Florida Keys Road Trip | 5-Day Travel Guide
Florida Keys Road Trip | 5-Day Travel Guide
Table of Contents
- 1 Florida Keys Road Trip | 5-Day Travel Guide
- 1.1 Day One: Drive from Miami to Marathon
- 1.2 Day Two: Explore Marathon
- 1.3 Day Three: Drive to Key West
- 1.4 Day Four: Explore Key West
- 1.5 Day Five: Florida Keys Road Trip Final Day
Planning your Florida Keys Vacation? In this Florida Keys Travel Guide, I will cover the best things to do in this five day Florida Keys Road Trip itinerary from Miami to Key West. Including where to stay, the best restaurants to visit, and top things to do. This trip was also hosted by the tourism board of www.fla-keys.com. Let’s get into the guide.
To sum up our itinerary, we flew into Miami and drove down to the Keys from there. The entire drive from Miami to Key West is around 3 hours, so we split up the drive and spent our first two nights in Marathon.
Marathon is the perfect middle ground between the Keys and makes for a great stop. The next two nights we drove another hour to Key West and flew out of Key West Airport onto NYC.
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Florida Keys Things to Note:
What Airport To Fly Into Before you start downloading the music playlist for your road trip, there are plenty of different ways you can get to the Keys.
You can fly directly into Key West and work your way up back to Miami, or you can Fly into Miami and do the opposite.
Renting a Car: In order to experience the best of the Florida Keys, you will have to rent a car. The drive between Key Largo and Key West is around 2 hours, and you’ll most likely want to make stops along the way.
There’s plenty of cute shops, attractions, and restaurants you won’t want to miss. Unless you are prepared to pay for a very expensive Uber. You can even rent a car from Miami and return it to Key West.
Day One: Drive from Miami to Marathon
After landing in Miami Airport we immediately got the keys to our rental car and started the drive down to Highway 1. Driving in Miami is a little hectic, but once you get on to Highway 1 you’ll find it very easy to navigate.
Most of the drive you’ll be in one lane. Just be aware that it might slow down your drive time for any unexpected accidents and traffic.
Lunch Stop at the Hungry Tarpon at Robbie’s Marina
After an hour into our drive, we stopped at Robbie’s, an outdoor marina that is filled with cute shops, tarpon feedings, and a restaurant-bar called the Hungry Tarpon.
The seating at the restaurant is first come first serve, but we were seated right away. The portions here are huge and we definitely over-ordered, but I loved the Thai Fish Fingers.
You can also pay to feed the tarpon fish in the waters here!
Checking into Isla Bella Beach Resort
Our first two nights we stayed at the newly opened Isla Bella Beach Resort located in Marathon. This property was just gorgeous and spacious. I especially loved the decor and modern finishes throughout the property.
No matter what room you stay in, each one comes with a private balcony overlooking the water. Isla Bella has five pools, various daily activities, a sunset deck, a beach bar, and an Italian restaurant Il Postino.
We arrived just in time for a beautiful sunset and finished our night at Il Postino, a Neapolitan style restaurant with beachfront seating.
We ordered a wood-fired margarita pizza, fresh seafood pasta, and ordered the most delicious cocktail.
It was a mix of my two favorite things: a margarita and an Aperol spritz. The ideal combination that I have never seen before on a menu. Delicious!
Day Two: Explore Marathon
Visit the Turtle Hospital
Our first stop of the day was taking a tour of the Turtle Hospital. This hospital treats injured sea turtles and returns them back to the wild when possible.
The great news? About 75% of turtles who are treated are released back.
The hospital has guided tours every hour from 9 AM until 4 PM. On the tour, you get to see and learn about all the sea turtles and get to feed them.
The hospital is a non-profit and runs off of donations and guided tours. It’s a great way to support the turtles and the people to help save them.
Other Excursions: We did have a reservation to snorkel at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, but unfortunately due to the weather it had to be canceled.
