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Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway #777120
08/10/12 12:55 PM
08/10/12 12:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 262
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Gillian - Florida Offline OP
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Gillian - Florida  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 262

Although Key West is just over 140 miles from Miami, it is world away in terms of culture, architecture and lifestyle. Discover what it is like to drive along the Overseas Highway and some of the highlights along the way.

Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway


Gillian Birch
Florida Editor
Re: Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway [Re: Gillian - Florida] #804654
02/05/13 03:05 PM
02/05/13 03:05 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,392
Verde Valley, AZ
Jilly Offline
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Jilly  Offline
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Posts: 14,392
Verde Valley, AZ
Hmm. I'm planning a three or four day camping trip in the keys, but people are saying the beaches are nothing special, and that the views while driving aren't good. There are a few short trails to do, but apparently nothing outrageously good.

Is this worth doing? Should I go somewhere else? I like hiking and pretty scenery.

Re: Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway [Re: Gillian - Florida] #804740
02/06/13 09:31 AM
02/06/13 09:31 AM
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Gillian - Florida Offline OP
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I have driven the Overseas highway many times, and in an ordinary vehicle the views are nothing special. The bridges have high solid walls and the highway itself is disappointingly lined with Subways, MacDonalds and hotels so you could be almost anywhere. It is better in an SUV or higher vehicle and brilliant in an open-top car!

I'm not sure the Keys is the place for you, Jilly as it is very hot and humid, the beaches are tiny with soft sand you quickly sink into, so no chance of beach walks and hikes. The two things visitors go to the Keys for are the city of Key West, and the watersports opportunities. Key West is brilliant for a couple of days sightseeing, shopping, art galleries, maritime museums, historic homes and gardens. Watersports lovers will find superb snorkeling and diving opportunities, sport fishing charters, sunset boat cruises, glass bottom boat trips and Seadoo safaris are all available at Key West, and to a lesser degree at Marathon, halfway along the Overseas Highway.

For hikes, try Lake Okeechobee, or visit the Everglades National Park at Everglades City/Flamingo where there is camping, hiking trails and great ranger-led hikes and activities. Hope you have fun!


Gillian Birch
Florida Editor
Re: Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway [Re: Gillian - Florida] #805269
02/08/13 04:44 PM
02/08/13 04:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,392
Verde Valley, AZ
Jilly Offline
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Jilly  Offline
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Well, it seems dan and I have our heart set on the keys, so I will report after I return. We will be beach camping, plus I found a handful of what seem like decent nature trails on various keys.

We have a smaller SUV (honda CRV), so hopefully we will be able to see over the highway rails.

I really enjoyed driving over the causeway across Tampa Bay yesterday - that was really unique. It was something like 10-15 miles long! I'm hoping at least some of the driving at the Keys will be like that. And I hope we can find some little coves on various keys to hang out on.

Re: Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway [Re: Gillian - Florida] #805352
02/09/13 09:59 AM
02/09/13 09:59 AM
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Gillian - Florida Offline OP
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Have a great time Jilly and let us know how you get on.

By the way I have to revise my comment about the Keys being "Hot and humid". I usually go in the summer/fall. If you are visiting now it will be warm and beautiful!


Gillian Birch
Florida Editor
Re: Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway [Re: Gillian - Florida] #805378
02/09/13 02:28 PM
02/09/13 02:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,392
Verde Valley, AZ
Jilly Offline
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Jilly  Offline
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Verde Valley, AZ
We're reserving our beach campsites today and leave tomorrow. We have a brand new tent to try, and I have a list of trails to hit along the way across the keys.

Re: Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway [Re: Gillian - Florida] #811267
03/14/13 03:36 PM
03/14/13 03:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,392
Verde Valley, AZ
Jilly Offline
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Jilly  Offline
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Verde Valley, AZ
I loved driving down the keys. We were in a light SUV - a CRV - and had spectacular views on every bridge. It was incredible. And it didn't seem like strip malls on the keys at all. I was hugely satisfied with the drive. The seven mile bridge was the best.

I have so much to share about this.

Re: Driving to Key West on the Overseas Highway [Re: Gillian - Florida] #811268
03/14/13 03:48 PM
03/14/13 03:48 PM
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Gillian - Florida Offline OP
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Hi Jilly, welcome back! It sounds like you had a fabulous adventure. How did you get on camping on the Keys? And did you find anywhere to hike, other than around the streets of Key West?


Gillian Birch
Florida Editor

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