Our Drive through the Florida Keys
Although we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Big Cypress RV Resort, it was time to head South. And when you start in the Florida Everglades, “going South” usually means the Florida Keys. And so the Florida Keys it is. More specifically, Venture Out Resort on Cudjoe Key, which is at MM 23 on the Overseas Highway. The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile highway carrying U.S. Route 1 (US 1) through the Florida Keys between the cities of Miami and Key West. Large parts of the highway were built on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad, which was completed by Henry Flagler in 1912.
Betsy and I had visited Key West in January 2011, but had never thought we would be able to take our “Home” to the Florida Keys. Charlie and the Big Tow’er would now make that possible. In 2011, we chose to fly into Miami and drive the three hours to Key West, so we already understood how beautiful this drive would be. Once you get through the congestion of Fort Lauderdale and Miami (both also very beautiful places in their own way, where we will spend time on the way North), and US 1 makes the turn South at Key Largo, the scenery definitely changes. Once you make that turn the next 85 miles is an enchanting mix of bridges and every color of blue water you can imagine. It sometimes makes it difficult to drive because the views to your right are just as good as the views to your left. It is almost a little disappointing when you get on a couple of the larger Keys and you lose sight of the water and, Gasp!, you have to stop at a traffic light! US 1 during this stretch is a mix of 2 lane and 4 lane road, so it can be a slow drive during busy times of day and/or times of the year. When the drive slows down due to traffic my advice would be to wait for the next water view and enjoy it!
The Big Tow’er and Charlie could not stop looking around during the drive and we both feel they enjoyed every minute. Of course, the same could be said for Betsy and I! When we arrived at Venture Out Resort after almost six hours of driving, the first words out of my bride’s mouth were, “I could have driven another three hours with views like that.” This from the same woman who always attempts to limit our travel days to roughly 200 miles, or three hours, TOTAL! ‘Nuf said!
If you ever have an opportunity to visit Key West, I would highly recommend taking the time to fly into Miami (or Fort Lauderdale) and driving the three hours on the Overseas Highway. The Florida Keys are a beautiful part of our Country and should be enjoyed at least once in their entirety.