Key Largo is the longest island within the Florida Keys archipelago. As top-of-the-line locations to go to in Florida, it has that idyllic attract – with palm bushes, tiki bars, and coral reefs that can widen even essentially the most skilled diver’s eyes. Key Largo points of interest are largely associated to marine life and the underwater world. Nevertheless, there are additionally loads of historic and cultural issues to do in Key Largo. The Florida island is a hotspot for native artists and is captivated with preserving its historical past.
Prime Issues to Do in Key Largo, Florida
This information will cowl the easiest issues to do in Key Largo. Key Largo is sure to tick many bins, from seashores to scenic street journeys. Let’s get began.
1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was the primary underwater park within the US. The state park covers 70 sq. miles with stunning coral reefs and marine life galore. One implausible factor about Key Largo is how laborious it really works alongside the opposite Florida Keys to protect its underwater habitat. Whereas guests can take pleasure in John Pennekamp State Park, there are laws and restrictions on actions like fishing. The state park is a ravishing ode to Key Largo residents’ shut relationship with the ocean.
We advocate a glass backside boat tour, snorkeling tour, or scuba diving expertise to take pleasure in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to the fullest. We’ll cowl these actions individually because the state park is such an icon and attraction in its personal proper. However hold them in thoughts as intelligent methods to get essentially the most out of this attraction. There’s additionally the Mangrove Nature Path, the place you’ll be able to admire the state park from an overwater boardwalk – finest for these much less assured swimmers.
In case you are into snorkeling then that is the finest tour to absorb Key Largo. You get to go to 2 completely different reef programs and it contains mainly the whole lot. We extremely advocate it.
2. Scuba Diving
Contemplating Key Largo’s nickname of the ‘scuba diving capital of the world’, seeing this exercise in our information is hardly shocking. Probably the greatest issues we did in Key Largo was to get below the water and take a look at the marine life. We noticed sea turtles, manatees, and sharks and had been stunned to study that Key Largo additionally has the world’s largest synthetic dwelling coral reef – the USS Spiegel Grove wreck. Spiegel Grove is an enormous ship sunk in 2002 and is the world’s third largest deliberately sunk boat.
Except for the USS Spiegel Grove wreck, scuba diving excursions go to Canon Patch Reef and John Pennekamp Coral Reed to expertise extra of the underwater world and sea life. Key Largo even has an underwater statue of Jesus Christ. Key Largo is the place to understand the perfect of the state’s underwater habitats.
3. Florida Keys Nationwide Marine Sanctuary
Talking of underwater worlds, a enjoyable truth about Florida is that its house to the one coral barrier reef within the US. Florida Reef, which is within the Florida Keys Nationwide Marine Sanctuary is an enormous reserve that’s house to a ton of mangroves, shipwrecks, and coral reefs. The famed Molasses Reef additionally lies throughout the sanctuary’s boundaries. The sanctuary is likely one of the finest Key Largo points of interest should you fancy a day journey by boat.
You don’t have to scuba dive to benefit from the Florida Keys Nationwide Marine Sanctuary. Simply seize your fins and snorkel as a result of you’ll be able to actually see the whole lot from the floor. We advocate leaping on one of many many snorkeling excursions working from the Florida Keys mainland. You possibly can spot the whole lot from tiny sea urchins to massive lobsters, and it’s possible you’ll even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two.
4. Harry Harris Seaside and Park
Harry Harris Park is a ravishing sheltered seaside. The park is a 10-minutes south of Key Largo by automobile, and it’s the excellent day journey for a peaceable seaside day. In the event you really feel like a problem, you may as well bike to Harry Harris Park – it’s a 45-minute bike journey. With white sand and palm bushes, it’s that postcard model of Key Largo. However Harry Harris Park isn’t simply someplace to snap photos for social media; its shallow waters are family-friendly and ultimate for the much less assured swimmer. Locals and handfuls of vacationers congregate on the seaside to swim, eat, and socialize.
Harry Harris Park has picnic areas, public barbeques, and sports activities services. Seize some components and head right down to prepare dinner up a storm. Tavernier is way much less busy than Key Largo. Visiting Harry Harris Park is definitely top-of-the-line issues to do in Key Largo. It’s excellent for simply enjoyable and having fun with a seaside day. And who doesn’t want a relaxing day every so often?
