Private Boats from Miami to Key West
It is about 165 miles from Miami to Key West. The duration of your boat ride largely depends on your route and speed. While there are half-day trips, booking a full-day boat trip might be your best choice especially because we know you’re reading to know all the best places to stop along the way.
Check out this post for top spots between Miami and Key West and a section on top marinas in the Florida Keys. Read the entire blog post for any potential Pro Boatsetter Tips.
Top Spots to Stop from Miami to Key West
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a hotspot for divers and snorkelers. Much like the entire Keys, the water is crystal clear. We love seeing our feet touching the ocean floor.
What’s so special about this state park in particular? It is home to the only coral barrier reef in North America, a rare sight to see. Also here is some of the most exotic marine life in the US. Underwater you’ll catch sights of statues, shipwrecks, coral reefs, colorful fish, and so much more.
Everglades & Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades & Dry Tortugas National Park is roughly 100 square miles of open water. Seven small, scattered islands are in this area, only accessible by seaplane or boat.
You’ll see Fort Jefferson still standing here. Construction of the fort began in 1846 and was completed in 1875. It served in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Today, it is a place to look back on history.
Dry Tortugas Park is also known for historical artifacts, sunken treasures, shipwrecks, migrant bird breeding grounds, and thriving marine life.
Big Pine Key
Big Pine Key has several stop-worthy places you should consider visiting, including Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge, Blue Water Hole, and Bahia State Park and Beach.
Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge is the home of a unique white-tailed deer. Fewer than a thousand deer are alive today. They walk, wade, and swim between islands, eating the native tropical plant species. These deer do not exist anywhere else in the world and are a sight to see.
Blue Water Hole should be on your bucket list simply for its sheer beauty. Unique fish species, turtles, Key Deer, iguanas, snakes, and alligators call this previous limestone quarry home. Also, it is the only freshwater lake in the entire Florida Keys.
At Bahia Honda State Park & Beach, the waters are pristine, the airs are refreshing, and the beaches are sandy and secluded. You’ll have the shade of tropical palm trees to hang out under and enjoy this piece of paradise.
Dolphin Research Center at Grassy Key
This not-for-profit marine mammal education and research facility allows you to get close to its playful dolphins.
Come here to swim with dolphins and catch them in action training or performing acrobatic stunts! This place is particularly great for families with small kids. In fact, onsite is a Family Sprayground, a marine-themed splash pad just for the fun of your young ones.
Pro Destination Tip: Have you ever seen sea lions? Whether you have or haven’t, we have great news for you — you can get close to sea lions at the Dolphin Research Center, too!
Marathon: 13 Islands in a City
Marathon is a city in the Keys set on 13 islands. It is considered the most boat-friendly city in the US. Here you’ll have several great restaurants, shops and boutiques, beaches, parks, and much to see.
The Turtle Hospital is one place to go. It specializes in rehabilitating sea turtles to return safely to their natural habitats. The hospital is on the grounds of what used to be “Hidden Harbor Motel.” Today, the motel rooms are now the living quarters for rehab staff.
Tour this place to see precious sea turtles thriving here. Also, not all turtles can be released into the wild, so at the end of your tour, you can feed turtles who call this hospital their home.
Top Marinas in Key West
Located on Stock Island, Oceanside Marina is connected to Oceans Edge Resort and is super convenient with a clean bathhouse, pump-out facility, and super friendly staff.
- Dockage: 111 wet slips
- Features: Fuel, ice, laundry, 24/7 security, cable TV, docking assistance.
- Address: 5950 Peninsular Ave, Key West, FL 33040
Pro Destination Tip: Looking to go fishing in the Keys? Well, you may want to stop at Oceans Edge. This marina’s history spans 35 years and includes more than 400 International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world records!
Conch Harbor Marina
Located on the west side of Key West, Conch Harbor Marina has everything your boat could need. This marina offers boaters fuel, water, pump-out services, and dockhands.
- Dockage: 50 slips
- Features: Boat shop, security, hotel rooms, filet counters, onsite laundry rooms, restrooms, showers.
- Address: 951 Caroline St, Naval Air Station Key West, FL 33040
Garrison Bight Marina
People love Garrison Bight Marina because it has such fair and affordable rates while maintaining a high level of quality and care for boaters. This marina offers a massive mooring field with a great dingy dock and a bathhouse.
- Dockage: 213 dry slips; 30 wet slips
- Features: Laundry room, onsite parking, a boat shop.
- Address: 711 Eisenhower Dr, Key West, FL 33040
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