This park is located in Key Largo and is the first undersea park in the US. They offer boat tours, glass-bottom boat tours, and kayaking!
Relax in the Sun
Because our snorkeling was canceled we headed back to the Isla Bella Beach Resort and relaxed all afternoon. I always like to leave in some wiggle room on itineraries so you can take advantage of just relaxing!
Dinner at Butterfly Cafe
For dinner, we went to the Butterfly Cafe located at the Tranquility Bay Resort. We dined on the outdoor patio and had a scenic view of the resort. The service, ambiance, and food were equally fantastic.
The dishes were so delicious, I am still thinking about the scallop risotto I had. Highly recommend for a nice dinner out.
Day Three: Drive to Key West
In the morning we then drove an hour to Key West over the famous 7-mile bridge.
Check-In Havana Cabana Resort
The next two nights we stayed at the Havana Cabana Resort in Key West. The whole resort has a Cuban influence.
Add in vintage cars, a bright and colorful lobby, framed photographs of ladies smoking cigars, a large pool, and a mojito bar that makes 25 different versions of the cocktail makes this resort have such fun energy.
Havana Cabana is located in New Key West and offers a 15-minute shuttle service to the downtown area.
I heard that parking in Key West is hard to come by, so it’s best not even to look for a parking space.
Because of this we actually returned our rental car and relied on the hotel shuttle service to get us around town and worked out great.
BBQ Lunch at Barrel House Brews
There are plenty of seafood restaurants in the Keys, so sometimes you just crave something different.
This smokehouse restaurant overlooks a beautiful marina and has an authentic BBQ menu. There’s even a distillery on site and sharable cocktails.
Sunset Excursion: Mallory Glow Hydrobikes
Ever wonder if you could bike on water? Well, you most certainly can in Key West.
Key West Hydrobikes offers daily guided tours around Key West where you can “bike” to Wisteria Island, watch the sunset, and learn more information about Key West.
Our guide Trae was great and the whole experience was so fun and easy, I didn’t even realize I burned 1,300 calories!
Day Four: Explore Key West
Things to do in Key West
Besides walking around and having a drink on the famous Duval Street, there is so much to see in Key West. If it’s your first time in Key West, I would recommend taking the Conch Trolley Tour.
It takes you all around Key West all the while learning more about famous sights along the way. You can also hop on and off and walk around.
A must-see in Key West is the Home of Hemingway where he lived and wrote for 10 years. You can step back in time and tour around the home and gardens. And yes, there are cats everywhere!
Try a Slice of Key Lime Pie
This famous dessert originated in the Keys, and you’ll have tried a slice. You’ll find it on nearly every dessert menu in the Keys!
Dinner at the Conch Republic
If you are a fan of Seafood, you can’t miss this restaurant on your trip to Key West.
Conch Republic is located in the seaport overlooking the working Marina, all the fish served on the menu is caught right in Key West daily!
I ordered the blackened grouper which was on the daily special and it was so delicious. Try to make a reservation in advance, as it’s one of the most popular restaurants in Key West.
Day Five: Florida Keys Road Trip Final Day
Southern Brunch at Firefly Cafe
We ended our trip with a delicious southern brunch at Firefly Cafe. This was by far my favorite brunch we had in Key West and is most certainly worth a stop on your trip.
The Shrimp and Grits were cooked to perfection, and of course, I couldn’t help by trying a taste of the chicken and waffles. And there’s also plenty of seating outside on this bi-level eatery!
Beach Time: Reach Resort
We spent our last hours in the Florida Keys relaxing at The Reach Resort.
There’s a seafood restaurant called the Four Marlins that serves a variety of cuisine from edamame hummus, fish tacos, and a delicious chicken sandwich.
Even if you aren’t staying at this hotel you can enjoy the beachfront views for lunch or dinner.
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I hope you enjoyed this Florida Keys Road Trip Guide! Have you been to the Florida Keys? Let me know in the comments.
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