30 Things to Do from Miami to Key West
What are the best things to do from Miami to Key West? That’s precisely what we’re going to talk about today. If you plan to visit Key West, one of the best ways to get there is to drive the 113-mile “Overseas Highway,” where you’ll cross 42 bridges, including one that is 7 miles long!
We’ll talk more about the Overseas Highway shortly. This is one of the most unique scenic drives in the United States, but what are the best things to do from Miami to Key West? Well, you’ll have more options than you might think!
When most people think of “The Florida Keys,” they think of Key West, but if you only visit Key West, you will really miss out on some of the best things the Florida keys have to offer.
The drive from Miami to Key West is filled with great sightseeing, fun ocean activities, museums, restaurants, shopping, and so much more. However, the biggest attraction may be the drive itself!
Renting a car to drive from Miami to Key West
First, let’s talk about how you will get from Miami to Key West. Unless you drive yourself, you’ll need a rental car! If you decide to rent a car during your Florida vacation, I recommend renting a car from Discount USA Car Rental. You can pick up your car in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or any airport you fly into in Florida.
Discount USA Car Rental offers the lowest rates through all the major companies, there is no payment due upfront (you pay when you pick up the car), and cancelation is free.
If you love cheap rental cars, I bet you love cheap flights too. You can sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights alerts for free!
Where to stay in the Florida Keys
Although most people think of staying in Key West, you may find better availability staying elsewhere, such as Islamorada, Key Largo, and Marathon. You can always stay somewhere else in the keys and enjoy day trips to all the things to do from Miami to Key West.
Here are some of the best places to stay:
The best hotels and places to stay in Key West: Check for availability here.
The best hotels and places to stay in Marathon: Check for availability here.
The best hotels and places to stay in Key Largo: Check for availability here.
The best hotels and places to stay in Islamorada: Check for availability here.
Things to do from Miami to Key West at a glance:
- 1. Downtown Miami
- 2. Miami Beaches
- 3. Everglades National Park
- 4. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
- 5. Coral Castle Museum
- 6. Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery
- 7. Robert Is Here Fruit Stand
- 8. Knauss Berry Farm
- 9. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- 10. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- 11. The African Queen
- 12. Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen
- 13. Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
- 14. Robbie’s Marina
- 15. Islamorada
- 16. The History of Diving Museum
- 17. Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
- 18. See rescued dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center
- 19. Try Kiteboarding at Vaca Key
- 20. Visit the Turtle Hospital
- 21. Chilld at Sombrero Beach
- 22. National Key Deer Refuge Nature Center
- 23. Drive across Seven Mile Bridge
- 24. Bahia Honda State Park
- 25. Kayak Through the Mangrove Forests at Geiger Key
- 26. Explore Ernest Hemingway House
- 27. View the sunset from Mallory Square
- 28. Explore Duval Street in Key West
- 29. Take a selfie at the southernmost point in the continental US
- 30. Visit Dry Tortugas National Park
Keep reading below for more details on all of the things to do from Miami to Key West.
When is the best time to visit Key West?
Before we get into the details, you may wonder when the best time is to visit Key West or the Florida Keys.
If you’re looking for the best time to drive from Miami to Key West, it’s best to stay outside of hurricane season. Hurricane season is typically from the beginning of June through the end of November.
If traveling outside of hurricane season isn’t an option, that’s okay! Just make sure to get trip insurance in case you need to cancel due to a storm. Unfortunately, they happen!
Things to do from Miami to Key West
We have finally made it! Here are all the things to do from Miami to Key West in detail, with addresses listed for your convenience.
Here are the 30 best things to do from Miami To Key West. They are mostly listed in order if you are driving from Miami to Key West. So let’s start in Miami and talk about the best things to do on the way to Key West!
1. Experience Downtown Miami
Spending a few days in Miami before heading down to the lower Keys is always an excellent idea. After flying into Miami International Airport, the last thing you will want to do is sit in a car for hours.
You may be interested in a tour of the murals within the Wynwood Art District. A guided tour is best, so you don’t miss anything. Miami also has a lot of nightlife, but that is probably not the main attraction if you visit with kids.
Would you like to see a list of the best things to do in Miami with kids? If so, let me know in the comments!
2. Explore Miami’s Beaches
Your family can join in on the fun at South Beach or Miami Beach. You already know the gulf side of Florida has incredible beaches, but South Florida is also known for its beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. So, you might as well enjoy as many as you can! You can check out the 25 Best East Florida Beaches for some of our favorites.
