Explore the Sunshine State: Key West Trip from Miami

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Things To Do | 0 comments

Key West is a popular tourist destination located at the southernmost point of the United States. It is a small island city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. For those visiting Miami, a day trip to Key West can be a great way to experience this charming city without having to spend too much time and money.

The journey from Miami to Key West is a scenic drive that takes you through some of Florida’s most beautiful landscapes. The drive is approximately 165 miles long and takes around three hours to complete. Along the way, you will pass through the Florida Keys, a chain of islands that is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and abundant marine life. There are many stops that you can make along the way, including the Everglades, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Islamorada, and Seven Mile Bridge.

Planning Your Trip

When planning a trip to Key West from Miami, there are a few important factors to consider to ensure a smooth and enjoyable vacation. This section will provide information on the best time to visit and transportation options.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Key West is between March and May when the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are manageable. The average temperature during this time is around 77°F, making it perfect for outdoor activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing. Additionally, the spring months are known for their colorful festivals and events, such as the Conch Republic Independence Celebration and the Key West Food and Wine Festival.

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds and save some money, consider visiting during the off-season between September and November. Although the weather can be unpredictable during this time, the rates for hotels and activities are significantly lower. However, keep in mind that hurricane season runs from June to November, so be sure to check the weather forecast before planning your trip.

Transportation Options

There are several transportation options available for getting to Key West from Miami, including driving, flying, and taking a shuttle or bus.

Driving is the most popular option, as it allows for flexibility and the opportunity to explore the scenic Florida Keys. The drive from Miami to Key West takes approximately 3.5 hours, and there are several car rental companies available at Miami International Airport.

Alternatively, you can fly into Key West International Airport, which is located just a few miles from downtown Key West. Several airlines offer direct flights from Miami, with a flight time of around 45 minutes.

If you prefer not to drive or fly, there are several shuttle and bus services available, such as Greyhound and Keys Shuttle. These services offer affordable transportation options and can be booked in advance online.

Overall, when planning your trip to Key West from Miami, it’s important to consider the best time to visit and transportation options to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable vacation.

Exploring Miami

Miami is a vibrant city located on the southeastern coast of Florida. With its beautiful beaches, rich culture, and diverse cuisine, Miami is a must-visit destination for anyone planning a trip to Florida.

Must-Visit Places

One of the most popular attractions in Miami is South Beach, known for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and Art Deco architecture. Visitors can stroll along Ocean Drive, take a dip in the ocean, or relax at one of the many beachside cafes.

Another must-visit place in Miami is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This historic estate was built in the early 20th century and features beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures. Visitors can explore the mansion’s ornate rooms and learn about the history of the estate.

For those interested in art, the Wynwood Walls is a must-see attraction. This outdoor art exhibit features colorful murals and graffiti art by local and international artists. Visitors can walk around the neighborhood and admire the vibrant street art.

Local Cuisine

Miami is known for its diverse cuisine, influenced by Latin American, Caribbean, and European flavors. One must-try dish is the Cuban sandwich, made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread. Another popular dish is ceviche, a seafood dish made with raw fish marinated in citrus juices and spices.

For a sweet treat, visitors should try the famous key lime pie, made with tart key lime juice and a graham cracker crust. Other popular desserts include flan, a creamy custard, and pastelitos, a sweet pastry filled with guava or cheese.

Overall, Miami offers a wide range of attractions and cuisine for visitors to explore. From the beautiful beaches to the vibrant street art, Miami is a city that has something for everyone.

The Journey to Key West

Planning a road trip from Miami to Key West? It’s a journey that’s worth the effort. The scenic drive is 166 miles long and takes about four hours without any stops. However, with so many beautiful places to see along the way, you’ll want to take your time and enjoy the journey.

Scenic Route

The drive from Miami to Key West is one of the most scenic routes in the country. The journey takes you through the Florida Keys, a chain of islands that stretches for 120 miles. The views are breathtaking, with crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and colorful sunsets.

One of the highlights of the drive is the Seven Mile Bridge, which spans the ocean and connects the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys. The bridge is a marvel of engineering and offers stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding islands.

