Trying to find great activities and attractions in the Diving Capital of the World? Our guide to the best things to do in Key Largo, Florida is all you need to plan the perfect trip!
If you’re dreaming of a sun-soaked, aquatic adventure, you’ve landed on the right blog post. Welcome to Key Largo, a slice of paradise nestled in the Florida Keys, where “island time” is more than just a concept; it’s a way of life.
When it comes to things to do in Key Largo, at the bottom end of Florida, this little gem is nothing short of a treasure chest filled with marine wonders, tropical landscapes, and opportunities for exploration that’ll make your heart race.
Picture this: snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, where the mesmerizing beauty of the national marine sanctuary unfolds beneath you. Dive deeper into adventure (literally!) with scuba diving expeditions that reveal sunken shipwrecks and vibrant coral gardens.
But that’s not all. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away, the Everglades National Park awaits, offering a wild contrast to the serene blue of Key Largo’s coastline.
So, gear up as we dive headfirst into the top things to do in Key Largo, uncovering the secrets of the sea, the allure of the Everglades, and the island magic that makes this place truly enchanting.
Table of Contents
- Top 25 Things to Do in Key Largo, Florida
- Explore John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- Visit the Famous Underwater Statue of Christ of the Abyss
- Take a Dolphin and Manatee Tour
- Take a Cruise on the Historic African Queen Canal Cruise
- Spend the Day in Everglades National Park
- Relax on Harry Harris Park
- Go Charter Fishing
- Explore the Key Largo Art Gallery
- Visit Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Headquarters
- Enjoy a Drink at the Florida Keys Brewing Company
- Visit the History of Diving Museum
- Visit the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
- Explore Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site
- Stay Overnight at the Jules Undersea Lodge
- Scuba Dive Shipwrecks
- Try Key Lime Pie
- Take a Day Trip to Key West
- Kayak through the Mangroves
- Visit the Dolphin Research Center
- Dine at Sundowners
- Explore the Overseas Heritage Trail
- Go Snorkeling at Molasses Reef
- Take a Glass-Bottom Boat Tour
- Feed Tarpon and Enjoy Waterfront Dining at Robbie’s of Islamorada
- Where to Stay in Key Largo, Florida
- Wrapping Up
Top 25 Things to Do in Key Largo, Florida
There are lots of things to do in this part of Florida. Here are our favorite things to do in Key Largo!
Explore John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
When it comes to things to do in Key Largo, a visit to John Pennekamp State Park is an absolute must. This renowned underwater paradise is a haven for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
With options for snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass-bottom boat tours, the park offers an immersive experience of the breathtaking beauty of coral reefs and the vibrant sea life that calls this area home.
From swimming alongside colorful fish to exploring fascinating underwater formations, a day at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park promises an unforgettable and educational adventure in the heart of Key Largo’s natural wonders.
Visit the Famous Underwater Statue of Christ of the Abyss
Among the enticing things to do in Key Largo, a standout experience is visiting the renowned “Christ of the Abyss” underwater statue. Submerged in the azure waters, this captivating attraction offers a unique snorkeling adventure for visitors.
Snorkelers can swim beside the striking bronze statue, marveling at the serene beauty of the underwater world while appreciating the artistic and spiritual significance of this iconic monument.
Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a novice snorkeler, exploring the “Christ of the Abyss” is a remarkable and spiritually enriching activity that adds a unique dimension to your Key Largo adventure.
Take a Dolphin and Manatee Tour
Dolphin and Manatee Tours in Key Largo offer an enchanting opportunity for visitors to connect with the incredible marine life that graces the waters of the Florida Keys. These tours take you on a journey to encounter not only playful dolphins but also gentle manatees in their natural habitat.
As you cruise through the picturesque waters, expert guides share their knowledge about these fascinating creatures and the fragile ecosystem they inhabit.
The thrill of spotting these majestic animals in their natural environment is not only educational but also deeply rewarding, making it a highlight of any Key Largo excursion for nature enthusiasts of all ages.
