Miami is amazing - and as well as being incredible in its own right, it also serves as the perfect base camp for visits to nearby locations. One of these places is Key West, part of the Florida Keys archipelago. It is an island city just 90 miles from Cuba and, more importantly you can easily reach it from Miami. The drive takes around 3.5 hours (it’s roughly 165 miles away) and there are also plenty of guided tours from Miami to Key West.
If you’re planning to drive from Miami to Key West by yourself, there are many amazing stops you can make along the way. You can stop at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is fascinating for fans of NASCAR. Tours of the track are available on non-race days, or you can grab tickets to experience the exhilaration of a race! The Everglades National Park is also situated between Miami and Key West, so you can stop off there for a few hours of exploration and animal-spotting too. Another park you can visit is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is America’s first undersea park - it’s absolutely breathtaking.
Other stops you can make on your drive from Miami to Key West include the Morada Way Arts District, Key Largo, the Turtle Hospital based in Marathon and Dry Tortugas National Park. This part of Florida has so much to offer, meaning you can really make the most of your time in the amazing Sunshine State.
Key West itself is full of things to do, too. Guided tours include snorkelling and glass bottom boat trips, and you can book plenty of tours that include round-trip transport from Miami to Key West. These tours include plenty of leisure time in this beautiful city, and you won’t struggle to find fun things to fill your time…
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
This is located at the westernmost point of the island. You can hike here or go fishing, or just sunbathe and chill out while still getting to soak up the local history. The water is so clear making it ideal for snorkeling too! This historical landmark is centered around a Civil War-era fort, so there really is a lot of history here. It is often recommended as one of the best places to visit while in Key West and here at City Wonders, we couldn't agree more!
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
If you love butterflies, you'll relish the chance to get up close and personal with them in this 5,000-square-foot glass-domed aviary. Watch them fly and float around you, and discover all the different species of butterflies, plants and exotic birds that call Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory home.
This is the location of the nightly Sunset Celebration, an arts festival that starts around two hours before sunset. And that’s because the views here as the sun goes down are second to none - it does get crowded but if you get there early, you’ll get to experience an amazing vibe and see one of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. Don’t forget your camera, because you’ll want to remember this forever!
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
He wasn’t born here, but Ernest Hemingway lived on the island for around 10 years and owned a home here until his death in 1961. His house (now a museum) is located in the old town of Key West, and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Literary lovers will be thrilled to see the place where some of Hemingway’s most famous work was written, including A Farewell to Arms. The house is beautiful in its own right, too, so it is well worth seeing on a trip from Miami to Key West.
For a clean beach full of fun, head to Smathers Beach. The island isn’t known for its beaches in particular (unlike Miami itself) but this one is a treat. It’s always clean despite getting pretty busy during Spring Break; there are public bathrooms to use if you need them, and plenty of shade if you’re hoping to avoid the sun. You can rent chairs and umbrellas, and the views are amazing! There are food trucks here too, so you can easily spend a whole day on the beach in Key West if you fancy it - especially if you’re heading here for a few days away from Miami.
A trip from Miami to Key West is a must. The island is beautiful, and there is so much to do - the list above is only a handful of the ways you can spend your time while relaxing in Key West. From history to beaches to national parks, the city has it all and you won’t want to miss out on exploring it: especially given its closing proximity to Miami. Whether you opt for a guided tour from Miami to Key West or choose to go it alone, you’ll be in for a huge treat!