Don’t go to Key West expecting to see white sandy beaches, there isn’t much (if any) of that. Here you’ll find all the info you need on things to do in the Florida Keys. Drive down the chain of islands connected by the Overseas Highway, taking in the views of the ocean, and engineering feat that is the Overseas Highway. Take in the quirkiness of Key West and the other small communities along the chain of islands.
Drive the Overseas Highway
Take the drive down the Overseas Highway. We started our Overseas Highway adventure in Key Largo, the “Gateway to the Florida Keys”. You will spend the 2.5 hour drive cruising down the highway, gazing over the water either side of the road, appreciating the coconut trees lining the shoreline and exploring some of the quaintest little communities you’ll ever see. Key West has that New Orleans charm with a bit of Singapore’s tropical zest infused in there. I had never expected Key West to have so much character.
Check out the Seven Mile Bridge, the old section of the Overseas Highway that was used to film True Lies.
Snorkel or scuba dive
Snorkel or scuba dive in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park, the self proclaimed home to the world’s best diving. It was on my list of things to try but unfortunately the weather didn’t agree. Visibility isn’t as great in the winter and if you can you should try to see Christ of the Abyss statue which stands 8.5 feet tall and made of bronze.
Explore Key West
You can spend the day exploring Key West. Wander the streets of Key West admiring the architecture and tropical palms and fig trees; learn about its long history of pirates; see sunset at Mallory Square; watch the cruise ships come in; see the southernmost point in Continental USA (below); see Hemingway’s house; and wonder why there are so many chickens around?
Things to eat and drink
Eat homemade Key Lime Pie – Ok, maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but below was the first piece of Key Lime Pie I had ever eaten (we don’t have it in Australia okay!). Like most things, nothing will ever be as good as your first try and that is exactly my experience with Key Lime Pie. Make sure you find some homemade Key Lime Pie, it will be totally worth it!
Where to Stay
Key West – Stay in Key West for walkability to restaurants and other Key West sites.
Key Largo – Stay in Key Largo for cheaper accommodation and access to snorkelling and diving.
Expect traffic heading to Key West – The journey will take you longer than google maps suggests. There are lots of one lane sections of the drive making it difficult to pass slow vehicles.
Add on Miami – see my Guide to Miami