Going on vacation to Miami? This Surinam Airways destination has a whole range of attractions and shopping possibilities. A completely different option is taking a road trip to Key West. For those who have been to Miami several times, this is a fun alternative. The distance equals that of Paramaribo to Nickerie in Suriname, approximately 270 km, but due to the many traffic lights on the Overseas Highway US1 it will take you more time to get there. Therefore, take the Florida Turnpike (toll highway) and travel to the south as far as possible. Then take the US1 again, the only road that passes through all the Florida Keys. Some parts of it have only one lane.
Key Largo, the largest of the Keys, is like a small town. There are hotels, supermarkets, service stations, shops and restaurants while words such as “scuba diving”, “fishing” and “boat rental” point out the main activities. A fun attraction for all ages is Theater of the Sea. There are continuous shows, so just join in.
From Key Largo it’s another two hours’ drive. The Keys are connected through landfills and bridges that shape into one ‘endless’ route. On the route you’ll come across several fishing spots and believe me: folks catch fish! When finally the sign ‘Welcome in Key West’ appears, you have reached your final destination.
End of US1
Stay on the US1, because this road automatically leads to Old Town, the tourist zone of Key West. The center is Duval Street, a long street with lots of stores, restaurants and saloons.
Key West radiates a Caribbean atmosphere. Enjoy the beautifully maintained houses. Visit the home of former president Harry Truman on Truman Avenue. On US1 is the home of America’s most famous writer, Ernest Hemingway. The woman who bought the house from the family had the intention to live there herself, but the demand for visiting the famous dwelling was such that she turned it into a museum.
Down the same street is the End of US 1 sign post. A host spot to have your picture taken is the southernmost point of Florida.
Less interesting, but very tasty, is the key lime pie: a local delicacy made of cream cheese with lemon flavor. We recommend an overnight stay in Key West, either outside Old Town or in another Key. Enjoy the beach or rent a bike or a scooter to check out Key West at your leisure. In case you return to your departure point on the same day, keep in mind that there are no streetlights on the entire route.
Text & photos: Charles Chang, December 2019
Translation: Roline Brahim-Tjen A Kwoei/Equivalence Translations
Want to experience this also? Book a ticket to Miami at Surinam Airways. You can also book online via www.flyslm.com. There are several options from Paramaribo to Miami. There is a direct flight every Friday from Paramaribo to Miami. But you can also opt for a stopover in George Town, Guyana.