Florida Travel Blog - Destinations in Florida

Florida Travel Blog 

Travel destinations, beaches and attractions and things to do in Florida. Documented by RESIDENTS of Florida.

Key Largo Florida Attractions in Paradise

Attractions in Key Largo Florida

The 1982 song Key Largo, by Bertie Higgins, made the island of Key Largo more than just a place in the Florida Keys. The vocals imparted the feeling of a free and beautiful lifestyle here on the islands. Two people falling in love surrounded by clear blue water and day-long carefree fun.

Key Largo comes close to matching the images the lyrics paint. Plus, Key Largo is the first of a Florida road trip through the Florida Keys to Key West. That trip is the first Key Largo Florida attraction.

At the very entryway into the Keys, a 100-mile stretch of islands that ends in Key West, Key Largo has the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Florida Bay to the north. Fishing offers both careers and recreation for those living on the island.  There may be as many boats in Key Largo as cars!

Tourists and weekenders from Miami flood the Key Largo Florida attractions, restaurants, and bars during the season, and on weekends year-round. Most end up participating in some form of watersport.

The Overseas Highway US 1 leads you through the Keys. Alongside the road are mile markers every mile guiding the way.  

Key Largo Florida Attractions
One thing Key Largo is known for is stunning sunsets like this one from Reefhouse Resort in Key Largo.

Note About Locating Key Largo Florida Attractions 

Key Largo Florida Attractions - mile marker
This is an example of the mile markers along the Overseas Highway (RT. 1) through the Keys. This is MM0 in Key West – our favorite mile marker to photograph!

Addresses and locations in the Florida Keys are found through a mile marker system. 

Alongside the Overseas Highway, Route 1 through the Keys, you will find green and white mile marker signs. Most addresses are denoted by “MM 0” which is Key West. Key Largo starts at about MM 107.2.

The Mile Markers go down as you head west through the Keys and they go up as you leave Key West and head east. For over 133 Mile Marker locations go here. You may also see mile markers that say “bayside” or “ocean side”. 

That tells you which side of the road the attraction in the Florida Keys is on, north (bayside) or south (ocean side). Both are equally gorgeous!

Attractions in Key Largo Florida - bayside
Many people who visit ocean-side attractions in Key Largo forget the bayside is just as picturesque with clear water and stunning scenery.

Finding All the Attractions in Key Largo Florida

Key Largo, the northernmost island in the Florida Keys, is a captivating destination renowned for its underwater wonders, rich history, and laid-back atmosphere. Here’s a dive into the top attractions that will make your Key Largo adventure unforgettable:

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennkamp State Park is a renowned natural treasure located in Key Largo, Florida. John Pennkamp State Park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking to explore the wonders of the Florida Keys. John Pennekamp State Park is a popular tourist spot heavily visited in the Florida Keys. 

Covering an expansive area of 70 nautical square miles, the park provides a mesmerizing encounter with its thriving coral reefs, varied aquatic creatures, and stunning underwater scenery. Being the inaugural submerged park in the United States, John Pennekamp State Park is an essential place to visit for nature lovers and individuals interested in discovering the breathtaking beauty of the Florida Keys. Mile Marker 102. 4

things you need when flying
Florida Keys Wild Bird Center

The Florida Keys Wild Bird Center is a renowned organization that focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation of wild birds in the Florida Keys. Through their dedicated efforts, they aim to provide necessary medical care, shelter, and a secure environment for birds in need.

 By actively preserving the natural habitat and raising public awareness, the center plays a crucial role in safeguarding the wide range of avian species found in this region. By visiting the Wild Bird Center, you not only learn about the bird rescues but also contribute to the organization and education about this worthwhile endeavor. Mile Marker 93.8

The Caribbean Club – Movie “Key Largo”
Florida Keys and Key West ultimate Florida vacation
The Famous Caribbean Club of the “Key Largo” Bogart movie fame.

Key Largo is also the name of a 1948 movie starring Humphrey Bogart. Part of that movie was filmed at the Caribbean Club at MM 104.1.

