back to articles | August 29, 2023 | Greg Thibodeau

Categories:   Useful Automotive Information   

12 Tips to Enjoy the Overseas Highway Drive in Florida

The Overseas Highway is a beautiful and unique drive that offers stunning views of turquoise waters and picturesque scenery. Whether it's cruising along the Seven Mile Bridge or stopping at one of the many roadside attractions, this drive is a must-do for any road trip enthusiast.

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The Overseas Highway is a modern wonder. Spanning 113 miles from Key Largo to Key West it leapfrogs from island to island with large sections over the open waters. The Overseas Highway is a beautiful and unique drive that offers stunning views of turquoise waters and picturesque scenery.

1. Prepare for the Drive

Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and in good condition before embarking on the Overseas Highway. Check the tires, brakes, and fluid levels for a smooth and safe journey. The vehicle you choose for the trip can make all the difference and a new car is more attainable than it seems with myAutoloan.

Pack essentials such as snacks and plenty of water to stay hydrated on the road. Don't forget your camera as well as sunscreen, bug spray, and a change of clothes if you're planning to enjoy the beaches and water activities. Prepare for the unexpected with a well stocked roadside emergency kit.

2. Visit at the Right Time of Year

The unique charm of the Overseas Highway is that it spans over the open water but this makes it exposed and vulnerable during hurricane season. The threat of hurricanes is very real in Florida from June 1 until November 30. If you can't avoid hurricane season be sure to carefully monitor weather conditions and don't take unnecessary risks.

3. Head Out Early

The best time of day to drive the Overseas Highway is in the morning. There is less traffic and the cooler morning temperatures make the drive more enjoyable. This also allows you the whole day to explore what the area has to offer.

4. Take Photos at the Seven Mile Bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge offers breathtaking views of turquoise waters and picturesque scenery. Be sure to stop and take some photos of this iconic landmark during your drive. The bridge is not only a marvel of engineering but also provides a stunning backdrop for your vacation memories.

5. Stop for Seafood at Key West

Key West has a vibrant atmosphere, plenty of attractions, and delicious seafood making it a perfect place for a pit stop. Enjoy the fresh catch of the day at one of the many seafood restaurants in the area. From succulent shrimp to mouthwatering lobster, there is something to satisfy every seafood lover's palate.

6. Enjoy the Beaches of Islamorada

The stunning beaches of Islamorada have something for everyone to enjoy. With their crystal clear turquoise waters and powdery white sand, these beaches offer the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun. The picturesque beauty and serene atmosphere of Islamorada make this a perfect stop for beach lovers.

Take a leisurely stroll along the coastline, collect seashells, or try your hand at various water sports. If you're feeling adventurous you can try activities like snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, parasailing, or jet skiing. Islamorada is known as the sport fishing capital of the world, so be sure to bring your fishing gear and try your luck at catching that trophy fish.

7. Visit the Animals at the Turtle Hospital

The animal hospital in Marathon is the largest turtle hospital in the country. It is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of injured sea turtles. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the hospital's efforts to save these endangered creatures and even have the opportunity to feed and interact with the turtles. It is a truly unique and educational experience that shouldn't be missed while visiting the Florida Keys.

8. Go Snorkeling at Bahia Honda State Park

The Bahia Honda State Park is known for its crystal clear waters and diverse marine life. Snorkeling in this park is not to be missed for nature enthusiasts and underwater explorers. With its vibrant coral reefs and colorful schools of fish, visitors can explore the underwater world and witness the beauty of the Florida Keys' marine ecosystem up close.

9. Feed The Fish at Robbie's Marina

The Overseas Highway soars above the waters so it's unsurprising that this trip is packed full of opportunities to enjoy the water and the animals that call it home. One such experience can be found at the famous Robbie's Marina where you can hand-feed tarpon. These massive silver fish can grow up to eight feet long and weigh over 200 pounds. Visitors can purchase buckets of fish and dangle them over the marina's wooden dock for the tarpon to snatch the food from their hands.

10. Explore Key West's Historic District

The historic district of Key West offers architecture, charming streets, and historical sites to visit. This is a good opportunity for travelers driving the Overseas Highway to stretch their legs and immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of the area. Stroll along Duval Street, lined with colorful buildings and bustling shops, or visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum to learn more about the renowned writer's life.

11. Visit the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park at Key Largo is the first underwater preserve in the United States. It is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary which covers 2,900 square nautical miles surrounding both sides of the island chain. Visitors can explore the park's vibrant coral reefs by snorkeling or diving and witness the diverse marine life that inhabits the area. The park also offers glass-bottom boat tours for those who prefer to stay dry but still want to experience the beauty of the underwater world.

12. Go Wild at Big Pine and the Lower Keys

In Big Pine and the Lower Keys the scenery becomes wilder and more deserted. This section of the Florida Keys is known for its abundant wildlife and pristine nature. Visitors can spot endangered species such as the Key deer and the endangered silver rice rat, which are unique to this area. The untouched beaches and mangrove forests provide opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and kayaking, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the untouched beauty of the Lower Keys.

A trip on the Overseas Highway is a journey filled with adventure and exploration. Whether it's cruising along the Seven Mile Bridge or stopping at one of the many roadside attractions, this drive is a must-do for any road trip enthusiast.