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I live in the upstate SC, and I am working on a ride to the Keys. I am going to try to stay on A1A and Hwy 1 as much as I can mainly for the scenery. I have never traveled below Orlando. I'm thinking I need to ride I95 through Miami. Are there any roads I need to avoid? Or roads I must ride?
 

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I would recommend a spare gas can if you have the room, there can be really large gaps between the keys. I remember somethign about a high crime rate area near the end but I that was years ago when I looked into it. Look forward to trip pics!
 

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Have fun but you definitely want to stay off I95 South of Ft Pierce. It's a real mess in a cage and I wouldn't want to be on it on my bike. A better route is to pick up the turnpike in Ft Pierce and take it to the extension before you hit Ft Lauderdale. It will take you on the West side of all the mess and run you into Homestead. You could even track over to highway 27 through Okeechobee from Ft Pierce and enjoy the ride down.
 

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I also live in upstate SC (Travelers Rest) and i did the ride to Key West in May 2013 with a friend. I used the plan your ride from the H.O.G. website avoiding interstates and we took Hwy 1 into Jacksonville (take the loop 495 I think around Jacksonville) onto 17 and a couple other state roads to hiway 27. Going this way avoids Miami as you go into homestead and back on 1 all the way into the keys. A1A is slow and a pain to me. I can go and print the directions if you need me to. pm me if you need this.
 

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Have fun but you definitely want to stay off I95 South of Ft Pierce. It's a real mess in a cage and I wouldn't want to be on it on my bike. A better route is to pick up the turnpike in Ft Pierce and take it to the extension before you hit Ft Lauderdale. It will take you on the West side of all the mess and run you into Homestead. You could even track over to highway 27 through Okeechobee from Ft Pierce and enjoy the ride down.
I think t's called the "Sawgrass Expressway" around Ftl Lauderdale and Miami. I lived on the central E. coast of Fl for 45 yrs. Once you get South of the Space Center A!A is one long strip mall. US1 is slow, but ok until Stuart area, then it's a strip mall also. I don't remember any gas problems, but there's lots of bars on the way that made my memory fuzzy. Have fun in K.West, find out what you can and can't do on the street (sometimes you can have open container, sometimes not) & there's more plainclothes cops than uniformed ones. Mallory Square at sundown is a must.
 

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Sawgrass expressway dissects turnpike near Broward county line and hooks back to i75 west of ft lauderdale.

Not scenic at all...
A1A is very congested and Us1 is not very pretty....

I would look into getting on 27 you could hit Leesburg ride the lake and run that down to us1 into keys.

Lots of traffic and snow birds from palm beach to Mia.
 

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Keys trip

Have fun but you definitely want to stay off I95 South of Ft Pierce. It's a real mess in a cage and I wouldn't want to be on it on my bike. A better route is to pick up the turnpike in Ft Pierce and take it to the extension before you hit Ft Lauderdale. It will take you on the West side of all the mess and run you into Homestead. You could even track over to highway 27 through Okeechobee from Ft Pierce and enjoy the ride down.
glenalt's advice is spot on, stay off of I-95 below Ft. Pierce. You can take I-95 down to New Smyrna Beach, SR44, head East and pick up US 1 in about 6-7 miles, down to Ft. Pierce on US1, and them pick up the Turn Pike. Just avoid Orlando and Miami at all costs. I can't stand either cities traffic, and include Tampa in that mix. Now is not the best time to be in Florida as all of the snow birds and blue hairs from up north are there, traffic can be a PIA and deadly, accommodations can be expensive, and camping space is at a premium if you can find it. Just sayin'.
 

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I agree with the stay OFF I-95 through Miami. My wife still has PTSD from going through there in a cage. I can only imagine if we had rode the bike. There are plenty of other ways in alot less deadly and stressful. The Turnpike wasnt any better. Take a little longer and enjoy the scenery. The HD dealership in Miami will be very helpful with a route they had a map when we were there.
 

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glenalt's advice is spot on, stay off of I-95 below Ft. Pierce. You can take I-95 down to New Smyrna Beach, SR44, head East and pick up US 1 in about 6-7 miles, down to Ft. Pierce on US1, and them pick up the Turn Pike. Just avoid Orlando and Miami at all costs. I can't stand either cities traffic, and include Tampa in that mix. Now is not the best time to be in Florida as all of the snow birds and blue hairs from up north are there, traffic can be a PIA and deadly, accommodations can be expensive, and camping space is at a premium if you can find it. Just sayin'.
I agree. Miami sucks in particular. If time doesn't matter, I'd go around Miama the long way and catch the Everglades. Heading east, I prefer the south route (41) over the Interstate (75). Then, find 997 south to Homestead and avoid Miama altogether.

