Do you know Key Largo is the self-proclaimed Dive Capital of the World? It is because of its coral reefs and its huge underwater state park. Key Largo undoubtedly is one of the most beautiful places in the United States offering tourists stunning beaches, scenic resorts, and plenty of underwater and island adventures.
Key Largo attractions that you must surely visit are the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, world’s second largest artificial reef - the 510 foot USS Spiegel Grove, famous Christ of the Abyss underwater statue and National Marine Sanctuary. This is definitely not the end of the list, there are many more Key Largo points of interests to explore for you.
Image Source: pixabay.com
The best time to visit Key Largo - if you are a sports lover is summer. The peak time to visit Key Largo is from November to March when you will find most of the crowd and also you can witness the Food & Wine Festival, one of the biggest parties on the island, which happens in January. Planning a trip to Key Largo? Key Largo is a great destination for a weekend getaway with full of excitement and adventurous things to do in Key Largo.
Let's explore the best things to do in Key Largo:
1. Visit the first undersea John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Credited to be the USA’s first underwater park, theJohn Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is counted among top Key Largo tourist attractions for its wide scope of amusement. The underwater area of the park spans across an area of a whopping 70 nautical square miles. The fact that this park lies adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean along with its listing in the National Register of Historic Places adds to the draw of it. There are a plethora of coral reefs to be discovered here. Water sports such as kayaking, diving, snorkeling can be undertaken here. Apart from water sports one can also undertake the land adventures of hiking and camping here.
- Attraction Type: Park, Sports, And Recreation, Outdoors, Campgrounds.
- Address: 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA
- Entry fee: $8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle., $2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers. $4.00 Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle. Plus $.50 per person Monroe County Surcharge.
- Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. to Sunset
- Contact no: 1 305-451-6300
- Official Website: https://pennekamppark.com/
- Must see: Glass-bottom boat tour, Snorkel boat tours, Scuba diving, wildlife viewing
Note: Some activities may not be available at some time so, please call above number before visiting the park.
2. Trail through the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
The Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park for more reasons than one is one of the top Key Largo tourist attractions. Owing to the city’s natural abundance of Everglades and the like,s the city is home to a number of wildlife species that have made this habitat their home. The park was named so so as to pay an ode to the local environmentalist activist of Key Largo, Dagny Johnson. Among all the 84 protected species of plants as well as animals, it is the threatened ones of the Key Largo Cotton Mouse along with the Key Largo Woodrat that are the main draws of this park.
- Attraction Type: Park, Family And Kids, Nature, Bird Watching
- Address: County Rd 905 & Mile Marker 106, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA, United States
- Entry fee: $2. Per person plus $.50 per person Monroe County Surcharge
- Opening Hours: 24-hrs
- Contact no: 1-3054511202
- OfficialWebsite: https://www.floridastateparks.org/keylargohammock/
- Must see: Take a quick walk to enjoy wildlife and nature!
Note: No motorized vehicle is allowed for trailing.
3. Learn about Atlantic bottlenose Dolphins at Dolphins Cove
One of the best things to do in Key Largo florida the Dolphin Cove is a highly educative attraction, along with being equally amusing. You get the chance to get up close and personal and even swim with dolphins here which is the highlight of this cove. Whether you are traveling with friends, kids or family, this cove has something for everyone. This is a great alternative to go to if your plans to dive don’t work out pertaining to high winds or other natural factors. A great place that serves several photo opportunities. Programs like the “trainer-for-a-day” here are highly engaging and something you must look forward to participating in.
- Attraction Type: Aquarium, Entertainment, Family And Kids
- Address: 101900 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA
- Entry fee: $125(per participant) for Painting With Dolphin, $165(per participant) for Shallow Water Dolphin Encounter.
- Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Contact no: 1 305-451-4060
- Official Website: https://www.dolphinsplus.com/
- Must see: Oma's Dolphin Program, Painting With Dolphin, Shallow Water Dolphin Encounter
Note: Please read participation requirements on the official website before visiting.
