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Overseas Highway Mile-Markers Guide with 100’s of things to do in the Florida Keys

Last updated on July 17th, 2022 at 07:21 am

The scenic Overseas Highway is the spine of the Florida Keys, the lifeblood of a 113-mile chain of islands to which three million visitors flock every year.

The Overseas Highway is integral to your Keys adventure as you pass over calm, turquoise waters through a paradise of palm-studded subtropical islands.

Our new and improved Florida Keys Mile Markers Guide is your travel companion, noting historical points of interest, restaurants, lodging, campgrounds, dive shops, parks and beaches, boat ramps, kayak launches and things to do in the Florida Keys.

Don’t leave home without it. Bookmark this page on your smartphones and tablets for reference on your next trip through the Florida Keys.

Links in this guide take you to more information about points of interest and businesses. Listings are selected by editors and links are included for the convenience of travelers. These are courtesy links and are not sponsored and cannot be purchased by advertisers. Many links go to related FloridaRambler stories. Where appropriate, a link may go to independent reviews on TripAdvisor or, which may result in a modest referral commission that support updates to this guide.

Copyright © 2022 Florida Rambler Media. All rights reserved.

The Overseas Highway

The Overseas Highway was built on the rail bed of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad, which was completed in 1912. The railroad served the Keys until 1935, when it was partially destroyed by a Category 5 hurricane. The state of Florida purchased the right-of-way and began construction of the highway, completing the project in 1938, using the old, narrow-gauge railroad trestles as a platform. Those bridges were replaced with modern spans in the 1980s.

MM 127 — You are leaving Florida City, Gateway to the Keys, for a 20-mile trek across marshes, lagoons and ponds to Key Largo. Take your time. This wilderness may appear stark, but it’s fascinating. Perhaps you’ll see an American crocodile. They flourish in this environment.

MM 126.5Card Sound Road. Branches off U.S. 1 to North Key Largo over the Card Sound Bridge (toll). Stop at Alabama Jack’s, a funky outdoor restaurant and dockside bar, just before the bridge.

MM 112.5 — Monroe County Line, and where checkpoints are set up during the pandemic and hurricane evacuations.

MM 110.8 — KAYAK — Little Blackwater Sound Boat Ramp, bayside.

MM 108.5Gilbert’s Resort. Recently renovated traditional Keys lodging with a famous tiki bar open to the public. Follow the ramp on your right, just before the Jewfish Creek Bridge. Read: Florida Rambler story about Gilbert’s

Jewfish Creek Bridge (Photo by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

MM 108 — Jewfish Creek Bridge crosses the Intracoastal Waterway, inside passage for boaters going to the Florida Keys from Biscayne Bay.

MM 107.5 — Lake Surprise. Named after an unexpected encounter by workers building Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway. The lake had not appeared on surveys, and it presented a major obstacle for the project. When the crews attempted to build a causeway, the fill material was swallowed by the lake. –

Key Largo

“Dive Capitol of the World”

Snorkeler Katherine Wieland at the Christ of the Abyss statue in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key Largo. (Stephen Frink/Florida Keys News Bureau)

MM 106The Buzzard’s Roost, Oceanside. Woohoo! Dockside bar and waterfront restaurant, just off U.S. 1 at the Garden Cove Marina, 21 Garden Cove Drive, Key Largo. (Big sign on U.S. 1).

MM 106DIVE Silent World Dive Center, Garden Cove Marina, 51 Garden Cove Dr.

MM 106.0Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, bayside.  Easy-to-reach rest rooms, brochures, maps and discount coupons.

Lake at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock State Park
MM 106

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

A hairpin left at Mile Marker 106, then north a half-mile. Park features one of the largest tracts of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the U.S. and is home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including wild cotton, mahogany mistletoe, and the American crocodile. Most of the park’s six miles of trails are accessible to hikers and bicycles, including a wheel-chair accessible self-guided nature trail. Permits are required in the backcountry. Day use: $2.50 per person.  Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammocks Botanical State Park, County Road 905, Key Largo FL 33037. Phone: 305-676-3777.

MM 105.6— Railroad depot and Key Largo town center from 1910 to 1940. The depot was in the highway median. The community was bayside.

MM 105.3 — Winn Dixie Supermarket.

MM 104.5 — KAYAKFlorida Bay Outfitters. Small fee to launch. The friendly folks here will give you advice on kayak routes and rent kayaks, paddle boards.

Key Largo

Rowell’s Waterfront Park

rowells marina key largo florida

MM 104.5. Under Construction. The former Rowell’s Marina, which has served as an undeveloped pet park and swimming hole, is undergoing a $1.4 million redevelopment and will soon include rest rooms, picnic areas, parking and landscaping. Stay tuned..

MM 104.3 (Bayside). Amy Slate’s Amoray Dive Resort. 

MM 104.2 (Bayside). Keys Palms RV Resort.

MM 104.1 — Bayside. The Caribbean Club in Key Largo. Its exterior was used in the classic Humphrey Bogart film “Key Largo,” which inspired the community to change its name. This dive bar is plastered with movie memorabilia. Read More about tracking Humphrey Bogart in Key Largo.

MM 104Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill, Bayside. Sports bar, tiki bar, restaurant. Owned by the former football coach and Fox NFL commentator, who lives down the road in Tavernier.

MM 104 —  Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort.

MM 103.9 — Restaurant cluster on the bay side: Senor Frijoles, Mexican food; Sundowners, outdoor seating and view of Blackwater Sound.

MM 103.8DIVEPirates Cove Watersports. Diving, snorkeling paddleboards, kayaks.

MM 103.6DIVEQuiescence Diving Services

MM 103.5 — The 1920s Key Largo Rock Castle, end of Oceana Drive, ocean side.

MM 103.5 — RV. King’s Kamp RV Park, Oceanside. Private campground with many waterfront sites. Packed in winter, but OK the rest of the year. Shaded tent sites along north fence.

MM 103.4 — Marvin Adams Waterway Bridge (The Cut), a canal that connects Atlantic to Florida Bay

MM 102.5 Lazy Lobster — Popular Keys restaurant directly across from the entrance to John Pennekamp State Park.

Florida State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Mile Marker 102.5. All life on Key Largo revolves around scuba diving and snorkeling on the coral reefs in this 21 miles-long underwater paradise reaching three miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The park has two beaches, a bustling marina with glass-bottom tour boats, dive/snorkel boats, boat ramp, kayak trails, and a campground. Campsites are $36 per night. Day-use admission is $8 per vehicle (plus 50 cents per person), and the boat ramp costs $10. Obtain backcountry bicycling permits for Dagny Johnson State Park at the ranger station. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Mile Marker 102.5 Overseas Highway, Key Largo FL 33037. Phone: 305-676-3777. Campground reservations: call 800-326-3521.

MM 102.4The Fish House and Fish House Encore Restaurants. Popular restaurants serving fresh Keys seafood. A little pricey but not shocking. | TripAdvisor reviews

MM 102 — Need a free place to stop for a picnic? Behind the Key Largo government center (bayside) visit Peace Park with covered picnic tables and access to restrooms. Moored boats come and go via dinghy or kayak.