5. African Queen Canal Cruise
One of the vital enjoyable issues to do in Key Largo is to cruise down the Port Largo canals. The Florida Keys are undoubtedly finest skilled from the water. And what’s extra enjoyable than crusing down the Port Largo canals to sightsee the gorgeous area?
The preferred cruise firm has a ship that has develop into a celeb. African Queen Canal Cruise makes use of a restored steamboat from 1912 featured within the movie ‘The African Queen’. This firm affords completely different cruise sorts, together with dinner cruises to the Pilot Home Marina. African Queen Canal Cruise operates from the Marina del Mar. Every day cruises run at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, and 6 pm. You possibly can at all times request a personal dinner or lunch cruise when you’ve got no less than 4 folks.
6. Historical past of Diving Museum
What would the dive capital of the world be and not using a museum to commemorate its historical past? The Historical past of Diving Museum is likely one of the weirdest and most great issues to do in Key Largo. The attraction is totally devoted to the historical past behind diving – showcasing the whole lot from relics and historical gear. The helmet assortment is essentially the most spectacular. It nearly seems like some nod to house journey and affords a much-needed perspective on scuba diving as a type of historic exploration.
Entrance costs are comparatively modest, at $15 for adults as of 2023. Kids, veterans, and present army get to enter free of charge. On a wet day, you need to make the Historical past of Diving Museum high of your to-do listing. There are only a few high-quality indoor actions in Key Largo, so hold this one in thoughts.
7. Everglades Nationwide Park
Everglades Nationwide Park is likely one of the most well-known nationwide parks within the US and a chosen world heritage website. Spanning a staggering 1.5 million acres of wetlands, the Everglades are most well-known for his or her mangroves and resident crocodiles. In case you are fortunate, you may as well spot leatherback sea turtles, dolphins, Florida panthers, and manatees. Everglades Nationwide Park is run by the animal kingdom – which is unattainable to not love.
In Everglades Nationwide Park, you’ll be able to hike the Anhinga Path, take a ship or kayak journey, and even be part of a ranger-led tour. And when it comes to reaching the Everglades from Key Largo, it’s a whole breeze by automobile. It’s only a 45-minute drive alongside the scenic overwater freeway and alongside the Southern Glades Wildlife and Environmental Space.
8. Key Largo Artwork Gallery
Key Largo Artwork Gallery is an absolute should for artwork fans. It affords a platform for native artists and a channel of tradition that balances out the island’s concentrate on ocean-related actions. The art work comes from a set of round 30 native artists and has loads of vary. You possibly can browse the items on show. And if you’re feeling frivolous, you’ll be able to head to the ‘on the market’ part to deal with your self to some art work. A phenomenal sketch or portray is a stunning memento from Key Largo.
Whereas there isn’t a official tour, Key Largo Artwork Gallery employees are rumored to be very educated. You need to discover them comfortable to reply your questions and provides an excellent perception into among the art work.
9. Coral Restoration Basis Exploration Middle
Coral Restoration Basis Exploration Middle is run by a number of locals bold about ocean conservation. The not-for-profit restores coral reefs and educates on the significance of the ocean. Its passionate volunteers fastidiously monitor coral reefs’ well being and support development the place vital. You possibly can go to the middle to study extra by means of reveals and academic lectures. It is likely one of the most significant issues to do in Key Largo.
When you have a bit longer in Key Largo, take into account volunteering with the Coral Restoration Basis Exploration Middle. You possibly can assist partake in dive packages and perform scientific outreach actions. The work is massively rewarding and important for the survival of Key Largo’s reefs.
10. Florida Keys Wild Chicken Rehabilitation Middle
Florida Keys Wild Chicken Rehabilitation Middle is Key Largo’s nearest animal hospital. Situated only a 10-minute drive away on the neighboring island of Tavernier, it’s a straightforward half-day exercise from Key Largo. And whereas the wild hen hospital is simply too busy with wildlife emergencies to cater to guests, the adjoining sanctuary and rehabilitation heart welcomes friends year-round.