4. Explore through the Spiegel Grove
Image Source: flickr.com
A constant on the list of Key Largo tourist attractions, especially the ones that serve as excellent diving spots, theSpiegel Grove is one experience you’ve got to have in Key Largo. Diving your way into the remains of the wreck of this ship that was formerly the US navy’s Thomaston-class dock landing ship is certain to enthrall you. The ship derives its name from the estate of Rutherford B. Hayes- Spiegel Grove. An incredible dive and underwater photo opportunity, this ship is something you definitely must look forward to. Bear in mind, the size of this wreck is extensive and cannot be covered in a single dive. Nevertheless, an experience to behold.
- Attraction Type: Diving, Beach, Entertainment
- Address: Key Largo, FL, United States (5° 04.00′ N; 80° 18.65′ W, 6 Miles off Key Largo)
- Opening Hours: 24-hrs
- Official Website: https://www.fla-keys.com/spiegelgrove/
Note: Divers must have knowledge and proof of certifications regarding diving in overhead environments.
5. Make a stop at Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
One of the unique ways to see the abundance of aquatic beauty in Key Largo, the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail is a gorgeous paved rail trail. Stretching at a distance of a whopping 106 miles or 171 kilometers, this trail connects Key Largo to Key West. If you are fond of driving or love long drives, then this trail has got to top your Key Largo tourist attractions list. On the way, you will also find several stops where you can take a break for some snacks and drinks. Mesmerizing panoramas add to your drive!
6. Visit the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
Image Source: wikimedia.org
From birds that meow like cats to birds with distinctively colored feathers, the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is home to several birds rescued and undergoing rehabilitation. Counted among the best things to do in Key Largo, this attraction is amusing for both kids and adults alike. The priority of this center is to look after ailing birds. Visitors get an insight into the process of rehabilitation as well as a chance to interact with birds. The fact that this attraction has no entrance fee adds to the appeal of it; donations are welcome.
- Attraction Type: Nature & Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
- Address: 92080 Overseas Hwy, Tavernier, FL 33070, USA
- Entry Fee: No entry fee.
- Opening Hours: 9AM–5PM (All days of the week)
- Contact no: 1 305-852-4486
- Official Website: https://www.keepthemflying.org/
- Must see: “Mad Mooney”, the one-eyed owl, and his mate Luna!
7. Go Kayaking at Garl
One activity that tops several lists of Key Largo tourist attractions is kayaking in the eerie everglades of Key Largo. To experience this thrill, the Coastal Kayaking at Garl’s is a sought-after place. Kayaking your way through the wilderness of wetlands, this place gives you a beautiful insight of the region’s adventure, wildlife as well as Everglades. Owing to a plethora of activities here, one can easily spend about a day here. Necessary precautions and safety measures are taken, rest assured you are certain to have a good time here!
- Attraction Type: Kayaking & Canoeing, Boat Tours & Water Sports, Tours, Outdoor Activities
- Address: 19200 SW 344th St, Homestead, FL 33034, USA
- Entry fee: Full Day - 1 Adult = $150.00, Half Day - 1 Adult = $105.00 , Full Day1 Child (4-15 years old) = $75.00,
Half Day - 1 Child (4-15 years old) = $45.00
- Contact no: 305-393-3223
- Official Website: https://www.garlscoastalkayaking.com/
Note: Bring your camera as guides show you the various ecosystems which makes Everglades one of the most prolific wildlife viewing destinations in the world.
8. Experience an unusual stay at the Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo
Image: Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo
One of the most unusual things to do in Key Largo, theJules Undersea Lodge also gives the opportunity to experience one of the most atypical things to do in Key Largo. This is a great place to visit if you fancy boasting about checking out the United State of America’s only underwater lodge. It is developed at about a depth of thirty feet underwater and a visit here will have you scuba diving to your room! However, bear in mind that you need to have a valid scuba certification if you plan to visit this amazing lodge!
- Attraction Type: Undersea Lodge.
- Address: 51 Shoreland Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA
- Entry Fee: Single person overnight stay $675, Group Economy Package $350 each (3-4 people)
- Contact no: 1 305-451-2353
- Official Website: https://www.jul.com/
- Must see: Living underwater in this cozy place is sure to be an authentic aquatic experience.
Note: Scuba certification is required for entrance.
