Ever since we knew we were going to Miami, Victor and I had one big thing on our bucket list: rent a convertible car and go on a road trip to see the famous sunset in Key West, the most Southern point of the United States of America. Key West is part of Florida Keys, a coral key archipelago located off the Southern coast of Florida, hosting along its 170 miles road some of the most amazing views we have ever seen.
Because we only had one Sunday available, we weren’t really sure if this kind of road trip is worthy, as only to get to Key West takes approximately 4 hours. And that’s without counting the stops on the way. Given another 4 hours to get back after the sunset, how can you blame us of thinking maybe we should not do it? But, how often is an European coming to Miami, right?
So we started our day, early in the morning and with the convertible car in the parking lot waiting for us (Victor couldn’t help on fuelling his passion for cars and he got us a Mustang, a red one to top it all up). Road trips are one of our favourite things to do when away from home, as they give you the opportunity to discover places about which maybe you didn’t know they existed. Florida Keys is a place just like that, but the extra points go to the actual road which the closer you get to the Southern point, the more beautiful it is. Bridges and water long as the eye can see, beaches along the both sides of the road and driving in the wind with low traffic = the holy grail of road trips.
On the journey to Key West, there are a lot of stops and activities to be done, that’s why most of the people take a few days to see all the keys. Unfortunately, a few of the places are still in recovery from the hurricane so if you plan to see a specific location, be sure is open. As we only had one day our plate, we decided to stop for only just a few of the keys, choosing quite randomly, based on when we thought is time to stretch our legs.
The first stop on our journey was Marathon Key, which is at approximately 2 hours driving from Miami. In Marathon there is a famous beach, called Sombrero, so we thought that was the perfect stop to relax a little bit in the sun and walk around the places there. The beach reminded me of Mallorca’s Es Trenc beach, as all was quite with not too many people present. Typical virgin beach. Clear waters and the palm trees along the shore with the sound of an ice cream machine as soundtrack made the stop a very relaxing one.
You can find Sombrero Beach here. With free parking near the shore, I recommend spending a day here when in the Keys, for sure it will be worthy.
Bahia Honda Key
Not too far away from Marathon Key, there is Bahia Honda Key, the best surprise of our trip. The road there makes you pass a seven mile long bridge, that goes in parallel with another one, out of order, which hosted a railroad until several years back when it became derelict because of a hurricane. This makes it important as this rail bridge is responsible for the most wonderful views in Bahia Honda. Also wonderful in Bahia? Its beach, because yes, there are a lot of beaches in Florida. And we mean it about this one, as we spent a few hours in this place.
Apart from admiring the rail bridge from down under, we were also able to go on it on a short hike and see the Key from above. The feeling you have when you are above is quite cool, but the too hot day was just starting to kick us. We spent just a few minutes up there and then went down for some hotdogs on the beach. How nice is actually there? I’ll let the pictures talk.
Here we are about Key West, our main destination of this whole road trip. Being the most Southern point of the USA and also the most popular, the town is bigger than the rest of the Keys and also hosting more tourists. We arrived there little before sunset, so the time to visit the town was not much left. We needed, of course, to go see the most Southern point in the USA and photograph it. Fun fact, it’s also just 90 miles away from Cuba, so we were pretty happy with watching the horizon and imagining we also saw this country 🙂 Hungry as we were, we went straight to the first restaurant in our way where we found some Romanians from our hometown. We didn’t knew each other, but it was so nice to be social with people just like us.
Because the sunset was close, we decided to go to the Mallory Square and wait for the colours of the sun setting down. In our surprise, a lot of people had the same plan as ours as the place was packed and you could hardly catch a spot close to water to shoot the sunset.
The atmosphere in Mallory Square was energetic with a lot of street artists performing, music being heard from everywhere and people having a good time, some even dancing. If sometimes this kind of crowd can easily become overwhelming, here all just made sense and made from the sunset in Key West a special kind of celebration.
Worthy? Hell yes! Even driving through the day to get down there and even getting back to our hotel in Miami at 2 am. Florida Keys are a must seen when in Miami and if you have more days on your plate, even better. I know there are few activities which we wished we have done, like snorkelling in the coral reef, but we will be back some day and do a repeat.