Welcome to the Florida Keys!
At the southern end of Florida City is the imaginary Mile Marker 126.7 which is the unmarked unofficial official beginning to the Florida Keys. It’s here at Last Chance Saloon (notice the sign, it actually says: Inside Toilets & Friendly People Only!) where you’ll make your trips first decision of turning left onto Card Sound Road or going straight on what’s commonly called “The 18 Mile Stretch” of US-1 South.
Card Sound Road is a 25.8 mile toll road and a no brainer when US-1 is backed up, closed or during major holidays. “The 18 Mile Stretch” is the more direct approach and therefor always busier. Card Sound Road offers: Alabama Jack’s, Panther Crossing sign, Crocodile Lake Wildlife Refuge, Rock and Roll stones & Dagny Johnson Botanical Park. “The 18 Mile Stretch” has Gilbert’s Resort, the Pirate Ship “Queen Ann’s Revenge II”, Crocodile Crossing sign & Over Manatee Creek. I myself have a rule of thumb of taking US-1 down (always ready to get there) and returning by Card Sound Road. All sites listed above on both roads have been be detailed in past blogs so put that search feature to work!
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