The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Key Largo Top Activities and Attractions

Key Largo, Florida, offers a wide array of activities catering to outdoor enthusiasts, water sports lovers, history buffs, and foodies alike. Here's a comprehensive guide to making the most of your visit to Key Largo.

Things To Do In Key Largo

Outdoor Activities

  • Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park: Explore this park's rich biodiversity through its walking trails. It's a haven for nature lovers and those interested in the local flora and fauna.
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: Known for its beautiful coral reefs, this park offers snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass-bottom boat tours. It's a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience the underwater beauty of Key Largo.
  • Key Largo Outdoor Adventures: For those seeking a more structured outdoor experience, Key Largo Outdoor Adventures provides a plethora of options including kayaking, paddleboarding, and biking among others. It's a great way to explore the natural beauty of Key Largo with expert guidance.
  • Dolphin Encounters: Experience the joy of interacting with dolphins at Dolphins Plus Bayside, where you can swim with these intelligent creatures in a natural lagoon.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Paddle through the calm waters of Key Largo, exploring the mangroves and marine life with rentals and guided tours available from local outfitters.
  • Fishing: Key Largo is a prime spot for anglers, with opportunities for deep-sea, reef, and backcountry fishing. Charter a boat or join a guided tour to reel in your catch of the day.

Water Sports

  • Dolphins Plus Bayside: Offers a unique opportunity to swim and interact with dolphins in a natural lagoon setting. It's an unforgettable experience for animal lovers.
  • Keys Adventures Watersports: Located at The Big Chill Restaurant, they offer various water sports activities including kayaking and paddleboarding, perfect for those looking to enjoy Key Largo's waters.
  • Key Largo Parasail: For an adrenaline rush and a bird's eye view of Key Largo, parasailing is a fantastic option. It's a thrilling way to see the island from a different perspective.
  • Pirates Cove Watersports: Offers a wide range of water sports including scuba diving, snorkeling, and eco-tours. It's a one-stop shop for water sports enthusiasts.
  • Caribbean Watersports: Provides a variety of water-based activities such as parasailing, snorkeling, and kayak tours, located at the Playa Largo Resort.

things to do in key largo

Historical Sites

  • Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail: For history buffs, biking or walking along parts of this trail can provide insights into the historical significance of Key Largo and the surrounding areas. It links historical sites and offers stunning views along the way.

Cultural Attractions

  • History and Museums: Learn about the area's history at the Keys History and Discovery Center or visit the African Queen, the actual boat from the classic movie.
  • Art Galleries: Explore the local art scene with visits to galleries showcasing works by Keys artists, reflecting the vibrant culture of the islands.

Unique Experiences

  • Eco Tours: Join an eco-tour to the nearby Everglades National Park, where you can spot a variety of wildlife and learn about the unique ecosystem.
  • Underwater Lodging: For a truly unique experience, book a stay at the Jules Undersea Lodge, the world's only underwater hotel where you can sleep among the fish.


  • Calusa: Located at Baker's Cay Resort, this waterfront spot offers panoramic views and a menu of Creole-Caribbean-inspired dishes.
  • Italian Food Company: Offers authentic southern Italian cuisine, including freshly made Neapolitan pizza and pastas.
  • Sol by the Sea: Known for its Caribbean-inspired cuisines and stunning sunset views, making it an ideal spot for a romantic dinner.
  • Buzzard's Roost: Offers a tropical environment and a menu that includes the catch of the day straight from the sparkling seas.
  • Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill: Known for its waterfront dining experience, offering a variety of dishes including burgers, steaks, and seafood.

Whether you're looking to explore the natural beauty of Key Largo, engage in thrilling water sports, delve into the area's history, or simply enjoy some of the best dining options available, Key Largo has something for everyone.

Read More on Things To Do In Key Largo

What are the best beaches to visit in key largo?
  • Far Beach - Located within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Far Beach is praised for its peaceful environment surrounded by mangroves, making it ideal for snorkeling and enjoying the natural habitat. It's a public beach and is recommended for those seeking a state park experience with a focus on natural appeal.
  • Cannon Beach - Also part of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Cannon Beach is known for its shallow and calm lagoon area, which is particularly safe for families with children. It offers a picturesque setting with a sandy shoreline and clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Harry Harris Beach and Park - This beach offers a variety of amenities including picnic tables, BBQs, and shallow swimming areas suitable for children. It's a public beach that is free on weekdays, with a small fee on weekends, and is known for its nice environment.
  • Rowell's Waterfront Park - With a 4.4 rating, this park offers a waterfront experience with a quiet environment, making it a hidden gem for those looking to escape the more crowded tourist spots. It's a good place for lap swimming and enjoying breathtaking views.
  • Sunset Point Park - This park has a 3.8 rating and offers a serene setting for visitors to enjoy the sunset. It's a public beach with a natural vibe.

