How Far From Miami To Key West
The distance from Miami to Key West is 165 miles (265 km). Technically, if you were to plow through without any stops, the Miami to Key West drive time is just over three hours. But where’s the fun in that? With all the cool stuff to see along the way, I highly recommend taking your time to stop and enjoy the highlights. It’s worth your while to plan at least a few days to do the Miami to Key West road trip the right way.
As mentioned earlier, Key West is at Mile Marker 0. This mile marker system is used to point out the locations of all the stops you should make, making the road trip much easier to plan.
Best Time to Go on a Florida Keys Road Trip
One of the best things about Florida is its primarily warm, sunny weather. However, it’s a good idea to do your Florida Keys road trip when it isn’t uncomfortably hot and humid (summer months) or hurricane season (early fall). The winter months are comfortable weather-wise but, as a Canadian, I can tell you that the snowbirds phenomenon is a real thing, making Florida roads and sites extremely busy. Your best bet is planning your road trip to Key West during the shoulder season from March to May.
Itinerary for the Miami to Key West Drive
Here is your suggested Miami to Key West itinerary. It starts in Miami and includes stops in the Homestead area, and continues with stops in Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon Key and, finally, in Key West. Of course, making all of these stops depends on how much time you’ve allotted for your drive to Key West from Miami.
Things to Do in Miami
Commonly referred to as “Florida’s playground,” you could easily spend several days — if not weeks — in Miami and never get bored. But, if you want to spend one stellar day in Miami before driving to Key West, you’ll want to hit up Miami’s highlights.
The main highlight is Ocean Drive. Lined with amazing restaurants, hip bars, shops, and just an overall buzz of excitement, Ocean Drive is the perfect spot to people watch and take in that Miami vibe.
Getting some beach time is also a must. Whether that’s just a leisurely stroll along South Beach, you’ll want to dip your toes in that warm Atlantic Ocean water and feel Miami Beach’s soft white sand.
Best Miami to Key West Drive Stops near Homestead
After driving about 45 minutes from Miami, you’ll find Homestead at Mile Marker 116. If you keep going, you’ll reach the start of the Florida Keys in about another 40 minutes, but it’s worth marking a stop here to see some of the Homestead area’s unique sights.
It’s not the Egyptian pyramids, but Coral Castle Museum continues to baffle and awe the world in a similar manner. Located on S. Dixie Highway in Homestead lies a massive all limestone-built castle. It includes a nine-ton gate, a Polaris telescope, and completely functioning rocking chairs — all made of stone.
Best Miami to Key West Stops near Key Largo
As you continue south from Homestead for 30 miles (48 km), you’ll reach Key Largo. As the first of the magnificent Florida Keys, making stops in Key Largo is a must during your Miami to Key West road trip.
As far as gorgeous coral reefs and magical underwater playgrounds go, it doesn’t get much better than Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Known as the first undersea park in the U.S., this place deserves all the praise it receives.
Best Key Largo to Islamorada Stops on Your Miami to Key West Road Trip
You don’t want to miss stopping at this gorgeous beach town during your road trip from Miami to Key West. Although only seven miles long, you’ll be surprised at all the good stuff Islamorada has to offer.
They’re not kidding when they say there’s something for everyone at Rain Barrel Village. This open-air 1.5-acre garden property oozes Southern Florida charm with its collection of galleries, specialty shops, and boutiques. Here you’ll find unique local art and souvenirs, handmade crafts and jewelry, and Florida-fashion resort wear.
Best Stops from Islamorada to Marathon Key on a Road Trip to Key West
In the 30-mile or so stretch between Islamorada and Marathon Key, there are several stops you’ll want to make sure are part of your itinerary.
Because, who doesn’t love dolphins? And the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key is especially worthwhile because they’re on an admirable mission to rescue injured dolphins and give them a home if they can’t return to the wild.
Arrival in Key West
Mile Marker 0 marks the spot — the final stop of your Miami to Key West drive and the most famous Florida Keys’ island of all. The top things to do in Key West include taking a selfie at the iconic “Southernmost Point” buoy, walking along famous Duval Street, and soaking in lots of sunshine.
If you have time, I highly recommend venturing to Dry Tortugas National Park off the coast of Key West. It’s not as accessible as the other stops on your Miami to Key West itinerary — which is why it’s not as crowded as other parts of the Florida Keys. But it’s totally worth the effort.
How Long and “Tough” is the Drive from Miami to Key West
The drive takes about 4-4 1/2 hours. There is basically one two-lane highway (rt 1) through the keys, so yes, the traffic can get busy during weekend high-travel times. On the other hand, the drive on the overseas highway is one of the most beautiful in this country.
1. How far is the drive from Miami to Key West?
The distance from Miami to Key West is 165 miles (265 km).
2. What is the best time to go on a Florida Keys road trip?
The best time to go on a Florida Keys road trip is during the shoulder season from March to May.
3. What are the best stops near Homestead on the Miami to Key West drive?
The best stops near Homestead include the Coral Castle Museum, Robert is Here Fruit Stand, and the Everglades.
4. What are the best stops near Key Largo on the Miami to Key West road trip?
The best stops near Key Largo include the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and a cruise on the African Queen.
5. What are the best stops from Islamorada to Marathon Key on a road trip to Key West?
The best stops from Islamorada to Marathon Key include the Rain Barrel Artisans Village, Robbie’s Marina, and Islamorada Beer Co.
6. What are the top things to do in Key West?
The top things to do in Key West include visiting the iconic “Southernmost Point” buoy, walking along famous Duval Street, and taking a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park.