MM 101.7 — Hobo’s Cafe. Oceanside. Long one of Bob’s favorites, going back to its railroad-car years. Good food at moderate prices. Outdoor seating available. | TripAdvisor reviews

MM 101.7 — Largo Resort.

MM 101.5RV — Key Largo Kampground and Marina, at the end of Sampson Road.

MM 101.5 – – RV Calusa Campground and Marina, bayside at 325 Calusa St.

MM 101.4Tradewinds Plaza. Oceanside and partially hidden by a wall of trees. Includes a Publix Supermarket.

MM 101.3Friendship Park, Oceanside. Park with a playground, picnic tables, ball field, basketball courts. This was once the center of the 1880s community of Newport.

MM 100.8 — DIVERainbow Reef Dive Center

MM 100.6DIVEKey Largo Dive Center. Dive excursions and scuba charters.

MM 100.6Tower of Pizza Key Largo.

MM 100.5Key Largo Chocolates. Key Lime Pie on a stick! Home-made chocolate treats.

MM 100.2 — Key Largo Conch House. 

MM 100.0 — Marina Del Mar Resort and Marina.

African Queen in Key Largo, Florida
Key Largo

The African Queen

MM 99.7The African Queen is the original vessel from director John Huston’s classic 1951 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. The 100-year-old steamboat is moored next to the Holiday Inn Oceanside. You can take a 90-minute cruise or a two-hour dinner trip. (Photo courtesy Florida Keys News Bureau). For reservations, book in person at the Holiday Inn, or call 305-451-8080.
Read More: Visitors Guide to Key Largo

MM 99.7Holiday Inn Key Largo. Book your excursion on the African Queen or the Key Largo Princess glass-bottom boat in the hotel’s gift shop. Check out the waterfall and tiki bar at the hotel swimming pool.

MM 99.6. Laguna Avenue

MM 99.5 — DIVEDivers Direct. Mega-store for divers, snorkelers, and other water sports. In this shopping plaza, you will also find a Thai restaurant, Office Depot, Walgreens, and Bank of America

Read more in our Key Largo Visitors Guide

Port Largo

MM 99.4 — Key Largo Traffic Light, before the highway splits

East at the light onto Atlantic, then an immediate right onto Homestead, then left on Ocean Bay Drive to seek out these hidden treasures:

  • American Legion, 2 Seagate Blvd. Key Largo. Large, shady outdoor seating with an entertainment stage. Drinks and food. This place rocks on weekends starting Thursday night. Open to the public. Profits benefit veterans’ causes. Phone: 305-451-0307 | TripAdvisor reviews
  • Pilot House Marina and Restaurant, 13 Seagate Blvd, Key Largo. Unique glass bottom bar over water, best seen at night. Across the boat basin from Key Largo Fisheries.
  • Key Largo Fisheries, 1313 Ocean Bay Drive. Old Florida wholesale and retail fish market with piles of fresh stone crabs and Florida lobster (in season), local shrimp and fresh-caught snapper, mahi-mahi, and more. Check out display cases for conch salad, smoked fish dip, lobster chowder, and bisque. Best seafood market in the Keys. | TripAdvisor reviews

MM 99.4 — Bayside Grille and Sunset Bar, bayside.  Hideaway bar (downstairs) and restaurant (upstairs) behind DiGiorgio’s Cafe Largo overlooking Florida Bay.

MM 99.3 — Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, bayside (southbound lanes). Classic Keys roadside eatery open for breakfast and lunch only. Check out their fish and grits!

MM 99.0Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen II. An extension of the iconic original in the median, accessible from both southbound and northbound lanes. Open for lunch and dinner only.

MM 98.3Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). Nature center educating the public to learn more about marine resources and ocean conservation. REEF Headquarters building is a classic conch-style house, recognized as the oldest building in the upper Florida Keys still in its original location.  

MM 98.0 — Landings of Largo, Bayside; Moose Lodge, Oceanside; Everglades Park Ranger Station, Bayside. 1st Baptist Church, Oceanside; Shell World (center road); Rock Harbor Club, Bayside.

MM 97.8 — Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Gardens, cottages set amidsta botanic garden on Florida Bay.

MM 97.8 — Sal’s Ballyhoo’s Historic Seafood Grill. Dine at a historic conch house built in the 1930s. 

MM 97.5 — RVBlue Fin Rock Harbor Marina & RV Park.

MM 95 to 100 — The early community of Rock Harbor. A small railroad depot once anchored the community. The name of the post office was Rock Harbor until the 1948 when Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall film Key Largo inspired residents to cash in on that success.  In 1952, the post office was renamed Key Largo.

MM 97.0 — Playa Largo Resort

MM 95.8 — Harriette’s Diner. Popular eatery for locals. Home cookin’.

MM 95.2 — Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary building.

MM 94.5 — Snapper’s Restaurant 139 Seaside Avenue. Popular waterfront restaurant with dockage. (Peckerheads not allowed).


“In early writings, the harbor between Tavernier Key and Key Largo is mentioned as a rendezvous area for Bahamian wreckers, offering a haven from Atlantic gales and a good view of the Upper Keys reefs. In the early 1820s, it is believed slaves were gathered on Key Tavernier to be smuggled into the Bahamas by wreckers, but this has never been documented. It was used, however, as a relay point for escaped slaves en route to the Bahamas.”

Pelican at Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, Tavernier
MM 93.6

Florida Keys Wild Bird Center

Boardwalk through a mangrove forest at volunteer-run wildlife rehab facility with an informal backyard feel. The center is free, though you may want to make a donation. Open sunrise to sunset. Great stop for kids.

Read More: Wild Bird Center is worth a quick stop

92.6Harry Harris Beach and Park oceanside. Pet-friendly park with nicely groomed beach, picnic tables, picnic shelters, boat ramp and a playground. Free admission weekdays. Monroe County residents free anytime. Non-residents: $5/person on Saturday, Sunday and holidays. $30 to launch a boat. Incidentally, the early community of “Planter” was here.

92.2 — Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory, bayside.

92.0 — KAYAK — Bottle Key Launch. Public boat launch, bayside, on Jo-Jean Way.

91.9 — Old Tavernier Post office; Old Settlers Park, oceanside; historic Tavernier Hotel, oceanside. This was the center of the early community of Tavernier.

91.5Mariner’s Hospital. Bayside.

91.2 — Tavernier Town Shopping Center. Winn-Dixie Supermarket. Multiple eateries, including J-Dao Sushi Thai, Great Wall Chinese, Over Easy breakfast restaurant, Dunkin’ Donuts, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s. Movie theater. Liquor store. U.S. Post Office.

