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Top Ten Things to Do in Key Largo, FL

Key Largo sunset

The largest and northernmost island of the Florida Keys archipelago, Key Largo is a coastal paradise with meandering creeks, mangrove-lined shores, native hardwood hammocks, and picturesque bays and marine sanctuaries with turquoise waters. This diverse tropical landscape opens up a multitude of activities, including world-class fishing, thrilling underwater adventures, relaxing sunset cruises, and incredible wildlife encounters – delighting visitors and residents of all ages.

There’s no shortage of unforgettable things to do in Key Largo, Florida! Here, we list down the best activities and destinations for you to check out.


    Scuba diving is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Key Largo, Florida. As the self-proclaimed “Dive Capital of the World,” you can expect nothing less than world-class scuba-diving adventures every time you venture into the waters. 

    Key Largo is home to one of the largest living barrier reefs in the world. There are more than a hundred reef dive sites found offshore, with a handful of wreck dive spots that are easily accessible via a short boat ride. Beneath the waters surrounding Key Largo are historic shipwrecks, ancient statues, sprawling coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life, offering fascinating discoveries for scuba divers. 

    One of the best Key Largo dive sites is Molasses Reef, a spur and groove outer reef with diverse terrain, making it easily accessible for scuba divers of all skill levels. The reef is known for its beautiful corals and thriving marine life. Sting rays, spotted eagle rays, turtles, moray eels, and a wide variety of tropical fish are some of the aquatic species you are most likely to encounter during your dive in Molasses Reef.

    For more experienced divers, visiting the USS Spiegel Grove wreck is a unique opportunity to explore the backbone of the reef system formed in Key Largo. Sunk off the coast of Key Largo in 2002, the Thomaston-class dock landing ship is now a top destination for wreck divers throughout the world. Spanning the length of two football fields, this underwater landmark is covered in dazzling corals, presenting opportunities for divers to spot horse-eye jacks, great barracudas, large groupers, bluehead wrasses, and other species of fish in their natural habitat.

    Due to its depth and massive size, a series of four or more dives is recommended for divers who want to explore the wreck in its entirety. However, some dive operators offer “double dip dives” which allow you to see a large section of the wreck on a single two-tank boat trip.


    In addition to exploring its world-famous dive spots, Key Largo offers one-of-a-kind experiences for scuba-diving enthusiasts. Among its most popular attractions is Jules’ Undersea Lodge, the only underwater hotel where guests need to dive down to get to their rooms.

    Their underwater accommodations are available in a variety of packages, including a 24-hour “Aquanaut Package” which comes with a PADI Specialty certification card that guests can add to their diving credentials.

    Non-certified divers who want to spend the night at the lodge can take the Discover Scuba Diving course, an easy and fun program led by one of the PADI instructors of Key Largo Undersea Park. The course covers basic scuba concepts and skills and gives attendees a unique opportunity to experience an actual open-water adventure.


    Revisit the Golden Age of Hollywood by hopping aboard the African Queen, a historic steamboat that appeared in the 1951 Oscar-winning film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. 

    A fixture in Key Largo since 1983, this faithfully restored vessel takes passengers on a 90-minute cruise along the canals and nearshore waters of Key Largo. It’s a very intimate tour as the boat is only permitted to take six passengers on each trip.

    The biggest draw is, of course, the nostalgia surrounding the movie. The captain entertains passengers with movie trivia while a vintage gin bottle is being passed around as a prop for those who want to reenact the famous scene where Katherine Hepburn empties Humphrey Bogart’s stock of gin. Sometimes, the captain will even let guests take control of the boat for a few minutes.


    The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was established in 1963 as a permanent preserve to protect marine life. Renowned for being the first undersea park in the US, the serene natural haven encompasses over 70 square miles, with waters teeming with shallow-water coral reefs and a diverse variety of marine life. 

    Spending a day at the park is one of the best things to do in Key Largo, Florida. Visitors can get a unique glimpse into the park’s underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. Alternatively, glass-bottom boat tours are available for those seeking a more relaxing experience. Thanks to the waters’ excellent visibility, you’ll be able to marvel at the splendor of the underwater scenery no matter which activity you choose.

    The park is home to 50 miles of mangrove wilderness trails that are perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Not in the mood for water-based activities? You can enjoy camping, picnicking, and relaxing hikes on short trails that wind through lush tropical hammocks. The park also features a visitor center with massive saltwater aquariums and a theater showcasing nature videos.


    Enjoy a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Miami Zoo, the Everglades, Biscayne Bay, and Key Largo by going on a private plane tour via Magic Air Tours.

    Cruising high above the northernmost island of the Florida Keys provides spectacular aerial views of Key Largo’s pristine coastline, sun-kissed beaches, dense mangrove forests, and the turquoise waters of Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

    Keep an eye out for famous landmarks like the historic Key Largo Lighthouse, the African Queen steamboat, and the marinas and oceanfront resorts along the coast.


    Located half a mile offshore from Islamorada, Indian Key Historic State Park is a small island that was named the first county seat of Miami Dade County. In the 1830s, the island was used as a site for salvaging cargo from boats that ran aground on the reefs – a highly lucrative business at the time.

