SKIP A1A. It's nothing but stop signs until you get to Florida City.
You'll have plenty of scenery along Hwy 1 through the keys. A1A before Florida City is not very scenic.
A1A is what I would call the ocean road that runs along the water om main land Florida. Unles you like to sit in traffic I would say don't take it.
If you were to take A!A down at times you would see the ocean but most of the time you will be looking at the street sine of condos.
You will have a beautiful drive with lots of great views once you get into the Keys.
IF you want ot see a good part of A1A - drive the part from Hallendale / North Miami beach through to South Beach - very neat ride. Will take maybe 30 - 45 mins. When you get to the heart of SOBE, ( 3 or 4 blocks after Lincoln rd) look for Ocean Drive on your left and follow it down until you get to the turnpike turn (if you go to far it dead ends a short bit later so you can't go out of your way too much.) This is a neat drive and if you want to see the most photographed and poplular area of Miami you only need to go this short bit. Then jump on the turnpike until it deadends into US1.
It's not that far out of your way and this part is very scenic.
Just a word of warning - do NOT follow US1 aka Dixie Hwy from Miami to the Keys, don't get on US1 until Florida City where the Turnpike ends.
listen, listen, listen to the above statements. before i started going to this forum i had the Buffett inspired thought of "driving down the avenue that's known as A1A". Huge mistake. now i (and you) know better. have a great trip!
Socrog, that is the way I drove the one time I did drive to Key West, too, many years ago. I know I hated the drive and have flown in ever since. Maybe that is why.
It wasn't Buffett but Blue - and if you have never seen A1A in the SOBE area, it's really neat and worth a detour once or twice +.
It's not the destination but the journey......................
I do not totally agree with most of the other posters. If you are not a frequent visitor to Florida the mainland can be fun in small doses. I note you are from the northeast as am I. Virtually every scene will be dramatically different from what we are accustomed to. The first week of November I drove a lbig portion of A1A from Boca south and found it enjoyable. The foliage and opulence alone are so different from what we see I feel it's worth it. I do concur with Simkeith though, leave A1A at or north of Miami. It's nothing but congestion south of there.
it was Bluewater's advice regarding jumping off to the turnpike.