90.8 — Tavernier Creek Bridge; Tavernier Creek Marina, Conch Republic Divers, Plantation Marina. Bayside


“Sportfishing Capital of the World” 
But there’s more to do here than fish. Florida Rambler guide to things to do in Islamorada.

swordfish florida keys
Fish on! (Photo/Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)

90.7Casa Mar Village Shopping Center. Casamar Seafood Market, Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures.

90.6Creekside Inn, 90611 Old Highway, Tavernier.

90.5Angler Eddy’s Live Bait & Tackle, 90515 Old Highway.

90.4 — Florida Keys Dive Center

90.1Captain Craig’s Restaurant. Seafood.

90.1 — Plantation Key Colony community entrance, Bayside. Large Indian mound in the center of the subdivision.

89.0Jersey Boardwalk Pizza,

88.0Marker 88 Restaurant, bayside. Venerable eatery whose fans include former President George H.W. Bush (No. 41), who dined here frequently during his fishing trips to Islamorada.

88.0M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom, oceanside. Burger raves, but what’s all this hullaballoo about beer milkshakes? Readers Digest says M.E.A.T has the best hamburgers in the state.

87.7Twisted Shrimp. Seafood cafe. Limited menu.

founders park beach
Mile Marker 87

Founders Park

Significant public park with a beach, picnic tables, Olympic size pool, amphitheater, marina, boat ramps, baseball fields, tennis complex, pickleball, basketball court, fitness and walking trails, outdoor fitness park, fishing jetty, golf driving range, skate park, and kayak rentals.

Mile Marker 86.7

Rain Barrel
Artisan’s Village

Giant lobster marks the entrance to Rain Barrel Village in the Florida Keys

Rain Barrel Artisan’s Village. It’s fun to browse the arts and crafts here. And everybody has to get their picture taken with Betsy, the giant lobster out front. This anatomically correct Florida lobster is 30 feet high and 40 feet long and was created by Marathon artist Richard Blaze three decades ago.

85.5 — Snake Creek Bridge; Coast Guard Station, gulfside. Enter Windley Key.

85.3 — Hog Heaven Bar & Grill. A popular sports bar and seafood eatery. You can’t miss the sign. The restaurant is tucked behind a building on the oceanside. A frequent stop for bikers and tourists.

Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park: Stone thast is actually an ancient fossilized coral reef was quarried here to build Henry Flagler's railroad to Key West. (Photo: David Blasco)
MM 84.9

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological Site

Mile Marker 84.9. If you want to understand the Keys’ geological history, stop here to learn about the fossilized coral reef that underlies all of the Florida Keys. The park is an old quarry for rock used in building Flagler’s Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. Visitors walk along 8-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of the beautiful ancient coral. Self-guided trail through the native vegetation identifies dozens of Florida keys trees and bushes and how they have been used. The park has picnic tables. Windley Key State Fossil Reef Geological Site, 84900 Overseas Highway, Islamorada FL 33036. Phone: 305-664-2540

84.8Coconut Cove Beach Resort and Marina. | TripAdvisor reviews

84.3 — The center of the community of Quarry that thrived during the construction of the railroad.

84.2 Theater of the Sea, established in 1946, is the second oldest marine mammal attraction in the world. Its saltwater lagoon was originally a quarry for Flagler’s Overseas Railway. Live dolphin shows, exhibits, swimming, and various ways to interact with dolphins, sea lions, or rays.

84.2Pelican Cove Resort (Behind Theater of the Sea) | | TripAdvisor Reviews

84.2 — Postcard Inn Beach Resort and Marina (formerly Holiday Isle). Home of the Holiday Isle charter fishing fleet and once the site of the iconic Holiday Isle Tiki Bar, which was destroyed in Hurricane Irma in 2017. The Tiki Bar was replaced by a patio bar deeper on the property with a water view. |

84 — Whale Harbor Bridge spans a navigable waterway connecting the ocean to Florida Bay. Oceanside, a long sandbar emerges at low tide, a magnet for recreational boaters and swimmers. If you’re in a boat, stay clear of protected sea grasses south of the inlet or face stiff fines.

84 — KAYAK and KITEboarding. The bridge causeway is a popular launch for kayaks, paddleboards and kite-boarders.

Whale Harbor

MM 83.5 Sportfishing Marina and Restaurants

The Sandbar at Whale Harbor.
  • Wahoo’s Tiki Bar. Bar and restaurant with second-floor views of Whale Harbor. They’ll prepare your own catch after you bring it ashore from the nearby charter fleet.
  • Whale Harbor Marina. Fishing charter fleet; jet ski and paddle board rentals.
  • Shuck ‘n’ Dive. Waterfront outdoor cafe serving Cajun cuisine. A spinoff of the Fort Lauderdale restaurant of the same name.
  • Whale Harbor Seafood Buffet. This popular restaurant has been rebuilt and once again serving its “World Famous Seafood Buffet,” and I’m glad to see it back. The huge selection of seafood dishes will make your mouth water, and it’s very good. All you can eat for $34.95 (adults) and $17.95 for children. Click here for the menu.
  • The Sandbar at Whale Harbor. Open-air rooftop lounge with a fabulous view of Whale Harbor and the offshore sandbar, a popular swimming spot for boaters.

83.0Ziggie and Mad Dog’s. (Warning: Audio blasts when you click on the link.)

83.0History of Diving Museum. Museum collects, preserves, displays, and interprets artifacts, antiques, books, documents, photographs, and oral history relative to the History of Diving.

82.2Sunset Inn Motel.

82.2.Islamorada Beer Company, a craft brewery and tap room adjacent to Islamorada Distilling, which makes rums, gin and vodka, sure to become a popular Keys souvenir. (Included in our brewery tour of the Keys.)

82.1 Islander Resort. Recently reopened with 114 rooms and new on-site Islander Girl Snorkel & Tours. All-new refurbished cottage-style units and screened-in lanais.

82.1Key Lantern Blue Fin Inn.

82.1Florida Keys History & Discovery Center, a two-story museum that tells the stories of people and events in the Keys. Open Thursday to Sunday. Good for people who want to learn more about the fascinating history of the Keys.

82 — Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar. Popular sunset destination. Bayside.

81.8Cheeca Lodge and Spa. Upscale lodging with private beach, newly renovated after Hurricane Irma.

81.8The Moorings. Beach Road. Luxury cabins on a beautiful, palm-dotted beach. Pricey but gorgeous. Where Netflix filmed scenes for “Bloodlines.”

Morada Way Arts & Cultural District

Mile Marker 81.5 Things to do in Islamorada (besides fishing)

Art walk on Morada Way
Monthly Artwalk on Morada Way (Third Thursday)

81.57Islamorada Moose Lodge,

81.5 — Worldwide Sportsman is the temple of saltwater fishing, outdoor gear, boating accessories, and clothing. Fishing charters in the marina. On display in the middle of the sales floor is a replica of Ernest Hemingway’s wooden fishing vessel, the Pilar.

81.5  Islamorada Fish Company, popular seafood market, restaurant and sunset tiki bar, now part of Worldwide Sportsman. The market has its own fishing fleet, offering fresh fish daily.