9. Snorkel at the incredibly exhilarating Christ of the Deep
A sight that draws several to this beguiling city, the Christ of the Deep is certainly one of the most exciting things to do in Key Largo. A fabulous snorkelling experience is what you can anticipate at this underwater attraction. This dive is one of the main reasons why Key Largo is termed as “the Dive Capital of the World”! The statue is made of bronze and weighs about a whopping 4000 pounds while stretching at about 8.6 feet. It lies approximately 25 feet below the shoreline of Key Largo. Your snorkelling experience here will also feature several encounters of many schools with fish.
10. Feel the thrill of being at the Southernmost Point
Image Source: pixabay.com
If you are someone who has been a geography nerd or is traveling to Key Largo with kids interested in the subject, then a visit to the Southernmost Point in the continental USA has got be on your list of Key Largo tourist attractions. In comparison to the other states of the nation, this one boasts of the fact that it is the lowest latitude land of all the contiguous North American States. This particular attraction lies at a height of eighteen feet above the sea level. Ever since its establishment in the year 1983, it has been attracting visitors.
- Attraction Type: Points of Interest & Landmarks, Sights & Landmarks
- Address: Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040
- Entry Fee: No entry fee.
- Opening Hours: 24 Hrs
- Contact no: 1 305-809-3700
Note: There is always a line for taking pictures but take it as a part of the fun.
11. Dry Tortugas National Park, Key Largo
Image Source: wikipedia.org
Home to the seven Dry Tortugas islands along with Fort Jefferson, the Dry Tortugas National Park is a stunning archipelago with some of the best-undivided coral reefs of the continent. On your visit here you will encounter the region’s famed aquatic creatures along with tropical birds and legendary shipwrecks. Indeed a plethora of things to do in Key Largo Florida lies right here at this national park. Of all the components of this national park, it is the Fort Jefferson which also happens to be its centerpiece is most striking with construction featuring more than 16 million bricks. You can get here only by traveling to it by a seaplane or a boat!.
- Attraction Type: National Parks, Nature & Parks
- Address: 40001 SR-9336, Homestead, FL 33034
- Entry fee: $10.00 For adults. Children 15 and under are free. This fee covers the entrance to the park for 7 days.
- Opening Hours: 24 Hrs ( 7 days of the week)
- Contact no: 1 305-242-7700
- Official website: https://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm
Note: You can reach there only by Ferry, private boats, charter boats, or seaplane.
12. Explore the treasure of history at the Benwood wreck
The underwaters of Key Largo are a treasure trove that awaits exploration. One of the most noted of this treasure trove is some of the world’s most intriguing shipwrecks. If you can not get enough of the stunning Spiegel Grove, your next stop has got to be the equally brilliant Benwood wreck. One of the unique Key Largo tourist attractions this wreck holds historic significance with the World War II. Inside the wreck, you will find a plethora of fish like flying gurnards, immature queen angel, high hats and many others along with other marine formations. Thus, this is also one of the most sought-after diving sites in Key Largo.
- Attraction Type: Ships, Sights & Landmarks
- Address: Key Largo, FL, USA
- Contact no: 1 305-852-7717
13. Take a Jetpack water flight
This one is for the thrill seekers. On your trip to Key Largo try Jetpack water flights. Experience the thrill of flying with water-powered jetpacks with the assurance that it is one of the safest water activity. There are water flight instructors who deliver personal and in-water instructions and control the flight throttle during flights.
14. Take a Glass Bottom Boat Tour
If you are not a water sports person, this one’s for you. The reefs won’t disappoint you. The boat allows you to view marine life from 70-foot glass bottom as it glides through the water in the shallow reef, one of the perfect places to visit in Key Largo for the whole family. You can sit back with snacks and beer and enjoy witnessing the marine life.
15. Ride on African Queen Canal Cruise
This is a famous cruise from the legendary movie with the same name American Queen. It is a one hour cruise departing from Marina Del Mar and ending at the Atlantic Ocean from where it returns to the port again. You can relax or have a romantic dinner on American Queen Canal cruise.
