WELCOME TO KEY LARGO
Key Largo is first Key in the island chain and is located between Mile Marker (MM) 123 to MM 90--less than an hour from south Miami. The 33-mile island is the second largest in the Florida Keys and is popular due to its close proximity to Miami and Fort Lauderdale International Airports, making it a quick escape for South Floridians.. Not only is Key Largo on the ocean side, but it also stretches all the way across the lower section of Florida into Everglades National Park.
The ‘Dive Capital of the World’ has more sunken shipwrecks than anywhere for a land mass of its size
Key Largo is home to the world's second largest artificial reef, the 510 foot USS Spiegel Grove at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the famous 4,000 lb., 8.5 foot tall bronze Christ of the Abyss underwater statue. The number of sunken Spanish galleons, British frigates and World War II freighters to explore is endless and these wrecks have created some of the most magnificent artificial reef scuba diving and snorkeling in Molasses Reef, French Reef, Elbow and Grecian Rocks.
The locals refer to the opposite side, the Gulf of Mexico side, as the bayside or the backcountry. Key Largo is close to Everglades National Park which makes it easy for kayakers and paddle boarders to explore uninhabited mangrove islands and shallows where bonefish and golden seahorses hide in the grass.
Weekend escapers, affluent yachtsmen, scuba divers, and eco-enthusiasts
The population of Key Largo is just over 10,000 residents. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park occupy the majority of the land mass on the Atlantic side. Blackwater Sound and Buttonwood Sound are where most folks live on the bayside.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A wide variety of scuba shops, outdoor outfitters and restaurants mostly on the bayside
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the core public amenity in Key Largo. The park is 25 miles long and extends 3 miles into the ocean. Residents have access to snorkeling and dive trips, glass bottom boat rides, kayaks, paddle boards and a swimming beach. There are endless shady mangroves to explore at the park.
Pilot House Marina is the area’s five-star, full-service marina on the Atlantic side. They offer indoor and outdoor dining, fresh stone crabs when in season and all the services boaters demand. Kids love dining as they watch fish playing peekaboo below the glass floor of the patio. Other tasty restaurants in the area include Sundowners, The Buzzard’s Roost, DiGiorgio's Cafe Largo and The Caribbean Club.
Once a key lime plantation, Key Largo is also a tropical botanist’s and photographer’s dream with more lush vegetation than anywhere in the Keys. Dagney Johnson Botanical State Park is a protected park with 84 protected species of plants and scenic nature trails.
The Jacobs Aquatic Center is an impressive 3-swimming pool complex in Key Largo with swimming programs and summer camps. Shell World is another landmark in Key Largo--a 20,000-square foot retail store filled with shells, home decor, and island apparel.
ANNUAL FESTIVALS IN KEY LARGO
Key Largo Original Music Festival - May
4th of July Fireworks on the Blackwater Sound - July
Anything that Floats Race & Regatta - August
Key Largo Lionfish Derby - September
Humphrey Bogart Film Festival - October
Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival - January
Uncorked Food & Wine Festival - January
Slip into an island life quickly and spend all day outdoors
Residents can be as busy or relaxed as they desire. Water sports and fishing opportunities are everywhere. The backcountry on the bayside has some of the most challenging fishing as anglers try to catch the elusive bonefish hiding in the sea grasses. The mangroves are a kayaker’s paradise as well as habitats for manatees, exotic birds and tropical fish. City dwellers, living part time in Key Largo, have no problem trading big box movie theater chairs for a set of dockside Adirondack chairs—surrounded by the morning symphony of laughing seagulls and chirping osprey, or incredible evening sunsets and the famous Keys ‘green flash.’ These are some of the many inspiring reasons South Floridians own Florida Keys vacation homes.
Coral reef restoration projects such as the Coral Tree Nursery™ are based in the Key Largo area. Coral Restoration Foundation offers a variety of educational and participation programs in a profound effort to restore the world’s coral reefs. Dolphins Plus is another educational-based facility in Key Largo, encouraging structured interaction with dolphins and research. Both the Coral Restoration Foundation and Dolphins Plus research organizations provide exciting volunteer opportunities.
The quiet water wilderness on the Gulf of Mexico as far as the eye can see
A place where you won’t feel guilty lying lounging around under a shaded palm tree… Where reflections of your underwater exploration linger in your mind, where lobster and stone crab traps are a reminder of the delicious fresh seafood all around you.
A varied mix of oceanfront condominiums, oceanfront estates, stilt homes and mobile homes
Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo is a private, gated-community on the Atlantic side. Owning property here is by invitation only. The stunning community spreads across 2,500 acres and has its own airport. Amenities include two 18-hole golf courses, a 175-slip private deep-water marina, a state-of-the-art tennis center, a wellness center and spa, and restaurants and cooking school. Home prices begin around $1 million.
Other popular neighborhoods in Key Largo include the Anglers Park, Buccaneer Point, Port Largo, Ocean Isle Estates, Key Largo Ocean Shores, Key Largo Park, Lime Grove Estates, and Rock Harbor. Monroe County has a minimum 28-day vacation rental policy for Florida Keys vacation homes. You’ll also find a number of transient boaters anchored in the sound on the bayside.
YOU’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH
Serenity and sparkling flat water on the bayside and blazing sunsets
The Caribbean vibe of Key Largo surprisingly close to a major city. You’ll fall in love with the overwhelming feeling and desire to explore the coral reefs and isolated mangrove islands, as a scuba diver or fishing in the shallows of the backcountry.