81.3Green Turtle Inn. Oceanside. Venerable eatery with a history dating to the 1940s. Popular port of call for “barstool sailors.”

Key Lime Pie

Almost every restaurant in the Keys serves this signature desert, and all claim to have the best.

When we’re camping in the Keys, we look for Key Lime Pie Company pies in the frozen food section at the many small markets and convenience stores along the highway from Key Largo to Key West.

The pie costs about $16, but we think it’s worth it.

81.0 Kon Tiki Resort. Bay side

80.0 — Roadside park, Bayside

80.0Amara Cay Resort.

79.8Lazy Days Restaurant, ocean side. Excellent food, oceanfront patio dining with scenic ocean view.

79.8 —  Bud and Mary’s Marina, oceanside. Drift fishing party boats, deep-sea and back-country charters.

79.1 — Tea Table Channel Bridge

78.5 — KAYAK. Indian Key Bridge.

Indian Key as it looks from the Overseas Highway in Islamorada. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
MM 78.5

Lignumvitae Key State Park
Indian Key Historic State Park
San Pedro Underwater State Park

The Indian Key Causeway offers access to swimming, a boat ramp, kayaking, fishing, and three unusual state parks with fascinating histories.

  • Lignumvitae Key Botanical Site, bayside, virgin tropical hardwood forest once typical in the Keys, anchored by a 1919 home with a windmill for electricity and a cistern for water, which serves as the visitor center. Accessible only by boat.
  • Indian Key Archaeological Site, oceanside, the first county seat of Dade County (1836) and home to salvagers, now a ghost town with overgrown ruins and paths that follow the grid of early streets. Accessible only by boat.
  • San Pedro Underwater State Park, oceanside, underwater preserve features the remains of a submerged shipwreck, the San Pedro, part of a Spanish fleet that ran aground in a 1733 hurricane.
  • Alligator Reef Lighthouse, oceanside. Named after a Key West-based Navy vessel that shipwrecked here in 1821.

Read More: Indian Key: Favorite Florida Keys kayak trail to historic island

77.9KAYAK  — Lignumvitae Bridge

feeding tarpon robbies marina islamorada
MM 77.0

Robbie’s Marina
Feed the Tarpon

Rent kayaks at the Kayak Shack for kayak trip to Indian Key. Fishing charters available. There’s a good restaurant overlooking the water, The Hungry Tarpon. We also love the key-lime-pie ice cream at a kiosk here Charli’s Shave Ice at Robbies.

Read more: Feed the tarpon at Robbie’s Marina. 

MM 75.0 — Sea Oats Beach. Not much beach left after Hurricane Irma, but turtle nests are booming.

Cruising past Sea Oats Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key. (Photo by Jeremy Lang)

73.5 — Habanos Restaurant at Caloosa Cove. Cuban-influenced menu, casual dining with ocean views and moderate prices. Locals eat here with good reason. We loved it.

73.5Caloosa Cove Resort and Marina.  TrueValue Hardware store.

73.6 — Boy Scouts Sea Base, bayside — Camp 3 for WW-I veterans. Many perished in the 1935 hurricane.

New pavilion at Anne's Beach. (Photo: Courtesty City of Islamorada.)
MM 73.4

Anne’s Beach

One of our favorite stops for wading along the beach and picnicking on the boardwalk at the southern end of Lower Matecumbe Key. The boardwalk has been replaced since Hurricane Irma tore up the Keys in 2017. Free access. The water is very shallow here and waders are often seen venturing hundreds of yards out.

Read more: Anne’s Beach worth a stop

73.0 — Channel 2 Bridge. Offshore on the bayside are the remains of eight concrete bridge pilings built by WW I veterans. There are several parking spaces so walk out on the old bridge, now a fishing pier and biking/walking trail.

71.8 — Craig Key

71.0Channel 5 Bridge. Considered by locals to offer the best bridge fishing in the Keys.

Middle Keys & Marathon

Marathon encompasses 13 islands in the Florida Keys, from Long Key to the Seven Mile Bridge, boasting some of the best deep-sea, reef, and flats fishing in the Keys. Add waterfront restaurants, jet-ski tours, kayaking, paddle-boarding, snorkeling at Sombrero Light — or just cruising turquoise waters.

Florida Rambler guide: Things to do in Marathon

70.0 — RV Fiesta Key RV Resort. Very nice RV park with waterfront cottages and guest rooms, beach bar, boat launch and dockage. Swimming pool. General store on premises.

One of the new structures at Long Key State Park is a seaside platform that would make a perfect place for a small, impromptu wedding. This is a window in the platform's lattice-work frame. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
One of the new structures at Long Key State Park is a seaside platform that would make a perfect place for a small, impromptu wedding. This is a window in the platform’s lattice-work frame. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

waders at long key state park
Mile Marker 67.5

Long Key State Park

The once-popular oceanfront campground at Long Key State Park was wiped out by Hurricane Irma, leaving only a few tent sites. The day-use area remains open and is popular for picnics, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. The park also offers backcountry paddling and limited primitive camping along trails.

66.5KAYAK  Long Key bayside. Decent pullover on the bay side, outside of Long Key State Park. Drop your kayak over the low wall. Leeward side of the island.

65.8 — Henry Flagler’s Long Key Fishing Camp occupied the southwest end of Long Key. In the early part of the 20th Century, this famed recreation outpost was visited by Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and adventurer Zane Grey, who spent 14 winter seasons here fishing and writing.

The Historic Long Key Bridge on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail.
The historic Long Key Bridge. (Photo by Bob Rountree)

65.0 — Long Key Bridge, the second-longest bridge (3 miles) of Flagler’s railroad. The old bridge parallels the new one and has been resurfaced for bicyclists, hikers and fishers. Considered one of the best fishing bridges in the Keys. It’s also a fun bridge to bike across.

Read more: Bicycling the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

62.2 — Walker’s Island (Little Conch Key)

61.2 — Tom’s Harbor Cut Bridge

61.1Hawk’s Cay Resort,  Duck Key, luxury resort oceanside.

60.6 KAYAK  Tom’s Harbor Channel Bridge. Oceanside launch and pullover. Good fishing!

59.9 — Marathon city limits

59.3 — Keys Cable wakeboard park. Oceanside

59.3RVJolly Roger Travel Park. Bayside.

59Dolphin Research Center, Bayside on Grassy Key. The focus of this not-for-profit facility is on education.  Rather than choreographed shows, trainers hold informative sessions as visitors stand on the dock around open-water tanks. Many ways to interact with dolphins are available for an extra fee.

58.7RV — Grassy Key RV Park & Resort

58.0Rainbow Bend Resort and the Hideaway Cafe.

