Key Largo is the longest island in the Florida Keys archipelago. As among the finest 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 sights are principally associated to marine life and the underwater world. However, 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 enthusiastic about preserving its historical past.
Top Things to Do in Key Largo, Florida
This information will cowl the easiest issues to do in Key Largo. Key Largo is certain to tick many bins, from seashores to scenic highway journeys. Let’s get began.
1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was the primary underwater park in the US. The state park covers 70 sq. miles with lovely coral reefs and marine life galore. One unbelievable factor about Key Largo is how exhausting it really works alongside the opposite Florida Keys to protect its underwater habitat. While guests can get pleasure from John Pennekamp State Park, there are rules and restrictions on actions like fishing. The state park is a wonderful ode to Key Largo residents’ shut relationship with the ocean.
We suggest a glass backside boat tour, snorkeling tour, or scuba diving expertise to get pleasure from 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. But preserve them in thoughts as intelligent methods to get essentially the most out of this attraction. There’s additionally the Mangrove Nature Trail, the place you’ll be able to admire the state park from an overwater boardwalk – finest for these much less assured swimmers.
If you’re into snorkeling then that is the most effective tour to take in Key Largo. You get to go to 2 totally different reef programs and it consists of principally all the pieces. We extremely suggest it.
2. Scuba Diving
Considering Key Largo’s nickname of the ‘scuba diving capital of the world’, seeing this exercise in our information is hardly shocking. One of the most effective 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 residing 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.
Aside from 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 recognize the most effective of the state’s underwater habitats.
3. Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Speaking of underwater worlds, a enjoyable truth about Florida is that its dwelling to the one coral barrier reef in the US. Florida Reef, which is in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is an enormous reserve that’s dwelling to a ton of mangroves, shipwrecks, and coral reefs. The famed Molasses Reef additionally lies throughout the sanctuary’s boundaries. The sanctuary is among the finest Key Largo sights when you fancy a day journey by boat.
You don’t want to scuba dive to benefit from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Just seize your fins and snorkel as a result of you’ll be able to actually see all the pieces from the floor. We suggest leaping on one of many many snorkeling excursions operating from the Florida Keys mainland. You can spot all the pieces from tiny sea urchins to big lobsters, and it’s possible you’ll even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two.
4. Harry Harris Beach and Park
Harry Harris Park is a wonderful 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. If you’re feeling like a problem, you may also bike to Harry Harris Park – it’s a 45-minute bike trip. With white sand and palm bushes, it’s that postcard model of Key Largo. But Harry Harris Park isn’t simply someplace to snap photos for social media; its shallow waters are family-friendly and ideally suited 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. Grab some elements and head down to cook dinner up a storm. Tavernier is far much less busy than Key Largo. Visiting Harry Harris Park is definitely among the finest 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 calming day from time to time?
5. African Queen Canal Cruise
One of essentially the most 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 hottest cruise firm has a ship that has turn into a celeb. African Queen Canal Cruise makes use of a restored steamboat from 1912 featured in the movie ‘The African Queen’. This firm provides totally different cruise varieties, together with dinner cruises to the Pilot House Marina. African Queen Canal Cruise operates from the Marina del Mar. Daily cruises run at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, and 6 pm. You can at all times request a personal dinner or lunch cruise in case you have a minimum of 4 individuals.
6. History of Diving Museum
What would the dive capital of the world be and not using a museum to commemorate its historical past? The History of Diving Museum is among the weirdest and most great issues to do in Key Largo. The attraction is solely devoted to the historical past behind diving – showcasing all the pieces from relics and historic tools. The helmet assortment is essentially the most spectacular. It nearly seems like some nod to house journey and provides 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. Children, veterans, and present army get to enter totally free. On a wet day, it’s best to make the History of Diving Museum prime of your to-do record. There are only a few high-quality indoor actions in Key Largo, so preserve this one in thoughts.
7. Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is among the most well-known nationwide parks in the US and a delegated 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. If you’re fortunate, you may also spot leatherback sea turtles, dolphins, Florida panthers, and manatees. Everglades National Park is run by the animal kingdom – which is inconceivable not to love.
