20 Top Things to Do in Key Largo for Nature Lovers | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Published: August 1, 2023

Hi there! I'm Natasha, an avid nature lover who has explored the beauty of Key Largo extensively. Based on my firsthand experience, I'm thrilled to share my top 20 recommendations for an incredible nature-filled adventure in Key Largo.

Top Things to Do in Key Largo for Nature Lovers

Key Largo, located in the upper Florida Keys, is a nature lover's paradise with its diverse coral reefs, mangrove forests, and pristine beaches.

As the gateway to the Florida Keys, Key Largo offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and hiking through the state parks.

Visitors can also explore the nearby Everglades National Park or take a scenic drive to Key West. With its stunning natural beauty and ample things to do, Key Largo is a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable vacation in the Florida Keys.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Top Choice Hotel

Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Snappers Key Largo

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife


Best Time to Visit

Tropical paradise with year-round sunny weather and activities.

Average Temperature

Warm climate with average temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Transportation Options

Car, taxi, bus, boat, bicycle, scooter, walking

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

In Key Largo, United States of America, I recommend immersing yourself in the breathtaking underwater world by taking a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion to explore the vibrant coral reefs and colorful marine life that call this area home. With crystal-clear waters and warm temperatures, you'll have the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing beauty of underwater ecosystems like never before.

If you're looking to unwind and relax, make sure to savor the peaceful moments at the picturesque beaches of Key Largo, where the soft sand meets the tranquil turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Kick back, soak up some sunshine, and let the sound of gently crashing waves lull you into a state of pure bliss, providing the perfect setting for those seeking tranquility and rejuvenation during their travels.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Swimsuit
  3. Hat
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Beach towel
  6. Water bottle
  7. Snorkeling gear
  8. Insect repellent
  9. Camera
  10. Comfortable walking shoes

What Not to Miss

  1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  2. Dolphin Cove
  3. Christ of the Abyss
  4. Key Largo Hammocks State Botanical Site
  5. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
  6. Spiegel Grove Shipwreck
  7. Key Largo Community Park and Jacob's Aquatic Center
  8. African Queen Canal Cruise
  9. Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
  10. Harry Harris Park.

What to Avoid

  1. Don't forget to avoid overpacking. Key Largo's warm climate and casual atmosphere make it unnecessary to bring too many clothes or accessories.
  2. Avoid missing out on the unique local cuisine. Key Largo offers a variety of delicious seafood dishes and Caribbean-inspired flavors that shouldn't be missed.
  3. Don't skip out on water activities. Key Largo is known for its stunning coral reefs and clear waters, so make sure to take part in snorkeling or diving experiences.
  4. Avoid rushing through your explorations. Key Largo's laid-back vibe calls for a slower pace, so take the time to relax and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
  5. Don't overlook the opportunity to visit nearby natural attractions. Key Largo is located near Everglades National Park and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.
  6. Avoid leaving without experiencing the breathtaking sunsets. Key Largo's west-facing beaches offer stunning views of the sun sinking into the horizon, creating a picture-perfect moment.
  7. Don't forget to research the best times to visit. Key Largo experiences a hurricane season from June to November, so plan your trip accordingly.
  8. Avoid neglecting sunscreen. The sun is strong in Key Largo, so remember to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  9. Don't forget to respect the environment. Key Largo is home to delicate ecosystems, so be mindful of your actions and follow any environmental regulations in place.
  10. Avoid missing out on the chance to interact with marine life. Key Largo offers opportunities to swim with dolphins or go on eco-friendly boat tours to spot dolphins, manatees, and other fascinating marine creatures.

1. Visit the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

The first underwater park in the United States is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park near Key Largo Florida. 

The John Pennekamp State Park provides visitors with a distinctive opportunity to discover the underwater environment of the Florida Keys, and it spans an area of around 70 nautical square miles.

John Pennekamp State Park is home to the only living coral reef in the continental United States, making it a popular destination for snorkelers and divers. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, and glass-bottom boat tours.

On land, Key Largo's John Pennekamp coral reef park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and a visitor center. Mile marker 103.8 in Key Largo is home to the fascinating John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

2. Go to the Everglades National Park, a World Heritage Site

Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and anyone interested in experiencing the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Everglades National Park is a vast and diverse wilderness area located in southern Florida.

Visitors can explore the park's unique ecosystem of marshes, swamps, and forests. 

Activities in Everglades National Park include hiking, kayaking, and airboat tours, as well as educational programs and ranger-led activities.

