Road trip: Miami to Key West in 1 day

When we tell people we love road trips have a relatively small child (well, not so small), they look at us with a face that asks “huh?”. But yeah, we love the family bonding time and seeing new landscapes and places we’ve never seen before.

A road trip gives you the chance to have fun as a family, play lots of “I spy with my little eye…” and just take it all in. And the part with let’s take it all in is my favorite, because you don’t have your camera ready for the picture, you take a picture of what you’re seeing with your eyes and store it in your memory. It’s priceless.

So let me tell you about our day trip to Key West in 2007. Our daughter was a little over 2 years old and we had just moved to the Miami area. We use to drive along a part of the highway US 1 almost everyday and I decided to take a look to see where it began/finished. I learned that the US 1 would go from Key West, Florida to Fort Kent, Maine and that it had 2,369 miles… and then a dream of a fantastic road trip was born! Obviously I wasn’t able to sell the idea of “let’s got from South to North on the US 1”, but at least the Miami to Key West piece was accepted.

We left home around 9am. The southernmost you go on US 1, the narrower it gets…

One of the many bridges on the way.
One of the many bridges on the way.

… we arrived around noon and got to see what I really wanted to see: the US 1 mile 0 sign!

Mile 0
Mile 0

We also saw some beautiful buildings in the downtown area…

Dancing in Key West
Dancing in Key West

… until we found a parking spot to take a picture of the classic southernmost point in continental USA sign…

My daughter really wanted to go run after 3 hours in the car!
My daughter really wanted to go run after 3 hours in the car!

… and finally we found a beautiful stretch of sand, where some families were playing volleyball and where we stayed for 6 hours doing absolutely nothing but sand castles and playing in the beautiful water…

The beach volleyball net
The beach volleyball net
Just taking it all in and relaxing... what a beautiful day!
Just taking it all in and relaxing… what a beautiful day!

At the end of the day we drove the 3 hours back home, arriving when it was already night. Our little one slept most of the time during both rides to and from Key West.

Even though driving 6 hours total for a day trip sounds like a lot, it is actually a very nice drive and if your kids are older than 2 years old, you can try and prepare some scavenger hunt games or I spy games… there is always opportunity to bring travel and learning together!

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