The Florida Keys are world renowned for their laid back atmosphere and unique style. Marathon Florida, known as the "Heart of the Keys" is suitably located in the middle of the Florida Keys, with easy access to HWY 1 - and all the Florida Keys have to offer.
Put the top down, relax and enjoy the ride! You’re on island time now!
The Florida Keys are comprised of over 1,700 islands, 32 of which are inhabited.
US-1, or the Overseas Highway, is the only road that connects our string of islands to the continental United States. It is approximately 110 miles long and is our Main Street.
You will cross 43 bridges on your way from mainland Florida to Key West. The total population of the Florida Keys is about 85,000, with concentrations in Key Largo, Tavernier, Marathon, Big Pine Key, Summerland Key, Big Coppitt Key and Key West.
Experience one of America’s great drives with amazing water views and natural vistas. The Overseas Highway was designated as an All-American Road by the US Department of Transportation in October 2009. Only 30 other roadways in the nation have earned this prestigious title.
Take your time at a slower pace as you travel south of reality and ease yourself into island time.
Lots of great places to eat and drink, as well as quirky tourist stops and unique attractions.
Meet the locals to discover the real Keys.
Figuring rental car pick-up plus drive time...
From FLL, about 3 hours
From MIA, about 2.5 hours
US-1 is heavily patrolled by both the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department (white cars with green stripes) and the Florida Highway Patrol (black cars with tan roofs). Speed limits bounce between 35, 45 and 55 mph. Stay strictly to the posted speed limit (or within 5 mph if you’re feeling frisky). With little crime to keep them busy, the guys in uniform love to catch the speeders. And, your rental Sebring or Mustang convertible is and easy target. Because US-1 is our Main Street, expect cars to enter and exit frequently. Enjoy the views, but drive safe too.
From FLL, follow the signs to I-595 West and continue on I-595 West (stay in the right lane) to the Florida Turnpike South exit.
From MIA, follow the signs to I-836 West. Merge your way over to the left lane and look for the exit to I-836 West about two miles from the airport. I-836 turns into I-874 and then merges with the Florida Turnpike South.
These are all toll roads. Have singles handle (you won’t need many). But, this is your best choice. You do not want to go through Miami on I-95. It will take FOREVER.
You will stay on the Florida Turnpike southbound for about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on which airport you came from. It’ll end at Florida City and put you directly on US-1 South. Just follow the signs to Key West.
If you need a bathroom break, now’s the time. There are plenty of fast food joints and convenience stations. You may also want to make a quick stop at Robert is Here in Florida City to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies and have a smoothie.
Once in Florida City, you have a choice to make. Either one will take you about 30 minutes with no stops. A suggestion is to take Card Sound Road on your trip into the Keys and the 18-Mile Stretch on your way out.
Take Card Sound Road, which will come up on your left
STOP at Alabama Jack’s for adult refreshments just past the $1.00 toll
Stay on US-1 and take the 18-Mile Stretch
Travel through the southern tip of the Everglades
Once off Card Sound or the Stretch, welcome to the Florida Keys! You are in Key Largo. Don’t bother looking for Bogey or Bacall. It’s not half as romantic as it sounds. The next few miles are a boring collection of strip plazas, gas stations and souvenir shops. There is an excellent restaurant at MM 102.4 oceanside called the Fish House.
It’s time to take notice of the Mile Marker signs. Key West, the end of the road, is MM 0. At MM 85.5, you cross the Snake Creek, and this is where it starts to get fun. At the top of the drawbridge, you can see both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico for the very first time.
Below is a Mile Marker by Mile Marker trip guide with some STOP recommendations to make your trip pleasurable.
127.5 = Florida City – Junction with Fla. Turnpike and US-1
126.5 = Junction US-1 and CR-905 to/from Card Sound Bridge and Ocean Reef Club, oceanside. Also an alternate route – $1.00 bridge toll, if southbound
126.0 = End/Begin two-lane 18 Mile Stretch
112.5 = MONROE COUNTY LINE – Leave Dade County if southbound
109.3 = Osprey nest, Oceanside
108.0 = Osprey nest, Oceanside
107.2 = Jewfish Creek drawbridge. Exit/enter Key Largo. Begin 18-Mile Stretch
106.6 = Lake Surprise
106.5 = Card Sound Bridge turnoff to/from Ocean Reef via CR 905 oceanside. Also an alternate route, $1.00 bridge toll, northbound to Florida City.
If taking CR 905, Mile Markers (MM’s) are labeled “C”. At C-9.25 is a three way stop. Straight goes to the Anglers and Ocean Reef Clubs gated communities. Left goes across the Card Sound toll bridge to Florida City. Now back to MM’s.
105.6 = The location of the railroad depot and the center of the community of Key Largo from about 1910 to 1940. The depot was in the highway median. The community was gulfside.
