Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Key Largo, FL

  • Published 2022/10/18

Along the edges of the Florida Keys archipelago, there exists a dreamy, tropical paradise.

Key Largo is an island community in Monroe County, famed as the “Diving Capital in the World.”

It boasts vibrant coral reefs, warm sunshine, and almost endless opportunities.

It’s also home to quaint shops, specialty restaurants, and other destinations unique to Key Largo.

As a vacation venue, loads of diverse adventures can be found on the island.

For those who love beach vibes and water-centric activities, Key Largo can be a worthwhile choice.

Let this concrete list help you discover the best things to do in Key Largo, Florida!

Drive by and See the Views at the Overseas Highway

Aerial view of the scenic Overseas Highway

Mia2you /

The Overseas Highway is more than just a destination.

With about 113 miles of road, the highway is a scenic drive, like the ones you see in movies.

A constant backdrop of beautiful skies and crystal waters will surround your vision as you drive along the road.

It’s tradition for those who drive by to make stops along the way and bask in the gorgeous views.

The road of Overseas Highway

Bill Florence /

Small coral islands and limestone islets are also scattered within the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay.

With its gorgeous views, some even call this the “highway that goes into the sea.”

Established in 2012, the Overseas Highway used to be a train route that connected Key Largo with nearby communities.

Make sure to take this popular route if you ever visit the island.

View of the vast ocean from Overseas Highway

pisaphotography /

Swim with the Dolphins in Dolphin Plus Bayside

If you’ve ever wanted to swim with the dolphins, this venue can help you check off your bucket list.

Dolphin Plus Bayside is a facility dedicated to helping people connect with gentle dolphins.

The organization hopes that this can foster a better appreciation for all kinds of marine life.

They’re positioned within a natural lagoon, creating a beautiful environment for animals and dolphins to bond.

You can swim with the dolphins, play tricks with them, and even pat them on their heads!

Dolphin Plus Bayside offers plenty of ways to let you get up close and personal with their dolphins.

It’s incredibly interactive, and each package varies, depending on your preferences.

Along Overseas Highway, this facility offers a unique experience you can’t miss out on.

Spend the Night in Key Largo Kampground & Marina

Key Largo Kampground & Marina is a camping spot amid towering pine trees, lush plantations, and native flora.

You can bring tents or park your RV to enjoy their amenities.

Key Largo Kampground & Marina offers useful tools like laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, and clean water machines.

All these can help you have a more comfortable camping trip within untamed nature.

It’s also home to fun facilities, including field courts, beaches, a kid’s swimming pool, and a playground.

In case you need anything, there’s a general store and a clubhouse which may be able to accommodate you.

It’s also near local shops, grocery stores, and a thriving plaza!

This splendid campground can be located along Overseas Highway.

Get a Sugar Rush in Keys Chocolate & Ice Cream

Established in 2010, Keys Chocolate & Ice Cream has been a famous source of sweets in Key Largo.

This store comes from a family of generations, beginning with Bronna’s grandmother, who made the first few recipes of their desserts.

Now, they’ve expanded their store and have a wide assortment of treats, including ice cream, truffles, and other baked goods.

They’re housed in a vibrant shop painted with bright colors.

All of them are made from scratch and freshly made within the store.

You can also expect unique flavors of ice cream, such as blue raspberry, toasted coconut, and key lime pie.

On the Overseas Highway, this place is heaven for those with a sweet tooth.

Explore the Sea in John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park

Underwater view of John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park

Off Axis Production /

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the first-ever “under the sea” park in the United States!

It was built in 1963 to preserve endangered areas, like mangroves and living coral reefs.

This state park is all about water-related adventures!

Whether it’s snorkeling, scuba diving, glass boats, or kayaks, this park has a lot to offer its customers.

School of fish at John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park

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All these activities can give you breathtaking sights of life underwater.

From marine animals in their natural habitats to beautifully shaped coral reefs, this place is nature at its finest.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park is famed for having one of the most diverse communities within its waters.

Explore the in-depth wonders of the sea along Overseas Highway.

Visible coral reef at John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park

lmBellentani /

Feel the Elegance at Largo Resort

Largo Resort is a beautiful paradise in a secluded location, offering limited spaces to ensure the place is never crowded.

Largo Resort seamlessly blends tropical island vibes with modern elegance and convenience.

There’s an infinity pool positioned in a way that presents sweeping views of the vast waters in Key Largo.

The rooms were styled in minimalist perfection, featuring hints of dainty flowers and plants.

If you don’t mind spending more, Largo Resort offers the added experience of having your own private chef.

This resort can be found on Overseas Highway.

Book a safe, serene stay within the tropical paradise of Largo Resort.

Taste Fresh Seafood in the Fish House

Interior of the Fish House

Helen89 /

At Overseas Highway, the Fish House takes pride in its stellar reputation as an award-winning restaurant.

They serve fresh local seafood cooked in “Keys” fashion, just like how the residents enjoy it.

From appetizers and entrees to sandwiches and desserts, the Fish House offers various seafood.

They have a wide selection of local fish, including black groupers, yellow snappers, hogfishes, and more.

Design inside the Fish House

Helen89 /

The key-lime pie has also won the hearts of many, going as far as to win in Florida Magazine’s “Best Key Lime Pie” category.

Truly, the Fish House is a must-try for travelers who search for the most cherished restaurants.

You may also enjoy the casual, cheery atmosphere and their friendly servers!

