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Best way from Miami to Key West

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Savannah, Georgia
posts: 26
reviews: 8
Best way from Miami to Key West

I will be taking a cruise from Miami, and when we get back we will be driving down to Key WEst for 3 days. What is the fastest and most scenic way to get there. I have heard that it takes about 4-5 hours. Can' wait to see Key West in April.

posts: 20
1. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

'Best' & most scenic would have to be a Harley.

There's a couple of places to rent from in Miami...

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 31,527
reviews: 12
2. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

Barring an unexpected traffic jam it should only be a three hour ride- it takes us four hours from Ft. Lauderdale which is one hour away from Miami.

Once you get to Florida City, you will just have to stay on Route 1 (AKA the Overseas Highway) south to key West. Do not take the Card Sound Toll Road.

As far as how to get to Florida City, it would be best to have someone smarter than I am direct you from Miami- not sure if I-95 South or the Turnpike would be best from the Port area.

Key Colony Beach...
Destination Expert
for Florida Keys
posts: 6,966
reviews: 14
3. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

Your request for fastest and most scenic are mutually exclusive routes.

The fastest way is to get on the tollroad ASAP and head down from there to the aforementioned US1.

The most scenic would be to get on US1 in Miami, but that'll take you about 9 hours to get to Key West.

Adrian, Michigan
posts: 1,092
reviews: 6
4. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

Following up on what buffetguy said, I would NOT recommend that you take Rt 1 through south Miami. It may be a little more scenic than the turnpike, but the scenery is mostly of red lights...both on the cars in front of you and the hanging ones overhead. If you rent your car at the port of Miami, head directly for the turnpike. (McCarther Causeway/I-395 to Rt. 836) Do not get on 95 south. This will "dead end" at Rt 1 where you'll travel through 20 miles of street lights at every block. The turnpike will "dead end" in Florida City, where you will join up with Rt 1 south at the beginning of the 17 mile stretch, which ends in Key Largo. You will then have 96 miles of the scenery you're looking for.

posts: 20
5. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

Let me ask the reverse of all this, since we'll be coming in via Rt41 from Naples to 997 then S through Homestead to Rt1

Going back, though, I'm wanting to get to Melbourne the night we leave Key West in the morning.

Whats the best way around traffic that direction?

Key Colony Beach...
Destination Expert
for Florida Keys
posts: 6,966
reviews: 14
6. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

I would say the quickest way is to get on the tollroad in Florida City and stay on the tollroad until maybe the Fort Pierce area. Then get on I95 on up to Melbourne.

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 81
reviews: 1
7. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

mcordry, this is all good advice. The first time we went we wanted to take a scenic route so we stayed on Hwy. 1 from North Miami all the way to the Keys. Going through Miami Beach and South Beach was fun to see the art deco architecture and such but after that, forget it. It was trafficky and nothing to see until you hit the keys(the only good thing was finding a virgin megastore to pick up some cd's and relieve the boredom). It also added WAY too much time to the trip.

I would follow the advice here. Skip Hwy.1 until you get to Florida City. When you take Hwy. 1 in Florida City south you will get all the scenery you could ever want. Driving through the keys is a wonderful experience so dont forget to have your camera ready.

posts: 20
8. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

The last time we went to the Keys, two years ago, we rode a Harley back to Miami Beach taking US1 = bad move, 'specially on a bike. Lots of crazy traffic, racing from light to light & changing lanes.

Gallatin, TN
posts: 1,738
reviews: 21
9. Re: Best way from Miami to Key West

I agree...take the turnpike and avoid South Beach. altho it's a very interesting place it's also very hard to get through in a reasonable amt of time due to traffic. When we go to EYW, we ALWAYS fly into FLL, hit the Turnpike and head south. Make sure you have plenty of change for the toll booths so you can run straight through. Once you hit Homestead it's pretty much smooth sailing from there. However, remember to stay w/in the posted speed zones. FHP and local law enforment agencies patrol the area often and WILL pull you over for going over the speed limit.

Have a wonderful time and be prepared to stop a few times and enjoy the scenery. It's wonderful!!