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19 Enjoyable and Greatest Issues to Do in Key Largo, Florida Receive US

Key Largo means “massive key” in Spanish, and it’s the biggest of the Florida Keys, about 30 miles in size. It’s the primary island you get to within the tropical chain (a gateway to the Keys, if you’ll). Often known as the Diving Capital of the World, Key Largo is a water lover’s paradise whether or not you’re on the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.

Key Largo presents a wide selection of constitution fishing boats, snorkeling journeys, and delicate sand seashores, making it a pretty vacation spot for all types of vacationers. Don’t get me unsuitable, I do love me some Key West, however Key Largo and the Higher/Center Keys simply high my record of favourite Florida locations. 

With the shipwrecks, coral reefs, and offshore fishing of the Atlantic Ocean on one aspect and the sapphire shades of the Gulf of Mexico on the opposite, it makes among the finest journey holidays on the earth. The island’s location within the Higher Keys makes it a terrific alternative for entry to Biscayne Nationwide Park, Everglades Nationwide Park, points of interest in Islamorada and Marathon, and even day journeys from Key West.

You’ll discover wonderful seafood eating places, tropical tiki bars, distinctive wildlife and watersports actions, and among the finest resorts in South Florida in Key Largo. I like to explain the Keys because the closest you may get to the Caribbean way of life with out a passport.

You have got all of the attractive surroundings of palm bushes and sapphire water, island-inspired delicacies, and distinctive creatures like iguanas, manatees, and tropical birds. And also you don’t have the effort of flying abroad and trekking by means of customs!

That being mentioned, you continue to need to get there by some means. My most well-liked mode of transport is to fly into Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) – you would additionally select Miami International Airport (MIA) – and lease a automotive to drive the remainder of the best way.

Key Largo is about an hour and a half drive from Fort Lauderdale. is a terrific software for looking for the precise automobile to discover all the Key Largo points of interest on our record.


Most Important LandmarkChrist of the Abyss underwater statue (John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park)
Greatest ParkWindley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Greatest Free ExerciseNative Seashores
Greatest Exercise for ChildrenTheater of the Sea
Greatest Exercise for AdultsCraft Brewery Visits
Greatest MealsSundown Grille & Uncooked Bar
Greatest All-Round LodgingHampton Inn Key Largo

Enjoyable and Greatest Issues to Do in Key Largo

1. Guide a Reef and Wreck Diving Tour

Boat Ride to Islamorada Hens Chickens Reef Lighthouse
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

The waters of the Florida Keys are a paradise for licensed divers or these trying to turn into licensed. Guide a guided diving excursion to get into these offshore reefs. Excursions sometimes cease at two websites, which might embrace Christ of the Abyss at John Pennekamp State Park, Elbow Reef, Grecian Rocks, and the Metropolis of Washington.

Situated on the ocean aspect at Silent World Dive Middle, it’s about 25 minutes from among the finest dive websites within the Keys. Diving tools and snacks are included.

Different Florida Keys scuba diving websites embrace the Hens and Chickens Reef, the Pickle Barrel Wreck and Reef, and Molasses Reef. The usSpiegel Grove Wreck is a terrific web site for superior divers.

See Associated: Greatest Scuba Journey Insurance coverage Choices for Divers

2. Day Journey to Everglades Nationwide Park

Aerial view of Everglades National Park in Florida
JUAN CARLOS MUNOZ / Adobe Inventory

Mark a nationwide park off your bucket record with a day journey from Key Largo to Everglades Nationwide Park. Thought of a World Heritage Website and an Worldwide Biosphere Reserve, it’s the biggest designated subtropical wilderness in North America.

Residents embrace the Florida panther, the West Indian manatee, American crocodiles, and a variety of birds, fish, and reptiles. The expansive space is common for kayaking, canoeing, strolling, and biking.

An Everglades Adventure Tour gives admission to Sawgrass Leisure Park and means that you can take a 40-minute airboat trip, which is an incredible expertise. Head off and revel in different actions and academic experiences inside Everglades Nationwide Park.

3. A Day on the Seaside

Palm Trees in Marathon Sombrero Beach
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

The very first thing I inform individuals about visiting the Keys is to not go to the Keys for the seashores. Sure, that will get me some bizarre appears.

There are, after all, pretty small seashores with delicate white sand, shallow water, and swaying palm bushes. However they’re simply that, small and shallow.

You’re not going to search out the lengthy stretches of large sand and crashing waves of the East Coast… and also you actually received’t be browsing. You may, nonetheless, go swimming, kayaking, fishing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling.