Mile Marker 56

Curry Hammock State Park

Curry Hammock State Park is our favorite destination for beach camping in the Florida Keys with the untimely demise of campgrounds at Long Key State Park and on Bahia Honda’s Sandspur Beach. Both were wiped out by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Curry Hammock sites 7 through 19, 21 and 22 are on the beach, and the remaining 14 sites are not far behind. The ocean is shallow, the surf mild and currents are weak most days, making it ideal for families with small children. Kayaks and canoes can be launched from the day-use area or the campground. Sites are $36 per night plus a $6.70 reservation fee. Discounts for seniors over 65 and active military. Curry Hammock State Park, 56200 Overseas Highway, Marathon. Phone: 305-289-2690. For reservations, call 800-326-3521

Related Story: Curry Hammock: Our new go-to campground in the Keys

55 – A 1.5 mile nature trail that is part of Curry Hammock State Park is bayside here (look for a parking area for bicyclists off the road a mile after the park entrance and walk back 300 yards to trail.) Especially nice: You don’t have to pay park admission to explore it. It winds through a beautiful rockland hardwood hammock to an overlook of Florida Bay. Uneven terrain — not for flipflops.

54 — Village of Key Colony Beach, Oceanside. Take Sadowski Causeway to the end and turn right on W. Ocean Drive for the Key Colony Inn, one of the best restaurants in the Keys. Prices are moderate and the seafood selection outstanding. Truly, a hidden gem off the beaten path. Also on the causeway, Sparky’s Landing with indoor and outdoor seating.


Addresses in the city of Marathon track numbered cross streets, not Mile Markers. Where possible, we include both.

53.5 — KAYAK  Island Boat Ramp. Public boat ramp.

53.4The Island Fish Company Tiki Bar & Restaurant. Popular tiki bar and restaurant with sunset view. Now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Good food, nice views. Adjacent is a boat ramp, parking lot and site of a former retail complex where shallow water and a rocky shoal attracts parrotfish and other colorful sealife.

53.1 — Vaca Cut Bridge, entering the business district of Marathon next 8 miles.

53.0Marathon Lady Fishing (73-foot party boat with two trips daily, $45-$55), 11711 Overseas Highway, Marathon. Oceanside.

53.0Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters. 11710 Overseas Highway, Marathon. Bayside. Features a coral reef tank, shark tank, tarpon basin and a tide pool touch tank. Adults, $20; Children, $15.

52.7 —  Frank’s Grill, 11400 Overseas Highway, Marathon. Nondescript Italian eatery tucked into a small shopping center bay side. Very popular. Reservations recommended. (305) 289-7772 

52.7 — Triton Seafood, 11,399 Overseas Highway, Marathon. (Ocean side) If you can’t get into Frank’s, cross the street.

52.5 — King Seafood Market and Restaurant, 10925 Overseas Highway, Marathon. Ocean side.

52.0 — Marathon County Airport, bayside.

51.1Wooden Spoon, 7007 Overseas Highway, Marathon. Popular stop for breakfast. Don’t miss the oversized biscuits!

51.0Brutus Seafood Market and Eatery. Highly recommended by locals for its fresh seafood. In Marathon, this is Bob’s go-to fish market. 6950 Overseas Highway, Marathon.

50.5 Crane Point Museum and Nature Center, gulfside. Kayak and paddleboard tours; tram tours.

50.5 — RVKey by the Sea RV Park (Member-owned with transient sites) 305 743-5164

50.0K-Mart, 5585 Overseas Highway @ Sombrero Beach Blvd., Marathon. One of five remaining K-Marts in Florida, three of which are in the Keys.

Sombrero Beach in Marathon in the Florida Keys.
Mile Marker 50.0

Sombrero Beach

There are few “real” beaches in the Keys, and Sombrero Beach is one of them. Turn south at the Publix Shopping Center and follow Sombrero Beach Road to the end. Plenty of parking. Beach has been fully restored since Hurricane Irma.

50.0 — Publix Supermarket, 5407 Overseas Highway @ Sombrero Beach Blvd.

50.0 Kayak — 61st Street Gulfside runs through an indescript neighborhood, past the La Isla food truck, to the Gulf, where an unmarked hard-pack sand drive cuts to the right into an open lot with a small boat ramp, an ideal spot to launch a kayak. This may be private property, but there are no signs and it appears fallow.

50.0Skipjack Resort and Marina, 19 Sombrero Blvd..

49.5Cracked Conch Cafe, 4999 Overseas Hwy, Ocean side.

49.4Hurricane Bar and Grill, 4650 Overseas Highway, Bay side.

49.0Florida Keys Steak and Lobster House, 3660 Overseas Highway.

49.0 Overseas Pub and Grill, 3574 Overseas Highway. One of Marathon’s oldest historic landmarks (1937). “Coldest beer in town.”

49.0 — The Stuffed Pig, 3520 Overseas Hwy, Marathon. Bob’s favorite breakfast destination in Marathon. Enjoy flaky, battered fish filets with your eggs.

49.0 — Keys Fisheries, 35th Street Gulfside. Funky eatery and seafood market right on the lobster and crab docks surrounded by stacks of wooden traps and lobster boats. Perfectly Keysy, and the fresh seafood is good, too!

48.7 — Fisherman’s Community Hospital, 3301 Overseas Highway, Marathon. 305-743-5533

Bubblebutt, first and longest permanent resident of the Turtle Hospital
Mile Marker 48.5

Turtle Hospital

Located in a former motel bayside on the Overseas Highway, the Turtle Hospital supports its program of rescuing and rehabilitating about 100 injured sea turtles a year through the admission price paid by visitors.

48.3 Faro Blanco Resort and Lighthouse Grill. 1996 Overseas Highway. Bayside.

48.0 — Turn-off to Chiki Tiki Bar and Grille at Burdines Waterfront, one of the best casual restaurants and tiki bars in the Keys. To find it, go east on 15th Street, past an old trailer park and stacks of lobster traps, and arrive in a large working marina in a protected harbor. The Chiki Tiki is upstairs with an excellent view. Also popular is Castaway Restaurant on the same back street.

47.5 Porky’s Bayside BBQ and Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway, the place to be in the 1950’s when it was known at Bill Thompson’s Villas and Marina. Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Hoffa, Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher were regulars. Food is very good and reasonably priced.

47.3 — Sunset Grille and Raw BarOutdoor eatery at the foot of the Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon. Take the last left (going south) to Knights Key before the Bridge. Upstairs bar and patio has a fabulous sunset view, or dine downstairs on the open deck.

Seven Mile Bridge

47.0 — Famously, the longest bridge in the Keys. (Really just 6.8 miles long.) The old bridge was replaced by the new bridge in the 1980s, leaving an accessible 2.2-mile section to Pigeon Key. This section of the bridge was rebuilt and reopened in January 2022 for hikers and bicyclists. It’s a great place view sunset, too.

7 mile bridge pigeon key
The recently improved 2.2-mile segment of the Old 7 Mile Bridge to Pigeon Key. The new bridge, which opened in the 1980s, is in the background. (Florida Keys News Bureau/Andy Newman)

Read more: The Old Seven Mile Bridge.