    Today, Indian Key is a historic destination frozen in time; an uninhabited island village where you can walk the same roads of the former wrecking colony, past the ruins of homes and buildings that once stood tall.

    You can rent a kayak from Robbie’s of Islamorada and enjoy a safe and easy 20-minute paddle across shallow open waters to reach Indian Key. On a good day, you may be able to spot dolphins, stingrays, and manatees. 

    After docking your kayak, the best way to explore the island is by following the free self-guided audio walking tour of Indian Key, which is available through the Florida Stories app from Florida Humanities.  

    Indian Key Historic State Park is also a terrific snorkeling destination. Like the rest of the Florida Keys, sharp-edged reef rocks line its shores so be sure to pack water shoes and diver’s gloves if you plan to go snorkeling. One of the best spots for snorkeling is the island’s ocean side directly facing Alligator Reef Lighthouse. You’ll be able to spot a variety of marine life including tarpon, snapper, amberjack, grouper, hogfish, and red drums.


    Located in the village of Islamorada about 20 minutes away from Key Largo, the History of Diving Museum offers a deeper look at the history of undersea exploration.

    The museum houses a vast collection of vintage and modern scuba diving, including underwater cameras, suits, and oxygen regulators, offering a glimpse of how they’ve evolved throughout the years to make underwater voyages safer. Among the highlights is the collection of diving helmets, which include some homemade open-bottom helmets made with unorthodox materials.


    girl riding on the dolphin

    Found on a natural lagoon flanked by Florida Bay, Dolphins Plus Bayside offers unforgettable dolphin encounters for visitors of all ages. You’ll be able to enjoy a thrilling experience with these marvelous marine creatures through interactive swims that are available throughout the year. 

    The Shallow Water Dolphin Encounter is a guaranteed hit for families with kids aged three and above. It’s an in-water program where dolphins will swim up to you in shallow waist-deep waters and interact through handshakes, hand kisses, and body rubs. 

    Dreaming of swimming alongside dolphins in the Florida Keys? The Premier Swim program is the way to go. The deep-water program offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the strength, speed, and gentle precision of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

    The Premier Swim program includes a short educational briefing where guests will learn about the basics of dolphin anatomy and get in-depth information on dolphin interactions. During the swim, visitors will be able to experience fast-paced behaviors like dorsal tows and foot pushes, along with gentle and more intimate actions like belly rubs, kisses, and handshakes. You’ll even get a chance to communicate with dolphins through hand signals with the help of a professional dolphin trainer.


    Key Largo is a haven for anglers with its abundant marine life, first-rate fishing charters, and numerous opportunities to reel in impressive trophy fish like grouper, snook, and tarpon.

    The island is a perfect base for exploring prime fishing destinations, each offering unique angling experiences and bountiful catches. 

    Below are some of the top-rated fishing spots that are easily accessible from Key Largo.

    • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – The park is a choice location for reef and wreck fishing, with its bountiful population of reef species like cobia, grouper, kingfish, and snapper. Anglers can either charter a boat or go on a solo excursion to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
    • Florida Bay – Located on Key Largo’s western coast, Florida Bay is an expansive and diverse estuary with an abundance of species including bonefish, trout, redfish, and permit. Some of the best spots to cast a line are channels, shallow flats, and mangrove islands throughout the bay.
    • Islamorada – A quick drive south of Key Largo will take you to the village of Islamorada, known as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” Anglers can charter a boat from one of the village’s marinas to venture into the deep waters populated by a variety of pelagic species including tuna, mahi-mahi, marlin, and sailfish.
    • Everglades National Park – Located west of Key Largo, Everglades National Park is home to an array of outstanding fishing spots including shallow water flats, mangrove-lined creeks, and backcountry channels. Target species thriving within its waters include snook, tarpon, trout, and redfish. 
    • Tavernier – Found at the southern terminus of Key Largo is Tavernier, a renowned fishing destination boasting a fantastic combination of offshore and inshore fishing spots. Offshore enthusiasts can head to the open ocean to reel in deep-water pelagic fish that feed on the surface. The bridges, flats, and backwater channels offer opportunities to catch tarpon, snook, trout, and redfish.
    • Key West – While this top fishing destination is located a bit further away, the world-class fishing opportunities that await are well worth the two-hour trip. The flats are perfect for anglers in search of tarpon, permit, and bonefish while heading offshore provides opportunities to lure in marlin, mahi-mahi, tuna, and sailfish. 

    Key Largo Beach house

    All these exciting things to do in Key Largo, Florida will surely work up your appetite. Thankfully, there’s a plethora of top-rated dining destinations offering a wide range of cuisine, including fresh seafood, authentic Italian, Angus steaks, and many more.

    Below are several notable restaurants for you to check out.

    For more information, visit this website.


    Looking for more fun things to do in Key Largo, Florida? Check out our previous blog posts!

    If you’re interested in buying a home in this tropical paradise, Angel DiGiorgio is your ticket to success. As one of the top luxury Realtors in the Florida Keys, you can count on Angel’s experience, deep local knowledge, innovative strategies, and unmatched attention to detail to assist you in realizing your real estate goals. 

    Get in touch with Angel DiGiorgio today at 305.509.0971 or send her an email.