Key Largo Vacations

Key Largo is the first of the Keys, with its northernmost perch in the chain of islands below the tip of Florida. The largest of the Keys also has the rightful claim of being the Diving Capital of the World, thanks to the coral reefs and its huge underwater state park. When you travel to Key Largo; you’ll find an accessible island getaway, with plenty of chances to dive, snorkel or just enjoy the beautiful sunset and the islands’ namesake pie. Read our Key Largo Vacations guide to explore this low-key island escape and  visit the beautiful beaches of Key Largo and the Florida Keys.

Key Largo Weather – When to Visit

Over the course of a year, the temperature is generally from 64°F to 89°F.  The prime season for Key Largo travel is the warm-but-dry season between November and March, when you’ll also find the most crowds and the highest prices. Another good reason to come this time of year, though, is the Key Largo and Islamorada Food & Wine Festival, one of the biggest parties on the island, which happens in January. If you’re serious about water sports, though, the best time to visit Key Largo is summer. The risk of hurricane-season storms does peak around September and October.

Key Largo Attractions

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is John-Pennekamp-Coral-Reef-State-Park-300x124.jpgJohn Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks in the park’s upland areas offer visitors a unique experience, it is the coral reefs and their associated marine life that bring most visitors to the park. Canoeing and kayaking through the park’s waters are popular activities; fishing is permitted in designated areas. Visitors can enjoy walking on short trails, picnicking, or swimming at the beach. The Visitor Center has a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and nature videos are shown in its theater.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Theater-of-the-Sea-300x169.jpgTheater of the Sea

At Theater of the Sea watch up close and personal dolphin shows, sea lion shows, parrot shows, and much more!  A pioneer in animal interactive programs, at Theater of the Sea you can swim with a dolphin, swim with a sea lion, swim with the rays, swim with the sharks, meet the sea turtles or wade, meet and paint with a dolphin or sea lion.  Theater of the Sea is family owned and operated since 1946 and one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world. The lagoons and lush, tropical gardens are home to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks, stingrays, alligators, marine invertebrates, and birds.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dolphin-Research-Center-300x141.jpgDolphin Research Center

Experience teaching, learning and caring for marine mammals and the environment as you watch exciting, fun narrated behavior sessions and other educational presentations every half an hour. Want to meet a dolphin up close? They offer a variety of interactive programs including the Dolphin Encounter swim and Family Dolphin Splash.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Island-Dolphin-Care-300x98.jpgIsland Dolphin Care

Island Dolphin Care, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is a magical place where therapy and dolphins bring children, adults, veterans with special needs and their families joy and the discovery of new abilities. Parents and participants reclaim hope, shed stress and find inspiration through activities centered around dolphin human therapy and marine science education.  Visit Island Dolphin Care for more information.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Spiegel-grove-300x200.jpg Spiegel Grove

The breathtakingly enormous Spiegel Grove — nearly two football fields long — is the “grande dame” of Key Largo wrecks. As you descend on the 510-foot Grove, you get a dreamlike view of a wreck that appears to be cruising in the deep blue ocean depths, and in that moment, you know this will be a special dive.

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Top Tours in Key Largo

Florida Everglades Airboat Ride and Reptile Show

Discover the unique ecology and wildlife of Everglades National Park on an exciting airboat tour followed by alligator and snake shows! Spend two hours with expert naturalists learning about the Everglades ecosystem. You’ll travel deep into the grassy swamps of the Everglades to spot native animals, then head back to land for thrilling alligator and snake shows.  Read more about Florida Everglades Airboat Ride and Reptile Show

4 Hour Snorkel Charter

Snorkel off the coast of Florida’s famous coastline on this charter from Key Largo. Dive in two different coral reefs brimming with wildlife such as tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, and sharks. This tour includes drinking water, fresh fruit, and a cooler box for your personal items.  Read more about 4-Hour Snorkel Charter

