Key West, the best way to get familiar with the area is to hop aboard the Old Town Trolley Tour. 

Knowledgeable tour guides provide live narration during your tour.

The hop-on hop-off feature lets you ride all day long so you can explore the stops along the route at your own pace.

The company offers a mobile-device-ready interactive map to provide helpful information for your Key West exploration.  

You can discover the entire town riding aboard the Old Town Trolley. There’s no stress of worrying about where to park your car. 

Frequent pickups are offered at every stop, and you never have to walk too far before returning to the trolley again.

This tour is a wonderful way to explore the tropical paradise of Key West.

Highlights of this tour: 

  • Discover more than 100 points of interest

  • Learn about the history of Key West from your friendly guide

  • Hop on and off at 12 convenient stops around the island



View from the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park<br />

23. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Florida’s State Parks culminate with the park system’s southernmost location in Key West.

Step into history at the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, a designated National Historic Landmark.

The fort hails from the mid-1800s as a defense fortress for the nation’s southeastern coast. 

Guided tours are offered daily. This beautiful Civil War-era relic displays brick archways built by old-world craftsmen who brought castle-building skills to the United States. 

You can see one of the country’s largest collections of Civil War armaments at this site.

At the park’s south end, you’ll find a popular beach that attracts swimmers, snorkelers, and fishing enthusiasts. 

A short nature trail offers a pathway for a leisurely stroll.

Sunset at Mallory Square Key West

24. Mallory Square

When you get about as far as you can go on your trip to Key West, you’ll reach Mile Marker 0, the southern end of the United States.

When you’re here, don’t miss Mallory Square. Located at the island’s northwest corner, the famous square offers breathtaking views and an atmosphere that makes time pass without notice.

This place is action-packed and a great spot to see the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

Most evenings, the square becomes a festive spot filled with performers, street vendors, and plenty of food and drinks.

You can sample everything from Cuban food to conch fritters, a cold libation, and more.

If you want a souvenir from your trip, you’ll find an abundant selection in the numerous gift shops – but have cash available for payment.

There are plenty of artisan crafts unique to the area, including woven baskets, paintings, mouth-blown glass, and photography.  

Mallory Square is a great place to end the day and celebrate the completion of your journey from Key Largo.





Key West Boat Tours

When you arrive at Key West, it’s the end of the road for your vehicle.

However, you can still continue traveling by taking one of the many boat tours available in Key West. 

Here are a few 5-star rated boat tours to book in Key West:


Photo credit – Key West Extreme Adventures

Feeding Sharks in a Shark and Wildlife tour in Key West

This tour is rated 5 Stars on Viator with over 1365 reviews!

Tour length- 2 Hours

Get close to marine wildlife on this Key West boat tour. You’ll travel on board a 34-foot catamaran to see dolphins, stingrays, turtles, and birds.

When the pilot drops bait into the water, watch as sharks come right up to the boat for their feast. 

Bring your camera to capture the moment.



Photo credit – Floridays

sunset sail in key west with bevearges included by floridays

This tour is rated 5 Stars on Viator with over 485 reviews!

Tour length- 1 hour and 30 minutes

Set sail into the waters of Key West to catch a view of the magnificent sunset while enjoying drinks. 

This intimate small group experience provides a relaxed way to enjoy the end of the day on a memorable sunset cruise.



Photo credit – Danger Charters

Half-Day Cruise from Key West Boat Tour

This tour is rated 5 Stars on Viator with over 1080 reviews!

Tour length- 4 hours and 30 minutes

Enjoy a half-day of fun in the sun on this combination sailing, kayaking, and snorkeling adventure. 

Cruises are available in the morning and afternoon. You’ll kayak through mangrove-canopied canals.

Then put on the snorkel and get in the water to see nearly 600 different marine species above a coral reef.

And while on the boat, enjoy snacks and drinks on a perfect Key West day.




Key Largo to Key West Epic Road Trip



Always On The Shore contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase, we make a small commission at no cost to you.

For more information, please read the disclaimer page

Booking a last-minute trip to Key Largo or Key West?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and experiences!

Top Tours in Key Largo

Snorkel Trip On Reefs In Florida Keys (Half-Day Snorkeling Tour From Key Largo)

Key Largo Snorkeling Tour (With Gear, Snacks and Drinks!)

Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Adventure (Explore Key Largo’s Wildlife And Ecosystem)

Top Tours in Key West

Key West Sunset Sail (With Full Bar, Live Music, and Hors D’oeuvres)

Key West Reef Snorkeling Excursion (Half-Day Snorkeling Tour In Key West Florida)

Key West Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour (Kayak Tour Of Key West Mangroves)

Top Hotels In Key Largo

Atlantic Bay Resort (High-Rated Beach Front Resort)

Seafarer Key Largo Resort And Beach – (Budget Hotel Nearby Beach)

Top Hotels In Key West

Douglas House – (Top-Rated Hotel Perfect For Couples!)

The Capitana Key West – (Top-Rated Luxury Hotel In Key West)

 Looking To Get Around In Key Largo or Key West?

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗




Travel Resources


Book Your Next Trip!  For Accommodations and short-term rentals, I recommend as they are the best in the business when it comes to rates and places to stay.

To Book Activities- For activities, I suggest booking with Viator, they have thousands of 5-star activities to choose from!

Looking To Start Your Own Travel Blog Or Take Yours To The Next Level? 

Check Out This Free Workshop!I personally joined Scale Your Travel Blog in 2021 and my website has grown exponentially.