The Florida Keys
If you're looking for a warm, tropical vacation without ever leaving the US, the Florida Keys are a perfect choice. Often referred to as the American Caribbean, the Keys feature all the same amenities as other island destinations, yet you can access all of it by car and you don't need a passport to get there. From Key Largo to Key West, the islands span about 110 miles and are connected by bridges and causeways. Whether you want to scuba dive, snorkel, fish, or just relax, a Florida Keys vacation offers something for everyone. Let AAA Travel plan your next trip to this magnificent destination.
When planning a road trip down the chain of islands, you will want to get the lay of the land and have your car prepped by AAA Car Care Center before you head out. It will take about 3.5 hours to get from the mainland in Florida to the southernmost tip, Key West. There are many worthwhile stops along the way that you don't want to miss!
Located just 18 miles south of Miami, Key Largo is the first stop along the way. A popular spot for snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing, the John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park includes 70 miles of beautiful Atlantic Ocean waters and the only livng reef in the continental US. It's a quick and easy getaway for local Floridians or those who want a taste of island life just south of the Mainland.
About 30 minutes south of Key Largo is the island chain known as Islamorada. It's a famous sports fishing destination for outdoor adventurers and fishing enthusiasts. It's also a great place to stop for lunch and partake in the delicious seafood.
One of the most historic stops on US 1 is in Marathon. The former fishing village was founded in the early 1800's, and offers fishing, boating, and snorkeling to visitors. Two of the highlights of Marathon include the Turtle Hospital, which cares for injured sea turtles, and the Dolphin Research Center, where guests can swim with dolphins.
Arguably, the prettiest beach in the Keys is Bahia Honda Key. It's an untouched off-the-beaten-path spot located on the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge in the Middle Keys. Here, there are opportunities for snorkeling, boating, kayaking, camping, and more, particularly for those who want to avoid the crowds.
Key West is also known as the Last Resort. It's the southernmost point in the continental US and your final destination on your road trip. Here, you can hide out in a tucked-away guesthouse, walk the beach and watch a beautiful sunset, peruse downtown, or dance the night away.
The newly refurbished Hyatt Centric Key West Resort and Spa sits on a private beach near the heart of Old Town and faces the Gulf. Swim in the free-form pool, soak in the hot tub, or lounge on the sun deck at this luxurious location. Take a reprieve from the sun at the luxury day spa or walk to Duval Street for shops and dining. With a large selection of ammenities and creature comforts, the Hyatt Centric is top-notch. AAA Members save 10% or more and earn World of Hyatt points when booking AAA rates!
Margaritaville Key West Resort and Marina is a waterfront property, centrally located in the old town area of Key West. Guest can dine on-site or take a 6-minute walk to historic Duval Street for more options. Key West Aquarium is adjacent to the hotel and a great place to visit with younger guests. Sit by the pool and unwind or enjoy the many outdoor adventures that await.
Another stellar option is the Hilton Garden Inn Key West The Keys Collection, just a few blocks from the ocean. Take a short drive or bike to the shops and cafes on Duval Street or bring the kids to nearby Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. As an AAA Member, enjoy the Weekend Sale and save up to 15% on weekends through September 5th and earn Honors™ points when booking.
For a super road trip with an amazing scenic route, drive down to the Florida Keys. Our AAA Travel specialists can help you plan an unforgettable island adventure, right here in the US. Call 1-800-441-8691 or stop into a local AAA Travel branch to make your plans today!