2 Hour Kayak or Paddleboard Eco Tour

Paddle through the mangrove ecosystem of Tavernier Creek on a kayak or paddleboard on this guided tour. Ideal for first time or new paddlers, glide in shallow, clear water over sponges, grass beds, and sandy patches. Marine life like turtles, stingrays, dolphins, and manatees can sometimes be spotted nearby. Sunset and night tours with lighted boards are also available.  Read more about 2 Hour Kayak or Paddleboard Eco Tour

Full-Day Kayak Adventure in the Everglades

xplore the Everglades with an expert guide on this full-day kayak excursion. After a brief orientation, select a single or double kayak and hit the water. Follow your guide through mangrove forests, keeping your eyes open for alligators, sawfish, manatees, dolphins, and sharks that are sometimes seen in the area.  Read more about Full-Day Kayak Adventure in the Everglades

4 Hour Snorkel Charter

Snorkel off the coast of Florida’s famous coastline on this charter from Key Largo. Dive in two different coral reefs brimming with wildlife such as tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, and sharks. This tour includes drinking water, fresh fruit, and a cooler box for your personal items.  Read more about 4-Hour Snorkel Charter

Best Key Largo Restaurants

Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Cafe  $11 – 30

Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00-8:00pm  The Backyard Cafe features fresh from the Florida Keys seafood. They also have a variety of Beers and Wines to choose from.  Visit and check out the menu and see what they have to offer at their dockside dining.  Telephone:  1-800-432-4058  Web:  Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Cafe.

The Fish House  $11 – 30

The Fish House specializes in fresh local seafood including yellowtail snapper, mahi-mahi, grouper, Florida lobster, and stone crab. Try their smoked fish – smoked right on the premises. Relax… Lay Back… Dig into their scrumptious conch-style cooking. They know how to serve seafood right!  Fresh fish is The Fish House’s trademark, brought to the back door daily by fishermen, then filleted and prepared on premise… the finest in “Conch-style” cooking.   All of their dishes are served in a fun, friendly, and casual “Keys style” atmosphere.  Telephone:  305-451-4665  Web:  The Fish House.

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen  $11 – 30

The Mrs. Mac’s II location specializes in large menu choices for all, vegetarians, vegans and gluten free included.  Serving fresh, high quality, homemade comfort food including local sustainable seafood & Certified Angus Beef steaks.  Where service and cleanliness is as important as the food.  Delicious homemade Key Lime Pie.  25 wines by the glass and refreshing cocktails from their full bar.  Telephone:  305-451-3722  Web:  Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen.

Skipper’s Dockside  $11 – 30

Welcome to your ultimate waterfront paradise! Skipper’s Dockside, Key Largo’s oceanfront oasis at Mile Marker 100, offers guests a comfortable portal to a time when life was simpler. Visitors enjoy a peek into the past as they make their turn onto Caribbean Drive; the exterior features an old-fashioned Ice House followed by a 1940’s original filling station to assist in one’s time travel journey.   Telephone:  305-453-9594  Web:  Skipper’s Dockside.

Key Largo Conch House  $11 – 30

An environmentally friendly restaurant that serves sustainable seafood. They make the best seafood Paella on certain nights which is not to be missed, along with their Conch Fritters, which were featured on Travel Channel’s Man v Food, July 2012 Conch Fritter Eating Contest.  Telephone:  305-453-4844  Web:  Key Largo Conch House.

Hobo’s Cafe  $11 – 30

One of Key Largo’s most popular restaurants, Hobo’s Cafe serves robustly flavored, seasonal American cuisine in a casual, upbeat setting. Established in 1991, Hobo’s Cafe takes inspiration from the abundance of local seafood offered by the surrounding waters of the Florida Keys. Their food is sourced from top quality seasonal ingredients, derived from local fishermen and markets.  Their menu is creative, yet simple.  Telephone:  305-451-5888  Web:  Hobo’s Cafe.

