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24 Fabulous Issues To Do in Key Largo, Florida


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There are such a lot of great issues to do in Key Largo. Because the northernmost island within the Florida Keys, getting right here from Miami is a chunk of cake. Or ought to I say a chunk of key lime pie?

Essentially the most simply accessible of the Florida Keys, Key West is an island brimming with gorgeous pure wonders.

Surrounded by Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Key Largo is greater than only a line in a Seashore Boys tune — it’s the Dive Capital of the World! This island is dwelling to the primary undersea park in the US and the world’s second-largest synthetic reef.

Even if you happen to don’t dive — and I don’t — you continue to stand to come across a number of wildlife in Key Largo by means of snorkeling, glass backside boat excursions, kayaking, paddleboarding, and crusing journeys. You can see sea turtles, tropical fish, manatees, dolphins, and tarpon, simply to begin! 

Whereas most issues to do in Key Largo revolve across the water, mountaineering and biking are different enjoyable methods of seeing the surroundings. At eye stage, the northernmost secret is awash with palm timber, mangroves, and hammock forest. 

Along with consuming ALL the important thing lime pie, you’ll discover solely the freshest seafood on sale in Key Largo. Wash it down with a craft beer or tiki cocktail as you watch essentially the most beautiful sunsets within the Sunshine State. 

Let’s dive into the perfect issues to do in Key Largo — for water followers in addition to landlubbers!

This put up was revealed in January 2024 and was co-written by Adventurous Kate and Hannah Cooper.

Four snorkelers in the neon teal water at Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo.
Snorkeling in John Pennekamp State Park is for everybody!

Finest Issues To Do in Key Largo, Florida

Go to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park 

Spending time in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a superb option to begin your time in Key Largo. The primary underwater park in the US protects round 70 nautical sq. miles of residing coral reefs and marine life. It additionally has two beautiful seashores, an aquarium, and a campground. 

The state park sits subsequent to the Florida Keys Nationwide Marine Sanctuary, the place there are additional coral reefs plus mangrove forests. These heat waters are greatest explored by way of snorkeling or scuba diving though glass-bottom boat excursions and kayaking are different choices. 

This snorkel tour in John Pennekamp State Park is my favourite exercise I did in Key Largo. The tour takes you to 2 shallow websites which normally embody Christ of the Abyss (an underwater Jesus statue) and/or the Grecian Rocks. You could have about 90 minutes within the water general. 

A green heron perched on a branch. The bird has a long needle-like beak, a dark green head, beady yellow eyes, and the rest of its body is brown.
A inexperienced heron on the Florida Keys Hen Sanctuary, by way of Shutterstock

Discover Nature in Key Largo

If Miami has the monopoly on sandy seashores, Key Largo is all in regards to the wildlife – we’re speaking marine, mammal, reptilian, hen, the entire 9 yards! So the place are the perfect locations to see wildlife within the space?

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park has 5 entry-level mountaineering trails alongside mangrove swamps and the world’s solely fossilized coral reef. Swing by the customer heart for a historical past lesson. 

Up in North Key Largo, previous the bridge that connects you to the mainland, Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is a floral wonderland. Maintain a watch peeled for American crocodiles as you stroll by means of its huge West Indian tropical hardwood hammock. This is among the few locations within the Keys the place these crocodiles stay. 

A mile south brings you to Crocodile Lake Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, though it’s extra like a butterfly park. There are some American crocodiles nesting within the saltwater mangrove swamps as effectively.

Ornithophiles can go to Laura Quinn Wild Hen Sanctuary (often known as the Florida Keys Wild Hen Middle). This reserve rehabilitates and releases wounded birds and has a stunning boardwalk path by means of the mangroves. It’s free to go to however a donation of $10 per particular person is appreciated. 

Three women driving a boat in the Florida Keys
Hopefully your boat journey comes with a badass all-female crew like mine did!

Take a Boat Journey in Key Largo

A ship journey is a ceremony of passage for all vacationers in Key Largo! And, you could have a slew of choices, from family-friendly excursions and wildlife-watching boat rides to booze cruises and historic barges.

