Disclosure: As authors and affiliates, we receive earnings when you buy these through our links. This helps us continue to provide public information on this website.
Exploring the Florida Keys
Welcome to America’s tropics, a string of islands off the peninsula’s tip stretching nearly 130 miles.
Home to dense tropical hammocks and mangrove-lined shores, it’s a destination where virtually everywhere you stop has a waterfront view.
Running the length of the Keys, the Overseas Heritage Trail paralleling US 1 offers cyclists and walkers stretches of scenery along paved trail segments and former highway bridges. We now have an app that covers both the trail and the services and parks along it.
Before you go walking in the woods in the Florida Keys, learn about Florida’s most dangerous trees – the poisonwood and the manchineel. Both grow in these tangled tropical forests.
The Overseas Highway is arguably Florida’s most scenic drive as you stare out over the shimmering turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay, cradled inside the protective wall of a living coral reef offshore.
Driving US 1 to Key West, you’ll note that directions are expressed in “MM”(mile marker) signposts along the highway, which makes it easy to find your destination and figure out how far it is from where you are now.
What you don’t have any control over is that there is just one road, so traffic – especially when you want to make a left turn – can be a real problem at times.
Don’t plan to be in a hurry here. You’re virtually in the Caribbean, and this is island time.
Featured Trails and Parks
Taking a ride through the Everglades on one of Miami-Dade’s most remote offroad bike trails made for “Bill and John’s Most Excellent Adventure.”
A public meeting by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on August 22, 2019 is the first step in informing the public of the potential of Key deer being removed from the Endangered Species List.
Southeast Florida is home to two poisonous trees, the poisonwood and the manchineel. Learn how to recognize them so you don’t get too close, and find out how truly dangerous they are.
Where to Stay in the Florida Keys
Resorts are the norm in the Florida Keys, and prices are steeper than on the mainland.
Budget travelers can find retro motels along US 1 without much effort, and in Key West along South Street, including the famed Seashell Motel & Key West Hostel, one of Florida’s few hostels, with both bunkhouse and private rooms.
Campers pay more of a premium in the Keys than anyone else. Although Bahia Honda State Park offers spectacular waterfront tent sites, they book up a year ahead.
RVs are not allowed to park on the streets of Key West, but you’ll find Boyds Campground on Stock Island a nearby place to call home.
NEARBY: Biscayne Bay, Biscayne National Park, Everglades National Park, Fort Myers, Homestead, Miami. | INCLUDES: Big Pine Key, Islamorada, Key Largo, Key West, Marathon, Overseas Heritage Trail | PART OF: Southeast Florida