Route 1 from Key West to DC
I'm thinking about a ride to Key West in the spring. Taking the Autotrain from DC to Sanford, riding to Key West for a couple of days and then riding back. Anyone ever done route 1 all the way up the east coast from Key West to DC?
Recommendations? Do it? avoid it? Thoughts?
You don't say where you are located in profile,etc., but IMO I don't care for KW,FL in the 1st place. Way too touristy/commercial for my taste & very pricey too. We actually like going to FL for state pks & fishing in the winter(campsites are hard to get even a year ahead) but KW , I'll pass. If it's the weekend expect bumper to bumper the whole 100+ out to KW.
For a spring ride I'd head for some of the best riding anywhere in the Appalachians/Smoky mtns at what is one of the two best times of year-Spring (or fall) to ride twisty, scenic roads .
So my suggestion is to go somewhere else in FL or better yet ride:PA,VA,WV,KY(me),TN,NC,SC,N. GA,N. AL in the spring.
I did that on an R75/5 in '73. Great ride. Not technical but great weather and not much of a challenge. Watch for speed. It is their only source of $. Excellent watering holes.
Don't be afraid of "Fat Albert."
Campbell Tellman II
Did it this past spring. As has been said nothing technical to the ride. Just a lot of long, straight hwys. I enjoyed the ride thru the Keys. Great views of the water, but speed traps in all the small towns along the way. KW can still be pretty expensive even in the spring. Make sure you have a room before you get there. I stayed in state parks as much as I could, but none on KW.It was a bucket list item for me. Checked off the Everglades, KW and St. Augustine.
Really neat sights/places in the Keys. I stumbled on a neat thing on a ride there a few
years back. And try this on a clear, full moon... or nearly so! Depart Key West around
1am heading out northbound; and not in a hurry or on a weekend.... WOW!
I actually parked on the 7 mi bridge, bike off about 3:30am... not another soul for
at least 10 minute's! And you could see them coming from about 5 miles!
In fact with only a few dozen other vehicles between the larger islands; it was a
great, very unique breakfast ride.... The views I'll never forget!
What Travelin John said, for an interesting and coastal ride North of Jacksonville take 17 instead of 1 and visit the barrier Islands of Ga. and the Carolinas lots of History old style places to check out.
Forgot to mention; it saves a nites lodging "in the keys" as well. Often expensive
unless camping. Plus you can enjoy another evening in KW before the "highlight
ride" north & out with green traffic signals all the way across Largo!
Catch the coast road "A1A" many places up the seaboard for even better flavor.
Key West, The Zoo
Others are right about the traffic, however the ride and the sights tend to make up for the aggravation. There is absolutely no other place in the US like it. There are plenty of good places to eat along the way while either staring at the bay or the ocean, the sun sets are exceptional. There are some less expensive hotels in Key West but it requires research, as for camp sights in the spring you better start looking now.
Food may run from expensive to overpriced, but keep in mind someone had to haul it down the same road which you used to get there. Most everything is more than on the mainland due to the higher transportation cost and the general cost of living, re: electric, water, etc. It was that way 30 some years ago when I lived there for ten years and it has not changed.
Depending what you are looking for you likely will find it there, in my opinion they ruined Key West for folks like us with the large docks to accommodate the cattle ships. Key West is overrun by these people. There is history in Key West, there are tourist traps and parking is limited.
I am down there often and twice this past summer, I have not recently seen any speed traps as some have claimed. There simply is not many places you can speed to begin with. In my opinion Card Sound Road and Ocean Reef road are my preferred way to travel, yes the bridge toll is a buck, it hasn't changed in 50 years but 80 MPH is possible most of the way to Key Largo.
During the day there are costumed characters walking the streets, at sun set there are actors, clowns and what have you preforming on the docks, darkness brings out another set of characters and around 9 - 10 the drag queens parade on Duval Street. What more could you want?
As for A1A, some places it does not exist, some places its called Dixie Highway, after leaving Florida headed north there is no road along the coast. Should you want to visit some of the coastal places it will require considerable east & west travel, check your map.
Have a nice trip
Last edited by GeneT; 12-02-2012 at 10:47 PM.
Thanks for the information. We are planning to go for a few days just to say we've been there and get in the ride back to DC. I hadn't been able to find anything about good routes back up this way, but know I don't want to ride 95. I like the idea of 1 and 17.
That sounds awesome.....timed for a full moon would be cool. Have done it from Ft Lauderdale during the day...down and back....way to much traffic for me to enjoy...
Originally Posted by flyhi2cfar
I live just a few miles from hwy 1 in southern VA. I work in the small town of South Hill. Let me know when you're passing thru. Maybe i can meet you at the state line. Also, there is a great place to eat on hwy 1 in South Hill. The Horseshoe. Try to time things for lunch. I'll buy to hear some of the ride tales.