Travel Tips

Before embarking on your road trip to Key West, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some travel tips to help make your journey smooth and enjoyable:

  • Plan your route ahead of time and make sure to check for road closures or construction.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks, especially if you’re traveling during the summer months when temperatures can be high.
  • Take breaks and stretch your legs every hour or so to avoid fatigue and discomfort.
  • Make sure to fill up your gas tank before leaving Miami, as gas stations become scarce as you get closer to Key West.
  • Bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Consider renting a convertible to fully enjoy the scenic drive and the ocean breeze.

Overall, the journey from Miami to Key West is an unforgettable experience that offers stunning views and plenty of opportunities for adventure. With a little planning and preparation, you can make the most of your road trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Discovering Key West

Key West is a tropical paradise located at the southernmost point in the United States. This small island is famous for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and historic landmarks. Visitors can explore the island’s rich history, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy a variety of water activities.

Historical Sites

Key West has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. Visitors can explore the island’s historic landmarks, including the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the Key West Lighthouse, and the Harry S. Truman Little White House. The historic sites offer a glimpse into the island’s past and the people who shaped its history.

Beaches and Watersports

Key West is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Visitors can relax on the white sandy beaches, swim in the crystal clear waters, and enjoy a variety of watersports. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing are popular activities in Key West. Visitors can also take a sunset sail or enjoy a day on a catamaran.

Local Food and Drink

Key West is known for its fresh seafood and unique cuisine. Visitors can indulge in local favorites like conch fritters, key lime pie, and fresh seafood. The island also has a vibrant nightlife with a variety of bars and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy a cold drink while watching the sunset or dance the night away at one of the island’s many nightclubs.

Overall, Key West is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Florida. With its rich history, beautiful beaches, and unique cuisine, visitors are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Returning to Miami

After a memorable stay in Key West, it’s time to head back to Miami. There are several options available for travelers to make the journey back.


One of the most popular and economical ways to return to Miami is by bus. Greyhound Bus offers daily trips from Key West to Miami, with fares ranging from $17 to $25 one-way. The journey takes approximately 4 hours, with several stops along the way.

Shuttle Services

For those who prefer a more comfortable and convenient option, shuttle services are available. Many tour companies offer shuttle services from Key West to Miami, with prices ranging from $50 to $80 per person. These shuttles usually depart from the Key West Ferry Terminal and drop off passengers at various locations in Miami.

Car Rental

Travelers who rented a car for their trip to Key West can easily return the car in Miami. Major car rental companies have offices in both cities, making it easy to drop off the car in Miami before departing.

Private Transfer

For those who want a more personalized experience, private transfer services are available. These services offer door-to-door transportation from Key West to Miami, with prices ranging from $200 to $500 depending on the type of vehicle and the number of passengers.

No matter which option travelers choose, they are sure to enjoy the scenic views of the Florida Keys on their way back to Miami.


In conclusion, a road trip from Miami to Key West is an unforgettable experience that offers a mix of scenic views, historic landmarks, and outdoor activities. The journey takes travelers across 166 miles of stunning coastal beauty, with stops at the Everglades, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Islamorada, Seven Mile Bridge, and of course, Key West.

While the drive can be completed in a day, it is recommended to take at least two to three days to fully enjoy all the attractions along the way. Visitors can choose from a variety of accommodations, ranging from budget-friendly motels to luxurious resorts.

Key West itself offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nightlife. Visitors can explore the charming Old Town, visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, or take part in water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and sunset cruises.

Some key takeaways to keep in mind when planning a Miami to Key West road trip:

  • The best time to visit is between March and May or between September and November to avoid the peak tourist season and hurricane season.
  • It is recommended to book accommodations and activities in advance, especially during the peak season.
  • The drive can be challenging, with narrow roads and heavy traffic, so it is important to be patient and cautious.
  • Visitors should respect the environment and wildlife by following the rules and regulations of the parks and beaches.

Overall, a road trip from Miami to Key West is a must-do for anyone looking for an adventure filled with stunning scenery, rich history, and endless fun.

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