Florida Keys: Pigeon Key and the Old Seven Mile Bridge
7 Mile Bridge

Pigeon Key

The primary mission of the Pigeon Key Foundation and Marine Science Center is education, hosting day and overnight marine science field trips for educational groups. Visitors are welcome and daily historical tours are offered to the general public, but you must arrive by boat for tour. For more information call 305-743-5999 or visit their web site.

Read more: Pigeon Key: One of our favorite stops in the Keys

Sunset over the Seven Mile Bridge.
Sunset over the Seven Mile Bridge. (c) Can Stock Photo / doncon402

43.9 — Moser Channel, highest point on 7-Mile Bridge. Sombrero Light can be seen oceanside

40.0 — West end of the Seven Mile Bridge

The Lower Keys

bahia honda state park
Historic bridge beyond the beach at Bahia Honda State Park.

Read this article: Paradise Found: Things to Do in the Lower Keys

39.9KAYAK  Veterans Memorial Park. Public park (oceanside) is a good place to stop for a picnic or to use the restroom.  There’s a beach where you can wade or swim and palm trees lean like they are waiting to be captured in a postcard. It’s also an easy kayak launch.

39.5 — Missouri-Little Duck Channel Bridge

39.0 — Ohio-Missouri Channel Bridge

38.8RV Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina. 

38.7 — Ohio- Bahia Honda Channel Bridge

Mile Marker 36.8

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park features an award-winning beach, a boat launch, marina, campground and cabins. The tents-only Sandspur campground and Sandspur Beach remain closed due to heavy damage from Hurricane Irma (September 2017). Enjoy a day of sunbathing and with iconic views of the crumbling old railroad bridge. For campground and cabin reservations, call  1-800-326-3521.

36.0 — Bahia Honda Bridge (4-lanes); View the old camelback bridge.

35.0KAYAK  Bahia Honda Bridge launch. At the west end (towards Key West), access to both ocean and bay.

34.5 — Scout Key, Girl Scout Camp, oceanside.

34.1 — Scout Key Camp Sawyer, Boy Scouts, oceanside.

34.0 — West Summerland Key

33.7KAYAK  Spanish Harbor Bridge Boat Ramp. (East end of bridge, Marathon side.) Paddle to No Name Key and a cluster of other islands off Big Pine.

Hire a bridge fishing guide at or call 305-204-9772

Big Pine Key

SPEED WARNING: Big Pine is home to the endangered Florida Key Deer, and the speed limit is strictly enforced — 45 mph, daylight; 35 mph at night. Off the highway, the speed limit is 30 mph.

33.8 — KAYAK — Boat ramp alongside highway.

33.0RVBig Pine Key Fishing Lodge. Very nice campground with some sites lining a canal with docks, others waterfront. Rooms in lodge. Took a big hit from Hurricane Irma but is back and packed. Here’s a story from my last camp-over: Camp to fish on Big Pine Key.

33.0 KAYAK. Long Beach. Adjacent to Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge, take Long Beach Road about a half-mile. Turn left onto dirt road to Long Beach. There are three launch points.  Or you can drive all the way to the end of Long Beach Road and hike out to the beach from the turnabout. 

31.0 — Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, Old F.E.C. railway marker, oceanside.

Key deer approaches bike, No Name Key, Forida Keys.
Mile Marker 30.3

National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center

The endangered Key deer are found in the lower Florida Keys, and nowhere else in the world. The refuge takes up most of the island, and the refuge’s Visitor Center is now on U.S. 1 in a new log-cabin structure, making it more visible and convenient to travelers. (Here’s more about Key Deer, and how to see them.)

Key Deer Boulevard

Mile Marker 30.2 — The Traffic Light

  • Big Pine Shopping Center is north of the traffic light on Key Deer Blvd., but don’t blink. It’s hidden behind dense vegetation. Winn-Dixie Supermarket, novelty shops, and restaurants, including one of our favorites, locally popular PizzaWorks.
  • One of the most colorful spots for lunch, dinner, or drink is the hard-to-find No Name Pub. We’ll help you find it. Take Key Deer Blvd to Watson Blvd., then turn right. Go through a residential area, and No Name Pub is on your left.
  • Continuing on Watson Blvd. just past the No Name Pub, is the Old Wooden Bridge Cabins. Kayak rentals and guided tours available.
  • No Name Key — Cross the bridge and drive 1.8 miles to a public kayak launch
  • The Blue Hole is an abandoned rock quarry used for nearby road fills and Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad. A rare freshwater pond, it is a gathering place for birds, snakes, alligators, key deer, and green iguanas. It is part of the National Key Deer Refuge
  • Explore Big Pine on the many unpaved roads crisscrossing the island that are worth exploring, and this is where you will find an abundance of Key deer if you haven’t seen them already.

30.0DIVE Looe Key Reef Adventures and Strike Zone Charters

30.0Bucktooth Rooster, Bayside. New restaurant on Big Pine getting good reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp! Moderately priced.

29.3 — North Pine Channel Bridge

28.5 — Little Torch Key. Parmers Resort is highly rated on TripAdvisor. The resort is off U.S. 1 on Barry Avenue. (Turn right immediately after crossing the North Pine Channel Bridge.) Well-maintained cabins and motel rooms on the water.

28.5Kiki’s Sandbar Bar and Grille, 183 Barry Ave, Little Torch Key. Downstair open-air bar with entertainment. Upstairs dining. Overlooks the North Pine Channel with docks for boats.

28.0 Legendary Watersports Snorkel Looe Key. Sandbar trips with boat rental. | TripAdvisor reviews

Small boat charter in the Lower Keys: Call Kevin Rowley at 305-393-2618 or email

28.0 — Torch Channel Bridge

27.8 – KAYAK  Middle Torch Key Causeway. Go north off U.S. 1 for several miles to Big Torch Key sign. Turn left. Launch from second and third culverts along this road.

lower florida keys
Aerial of the Lower Keys. (Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)

27.8 — Bike Trail — A natural area with a bike path that’s 15.5 miles round trip from U.S. 1 on Middle Torch Road.

27.7 — Torch-Ramrod Channel Bridge

27.6 — Ramrod Key, Named for a ship, the Ramrod, wrecked on a reef south of here in the early nineteenth century.

27.3DIVELooe Key Reef Resort, Dive Center and Tiki Bar. Tiki bar is popular with locals. Dive boat, paddle boards, kayaks and boat rentals. Ramrod Key.

26.6 — South Pine Channel Bridge, east end of bridge, oceanside

27.5Boondocks Grille and Drafthouse. Hot spot with largest tiki bar in the Keys, featuring entertainment in season. Performers often add this venue to their Key West bookings.

26.0 — Niles Channel Bridge, middle.

24.9 KAYAK.  Summerland Key. Take Horace Street (bayside) to Northside Drive (2nd right) and turn left on Niles Road. Go to the end of Niles Road (about 1.5 miles). Launch is on the left where the road ends.

24.0 — Summerland Key Sea Base

23.5 — Kemp Channel Bridge,  east end of bridge, oceanside

mile marker guide square grouper sign

22.5 — Square Grouper. You’d never know it from the warehouse look, but this is a classy joint serving gourmet dishes, named after local slang for a floating bail of marijuana.

