Florida Overseas Highway
The Florida Keys island chain has long impressed travelers with its myriad of beautiful stretches of sand, beach bars, coral reef parks, and water sports. But before you fully arrive at this vacation paradise, you will have to undertake a long scenic drive, which in itself is a tourist attraction and a great architectural marvel. Highway 1 or Overseas Highway is one of the most scenic highways in the country, connecting the mainland with the beautiful islands of Florida and highlighting its best features.
Looking at Highway 1, you will soon realize why it took a great deal of time, money, and engineering genius to create this highway, which is made up of 113 miles of highways and 42 bridges. The highway stretches out into a vast expanse of water, across the Atlantic and the Gulf. Driving the Overseas Highway is not only a means of getting to the Florida Keys, but a tourist destination that welcomes 3 million visitors each year. Crossing this highway by bus or car also means exposing yourself to a wonderful seascape, landscapes full of pine and palm trees, and the sparkling sea. So it’s not surprising that Highway 1 is considered one of the best driving tours in the world.
Affectionately called “the highway to the sea,” the Overseas Highway may be the only focus of your trip to this popular state. Several travelers create an itinerary that is aimed at experiencing the road, while exploring some of its most notable places. One of the most exciting parts of driving on this highway is when you cross the 7 Mile Bridge, considered one of the longest bridges in the world.
If you are a fishing enthusiast, stop by some of the oldest bridges on the road, where angling is allowed. With the clear sky adorned with clouds above your head and the bounty of the sea at your fingertips, it doesn’t get better than this. When you’re a little hungry and need a break from driving, there are a wide variety of restaurants along the road to choose from. But if you want to do it the American way, stop by a burger stand and grab the iconic, juicy burger complemented by smoothies and fries.
As you head to the top of the island chain, you will find some of the best dive sites in the world. This is a great opportunity to learn to dive or enjoy your underwater hobby. All you need to do is park at a dive shop and book a tour. The provider will then take you to the reef on a boat, so you can have two to four hours of incredible diving experience.
Key Largo is one of the best places to try scuba diving as it is home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which covers an area of 70 square miles. Pennekamp and Tavernier are the other top tourist spots worth visiting. Not a very diver? There are many things to do during the day. You can try snorkeling or visit state parks and museums. On the island of Islamorada, enjoy swimming with the dolphins at the Theater of the Sea. After Islamorada, head to Key West for the night and fun with the locals.
Be sure to put Florida’s Overseas Highway on your bucket list, you won’t regret the adventure.