The Florida Keys are one of America’s most famous road trip destinations. Here’s what to know before you hop in your rental convertible and take on the 113-mile Overseas Highway for yourself.
You’ll be confronted with so many seafood restaurants that you won’t even want to finish making it to Key West. Hungry Tarpon, Wooden Spoon, Lazy Days Restaurant, and Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen are just a few spots known for the region’s delicious seafood, as well as hearty desserts. Fun, kitschy decor also characterizes many of these restaurants, like dollar bills, license plates, and surfing-related gear, so feast your eyes as you savor the signature conch fritters or Key-lime pie.
Piña coladas and margaritas are as much a Florida Keys staple as the aforementioned seafood snacks. In the course of planning your itinerary, or simply drifting down the highway at your comfortable pace, prepare to encounter storied dive bars from Alabama Jack’s to No Name Pub (many with their own eye-catching decor). For a local beer in lieu of the requisite margarita or piña colada, try the Florida Keys Brewing Company, hosting tours and tastings.
Prepare to see incredible attractions unlike anything you’ve seen elsewhere, like the massive Seven Mile Bridge, the Robbie’s Restaurant tarpon pier, the giant lobster sculpture at the Rain Barrel Artisan Village, and a hospital dedicated to rehabilitating rescued turtles. The History of Diving Museum is another one-of-a-kind spot, as the world’s largest collection of diving-related artifacts, like bell helmets and cameras for underwater photography.
One of the best parts of a Keys road trip is the amazing scenery. As you make your way south, stop at Anne’s Beach, Bahia Honda State Park, and Morada Bay for soft sands and crystal-clear waters, and John Pennekamp State Park for boat rides around snorkeling spots with lush coral reefs. And don’t miss the world-famous sunsets, either: Grab a Gulf-facing seat at the Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar or embark on one of the Keys Sunset Sails.
If you need a place to rest up during your Florida Keys road trip, check out the exclusive offers at Cheeca Lodge & Spa.