I'm going on a road trip next week, from Key West to Key Largo, and have almost everything scheduled (hotels, tours, etc.), but I'm still in need of some great restaurant and bar suggestions. It could be a fancy place to get a cocktail or a casual seaside shack for lunch....anything that my trusted Gogobotters would recommend! Thanks!
Trip Plan Details
- Mrs. Mac's Kitchen99336 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, United Statesrecommended Mrs. Mac's KitchenIf you get hungry on the drive out to Key West, stop once you've gotten across the bridge to Key Largo and swing into this funky, half-Caribbean, half-redneck biker diner. Conch fritters, conch ... read morechowder, batter-fried fish, and biscuit-and-gravy for breakast. Don't let the screen door slap you on the butt on the way out!Sara Benson
Somehow, when I'm driving down from Miami, I always end up eating right away in Key Largo when I'm on my way to Key West. Love the conch fritters here.
- Alabama Jacks58000 Card Sound Road, Key Largo, FLrecommended Alabama JacksGrab a beer, order some chow and watch for manatees to swim by in this little secret of the mangroves. Off the beaten trail of the Florida Key's, Alabama Jacks is a remnant of old Florida - the place ... read moreof Jimmy Buffet songs before the strip malls and golf courses. Swing by on a weekend afternoon and, if luck is with you, they'll be some great, local live music playing. The food is good, the brew is better and the hideaway shack environment is beyond charming. Visit now before someone decides to turn this into a Cheesecake Factory.Arlo Hemphill
Depending on how far up Key Largo you are headed (ie. if you're actually headed out to Miami), Alabama Jack's is definitely worth a mid-afternoon stop for a drink. This semi-secret spot is a throw back to old Florida, lost in the mangroves and bursting with character. There is often live music.
- Rumrunner's Island Bar84001 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FLrecommended Rumrunner's Island BarThere's a point where the pursuit of the ideal rum-soaked tropical tiki haven becomes ridiculous and this is that point. A massive monument of a tiki castle sits on the sandy shores of Islamorada, ... read morewhere visitors can sit in shaded cabana towers and take in 360 views of turquoise waters while washing away any memory of their visit with copious amounts of rum. A bit over the top, a bit tacky, and a whole lot of fun!Recommended for:Nightlife LoversArlo Hemphill
For a cocktail break, no place in the Keys jumps to mind as prominently as Holiday Isle on Islamorada. This is something of a waterfront entertainment complex with a variety of bars, beaches and attractions - including 'the world famous Tiki Bar'. My favorite spot here is Rumrunners, mostly because I like the tree-house like towers with great water views. It's like a big playground for adults.
recommended Islamorada Fish CompanyDelicious Keys-style seafood in a waterside setting. Very nice restaurant and delicious food. Location alongside A1A also makes it a very convenient stopping point on road trips down the Keys.Arlo Hemphill
For lunch, I recommend Islamorada Fish Company. It's fairly mid-Keys and very convenient to the road trip dynamic - it's right along the highway, but also on the water. Best of both worlds...
- National Key Deer Refuge28950 Watson Boulevard, Big Pine Key, FL 33043-6087recommended National Key Deer RefugeOne of my favorite stops on the drive south through the Florida Keys. These little deer were isolated from the mainland for generations, shrinking down to a dwarf version of their mainland cousins. ... read moreThey're cute and very approachable. Sometimes you have to drive around on lonely backroads of Big Pine Key until you find a group of them. But once you do, they're fairly sociable and don't really have fear of humans. Very fun wildlife interaction!Arlo Hemphill
One of my favorite side excursions on any Keys road trip is to search for key deer on Big Pine Key. It's usually not necessary to even go all the way up the refuge. I pull off of A1A on Big Pine and work my way north through the back streets of the island's neighborhoods. It can sometimes take a half hour of hunting and driving around, but I've never been left disappointed. Once found, the little deer are surprisingly approachable. Great photo op to make your Facebook friends jealous!
- Blue Heaven729 Thomas St., Key West, FL 33040recommended Blue HeavenKey West at it's best. Outdoor seating in a tropical garden full of strutting roosters and massive strangler figs. The food is wonderful, the service full of Key West character, and the experience ... read moretruly tropical.Arlo Hemphill
I'm going to assume you're starting in the morning in Key West and making your way north throughout the day. If that's the case, breakfast at Blue Heaven should be on your itinerary. I can't imagine a better place to enjoy the sights and sounds of tropical Key West over a hearty American-style breakfast. Seating is outdoors, beneath the strangler figs and in the company of chickens. Wonderful.