Best Key Largo Bars & Nightlife

Sharkey’s Pub & Grill

You ‘ll find something for everyone with casual family style dining in a local friendly flip flop atmosphere at affordable prices.  Sharkey’s Pub is on the first floor inside or seating for cocktails and lunch & dinner on the waterside deck and patio.  They are the craft beer headquarters with 28 beers on tap featuring Florida beers from Funky Buddha, Due South, Cigar City Brewery & many more . Tropical drinks, Frozen Specialties, & Jumbo Size Rum Buckets.  Telephone:  305-453-1905  Web:  Sharkey’s Pub & Grill.

Breezer’s Tiki Bar

Breezer’s is located just over the suspension bridge from Gus’ Grille, with breathtaking views over the beach and Florida Bay. Along with fresh salads, juicy burgers and The Key’s best frozen drinks, Breezer’s also offers an incredible setting to catch the sunset.  Be sure to stop by for their daily Happy Hour specials, featuring a tempting menu of light fare and island music from 4pm to 7pm. During season, Breezer’s also features live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday.  Telephone:  305-453-0000  Web:  Breezer’s Tiki Bar.

Buzzard’s Roost Grill & Pub

Relax inside in air-conditioned comfort, out on the patio or at the tiki bar. Enjoy live music at the tiki bar on Friday nights.  Enjoy great happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers.  Enjoy happy hour at the inside bar Monday through Friday 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm or at the tiki bar on Friday nights from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Telephone:  305-453-3746  Web:  Buzzard’s Roost Grill & Pub.

Caribbean Club

Visit by car, boat, or bike and enjoy stiff drinks, live music, and beautiful sunsets.  Breathtaking sunsets, rich history, live music, and even livelier folks are quick to fill out this one-of-a-kind Key Largo landmark.  It boasts live music Thursday through Sunday nights, daily happy hours, waterfront sunset views, and a dog-friendly atmosphere. Locals and tourists mingle in this watering hole filled with memorabilia from the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall classic Key Largo.  Telephone:  305-451-4466  Web:   Caribbean Club.

Cactus Jack’s Pub

Located between Senor Frijoles & Sundowners, Cactus Jacks (CJ’s) is your late-night watering hole.  Pool table, juke box, darts, TVs, and Golden Tee Golf.  Late night food menu served until 2 a.m.— wings, sliders, burgers, chicken sandwiches, chipotle shrimp, and bacon wrapped jalapeños. Happy Hour from 4-6 weekdays.  Telephone:  305-453-0249  Web:  Cactus Jack’s Pub.

Top Key Largo Hotels

Island Bay Resort


Island Bay Resort provides you with a complete “Florida Keys experience.” Our hotel is centrally located between Key Largo and Islamorada and just two hours from Key West and Miami. Enjoying your Florida vacation is easy. Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, boating and sunbathing can all be enjoyed from our resort’s beach.

Coconut Palm Inn


Enjoy the serenity of these beautifully-appointed rooms and suites including accessible features.. Take a dip in their outdoor heated pool or relax under the swaying palm trees in one of the many hammocks. Enjoy a sunrise reception every morning with fresh squeezed orange juice and a selection of coffees, teas, fruit and breads. They also offer complimentary amenities like kayaks, paddle boards and bikes for your convenience.

Atlantic Bay Resort


Atlantic Bay Resort is nestled in Tavernier, the loveliest part of Key Largo and the diving capital of the world.  The little jewel called Atlantic Bay is a small resort that faces the Gulf of Mexico’s Florida Bay. It is located on three tropical landscaped acres with 500 feet of waterfront.

Seafarer Resort & Beach


Waterfront cottages located in the heart of Key Largo. Enjoy spectacular sunsets, relax in a hammock, bbq, kayak, scuba, snorkel, all in the charming setting of the Old Florida Keys. Family owned and operated.

Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton


Sitting on 13 acres of lush grounds along the Florida Bay, this resort blends fun and relaxation. Rooms feature complimentary WiFi, HDTV, mini-fridge, and a balcony with resort grounds or Bay views.  With indulgent resort facilities, beach activities including water sports and a kids club, the resort is a playground for all ages. Pamper yourself at the Greenhouse Salon or take a dip in the sparkling pools accented by waterfalls.