Dolphin Plus Bayside

Dolphins Plus Bayside in Key Largo, Florida, is a renowned attraction known for its captivating marine life experiences. Situated in the heart of the beautiful Florida Keys, visitors can witness the grace and intelligence of dolphins through interactive programs and engaging educational presentations. 

With its commitment to conservation and providing unforgettable encounters with these magnificent creatures, Dolphin Cove offers a unique and memorable experience for all. MM 102 (bayside)

Christ of the Abyss
Attraction in Key largo - Christ of the Abyss
This is a major destination for snorkelers and divers in Key Largo – Christ of the Abyss just offshore.

Christ of the Abyss is a beloved underwater statue located in Key Largo, Florida. It stands as a symbol of peace and tranquility beneath the sea. 

This majestic sculpture attracts divers and nature enthusiasts from around the world, offering them a unique and awe-inspiring experience in the depths of the ocean.  

This captivating sculpture serves as a powerful representation of serenity and harmony beneath the ocean’s surface. Its allure draws in divers and nature lovers worldwide, granting them an extraordinary opportunity to immerse themselves in the profound beauty of the deep sea. 

Find out more about snorkeling the Christ of the Abyss here.

 Key Largo Community Park
Attractions in Key largo Florida - railway markers
In a few places in the Key Largo you may see these old railway markers. The Florida East Coast Railway built by Henry Flagler once ran through the Keys in the early 1900’s.

Key Largo Community Park is a super chill spot in the Florida Keys. It’s a great place to hang out and have some fun in the sun. The park has awesome facilities like basketball courts, baseball fields, and a playground for the kiddos. You can even have a picnic with your friends and family in the shaded picnic area. And the best part? 

It’s right near the beach, so you can take a dip in the ocean when you’re done playing around. So, if you’re in Key Largo and looking for a fun day out, head on over to Key Largo Community Park! Turn off at Atlantic Blvd. MM 98 (ocean side)

African Queen Canal Cruise

Wanna have a blast on your Florida vacay? Look no further than the Key Largo African Queen Cruise! This one-of-a-kind experience will take you on a journey through the beautiful waters of Key Largo aboard the iconic African Queen boat. Get ready for some serious nostalgia as you cruise along the same route as the famous Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn did in the classic movie. 

With stunning views, knowledgeable guides, and a relaxed atmosphere, this cruise is a must-do for any movie buff or adventure seeker. So grab your camera, put on your captain’s hat, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories on the Key Largo African Queen Cruise! MM 99.5 (ocean side)

Marinas in Key Largo
You will see marinas like this one throughout the Keys. If you are looking for charter boats for fishing, diving, or touring, these are the places to go.
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is a stunning natural reserve located in Key Largo, Florida. This park is renowned for its diverse and well-preserved ecosystems, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and researchers alike. The park covers an expansive area of land, boasting a variety of habitats such as tropical hardwood hammocks, pine rocklands, and wetlands. 

It is home to numerous plant and animal species, some of which are considered rare or endangered. Visitors can explore the park through its well-maintained trails, allowing them to immerse themselves in the beauty of the lush vegetation and observe the fascinating wildlife. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is truly a treasure that showcases the natural wonders of the Florida Keys. MM 106 as you enter the Florida Keys 

Diving and Snorkeling

Key Largo is often referred to as the “Diving Capital of the World” due to its proximity to some of the best dive sites in the Florida Keys. Popular dive spots include the Christ of the Abyss statue, Molasses Reef, and the Spiegel Grove Wreck. Snorkelers can explore shallow reefs teeming with colorful fish and other marine creatures.

things to to in Key Largo - Jimmy Johnsons big chill
The Hall of Fame football coach Jimmy Johnson has a place called the Big Chill. It is a huge Tiki Bar and restaurant at MM 104.
Key Largo Cuisine

