Conquering Florida’s Overseas Highway

Renowned for its stunning coastal views, the Overseas Highway is a bridge to another world

Florida’s Overseas Highway, also known as U.S. Route 1, is a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of road spanning 113 miles, connecting mainland Florida to the stunning tropical paradise of the Florida Keys. It’s currently the only way to reach Key West via land, so it is like taking a bridge to another world.

Lea Rieck of the Got2Go YouTube Channel traveled across the Overseas Highway on her motorcycle in 2021. She said, “The absolutely crazy and remarkable thing about the ride to Key West is the bridges you cross. I can’t wrap my head around it. You just drive over the ocean…”

Series of bridges

This main coastal highway between the cities of Miami and Key West was a path originally forged by Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railroad back in 1912. Riding along this historic route allows you to appreciate the engineering marvels of the past, as well as the cultural heritage of the area. Today, the highway includes a series of bridges, with a significant portion skimming over the serene waters from Miami to Key West. There’s a reason this route has earned a reputation as one of America’s most stunning drives.

Everything comes together to create an experience that is nothing short of a dream – the flat, turquoise waters that stretch on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the magnificent bridges that carry you over vast expanses, the colorful birds that grace the skies, and the blazing sunsets. The crashing waves on all sides merge with the sound of your motorcycle making you feel like part of the ocean itself!

Key West Pier

Although you could technically complete the entire journey in just three and a half hours without pausing, genuine appreciation of this picturesque route requires a slower pace. This allows you the time you need to soak in the captivating sights and attractions along the way.

For example, just off the Overseas Highway in Key Largo is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which beckons riders as the country’s first undersea park. Take a break from the road and plunge into a world teeming with marine life as you explore the colorful coral reefs on a glass-bottom boat tour, or get an even closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling.

Among the bridges linking the islands to form the Overseas Highway is the legendary Seven Mile Bridge which stands as the longest bridge in Florida. It offers uninterrupted views of the ocean and the surrounding islands. You might recognize this bridge from the movie True Lies, where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis fight bad guys, but unlike the movie, the bridge is definitely still in one piece! As you cruise along this architectural wonder, you get a real sense of freedom as you know adventure lies just beyond the horizon of Key West.

One of the longest bridges in the world

Lea Rieck adds, “The Seven Mile Bridge in Florida is one of the longest bridges in the world. It is definitely the most spectacular part when riding the Florida Keys all the way to Key West.”

From the captivating shores of Key Largo to the vibrant streets of Key West, every island has its own character and allure. With towering palm trees and coastal vegetation along the highway, you’ll lose yourself in all the vibrant colors and scents.

With its smooth and well-maintained roads, sweeping curves, and long straightaways, this highway offers an exhilarating riding experience. Riding a motorcycle allows you the freedom to effortlessly hop from one island to another, revealing hidden gems, pristine beaches, and local treasures along the way. These include the culinary delights of the Florida Keys. The Overseas Highway leads you to many dining options, from quaint seafood shacks to beachside cafés.

Park up your motorcycle and explore the charming streets of Key West lined with pastel-colored houses, and the freshest seafood imaginable, and here, you can witness the famous sunset celebration at Mallory Square.

So, grab your gear, rent a motorcycle, and prepare to embark on an exhilarating journey which is a bridge to another world through the tropical paradise of the Florida Keys.

Tips: You can rent a bike from Explorify Motorcycle Rentals Orlando