Read Next: Check out these other great places to visit in Florida!
Take a Cruise on the Historic African Queen Canal Cruise
For those seeking a touch of classic Hollywood charm mixed with picturesque Key Largo scenery, the African Queen Canal Cruise is an enchanting adventure not to be missed.
This historic vessel, made famous by the classic film “The African Queen” starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, offers visitors a delightful journey along the serene port largo canals of Key Largo.
As you leisurely drift through lush mangroves and tranquil canals, you’ll feel transported back in time, reliving the magic of this iconic movie. It’s a delightful way to soak up the tropical beauty of Key Largo while indulging in a bit of nostalgia from Hollywood’s golden era.
Spend the Day in Everglades National Park
Venturing to the nearby Everglades National Park is a must-do activity for those seeking diverse experiences among the many things to do in Key Largo. Just a short drive away, this UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases the raw beauty of Florida’s wilderness.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the sprawling mangroves, marshes, and sawgrass prairies while spotting alligators, a multitude of bird species, and other wildlife.
From thrilling airboat rides to serene walks along nature trails, exploring the Everglades is a chance to appreciate the natural wonders that make the Key Largo region so ecologically rich and captivating.
Relax on Harry Harris Park
Harry Harris Park in Key Largo is a hidden gem that promises a day of relaxation and natural beauty. Offering a serene sandy beach, picnic areas, and crystal-clear waters for swimming, it’s a haven for families and those seeking tranquility away from the crowds.
The park’s location overlooking the bay provides a picturesque backdrop for sunbathing and leisurely strolls along the shoreline. For water enthusiasts, there are boat ramps and a playground for children, making Harry Harris Park a versatile destination where visitors can immerse themselves in the laid-back, tropical charm of Key Largo.
Read Next: Visit Key Largo as part of a Miami to Key West road trip!
Go Charter Fishing
Going on a Fishing Charter in Key Largo is undeniably one of the quintessential things to do in this coastal paradise. With its reputation as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World,” Key Largo beckons anglers from around the globe.
Charter boats set sail from the marinas, ready to take you on a deep-sea fishing expedition where you can reel in a variety of prized catches, from tarpon and snapper to sailfish and marlin.
The thrill of battling these sportfish in the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico is an experience that fishing enthusiasts, novices and experts alike, cherish, making it a key highlight in the tapestry of Key Largo’s activities.
Explore the Key Largo Art Gallery
The Key Largo Art Gallery is a cultural gem nestled in the heart of this captivating island, and it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the local arts scene. This gallery not only showcases the talent of Florida Keys artists but also offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the vibrant artistic spirit of the region.
From stunning paintings that capture the unique beauty of the Florida Keys to intricate sculptures and other forms of creative expression, the Key Largo Art Gallery provides a visual journey through the island’s culture and natural wonders.
It’s a place where you can appreciate the artistic soul of Key Largo while exploring the diverse range of talent that thrives in this tropical paradise.
Visit Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Headquarters
Visiting the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Headquarters in Key Largo is an enlightening experience that offers insight into the vital conservation efforts aimed at preserving the remarkable underwater world of the Florida Keys.
Here, travelers can engage with informative exhibits and interactive displays, gaining a deeper understanding of the sanctuary’s role in protecting the vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine species, and fragile ecosystems that make the Florida Keys a global treasure.
Whether you’re an avid diver, snorkeler, or simply a curious traveler, this headquarters provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the dedication and passion invested in safeguarding these waters for generations to come.
Read Next: Check out these great things to do in nearby Miami!
Enjoy a Drink at the Florida Keys Brewing Company
For those seeking a taste of local flavor and a laid-back atmosphere, the Florida Keys Brewing Company is a delightful stop in Key Largo. This brewery offers a unique opportunity to savor craft beers infused with the spirit of the Florida Keys.