3. Explore the Harry Harris Park

Harry Harris Park

Harry Harris Park is a lovely beachfront park situated on the northern shore of Key Largo. The park has a variety of amenities, such as a swimming pool, picnic tables, grills, and play structures

In addition, it's a great place for kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.

Harry Harris Park is a wonderful destination to spend a day with family and friends because of its clean seas, white sand beach, and outstanding amenities. 

For visitors searching for an overnight stay, the park also provides a campground with RV and tent sites.

4. Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary

Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary

Over 2,900 square nautical miles of the waters surrounding the Florida Keys are protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which is located in Key Largo.

It supports a wide variety of aquatic life, including coral reefs, shipwrecks, different fish species, and others. 

Visitors can choose from a glass bottom boat tour or a guided snorkeling or scuba diving excursion to explore the colorful coral reefs without getting wet.

5. Isolate at Anne's Beach

Anne's Beach

Anne's Beach is a hidden gem in Key Largo FL, offering visitors a quiet and serene escape from the crowds. 

The beach is a shallow and peaceful spot perfect for swimming and sunbathing. It also offers great fishing opportunities, including ocean fishing, making it a popular destination for anglers.

The crystal-clear water, scenic views, and abundance of marine life make it a great place to spend a day with family and friends. 

Don't forget to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the day in this beautiful and tranquil spot.

6. International Biosphere Reserve in Key Largo

International Biosphere Reserve in Key Largo

Key Largo's International Biosphere Reserve offers a wealth of fun things to do for nature lovers. 

Visitors can explore the reserve's pristine forests, marshes, and coastal habitats, with opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, and more.

The reserve is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including crocodiles, manatees, and countless bird species. 

For those looking for a unique adventure, night tours of the reserve offer a chance to witness the nocturnal activities of the park's inhabitants.

7. Visit the Animal Hospital in Key Largo

Animal Hospital in Key Largo

The Animal Hospital in Key Largo FL is a must-visit attraction for animal lovers. The hospital is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, including birds, reptiles, and mammals.

Travelers can take a tour of the facility, learn about the hospital's conservation efforts, and even participate in the release of rehabilitated animals back into the wild.

This is a great opportunity to get up close with some of the unique wildlife of the Florida Keys and learn about the important work being done to protect them.

8. Exploring Private Beaches in Key Largo

Private Beaches in Key Largo

Enjoy the laid-back island life with a visit to the private beaches in Key Largo Florida, surrounded by swaying palm trees. Relax on pristine white sands and soak up the sunshine in the company of azure waters.

Many resorts and hotels offer private beach access to their guests, with amenities such as beach chairs, umbrellas, and water sports equipment available for use.

Spend your day swimming, snorkeling, or simply lounging on the sand in Key Largo while taking in the stunning views of palm trees and crystal-clear water.

9. Travel with Silver Kings

Travel with Silver Kings

Silver Kings is a popular fishing charter located in Key Largo Florida. Visitors can enjoy a thrilling boat ride as they venture out to catch a variety of fish species in the surrounding waters.

The fishing charter also offers day trips and scuba diving excursions for those who prefer to explore the underwater surroundings of Key Largo.

Additionally, it offers an eco-tour that allows guests to learn about the diverse marine life in the area and the importance of preserving the ecosystem.

Key Largo Art Gallery

Key Largo Art Gallery is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. The gallery showcases the works of many talented artists including a few locals.

From paintings from local artists and sculptures to jewelry and pottery, the gallery offers a diverse range of art pieces that are both unique and captivating. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in the local art scene and take home a piece of Key Largo culture.

11. Take a Ride with the African Queen Canal cruise

A canal trip through the gorgeous Port Largo Canals in Key Largo on the renowned African Queen will let you experience the allure of a bygone era.

This historic steamboat, made famous by the classic film of the same name, provides a unique opportunity to travel back in time while enjoying the stunning scenery of the canals.

A day trip on the African Queen is not complete without spotting sea life, dolphins, manatees, and other marine life that call these waters home. 

African Queen day trip through port largo canals is a must-do activity for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

12. Visit the Marina Del Mar

Marina Del Mar

Marina Del Mar is located on the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of Key Largo's most popular attractions. 

Visitors can enjoy a range of watersports activities, such as kayaking, fishing, and diving, and rent boats to explore the beautiful coastline.

The marina is also a great place to relax, with stunning views of the ocean and a natural swim lagoon for those looking to cool off. 

Additionally, there are plenty of dining options nearby, making it the perfect spot for a day trip or extended stay in Key Largo.

