13 Must-Do Activities in Key Largo

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Key Largo isn't just a name that pops up when talking about Florida's hotspots; it's a destination with vibrant tales and thrilling adventures.

Think azure waters meeting sun-kissed shores, combined with an endless list of activities that cater to the curious heart.

It's where nature, history, and gastronomy come together in a delightful dance.

Who would've thought one island could offer underwater wonders, serene nature trails, and soulful music under the stars?

Trust us, this is not your typical getaway. Curious about what makes this island so magnetic?

Hang tight, because we're about to take a whirlwind tour of Key Largo's unmissable experiences.

1. Dive into the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Often hailed as America's first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers a diving experience like no other.

Aerial photo of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Key Largo FL

Spanning over 70 nautical square miles, it boasts vibrant coral reefs, teeming marine life, and the famous underwater Christ of the Abyss statue.

Christ of the Abyss statue

Whether you're a seasoned diver or trying it out for the first time, the park's mesmerizing underwater vistas are a sight to behold.

Don't forget to bring your camera for those surreal underwater shots!

2. Board the African Queen

Step back in time and board the original African Queen, the very boat featured in the 1951 movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.

boat African Queen from old movie

As you cruise down the canal, you'll be transported to a bygone era, with tales of Hollywood's golden age adding to the allure.

The boat's rich history and the scenic beauty of Key Largo's waterways make this a must-do activity for movie buffs and nature lovers alike.

3. Kayak through the Mangroves

Key Largo's mangrove waterways are a serene paradise waiting to be explored.

As you paddle through the calm waters, you'll be surrounded by a labyrinth of tangled roots and thriving ecosystems.

Woman kayaks amidst the mangrove trees

The chirping of birds, the occasional splash of a jumping fish, and the tranquility of nature all around you create a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Plus, it's a fantastic way to get up close with the local wildlife!

4. Visit the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center

This center is more than just a sanctuary; it's a testament to Key Largo's commitment to preserving its avian residents.

The sanctuary in a part of Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center

Here, you can observe various native birds in their natural habitat, from pelicans to ospreys.

The dedicated staff work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured birds, and a visit here not only educates but also inspires.

It's a heartwarming experience, especially if you're an animal lover.

5. Savor Seafood at a Local Eatery

Your Key Largo trip wouldn't be complete without indulging in some local seafood delicacies.

The Fish House is a famous seafood restaurant in Key Largo, Florida

The island is renowned for its fresh catches, from succulent shrimp to tangy Key lime pies.

As you sit at a seaside restaurant, with the balmy breeze ruffling your hair and the scent of the ocean all around, every bite becomes a culinary journey.

It's the perfect way to end a day of adventure in this tropical paradise.

6. Explore the Spiegel Grove Shipwreck

Dive enthusiasts, here's another gem for you! The Spiegel Grove, a retired U.S. Navy ship, was intentionally sunk in 2002 to create an artificial reef.

Today, it's one of the largest shipwrecks accessible to divers, lying 130 feet underwater.

As you explore its vast corridors and chambers, you'll encounter a diverse array of marine life that now calls it home.

Whether you're marveling at the ship's massive structure or spotting curious fish, it's an underwater adventure you'll never forget.

7. Stroll through the Botanical State Park

A little-known treasure, the Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is a haven for plant enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Wander through the park's lush pathways and discover some of the rarest plants in the U.S., including the endangered small milkweed.

Butterflies flit by, birds sing from the treetops, and every step you take is a journey into Florida's diverse flora.

Don't forget to pack a picnic; there are plenty of serene spots to relax and soak in the beauty.

8. Experience a Sunset Sail

There's nothing quite like watching the sun dip below the horizon from the deck of a sailboat.

sailing boat in the sun set

As the sky turns shades of pink, orange, and purple, Key Largo's coastlines and waters shimmer in the evening light.

Many local companies offer sunset cruises, complete with refreshments and music.

It's a magical experience, blending the beauty of nature with the charm of sailing. Toast to the setting sun and let the evening's tranquility embrace you.

9. Swim with Dolphins at Dolphin Plus Marine Mammal Responder

Ever dreamt of swimming with dolphins? At Dolphin Plus, not only can you interact with these intelligent marine mammals, but you also support a great cause.

The facility is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of stranded marine mammals.

You'll be filled with wonder and admiration as you splash around with a playful dolphin or watch them perform impressive tricks.

It's an unforgettable experience, bringing you up close with nature's marvels while supporting marine conservation.

10. Bask on Harry Harris Beach

When you think of Key Largo, sun-soaked beaches might come to mind. Harry Harris Beach is a gem among them.

This family-friendly spot is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking.

With soft sand, calm waters, and a lovely park nearby, it's a fantastic place to relax and soak up some Florida sun.

Bring a book, throw down a blanket, and let the waves lull you into a state of bliss.

11. Join a Guided Eco-Tour

Key Largo's natural beauty is both above and below the water. Jump on a guided eco-tour to learn about the island's unique ecosystems.

As you meander through mangroves or trek on nature trails, knowledgeable guides will share insights about the local flora and fauna.

It's a great way to deepen your appreciation for the environment while spotting wildlife in their natural habitats.

12. Tantalize Your Taste Buds on a Food Tour

The culinary landscape of Key Largo is rich and diverse. Embark on a food tour to discover hidden gems and savor local favorites.

You'll taste some of the island's best dishes, from fresh seafood shacks to gourmet eateries.

Not only will you leave with a satisfied palate, but you'll also learn about the history and culture that influence Key Largo's cuisine.

13. Marvel at the Underwater Hotel

Jules' Undersea Lodge is truly one of a kind. Imagine sleeping beneath the ocean's surface, surrounded by colorful marine life!

To enter this unique hotel, you'll have to scuba dive 21 feet underwater.

It's an experience that combines adventure with luxury; whether you stay for a night or visit for a few hours, it's a memory you'll cherish forever.

Key Largo Memories That Last

So, there it is — the vibrant tapestry of Key Largo laid out in all its glory.

From pristine beaches to mouth-watering culinary delights, this island is more than just a vacation spot; it's an experience, a story waiting to be lived.

If there's one takeaway, it's this: Key Largo doesn't just promise adventures; it delivers memories that last a lifetime.

Next time the travel bug bites, remember the island that beckons with open arms and unforgettable moments.

Until then, keep those Key Largo dreams alive and ticking!

Read more on:

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17 Iconic Animals to Spot in the Florida Keys

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