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Author Topic: Roadtrip to Key Largo/ West and back (April 4th-8th) Any Suggestions?  (Read 1421 times)

InterstateFan621

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  A Roadtrip to Key Largo/West (April 4th-8th) Do you have any suggestions?  :colorful:
So, I have a upcoming trip to the Keys and I was wondering, do you guys have any suggestions on what routes to take or things to do there that are cool to check out?

Currently, the route I am gonna take is: Go down I-75 southbound, pass through the border of Florida, and then take the Florida Turnpike all the way down into metro Miami and then take US 1 to Key Largo, and then repeat for coming back.
I am also going to Key West, and then I am gonna see the southern terminus of the longest north south route of America.
Anyway, I am looking forward to your suggestions and I will see y'all in the reply section.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Roadtrip to Key Largo/ West and back (April 4th-8th) Any Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2022, 11:54:16 AM »

Summarized my thoughts on the Overseas Highway awhile back after living in the Keys:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2017/05/2017-southeast-trip-part-13-us-route-1.html?m=1

The above will you an itemized list of things to see on the Overseas Highway was (including where the Old Overseas Highway).  Do yourself a favor and don’t take I-75 twice, that is probably the most boring highway in Florida.  At least do US 27 through the center of the state at least once.  It will cost you can hour between Andy Town and Ocala but is way more scenic/better for your sanity.

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1995hoo

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Re: Roadtrip to Key Largo/ West and back (April 4th-8th) Any Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2022, 12:19:04 PM »

When you refer to taking the Turnpike down to the Miami area and picking up US-1, do you mean you plan to take the original Turnpike down to where it ends near Miami Gardens and then connect to US-1 in that area (perhaps by taking I-95 to US-1), passing near downtown and through Coral Gables, or do you plan to connect to the Homestead Extension and follow that down to US-1 where the Homestead Extension ends? The latter is by far the better option to avoid loads of traffic lights, etc. There is construction on the Homestead Extension, however.

To piggyback on Max Rockatansky's comment about US-27, let me offer you a different route to use between the Keys and US-27 on the way back: When you come north back out of the Keys, before you reach the Homestead Extension, make a left onto Krome Avenue–the left turn is almost immediately after Card Sound Road merges from the right and there's a little green sign for "Homestead Downtown" in the median as well as a Race Trac station on the far left. Follow Krome Avenue north for 37 miles and then make a left onto northbound US-27. You'll bypass the Miami metro area to the west and you'll avoid the highway construction and the toll. Some people have occasionally expressed safety concerns about Krome Avenue, but I've never had an issue.

Also, on your way south, if you are not motivated by clinches, you can bypass the worst of the Turnpike congestion by taking Exit 71 for FL-869 (the Sawgrass Expressway) and following that south to I-75, continuing south on I-75 towards Miami, and then taking Exit 5 for the Turnpike towards Homestead. The Sawgrass is not exactly a lightly-travelled road either, but it usually moves pretty well.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Roadtrip to Key Largo/ West and back (April 4th-8th) Any Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2022, 12:22:32 PM »

Isn’t most of FL 997/Krome Avenue now four lane expressway?  The segments I’ve driven since the upgrades are infinitely more tolerable than when it was a two lane road.  I used to take the old two lane alignment to avoid back ups on the Turnpike Extension around Bird Road. 

And yes, Card Sound is worth it just to avoid on the onslaught of traffic leaving the Keys via the 18 Mile Stretch of US 1.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 12:25:53 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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US 41

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Re: Roadtrip to Key Largo/ West and back (April 4th-8th) Any Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2022, 10:43:50 AM »

If you're going to Key West I really enjoyed the fort there that's in a state park. You can your it yourself without a guide if you want and every once in a while through the day there is an actual guide that gives info about the fort. The beach in the SP is also very nice.

I didn't stop and wish I would have now, but Bahia Honda looked amazing. The water was probably the most blue there and they have kayak rentals and snorkeling if you're into that. I'm not sure why I didn't stop, but when I go to Baja in a couple months I'm going out in a kayak there for sure.

I've also done 75 and 41 across the Everglades. I prefer US 41. It's more scenic and there's more stopping opportunities for pictures and whatnot.
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formulanone

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Re: Roadtrip to Key Largo/ West and back (April 4th-8th) Any Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2022, 11:35:04 AM »

Just remember that a trip to Key West from the Florida's borders is a much longer drive than it appears! You probably don't want to make the entire trip from Georgia in the same day.

I-75 has its hills and truck traffic from south of I-10, through Gainesville—Ocala—Wlidwood is horrendous. Don't be surprised if you're jammed in traffic. There's numerous trucks and lots of tourist + local traffic combined with high speeds. It can be a slog during holidays and weekends during daylight hours. 

Turnpike will save time, but it might cost $25 from end-to-end without a SunPass. It's not terribly scenic, either. It's usually free-flowing though it also bottlenecks during rush hours.

Recommend US 27 (Andytown — Ocala) and US 41 (Naples — FL 997) but one or the other if headed in the same direction, because they're out of the way from one another. Be careful with speed limits through Glades County on US 27, it's a very long speed trap. Set to 65 and slow down in Moore Haven, Clewiston, and South Bay/Belle Glade.

Tamiami Trail is quite scenic from the Miami-Dade county line (shared with Monroe, too!) through Collier is fascinating. The spell from Krome Avenue towards the county lines has a lot less trees and resembles a very wet prairie. The Miccosukees enforce their speed limits through town.

Card Sound Road is an option and a stop at Alabama Jack's for conch fritters is about the only business along the route.

There's limited places to pass on Overseas Highway and much of it is two lanes. Take the speed limits seriously in each town (or for each Key). You probably don't want to take US 1 from points north of Florida City/Homestead, it's interminable stop-and-go. It depends if you want to see downtown Miami or not.

It will take up an entire day, but scheduling a day trip by boat and visiting Dry Tortugas is something to behold. I'm told Bahia Honda requires reservations for overnight stays, but also very beautiful.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 11:47:54 AM by formulanone »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Roadtrip to Key Largo/ West and back (April 4th-8th) Any Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2022, 11:44:58 AM »

Fort Zachery Taylor State Park is what US 41 is referring to.  I don’t know if the city took it away but there used to be free parking at the Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center west of the civilian portion of Truman Annex.  Truth be told as long you aren’t trying to park on Duval Street or Whitehead Street it isn’t too difficult to find on street parking in downtown Key West.  I used to park a lot on Simonton Street given the tourists almost never stray east of Duval Street. 
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