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19 Enjoyable and Greatest Issues to Do in Key Largo, Florida | The Global Today

Key Largo means “giant key” in Spanish, and it’s the most important 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 called 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 mushy sand seashores, making it a horny vacation spot for all types of vacationers. Don’t get me flawed, I do love me some Key West, however Key Largo and the Higher/Center Keys simply high my listing of favourite Florida locations. 

With the shipwrecks, coral reefs, and offshore fishing of the Atlantic Ocean on one facet and the sapphire shades of the Gulf of Mexico on the opposite, it makes probably the greatest journey holidays on the earth. The island’s location within the Higher Keys makes it a terrific selection 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 superb seafood eating places, tropical tiki bars, distinctive wildlife and watersports actions, and a number of the finest resorts in South Florida in Key Largo. I like to explain the Keys because the closest you may get to the Caribbean life-style and not using 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 customs!

That being stated, you continue to need to get there someway. My most popular mode of transport is to fly into Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) – you could possibly additionally select Miami International Airport (MIA) – and lease a automotive to drive the remainder of the way in which.

Key Largo is about an hour and a half drive from Fort Lauderdale. is a terrific software for trying to find the best car to discover all the Key Largo points of interest on our listing.


Most Vital 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. E book 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 grow to be licensed. E book 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.

Positioned on the ocean facet at Silent World Dive Middle, it’s about 25 minutes from a number of the finest dive websites within the Keys. Diving gear 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 listing 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 most important 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 widespread for kayaking, canoeing, strolling, and biking.

An Everglades Adventure Tour gives admission to Sawgrass Leisure Park and lets you take a 40-minute airboat journey, which is a tremendous expertise. Head off and luxuriate 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 folks about visiting the Keys is to not go to the Keys for the seashores. Sure, that will get me some bizarre appears to be like.

There are, in fact, pretty small seashores with mushy white sand, shallow water, and swaying palm bushes. However they’re simply that, small and shallow.

You’re not going to seek out the lengthy stretches of extensive sand and crashing waves of the East Coast… and also you actually gained’t be browsing. You may, nevertheless, 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 may snorkel, try vintage weapons, and chill out 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 a tremendous 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 way in which, the easiest way 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 luxuriate in this colourful coral reef!

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

This tour is ideal for newbie snorkelers (although you do must know 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, Massive Pine, and Key West areas), Spirit Snorkeling in Marathon, and Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures in Tavernier. All provided an exquisite expertise and a terrific day of bobbing about above coral, fish, and turtles.

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

I like my Nikon COOLPIX W100 for its compact dimension, affordability, and ease of use. It’s waterproof to 33 toes 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

Handle: 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 value trying out even in case you’re not a basic film fan.   

The restored steamboat was in-built 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 take heed to stay music at Bogie’s Café, Sharkey’s Sharkbite Grill, or Skipper’s Dockside (the place you may watch fishermen coming in with the each 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

Handle: 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 reveals like Aquanauts to Astronauts, which discover the connection between diving and house exploration.

Talking of underwater exploration, in case 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 be a terrific selection for gear, attire, dry baggage, coolers, and towels.

7. Keep in an Underwater Resort at Jules Undersea Lodge

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

Handle: 51 Shoreland Drive, Key Largo, Florida 33037

I don’t usually suggest a lodge as a “factor to do” however there are the odd exceptions. Whilst you’ve bought 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. Visitors get to the doorway by diving all the way down to the doorway, which is about 20 toes under 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 Chook Middle

Florida Keys Wild Bird Center Entrance
cvc10 / TripAdvisor

Handle: 93600 Abroad Freeway, Tavernier, Florida 33070

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

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

The Mission Wild Chook Hospital is positioned a number of miles down the street. The Keys Wild Chook Rehabilitation Hospital treats sick and injured birds. It’s not accessible to guests, however there’s a present store and an training heart that welcomes guests.

9. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Sign
4kclips –

Handle: 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, it’s a must to take a ship to really get to the underwater park. Head to the waterfront to satisfy the boats to take a reef tour.

