We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

Which Key West hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Denver, Colorado
posts: 19
reviews: 1
Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

We will be leaving Orlando around 3:00 on a Wednesday afternoon, and would like to make it at least as far as Miami, maybe even to Key Largo that evening. What is the quickest route from Orlando to Key Largo? And, approximately how long would it take? Thanks!

Orlando, Florida
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 5,812
reviews: 36
1. Re: Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

Definitely take the FL Turnpike from Orlando all the way to the southern end, then US1 to Key Largo. I'm guessing it will take about 4 - 4 1/2 hours? The first time we drove from Orlando to Key West we made the mistake of taking I-95, then got off too early and got stuck in the Miami traffic. It took us nearly 8 hours to get to KW! The next time we took the turnpike and were there in 6 1/2 hours.

Chicago, IL
posts: 156
reviews: 17
2. Re: Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

I'm surprised BuffetGuy hasn't responded. He is Mr Directions.

All I can say is DO NOT MISS THE TURNPIKE. Do not take the Miami route. Trust me...there is nothing to see.

Tallahassee, Florida
posts: 3,486
reviews: 13
3. Re: Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

it depends on where you are in orlando. if you are on the east side by UCF taking I-95 is good, even though you are leaving in the afternoon. You can take 50 (or east colonial) striaght to 95 (if you are brave and have used it alot take 520 to shave 15 minutes off) the only traffic you will run into is by vero/ stuart. All the south florida traffic will be over. I drive from the publix at corner lake (the intersection of 50 and 419 which is just east of east colonial and alafaya) to deerfield in less than three hours (deerfield is just south of boca) you could easily make key largo in 5 hours. or the whole trip in 7. maybe less. If you are by longwood, take 1-4 to the turnpike. if you are really adventurous and near kissimimee, take back roads to 75 and take that all the way. any way you go expect 6-7 hours. I know everyone says stay clear of 95 but leaving so late in the day, dealing with vero beach traffic is much better than miami, and it is a straight shot from that side of town. Trust me. I have driven it all times of day. even if you hit west palm traffic, it will only be bad for like 10 miles, than clear up. east side 95, west or north 1-4 to turnpike. South side, take back roads to I-75 stay on the whole way. have fun!

Key Colony Beach...
Destination Expert
for Florida Keys
posts: 7,318
reviews: 22
4. Re: Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

Big time of the yesr here in the sunless northland. State High School Hockey Tourney, and my beloved hockey Gophers all playing since Wednesday. (For those that care - and those that don't care - we've got the champions of our conference and the champions of our region playnig for the championship tonight. AND my beloved Gophers won last night as well).

For someone with OCD like me, it's almost too much stimuli.

SO the directions from Orando to Key West. I'd say the quickest route is to fly.

Orlando, Florida
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 5,812
reviews: 36
5. Re: Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

Can't disagree with you there, although we've never flown to Key West. I would if the fares were cheap enough though. We sure don't need our car once we arrive in KW. But if you are driving from Orlando, I stick by my recommendation to take the turnpike over I-95. We do live on the east side of Orlando and the turnpike is just a much easier, quicker drive. We've driven to Miami many times, both on I-95 and the turnpike. I don't know what we were thinking when we took I-95 down on our first drive to Key West! We won't make that mistake again.

posts: 910
reviews: 62
6. Re: Quickest route from Orlando to Key West


I think the best advice which I agree with is to take the turnpike till it joins onto route 1 we have tried several different routes over the years but this is definitely the quickest.

Last November we left Orlando (I Drive) at aprox 5am and reached Key West in 61/2 hrs turnpike was empty and route 1 accross the keys was empty due to the island not officially open until the next day due to the hurricane. But leaving at the time you are I would plan to get as far as key Largo the furthest and stop over some of the bridges can be dangerous just look at some of the scorch marks on the road so good luck and enjoy the drive

posts: 5
reviews: 2
7. Re: Quickest route from Orlando to Key West

How much does it cost to take the Turnpike from Orlando?