Fly Drive Itinerary for the Florida Keys

  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 24 August 2016
  • Revised 09 October 2023
Fly Drive Itinerary for the Florida Keys
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 24 August 2016
  • Revised 09 October 2023
Fly Drive Itinerary for the Florida Keys
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 24 August 2016
  • Revised 09 October 2023
With travel restrictions in the rearview mirror, there are few better ways to see the USA than a Fly Drive Holiday.

Car hire companies might have had a tough time during the pandemic, but now that demand is back, stocks have been replenished and reasonable rental prices have returned. That means it’s time to get behind the wheel again, and If you’re seeking sun, sea and sand then Florida’s Southeast Coast is the ideal holiday destination for you.

Here, you can combine an exciting few days in the vibrant cosmopolitan city of Miami with a week or more in the spectacular Florida Keys. The 150 mile journey is one of the great American Road Trips, and we can ensure you make all the right pit stops along the way. Read our carefully crafted Itinerary to unlock the Florida Keys in 2023 and beyond...

Miami: Day 1 - 3

Start your holiday in the “Magic City” of Miami, one of Florida’s most popular vacation spots. This city has something for everyone - from trendy nightlife and vibrant culture to intricate architecture and beautiful world class beaches - always drenched in sunshine. All in all, it is the perfect destination to kick off your Fly Drive holiday in style with a couple of days exploring all that the city has to offer before setting off on your adventure to the Florida Keys.

Miami Beach

We recommend taking the time to head to South Beach, Miami’s most famous attraction. The area here is filled with indulgent restaurants, diverse shopping experiences, Art Deco architecture and a world class beachfront. So pack your sunnies and beach kit for the perfect family day out on Miami’s South Beach. For those culture buffs amongst you, make sure that you visit Little Havana, which is the hub of Miami’s Cuban community. Here, you can experience authentic Cuban culture, food, music and  a whole lot of history.

Then, all that's left to do is head South to pair the thrills of Miami with the calming island vibes...

The Florida Keys

The breathtaking Florida Keys are made up of 100 tiny islands that are linked by 42 bridges and the spectacular 128 mile Overseas Highway. This chain of unique islands surrounded by crystal clear Caribbean blue water is a must-see destination for those beach, outdoor and nature lovers among you.

Moreover, The Florida Keys offers hidden gems like harbours and funky vibrant bars and restaurants. After all, it is important to remember that a road trip is not just about where you’re heading, it’s also about those unexpected twists and turns along the way. 

As soon as you begin your journey into the Florida Keys and set eyes on the surrounding waters, you will understand why this destination is America’s number 1 diving  location.

As you head away from mainland Florida you will quickly notice a shift in lifestyle; the Keys is home to a slower paced, laid-back lifestyle. Yet for those of you on the search for fun-filled activities, worry not, the Keys are also home to wildlife centres, diverse marine life, and water sports.

There are two driving routes into the Florida Keys, Route 1 is for those who want a speedy straight route through the Keys all the way down to Key West, however, we suggest entering the Keys through Card Sound Road for a more scenic approach. With this route, you can drive through the Key Largo Hammock State Botanical Site and the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Key Largo: Days 4 - 6

Key Largo is your first stop on your road trip adventure down the Florida Keys. It is the longest and largest of the islands in the Florida Keys and is home to two state parks and a national marine sanctuary. Better yet, Key Largo is not only considered the gateway to the Keys but also the gateway to the Everglades. So head to the West side of the island, and you can spend your time here kayaking, paddle boarding and exploring the subtropical environment.

What's more, Key Largo is the self-proclaimed Dive Capital of the World. Home to the globe's largest artificial reef, and the John Pennekamp Coral Reef Underwater State Park, Key Largo attracts divers from all around the world and allows you the opportunity to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

However, if diving isn't for you, there are a variety of alternatives to enjoy the coral reef and crystal clear waters - such as renting a glass-bottom boat in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. And if you’re searching for ultimate relaxation, be sure to make time to bask in the complimentary colourful sunsets.

Islamorada: Days 6 - 7

Next, continue your road trip down Route 1 until you reach the island paradise of Islamorada.

Located between the tropical wilderness of the Everglades and the deep blue waters of the Gulf, this region is known as the “Village of Islands”, as Islamorada is made up of six islands: Plantation Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Windley Key, Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key - all of which for your family and friends to explore by both land and sea. 

Islamorada is hailed as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World”, and even if you're a first-timer, we recommend taking your chance to experience sport fishing in all its glory. From a variety of rental options, you can try your chances at catching bonefish, tarpon, snook and redfish.

Marathon: Days 7 - 8

Marathon is a 10 mile long island situated in the middle of the Keys island chain, this family-oriented island community is comprised mainly of Vaca Key, Grassy Key, Boot Key and Fat Deer Key.

Visitors to Marathon Island will enjoy the traditional old-Keys lifestyle and seafront environment, which is celebrated in the area's accommodation and amenities - including waterfront villas, hotels, beachside resorts, restaurants and festivals. Your time here will be spent admiring the beautiful waters and indulging in the delicious fresh fish, lobster and crab.

Marathon is also home to the Dolphin Research Centre, where you can meet dolphins and sea lions, and learn about these incredible marine mammals.

Lastly, after you’ve eaten enough seafood to satisfy your stomach it's time to set off to the next stop: Big Pine Key. To get there you’ll have to drive over the famous Seven Mile Bridge, which is a beloved experience in itself, passing by iconic and endless views of the ocean's horizon.

Big Pine Key: Day 8

Set just after the breathtaking Seven Mile Bridge, Big Pine Key (at mile marker 37) is known for its white sandy beaches and diverse wildlife. The Bahia Honda State Park often makes the list of the most beautiful beaches in America. And, after exploring the state park, spend some time exploring the waters offshore too. Here, you can encounter sea turtles and dolphins in their natural habitats.

Once you’ve completed your action-packed day out at Big Pine Key, it's time to get back on the road for the last leg of your trip down to the beautiful Key West.

Key West: Days 8 - 10

Once you arrive in the sensational Key West, America’s most southern city, you’ll feel as though you have entered a tropical Caribbean paradise. This southernmost point of the US seems a world away from Disney and is the perfect destination to slow and explore old-time Floridian culture between relaxing beach days.

Key West

We also recommend taking a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park to explore the 19th Century Fort and enjoy customary snorkelling in the surrounding crystal clear waters. 

If you’re looking to stay on dry land, there is an abundance of shopping,  art galleries, and island tours. But whatever you do, treat your sweet tooth to a piece of Key Lime Pie at one of the local restaurants - this iconic dessert was born here during the early 20th century.

Florida Keys

After a day of activities, head to Mallory Square to celebrate the sunset. Here, you can take in live music, street entertainers, craft stores and cocktails whilst the sky turns to brilliant shades of pink, orange, and purple. 

But that's just our favourite places in the Florida Keys! With our personalised holiday packages, you can create a fully customised trip of a lifetime to suit your desires.


Take a look at our Fly Drive deals


Enjoyed This Article?
Now choose what happens next...
Looking to Book
a Holiday?

This button will take you to a short form where we'll ask about your destination and preferences. If you don't like filling in forms simply give us a call on 01708 989 371 and we'll be happy to help you.

Receive Our
Exclusive Offers

Join our email to receive exclusive offers and airline sales direct to your inbox. Unsubscribe anytime (but why would you want to?)