104.1 = Caribbean Club, gulfside. The set for the 1948 movie Key Largo was modeled for this location
103.5 = The 1920s Key Largo Rock Castle, End of Oceana Drive, oceanside
103.4 = Marvin Adams Waterway Bridge (The Cut), a canal that connects Atlantic to Florida Bay
102.8 = John Pennekamp State Park entrance, oceanside
101.2 = Hibiscus Park, oceanside. This was the center of the 1880s community of Newport.
95 to 100 = This was the early community of Rock Harbor. A small railroad depot was also here.
95.2 = Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary building
94.8 = Seaside community, oceanside. The 1900s Thompson line packinghouse was in this area.
93.8 = Wild Bird Center, gulfside
91.9 = Old Tavernier Post office, Old Settlers Park, oceanside; Tavernier Hotel, oceanside. This was the center of the earlycommunity of Tavernier. Its depot was in the median just south of the post office.
91.0 = Tavernier Creek Bridge; enter Islamorada; Tavernier Creek Marina, Plantation Marina, gulfside
87.0 = Founders Park (Plantation Yacht Harbor), gulfside
85.5 = Snake Creek Draw Bridge; Coast Guard Station, gulfside Enter Windley Key
85.3 = Windley Key State Fossil Reef Geological Site, gulfside
84.3 = This was the center of the community of Quarry that thrived during the construction of the railroad.
84.2 = Theater of the Sea, Holiday Isle Resort, oceanside
84.0 = Whale Harbor Bridge
81.5 = Islamorada Library and park, gulfside; Hurricane Memorial; Cheeca Lodge, oceanside. The library was constructed as a Hurricane Refuge School after the 1935 Hurricane. During construction, the Florida Keys Memorial, known as the Hurricane Monument, was also constructed and dedicated.
STOP 81.2 = Bass Pro Shops Worldwide Sportsman and Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant, gulfside
81.3 = Green Turtle Inn, oceanside. Part of the structure survived the 1935 Hurricane.
79.8 = Tea Table Relief Bridge. Bud and Mary’s, oceanside. The north approach washed out during Hurricane Donna, 1960.
79.1 = Tea Table Channel Bridge
78.0 = Indian Key Bridge. Lignumvitae Key Botanical Site (State) gulfside in distance. Lignumvitae Key Boat Ramp gulfside; Indian Key Archaeological Site, San Pedro Underwater State Park and Alligator Lighthouse, oceanside at a distance. This area is of historic significance. The islands of Indian Key, Lignumvitae Key and Alligator Lighthouse are prominent artifacts.
77.1 = Lignumvitae Bridge
STOP 77.0 = Robbie’s Marina, gulfside – FEED THE TARPON
73.6 = Boy Scouts Sea Base, gulfside; Calusa Cove Marina, oceanside. Gulfside was the location of Camp 3 for the WW-1 veterans. Many perished in the 1935 hurricane.
73.4 = Anne’s Beach, oceanside. Gulfside is Veteran’s Island, which is the grown over approach to the veteran’s bridge piers.
73.0 = Offshore on the gulfside can be seen the remains (8) of the concrete bridge piling built by the WW-1 veterans.
72.8 = Apogee of Channel #2 Bridge
71.8 = Craig Key. Rowland Craig built his resort of Craig at the north end of this railroad fill. The drawbridge tender for the Channel 5 railroad bridge lived at the south end.
71.4 = Apogee of Channel #5 Bridge
65.8 = Henry Flagler’s Long Key Fishing Camp occupied the southwest end of Long Key. American author, Zane Grey, vacationed and wrote while at this location in the early 1900s.
64.0 = Middle of Long Key Bridge. If southbound, entering the Middle Keys.
62.2 = Walker’s Island (Little Conch Key)
61.2 = Tom’s Harbor Cut Bridge
You are now entering the Islands of Marathon!
