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Overseas Highway Road Trip Planner: The best stops along the way

Overseas Highway Road Trip Planner: The best stops along the way

July 30th, 2021 | Activities

Driving the length of the Overseas Highway from Miami to Key West is a bucket-list experience for any road trip enthusiast. Linking 44 islands with 42 bridges, the highway boasts a collection of mom-and-pop seafood shacks, vintage neon signs, spectacular state parks, and famous roadside attractions to rival all other U.S. Highways. Here, from north to south, are some of the best places to visit for a true taste of the authentic Florida Keys.

Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Running alongside the Overseas Highway, the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail is a paved pedestrian-only rail pathway that travels through the Keys. The trail incorporates the historic Flagler Railroad Bridges, many of which are still intact and can be spotted from the road. Although still a work in progress, once completed, the 106-mile trail will connect Key Largo to Key West. For now, the open sections of the trail make for picturesque places to pull over, stretch your legs, snap some photos, and look out at the aquamarine water.

Shell World

Nestled between the highway’s north and southbound lanes, Shell World in Key Largo is a must stop for Florida Keys gifts. The souvenir shop has everything you need for your beach vacation, from swimwear to face masks, postcards to key chains, and picture frames to locally made jewelry. The shop has an incredible selection of seashells, including beautiful shell mobiles and conch shell horns. 97600 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo

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Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory

Blond Giraffe’s award-winning key lime pie has been lauded by Food Network and Travel Channel, and was even voted “Best in Florida” by Florida Monthly Magazine. The key lime-colored factory in Tavernier (on Key Largo) offers classic and unique versions of their famous key lime pie, as well as chocolate dipped frozen key lime pie on a stick, key lime cookies, meringues, candies, and key lime rum cakes. 92220 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier

[Foodie Stops Along US 1: Fish House, Brewery & Tiki Hut with Mini Golf]

Florida Keys Brewing Co.

Stop in the Islamorada brewery for some aptly named Keys-inspired craft brews like Reef Crawl (made with local mangoes), Beech Bum (with beechwood smoked malts), Pelican Poop (stout brewed with fresh oysters), Flakeys (short for Florida Keys and packed with key limes, orange zest, and coriander), and Rum Smuggler, a creamy oatmeal stout aged in rum barrels from the Key West Distillery. Florida Keys Brewing Co. has a friendly taproom and a beautiful garden to enjoy your pint. 81611 Old Hwy, Islamorada

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Turtle Hospital

The non-profit organization in Marathon is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of endangered Green, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. Reserve a guided educational tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at the hospital facilities, as well as a chance to visit and feed their current patients and permanent residents. Stay up to date with the Turtle Hospital, as you just may be in town during one of their public sea turtle releases at nearby Sombrero Beach. 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon

From the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Tavernier, visit our Blog for more of our favorite stops along US 1 for animal lovers.

Bahia Honda State Park

Just beyond the famous Seven Mile Bridge and 45-minutes before Key West, Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key features award-winning palm-lined beaches, a historic bridge, and a natural sanctuary with over 500 acres of protected land. The park is an excellent spot to observe the local flora and fauna, in particular rare yellow satinwood and the endangered lily thorn, migrating shorebirds like herons and the endangered white-crowned pigeon, and a variety of butterflies that frequent the Wings and Waves Butterfly Garden. If you happen to be passing through at nighttime, be sure to look above. The park is popular with stargazers, who love seeing the Milky Way and the splash of stars across the sky. 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key

[Most Instagrammable Places along the Overseas Highway of the Florida Keys]

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Driving from Miami to Key West? Choose from our best rates and special offers when you book direct with The Gates Hotel, a Conde Nast award-winning Key West destination.





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