Steve DiGioia

Unveiling the Top 8 Must-See Destinations Along the Miami to Key West Route


Embarking on a road trip from Miami to Key West allows you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery of Florida, creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

The Florida Keys are a beautiful collection of islands connected by impressive bridges. The water surrounding them has a pristine and vibrant blue hue. They are enjoying this beautiful drive.

Travelers on this route will be captivated by the stunning sandy beaches, charming towns, abundant wildlife, fascinating historic sites, and delectable fish cuisine. 

Embark on a scenic journey from Miami to Key West. There are numerous captivating destinations that will leave a lasting impression on you, regardless of the duration of your visit. Here are ten recommended spots to visit:

1. Key West

Key West, the ultimate destination, holds the distinction of being the southernmost city in the United States. 

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Mallory Square’s sunset party, and the bustling Duval Street are just a handful of the must-see destinations in this relaxed city, brimming with vibrant culture and rich history. 

Enjoy a day of relaxation and water sports at

2. Seven Mile Bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge, known for its impressive length, links Marathon to Little Duck Key and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding water and nearby islands. 

The old Seven Mile Bridge is a fantastic spot for capturing stunning photographs and enjoying the breathtaking sunset. 

One can choose to either walk or ride a bike across it in order to reach the historic Pigeon Key, which holds significant historical value as a former train stop.

3. Deer National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re heading back from Key West to Miami, make sure to make a stop at the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge. This is the habitat of the elusive Key deer. The Key deer are a unique species of white-tailed deer exclusive to the Florida Keys. 

These adorable animals can be spotted by driving or hiking along the roads and tracks in the refuge. At the tourist center, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Key deer and other fascinating creatures.

4. Dry Tortugas National Park

A view of the Fort Jefferson coastal fortress within the Dry Tortugas National Park, Monroe County, Florida, USA, circa 1960.

If you happen to find yourself with some spare time in Key West, there’s a little-known treasure called Dry Tortugas National Park that you might want to consider visiting. 

This hidden gem is only accessible by boat or helicopter, adding to its allure. The park boasts seven islands and the renowned Fort Jefferson, a massive fort and prison constructed in the 1800s. 

This remote and stunning national park offers numerous opportunities for camping, swimming, diving, bird-watching, and stargazing.

5. Biscayne National Park

After completing your road trip from Miami to Key West, make sure to make a stop at Biscayne National Park. This incredible park boasts an impressive 95% of its area submerged underwater. 

This park is located just south of Miami and encompasses a section of the Florida Reef, along with numerous islands and keys. 

Experience the park’s breathtaking beauty through various activities such as boat trips, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, or hiking. 

One option is to camp on Boca Chita Key and visit an old lighthouse, while another option is to explore Elliott Key, where you can enjoy nature walks and discover a shipwreck.

6. Dolphin Research Center

The Dolphin Research Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, education, and conservation of marine mammals. This is a great spot to visit on your return journey. 

The school is located in Grassy Key and is home to a delightful family of dolphins and sea lions who reside in their own natural pools filled with salt water. 

There are various options available for you to enjoy, such as daily shows and engaging programs like Trainer for a Day, Dolphin Encounter, or Dolphin Dip.

7. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

When visiting the Florida Keys, Coral Reef State Park is a must-see destination for John Pennekamp. Key Largo is the location. This underwater paradise is home to a part of the Florida Reef that is protected. 

The Florida Reef stands as the sole living coral barrier reef in North America. Engaging in activities such as swimming, scuba diving, glass-bottom boat tours, or paddleboarding can provide an enjoyable opportunity to explore and gain knowledge about the diverse sea life and vibrant coral reefs. 

There is a fascinating show in the Coral Reef Theater that provides an immersive experience into the park’s rich history and diverse wildlife.

8. The Everglades National Park

Consider stopping by Everglades National Park while en route to the Florida Keys. There is a wide variety of environments teeming with diverse animal species. 

Here, you may come across a variety of birds, alligators, crocodiles, manatees, and dolphins. 

There are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy, such as thrilling airboat rides, scenic walks, cycling the Shark Valley loop, and exploring the serene mangrove swamps by kayak. 

Explore popular destinations such as Shark Valley, Ernest F. Coe, or Flamingo to gain insights into the park’s efforts in safeguarding wildlife.


Read also: Exploring Orlando’s Hidden Treasures: Top 3 Antique Gems for Vintage Enthusiasts

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