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Overseas Highway

Stafford, CT
13 posts
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Overseas Highway

We are going to KW for a week mid-October and we did rent a car so we plan to spend a good portion of one day driving on the overseas highway. I've never been and I can't seem to find any good info on it from the net. I'm curious how it's set up - is it literally a long stretch of road that looks like it sits on the water, or is there civilization around it (stores, restaurants, etc)? If there are any good stops along the way, I'd love to find out!!

Key Colony Beach...
Destination Expert
for Florida Keys
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7,658 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Overseas Highway

US1 - (Overseas Highway) Starts in Florida City. The first 18 mile are UGLY!!!!

Then you hit Key Largo, and the area looks like any regular big city. Full of shops, restaurants, etc. Once past KL, you'll hit Tavanier, and then Islamorada, followed by Marathon, then Big Pine, Looe Key then on into Key West (there are many more keys, but these are the biggies). Islamroada is where you'll start seeing water and bridges.

There are something like 110 miles and 42 bridges from Key Largo to Key West. I think there are 33 of the bridges aree from Marathon to Key West. The longest bridge is the 7 mile bridge (which is really 6.8 miles). It starts about MM48ish.

There are areas along the way that look like tourist traps, and there are areas with nothing but mangroves.

Get a convertable, (some sunscreen), bring patience and enjoy.

Look for the large Conch Shells, the rat, the shark, the lobster, the gorilla, the shrimp on the car, Hurricane monument, just to name few things.

Stafford, CT
13 posts
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2. Re: Overseas Highway

Speaking of shells, is KW a good place to find interesting and different types of shells on their beaches? what about the shells you talk about on the overseas highway - are you allowed to take some from the beach, or is it something else? also, is there any sand/beach to the overseas highway or is it just a road surrounded by water?

Michigan
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120 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Overseas Highway

There are lots of stores, restaurants, bridges and water :)

On some stretches you can't even see the water and it looks like any other strip development. But then there are the beautiful parts where you can see the Caribbean on one side and the gulf on the other! It's almost all two lane and can be busy, but the traffic seems to keep moving pretty well. As the other post mentioned, just relax and enjoy the ride. I also second the convertible. We've travelled the Keys 4 times but the most enjoyable driving was the last time when we rented a convertible.

Stafford, CT
13 posts
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4. Re: Overseas Highway

I would have loved to rent a convertible, but it was $450 for a week while a regular Neon type care was around $120. I couldnt get myself to spend over $300 more on the car when we would only use it once or twice that week since we are flying into Key West and staying for a week. Maybe next time!!

Kansas City
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598 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Overseas Highway

I'm not sure I understand. If your flying into KW, are you also flying out of KW? Just rent a car (whatever type you decide on) for the day you want to take the drive. For example, we are flying into Ft. Lauderdale, renting a car (a convertable) for 1 day for the drive down, then flying out of KW. There is no point to rent the car and just let it set for most of the time. On top of that you'll probably have to pay for partking for all those days of just sitting.

cleveland
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912 posts
39 reviews
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6. Re: Overseas Highway

KJ,

We're renting a car, too, at FLL. Have you done this before? Is drop off and pick up all contained in the airport...or do you shuttle out to lots, etc?

Tx

P.S. The difference in price between convertible an neon doesn't seem so steep when you look at how much it's going to cost you to fill up that sucker ; )

Kansas City
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598 posts
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7. Re: Overseas Highway

No, this is my first time too. I have been reading this forum for months, so I feel like I have "book learnin" but no real practical experience. Check out this web site www.broward.org/airport/airport_map.htm, the car rental seems to be part of the airport. Hope this helps.

Key Colony Beach...
Destination Expert
for Florida Keys
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8. Re: Overseas Highway

The car rental at FLL is right next to the airport. Technically it is accross a street, but you can get to the car rental places (depending upon the company Alamo, National, Hertz, all the biggies) by walking, and never go outside.

Once you leave the car rental place, get on I 595 west ASAP. Take I 595 west to the turnpike. Bring (I think) 5 - $1.00 bills for the tolls and head to KW.

Once in Florida City take a deep breath and feel the dreaded keys disease infecting your mind, body and soul. I always start getting that stupid grin and easy going feeling that stays with me until I get to Florida City headed north.

Like I mentioned before the 18 miles after Florida City are awful. It's 2 lanes - one in each direction. DO NOT PASS unless you are in the designated passing zones. (In the passing zones, everyone goes 150 mph, so you don't pass anyone anyways).

First stop for the lovely buffettgal and me is in Islamorada at wither Lor-E-Lie or Islamorada Fish Market. I suggest crab cakes and sunset ale for all. Buffallo shrimp is not a bad choice either.

Maine
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830 posts
54 reviews
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9. Re: Overseas Highway

Coconut-fried anything at Islamorda Fish Company - yum!

As suggested, rent a convertible at the airport for a day and drive up to Key Largo and back. Did that last April, and it was a perfect way to break up the week of imbiding...

Summerland Key...
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2,253 posts
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10. Re: Overseas Highway

TM: If you're female and things are slow at FLL, there's a good chance they'll upgrade you to a convertible for little extra cost. Just chat them up about driving to the Keys and smile a lot.