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Driving route

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Saint Augustine...
posts: 32
Driving route

Is it worth it in terms of scenery to take Card Sound Rd. (Hwy 905A) across to Key Largo rather than S. Dixie (US 1)? How much longer will it take? How much further is it?

Fort Lauderdale...
posts: 6,825
reviews: 130
1. Re: Driving route

the true scenery doesnt really kick in until south of Key Largo IMO. Depends on where you're headed in Key Largo but it doesnt add that much to the trip.

Ipswich, United...
Destination Expert
for Malta
posts: 3,788
reviews: 83
2. Re: Driving route

It is a nicer drive than US1 which is high sided concrete much of the way.

Adds about 2.5 miles/5 minutes. You have to stop and pay a $1 cash toll at the bridge.

The main reasons I use it are for stops at Alabama Jacks which is on the water, and to get away from the high speed driving on US1 - lots of overtaking, driving so close behind you it seems they're in the trunk etc.

Key West
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 5,954
reviews: 83
3. Re: Driving route

I almost never use card sound road. Now that the the construction is finished on US 1, I think it is the better route. The view from the new bridge on Route One coming into Key Largo is great and you miss it on Card Sound. Card Sound Road also gets a lot more traffic then it used to, in part due to sites like this recommending it! I also don't think Alabama Jacks is worth the stop unless you want lots of fried food. There are much better places to eat further along in Key Largo in my opinion.

Naperville, Illinois
posts: 2,956
reviews: 11
4. Re: Driving route

Completely agree with SDT on the route and AJ's food. I love that view from the top of the bridge, kind of a 'Welcome to the Keys' view!

Los Angeles
posts: 4,145
reviews: 45
5. Re: Driving route

I can't remember if the toll is paid going down to the Keys. I thought it was just on the way up, towards Miami...

I personally like it if it's not a busy day because the 1 is just so busy I can't use cruise control. On Card Sound I just set the CC at 5 mph over the limit and have a nice drive.

And like the drive, Alabama Jacks is nice when it isn't crowded! Not fancy, just a place to let me know I'm in the Keys!

Key Largo, Florida
Destination Expert
for Key Largo
posts: 1,769
reviews: 121
6. Re: Driving route

Another vote for what SDT wrote!

Orion - the toll on Card Sound Road is both directions. The only time they lift the toll is if there is an accident on US1 (closing it) or during a mandatory hurricane evacuation (northbound no toll). That's it.

posts: 8,360
reviews: 39
7. Re: Driving route

We always use the Card Sound way. Much less stressful in my opinion. $1 going each way. Almost always stop at Alabamba Jacks for a cold beer, conch fritters and smoked fish on the way down. Great way to start unwinding and enjoy the view of the Bay as well as breaking up the drive. Often see manatee hanging in the water right there along the deck! It's like anything else, we all have our opinion. Of course we stay in the Upper and Middle Keys so aren't joining the throng racing through to Key West. So many awesome places in each key.

posts: 49
reviews: 41
8. Re: Driving route

Have lived in KL for almost 40 years. I would recommend US 1 (the "Stretch"). It is about 18 miles south of the end of the tollroad. Several reasons why I prefer the "Stretch"-1) wildlife, especially birds. The highway goes right through the middle of the southern most and mostly eastern section of the Everglades. Winter time it is not unusual to see migrating birds, occasional bald eagle (about Mile Marker 116-119) atop the power poles on the right as you go down. Remember, when you go down this road it was nothing but marsh until a railroad was put in in the early part of the 20th century. 2) Actually, safer to drive. True- there is a "georgia barrier between traffic but it indeed safer. Especially true if you are doing any bird watching. 3) The view from atop the Jewfish Bridge is super. Look right as you go across it and see the Keys stretching out into the water. I love it every time I do it. Do yourself a favor and read up a little on the Everglades. Most people fly down this road and never look. There is a lot to see!! I only do Card Sound Road if I am going to Alabama Jacks or to buy blue crabs from the crabbers. Anything else I can share, let me know

Florida Keys...
posts: 281
reviews: 9
9. Re: Driving route

Another vote to stick with US1. I never felt the view traveling on card sound was very special, other than the bridge itself. IMO the views from US1 are better, and now the concrete barrier between the lanes and the overtaking areas are finished there is almost no risk of a head-on collision and seems to be less tailgating as people know they will get a chance to get past at the next passing area.

The need to avoid US1 to stay safe is all-but gone.

I also agree to give Alabama Jacks a miss. I have no idea how this place seems to be so highly regarded by so many people ??? Longevity does not necessarily make something good !

10. Re: Driving route

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