If you plan to send a few days in Miami, you might look at a Go City Pass and see if it’s worth it for you. It’s often a better deal than booking multiple attractions separately.
3. Everglades National Park
While it’s not technically between Miami and Key West, we had to add this to the list of things to do from Miami to Key West because it’s close enough! Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetland preserve. It’s one of two National Parks on this list of things to do from Miami to Key West, and they couldn’t be more different!
Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an International Biosphere Reserve.
Before going too far on your Key West drive, you can venture over to Everglades National Park. An airboat tour through this park is one of the best things to do. The natural habitat will make you excited to continue your Florida road trip.
4. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
If your family loves history, make sure to stop at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens before leaving Miami. Built in the early 1900s, this museum was home to a Chicago businessman John Deering and turned into a museum after he died.
There are several museums on this list of things to do from Miami to Key West, and this is the first on the list.
Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129
5. Visit the Coral Castle Museum
The grounds of the Coral Castle Museum are full of outdoor sculptures and structures. These items were all carved back in the 1920s.
The museum is located in Homestead, Florida, just north of Key Largo. So this can be one of your first stops as you plan things to do from Miami to Key West.
28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033
6. Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery
I know this is a blog about traveling with kids, but wineries are often family-friendly! Schnebly Redland’s Winery considers itself the southernmost winery in the US (although, again, I must mention that there are wineries in Hawaii!), and it’s well worth a stop!
You can do a wine-tasting tour or even a tour of the estate. If wine isn’t your thing, it’s also a brewery!
30205 SW 217th Ave, Homestead, FL 3303
7. Robert is Here Fruit Stand
If you love exotic fruit (and we here at Florida Travel with kids do!), then you’ll have to stop at Robert Is Here Fruit Stand and Farm. This family-owned fruit stand specializes in exotic fruit. Plus, everything is grown on the family farm!
This is a fun stop for the whole family, especially if you live in an area where exotic fruits are harder to find.
19200 SW 344th St, Homestead, FL 33034
8. Stop at the Knaus Berry Farm
The best time of year to visit this fruit stand and the farm is during the winter months. Unfortunately, they are only open from November through April. This farm is known for its plump strawberries. Their most popular item, though, is their homemade cinnamon rolls.
Pro tip: Buy extra cinnamon rolls for later! Oh, and take cash. Unfortunately, they don’t take credit cards.
We have a blog post with the best strawberry farms in Florida so check it out if you’re a berry-loving family!
Address: 15980 SW 248th St, Homestead, FL 33031
9. Explore John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
The first of the Florida Keys is Key Largo. That means the first stop of your adventure might be John Pennekamp Coral Reef, State Park. Visiting this coral reef state park is one of the best things to do from Miami to Key West.
Your day at this park can be spent snorkeling or scuba diving. Although, you may prefer heading out onto the water for a glass-bottom boat tour.
A boat tour may be the best thing to do in Key Largo, but there are other adventures. For example, if can dive down to the Spiegel Grove Shipwreck if you have older kids.
The History of Diving Museum (mentioned later) is also at this state park. Even if your family doesn’t dive, you won’t be able to resist checking out the Christ of the Abyss sculpture. Make sure you stop in the gift shop for a few souvenirs.
The sunsets in Key Largo are magical too. Grab one of the picnic tables and eat a snack while you watch the sky change colors.
Address: 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
10. Explore Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
You will discover this is one of the best road trips for exploring parks and refuges. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge is full of mangrove forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, and salt marshes.
This is one of the best places to see crocodiles and the Schaus’ Swallowtail butterfly. This is easily one of the best things to do from Miami to Key West.
Address: 10750 County Rd 905, Key Largo, FL 33037
11. Visit the African Queen
The African Queen is a vessel that was used during the filming of a movie of the same name. The movie starred Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. This boat still goes out on the open water for private tours.
Address: 99701 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
12. Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen
Should we create a blog post with the best restaurants from Miami to Key West? If you think we should, let me know in the comments. Since this is a post about the best things to do from Miami to Key West, I included a few restaurants.
Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in Key Largo is a must if anyone is hungry. They have great seafood but also offer your typical restaurant food, burgers, salads, etc.
Address: 99336 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
13. Visit Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
If you’ve been around here for a while, you probably know how much we love animals and love to visit anywhere that does work to rehabilitate and help wild animals. Well, Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center does just that!