From refreshing citrus-infused brews to rich and robust stouts, their diverse beer selection caters to a wide range of tastes. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just looking to unwind with friends in a welcoming and relaxed setting, this brewery is a fantastic choice.
It’s not just about the beer; it’s also a chance to connect with the local community and experience the easygoing vibe that defines life in the Keys.
Visit the History of Diving Museum
The History of Diving Museum in Key Largo is a captivating destination that should be on the radar of anyone exploring things to do in Key Largo. This unique museum immerses visitors in the fascinating evolution of diving equipment and techniques, showcasing centuries of underwater exploration.
From vintage diving helmets and suits to intricate underwater photography, the museum’s exhibits offer a glimpse into the courage and innovation of divers throughout history.
It’s an educational and engaging experience that sheds light on the adventurous spirit of those who have dared to explore the depths of the ocean, making it a must-visit attraction for both diving enthusiasts and history buffs.
Visit the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
The Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers visiting Key Largo. Nestled amidst the lush Florida Keys landscape, this sanctuary is a place of compassion and care for injured and orphaned birds.
It provides a unique opportunity to witness the remarkable work being done to protect and rehabilitate local bird species. Visitors can observe these magnificent creatures up close and even learn about the conservation efforts aimed at preserving the fragile ecosystem of the Florida Keys.
A visit to the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is not just an educational experience but also a chance to connect with the natural world, making it an essential stop for those looking to engage with the local environment in Key Largo.
Explore Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site
Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site is a serene and ecologically significant destination that beckons nature lovers and those seeking tranquility in Key Largo.
This hidden gem offers a unique opportunity to explore a rare tropical forest ecosystem known as “hammocks,” characterized by lush vegetation, hardwood trees, and diverse wildlife. Meandering along its nature trails, visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of this natural oasis while learning about the importance of preserving these delicate habitats.
With its serene ambiance and educational value, a visit to the Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site is a rewarding escape from the hustle and bustle, making it an essential stop for anyone looking to connect with the unspoiled natural wonders of the Florida Keys.
Read Next: Consider adding Key Largo to your Florida Road Trip Itinerary!
Stay Overnight at the Jules Undersea Lodge
Whether you’re an avid diver or simply seeking a unique overnight stay, the Jules Undersea Lodge provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to sleep beneath the waves and wake up surrounded by the vibrant coral reefs and diverse aquatic life that make Key Largo a world-renowned destination for underwater exploration.
One of the most extraordinary experiences on offer in Key Largo is the opportunity to stay at the Jules Undersea Lodge, making it a must-visit attraction for adventurous travelers.
Located off the coast of Key Largo, this underwater hotel allows guests to immerse themselves in the breathtaking marine environment of the Florida Keys.
Scuba Dive Shipwrecks
Diving the shipwrecks off the coast of Key Largo is a thrilling and historically rich activity that ranks high on the list of things to do in Key Largo. Known as the “Wreck Capital of the World,” Key Largo boasts a myriad of sunken vessels that have become thriving artificial reefs.
From the famous Spiegel Grove, a 510-foot-long former U.S. Navy ship, to the Benwood, a freighter from the 1940s, these submerged time capsules provide divers with a captivating glimpse into the past while serving as vibrant ecosystems teeming with sea life.
Whether you’re an experienced diver or just starting out, exploring these underwater treasures promises an adventure that combines maritime history with the awe-inspiring beauty of the Florida Keys coral reefs.
Try Key Lime Pie
Indulging in a slice of Key lime pie is an essential culinary experience while visiting Key Largo. This sweet, tangy dessert embodies the very essence of the Florida Keys, with its vibrant and zesty flavors.
Whether you choose to savor a classic slice at a local diner, a beachside cafe, or a renowned restaurant, each bite offers a tantalizing burst of tartness tempered by a perfectly crumbly graham cracker crust and a dollop of whipped cream.