Let’s begin with the long-lasting African Queen Canal Cruise. This steamboat was the star of the eponymous film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, and is offered for shared and personal sails alongside the Port Largo Canals. 

Hopping aboard a glass-bottom boat tour in Key Largo is an effective way to eyeball the underwater nationwide parks’ coral reefs and marine life with out getting moist! An ideal choice for non-swimmers who wish to see some underwater wildlife. The tour features a narration of the coral reef.

If mammals float your boat, you have to go dolphin- and manatee-watching within the Keys. This eco-tour in Key Largo is capped at six individuals for a extra intimate expertise. The identical operator runs a sundown cruise in Florida Bay.

This catamaran sundown cruise is an alternative choice for extra of a celebration spirit. It’s a BYOB setup, so deliver a bottle or two — and friends are at all times stuffed with reward for the soundtrack!

Final however not least, a personal sundown cruise is among the most original issues to do in Key Largo for {couples} or small teams. You’ll have the boat all to yourselves for that castaway vibe.

An underwater statue of Jesus reaching his arms up to the surface.
Christ of the Abyss, by way of Shutterstock

Go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling

You may’t go to Key Largo, the Dive Capital of the World, and never discover beneath the floor! Well-liked dive websites embody the united statesSpiegel Grove shipwreck and its synthetic reef system. There’s additionally an underwater statue of Jesus, known as Christ of the Abyss, the place sea turtles are sometimes noticed.

This snorkel journey within the Florida Keys Nationwide Marine Sanctuary and John Pennekamp Coral Reef is designed for inexperienced persons. These shallow waters solely require a primary swimming means. 

Skilled snorkelers may choose this two-reef snorkel tour in Key Largo. Places differ, however usually embody the Christ of the Abyss and the Grecian Rocks. 

(First time snorkeling? Be sure you put on a rash guard and use reef secure sunscreen. It’s really easy to get sunburned by means of the water, particularly when your again is continually dealing with upward.)

Are you a diver? This guided two-tank shallow diving expertise contains Christ of the Abyss (generally known as Christ of the Deep), the Grecian Rocks, the Metropolis of Washington, and/or The Elbow Reef. When you’re a extra skilled diver, this two-dive tour within the Florida Marine Sanctuary goes slightly deeper. 

Wish to study to dive? Nice thought! Study to scuba dive in Key Largo and also you’ll by no means look again. This Uncover Scuba Diving commences within the pool earlier than hitting two open-water dive spots. It’s excellent if you wish to take a look at the waters earlier than getting certified.

A beach with palm trees and soft white sand.
Far Seashore in Key Largo, by way of Shutterstock.

Take pleasure in Key Largo Seashores

You could have most likely come to the Florida Keys to get pleasure from all of the seashores — and Key Largo undoubtedly has some good contenders among the many greatest seashores within the Florida Keys!

One factor it is best to know is that a lot of Key Largo’s seashores are personal to resorts and houses. That stated, there are a couple of public seashores which might be particularly good.

A number of the nicest seashores with public entry are in John Pennekamp State Park. I like to recommend testing Far Seashore and Cannon Seashore, that are each family-friendly with snorkeling alternatives close by.

A singular choice is Rowell’s Waterfront Park, which has a 10-foot-deep tidal pool you may bounce into.

And simply down the street in Tavernier, you could have Harry Harris Park with its perennially well-liked seaside!

A room in an underwater hotel with a porthole looking into the water, and a bench in front with a stuffed blowfish and some pillows.
Inside Jules Undersea Lodge, by way of Jennifer Gergen on Flickr.

Expertise Jules Undersea Lodge

A really distinctive sort of lodging, Jules Undersea Lodge is a good place to remain in Key Largo if you understand how to dive. That is an underwater resort and entry means scuba diving into an airlock chamber!

When you’re tucked up good and dry within the suite, you may watch parrot fish, barracuda, and – if you happen to’re actually fortunate – manatees swim previous from mattress. Lodging is just out there to licensed divers or those that enroll within the Uncover Scuba Diving course. 