This is a great place to see some of Florida’s beautiful birds up close. The rehab center operates on donations, so make sure to donate while you’re there!
If you like birds or animals in general, you should check out our blog post about Seaside Seabird Sanctuary near St. Petersburg, Florida.
Address: 92080 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, FL 33070
14. Stop at Robbie’s Marina
Tarpons are everywhere in the water at Robbie’s of Islamadora. However, it never used to be that way.
At one point, there was one injured tarpon at this marina. The owners repaired the tarpon’s injuries and fed it by hand until it could be released back into the water. The tarpon kept returning, though, and brought friends.
The result is the hundred or so tarpons that call this marina home now. One of the favorite things to do at the marina is feeding the tarpons. So, purchase a bucket of fish and have a few laughs while feeding them.
You can find Robbie’s Marina at Mile Marker 77.
Address: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
15. Relax in Islamorada
Islamorada may be a small island, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy your time there. Many people will spend part of the day fishing. There are 500 species of fish in the area, so your chances of catching a few are good!
This is also a popular spot for relaxing and doing nothing.
16. History of Diving Museum
If you love museums, then the History of Diving Museum in Islamadora will be one of the best things to do from Miami to Key West for you.
According to their website, The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, displaying, and interpreting artifacts, antiques, books, documents, photographs, and oral history relative to the History of Diving.
Address: 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
17. Explore the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
This is one of the best state parks in Florida. It is full of history and deserves almost a full day of your time.
You will see quite an intriguing coral reef during your visit. This reef has been fossilized with intricate patterns.
I recommend stopping by the visitor center to learn more about the quarry within the park.
Address: 84900 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
18. Visit the Dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center
The Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit in Grassy Key dedicated to helping dolphins. The Dolphin Research Center rescues injured dolphins. While the goal is to return many of them to the water, that isn’t always possible. So, they provide a sanctuary to those dolphins who cannot return to the wild.
This is one of the best places to learn about dolphins. They offer educational presentations during the day. So if your kids love dolphins, put this at the top of your list of things to do from Miami to Key West!
58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL
19. Go Kiteboarding at Vaca Key
You can add numerous water sports to your list of things to do from Miami to Key West. For example, Vaca Key is an excellent spot for kiteboarding. You can take a class to learn how to kiteboard out on the clear water, so don’t panic if you don’t know how.
20. Visit the Sea Turtles at the Turtle Hospital
If you love sea turtles, this is one of the best stops on the Overseas Highway. The Turtle Hospital does many of the same things the Dolphin Research Center does. However, its focus is on sea turtles.
A guided tour is the best way to see the sea turtles at this hospital. However, the tours book quickly, so it is essential to book early. This is one thing you won’t want to leave to chance when you arrive in the area.
We have an entire post dedicated to sea turtles! The 10 best places to see sea turtles in Florida
Address: 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
21. Enjoy the Sand at Sombrero Beach
A Key West road trip can be long and tiring. Stopping to enjoy the sand at Sombrero Beach in Marathon, Florida, can help you get a little time out of the car. The kids can run around and play. You can all go swimming before piling back in the car to finish the trip.
It’s a long drive from Miami to Key West, so make sure to download of free license plate game printable!
22. See the Deer at the National Key Deer Refuge Nature Center
You may not realize that deer can be found in the lower Keys. The Florida Key deer are about the size of a dog. They are an endangered species. They are all within this nature center on Big Pine Key to keep these deer safe.
A visit to the National Key Deer Refuge Nature Center will have you learn about the deer and 22 other endangered species.
Address: 30587 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043
23. Admire the View from the Seven Mile Bridge
While driving from Miami to Key West, you will go over the Seven Mile Bridge. It is the longest bridge you will drive over during this journey.
You will be driving over numerous bridges during this Key West drive. All those bridges are part of the Overseas Highway that I mentioned at the beginning of the blog post.
The Old Seven Mile Bridge was constructed in 1912. It has been updated since that time, so it is completely safe. However, this long bridge still offers incredible views of the islands full of palm trees.
Just a word of caution: You should not drive over this bridge or any others during hurricane season if there is a storm nearby. Hurricane season is from the beginning of June through the end of November. So, this includes the popular summer months when everyone is traveling to the Keys. The good thing about hurricanes is that if they are nearby, you’ll know!
24. Explore Bahia Honda State Park
Some of the best beaches in the Florida Keys can be found within Bahia Honda State Park. This is a great spot to spend some time relaxing. You can choose from Calusa Beach, Loggerhead Beach, and the beach at the Old Bahia Honda Bridge.