In Everglades National Park, you’ll be able to hike the Anhinga Trail, take a ship or kayak trip, and even be a part of a ranger-led tour. And in phrases of reaching the Everglades from Key Largo, it’s a whole breeze by automobile. It is only a 45-minute drive alongside the scenic overwater freeway and alongside the Southern Glades Wildlife and Environmental Area.
8. Key Largo Art Gallery
Key Largo Art Gallery is an absolute should for artwork fans. It provides a platform for native artists and a channel of tradition that balances out the island’s give attention to ocean-related actions. The paintings comes from a set of round 30 native artists and has loads of vary. You can browse the items on show. And in case you are feeling frivolous, you’ll be able to head to the ‘for sale’ part to deal with your self to some paintings. A phenomenal sketch or portray is a beautiful memento from Key Largo.
While there isn’t a official tour, Key Largo Art Gallery employees are rumored to be very educated. You ought to discover them completely satisfied to reply your questions and provides an excellent perception into a number of the paintings.
9. Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center
Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center is run by a couple of locals formidable 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 progress the place crucial. You can go to the middle to study extra by reveals and academic lectures. It is among the most significant issues to do in Key Largo.
If you have got a bit longer in Key Largo, think about volunteering with the Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center. You may also help partake in dive applications and perform scientific outreach actions. The work is massively rewarding and important for the survival of Key Largo’s reefs.
10. Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is Key Largo’s nearest animal hospital. Located 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 just too busy with wildlife emergencies to cater to guests, the adjoining sanctuary and rehabilitation middle welcomes friends year-round.
Sadly, some birds by no means get well sufficient to be launched. These are stored in pure enclosures, and it falls to volunteers to assure their each day enrichment. Other birds in the sanctuary and rehabilitation middle are ready to be match for launch. The spacious environment, filled with greenery, are the right place for birds to get well earlier than returning to the tougher wilderness. Visitors stroll alongside an enormous boardwalk and may take part in each day actions like pelican feeding.
11. Florida Keys Brewing Company
Florida Keys Brewing Company is a superb microbrewery positioned in Islamorada. The microbrewery is only a 25-minute drive away – or 45 minutes by bus when you plan on consuming. Florida Keys Brewing Company has a beer backyard, funky multi-colored decor, and brewery merch, and it’s canine pleasant. Honestly, what extra might you ask for? It is a far cry from the stiff-lipped breweries and distilleries you discover worldwide. Florida Keys Brewing Company is wholeheartedly enjoyable, and visiting is among the finest issues to do in Key Largo.
Visitors, prepare to pattern an enormous vary of craft beers on faucet. There is tons to attempt, from gentle and fruity IPAs to heavy darkish ales. Florida Keys Brewing Company’s bartenders are at all times down to information you thru the choices with their experience. It’s a enjoyable time out, particularly for these in brewing craft beer.
12. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is a wonderful 2,421-acre park. The trails embody over 80 protected vegetation and animals – from wild cotton to crocodiles. The park is climbing and biking-friendly, so select your mode of exploration. Most of the paths are paved, with just a few rougher paths with uncovered tree roots and the odd stumble-sized rock.
Located in the middle of Key Largo, the park is simple to squeeze into your itinerary. It is called after Dagny Johnson, a poignant environmental activist in the Florida Keys area. Visiting is a wonderful morning exercise. Try to get there early so that you beat the noon solar. And deliver some binoculars for the most effective probabilities of wildlife sightings.
Key Largo is much from simply someplace to fish; it’s a fisherman’s dream. Deep sea fishing is equally standard on Key Largo; you’ll be able to catch some monstrous-looking fish. Tarpon, sailfish, sea trout, and mahi mahi are all honest recreation.
To get pleasure from fishing in Key Largo, head to a delegated fishing spot alongside the shore. Certain areas exist in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Long Sound. Alternatively, you’ll be able to splash out on a deep-sea fishing tour. If you need deep-sea fishing, stick to the offshore season – November to March.