Sadly, some birds by no means recuperate sufficient to be launched. These are saved in pure enclosures, and it falls to volunteers to ensure their day by day enrichment. Different birds within the sanctuary and rehabilitation heart are ready to be match for launch. The spacious environment, filled with greenery, are the proper place for birds to recuperate earlier than returning to the more difficult wilderness. Guests stroll alongside an enormous boardwalk and might take part in day by day actions like pelican feeding.
11. Florida Keys Brewing Firm
Florida Keys Brewing Firm is an excellent microbrewery positioned in Islamorada. The microbrewery is only a 25-minute drive away – or 45 minutes by bus should you plan on consuming. Florida Keys Brewing Firm has a beer backyard, funky multi-colored decor, and brewery merch, and it’s canine pleasant. Actually, what extra might you ask for? It’s a far cry from the stiff-lipped breweries and distilleries you discover worldwide. Florida Keys Brewing Firm is wholeheartedly enjoyable, and visiting is likely one of the finest issues to do in Key Largo.
Guests, get able to pattern an enormous vary of craft beers on faucet. There may be tons to attempt, from gentle and fruity IPAs to heavy darkish ales. Florida Keys Brewing Firm’s bartenders are at all times right down to information you thru the choices with their experience. It’s a enjoyable day trip, particularly for these focused on brewing craft beer.
12. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is a ravishing 2,421-acre park. The paths embody over 80 protected crops and animals – from wild cotton to crocodiles. The park is mountaineering and biking-friendly, so select your mode of exploration. A lot of the trails are paved, with only some rougher paths with uncovered tree roots and the odd stumble-sized rock.
Situated within the heart of Key Largo, the park is straightforward to squeeze into your itinerary. It’s named after Dagny Johnson, a poignant environmental activist within the Florida Keys area. Visiting is a ravishing morning exercise. Attempt to get there early so that you beat the noon solar. And convey some binoculars for the perfect probabilities of wildlife sightings.
Key Largo is much from simply someplace to fish; it’s a fisherman’s dream. Deep sea fishing is equally well-liked on Key Largo; you’ll be able to catch some monstrous-looking fish. Tarpon, sailfish, sea trout, and mahi mahi are all truthful sport.
To take pleasure in fishing in Key Largo, head to a chosen fishing spot alongside the shore. Sure areas exist in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Lengthy Sound. Alternatively, you’ll be able to splash out on a deep-sea fishing tour. If you’d like deep-sea fishing, persist with the offshore season – November to March.
14. Glass Backside Boat Excursions
A glass-bottom boat tour is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Key Largo. The underside of the boat is totally clear, that means passengers get a front-row seat to the tropical fish and different stunning marine life. Even higher, you see all of the animals of their pure habitats – a way more moral encounter than an aquarium affords. Glass backside boat excursions are beautiful methods to expertise the underwater world with out swimming. As such, aged guests, youngsters, and non-swimmers will lap up this exercise in Key Largo.
These excursions are throughout Florida Bay, together with from Marina del Mar, however that is the one we advocate. It’s normally solely an hour or two’s lengthy expertise. Enable round half a day for a glass boat expertise, together with all of the embarking and disembarking.
15. Have A Drink At Cruisin’ Tikis
Cruisin’ Tikis is the good factor ever. It is a bar that you just’ll keep in mind. The tiki bar is a tiny boat with a working bar within the heart and seating on the surface. You float alongside the water – partying, snapping photographs, and admiring the surroundings with a drink in hand. Neglect paying extortionate cash to hearken to reside music on a personal seaside; Cruisin’ Tikis has an intimate and extra unique environment. Simply six passengers are allowed on Key Largo’s most particular vessel.
Mix sightseeing and comfortable hour by reserving an expertise at this tiki bar. Bar cruises final between an hour and two hours. And for an much more memorable expertise, reserve the bar for sundown.
16. Feed Tarpon
Keep in mind that Discovering Nemo quote, “Fish are associates, not meals”? The Tarpon Feeding Deck in Key West permits you to channel the identical sentiment in actual life. Right here, locals and guests flock to feed the native tarpon. Tarpons know the rating, and teams of as much as 200 can hover across the deck at a time. These fish are large and typically attain 150 lbs – making feeding tarpon some of the thrilling issues to do in Key Largo.
