From Jersey to Virginia to the Carolinas, a New York to Key West road trip explores many top tourist destinations on the east coast of the United States.
Starting in the city that never sleeps and ending in the Conch Republic, you’ll drive along some of America’s most famous and scenic roadways. This massive road trip would take 23 hours if you drove it nonstop!
But if you’re driving from New York City to Key West, why not take your time and explore?
Atlantic City is a beautiful seaside resort town with America’s most famous boardwalk. As you head into town, keep an eye on the street names. You probably know them from the board game Monopoly, which takes place in Atlantic City!
: You can easily spend a couple of hours in Marty’s Playland, too, a vintage old-school arcade.
Leg 3: Ocean City to Virginia Beach, Virginia
141 miles, 3 hours
Leaving Ocean City, you’ll take Highway 13 south and cross one of the most beautiful bridges in America, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. This highway cruises above the Chesapeake Bay, occasionally dipping below the surface of the water into tunnels so ships can sail past. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds!
: If you’re looking to wind down before driving more, stay at the Home2 Suites by Hilton. It features modern rooms, free breakfast, and a pool if you’ve still got your swimsuit. Cost per night: from $122
: Stop by Old Exchange, where kids can visit a creepy real-life dungeon that once housed actual pirates!
Leg 6: Charleston to Jacksonville, Florida
239 miles, 3 hours 53 minutes
This next leg of the voyage will finally take you into the Sunshine State—and to the second Jacksonville on this New York to Key West road trip.
Follow US-17 S and then I-95 S to get to Jacksonville.
What to do in Jacksonville, FL
Hit the beaches: If you’re only going to visit the beaches in one city during this trip, Jacksonville FL should be an easy contender. Jacksonville has some of the least crowded, most accessible, and well-maintained beaches on the east coast. Start with
Remember when we said earlier that New York City doesn’t need an introduction? Well, neither does the next stop on this trip: Orlando. Orlando is perhaps the best-known tourist destination in Florida and it’s likely the stop the kids are most excited about.
To get to Orlando, take I-95 S then I-4 W.
What to do in Orlando
Hit the theme parks: The greater Orlando area has 10 major, world-famous theme parks to visit.
If Orlando isn’t Florida’s most famous city, surely it must be Miami. The buzzing seaside metropolis has plenty to offer, from sun and sand to dining and nighttime entertainment.
Hop onto Florida’s Turnpike to get to Miami.
What to do in Miami
Experience Miami nightlife: Miami is probably best known for its legendary nightlife, which you’ll be sure to want to experience. Even if you don’t hit the clubs, make sure to walk around to get a sense of the atmosphere.
If you thought the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel was cool, wait until you get a load of US-1 S and its famous bridge over the Atlantic Ocean. The final leg of your New York to Key West road trip will take you over this beautiful highway that runs through the Florida Keys.
What to do in Key West
Southernmost point of the U.S.: You shouldn’t visit Key West without getting at least one photo of yourself in front of the famous buoy at the southernmost point in the continental United States.
: Reward yourself for arriving at Key West with a restful night at this posh hotel. It has a rum bar, cigar lounge, and Caribbean food truck to make you really take in the atmosphere. Cost per night: from $159
This New York to Key West road trip will take you to some of America’s prettiest beaches and the hottest of hotspots. But it’s also going to put your car through its paces, so you’ll want to make sure you prep it for all the stress this trip will expose it to.
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