As soon as offshore, you may 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 toes of water, making it higher fitted to up-close viewing whereas diving, although you may 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.

In case you’d quite keep on the mainland on the park, that’s all good too. Guests can snorkel on the seashore, kayak by the mangrove swamps, hike alongside tropical forests, and work on that tan. Take a look at the 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium on the customer heart.

See Associated: Greatest Islands in Florida to Go to

10. Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Handle: 84900 Abroad Freeway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

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

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

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

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

11. The Turtle Hospital

Marathon Turtle Hospital Sign
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Handle: 2396 Abroad Freeway, Marathon, Florida 33050

If there’s one factor I 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 makes a speciality of 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 academic tour to go to the turtles. The excursions final about 70-90 minutes and take you on a behind-the-scenes take a look at the hospital and the rehab space. You’ll have the possibility to feed the turtles on the finish of the tour.

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

12. Theater of the Sea

Theater of the Sea Sign
Sandy Allen / ViaTravelers

Handle: 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. Most of the animals are rescues which were 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 academic 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 lovable as nicely.

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 listing. 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 seashore views. The property has a swimming pool, a ship dock, and a personal seashore with a number of tropical palms. On the luxurious facet of the lodge spectrum, the resort makes an exquisite selection 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

Handle: 58901 Abroad Freeway, Grassy Key, Florida 33050

The Dolphin Analysis Middle is likely one of the finest Keys points of interest to take a look at your favourite sea life. Head to the Gulf facet lagoon to get an up-close take 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 setting. It accomplishes that by training, analysis, and rescue.

You may expertise dolphin interactions or simply stroll round and watch these loveable cetaceans taking part in within the lagoon. Watch academic shows and narrated periods, take part in trainer-for-the-day packages, 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

Handle: 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 a number of 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 chill out and stroll by the open-air market setting. There are many locations for sitting within the shade in case you desire that facet of the holiday life.

15. Rain Barrel Village

Handle: 86700 Abroad Freeway, Islamorada, Florida 33036

One other enjoyable, quirky, and perhaps somewhat weird roadside attraction to empty some weight out of your pockets is Rain Barrel Village. All it’s a must to do is search for the enormous 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 toes tall and 40 toes lengthy. She’s the inspiration for a lot of a sunny selfie. The world is legendary for lobster season, so why not?

Enjoyable Truth: 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 generally known as the Cypress Barn Constructing, bought 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: Tips on how to 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

In case you’d quite 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 strategy 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 probably the greatest and most handy of Key Largo’s points of interest.

Insider Tip: I at all times suggest 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 complete 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 major recipe for seasickness. Don’t be that man or gal heaving over the facet of the boat. In case 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 singular 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 seashore that’s typically visited by manatees. It’s unlawful to the touch or feed wild manatees (so don’t), however it’s tremendous enjoyable to look at these candy sea cows swimming about within the water.

Clear, snug, and sporting a impartial tropical vibe, this mid-range lodge has a pool, a health room, a ship dock, and complimentary breakfast. You may also see a garden stuffed with Florida’s notorious iguanas hanging out within the solar. They could appear to be tiny dinosaurs (and even huge 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 likely one of the finest locations to lease a ‘toon for the day and take the fam out on the water. It’s also possible to rent a captain in case you’re not snug navigating by yourself.

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

Bear in mind to pack your water sneakers for this journey. Offshore islands could be lined with small shells and rocks. Pure magnificence is all nicely and good, however it’s a beast on naked toes!

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 a number of (or 5) of the realm’s craft breweries. There’s even a meadery, which might be my private selection. Fermented honey? Sure, please!

The Florida Keys Food Tours options completely happy 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 superb “Floribbean” meals, and even tie in popular culture with stops at Bloodline filming websites. {Hello} Rayburns!

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

Choose 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 a number of 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 contemporary Florida seafood, or floating in an on-site pool, you may’t beat the Keys eating scene.

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