You possibly can feed tarpon most bait sorts. Purchase the bait whenever you attain Key West since it’s a 2-hour and 20-minute drive south from Key Largo. In the event you plan to drive the size of the Florida Keys, plan to feed the tarpon on the finish. The feeding deck is true on the finish of the keys, however fortunately it’s a worthy street journey with loads of issues to do en route.
17. Keys Historical past and Discovery Middle
Keys Historical past and Discovery Middle is positioned a 30-minute drive away from Key Largo on the island of Islamorada. So, what precisely makes it top-of-the-line issues to do in Key Largo? Straightforward. The historical past and native info it supplies wholly justify a day journey. The middle whisks guests by means of reveals on the whole lot from hurricanes to indigenous tradition and an aquarium. If you wish to go to Key Largo and perceive the island, Keys Historical past and Discovery Middle is your finest exercise possibility.
The middle makes use of traditional reveals and artifacts. It additionally includes a movie show the place documentaries are performed on a schedule. Some discovery facilities could be so primary or bland that they make historical past off-putting. There is no such thing as a probability of this with Keys Historical past and Discovery Middle. The place is alive with its historical past and a implausible day trip – whether or not visiting as a household, or a single traveler.
18. Seaside Hop
When in Rome, like they are saying. And when on Key Largo, seaside hopping is a should. There are tons of gorgeous seashores in Key Largo. A few of the finest embody Cannon Seaside, Far Seaside, and Harris Seaside and Park (which we talked about earlier). Key Largo’s expanse of white sand makes up among the island’s most luxurious pure wonders. Pack a seaside towel and loads of water and hit one of many seashores for a day of sunshine, sunbathing, and swimming.
Cannon Seaside is positioned inside John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Far Seaside is close to mile marker 120, and Harris Seaside and State Park are in Tavernier. Harris Seaside is essentially the most family-friendly, with loads of sports activities services.
19. Dolphin Watching Tour
Dolphin watching is likely one of the dreamiest experiences in Key Largo. You at all times keep in mind your first dolphin. And recognizing wild dolphins is likely one of the most therapeutic and memorable experiences of a lifetime. The waters round Key Largo are teeming with wild dolphins. Our recommendation is to keep away from all of the dolphin encounters that contain retaining dolphins in captivity and head out to the wild. As a substitute, head out on an moral boat journey.
Dolphin-watching excursions embark from everywhere in the Florida Keys. Most excursions depart from Islamorada or Key West. It’s value touring the additional distance since Key Largo has quite a lot of unethical dolphin exhibits that use animals saved in captivity. Plus, seeing a pod of wildlife dolphins is a lot extra thrilling because it has the aspect of suspense.
20. Crocodile Lake Nationwide Wildlife Refuge
Somewhat than working a zoo-like refuge, Crocodile Lake Nationwide Wildlife Refuge runs solely for the advantage of the animals. This operations mannequin signifies that the refuge is closed to the general public. As a substitute, it runs day and evening to supply pure habitats for crocodiles and different native animals. The refuge is an enormous non-public, protected land the place animals are assured peace.
Nevertheless, guests can go to the adjoining Neighborhood Butterfly Backyard. The specimen of butterflies is gorgeous, and it is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do on the Florida Keys if you would like a calming exercise. You possibly can stroll amongst the colourful butterflies and flowers, lapping the pure magnificence. When you have additional time, you possibly can additionally volunteer on the Crocodile Lake Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. This is a wonderful method to expertise the habitats not open to the general public, and you possibly can do something from python patrol to habitat restoration.
Parasailing is likely one of the hottest water sports activities, and it’s straightforward to see why. You might be launched off the again of a dashing boat, rising till BAM. You attain the rope’s finish and are suspended a whole lot of ft above the ocean. The panoramic views you get are unmatched. In the event you thought Key Largo was stunning earlier than, wait till you see it from the sky.
Parasailing is likely one of the finest methods to get a vantage level of Key Largo and the Florida Keys. It is usually the proper adrenaline rush for an journey seeker.