When planning a visit to these beaches, it's important to consider the type of experience you're looking for, whether it's a natural and peaceful setting or a beach with more amenities and activities. Additionally, checking the latest reviews and any potential entrance fees or restrictions is advisable before heading out.

Are there any beaches in key largo that are good for snorkeling?

There are a couple of beaches in Key Largo that are suitable for snorkeling:

  • Cannon Beach at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a popular spot for snorkeling right off the beach. It has a variety of tropical fish and marine life within reach, and there are remnants of an old Spanish shipwreck about 100 feet offshore that can be explored.
  • Far Beach also within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, offers a more peaceful environment for snorkeling. While it may not have the extensive coral formations found further offshore, it still provides opportunities to see fish and other marine life in a natural setting.

It's important to note that while these beaches offer some snorkeling opportunities, the best snorkeling experiences in Key Largo typically require a boat trip to the coral reefs located offshore. The coral reef lies 3 to 5 miles offshore, and snorkeling from the beach may only provide views of sand, sea grass, and perhaps a few fish.

For a more extensive snorkeling experience, it is recommended to take a snorkel tour or charter a boat to visit the coral reefs and other popular snorkeling spots such as Molasses Reef, Dry Rocks, and the Christ of the Abyss

What is the best time of day to snorkel in key largo?

The best time of day to snorkel in Key Largo is generally in the morning. This is when the water conditions tend to be calmer and the visibility is often better. Morning snorkeling trips are recommended to avoid the winds that typically pick up later in the day, which can affect water clarity and overall snorkeling conditions.

Additionally, snorkeling earlier in the day can help you avoid the afternoon rain showers that are common in the summer months.

It's also suggested to be flexible with your planning and check the weather conditions before setting out.

What are some popular water activities to do in key largo?

Key Largo, often referred to as the "Diving Capital of the World," offers a wide array of water activities that cater to both adventure seekers and those looking to relax by the water. Here are some of the most popular water activities in Key Largo:

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: This park is a prime destination for snorkeling and scuba diving, offering access to the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. It's a haven for marine life and underwater photography.
  • Christ of the Abyss: An underwater statue located in the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary, this site is a must-visit for divers and snorkelers.
  • Wreck Diving: Key Largo is home to several famous wrecks, including the Spiegel Grove, a 510-foot Navy ship intentionally sunk to create an artificial reef.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

  • Mangrove Tours: Explore the serene mangrove forests of Key Largo by kayak or paddleboard. These tours offer a peaceful way to connect with nature and observe local wildlife.
  • Eco Tours: Companies like Florida Bay Outfitters and Aquaholic Adventures offer guided eco-tours that allow you to learn about the local ecosystem while paddling through the clear waters of the Florida Keys.


  • Deep-Sea Fishing: With access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Key Largo offers excellent deep-sea fishing opportunities. Anglers can target a variety of species, including marlin, sailfish, and mahi-mahi.
  • Backcountry Fishing: The shallow waters around Key Largo are perfect for backcountry fishing, where you can catch tarpon, bonefish, and permit.

Dolphin Encounters

  • Dolphin Tours: Several operators in Key Largo offer dolphin watching tours, where you can see these playful creatures in their natural habitat. Some tours even offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins.

Boat Tours and Cruises

  • Sunset Cruises: Enjoy the stunning Key Largo sunset from the water on a relaxing boat cruise. Many operators offer evening tours that include music and refreshments.
  • Glass-Bottom Boat Tours: For those who prefer to stay dry, glass-bottom boat tours offer a glimpse into the underwater world of the coral reef without getting wet.

Water Sports

  • Jet Skiing and Parasailing: For adrenaline junkies, jet skiing and parasailing are popular activities in Key Largo. These water sports offer a thrilling way to experience the beauty of the Florida Keys from a different perspective.
What are the top snorkeling and diving sites?

Key Largo's dive sites are mostly within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, including popular spots like Grecian Rocks, French Reef, and Molasses Reef. These sites are known for their clear waters, abundant fish, and shallow waters suitable for snorkeling.

Can I explore the Everglades from Key Largo?

Yes, Everglades National Park is a short drive away and offers a variety of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center in Homestead is the closest entrance to Key Largo.

What are some recommended restaurants in Key Largo?

Key Largo offers a variety of dining options. Some top recommendations include Calusa, Italian Food Company, Sol by the Sea, and The Buzzard's Roost. These restaurants offer a range of cuisines from Creole-Caribbean-inspired dishes to authentic Italian and seafood.

What should I bring for a day out in Key Largo?

Pack like you're going to the beach. Bring a bag with a towel, sunglasses, hat, camera, etc. Avoid "spray-on" sunscreen as it makes the deck slippery; lotions or pre-application of spray sunscreen are fine.

What are the parking options?

There is free parking all around the marina for those going on snorkeling trips or visiting the area.