Actually, if I stayed right here I wouldn’t sleep a wink the entire night time (I’ve watched too many catastrophe motion pictures) — however I can fully perceive how this might be a bucket listing merchandise for divers.

When you don’t wish to sleep over (beginning at $1,350 per night time, that is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime splurge!) you may simply dive or snorkel within the lagoon. Snorkeling prices $15 per particular person whereas all-day diving is from $40. If the underwater suite is vacant, you may peer by means of the window whereas diving. 

A slice of key lime pie topped with whipped cream.
Mrs. Mac’s in Key Largo makes the perfect key lime pie within the Florida Keys!

Strive all the Key Lime Pie

With all of the out of doors adventures, you’ll construct up an urge for food in Key Largo — and that requires key lime pie! You could have had key lime earlier than, however belief me — it’s so a lot better within the Florida Keys. The pies are comprised of limes indigenous to this area.

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in Key Largo is dwelling to my favourite key lime pie within the Florida Keys. I be sure that to cease right here each time I’m within the Keys. The OG diner sits on the southbound facet of the Abroad Freeway, whereas the bigger restaurant is on the northbound facet. Their flawless key lime pie is purpose sufficient to tug over, however the diner additionally serves contemporary seafood and luxury meals. 

Fish Home is one other favourite amongst locals for key lime pie and contemporary dishes plucked from the ocean. The coconut model is a radical tackle the basic, however so scrumptious. That is situated alongside the abroad freeway, between Key Largo and the Florida mainland, so it makes a superb cease in your option to or from Miami.

Kate holding a bottle of mead at Keys's Meads, in front of a chalkboard listing the latest flavors.

Go to Keys’ Meads

When you’re acquainted with the craft spirits revolution, you might have heard of mead — a honey wine well-liked in medieval occasions that’s making a comeback at present. When you’re considering attempting some, head over to Keys’ Meads, a meadery proper right here in Key Largo!

Mead is just like port — you pour your self a small glass and benefit from the flavors. Keys’ Meads makes mead in candy, semi-sweet, and dry flavors like orange blossom, plum, starfruit, vacation spiced apple pie (which I actually loved!), and mango.

The tasting room is open from 12-8 PM Monday by means of Saturday, and 12-6 PM on Sundays. Additionally they ship — so if you happen to’re touring carry-on solely and may’t deliver a bottle dwelling, they’ll gladly ship one to your home!

Displays of coral at the Coral Restoration Center

Coral Restoration Basis

The Coral Restoration Basis is situated in Tavernier, simply outdoors Key Largo, and so they’re doing inspiring work repairing the coral reefs within the space. You may drop in and study in regards to the necessary work they’re doing.

Since 2007, they’ve returned greater than 220,000 critically endangered corals again to the reefs within the Florida Keys.

When you’re a diver, you may even volunteer with them, replanting new coral within the reefs!

A woman biking on a cement road over the ocean.
Biking the Keys Abroad Heritage Path, by way of Michael Rosebrock on Shutterstock.

Discover the Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path 

Begin your day with a stroll or cycle alongside the Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path.

Operating parallel to the U.S. Freeway 1, this 106-mile multi-use path hyperlinks Key Largo with Key West by means of a collection of 23 historic Flagler Railroad bridges. Building continues to be ongoing, however over 90 miles are accomplished. 

Whereas some hardcore cyclists sort out your complete freeway all the way in which to mile marker 0 in Key West, you may have simply as a lot enjoyable masking a couple of sections of the path.

You may lease bikes from All Keys Cycles or Key Largo Bike and Journey Excursions, or ebikes from Bike the FL Keys. Whereas I like ebikes for the additional little bit of energy they provide you going up hills, there aren’t that many hills within the Florida Keys! It’s good to have the additional oomph on a scorching day, although.

Choosing a section between mile markers 106.5 and 60 is the most suitable choice in Key Largo. This incorporates John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and a little bit of Islamorada earlier than ending in Lengthy Key (and passing among the greatest Florida Keys seashores).

A man and woman kayaking in their own kayaks, along a river edged with mangroves.
Kayaking is among the important Key Largo actions! Through Shutterstock.

