Overseas Highway: Driving Through a Dreamy Cascade of Blues!

The allure of the Florida Keys, and its Overseas Highway (aka U.S. 1), is a captivating drive connected by a chain of tropical islands stretching from Miami, all the way to Key West. Yet, the journey to experience this paradise was once a challenging endeavor. Today, U.S. 1 has transformed this journey into a mesmerizing adventure, offering unparalleled vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the islands that dot the route.

Overseas Highway Drive - Photo by: MikesRoadTrip.com

Embarking on the Overseas Highway

Overseas Highway to Key West, Florida

There’s something truly magical about a road trip on the Overseas Highway. As you embark on this 113-mile journey, the vast blue horizon seems to embrace you. The sky, painted in shades of azure, seamlessly blends with the teal waters, which gradually turn turquoise as they approach the coral and limestone islands.

This road trip isn’t just about the scenic beauty; it’s also a gateway to the vibrant marine life of the region. A casual detour might offer a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins. The cries of seagulls can provide a natural soundtrack. And while the sight of water sports and fishing boats might tempt many to daydream, it’s essential to remember to keep your eyes on the road, it’s very easy to be distracted by this mesmerizing highway!

Florida Keys water sports

Island Highlights From Key Largo to Key West

U.S. 1 connects a series of islands, each boasting its own unique allure. Here are a few to consider for a sightseeing stop:

  • Key Largo: Often dubbed the “Diving Capital of the World,” it’s a must-visit for snorkelers traversing down this incredible stretch of road.
  • Islamorada: Considered the “Sportfishing Capital of the World,” offering a delightful detour for anglers on an Overseas Highway Drive.
  • Marathon: A perfect pit-stop for families, it combines beautiful beaches with a rich history.
  • Big Pine Key: Home to the unique Key Deer and the serene Bahia Honda State Park, it’s a highlight of the Overseas Highway Drive.
  • Key West: The culmination of the U.S. 1, it’s where North America meets the Caribbean, offering a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

A Historical Perspective of the Overseas Highway Drive

The concept of a road connecting the mainland to the Florida Keys has deep historical roots. Before the Overseas Highway Drive’s existence, reaching Key West was a boat’s task, often dictated by unpredictable weather. The construction of the Overseas Highway in the 1930s was not just for convenience; it symbolized human determination and innovation. By repurposing parts of the old Overseas Railroad damaged in a 1935 hurricane, the Overseas Highway Drive forever altered Florida’s landscape, bridging the mainland to the keys and ushering in new opportunities for trade, tourism, and transportation.


The Overseas Highway Drive is more than just a road; it’s an experience, a journey through history, nature, and human ingenuity. Whether you’re chasing sunsets, watching dolphins, or simply soaking in the views, the Overseas Highway Drive promises memories that will last a lifetime. So, gear up, and let the enchantment of the Florida Keys unfold with every mile.

If you have any questions about doing this amazing road trip down the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys, leave a comment below. So, until next time, we’ll see ya on the road…

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.