Florida Keys Scenic Highway

State: Florida
Length: 106.5 miles / 171.4 km
Time to Allow: Four hours

Explore the very end of Florida and the ocean on the Florida Keys Scenic Highway. You can travel the 106.5 miles in just four hours, but a few days will let you fully enjoy the gorgeous ocean panoramic of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico stretching as far as you can see. No other byway offers as unique a journey as often you will feel you are driving on the water while enjoying crystal-clear skies. If you want an epic journey, you could start US1 in Maine, working your way down to the very tip of the peninsula.

The byway starts just north of Key Largo at the tip of the state, surrounded by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness. Camp on the beach or in the woods with the option for Chickee sites that are on the water under little pavilions. In Key Largo, you need to visit the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park as it’s undersea and encompasses an impressive 70 nautical miles. You can also enjoy a glass-bottom boat tour, go scuba diving, or snorkeling.

While in town, visit the Island Dolphin Care to swim with dolphins or take a canal cruise. On land, you can visit the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center. Even swim through a sunken ship! Next, stay at the Island Bay Resort for comfortable accommodations and have a bite to eat the What the Fish Rolls and more. Then, continue south to see the History of Diving Museum and the Theater of the Sea Marine Mammal Adventure Park.

In Islamordora, check out the Whale Harbor Marina, Indian Key State Historic Site, and another diving museum. Next, stop for the day at Anne’s Beach before heading to Layton, where you can charter a boat or enjoy a day at the Long Key State Park. Finally, spend a night on the water at the Lime Tree Bay Resort with its own dock, secluded seating areas, and white sand beaches along with two pools.

The Dolphin Research Center is next on the list near Key Colony Beach with reefs, a white heron refuge, and a few impressive hotels. Camp at the Curry Hammock State Park with hot showers and options for tents or RV’s right on the water. Enjoy fishing, hiking, paddling, picnicking, snorkeling, star gazing, swimming, and wildlife.

In Marathon, enjoy palm trees, clear water, and warm weather. For some extra fun, try out an adventure at the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters or visit the Crane Point Museum and Nature Center. It’s home to the Old Seven-mile bridge, too, right over the water. Stay at the Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort for gorgeous personal decks overlooking the water. Enjoy multiple restaurants with seafood delights like the Hideaway Cafe.

Big Pine Key nestles into the National Key Deer Refuge next to the Bahla Honda State Park. Make sure to visit the Blue Hole for some freshwater but be careful of alligators. Check out the local flea market for some fun deals and a day of shopping. End the trip in Key West with tons of options for fun, including an Eco-Discovery Center, Ernest Hemingway museum, a state park, and so much more. The views are legendary, and the town offers something for everyone, including a butterfly conservatory and a lighthouse making this the perfect way to end your trip.

More Florida Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Florida by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Florida Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.