The northernmost island on the Key, Largo is only 50 miles from two of Florida’s major airports. Largo is located between the Everglades in the west and North America’s only living coral reef to the east.
Key Largo has a well-deserved title as the “Dive Capital of the World” because of its large steps in marine conservation. In 1960, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park, the first conservatory of its kind, was opened, followed by the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary 15 years later in 1975. Statues, ships and reefs abound in the waters surrounding Key Largo, with many educational and entertaining opportunities.
In addition to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park and the National Marine Sanctuary, Key Largo hosts a wealth of diving opportunities. You can explore Bibb and Duane, dual 327-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutters, intentionally sunk in 1987 to attract divers of beginner to veteran status, as a safe dive site. The Benwood wreck, sunk in an attack during World War II, provides a firsthand glimpse of how schools of fish will thrive in a man-made environment, as swarms of grunt and porkfish (in addition to many others) call this ship home. Likewise, Spiegel Grove, a 510-foot Navy vessel, was intentionally sunk in the summer of 2002 to add yet another controlled dive location. Lastly, Christ of the Abyss is an easily accessible Largo landmark, cast in bronze; it is sandwiched between the Dry Rocks coral formation in a shallow 25 feet of water.
If diving isn’t your game, Largo’s proximity to the Everglades makes it a prime location for kayakers, photographers, bird-watchers and other nature-minded people. On the island itself, many art galleries have opened and with them, several gourmet restaurants as well as pubs, hotels and shops for when the sun goes down.