Savor the fresh seafood bounty of the Florida Keys at local restaurants. From waterfront dining experiences to casual beachside cafes, indulge in delicious dishes featuring local catches and tropical flavors. Some of our favorite restaurants in Key Largo are:

  • At MM104 you will find Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill. The former Dallas coach serves some rather good food and has a huge tiki bar built over the water. The Big Chill has occasional entertainment and great views of the bay.
  • At MM 100 you will find one of the locals’ favorite restaurants called The Lazy Lobster. This gem has not only the freshest seafood in town, but they have its own seafood market inside. If fishing is on your agenda, The Lazy Lobster will cook your catch. This is our most highly recommended restaurant in the area.
  • By the time you get to MM 99.5, you may be ready for a tiki bar. If so, look for Skippers Dockside. It is a little off the main road, but the food is better than average. We love the shrimp ceviche for a good Florida appetizer.
  • On our most recent trip in April 2023, we found a hidden gem of a restaurant in Key Largo. At 1313 Ocean Bay Drive off US 1, there is a wholesale fish operation that has an outdoor cafe. Key Largo Fisheries is our newest addition to recommended restaurants in Key Largo. According to one guest with us, “this is the best grouper sandwich I ever had!” We know all the fish options are fresh.
Attractions in Key Largo Florida - Skippers
This huge Tiki Bar outside of Skipper’s is one of our favorite places for eats. Just up this same canal is the African Queen cruise boat.
Islamorada Nearby
Key Largo Attractions - Islamorada
One of our favorite tiki bars in Florida is in Islamorada. It was located at the Post Card Inn just recently purchased by Marriott in 2024. Great place on the Atlantic Ocean.

Islamorada has to be considered a Key Largo Florida attraction since this waterfront town is just 17 miles southwest of Key Largo on US Route 1. Some famous places there include The Theater of the Sea, Robbies, and the 1935 Hurricane Monument.

Known as the Sportfishing Capital of the World, Islamorada is another of our family’s destinations in the Florida Keys. Find out more here.

For More Things To Do In Key Largo Try Here

Places to Stay in Key Largo Florida

If you are looking for a place to stay in Key Largo Florida, the Reefhouse Resort (a former Mariott) at MM103.8 is excellent. The resort’s sunset bar Breezer’s is a fabulous place for some appetizers and watching the sun creep into the bay. We took the photo of sunset in the opening of this article was taken at The Reefhouse.

The Reefhouse has docking for your boat if fishing or diving is on your mind. A huge pool is surrounded by the buildings housing the rooms and another outdoor tiki bar at one end.

Key Largo things to do - Theater of the Sea
The Theater of the Sea in Islamorada is just a few miles south of Key Largo. It is a must-do for families.

Down the road at MM 97.5 is another hotel option. Marriott has a property by the name of Playa Largo Resort and Spa. This resort has even more amenities.  This resort has a small beach, a bar in the sand and several restaurants. This is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection.

For another top-rated resort in Key Largo, check the amenities at Baker’s Cay in Key Largo. This bayside resort offers two pools, lots of water sports, and lush surroundings for walking.

You can find the Best Resorts in the Florida Keys for Families Here. And the best beachfront resorts in the Florida Keys are located here.

Check Prices of Key Largo Hotels Here

Final Notes on Key Largo Attractions

While Key Largo is the largest island city in the Keys, the most famous is Key West. The fact that Key Largo is the entryway into the Keys allows many visitors to discover the charm of the area on their Florida road trip to Key West.

That is not to say that Key Largo is to be passed through lightly. There are so many things to do in Key Largo and the nearby Keys that many tourists have found their paradise right here without navigating the rest of the Florida Keys.

So check out the Key Largo Florida attractions and spend a couple nights and save that extra 100 miles for another trip.

Map of Key Largo

More from Florida Travel Blog

Book your entire trip with one of these money saving partners!


Advertisements
Cruise Critic See the world for less Start saving your ideas
Florida Travel Blog
Join our Mailing list!

Get all our latest posts and our monthly Florida Travel Newsletter with the latest posts and Florida Travel News.