You will find this state park on Bahia Honda Key. This is one of the best spots for swimming in the Keys.
If you like state parks, we have a list of The best state parks near Orlando. Bahia Honda State Park is definitely not one of them, as it’s so far away, but it’s worth a visit and one of the best things to do from Miami to Key West.
Address: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043
25. Kayak Through the Mangrove Forests at Geiger Key
If you have enough time, kayaking through the mangrove forests at Geiger Key is an excellent option if you want to get out of your rental car for a little bit.
You won’t need to utilize Google Maps for this adventure near Key West. Instead, you will have a great time focusing on the marine life you see in the shallow water.
26. Take a Tour of the Ernest Hemingway House
The kids may not enjoy the Ernest Hemingway House as much as the adults, especially if you only focus on the guided tour. Fortunately, if your kids like cats, they’ll have plenty of playmates to keep them distracted!
These cats are descendants of Hemingway’s cats, and they are primarily polydactyl cats. This means many of these cats have six toes on their feet. There are currently about 60 cats living in this home which makes us feel a little better about our four cats (plus, we always have a foster kitty or two!)
If your family loves animals – and cats specifically – this is one of the best things to do from Miami to Key West.
Address: 907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040
27. Watch the Sunset at Mallory Square
Once you arrive in Key West, you will want to make sure you are in Mallory Square before the sun sets one night. The square can be extremely busy during peak season, so arrive early to secure your spot.
Don’t worry; you can listen to live music to keep you entertained until the sun goes down.
28. Walk Along Duval Street
You will always have a good time walking along Duval Street in Key West. It’s a great place to unwind, shop, and eat key lime pie.
You can grab a drink at the beer garden. You will even be able to find plenty of fresh seafood at the restaurants. Check out the 40 best places to eat in Key West, Florida, for more ideas on where to grab a bite once you reach Key West.
29. Take a Selfie at the Southernmost Point
One of the best things to do from Miami to Key West is one of the best things to do in Key West!
Your final stop (unless you end up exploring Dry Tortugas National Park) on your drive from Miami to Key West will be the buoy at the Southernmost Point.
Although since my “real job” is being a Hawaii Travel Agent, I feel compelled to tell you that the “real” southernmost point in the United States is on the Big Island of Hawaii!
Still, taking a selfie is a great way to celebrate arriving at your destination.
Bonus: Some of the lighthouses in Florida are in the Keys! Check out The Ultimate List of Florida Lighthouses to find them.
30. Explore the Dry Tortugas National Park
This is one of the national parks in the US that is difficult to get to. You can’t just pull into the entrance of this park during your Florida Keys road trip. Instead, you will need to take a boat or plane ride to this park.
We have a complete guide for How to visit Dry Tortugas National Park, so make sure to check it out!
Dry Tortugas National Park is located about 68 miles west of Key West. The park preserves Fort Jefferson (seen above) and the seven Dry Tortugas islands. Of all the coral reefs in Florida, these are the most preserved due to their isolation.
This is the perfect place to see turtles, learn about history at Fort Jefferson, and swim with marine life. An adventure in Dry Tortugas is a day trip you won’t want to miss out on! It’s a great option for those trying to mark all the National Parks off their visited list.
It’s one of the most unique national parks offering plenty of things to do, from scuba diving, fishing, snorkeling, birdwatching, kayaking, camping, and more.
Fun fact: The name of the park is the second oldest surviving European place name in the US. Juan Ponce de Leon named it in 1519 after the turtles (Tortugas) that call this place their home. “Dry” referred to the abundance of freshwater on the islands.
The best things to do from Miami to Key West
I hope this list of 30 things to do from Miami to Key West gave you some ideas for your Overseas Highway road trip. Did I miss anything? If you have any tips on things to do from Miami to Key West, leave a comment and let me know!
More Florida travel tips:
- 33 fantastic things to do in Cape Canaveral Florida
- 30 Things to do in Clearwater with Kids
- Things to do in Orlando for Christmas
- 2023 Universal Orlando Planning Guide
- 16 things to do in Crystal River with kids
- How to keep cool at Disney World
About Florida Travel With Kids
Florida Travel with Kids was started by a family who loves to travel the state of Florida with kids! This site will help you explore the fun state of Florida and all of the kid-friendly activities you’ll find hereyou’lllerlite_form form_id=1]
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