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Old 17th December 2014, 21:03   #1
D C
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Smile Photologue: Driving the 205 kms Overseas Highway, Florida

It was an exciting experience driving an Overseas Highway, the first of its kind for me. I had to wait for a couple of months to experience this ever since I heard about this beautiful road built over the Ocean.

I was first introduced to its existence while exploring options for weekend getaways during one of my business trips. The Overseas Highway is a 127 mile (205 KM) highway that connects multiple small islands (Florida Keys) to the southern cities of Florida. More on the Overseas Highway from Wikipedia

The Destination:

The travel is sometimes much more beautiful than the destination, and was so true for this trip. However, the destination for this trip was Key West, FL, an equally beautiful place. This city was the southern tip of continental United States (Cuba is just 90 miles away!) and was approximately 160 miles from Miami where I was staying. The unfortunate factor was that I only had a day left in Miami and had to go back up north the next day to Jacksonville, FL - about 5 hours and 350 miles far.

The Ride:

Well, I get less options while choosing a ride due to our company policy. This time I got a Silky Silver Elantra 1.8L 4-cyl, with a 6 speed automatic transmission. During the 6-week term this ride has covered 2,700 miles with me.

The Journey:

The journey began as early as 7 AM and the plan was to reach there for the guided Jet Ski tour where you rent a Jet Ski and follow the guide through the small islands for around 30 minutes. The targeted drive time was 3.5 hours as per Google. However, it took about 5 hours. The two major reasons that contributed to the delay was the roads and the GPS. My GPS was not updated and the road works within Miami had me circle around for couple of minutes before I found the right exit. The roads were good (except some stretch with uneven roads), however, the speed limits through some part of the islands were as slow as 30 mph and there were long stretches where overtaking were allowed only on designated areas. For the return journey, the uneven roads with less or no light added to a longer drive time. The route is through various inhabited islands and we have all we need - fuel, restaurants, hotels etc.

Nevertheless, it was a beautiful drive through bridges and small islands with water bodies on both sides. The water was crystal clear and I could see the stones and pebbles on the bottom at some places. Some part of the road travels through the Everglades National Park, with beautiful woods on both sides. The strongly fenced park has designated areas where animals could cross the road to the other side of the park. This is clearly marked with sign boards to alert drivers – I have seen Deer Crossing and Alligator Crossing warning signs!

Attractions of Key West:

If you have an opportunity, do plan for at least two days. I wasn’t lucky enough this time to stay there and enjoy the attractions. A lot of major players have hotels in Key West, including Marriott, Hilton & Hyatt.
  • Jet Ski Tours & Kayaking
  • Glass bottom boat tour to the reefs
  • Sky Diving & Parasailing
  • Snorkeling, Snuba and Scuba Diving
  • Water sports & Dolphin Adventures
  • And many more
Adding some pictures below for the enthusiastic BHPians!

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Passing through one of the islands

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One of the many bridges that connects the islands. The longest one is approximately 11 KMs

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These small islands are privately owned. Perhaps, the vacation homes of celebrities!

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There were warning signs of Alligator Crossings as well.

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View from a floating restaurant

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These Jet Ski are available for tourists to follow a guide through the nearby islands.

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And then, an alien ship showed up!

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Old 19th December 2014, 21:58   #2
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Default Re: Photologue: Driving the 205 kms Overseas Highway, Florida

Nice pictures and narration, you've sent me down the memory lane, thank you.
We (mine and couple of friends families) used to drive to Orlando from Boston each year during Xmas vacation. We drove to Key West one year and what a scenic drive it was.
We used to clock between 3500-4500 miles in 10 days and kids used to have a blast.

Waiting for more pictures and rest of the story.
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Old 19th December 2014, 23:44   #3
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Default Re: Photologue: Driving the 205 kms Overseas Highway, Florida

Thanks live360. I didn't get much time in Key West and do not really have more pictures.
Boston to Orlando is such a long drive, I am sure the company of friends would add to the fun.
Do share your travel experiences and pictures of this years holiday with us, when you find time.

If you haven't been there already, do travel to the Merrit islands where the NASA Kennedy Space Center is located, that's a beautiful road as well. Also, the space center is inspirational and exciting - kids will love it. It's just about an hour from Orlando.
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Old 20th December 2014, 02:52   #4
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Default Re: Photologue: Driving the 205 kms Overseas Highway, Florida

DC: Thanks for the travelogue... Brought back memories from my visit to the Keys in 2011. At that time, I wanted to settle down in the Keys

Have you tried the scenic drive from Jacksonville to down south via the Highway 1A?
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Old 20th December 2014, 15:05   #5
D C
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Default Re: Photologue: Driving the 205 kms Overseas Highway, Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by f1dotcom View Post
DC: Thanks for the travelogue... Brought back memories from my visit to the Keys in 2011. At that time, I wanted to settle down in the Keys

Have you tried the scenic drive from Jacksonville to down south via the Highway 1A?


Yeah, I have taken the Sate Highway 1 at some places. Since Florida is covered with beaches and water bodies on all 3 sides, most of the roads there very beautiful.
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