Bring Your Family to Historic Shadow Point

For those traveling in big families, Historic Shadow Point was built to accommodate groups of people.

Along Bonito Avenue, the place is a complete vacation home, fully stocked with the necessary amenities to live for a few days.

It borders the edge of the island, so you’ll have plenty of access to nearby waters.

On its own, the home is a historic venue built in 1917, retaining its charming ambiance from the 1920’s period.

You’ll be welcomed in a warm atmosphere of bright-colored cabinets, chairs, and walls.

It was designed to foster a comfortable ambiance as if you’re just relaxing at home.

Outside, Historic Shadow Point is adorned with stunning sculptures, pretty flowers, and lush palm trees.

They also have sturdy hammocks and swings that offer stunning views of the world outside.

Enter the Woods of Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Entrance to the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite its long name, don’t discount the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.

The place is rich in dense terrains and diverse plants and flora.

It’s perfect for a mysterious walk inside the woods, embraced by tropical hardwood hammocks and other native trees.

The park has more than 6 miles of trails, containing rare and common natural species.

Plaque marker of Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since there are signs everywhere, you can have self-guided tours to learn and explore the park’s surroundings.

You can also book ranger-guided tours to make your learning easier.

At County Road, Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park opens its area for outdoor ventures.

Don’t let its long name intimidate you from connecting with nature!

Browse Local Works in Key Largo Art Gallery

Key Largo Art Gallery is a space dedicated to creativity.

At Overseas Highway, the gallery currently features more than 30 artists with distinct styles and art mediums.

About 20 of them come from the local area and have formerly received prestigious awards for their work.

Many of their styles take inspiration from their life on the island—its marine life, tropical wonders, and vibrant community.

You can browse through the works in the gallery or purchase any that suit your fancy.

It’s small, but this has made it a warm, intimate location with friendly artists and staff.

Mostly, the artworks are in the form of paintings, but each has a unique feature that interestingly sets it apart from the rest.

At Key Largo Art Gallery, you’ll be able to see glimpses of the island through the lens of creative minds.

Sail the Waters in the Historic African Queen

View of the docked African Queen

Sheryl Chapman /

What makes this cruise line company special from all the rest in Key Largo?

It’s home to the popular and iconic steamboat, the African Queen.

In the early 1900s, the African Queen was famous for being made into a movie with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.

It was beautifully restored to have as many similar features as its original form!

Front part of the African Queen boat

Bridget F Faure /

Now, it’s open for daily cruises with a fun, lively tour guide who can give you insights into the legendary classic.

The cruise will take you through a journey on the oceans, passing by the Port Largo Canals and other stunning sights of the island.

The African Queen may be old, but its owners have made considerable efforts to ensure that it functions well and remains in good condition.

You can find this cool piece of history along the Overseas Highway.

Daytime view of African Queen

Upstateherd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take Home Souvenirs from Randy’s Florida Keys Gift Co.

At Overseas Highway, this gift shop is one of the go-to destinations for those in Key Largo.

Randy’s Florida Keys Gift Co. has a unique selection of items, collectibles, and souvenir-worthy trinkets.

They have t-shirts, bracelets, candies, signs, and affordable items.

If you just want a small item to remind you of the island, this souvenir shop might be your best choice.

It also hosts local arts and crafts, so it’s a great way to support the people within the area.

You can never really know what to expect from Randy’s Florida Keys Gift Co.

That’s why you must see it for yourself!

Try Shopping in the Pink Plaza

Aerial view of the Pink Plaza

Felix Mizioznikov /

As its name suggests, the Pink Plaza is colored bright pink!

With such a vibrant theme, it’s hard to miss the buildings splashed in pretty hues.

Beyond the flashy color, the Pink Plaza is home to a little bit of everything, including restaurants, shops, and a tattoo parlor.

It’s an interesting place to shop, making it a top destination for shopping necessities and a few other items.

This strip mall may be worth a stop for those who love the vivacious color.

If you’re interested, this place can be located along the Overseas Highway.

Step into the Friendship Park

For a casual retreat, bring yourselves to Friendship Park.

At Hibiscus Lane, this serene park offers a space to clear your mind.

It’s family-friendly, featuring several amenities that people of all ages can enjoy.

There’s a playground and garden for kids to explore.

Meanwhile, others can enjoy the facilities of sports fields, picnic tables, basketball courts, and rentable pavilions.

Friendship Park is well-maintained and frequently cleaned to remain in pristine condition.

If you need a place to hang out for leisure, Friendship Park can be an easy, secure choice.

Play in the Sands of Far Beach

Daytime view of Far Beach

Rachael Martin /

Far Beach is in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, but it deserves its own recognition!

Adorned with pristine sands, azure waters, and palm trees, Far Beach looks like a beautiful tropical oasis.

It’s the perfect summer destination on an island like Key Fargo.

Far Beach is also a family-friendly attraction since its waters are warm and shallow enough for children to swim in leisurely.

Bring your beach towels and lie down on the soft sand or enjoy a casual swim inside its waters.

Either way, Far Beach is open to the public for an affordable price!

It’s no surprise that this beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island.

Final Thoughts

Key Largo is the ultimate summer destination as part of the island county.

With endless opportunities for water recreation and tropical venues, this community’s perfect for a tropical getaway.

It also has a unique assortment of nature parks, restaurants, galleries, and cool places.

Enjoy the warm sunshine and azure waters in Key Largo, Florida.

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