22.3Fanci Seafood. Excellent seafood market on Cudjoe Key. Recommended by local fishermen for having fresh catch daily. Best homemade crab cakes I’ve ever tasted. The yellowtail filets and Key West pink shrimp were very fresh and competitively priced. (Not a restaurant.)

22.2 KAYAK. Spoonbill Sound Hammocks. Launch on gulf side (Cudjoe Key). Check out nearby salt ponds for photo ops.

21.0 KAYAK.   Cudjoe Gardens Marina, where you can rent kayaks, guided kayak tours.

21.0Blimp Road, named for “Fat Albert,” an Air Force surveillance blimp that was taken down in 2013. Read more: Oh no, Fat Albert bites the dust!

21.0 — KAYAK. Follow Blimp Road all the way to the end on the Gulf side (north side of U.S. 1). There is a launch ramp for easy access to back-country islands, such as Tarpon Belly Key, once home to a shrimp farm.

20.2 — Bow Channel Bridge to Sugarloaf Key.

20.0RV — Sugarloaf Key/Key West RV Resort, Campground reopens July 2021 after rebuilding from damage done by Hurricane Irma.

Mangrove Mama's
Mangrove Mama’s is an iconic eatery.

20.0Mangrove Mamas. Roadside eatery. Cracked conch and conch chowder, along with a healthy serving of Keys atmosphere.

19.8 — RVLazy Lakes RV Resort.

19.5 — Bike Trail. Paved bike path follows Crange Boulevard (Bayside) all the way to Florida Bay.

19.0 KAYAK.  Sugarloaf Sound. Oceanside, near yellow traffic barrier, there’s a short path to the launch site.

18.6 — Upper Sugarloaf Key

18.8 — Park Channel Bridge

17.8 — North Harris Channel Bridge

17.7Sugarloaf Lodge and Tiki Bar — Laid back, circular open-air tiki bar overlooking a tranquil beach and bay.

17.6 — Harris Gap Channel Bridge

17.5 — Lower Sugarloaf Key

 17.0 KAYAK.  Blinking light, Take Sugarloaf Blvd (oceanside) about two miles to stop sign, then another two miles to Sugarloaf Creek bridge. Park on west side of bridge.

There is also a launch ramp at the Sugarloaf Marina (Bayside), where you can rent kayaks and purchase accessories. Nominal fee to launch if you bring your own boats. Guided tours of Sugarloaf waterways offered.

17.0 — Bike Trail — Bike path is on Sugarloaf Road in a residential area. Round trip from Sugarloaf Lodge  is 15 miles.

The Bat Tower on Sugarloaf Key
Mile Marker 17

Bat Tower

Relic of the early 20th Century was testament to early mosquito control, but it didn’t work. The bats escaped the next day and never returned. The tower was blown over by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

16.0 — KAYAK.  Harris Channel Bridge. Good access off U.S. 1 to both bay and oceanside.

15.8 — Lower Sugarloaf Channel  Bridge

15.0Baby’s Coffee. Beans roasted fresh daily. Highly rated and a mandatory stop on your way home from Key West. Baby’s is also a good place to park and bicycle the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail to Key West and back.

Bayside gate goes to an old U.S. Army transmitter site. Now Radio Marti.  Bay Point Park.

14.6 — Saddlebunch #2 Bridge

14.5Bluewater Key RV Park. Luxury RV park.

 14.2 KAYAK.  Saddlebunch #3 Bridge. Pullover on oceanside; launch under bridge.

13.1 — Saddlebunch #4 Bridge

12.8 — Saddlebunch #5 Bridge

11.4 — Shark Channel Bridge

11.0 KAYAK. Shark Key Boat Ramp, oceanside.

Big Coppit Key

Mile Marker 10.5 — Boca Chica Road; Clothing optional beach

  • Take Boca Chica Road south to the Geiger Key Marina, where you’ll find a popular tiki bar/restaurant, fishing charters, and a small RV campground with dockside sites.
  • If you follow Boca Chica Road further west as it winds around the Key West Naval Air Station, the road ends at Geiger Key Beach. There is a half-mile of paved road closed to cars that makes a pleasant walk along the natural beach at the end of the runway. (Beyond the pavement, the beach is clothing optional.)

9.7 — Rockland Channel Bridge

9.2 — East Rockland Key

8.5 — Tourist welcome center

8.0 — NAS Boca Chica Overpass; Entrance to Key West Naval Air Station. Oceanside. Turnoff from both directions on US-1.

6.1 KAYAK.  Boca Chica Channel bridge. Launch on either end of the bridge. Ample parking.

5.3 KAYAK.  Public Boat Ramp. Oceanside ramp between Boca Chica and Stock Island. Heavily used.

Stock Island

This rustic gateway to Key West is home to a commercial seaport, live-aboards and houseboats, a few lower-cost (but nice!) hotels, a couple of RV parks, and a handful of unique dining experiences. The island’s name derives from herds of livestock once kept here to feed Key West.

Stock Island Marina Village, home to liveaboards and houseboats. (Photo by Bob Rountree)

MM 5.2 — College Road, North Side of Island

MM 5.1 — 3rd Street, South Side of Island

  • Boyd’s Key West Campground. Turn south onto 3rd Street (Stock Island); go one block and turn east onto Maloney. Boyd’s is a decent, clean campground, and it’s scenic. There are 150 RV sites with full hookups, some oceanfront, and another 53 sites for tents. You can book your reservations online.
  • Fishbusterz Fisheries. Largest wholesale fish house in Florida. Retail outlet is at 6406 Maloney Avenue, , directly across the street from Boyd’s Campground.
  • Hogfish Bar and Grill. A great place, if you can find it. On the docks near Boyd’s Campground, at 6810 Front Street, The Hogfish is one of the best open-air restaurants in the Keys. Their specialty — the world-famous “Killer” Hogfish Sandwich, tender white hogfish meat, smothered in onions, swiss cheese and mushrooms piled high on a Cuban hoagie.
  • El Mar RV Resort, 6700 Maloney Avenue.

MM 4.8 — Cross Street, South Side of Island

  • Leo’s Campground. Cute little campground with lowest prices in Key West. Very good Wi-Fi, bathhouse and laundry. Go south on Cross Street from U.S. 1, one block, turn left. (305) 296-5260
  • The Perry Hotel, 7001 Shrimp Road. Recently renovated low-rise hotel with dockage, dockside bars and restaurants, overlooking marina and fishing fleets coming and going in the basin. Nice place.
  • Stock Island Marina Village, 7005 Shrimp Rd. Next to the Perry Hotel, Marina Village is home to Key West live-aboards and houseboats.

4.6Hurricane Hole Restaurant and Marina, south side of U.S. 1, across from College Road.