14. Glass Bottom Boat Tours
A glass-bottom boat tour is among the most enjoyable issues to do in Key Largo. The backside of the boat is solely clear, which means passengers get a front-row seat to the tropical fish and different lovely marine life. Even higher, you see all of the animals in their pure habitats – a way more moral encounter than an aquarium provides. 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 suggest. It is often solely an hour or two’s lengthy expertise. Allow 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. This is a bar that you just’ll bear in mind. The tiki bar is a tiny boat with a working bar in the middle and seating on the surface. You float alongside the water – partying, snapping pictures, and admiring the surroundings with a drink in hand. Forget paying extortionate cash to hear to reside music on a personal seaside; Cruisin’ Tikis has an intimate and extra unique ambiance. Just six passengers are allowed on Key Largo’s most particular vessel.
Combine sightseeing and completely satisfied 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
Remember that Finding Nemo quote, “Fish are friends, not food”? The Tarpon Feeding Deck in Key West permits you to channel the identical sentiment in actual life. Here, locals and guests flock to feed the native tarpon. Tarpons know the rating, and teams of up to 200 can hover across the deck at a time. These fish are big and generally attain 150 lbs – making feeding tarpon one of the vital thrilling issues to do in Key Largo.
You can feed tarpon most bait varieties. Buy the bait once you attain Key West since it’s a 2-hour and 20-minute drive south from Key Largo. If you propose to drive the size of the Florida Keys, plan to feed the tarpon on the finish. The feeding deck is correct on the finish of the keys, however fortunately it’s a worthy highway journey with loads of issues to do en route.
17. Keys History and Discovery Center
Keys History and Discovery Center is positioned a 30-minute drive away from Key Largo on the island of Islamorada. So, what precisely makes it among the finest issues to do in Key Largo? Easy. The historical past and native data it supplies wholly justify a day journey. The middle whisks guests by reveals on all the pieces from hurricanes to indigenous tradition and an aquarium. If you need to go to Key Largo and perceive the island, Keys History and Discovery Center is your finest exercise possibility.
The middle makes use of basic reveals and artifacts. It additionally incorporates a movie show the place documentaries are performed on a schedule. Some discovery facilities may be so fundamental or bland that they make historical past off-putting. There is not any probability of this with Keys History and Discovery Center. The place is alive with its historical past and a unbelievable time out – whether or not visiting as a household, or a single traveler.
18. Beach 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. Some of the most effective embrace Cannon Beach, Far Beach, and Harris Beach and Park (which we talked about earlier). Key Largo’s expanse of white sand makes up a number of the island’s most opulent 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 Beach is positioned inside John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Far Beach is close to mile marker 120, and Harris Beach and State Park are in Tavernier. Harris Beach is essentially the most family-friendly, with loads of sports activities services.
19. Dolphin Watching Tour
Dolphin watching is among the dreamiest experiences in Key Largo. You at all times bear in mind your first dolphin. And recognizing wild dolphins is among 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 conserving dolphins in captivity and head out to the wild. Instead, head out on an moral boat trip.
Dolphin-watching excursions embark from everywhere in the Florida Keys. Most excursions depart from Islamorada or Key West. It is value touring the additional distance since Key Largo has a variety of unethical dolphin exhibits that use animals stored in captivity. Plus, seeing a pod of wildlife dolphins is a lot extra thrilling because it has the component of suspense.
20. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Rather than operating a zoo-like refuge, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge runs solely for the advantage of the animals. This operations mannequin implies that the refuge is closed to the general public. Instead, it runs day and evening to present pure habitats for crocodiles and different native animals. The refuge is an enormous non-public, protected land the place animals are assured peace.
However, guests can go to the adjoining Community Butterfly Garden. The specimen of butterflies is gorgeous, and it is among the most enjoyable issues to do on the Florida Keys in order for you a calming exercise. You can stroll amongst the colourful butterflies and flowers, lapping the pure magnificence. If you have got additional time, you may additionally volunteer on the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This is a wonderful approach to expertise the habitats not open to the general public, and you may do something from python patrol to habitat restoration.
