Florida Keys Scenic Highway US-1 Road Trip Itinerary

Updated: April 16, 2023

A breathtaking 108-mile stretch of road that winds through the Florida Keys and to Key West

Florida Keys Scenic Highway, also known as US-1, is a 108-mile stretch of road that runs through the Florida Keys. The highway is beautiful, with turquoise waters on one side and mangrove forests on the other. It’s also a great place to spot wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and tropical birds. In addition to being a scenic drive, Florida Keys Scenic Highway is also a popular spot for fishing, swimming, and snorkeling. There are numerous public beaches along the highway where you can access the water, and many of these beaches have picnic areas and playgrounds. If you’re looking for a beautiful drive with plenty of things to do, Florida Keys Scenic Highway is the perfect place for for both travelers and locals alike and is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Florida.

The Florida Keys, an enchanting string of tropical islands, offer an idyllic escape from daily life. To experience the islands at their finest, consider visiting between late February and early May. During this period, the Keys boast pleasant temperatures, clear skies, and gentle breezes, making it perfect for a multitude of outdoor activities. Delight in sun-kissed beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life, all while avoiding the humidity and rainfall typical of the summer months. Additionally, this window offers a respite from the winter crowds, allowing for a more serene and immersive experience of the Keys’ natural beauty and unique charm. Key West Weather Forecast

Top Picture: Overseas Highway – Key West – Florida | Freysteinn GJonsson | Unsplash

Florida Keys Scenic Highway US 1 Road Trip Map | © Geovea ©Mapbox ©OpenStreetMap

Trip Highlights: 1. Jewfish Creek Bridge  2. Key Largo  3. Islamorada  4. Layton  5. Key Colony Beach  6. Marathon  7. Big Pine Key  8. Key West  9. Duval Street

1. Jewfish Creek Bridge

Gilbert’s Resort – Key Largo – Florida | Ginger Monteleone | Dreamstime

A picturesque stop, and the start of the Florida Keys Scenic Highway US-1

The start of the Florida Keys Scenic Highway US 1. If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing getaway in the Florida Keys, Gilbert’s Resort is the perfect place to stay. This charming resort is located on Key Largo and offers a variety of accommodations. Gilbert’s Resort also has its own private dock, so you can enjoy plenty of activities on the water. Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape or a family vacation spot, Gilbert’s Resort is sure to please.

2. Key Largo

Key Largo – Florida | Yuhan Du | Unsplash

The first island, gorgeous beaches, scuba diving, and wonderful fishing

The first island and one of the more popular Florida Keys is Key Largo. Key Largo is a small island in the Florida Keys, located about an hour’s drive from Miami. The island is known for its crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and lush tropical vegetation. Key Largo is also home to a number of interesting attractions, including the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is the first underwater park in the United States. Visitors to Key Largo can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving in the park’s protected reefs, fishing, kayaking, and hiking along its nature trails. Key Largo is a popular destination for both travelers and locals alike and is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Florida.

3. Islamorada

Islamorada – Florida Keys – Florida | Airstream Inc | Unsplash

Small town known for its boating, fishing, coral reefs, diving, and beaches

Islamorada is a village in Florida encompassing 6 of the Florida Keys, known for their coral reefs, its beautiful turquoise waters and sandy beaches. It is also home to a number of restaurants, bars, and shops. Islamorada is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. There are many activities to enjoy in Islamorada, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and boating. The village is also home to a number of art galleries and museums. Islamorada is a beautiful place to visit and there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a place to relax or an activity-filled vacation, Islamorada is the perfect place for you.

4. Layton

Long Key Viaduct – Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail | David Squire | Pixabay

There’s not much to do in town itself, but that’s part of its charm

Layton is a small town in the Florida Keys, known for its laid-back atmosphere. There is also a few popular boat marinas making it easy to get out on the water and enjoy the Florida Keys’ famous snorkeling and diving. While Layton may be small, it’s definitely worth a visit for its idyllic setting.

5. Key Colony Beach

Small town is home to a few restaurants, hotels, shops, and beaches

Key Colony Beach is a small town located in the Florida Keys. Key Colony Beach is also a popular destination for fishing, boating, and snorkeling. The city is home to a few restaurants, hotels, and shops, as well as a marinas. Key Colony Beach is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Florida Keys.