Kayak or paddleboard by means of the mangroves

The mangroves in and round Key Largo are a paddler’s paradise — and exploring them is among the most particular issues to do in Key Largo. These mangroves are the pure habitat for invertebrates, turtles, birds, and even manatees. 

When you fancy exploring independently, simply prepare an all-day kayak rental or an all-day paddleboard rental. Instruction is supplied earlier than you launch and the crew can recommend the perfect mangroves and lagoons based mostly in your stage of means. 

In any other case, this guided two-hour eco-tour is appropriate for all talent ranges and welcomes household teams and solo vacationers. It concentrates on Tavernier Creek and you’ve got the selection of taking a kayak or paddleboard. Lighted crafts can be found for sundown or twilight paddles. 

A round raft with a small tiki hut on it floating down a river surrounded by mangroves.
Have a blast on a floating tiki bar! Through Shutterstock.

Drink on a floating tiki bar

Key Largo is the right place for twirling an umbrella in a tropical cocktail. However comfortable hour will get an improve within the Sunshine State courtesy of a floating hut!

These guys run shared and personal tiki cruises with specialty choices for the likes of birthday events, bachelorettes, and one-of-a-kind engagements. Departing from Snooks Bayside or Sundowners in Key Largo, the tiki enjoyable cruise floats throughout the day whereas the sundown tiki cruise is timed for golden hour. 

All of those are BYOB cruises, so that you’ll have to recollect to swing by the liquor retailer and make your personal daiquiris. Each excursions allow you to stream your favourite tunes with an iPad. Word that the capability is a most of six individuals.

A man fishing off a boat, a strong fish caught by his pole. The fish is so strong it's bending the fishing pole.
Fishing within the Florida Keys, by way of Shutterstock.

Go fishing 

Fishing for mahi mahi, snapper, tarpon, and wahoo is among the hottest issues to do in Key Largo. Folks come from all around the world come to Key Largo to fish within the wealthy waters right here, and locals find it irresistible, too!

This personal fishing constitution journey is ideal for households and teams. It’s a full-day tour with an expert captain. The crew offers with all permits and the boat is stocked with fishing gear, bait, sort out, and snorkel gear. Non-fishers are welcome – you may even spend the day simply crusing if you happen to’d like.

Alternatively, this personal chartered fishing constitution for 2 is geared toward {couples}. The captain offers a lesson in fishing for the tarpon shoals that migrate between the Florida Keys and Everglades Nationwide Park. 

A man and a woman jet skiing on the open water near the Florida Keys.
Jet snowboarding within the Florida Keys, by way of Shutterstock.

Lease a jet ski

Jet snowboarding is among the most thrilling water sports activities within the Florida Keys. It’s simple to lease a jet ski and discover the bays independently — newbies can have an introduction on how one can get pleasure from your self whereas holding wildlife secure. This could offer you all of the data and confidence you want. 

Alternatively, this guided jet ski tour nonetheless places you within the driver’s seat, however you’ll have a information to comply with. The everyday itinerary begins at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and follows by means of Blackwater Sound. Excursions run all day and dawn choices can be found. 

In any other case, this daytime or sundown jet ski tour is a non-public exercise for {couples} and teams. The route focuses on the perfect locations in Key Largo for recognizing wildlife. 

A pink Cadillac turned into a boat, sitting at a dock in the Florida Keys, palm trees in the background.
Beachside in Islamorada, so near Key Largo.

Discover Islamorada and the Higher Keys 

Islamorada, the “Village of Islands,” is nearly a 20-minute drive from Key Largo. With so many cool actions, a day journey right here is among the high issues to do in Key Largo. Beginning with a pit cease at among the best Key Largo seashores on the way in which, after all! 

Harry Harris Park has a sandy seaside, tidal swimming pool, playground, boat ramp, and picnic tables. It’s tempting to spend an entire day there, however you’re solely 5 minutes north of the Laura Quinn Wild Hen Sanctuary. 