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30 Comments

  1. Pascal

    Hi Leahrae! 🙂

    Wow wow wow. Key Largo looks like SUCH an awesome place! I absolutely LOVE traveling, but I haven’t done nearly enough. I’ve been to Florida before, but only briefly – in Ft. Lauderhill, when I went to visit family. I love how much information you put here! You put information about the city itself, the airport, hotel information, places to eat, and things to do! 🙂 You definitely have made me want to check it out! 🙂 What’s your favorite thing(s) about Key Largo? 🙂
    ~
    Artistically yours,
    Pascal

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The Key Largo beaches of course Pascal, I love the beach. I am glad you enjoyed reading and found the information helpful 🙂

      Reply
  2. StephenPayne

    I’m so glad I found this website! You clearly understand you target audience because you have great information; the kind that visitors would typically ask for.

    Showing the weather in graphical format is an awesome idea because one can quickly make informed decisions about the best time to go!

    I’ve only been to the Keys once and, unfortunately, it was the wrong time of the year – way to windy!

    Thanks for a great site!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Stephen. Yes, I like the weather graph myself. Easy to see when is best. Not everyone likes it hot, and not everyone likes it cool. Anytime is great to me, but the wind can make it a bit chilly, I agree! Thanks for visiting Key Largo Vacations!

      Reply
  3. Jill

    This is a fantastic site! Hoping to go to Florida in March 2017 and I will be using your site to plan, thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Jill. Please let me know if you need any help with your planning.

      Reply
  4. Hannah Levi

    Ohh Wow Key Largo!! I love the Florida Keys. I used to live in Key West about 25 years ago (uhh oh showing my age here LOL). Key West is actually where I met my husband. We used to stop by Key Largo on the way to Miami via the beautiful seven-mile bridge. What a beautiful destination! I now live in Israel but we said we’d go back there for our silver wedding anniversary in another 3 years. Can’t wait! Especially after seeing the pictures on your website 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Wow, how cool! I love the Florida Keys. Interesting you are now in Israel 🙂 Yes, the bridge is beautiful. I love that drive! Thank you for visiting!

      Reply
  5. Mark

    Hello,
    What a great site. I am a travel agent and your spot on with your information. I also have a travel blog and I like yours better. Your beaches information will definately make people like me in Wisconsin want to travel now….
    Keep providing this information because we all love to read about warm beaches.
    Thanks For The Info
    If you would like to share info, I will keep your info, and pop over to my blog. I would love for you to write an article for me. Your information is golden
    caribbeancruiseinformer

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh I plan on it Mark 🙂 Thank you for your comments and I look forward to maybe swapping some information and articles !

      Reply
  6. NemiraB

    Hello here, my head spins from the amount of information provided here, at your website. I guess that you are native of Florida, are you?
    I visited Pensacola Beach once and promised myself that I absolutely will be back. This velvet sand and warm clear water make everybody happy and relaxed.
    You listed so many activities here. For me, at this time it would be enough just to lay on the beach and enjoy the warm sun.
    I think that this time of year is best for visiting Florida because it is not so hot as in the summer.
    Thank you for the comprehensive article. I look forward visiting this sunny state. All the best, Nemira.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Nemira 🙂 I do not live in Florida….yet but I go there quite often. And I agree, just to lay on a nice, beautiful Florida beach is enough 🙂 Thank you for visiting Key Kargo Vacations!

      Reply
  7. Emma

    I’m looking for a new exotic destination to travel to and do some scuba diving and this might be going on my list.

    From your temperature graph it looks like the warmest time is May to October. What would you say is the best time of year to dive over there?

    Thanks for sharing this,its definitely a location I’m going to investigate more.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Probably during that time frame as the water will be warmer as well. And there is lots to dive for! You would have a great time. Thanks for visiting Emma1

      Reply
  8. JRay

    What an awesome page!!