22. Cycle the Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path
Earlier than leaving Key Largo, you could take a look at the Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path. This beast of a mountaineering or biking path is 106 miles in size. It was as soon as an abroad railroad, however in January 2022, the path was reworked right into a route for walkers and cyclists. Utilizing the Florida Keys Abroad Heritage Path, you’ll be able to discover all of the islands on two wheels and not using a automobile. Is it a problem? Sure. Is it value it? Positively.
If you’d like a scenic cycle journey however aren’t up for 106 miles, take into account splitting the route into little sections. You might full the entire path in every week or spend an hour or two biking your part of alternative. It has the potential to be leisure or sensible as effectively. Take your choose.
23. Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is a ravishing pure attraction on the neighboring island of Islamorada. Only a 20-minute drive away, the limestone quarry affords cross-sectional views of fossilized coral. Key Largo will be the diving capital of the world. However the historical past Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park encapsulates in its rocks is unmatched in ocean historical past.
Strolling round Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, you’ve got info boards describing scenes round you alongside the best way. This considerate contact means you could take unbiased excursions if you want. The mountaineering trails are straightforward to comply with, with a number of important particulars. In any other case, you’ll be able to ebook one of many ranger-led excursions for some additional path.
Issues To Do in Key Largo: FAQs
Now that we’ve coated the perfect issues to do in Key Largo, let’s take a look at some important FAQs. Listed here are all the main points you want earlier than you go to Key Largo.
How To Get To Key Largo
The simplest method to attain Key Largo is by airplane after which a rental automobile. You fly straight into Miami Worldwide Airport after which choose up a rental automobile from the airport. It’s an hour’s drive from the airport throughout the gorgeous Abroad Freeway. This route is fast and straightforward. Plus, you get the liberty to cease wherever you need alongside the best way – why not profit from the drive?
In any other case, you’ll be able to catch a shuttle bus to Key Largo. Shuttles run from vital departure locations like Miami and the worldwide airport. You might additionally street journey to Key Largo, relying on the place you depart. Key Largo is effectively mixed with different Florida points of interest like nationwide parks, barrier islands, and cities like Orlando and Tampa. This feature most closely fits these with a number of time and is an actual journey for these up for the problem.
Getting Round Key Largo
Getting round Key Largo requires a automobile. You should use shuttles and taxis, however that may get costly and you’ll miss out on rather a lot. We advocate renting a automobile both on the airport or reserving it beforehand.
In case you are nonetheless deciding whether or not to rent a automobile or spend cash on shuttles and taxis, take into account getting a motorcycle rental. This feature is finest suited to people who find themselves in form however value a attempt when you’ve got the stamina.
The Greatest Time To Go to Key Largo
The most effective time to go to Key Largo is March. March is stuffed with festivities, together with St Patrick’s Day and Conch Republic Independence Celebration. The climate is heat however not exhaustingly scorching, and it’s dry, so excellent for seaside hopping. On this space of Florida, December to April is the dry season.
For these on a price range, you possibly can go to in June, October, or November. These are throughout the hurricane season, so be conscious of climate warnings. Nevertheless, these are the most cost effective and hottest months to go to Key Largo. It’s one thing to contemplate if you’re pinching pennies and might prepare the journey responsibly.
Enjoyable Issues to Do in Key Largo Florida
By now, you’ll really feel impressed and filled with concepts for issues to do in Key Largo. The ‘diving capital of the world’ is filled with issues, too, from recognizing crocodiles to snorkeling with manatees. Key Largo’s points of interest and actions are extremely fascinating for vacationers focused on marine life. It’s ranked as an Worldwide Biosphere Reserve, formally recognizing its significance to the pure world.
In case you are questioning the place to remain within the Florida Keys, take into account an underwater resort referred to as Jules Undersea Lodge. Company scuba dive to their rooms day by day, and Jules Undersea Lodge is the one underwater resort within the US. If Jules Undersea Lodge sounds too restrictive, loads of trip leases exist for a self-catered lodging expertise.
By way of additional inspiration, there are many day journeys you could take to different islands within the Florida Keys. One of many principal causes Key Largo is likely one of the finest locations to remain within the Florida Keys is that it’s ideally positioned to discover different locations within the Keys. There are such a lot of issues to do in Islamorada and issues to do in Key West. Get pleasure from Key Largo’s finest points of interest (and all its surrounding day journeys), and have an exquisite journey.