Head to Anne’s Seaside, Sombrero Seaside, Harry Harris Park and Seaside, Far Seaside, or Cannon Seaside. As you discover, you’ll be able to snorkel, try vintage weapons, and loosen up on the sand.

Knight’s Key Suites, in Marathon by the Seven Mile Bridge, is a wonderful budget-friendly option to base a Florida Keys trip. It’s handy to points of interest in Islamorada and Key Largo in addition to the Decrease Keys, and it’s inside strolling distance to Sundown Grille & Uncooked Bar, which serves an incredible number of tropical cocktails and the meals to go together with them.

See Associated: Greatest Seaside Resorts In Florida

4. Snorkel Amongst Tropical Fish

Snorkeling in Marathon Sombrero Reef Lighthouse
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Now that we’ve gotten the earlier tidbit out of the best way, one of the simplest ways to essentially expertise the glory of the Keys and its waterways is by taking a constitution boat to go scuba diving or snorkeling amongst marine life and colourful coral reefs.

The Florida reef is house to the third largest dwelling reef system on the earth (and the one one within the U.S.). The opposite two are Australia’s Nice Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef. Get on the market and revel in this colourful coral reef!

Guide a half-day reef snorkel trip to the Florida Keys Nationwide Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park. You’ll sail aboard a cushty catamaran.

This tour is ideal for newbie snorkelers (although you do must know find out how to swim). Excursions meet at Pirates Cove Watersports.

I’ve personally snorkeled with a number of corporations within the Keys. I like to recommend Captain Hooks Marina and Dive Middle (Marathon, Huge Pine, and Key West places), Spirit Snorkeling in Marathon, and Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures in Tavernier. All provided a beautiful expertise and a terrific day of bobbing about above coral, fish, and turtles.

Insider Tip: I like to recommend buying an underwater digital camera to report the colourful fish and distinctive coral formations. It doesn’t need to be an costly mannequin.

I really like my Nikon COOLPIX W100 for its compact measurement, affordability, and ease of use. It’s waterproof to 33 ft and shockproof from a five-foot drop.

Don’t neglect so as to add a floating strap to your digital bag earlier than trying out. You may thank me later.

5. African Queen

African Queen Boat in Key Largo
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Deal with: 99701 Abroad Freeway, Key Largo, Florida 33037

Docked on the Marina Del Mar Resort & Marina (which simply occurs to be Key Largo’s largest deep water marina) and beside the Vacation Inn Key Largo, the African Queen is a bit of film memorabilia that’s price trying out even should you’re not a traditional film fan.   

The restored steamboat was inbuilt Lytham, England, for the East Africa British Railways Firm. Now a Nationwide Historic web site, it was used within the 1951 Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn film The African Queen.

Previous to the film, she was a working boat that sailed alongside the Congo River carrying missionaries, mercenaries, and cargo throughout the Victoria Nile and Lake Albert. After starring within the film, she remained in service till 1968 and was utilized in San Francisco, Oregon, and Ocala, Florida. The African Queen moved to Key Largo in 1982.

You may even indulge your inside thespian by reserving an African Queen canal cruise. Channel Bogart and Hepburn on a 90-minute cruise across the Port Largo Canals or take a dinner cruise (provided on Fridays and Saturdays). You’ll sail to the Pilot Home Marina restaurant, get pleasure from dinner, after which sail again to Marina Del Mar.

Whilst you’re within the space, seize a chew to eat and hearken to reside music at Bogie’s Café, Sharkey’s Sharkbite Grill, or Skipper’s Dockside (the place you’ll be able to watch fishermen coming in with the every day catch – and the sharks ready for a chew of the stays of that catch).

See Associated: Greatest Houseboats for Hire in Florida

6. The Historical past of Diving Museum

Exhibit at Islamorada History Diving Museum
Historical past of Diving Museum / Facebook

Deal with: 82990 Abroad Freeway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

The Historical past of Diving Museum opened in 2005, the results of greater than 40 years of accumulating by Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer. Cease by and peruse the gathering of pictures, books, movies, and classic diving gear. You’ll see helmets, regulators, fits, air pumps, underwater cameras, and different articles.

Do you know that NASA trains astronauts with diving and underwater dwelling? Now you do! Get pleasure from featured displays like Aquanauts to Astronauts, which discover the connection between diving and area exploration.