Once you make it to Key Largo, prepare to average about 40 mph in a 55 zone. The first time I made the drive I white knuckled it trying to find every opportunity to pass. The subsequent four times, I slowed down, sat back, and enjoyed the scenery. 100 miles to Key West takes three hours or so from there.
 

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I agree. Miami sucks in particular. If time doesn't matter, I'd go around Miama the long way and catch the Everglades. Heading east, I prefer the south route (41) over the Interstate (75). Then, find 997 south to Homestead and avoid Miama altogether.

Once you make it to Key Largo, prepare to average about 40 mph in a 55 zone. The first time I made the drive I white knuckled it trying to find every opportunity to pass. The subsequent four times, I slowed down, sat back, and enjoyed the scenery. 100 miles to Key West takes three hours or so from there.

^^^^^^^This.

Chief you nailed it. That is a great route....the Tamiami trail (41) to 997 (Krome Ave.) south to US 1 into the Keys. And yes there is no need to be in a hurry. Just relax and enjoy the ride. And depending on the time of day and the weather you will see lots and lots of gators on the trail.


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^^^^^^^This.

Chief you nailed it. That is a great route....the Tamiami trail (41) to 997 (Krome Ave.) south to US 1 into the Keys. And yes there is no need to be in a hurry. Just relax and enjoy the ride. And depending on the time of day and the weather you will see lots and lots of gators on the trail.


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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you guys very much for the advice. I have been checking every day for new ideas. It is still in early planning, but now I'm thinking I will run down 27 from Ocala all the way to hwy 1. I haven't made up my mind to ride down in Feb/March, or wait till around November.


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I recommend Feb/march vs Nov. You never know what kind of weather will show up in Nov with the hurricanes. If you are military/DOD/retired military, you can get rooms on any of the 3 bases for $65 night and the rooms are awesome! Gas..not an issue between islands, plenty of everythng versus the 80s when I started going. I prefer to stay the night in Homestead and party, then enjoy the leisurely ride the next day, hitting bars, eating good food, and feeding tarpon.
I agree with previous posts, get on the turnpike around stuart and avoid I-95 prior to hitting West palm during the week. I have ridden 95 on the weekends without problems. Be VERY VERY careful as you will find all kinds of stuff on I-95: clothes, construction equipment, gators (trucker tires).

Mallory Sq is a must. Check out Alonso's on the water outside of Mallary sq. The happy hr is the strong suit- cheap beer, 1/2 price appetizers. Get there early- its packed.

make sure you hit the roof top bar at the garden of eden on Duval St....Its a must!!!!

Spanish Oaks is a family owned motel within walking distance of Duval st. very reasonably priced and clean. Enjoy! Make me want to go again soon.
 

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I live in the upstate SC, and I am working on a ride to the Keys. I am going to try to stay on A1A and Hwy 1 as much as I can mainly for the scenery. I have never traveled below Orlando. I'm thinking I need to ride I95 through Miami. Are there any roads I need to avoid? Or roads I must ride?
Depending on the timing of your trip (Whether or not you are Planning to go to Bike week in Daytona.)
You may want to consider cutting over and going down part of FL's west coast. Cut across around Daytona.
The riding is pretty quiet most of the way down, Tampa/St. Pete are nowhere near as squirelly as Miami, once you are past that it is a nice cruise through Bradenton/Sarasota down to Ft.Meyers/Naples. Riding through the Everglades across Alligator Alley is pretty cool (Hwy 41) and you can then you hit the Key Largo area and avoid a lot of Metro Miami (Northern part)...

The trip from Key Largo to Key West can be slow w\ a fair bit of traffic, but it is def a bucket list ride. You should stop at the Whale harbor Restaurant (an all you can eat seafood place) in Islamorada.
JMO (Born and raised in St. Pete.)
 

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Depending on the timing of your trip (Whether or not you are Planning to go to Bike week in Daytona.)
You may want to consider cutting over and going down part of FL's west coast. Cut across around Daytona.
The riding is pretty quiet most of the way down, Tampa/St. Pete are nowhere near as squirelly as Miami, once you are past that it is a nice cruise through Bradenton/Sarasota down to Ft.Meyers/Naples. Riding through the Everglades across Alligator Alley is pretty cool (Hwy 41) and you can then you hit the Key Largo area and avoid a lot of Metro Miami (Northern part)...

The trip from Key Largo to Key West can be slow w\ a fair bit of traffic, but it is def a bucket list ride. You should stop at the Whale harbor Restaurant (an all you can eat seafood place) in Islamorada.
JMO (Born and raised in St. Pete.)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "Alligator Alley" refers to a stretch of I-75 across the northern Everglades. Hwy 41 (the one we both recommend) is the southern path.
 

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Put it in the hoop Chief... You are correct alley is i75.
 

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