7 Places to Stop on a Florida Keys Road Trip

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on July 10, 2024.

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If you are planning a road trip through the Florida Keys, we're going to go out on a limb that you're heading down to Key West. It is by far the most popular island in the Keys for tourism, and millions of visitors flock to the island every year.

But what is there to do along the way?

In this one, we thought we'd focus on some of the places you should check out that are not in Key West that you can enjoy on your Florida Keys road trip. If you're making the long drive down from the mainland, these are some you shouldn't miss on, or just off, US-1!

Note: This list is organized in rough geographic order starting at mainland Florida and traveling south towards Key West.

Robert is Here

Sapote at Robert is Here

Before hitting the Keys properly, we would be remiss if we did not note that your first stop should be Robert is Here. This Homestead, Florida, fruit stand has been a staple of the area since 1959 and is one of the last businesses on mainland Florida before you hit the Keys.

But this is not just any fruit stand, this one is one of those spots that need to be seen to be believed.

Not only is their fruit selection massive, they have a huge spread of tropical fruits that you may not be able to find anywhere else. While heavily seasonal, during our June visit we saw an assortment of mango, jackfruit, soursop, red-fleshed dragonfruit, passionfruit, mamey sapote, lychee, and so much more.

Going beyond the incredible fruit selection worth picking up for a road trip snack, Robert is Here is also home to an acclaimed smoothie bar, an animal menagerie, and other farm-oriented experiences.

Suffice it to say, Robert is Here should be the first stop on your Florida Keys road trip even if it is technically not in the Keys proper!

Robert is Here is located at 19200 SW 344th St in Homestead.

Mrs. Macs Kitchen

Conch Fritters at Mrs Macs Kitchen II

For those making the three-hour drive down to Key West from Homestead, odds are good you're going to want to stop for a meal along the way. For us, that meant stopping at Mrs. Macs Kitchen (or their second location, Mrs. Macs Kitchen II, where we visited) in Key Largo.

This restaurant set the tone for a lot of our trip that followed. It felt like one part diner, one part tropical oasis, and every bit delicious with its large selection of conch-based dishes and, of course, one of the best key lime pies we had outside of Key West.

Go for a meal, stay for a slice of key lime pie? Well, we can't argue there.

Mrs. Macs Kitchen is located at 99336 Overseas Hwy and their second location, Mrs. Macs Kitchen II is located at 99020 Overseas Hwy- both in Key Largo.

Blond Giraffe

Key Lime Pie at Blond Giraffe

Want to skip the food and go straight to the key lime pie? Blond Giraffe (also known as the Key Lime Pie Factory) in Tavernier makes for another great stop on your Florida Keys road trip.

This one feels a bit more like a pie shack than a proper restaurant. Head inside, grab a few slices of pie and other key lime-flavored treats, and enjoy the stellar slices in their beautiful outdoor courtyard.

As we wanted to hit both of the above spots for key lime pie on our road trip, we split the difference and hit one on our drive down and the other on our drive back. But if you want to try some of the best key lime pies in the Keys, a stop at both is a must!

Blond Giraffe is located at 92220 Overseas Hwy in Tavernier, FL.

Betsy the Giant Lobster

Betsy the Giant Lobster

How do you stand out in a sea of tourist-oriented stores in a popular destination like the Florida Keys? By having a massive attraction at your entrance that is impossible to ignore.

At Rain Barrel Village in Islamorada, you get just that with Betsy the Giant Lobster. This giant fiberglass Florida spiny lobster is touted as being 30 foot tall and 40 foot wide and is one of those road side attractions that you really can't miss when driving down the road.

But going beyond the fact that Betsy the Giant Lobster is simply eye-catching, the stores of souvenirs, art, and more within Rain Barrel Village are quite interesting and makes for a great souvenir stopping point on its own. 

Go for the lobster, stay for the shopping here!

Betsy the Giant Lobster is located in front of Rain Barrel Village at 86700 Overseas Hwy in Islamorada, FL.

Tarpon Feeding at Robbie's Marina

Tarpon Feeding

Many visitors head out on fishing excursions in the keys to get up-close-and-personal with massive fish, but at Robbie's Marina, you can see monstrous tarpon right from the dock with their feeding experience!

For a few dollars entry, guests can buy a bucket of small fish, head out onto the pier of Robbie's Marina, and feed the school of roughly 100 or so tarpon that call the marina home. 

A bit kitschy? Maybe. Is the feeding over as fast as it started? Absolutely. But for those who will not be heading out on a boat for proper fishing, this one is the next best thing. Visitors can then make an afternoon of it by enjoying a drink or meal at the on-site bar and restaurant, too.

Robbie's Marina is located at 77522 Overseas Hwy in Islamorada, FL.

Bahia Honda State Park

Beach at Bahai Honda

We have to be honest in highlighting that the Florida Keys are not necessarily known for their beaches. Despite the many islands, few offer acclaimed beaches that are touted by visitors as being must-sees. 

But at Bahai Honda State Park, those who are willing to pay the nominal entry fee will be rewarded with some of the best beaches in the Keys and some stellar views all around. (So if you need a place to stop and eat that snack you picked up at Robert is Here, this would be it.)

While we will be the first to admit that the beaches at Bahai Honda are quite nice, it is worth pointing out that they are prone to seaweed buildup at times. When nominal, the beach is still quite enjoyable (we had this), but we're told from those who have visited at other times the smell can be quite bad, too.

Bahai Honda is located at 36850 Overseas Hwy in Big Pine Key, FL.

Hogfish Bar & Grill

Hogfish Sandwich

We end this list with one more great restaurant located right outside of Key West- Hogfish Bar & Grill on Cow Key (Stock Island).

This is the first Key located just outside of Key West and is home to an acclaimed open air bar and grill for a local speciality. No, not Key lime pie, but the unique hogfish!

This fish, which is part of the wrasse family, is a meaty white fish whose texture and flavors are often describe as being almost like a scallop or lobster. While we may find that to be a stretch, the fish is thick, meaty, and has a nice sweetness that is really hard to overlook.

Hogfish Bar & Grill specializes in this one and offers an array of hogfish options ranging from grilled hogfish, hogfish tacos, to even a fully loaded hogfish sandwich with cheese, lettuce, and tomato that, while odd sounding (cheese and tomato on a fish sandwich?!) somehow comes together for a massive meal that just works.

Hogfish Bar & Grill is located at 6810 Front Street in Stock Island, FL.

While this is just a selection of many fun things to do on a Florida Keys road trip, if you're looking for a place to start, it is hard to beat these!

Do you have a favorite place to stop on a Florida Keys road trip? Comment below to share!

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About Jeremy

Jeremy from Living the Dream

About the Author: Jeremy is a full-time travel writer based in Pittsburgh and primary author of this site. He has been to 70+ countries on five continents and seeks out new food, adventure activities, and off-the-beaten-path experiences wherever he travels.

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