16. Do fishing at Fishing Charters
Interested in fishing! Catch big fishes in the ocean, hire charters like Graceful Fishing Charters to take you out for a relaxing day. You can also hire sport fishing boats with an air-conditioned cabin, bathroom and ample seating for everyone. Head out and catch some big fishes and enjoy the fun of throwing a net into the water. Enjoy a return trip to the dock where the captain will package all the day’s catch and you can choose to cook them yourself.
17. Swim with Dolphins at Dolphin Plus
Image: Dolphin plus, Key Largo
One of the must things to do in Key Largo. Have an exciting opportunity to observe, interact with dolphins and sea lions. Experience and learn interesting things about these marine mammals in natural seawater with the well-trained staff of trainers and instructors. Meet, interact, swim and play with friendly dolphins in their natural habitat as the center holds interactive classes for the public.
18. Get locked inside a theme room - The Lost Keys Escape Room
Image Source: youtube.com
The Lost Keys Escape Rooms is fun and exciting game where you get into real life adventure and absolute thrill. Your team is locked inside of a themed room where you have 60 minutes to complete your mission and escape. Your team must use elements of the room and collective knowledge to solve puzzles to successfully complete your mission. Do try, put your minds on a test.
19. Satiate your Taste Buds at Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill
Image Source: www.jjsbigchill.com
One of the best Restaurants in Key Largo, the Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill is popular for its cool ambiance of a sports bar. Come here to indulge in delicious cocktails and American food. The rewarding views of the waterfront add to your dining experience here. To make your visit to this place memorable we suggest you head here around sunsets, that are acclaimed to be absolutely mesmerizing. Every day this venue hosts some live music so you can enjoy something happening anytime you visit here. For all these reasons and more, Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill restaurant tops the list of Things to do in Key Largo Florida.
- Attraction Type: Restaurant in Key Largo
- Address: 104000 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA
- Opening Hours: Sun To Thurs (11:30 A.M - 10:00 P.M), Fri - Sat (11:30AM–12AM)
- Contact no: 1 305-453-9066
- Official website: https://jjsbigchill.com
Note: Every Tuesday free drink for ladies (from 6-7pm)
20. Dine out at Snook's Bayside Restaurant
Image Source: snooks.com
One can never get enough of Key Largo’s beautiful blue skies. The Snook's Bayside Restaurant is one place where you can enjoy delectable American seafood along with tropical drinks given its al fresco character. The fabulous waterfront patio here is the perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing. An amazing staff will make sure you are having a great time here. For all these reasons and more, this place is listed in the best things to do in Key Largo.
- Attraction Type: Restaurants in Key Largo
- Address: 99470 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037
- Opening Hours: Mon - Thurs (11:30 A.M - 9:30 P.M), Fri - Sun (11:30AM–10:00 P.M)
- Contact no: 1 305-453-5004
- Official website: https://www.snooks.com
21. Soar Above the Emerald Blue Waters
For every adventure junkie who would love to experience bird’s eye view of the island get into the exhilarating experience of Parasailing & Paragliding. Paraglide high above the sparkling waters as it is a safe trip with all professionally trained staff and certified in CPR and first aid. While parasailing, you may also even witness the colorful birds flying in the blue sky and dolphins playing in the surf.
22. Go shopping for Souvenirs
There’s something to bring home, a souvenir, from Key Largo as there are many shops and boutiques in Key Largo. Key Largo is known for its best local crafts and handmade clothing. Take a walk down the Duval street filled with souvenir shop and clothing boutiques. Every third Thursday of the month the Morada Way Arts District hosts an outdoor walk where along the street you will find souvenir jewelry, handmade candles or paintings. Apart from these, Shell World sells some hand collected ocean trinkets and Florida Keys Jewelry sells some custom pieces of jewelry.
23. Discover the history of Keys
Don’t miss a stop at the Florida Keys History and Discovery Center. This History and Discovery Center was formed in 2013 as a not-for-profit organization for the purpose of developing and operating the Keys History & Discovery Center. The Florida Keys History and Discovery Center have expanded their permanent exhibit offerings to include a display of artifacts that narrate the story of various indigenous groups from the Florida Keys.
Here we have covered you with best things to do in key largo with a list of all must-see tourist attractions in key largo.