Parasailing is among the hottest water sports activities, and it’s simple to see why. You are launched off the again of a dashing boat, rising till BAM. You attain the rope’s finish and are suspended a whole bunch of toes above the ocean. The panoramic views you get are unmatched. If you thought Key Largo was lovely earlier than, wait till you see it from the sky.
Parasailing is among the finest methods to get a vantage level of Key Largo and the Florida Keys. It can be the right adrenaline rush for an journey seeker.
22. Cycle the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
Before leaving Key Largo, you will need to try the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. This beast of a climbing or biking path is 106 miles in size. It was as soon as an abroad railroad, however in January 2022, the path was remodeled right into a route for walkers and cyclists. Using the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, you’ll be able to discover all of the islands on two wheels and not using a automobile. Is it a problem? Yes. Is it value it? Definitely.
If you desire a scenic cycle trip however aren’t up for 106 miles, think about 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 selection. It has the potential to be leisure or sensible as nicely. Take your choose.
23. Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is a wonderful pure attraction on the neighboring island of Islamorada. Just a 20-minute drive away, the limestone quarry provides cross-sectional views of fossilized coral. Key Largo will be the diving capital of the world. But the historical past Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park encapsulates in its rocks is unmatched in ocean historical past.
Walking round Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, you have got data boards describing scenes round you alongside the best way. This considerate contact means which you can take unbiased excursions if you want. The climbing trails are simple to comply with, with numerous important particulars. Otherwise, you’ll be able to e book one of many ranger-led excursions for some additional route.
Things To Do in Key Largo: FAQs
Now that we’ve lined the most effective issues to do in Key Largo, let’s take a look at some important FAQs. Here are all the small print you want earlier than you go to Key Largo.
How To Get To Key Largo
The easiest method to attain Key Largo is by aircraft after which a rental automobile. You fly instantly into Miami International Airport after which choose up a rental automobile from the airport. It is an hour’s drive from the airport throughout the gorgeous Overseas Highway. This route is fast and straightforward. Plus, you get the liberty to cease wherever you need alongside the best way – why not take advantage of the drive?
Otherwise, 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 highway journey to Key Largo, relying on the place you depart. Key Largo is nicely mixed with different Florida sights like nationwide parks, barrier islands, and cities like Orlando and Tampa. This possibility most closely fits these with numerous time and is an actual journey for these up for the problem.
Getting Around Key Largo
Getting round Key Largo requires a automobile. You can use shuttles and taxis, however that may get costly and you’ll miss out on lots. We suggest renting a automobile both on the airport or reserving it beforehand.
If you’re nonetheless deciding whether or not to rent a automobile or spend cash on shuttles and taxis, think about getting a motorbike rental. This possibility is finest suited to people who find themselves in form however value a attempt in case you have the stamina.
The Best Time To Visit Key Largo
The finest time to go to Key Largo is March. March is filled 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. In this space of Florida, December to April is the dry season.
For these on a funds, you may go to in June, October, or November. These are throughout the hurricane season, so be conscious of climate warnings. However, these are the most cost effective and hottest months to go to Key Largo. It is one thing to think about in case you are pinching pennies and may organize the journey responsibly.
Fun Things 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 sights and actions are extremely fascinating for vacationers in marine life. It is ranked as an International Biosphere Reserve, formally recognizing its significance to the pure world.
If you’re questioning the place to keep in the Florida Keys, think about an underwater resort referred to as Jules Undersea Lodge. Guests scuba dive to their rooms each day, and Jules Undersea Lodge is the one underwater resort in the US. If Jules Undersea Lodge sounds too restrictive, loads of trip leases exist for a self-catered lodging expertise.
In phrases of additional inspiration, there are many day journeys which you can take to different islands in the Florida Keys. One of the primary causes Key Largo is among the finest locations to keep in the Florida Keys is that it’s ideally positioned to discover different locations in the Keys. There are so many issues to do in Islamorada and issues to do in Key West. Enjoy Key Largo’s finest sights (and all its surrounding day journeys), and have an exquisite journey.