Key lime pie is more than just a dessert; it’s a slice of Florida’s culinary history and a delightful way to conclude a day of exploring the tropical paradise of Key Largo.
Take a Day Trip to Key West
Taking a day trip to Key West is a thrilling adventure that offers a taste of the vibrant culture, history, and natural beauty of the southernmost point of the United States. From Key Largo, the scenic drive along the Overseas Highway itself is a visual feast, with turquoise waters on either side and stunning views of the Florida Keys.
Once you arrive in Key West, you can explore famous landmarks like Mallory Square, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the Southernmost Point Buoy, and mile marker 0. Enjoy the lively atmosphere of Duval Street, where you’ll find an array of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
Additionally, don’t miss the chance to relax on the beautiful sandy beaches, take part in water sports, or simply soak in the laid-back island vibes. A day trip to Key West promises an unforgettable journey into the unique character and charm of this iconic island destination.
Read Next: Check out all of these awesome things to do in Key West!
Kayak through the Mangroves
Exploring the intricate mangrove tunnels and waterways by kayak is an exhilarating and immersive activity that should not be missed among the many things to do in Key Largo. Key Largo’s mangrove forests provide a unique opportunity to paddle through a maze of tunnels created by the intricate root systems of these hardy trees.
As you glide along the calm, shallow waters, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush vegetation and the tranquil sounds of nature. Guided kayak tours are available for those looking to learn about the mangroves’ vital role in the local ecosystem and spot wildlife like birds, fish, and perhaps even manatees.
Kayaking through the mangroves offers a serene and educational escape into the heart of Key Largo’s natural beauty.
Visit the Dolphin Research Center
A visit to the Dolphin Research Center in Key Largo is a heartwarming and educational experience that offers a deep connection with these remarkable marine mammals.
This renowned facility is dedicated to the care, conservation, and study of dolphins and sea lions, providing visitors with the opportunity to interact with these intelligent and friendly creatures. Whether you’re looking to swim with dolphins, participate in interactive programs, or simply observe their playful antics from the waterfront, the Dolphin Research Center offers a chance to gain a profound appreciation for marine life while supporting crucial conservation efforts.
It’s a memorable and family-friendly activity that not only entertains but also fosters a sense of responsibility for our ocean’s inhabitants.
Dine at Sundowners
Sundowners, a waterfront restaurant in Key Largo, is a delightful culinary gem that should be on your list of things to do in Key Largo. With its prime location overlooking Florida Bay, Sundowners offers diners a chance to savor not only delectable seafood and tropical drinks but also breathtaking sunset views that the Keys are renowned for.
Whether you’re indulging in fresh catch-of-the-day dishes or sipping cocktails on the outdoor deck, the laid-back ambiance and panoramic vistas create a memorable dining experience.
It’s the perfect place to unwind, toast to a day well spent exploring Key Largo’s attractions, and immerse yourself in the picturesque beauty that the Florida Keys are celebrated for.
Explore the Overseas Heritage Trail
If you’re a traveler with a passion for adventure and exploration, the Overseas Heritage Trail in Key Largo is a captivating journey that should not be missed. Stretching over 90 miles, this scenic trail offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of the Florida Keys.
Whether you choose to explore it by bike or on foot, the trail takes you on a captivating journey through quaint towns, lush landscapes, and iconic bridges, including the historic Seven Mile Bridge.
Along the way, you’ll encounter stunning vistas of turquoise waters, swaying palm trees, and an abundance of wildlife. The Overseas Heritage Trail is not just a physical path; it’s a historical and ecological odyssey that provides a deeper understanding of the unique charm and heritage of the Florida Keys.
Go Snorkeling at Molasses Reef
Whether you’re a marine enthusiast or simply seeking a serene underwater escape, Molasses Reef promises an enchanting journey into the heart of Key Largo’s aquatic wonders.