4.1 — Cow Key Channel Bridge

Key West

The southernmost city in the United States, Key West is the end of the road. It’s vibrant history, funky bars, colorful characters, and laid-back vibe attract two million visitors every year.

key west florida keys
Key West. (Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau)

MM 3.9 — Traffic Light

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

— Yogi Berra

If you go left: State Road A1A

  • Houseboat Row. All but gone today, the seawall and protected basin on your left was once home to a famously colorful houseboat community. The houseboats moved to Garrison Bight and Stock Island.
  • Key West International Airport.
  • Smathers Beach. The longest beach in Key West is lined with palm trees and has restrooms, volleyball courts, and picnic areas. 
  • A1A eventually rejoins U.S. 1 at Whitehead Street.

If you go right: U.S. 1 on Roosevelt

2.3 — Salt Run Bridge, N. Roosevelt, Key West

1.9 — Publix Supermarket, Searstown Shopping Center, 3316 N Roosevelt Blvd,Key West.

1.7 — Publix Supermarket,  Key Plaza, Key West. (Yes, these Publix are that close to each other).

1.7 — Palm Ave; U.S.C.G. Group; Naval Air Station, Trumbo Point. There is a campground here for military families, the Sigsbee RV Park.

1.5 — Winn Dixie Supermarket, 2778 N Roosevelt Blvd.

1.5 — K-Mart, 2928 N Roosevelt Blvd.

Roosevelt becomes Truman Ave.

@ Windsor Lane

Historic Key West Cemetery

The Key West cemetery is a lot like the city itself: quirky, crowded, colorful and full of history. The cemetery was founded in 1847 after a terrible hurricane in October 1846 washed away the old cemetery, scattering the dead throughout a forest. As a result, the oldest gravestones in this cemetery — built on the highest point in Key West — are actually older than the cemetery itself. They date to 1829 and were moved here after the hurricane.

Read More: Historic Key West Cemetery: A scenic stop full of stories

@ Windsor LaneHistoric Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea

500 Truman Ave. (@ Duval Street) — Key West Information Booth

Turn right at Whitehead Street

938 Whitehead Street — Key West Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters

907 Whitehead Street

Hemingway Home & Museum

Ernest Hemingway ended up in Key West like many others — by accident.
He came for a day and ended up staying for a decade. That was close to a century ago, and the town has yet to recover from his presence. Papa’s spirit permeates the island. His former home, complete with a gaggle of six-toed cats, remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Keys. Tour information and tickets.

Read more: 6 ways to experience Key West, Hemingway style

  • Bahama Village neighborhood
  • Key West Hospital, 604 Whitehead St.,
  • Courthouse Deli, 600 Whitehead Street. Grab a sandwich or Whit’s Frozen Custard and hang out on “The Bench”, across the street from the Green Parrot.
  • The historic Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead St.

Read more: Most beloved ‘locals’ bars in Key West

490 Whitehead Street

Mile Marker 0

U.S. 1 begins at the Monroe County Courthouse, 500 Whitehead Street, Key West, and continues north for 2,369 miles to Fort Kent, Maine, on the Canadian border. Segments are variously known as “Boston Post Road” (New England) or “Atlantic Highway.” The first 113-mile segment, built on the trackbed of Henry Flagler’s railroad, is known as the Overseas Highway.

You are in Key West!

One of the best ways to see Key West is to take a tour, especially if this is your first visit. The famous Conch Tour Train is probably the most well-known sightseeing tour. For a strange adventure, try the spooky Ghost and Gravestones Tour. 

Read This! Key West chickens: Noisy, colorful, just like Key West

Required stops on a saloon tour — this is, after all, Key West — are Sloppy Joe’s, Captain Tony’s (the original Sloppy Joe’s), the Bull and Whistle, raucus honky tonk saloon Cowboy Bill’s, and ultra-funky Blue Heaven, a historic Bahamian Village watering hole where Ernest Hemingway officiated boxing matches in the 1930s.

Read more: Most beloved “locals” bars in Key West.

There are dozens of B&B’s and unique lodgings through the city, including a few of our favorites: The elegant Heron House, Key Lime Inn. Key West Bed and Breakfast, and the historic Eden House. (For a bargain, book one of the four second-floor rooms that share two bathrooms.)

Try something unique! Key West houseboat rentals

A Chicago foodie shared with Florida Rambler his favorite spots for authenticity: Eight Key West restaurants for local flavor.

We also recommend La Te Da, Louie’s Backyard, and the rustic, moderately priced Half Shell Raw Bar.

After dinner, try a slice of Kermit’s Key Lime Pie at 200 Elizabeth Street.

From our travels in Key West, we’ve put together a guide of free things to do in Key West, including a great free walking tour. Here’s more: Key West on the cheap isn’t easy, but here are tips

How did those places get those names? The Florida Keys Gazetteer explains the history behind the colorful names of Keys places.


The original mile-marker guide used as a base to build our guide was created by Jerry Wilkinson for the Historical Preservation Society of the Upper Keys at

Many thanks to Judy Rowley and Paul Koisch of PizzaWorks in Big Pine Key and Judy’s son, charter captain Kevin Rowley, for taking us off the beaten paths of the Lower Keys.

A few of the kayak launch areas were gleaned from Bill Keough’s Florida Keys Paddling Guide, which we highly recommend for Keys paddlers.

Last but certainly not least, kudos to our family members who are often saddled with the clipboard and an iPad, identifying and updating listings, and to our friends and many readers who contributed to this report.

Links in this guide take you to more information about points of interest, parks and businesses. They are selected by editors and included for the convenience of travelers.

These courtesy links are not sponsored and cannot be purchased by businesses. Many links go to related FloridaRambler stories. Businesses and points of interest may request to be included at no charge. However, we are under no obligation to use them.

Where appropriate, a link may go to independent reviews on TripAdvisor or with whom we have affiliate arrangements that result in modest commissions if you actually purchase something.

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Advertising on all articles on, including this guide, are managed exclusively through Mediavine Travel, a network that serves thousands of web sites worldwide. Advertisers can purchase placements on through Mediavine Travel. For details, visit our Advertising page.

A note from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip.

This page may include affiliate links from which we may earn a modest commission if a purchase is made. More often, we include free courtesy links to small businesses, such as kayak outfitters, from whom we receive no compensation.

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Thursday 4th of November 2021

Neglected to mention the various Coral research organizations such as REEF, CRF and MOTE. There are also 5 Moose International clubs throughout the keys as well.


Wednesday 13th of October 2021

I always share this resource! Thank you for it. KMart at MM 101.4 is closed. The park at 101.3 is not dog friendly. Dogs are not allowed. There is a small, Oceanside park in Tavernier that is free and is dog friendly.

Bonnie Gross

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Thanks so much! I've made those updates.


Friday 11th of June 2021

This is a wonderful resource! We are planning some time in the Keys in November, and now it looks like we need more days and nights! Thanks very much.


Friday 21st of May 2021

We are headed to the Keys for the first time. This is invaluable info all in one place. Thank you!


Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Thank you for this guide! We are planning Keys road trip with this guide at hand :)

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