The Overseas Highway The Overseas Highway

The Overseas Highway

Florida’s Overseas Highway is a modern wonder and one of the 10 most beautiful drives in the United States. The 113-mile (181-kilometer) drive on Highway 1 from mainland Florida to Key West, has been named an All-American Road; this designation is the highest recognition possible under the National Scenic Byways program. Only 30 other U.S. roadways have earned this prestigious title.
It is also called The Highway That Goes to Sea because it plunges deep into the Atlantic Ocean; the southernmost leg of U.S. Highway 1 stretches from the southern tip of Florida to Key West, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.
The Overseas Highway follows a trail originally blazed in 1912 by Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railroad. The railway ceased operation after severe damage to the infrastructure in a 1935 hurricane. The highway was constructed between 1930 and 1938. Its foundation included some of the original railway spans as well as the coral bedrock of individual keys and specially constructed columns. The Overseas Highway cross 42 bridges to get to the southernmost point in the continental U.S. – Key West. In 1982, 37 bridges including the renowned Seven-Mile Bridge at Marathon, were replaced with wider spans.
The amazing Seven Mile Bridgesits between Key Largo (the longest island in the chain) and Key West the; it is the largest segmental bridge in the world, situated at Marathon, where visitors can swim with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center.

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Key West can be reached from Miami in less than four hours by road, passing through the scenic vistas of the individual keys, a world of rustling pines, deep blue sea, mangrove swamps, emerald-green lagoons and nodding palms. Seabirds populate this eco-paradise and offshore countless sea creatures are protected in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Drivers should allow time to experience this natural beauty of the ever-changing scenery of the seas and wilderness bordering the roadway and the wonderful sunrises and sunsets.
The Keys are a favorite destination for Americans and international tourists, who are drawn by the funky towns, nightlife, seafood restaurants, shopping and laid-back ambience of the local communities. But first of all, The Keys are a paradise for water sports lovers; scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and swimming with dolphins are just a few activities that can be practiced daily, because Key West features year-round warm temperatures.
Major attractions are sited by mile marker, from MM 107 in Key Largo to MM 0 in Key West. The most popular is Key Largo which lies between mile markers 91-107.It is the longest island in the chain and closest to Miami. Key Largo is popular for diving. It's home to the 70-square-mile (181-square-kilometer) John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and an underwater hotel where couples can tie the knot below the waves. Other popular destinations include Marathon known as a fisherman’s paradise, Looe Key which is home of the offbeat Underwater Music Festival and the most popular dive destination in the Lower Keys and of course Key West, the island at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. It offers the chance for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and boating, but the city is best known for its urban atmosphere.
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