Talking of underwater exploration, should you’re in want of snorkels, masks, or fins, you’ll discover a variety of dive outlets and watersports shops within the Keys. Divers Direct is considered one of my favorites, however REI can also be a fantastic alternative for gear, attire, dry luggage, coolers, and towels.

7. Keep in an Underwater Resort at Jules Undersea Lodge

Interior of Jules' Undersea Lodge
Jules’ Undersea Lodge / Facebook

Deal with: 51 Shoreland Drive, Key Largo, Florida 33037

I don’t usually advocate a lodge as a “factor to do” however there are the odd exceptions. Whilst you’ve obtained the dive gear on from earlier, test into the Jules’ Undersea Lodge, the one underwater lodge within the U.S.!

Named for French novelist Jules Verne, it’s an Worldwide Biosphere Reserve. This distinctive vacation spot was as soon as an underwater analysis facility. Jules’ Undersea Lodge grew to become a lodge in 1986.

Jules’ Undersea Lodge is positioned on the backside of Emerald Lagoon at Key Largo Undersea Park. Company get to the doorway by diving right down to the doorway, which is about 20 ft beneath the floor (a lot lower than 20,000 leagues). The park additionally presents SCUBA coaching and certification.

See Associated: Greatest Resorts in Key West, Florida

8. Florida Keys Wild Chicken Middle

Florida Keys Wild Bird Center Entrance
cvc10 / TripAdvisor

Deal with: 93600 Abroad Freeway, Tavernier, Florida 33070

The Florida Keys Wild Chicken Middle consists of the Mission Wild Chicken Hospital and the Laura Quinn Wild Chicken Sanctuary. The Laura Quinn Wild Chicken Sanctuary specializes within the rescue, rehab, and launch of sick and injured birds.

Birds deemed non-releasable turn into residents of the sanctuary. Watch pelican feedings, view rehabilitating birds, and study all about avian conservation. Admission is free, however donations are requested.

The Mission Wild Chicken Hospital is positioned just a few miles down the highway. The Keys Wild Chicken Rehabilitation Hospital treats sick and injured birds. It’s not accessible to guests, however there’s a present store and an schooling middle that welcomes guests.

9. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Sign
4kclips –

Deal with: Key Largo, Florida 33037

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the primary underwater park within the U.S. It’s about 25 miles lengthy and extends three miles into the Atlantic. When you’re within the park, you must take a ship to truly get to the underwater park. Head to the waterfront to satisfy the boats to take a reef tour.

As soon as offshore, you’ll be able to snorkel or dive amongst coral reefs and the well-known Christ of the Abyss statue. The nine-foot-tall bronze statue, with outstretched arms, was positioned there in 1965. It’s mounted on a cement base in about 25 ft of water, making it higher fitted to up-close viewing whereas diving, although you’ll be able to most likely see it from above whereas snorkeling.

This space is named Dry Rocks. The hand-shaped reef has sand channels, patch reefs, and spur and groove formations. Search for angelfish, nurse sharks, groupers, moray eels, and grouper.

Should you’d slightly keep on the mainland on the park, that’s all good too. Guests can snorkel on the seaside, kayak by means of the mangrove swamps, hike alongside tropical forests, and work on that tan. Try the 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium on the customer middle.

See Associated: Greatest Islands in Florida to Go to

10. Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Deal with: 84900 Abroad Freeway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

A former quarry product of Key Largo limestone (a.ok.a. fossilized coral), Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park options trails that wind by means of fossilized reefs, hardwood forests, and fringe mangroves.

Stroll alongside the quarry’s eight-foot-tall partitions, try quarry equipment, view displays on the customer middle, or go birding to get a peek at migrating birds just like the Bahama mockingbird, warblers, and western spindalis.   

An essential a part of Florida’s Twentieth-century historical past, the quarry’s limestone was used to construct the Abroad Railroad, which has now been remodeled into the Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path. The 106-mile-long rail path runs from Key Largo to Key West.

The paved path is common for climbing, biking, skating, and sightseeing. There are additionally fishing bridges alongside the best way.  

11. The Turtle Hospital

Marathon Turtle Hospital Sign
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Deal with: 2396 Abroad Freeway, Marathon, Florida 33050

If there’s one factor I really like concerning the Florida Keys, it’s the realm’s dedication to marine conservation and wildlife safety. The Turtle Hospital is an animal hospital that focuses on the rescue, rehab, and launch of sick and injured sea turtles.

The Florida Keys is house to 5 of the seven species of sea turtles, together with the loggerhead, inexperienced, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley, and the flatback.

