Are you in Sebring for a while? Interested in getting from Sebring Florida to the Florida Keys?
Why? Well, to us the the Florida Keys is the Caribbean you can drive to from mainland America. It’s a bit like driving into a water-front, ocean oriented string of beautiful tropical islands, all interconnected with bridges and causeways, a causeway that allows you to drive to within 90 miles of Cuba, from the comfort of your own car.
Are you into fishing? Oh my, whether renting a spot on a party-fishing trawler and flinging bait into the high-seas, or sitting in a fish-fighting chair in the stern of a purpose-built deep water fishing craft, or dangling your bait squid or shrimp on a line from one of the dozens of old bridges re-purposed as fishing platforms all along the highway, opportunities for fishing in the Keys is plentiful.
Nothing like a fresh fish meal of seafood that was swimming in the ocean just a short while before you savor the taste!
Is boating your thing? Sign on for a day cruise, sail, motor, or rent, almost any kind of water craft is available. What’s your preference.
Scuba and snorkeling abound, with reefs, sunken ships, overnight stays under water in a submerged hotel, what takes your fancy?
Or just sunning on one of the many beaches along the Florida Keys. It’s Caribbean weather most of the time, with gentle breeze, splash of ocean, and coral sand everywhere.
Want to drive from Sebring to the Florida Keys? Here’s how we do it.
We’ve been visiting the Florida Keys for decades and usually for a day or two at a time, depending on where we were coming from. When coming from Sebring, we plan on a two night stay. Why at least two nights?
We drive, and take two overnights to enjoy the Florida Keys. Part of our visit is to “do” Duval Street in Key West. We traditionally stroll this world famous street all the way from the Caribbean Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Caribbean beach on one end near the Cuba buoy, to the sights of Mallory Square on the Gulf. It takes… oh, 30 minutes to some hours! That all depends on how fast you walk or how many times you stop to see the sights along the way, and there are many.
If you do get to Mallory Square in Key West, walk around the waterside hotels on the north side of the square, and then back to the waterfront and wooden boardwalk and continue along.
After a bunch of fishing kiosks and boutique like stores, you’ll reach Conch Republic Seafood. This is a restaurant right on the boardwalk and the water. Have a meal there. You won’t be disappointed. You get to watch the people of all races, shapes and sizes wandering by, seabirds calling and landing in the water, the comings and goings of sea going fishing boats and sailing craft of all kind, and, you’ll get to enjoy a first class meal. At lunch we enjoyed their fresh catch of the day sandwich with steaming hot fries and ice cold beer. Absolutely delicious. We recommend stopping in for a meal at the Conch Republic Seafood restaurant.
At Mallory Square in Key West you can join the thousands that have enjoyed watching the sun sink into the ocean each night, and applaud along with many, as the last rays blink out into the darkening salt waters of the ocean.
It’s a bit of a drive from Sebring to the Florida Keys. Straight down highway 27 out of Sebring, around the West side of Lake Okeechobee, down through the cattle country, the sugarcane fields, the tomato fields into Homestead Florida, and from there onto US#1, across the causeway, into Key Largo and the beginning of your Florida Keys visit.
Since that portion of the drive will take three or four hours, and put you into Key Largo in the early or mid-afternoon, depending on when you leave Sebring, we opt to stay overnight in Key Largo for two nights, and use this room as our base to further explore all that Key Largo has to offer that same day.
If you do that, and you are looking for a delightful evening mean overlooking the Gulf, and being able to join the other patrons celebrating the Florida sunset, we would sure suggest you eat in the upper floor of the Bayside Grill in Kay Largo. We had a marvellous meal, and the ambience and view were spectacular.
Next day we head for Key West, only 90 miles or so, but close to three hours driving due to the volume of traffic heading to, and the number of go-slow zones in the various Keys as we drive down.
No Name Key & Big Pine Key
We always take a turn to the right from U.S. #1 as we get into Big Pine Key, the home of the famous Key deer. We head up the back road there to No Name Key, our favorite spot for watching these guys:
Plan ahead when visiting the Florida Keys
We can tell you that in the Florida Keys it is quite possible to stay in a $29 fleabag motel, and spend over $100 per night doing so. Campground, motel and hotel rates are many times higher than back on the mainland. So just be aware of that.
Plan ahead as to where you stay. Even with the high cost of lodging, the Florida Keys feel intense visitor pressure from November through April, and often many overnight lodgings are booked solid.
We’ve got literally hundreds of photos and videos of our Florida Keys visits. We won’t bore you with all of them here, as when you go, you can make your own memories and capture your own images.
For us, driving to the Florida Keys from Sebring, we make it at least a two-overnight trip, or three if we can find the right lodgings. Certainly, if you’ve never been, you can spend a couple of days exploring the city of Key West, never-minding peeking into what all of the other Keys have to offer as you navigate U.S. #1 from Key Largo to Key West. Enjoy your visit. Let us know how you enjoyed as a comment if you wish.