Key Largo is also home to The Caribbean Shipwreck Museum, where you can see items recovered from the wreck of the Henriette Marie slave ship, and movie lovers can see the boat used as the set for the African Queen (1951), which is now outside of the Holiday Inn Key Largo.
Continuing south from Key Largo, the next of the main sections of the Florida Keys that you’ll come to is Islamorada. It will take you about half an hour to drive to Islamorada from Key Largo.
Islamorada, known as the Village of Islands, is a group of six islands: Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Lignumvitae Key and Indian Key. Nicknamed the “Sports fishing capital of the world”, you’ll find plenty of places offering fishing trips.
Highlights of Islamorada include Robbie’s of Islamorada, a boat rental firm, store and tour organising company, where you can buy food so that you can feed tarpon at the end of the dock, and Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park. You can also visit the Florida Keys History of Diving Museum, see dolphins, sea lions and parrots at the Theater of the Sea, or take a boat trip to Indian Key Historic State Park.
Once you’ve explored Islamorada, you can jump into your rental car and head south to Marathon, known as “the heart of the Keys”. Marathon is a ten mile long city and it will take you about 50 minutes to drive there from Islamorada.
Key attractions in Marathon include Crane Point Museum, Nature Center and Historic Site, where you can follow nature trails, visit the historic Adderley House, or visit the Museum of Natural History of the Florida Keys. You can also tour Marathon’s Turtle Hospital, visit the Dolphin Research Center or see old buildings at the Pigeon Key Foundation on Pigeon Key Island, which you can get to by riding the Foundation’s train trolley.
If you continue to drive south from Marathon in your rental car, you’ll end up at Key West, one of the most popular islands in the Florida Keys. It will take you about an hour to get to Key West from Marathon.
There is plenty to see in Key West, so it’s worth spending a few days there. Attractions include the Key West Aquarium, the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and the Heritage House Museum and Robert Frost Cottage.
You can also visit the multi-sensory Pirate Soul piracy museum, take a ghost tour, or relax on one of Key West’s beaches. Key West is also known for its nightlife, and you’ll find many clubs, bars and restaurants to choose from.
If you don’t want to stop off anywhere on your way back, it will take you about three and a half hours to drive from Key West to Miami. You can then finish your USA car hire holiday with a few days in Miami before flying home.