Whereas anybody can cease in to buy a memento (proceeds go to fund the hospital, so I say do it), you do need to ebook a scheduled instructional tour to go to the turtles. The excursions final about 70-90 minutes and take you on a behind-the-scenes have a look at the hospital and the rehab space. You’ll have the prospect to feed the turtles on the finish of the tour.

See Associated: Greatest Resorts & Resorts With Animals On-Website

12. Theater of the Sea

Theater of the Sea Sign
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Deal with: 84721 Abroad Freeway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

Spend the day or afternoon at Theater of the Sea. The marine park sits simply off the Abroad Freeway.

It was established in 1946 as a marine mammal park and options stingrays, nurse sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, California sea lions, and tropical birds. Lots of the animals are rescues which have been rehabilitated and deemed non-releasable into the wild.

Theater of the Sea and different organizations just like the Turtle Hospital are concerned within the rescue efforts. The park sits on what was a rock quarry excavated for Henry Flagler’s railroad.

Discover the tropical gardens, watch instructional marine animal exhibits, expertise meet-and-greets with the resident animals, or snorkel within the lagoon. My favorites are the dolphins and the scarlet macaws. I gotta admit, the spunky sea lions are fairly cute as effectively.

The Moorings Village, positioned close by, sits on an 18-acre former coconut plantation. Whereas I haven’t visited this idyllic setting, it’s on my bucket record. Followers of the present Bloodline will acknowledge the resort because the mattress and breakfast house of the Rayburns.

One and two-bedroom cottages provide cozy porches, full kitchens, and seaside views. The property has a swimming pool, a ship dock, and a non-public seaside with numerous tropical palms. On the luxurious aspect of the lodge spectrum, the resort makes a beautiful alternative for a vacation spot wedding ceremony, reception, or romantic getaway.

13. The Dolphin Analysis Middle

Dolphin in Florida Keys Dolphin Research Center
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Deal with: 58901 Abroad Freeway, Grassy Key, Florida 33050

The Dolphin Analysis Middle is without doubt one of the finest Keys points of interest to take a look at your favourite sea life. Head to the Gulf aspect lagoon to get an up-close have a look at bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions.

The middle was based in 1984 with the mission to advertise coexistence and cooperation between marine mammals, people, and the atmosphere. It accomplishes that by means of schooling, analysis, and rescue.

You may expertise dolphin interactions or simply stroll round and watch these loveable cetaceans taking part in within the lagoon. Watch instructional displays and narrated periods, take part in trainer-for-the-day applications, and even paint with dolphins.

See Associated: Enjoyable & Greatest Issues To Do In Palm Coast, Florida

14. Robbie’s of Islamorada

Robbie's of Islamorada fishing cruises, kayak & boat rentals
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Deal with: 77522 Abroad Freeway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

You may’t beat the Keys for quirky points of interest and family-friendly enjoyable. This fishing village-inspired property options an array of artwork, jewellery, and memento distributors.

The Hungry Tarpon restaurant at all times attracts a crowd, and the favored snack stands, boat excursions, kayak leases, and fishing constitution boat journeys guarantee numerous motion. One of many easiest and most enjoyable actions is watching the tarpon bobbing about by the docks.

Robbie’s is considered one of my favourite locations to loosen up and stroll by means of the open-air market setting. There are many locations for sitting within the shade should you desire that facet of the holiday life.

15. Rain Barrel Village

Deal with: 86700 Abroad Freeway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

One other enjoyable, quirky, and possibly slightly weird roadside attraction to empty some weight out of your pockets is Rain Barrel Village. All you must do is search for the large fiberglass lobster.

Store for artwork, handmade crafts, jewellery, souvenirs, and extra from greater than 500 native artists in galleries, boutiques, and specialty outlets. The village additionally presents The Lobster Shack restaurant and a tropical backyard oasis with sculptures and different distinctive artwork.

Oh, you’re questioning about that lobster? The work of sculptor Richard Blaze, Betsy the Florida spiny lobster, is towering 30 ft tall and 40 ft lengthy. She’s the inspiration for a lot of a sunny selfie. The realm is known for lobster season, so why not?

Enjoyable Reality: In distinction to Maine’s well-known lobsters, Florida spiny lobsters don’t have claws. They’re caught for the tasty tail meat. Maintain the chuckles, please!

The village, beforehand often called the Cypress Barn Constructing, obtained its title from its former life as the location of a 5,000-gallon cypress cistern (or rain barrel). It’s been an artist complicated since 1978.