61.1 = Entrance to Duck Key; Hawk’s Cay resort, Oceanside
60.6 = Tom’s Harbor Channel Bridge
59.9 = Enter/leave City of Marathon
58.9 = Grassy Key
STOP = Dolphin Research Center, gulfside
56.2 = Curry Hammock State Park
54.6 = Coco Plum
STOP = The Island Tiki Bar and Restaurant, gulfside
53.2 = Our 4 Br/4 Ba Waterfront Home on 121st Street
53.2 = Our 4 Br/2 Ba Waterfront Home on 121st Street
53.1 = Vaca Cut Bridge, entering the business district of Marathon next 8 miles
52.9 = Our 2 Br Waterfront Home w/Island on 6th Ave off of 113th Street
52.9 = Our 2 Br/2 Ba Houseboat at Island Launch Site on 6th Ave off of 113th Street
52.9 = Our 2 Br/2 Ba Waterfront Home on US Hwy 1 at 112th Street
52.0 = Marathon Airport, gulfside
50.0 = Sombrero Beach Road
STOP = Crane Point Museum of Natural History, gulfside
STOP = Sombrero Beach, oceanside (turn off US-1 onto Sombrero Beach Road)
49.5 = Our 2 Br/2 Ba Private Island Home 'Pretty Joe Rock' off 43rd Street
STOP 48.5 = Turtle Hospital, gulfside
48.0 = US Coast Guard Station, gulfside
STOP = Porky’s BBQ and Captain Pip’s Marina, gulfside
STOP and turn onto 15th Street = Burdine’s Chicki Tiki and Castaway Restaurant, oceanside
STOP and turn onto 11th Street = Lazy Days South Restaurant, oceanside
STOP 47.5 = 7 Mile Marina Charter Boat Row and Salty’s Waterfront Grill, gulfside
STOP 47 = Knight’s Key, Pigeon Key Visitor’s Center and Sunset Grille, oceanside
47.0 = Begin/end of Seven Mile Bridge, Marathon City limits
44.8 = Pigeon Key, gulfside
43.9 = Moser Channel, apogee of Seven-Mile Bridge. Sombrero Light House seen at a distance, oceanside
41.7 = End of original steel truss railroad bridge and begin concrete arch bridge
40.0 = End/begin Seven Mile Bridge
Thanks for visiting Marathon! Come back soon!
39.5 = Veterans Memorial Park, oceanside
39.5 = Misouri-Little Duck Channel Bridge
39.0 = Ohio-Missouri Channel Bridge
38.8 = Sunshine Key Trailer Park, gulfside
38.7 = Ohio- Bahia Honda Channel Bridge
STOP 36.8 = Bahia Honda State Park entrance, oceanside.
36.0 = Bahia Honda Bridge (4-lanes) old railroad camelback bridge, oceanside
34.0 = West Summerland Key
33.0 = Spanish Harbor Bridge west end
30.2 = Big Pine Key traffic stop light; gulfside to Key Deer Road and Wilder Road
STOP Key Deer Preserve, No Name Pub, No Name Key, gulfside
29.3 = North Pine Channel Bridge
28.1 = Little Torch Key
28.0 = Torch Channel Bridge
27.9 = Middle Torch Key. Entrance to Big Torch Key, turnoff gulfside
27.7 = Torch-Ramrod Channel Bridge
26.6 = South Pine Channel Bridge, east end of bridge, oceanside
27.0 = Ramrod Key
26.0 = Niles Channel Bridge, middle
25.0 – 24.0 = Summerland Key community
STOP 22.5 = Square Grouper Restaurant, oceanside
23.5 = Kemp Channel Bridge, east end of bridge, oceanside
21.0 = Cudjoe Key Subdivision on oceanside. U.S. Navy “Fat Albert” site, gulfside
20.2 = Bow Channel Bridge to Sugarloaf Key
STOP 20.0 = Mangrove Momma’s Restaurant, gulfside
19.3 = Crane Blvd. to gulfside, Sugarloaf School
18.6 = Upper Sugarloaf Key
18.8 = Park Channel Bridge
17.8 = North Harris Channel Bridge
17.6 = Harris Gap Channel Bridge
17.5 = Lower Sugarloaf Key
16.3 = Harris Channel Bridge
15.8 = Lower Sugarloaf Channel Bridge
15.0 = Gate on gulfside to old U.S. Army transmitter site. Now Radio Marti. Bay Point Park.
14.6 = Saddlebunch #2 Bridge, Bay Point Subdivision entrance, oceanside
14.3 = Saddlebunch #3 Bridge, Saddlebunch Shrs./Bluewater Dr., oceanside
13.1 = Saddlebunch #4 Bridge
12.8 = Saddlebunch #5 Bridge
11.4 = Shark Channel Bridge
11.2 = Shark Key
10.0 = Big Coppitt Key
9.7 = Rockland Channel Bridge
9.2 = East Rockland Key
8.0 = NAS Boca Chica Overpass, entrance to NAS, oceanside. Turnoff from both directions US-1.
7.0 = Back gate to NAS, closed, oceanside
6.1 = Boca Chica Bridge, middle
5.2 = Key Haven, ocean turnoff
5.0 = Stock Island
4.1 = Cow Key Channel Bridge
3.9 = Traffic light. End/begin 4-lane
Bear left for Flagler Street, Airport, Martello Towers, Higgs Beach, Casa Marina
Bear right for N. Roosevelt, Truman Avenue, Fort Taylor, Historic Seaport, Old Town Key West
2.3 = Salt Run Bridge, N. Roosevelt, Key West
1.7 = Palm Ave; U.S.C.G. Group; NAS Trumbo
1.0 = About South Street
0.0 = MILE MARKER ZERO! Jackson Square County Seat; Key West Post Office