Hand-feeding the tarpon at Robbie’s is a basic — you purchase a bucket of small fish and feed them to the enormous tarpon within the water! Regardless of the place you’re visiting within the Florida Keys, I feel this exercise is a should! It solely prices $2.50 to entry the dock and $5 for a bucket of feed. Be careful for the pelicans — they know you’re holding a bucket of scrumptious fish! 

Robbie’s is an superior place for water actions and to eat, and one other good spot for a meal is Marker 88. This beachfront grill serves seafood and tiki cocktails with common stay music. It fills up at sundown however has an amazing environment. 

It solely takes an hour to tour the Historical past of Diving Museum. It is a treasure trove of relics and gear tracing the evolution of underwater exploration and scuba diving for enjoyable. 

Spherical off a day in Islamorada with a craft beer impressed by the native space at Florida Keys Brewing Firm. The cheekily-named brews, stay music, yard video games, and meals vehicles make this among the best locations to hang around within the Keys. And don’t miss the encircling galleries and studios which might be a part of the Morada Approach Arts District.

Learn Extra: 22 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Islamorada, Florida Keys

A boat with a fan on its back zooming through the mangroves in the Everglades.
Exploring the Everglades is a doable day journey from Key Largo! Through Shutterstock.

Take a day journey to Everglades Nationwide Park

When you’re in Key Largo and you’ve got a automobile, you may simply add on a day journey to the Everglades Nationwide Park — the most important tropical wilderness within the continental United States. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, an Worldwide Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of Worldwide Significance.

The Everglades start a few 45-minute drive from Key Largo and lengthen outward from there.

The most effective methods of exploring the park’s mangroves and wetlands is by way of airboat. The Everglades Nationwide Park airboat tour and wildlife present is the most secure option to search for alligators and crocodiles. This experience lasts 30-40 minutes and is absolutely narrated. 

On high of the tour, you’ll have to pay an admission charge of $30 per automobile/$15 per pedestrian for entry. 

A quirky outdoor cafe in Miami.
A cool cafe within the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami.

Take a day journey to Miami

It’d sound counterintuitive if you happen to’re flying into Miami and driving straight right down to Key Largo, however hear me out! Key Largo is shut sufficient to Miami that I don’t assume it’s a waste to drive in for a day.

I like to recommend taking time to discover Miami’s coolest neighborhoods — Wynwood and South Seashore, which couldn’t be extra completely different.

Make buzzing South Seashore at Miami Seashore your vacation spot for the day if you happen to’re a seaside bum. The sandy seaside is like nothing you’ll see within the Florida Keys — South Seashore is dwelling to the perfect city seashores within the US, for my part! The sand is white and tender, resulting in the right turquoise water. South Seashore can be dwelling to a number of neat deco structure.

Whenever you’re accomplished absorbing the solar, cease off at artsy Wynwood. The Brooklyn of Miami is a occurring spot flooded with murals, galleries, boutiques, and cafes. Choose up a flat white to go and lose your self on this gigantic out of doors artwork set up. 

Drive time between Key Largo and Miami is round 90 minutes.

Hemgingway's house, a big White House with yellow shutters and wraparound porches in Key West.
Hemingway’s Home in Key West

Take a day journey to Key West

Do you have to do a day journey to Key West from Key Largo? Actually, I feel it is best to spend at the very least a couple of days in Key West, as a result of it’s such a cool city with a lot to do!

However in case you have a very long time in Key Largo — say, 5 days to every week — and also you don’t thoughts driving about two hours every approach, you may undoubtedly make a day journey to Key West work.

I like to recommend beginning early and coming again after sundown. My suggestions can be to go to one of many historic houses: both the Hemingway Home (with the six-toed cats!) or Truman’s Little White Home; spend time strolling down Duval Road and having fun with the merriment, and taking within the sundown celebration at Mallory Sq..

There are many different issues to do in Key West, from beach-hopping and boat rides to among the craziest festivals round (and I’ve been to among the best, the Hemingway Lookalike Contest) — so I hope you come again for a for much longer journey!

A wooden dock perched near lots of palm trees in Key Largo, Florida.