See Associated: Get Low cost Disney Tickets in Orlando, Florida

16. Glass-Backside Boat Tour

Key Largo Glass Bottom Boat Tour
Key Largo Princess Glass Backside Boat / Viator

Should you’d slightly try the underwater world from above, ebook a glass-bottom boat tour to the colourful reefs. You’ll be capable to view sea followers, sea plumes, turtles, jellyfish, and colourful formations with out ever getting your hair moist.

Glass backside boat excursions are a terrific method to see the formations at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Key Largo Nationwide Marine Sanctuary. Excursions meet on the Vacation Inn Key Largo, making this among the finest and most handy of Key Largo’s points of interest.

Insider Tip: I at all times advocate taking a dose of Dramamine previous to embarking on one thing like a glass-bottom boat tour. The one time I’ve ever gotten seasick in my total life was on considered one of these excursions.

The mixture of wanting down into swaying water, being on a swaying boat, and inhaling fumes that sometimes happen close to a ship engine is a primary recipe for seasickness. Don’t be that man or gal heaving over the aspect of the boat. Should you’re nonetheless rising your sea legs, take the Dramamine not less than half-hour earlier than boarding.

17. Guided Eco-Tour

Mangrove in Florida Keys
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Florida’s mangroves are a novel sight and considered one of my high favourite marine habitats. For a calming day in nature, take a Mangroves and Manatees Guided Kayak Eco Tour.

Paddle alongside Tavernier Creek, which permits entry to each the Gulf and the Atlantic. Seek for manatees, fish, crabs, and birds like pelicans, egrets, and herons. Excursions meet close to the Previous Tavernier Restaurant & Lounge.

Talking of distinctive pure points of interest… the Hampton Inn Key Largo has a small personal seaside that’s typically visited by manatees. It’s unlawful to the touch or feed wild manatees (so don’t), but it surely’s tremendous enjoyable to look at these candy sea cows swimming about within the water.

Clear, comfy, and sporting a impartial tropical vibe, this mid-range lodge has a pool, a health room, a ship dock, and complimentary breakfast. You may additionally see a garden filled with Florida’s notorious iguanas hanging out within the solar. They might appear like tiny dinosaurs (and even massive dinosaurs – it’s all about perspective), they usually’re at all times a cool sight within the island life.

See Associated: Greatest Springs in Florida to Go to

18. Hire a Pontoon Boat

Pontoon Boat in Key Largo
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Key Largo Pontoon Boat Rentals is without doubt one of the finest locations to lease a ‘toon for the day and take the fam out on the water. You can even rent a captain should you’re not comfy navigating by yourself.

Boating is considered one of my favourite actions, and I at all times advocate it, particularly within the Keys. I really like gliding throughout the water and stopping to discover small islands and coves.

Bear in mind to pack your water footwear for this journey. Offshore islands may be lined with small shells and rocks. Pure magnificence is all effectively and good, but it surely’s a beast on naked ft!

19. Culinary and Craft Brewery Excursions

Food at Sunset Grille in Marathon, Florida
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Pattern the flavors of the Keys (Key lime beer, anybody?) by trying out just a few (or 5) of the realm’s craft breweries. There’s even a meadery, which might be my private alternative. Fermented honey? Sure, please!

The Florida Keys Food Tours options joyful hour excursions, meals excursions, and even excursions by way of golf cart. The strolling tour takes you thru downtown Islamorada, the place you’ll pop into native eating places, meet cooks, style wonderful “Floribbean” meals, and even tie in popular culture with stops at Bloodline filming websites. Whats up Rayburns!

Wish to enterprise to the southernmost level? There are many Key West pub crawls and meals excursions to fit your fancy.

Want to discover by yourself time? We get it.

Add a few of these to your itinerary: Islamorada Brewery & Distillery, Keys’ Meads, Florida Keys Brewing Firm, The Fish Home, Islamorada Shrimp Shack, or the Inexperienced Turtle Inn. For a candy deal with, Candy Savannah’s in Marathon is a private favourite.

Burdine’s Waterfront, Sundown Grille & Uncooked Bar, and Lazy Days South are just a few of my different favorites. You may even pull up a ship and benefit from the enjoyable of docking and eating. Whether or not you’re gazing on the sundown, sipping a tropical cocktail, diving right into a plate of recent Florida seafood, or floating in an on-site pool, you’ll be able to’t beat the Keys eating scene.

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