Snorkeling at Molasses Reef is an absolute must for those exploring the myriad of things to do in Key Largo. Renowned for its dazzling coral formations and vibrant marine life, Molasses Reef ranks among the top snorkeling spots in the Florida Keys. Submerged in the crystal-clear waters, snorkelers are treated to an underwater paradise teeming with colorful fish, sea turtles, and other captivating creatures.
Guided tours are readily available for both beginners and experienced snorkelers, ensuring a safe and memorable experience for all.
Take a Glass-Bottom Boat Tour
Glass-bottom boat tours in Key Largo offer a mesmerizing opportunity to explore the vibrant underwater world without getting wet, making it a wonderful addition to your list of things to do in Key Largo.
These specially designed boats feature large windows in their hulls, allowing passengers to peer directly into the crystal-clear waters below. As you cruise over the stunning coral reefs and marine life habitats, expert guides provide insightful commentary, enhancing your understanding of this delicate ecosystem.
Whether you’re traveling with family, seeking a relaxed outing, or looking for an alternative to snorkeling and diving, a glass-bottom boat tour is a fantastic way to witness the mesmerizing beauty of Key Largo’s underwater realm while staying comfortably dry.
Feed Tarpon and Enjoy Waterfront Dining at Robbie’s of Islamorada
Robbie’s of Islamorada, a short drive from Key Largo, is a cherished destination that adds a touch of adventure and excitement to the list of things to do in Key Largo. Known for its iconic tarpon feeding experience, visitors can watch and even participate in the thrilling spectacle of feeding enormous tarpon fish from the docks.
These powerful fish leap out of the water to snatch the bait, creating an unforgettable spectacle.
In addition to tarpon feeding, Robbie’s offers a range of watersports, dining options, and boutique shopping, making it a vibrant hub of entertainment and relaxation in the Florida Keys. A visit to Robbie’s offers a taste of the unique and laid-back atmosphere that defines the charm of the Keys.
Where to Stay in Key Largo, Florida
These are a few of the top places to stay in Key Largo, Florida!
High-End Luxury Hotel: The Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection:
For a truly luxurious experience in Key Largo, The Playa Largo Resort & Spa is a top choice. Nestled on 14 acres of waterfront property, this 5-star resort offers elegant rooms and suites with private balconies, a private beach, a full-service spa, and several dining options. Guests can enjoy water activities, lush tropical gardens, and stunning sunset views over Florida Bay.
Mid-Range Family Accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott Key Largo
Located on the waterfront, this mid-range hotel provides comfortable and spacious rooms, many with balconies. Courtyard by Marriott features a heated outdoor pool, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant, and a marina with water sports activities. Families can also take advantage of the hotel’s location for day trips to nearby attractions.
Budget Hostel/Hotel: The Pelican Key Largo Cottages
This budget-friendly option offers simple but comfortable cottages and efficiencies with kitchenettes. While not a hostel, The Pelican Key Largo Cottages provide a more economical choice for travelers who prefer self-catering. It’s conveniently located near local attractions and has a pool and picnic area.
In conclusion, Key Largo is an absolute paradise for travelers seeking a mix of natural beauty and exhilarating adventures. From the enchanting depths of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to the heart-pounding excitement of scuba diving amid shipwrecks and marine life, this coastal haven offers a diverse array of experiences for every type of adventurer.
And let’s not forget the nearby Everglades National Park, a breathtaking contrast to the coastal charm, where the untamed wilderness and wildlife create a completely different yet equally captivating world to explore.
As you bid farewell to Key Largo, you’ll carry with you memories of coral gardens, the echoes of your scuba diving adventures, and the serenity of Everglades’ mangrove-lined waterways. It’s a destination that leaves an indelible mark on your soul, reminding you that the natural wonders of the Florida Keys are always ready to welcome you back.
So, whether you’re drawn to the underwater marvels, the untamed Everglades, or simply the laid-back island lifestyle, Key Largo promises an unforgettable journey that’ll keep you dreaming of your next adventure in this tropical paradise.
DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!