How A lot Time to Spend in Key Largo

With two or three days, you may see all there’s to see in Key Largo, plus a superb about of the points of interest in close by Islamorada, too. That’s if you happen to’re planning a extra lively journey with a busy itinerary.

Nonetheless, you can simply spend every week or extra on this a part of the Florida Keys. The Keys are all about enjoyable and taking it sluggish, and you’ll undoubtedly do this right here! There are tons of actions to fill your days with and it’s at all times good to have a day or two for having fun with downtime on the seaside. 

An extended itinerary makes day journeys the Everglades, Miami, and/or Key West extra possible, as you received’t really feel such as you’re lacking out on Key Largo itself.  

A dramatic pink and purple cloudy sunset over the water in Key Largo.
Key Largo has beautiful sunsets!

How you can Get to Key Largo

Miami Worldwide Airport (MIA) is the gateway to Key Largo and the Florida Keys. It is a massive, worldwide airport with a number of flight choices and connections. From right here it takes about 90 minutes to drive to Key Largo. Buses operated by Greyhound and FlixBus run between the Intermodal Middle and Key Largo however solely within the morning.

Key West Worldwide Airport (EYW) is an alternative choice, about two hours from Key Largo, though there are considerably fewer flight choices. When you’re beginning or ending your journey in Key West, this is usually a good choice. Typically I fly into Miami and out of Key West.

Buses and Uber do function all through the Keys, however that is very a lot a driving vacation spot, and renting a automobile will make your life a lot simpler. Discover offers on rental automobiles right here.

Two bright orange deck chairs in front of two short palm trees under a blue sky at the Kona Kai Resort in Key Largo
Stress-free on the Kona Kai in Key Largo

The place to Keep in Key Largo

There are resorts dotted alongside both facet of the Abroad Freeway all through Key Largo. When you’re set on seaside time, it’s undoubtedly price reserving lodging with a non-public seaside, as public seashores on the island are few and much between.

Luxurious: The Kona Kai Resort and Gallery is a dreamy adults-only property set amid a botanical backyard subsequent to mile marker 98. Tropical bungalows grant quick access to the Florida Bay the place you may paddle, swim, and give up to beautiful sunsets. I stayed right here and actually get pleasure from it!

Midrange: You may deliver the entire gang to the Atlantic Bay Resort in Tavernier and splurge on one of many beachfront suites or cottages. All of those have kitchen services and entry to the resort’s personal seaside overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Funds: The Seafarer Key Largo Resort and Seashore is the right place to remain within the Keys on a finances. It’s principally a motel however with the soothing sound of ocean waves changing the same old freeway rabble! Breakfast is on the home and there are free kayaks for friends. 

Discover offers on locations to remain in Key Largo right here.

A white speedboat in bright blue water alongside a mangrove in Key Largo, Florida.

Finest Time to Go to Key Largo

Spring is the perfect time to go to Key Largo (and the remainder of the Florida Keys). The winter solar frenzy peters off after the vacations with March, April, and Might providing gentle climate and reasonably priced lodging plus fewer different vacationers hogging the pool. 

Temperatures hover across the 70s and 80s and the humidity drops to bearable. Any rainfall shall be quick and candy; use the excuse for a pre-sunset nap. And I feel it is a excellent time for swimming within the water! Winter is usually a little on the chilly facet at occasions.

The worst time to go to Key Largo is throughout the hurricane season. This season technically runs from June till November though tropical cyclones are commonest in September and October. I encourage you to keep away from the Keys throughout September and October, and if you happen to get caught in a extreme storm, take heed to the authorities and do as they are saying.

Learn Extra: Finest Time to Go to the Florida Keys

Kate taking a smiling selfie wearing reflective aviator glasses, and holding a palm up to her face.

Is Key Largo Price It?

Completely, Key Largo is so price it! This is among the greatest spots in all the Florida Keys, and I feel any good Keys trip deserves a couple of days right here!

Go take your journey to Key Largo — or hopefully your complete archipelago of the Florida Keys. I really hope you get pleasure from your self!

Extra on the Florida Keys:

Extra on Florida:

Have you ever been to Key Largo? What do you recommend? Share away!