6. Marathon

Seven Mile Bridge – Florida Keys | Chase Baker | Unsplash

Midway between Key Largo and Key West, and home to many activities

Marathon is a city located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is situated midway between Key Largo and Key West, making it a convenient stop for travelers exploring the Florida Keys. Marathon is home to a number of attractions, including the Dolphin Research Center, Marathon Airport, and Crane Point Hammock. It’s set on 13 islands, known for their beaches and barrier reef. Loggerhead turtles nest at Coco Plum Beach and Sombrero Beach. Visitors can also enjoy Marathon’s natural beauty by taking a kayak trip through the mangroves or going for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an activity-filled vacation, Marathon is sure to have something for you.

7. Big Pine Key

Bahia Honda State Park – Big Pine Key – Florida | Paul Brennan | Pixabay

The largest island in the Keys, home to parks, and outdoor activities

Big Pine Key is one of the largest islands in the Florida Keys. It’s home to a number of state parks and wildlife refuges. The island is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, as well as a number of popular tourist attractions. The island is also a popular destination for birdwatching, as it’s home to a variety of tropical birds. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and kayaking on Big Pine Key. The island also features a number of restaurants, cafes, and shops.

8. Key West - Duval Street

Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S.A. – Key West – Florida | Paul Brennan | Pixabay

The main street and home to some of the best bars, restaurants, and shops

Key West is a lively and vibrant town, and Duval Street is its beating heart. This historic street is lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, and it’s always abuzz with locals and tourists alike. Key West is well-known for its laid-back atmosphere, and Duval Street epitomizes this vibe. Whether you’re strolling down the street or sipping a cocktail at one of the many open-air bars, you’ll instantly feel like you’re on island time. Duval Street is also home to some of Key West’s most famous attractions, and right next to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and the Key West Lighthouse. No matter what brings you to Key West, be sure to make some time to explore.

9. Key West

Mallory Square – Key West – Florida | Goodfreephotos.com | Pixabay

Island well-known for its beautiful beaches, atmosphere, and lively nightlife

Well you have made it to the end of the Florida Keys Scenic Highway – Key West which is a small island located at the end of the Florida Keys. It is situated at the southernmost point of the continental United States, making it a popular destination for travelers seeking to escape the colder weather up north. Key West is known for its pristine beaches, warm weather, and laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as snorkeling, fishing, and exploring the island’s many shops and restaurants. There is also a lively nightlife scene, with numerous bars and clubs located in the historic downtown area. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or experience some excitement on your vacation, Key West has something to offer everyone.

Key West is a popular vacation destination known for its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife. Here are some of the best things to do in Key West:

1. Visit the Southernmost Point Buoy: This iconic landmark is a popular spot for tourists to take photos and enjoy the views of the ocean.
2. Explore the Old Town: Key West’s Old Town is home to a number of historic sites, such as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the Key West Lighthouse, and the Key West Shipwreck Museum.
3. Go snorkeling or scuba diving: The waters around Key West are home to a variety of marine life, making it a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving.
4. Take a sunset cruise: Key West is known for its beautiful sunsets, and taking a sunset cruise is a great way to experience them.
5. Visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory: This beautiful tropical garden is home to over 50 species of butterflies, as well as other exotic plants and animals.
6. Go fishing: Key West is a popular spot for fishing, with a variety of species including tarpon, bonefish, and redfish.
7. Try some local cuisine: Key West is known for its seafood, and there are a number of restaurants that serve fresh, locally caught fish.
8. Take a tour of the island: There are a number of tour companies that offer guided tours of Key West, including walking tours, bike tours, and boat tours.
9. Visit the Dry Tortugas National Park: Located about 70 miles west of Key West, the Dry Tortugas National Park is a beautiful and remote spot that is accessible by boat or seaplane.
10. Relax on the beach: Key West has a number of beautiful beaches, including Smathers Beach and Higgs Beach, where you can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy the warm weather.

Travel Tips

In the Florida Keys, summer months bring extended periods of heat, humidity, and cloudiness, while winters tend to be brief, pleasant, and marked by moderate humidity, breezy conditions, and clear skies. Throughout the year, temperatures generally range between 65°F and 89°F, with occasional dips to 56°F or climbs to 91°F. For those seeking warm-weather activities, the ideal periods for visiting Key West are from mid-March through mid-May and from late October to late November. Optimal conditions for a Keys vacation can be found between September and November, when the weather is agreeable and, as an added benefit, travel expenses such as airfare and accommodations may be more affordable than during peak seasons.

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