    I live in Florida so I know a lot of what you’re talking about. From the weather to hotel choices. All add to the endless beach paradise key largo has to offer.

    The Fish house is a cool place, Your right on point with Relax… Lay Back.

    All the best,

    JRay

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you JRay for visiting and taking the time to comment. Florida is awesome, anywhere you go. I love the Florida beaches 🙂

      Reply
  9. John

    Leahrae,
    I have been to the keys several times. Key Largo is a great place to spend some time when you are this far south. I like to stay in Marathon as it is out on the keys and is reasonable in price. I have found some of the out of the way restaurants have the best food for a great price. Had a grilled Grouper that was the best Grouper that I have ever tasted. Your list of local restaurants will give you some fine dining. There is so much to do, you could spend a month and not see everything just in Key Largo.
    John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi John, and you are right. So many local restaurants, so much local flavor. I tried to pick the favorite local and visitor spots. I hope you can visit again and thank you for reading!

      Reply
  10. June Danks

    Oh I really wish I had this much information when myself and family visited Florida Keys Four years ago, would have made everything so much easier! We Stayed in Key West – Casa Marina and thought nothing could top that but Oh the choices that you have laid before me have made want to visit your selections, always said I want to go back 🙂 I live in the UK and had to rely on a local travel agency to sort out all our details etc… they were good but…. You will most definitely be the website that I will be using to make further bookings! We loved the Everglades etc.. but again we had to source all the information ourselves, very time consuming when you only have a few days in each location! I find your site easy to use, directional and with incredible choice.

    Thank you and I know where our next holiday will be…

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you June 🙂 I try to be thorough and provide everything you would need with the best choices possible. I hope you can visit again soon. Thanks you for visiting Key Largo Vacations!

      Reply
  11. Ian

    Nice introduction about this beach. I would love to visit this beach. The weather chart really helped me decide when it’s the best time to visit there!

    As you know beaches are always famous for seafood.
    However, I am a vegetarian. Do you know if there’s any place near the beach that I could have vegetarian food?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, there are vegan restaurants and restaurants with vegan menus. Here are a couple: Ballyhoo’s, Eco Eats, Ms. Macs Kitchen, Sundowners on the Bay, and The Mindful Mermaid Café. All have vegan dishes, or totally vegan. Thanks for visiting Ian!

      Reply
  12. John

    Awesome review. I always wanted to check out the Florida Keys…Key Largo seems like an excellent place to vacation.

    Have you ever used FlipKey? I have never heard of it before…I do use TripAdvisor all the time when I plan my vacations.

    Just a quick comment from a marketign perspective – I feel that you have too many tags. I feel its best to keep your tags to a minimum – 3-4 max.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to this destination.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for the info on the tags John. Yes, I have heard of Flip Key. I use them as well, and Trip Advisor when I am reserving my room. I like vacation rentals much more than hotel rooms.

      Reply
  13. mornay

    Wow your site definitely makes me want to go travel now. Very clean look to the site, really good content and makes you want to read on and on. I personally like travel and have been at a few places across the world, so I have been on enough travel sites to date but yours is really attractive and I would visit it again.

    All the best

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Mornay! I try to entice my visitors to love what they see enough to explore all the beauty there is around the world. Thank you for visiting Key Largo vacations.

      Reply
  14. dreamgirl93

    What are the costs of this vocation on average?
    To be sincere it’s the first time that I hear about this place and I find it interesting. I love beaches and especially if they are in new foreign places.
    Thanks for this review. I especially like the part when you present what to do there. I absolutely love going to new places and trying new things.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi and thank you for visiting. It would be really hard to give an average cost because so much can factor into that, i.e. hotel amenities, time of year, activities, etc. I can say that staying in Key Largo is going to be a lot less then driving all the way down the keys and staying in Key West. Thank you for visiting!

      Reply
  15. Danny

    Wow! Really great info here! My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Florida in February this is definitely gonna help. Thanks! Looking forward to reading more! Excelling info!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Danny! Enjoy your vacation 🙂

      Reply

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