One of our top recommended rest stops is the Bahia Honda State Park. Located between Ohio Key and Spanish Harbor Key, it provides a panoramic view of the long-abandoned bridge, which once was an integral piece of US 1, but which runs now parallel to the newer US 1. The park around the bridge is also an ideal place for snorkeling, as the waters simply teem with colorful sea life. ($8.50 per vehicle entrance fee to the park)
On the northern end of the famous Seven Mile Bridge, visitors can access pedestrian and fishing portions of the old bridge. This is a great place to stop and admire the scenery, or to simply Instagram- or Facebook-brag back to your friends.
Despite the fact that the Overseas Highway is incredibly straight and flat, it still ranks as one of the best drives in the United States. Make sure to give the drive at least half a day and appreciate the scenery with multiple stops; taking your time is to your credit anyway, since the route is peppered with police speed traps.
How Was the Car?
Although the XV Crosstrek is Subaru’s first big step into the already matured hybrid market, the car itself is designed to get you to work during the week but still manage to make you smile on weekend getaways. The electric motor is integrated between the engine and transmission, allowing it to use a similar Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system offered in other Subaru models. In layman's terms, it is able to maintain its off-road capabilities, something with which other hybrids struggle.
For an SUV, it was surprisingly car-like during the drive. A few downsides are the smaller gas tank (to accommodate batteries) which provides slightly less range (424 miles vs about 445 miles in the non-hybrid) and the higher cost, even though you do receive better trim and wheels as standard.
How Was the Road Trip?
This wasn’t our first time to the Florida Keys, but time and time again we find it's worth the flight, worth the drive, and worth the money to experience the southeasterly frontier of the United States. Think all the simplicity and happiness of island life, but still with the cell phone signal and ease of staying within the US. The Overseas Highway’s only downside is that there are some sections where the view is obstructed, which is when you turn up the radio and have a sing-a-long to pass the boring stretches.
We traveled the Florida Keys as a guest of Subaru, but all photos and opinions are completely our own.
[Photos: Steven D/Jaunted]