Key Largo, is the first and northernmost of the Florida Keys and is known for outstanding diving and snorkeling.
For most of the world, Key Largo will never be much more than a line in a popular Beach Boys song. But for residents of the Villages of Citrus Hills, a weekend in the second most famous Florida Key is only six hours away. Not a far drive to experience pure paradise!
Known as the Dive Capital of the World, Key Largo is an extremely popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. It is also home to many state and national parks, outstanding sport fishing, beautiful beaches, and fabulous restaurants.
Of course, the first detail you will want to iron out is where to stay for the weekend:
Where to Stay in Key Largo
If you are planning a romantic getaway and looking for first class accommodations, one of the best options available is the Island Bay Resort. With plenty of palm trees and a private white-sand beach, this is the ultimate island paradise. Their waterfront cottages offer the ultimate romantic beach experience.
Another luxury option is the popular Ocean Reef Club. They are a private residential club community with golf, tennis, a marina and more. But they also have accommodations available at their Inn, located right in the heart of the action.
A wonderful boutique hotel is Dove Creek Lodge, which at 21 rooms is just a little bigger than Island Bay Resort. Once again, there is no shortage of beaches, palm trees, and pools here. This hotel also has a marina and is considered one of the best values in Key Largo.
If you are looking for a longer or more regular trip, Key Largo also offers plenty of great vacation rentals that feel more like the islands than south Florida.
What to Do in Key Largo
Because it is known as the Dive Capital of the World, the first thing that you will want to consider doing in Key Largo is scuba diving or snorkeling! One of the coolest attractions here lies underwater in the form of a retired Navy battleship that was sunk off the coast of Key Largo to create the world’s largest artificial reef. At 510 feet long, the USS Spiegel Grove offers plenty for divers to explore!
Dolphins Plus is another popular stop for those looking to get into the water on their trip. They offer one of the best “swimming with dolphins” experiences you will find anywhere.
If you love the open sea but aren’t keen on actually getting wet, there are more than 20 different options to choose from for boat tours, charter boats, and fishing adventures. Pirates Choice Sailing offers an exciting afternoon on a pirate ship, and Sailors Choice Party Fishing Boat combines the fun of fishing with a great party atmosphere.
Of course, if you would prefer to keep both feet on dry land, you could also check out the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center or any of the many great souvenir and gift shops located all over Key Largo.
Where to Eat in Key Largo
Harriette’s Restaurant is the one place that you absolutely must stop for a meal during your time in Key Largo. They serve breakfast and brunch, and their muffins, conch fritters, and breakfast burritos are all fantastic.
Another quaint restaurant that really feels like the Keys is Category Three Bar and Grill. Burgers are the signature item here, but don’t look past the pulled pork, steaks, and stone crab claws.
If you are looking for something that is creative and unique to the Keys, the Lobster Reuben from Buzzard’s Roost Grill & Pub might just fit the description. It’s excellent! They also offer a great selection of other entrees, and of course, Key Lime Pie.
Nothing beats the Florida Keys when you need to take some time to unwind, and Key Largo is a great option that is closer to the Villages of Citrus Hills and usually a good bit cheaper than its counterpart Key West.
The next time you are looking for a relaxing weekend getaway; don’t think twice about making the drive down to Key Largo.