Key Largo, Florida

Activities and Attractions in the Dive Capital of the World

At the mention of "Key Largo," many people think of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in the classic movie, or of the well-known song. Key Largo is actually the northern most of the chain of Florida Keys. It boasts one of the most magnificent coral reefs in Florida and is known as the Dive Capital of the World. However, movie fans can recall some special moments from the old movie aboard the "African Queen," the same boat captained by Bogart in the film and which is now an attraction in Key Largo offering tours in the local area.

This long, thin island is the largest Florida Key with over 5,000 acres of land. Almost 12,000 people called this small stretch of land “home” in the U.S. Census of 2000. This may sound like a large number for such a small space, but many of these residents reside on live-aboard boats at marina docks, so both the water and land residents are included in this population count. Tourism and tourist-related services are the economic base of Key Largo.

Key Largo is located about 1 hour south of Miami’s International Airport, roughly 58 miles away. There is easy access to the island for boaters in private craft and dockage is available at a number of full-service marinas.

Key Largo offers fishing, both backwater and deep sea. There are encounters with bottle nose dolphin available, even attractions featuring "swimming with dolphins." Boating and watercraft equipment rentals are available or you can take kayaking tours, ecological tours, birding tours, glass bottom boat reef tours, sunrise and sunset cruises, group scuba diving trips, group snorkeling trips, or you could just go with your own group to snorkel and dive the reef.

John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park is the highlight of Key Largo, leading to the renown of Key Largo as the dive spot of choice in Florida. John Pennecamp State Park was the first primarily underwater state park ever created, having been established in 1963. The park encompasses over 178 nautical square miles of the best diving, snorkeling and fishing anywhere. Camping, swimming and beach fun-in-the-sun are also available at this world famous state park.

Key Largo offers a variety of lodging choices including camp sites, stay-aboard boat rentals, mid-priced and top-end hotels and resorts. You may be able to locate some seasonal rentals if you wish to stay for a longer visit.

The range of dining choices is just as large. Of course seafood is a major dining choice in Key Largo and you will find both casual and elegant seafood restaurants. The dining choices don’t stop there - home-style cooking and a wide variety of ethnic restaurants are also available. The selection of bars and nightclubs is just as broad as the dining selections. Live entertainment is available in many of the clubs, often with an “island” sound. Whether tiki bars or flashy nightclubs, you will find whatever type of nightlife you prefer on Key Largo.

The wildlife resident to Key Largo and the sea life that can be easily viewed in the near-by waters of the coral reef make the trip to Key Largo a vacation you will remember and talk about for years to come. Whether a romantic second honeymoon, or just a family vacation, no one leaves Key Largo saying “I wish I hadn’t come here”.

View from John Pennecamp State Park in Key Largo

John Pennecamp State Park

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Chamber of Commerce

Official site for the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce


Nearby cities to check for activities and attractions: Drive south to visit all of the Florida Keys or north to Miami. Visit the best park in the Keys - Bahia Honda State Park and fly or boat to Fort Jefferson National Monument in the Dry Tortugas.


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