13. Key Largo Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center

Key Largo Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center

The Key Largo Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers. The center is run by the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation, a non-profit organization that has been helping birds in the area since 1988.

Visitors of Key Largo Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center can observe the birds in their natural enclosures and learn about their species and behaviors from knowledgeable staff members.

Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center also offers educational programs for schools and other groups. Donations and volunteers are always welcome.

14. Key Largo Diving Museum

Key Largo Diving Museum

The Key Largo Diving Museum is a must-visit destination for people who like to scuba dive and snorkel in the area. This is one of the most exciting Key Largo attractions to visit on a scorching hot day.

The diving museum boasts a collection of fascinating artifacts from the world of diving, including vintage equipment and historic photographs of snorkel Key Largo.

Visitors can learn about the evolution of diving technology and techniques, as well as west Indian manatee found in the waters around Key Largo Florida.

15. Enjoy the Florida Keys Brewing Company Beers

Florida Keys Brewing Company Beers

The Tropical Beer Garden in Key Largo is the perfect place to enjoy delicious brews from the Florida Keys Brewing Company. This outdoor beer garden boasts a relaxing tropical atmosphere, complete with palm trees and island decor.

Sip on unique Florida Keys brewing company beers like the Key Lime Wit or the No Wake Zone IPA while enjoying the beautiful weather. 

With frequent live music events and food trucks on site, the Florida Keys brewing garden is a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts.

16. Underwater Thrill at Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules Undersea Lodge

Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo FL is a unique and exciting underwater hotel that offers a one-of-a-kind experience. 

The lodge was originally an underwater research laboratory and is now a comfortable and cozy hotel with all the amenities you need.

To reach the lodge, you have to scuba dive or take a "mermaid" underwater scooter.

Once inside, you can enjoy underwater fun by observing marine life from the comfort of your room. 

After an exhilarating day exploring the underwater world at Jules Undersea Lodge, indulge in the delicious Key Lime Seafood Penne at a nearby restaurant

17. Exploring the USS Spiegel Grove Wreck near Key Largo

USS Spiegel Grove Wreck near Key Largo

Near Key Largo, there is a well-known dive site called the USS Spiegel Grove wreck, which was deliberately sunk to make an artificial reef.

Diverse aquatic life, such as coral, sea turtles, and colorful fish, have made the USS Spiegel Grove ship their home

The Florida Keys have a distinctive underwater environment that can be explored at the neighboring Molasses Reef, another well-liked dive spot.

18. Overseas Heritage Trail

Overseas Heritage Trail

The Overseas Heritage Trail in Key Largo FL is a scenic path with a rich history, running from Mile Marker 106 to Mile Marker 0.

This trail offers an opportunity to explore the area's natural beauty, including the Florida Panther habitat, while learning about its cultural heritage.

Along the way, you can discover the remains of the historic Flagler Railroad, explore local parks, and witness the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

19. Explore Cannon Patch Reef

Canon Patch Reef

Canon Patch Reef is one of the most-visited Key Largo attractions, featuring a vibrant and colorful coral reef. 

To experience this beautiful undersea world, take a boat ride out to the reef and prepare to be amazed by the diversity of marine life.

As one of the top snorkeling and scuba diving sites in the area, it's a great spot for adventurers to explore the underwater creatures and appreciate the natural beauty of Key Largo Florida.

20. Hammock Botanical State Park

Hammock Botanical State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the most popular national park in Key Largo FL, but Hammock Botanical State Park is also worth exploring.

This 1,000-acre park features hiking trails, scenic vistas, and a diverse array of plants and wildlife.

It's a great spot for nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Key West. Plus, it's just a short drive from other national parks and fun things to do in Key Largo.

FAQs About Things to Do in Key Largo for Nature Lovers

Let's take a look at some of the frequently asked questions about top things to do in Key Largo for nature lovers.

Where to stay in Key Largo?

There are many great options for accommodation in Key Largo such as Jules undersea lodge. Some other popular choices include beach resorts, cozy bed, and breakfasts, and private vacation rentals. Many of these properties offer easy access to the area's main attractions, such as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the like.

Should you visit Key Largo in December?

December is a great time to visit Florida, especially for those who want to escape the colder climates of other regions. Florida December offers visitors the chance to enjoy holiday lights and decorations, as well as outdoor activities like snorkeling, fishing, and boating.

Summary: Best Things to Do in Key Largo for Nature Lovers

Key Largo is a nature lover's paradise with plenty of fun things to do at any time of year. 

Visitors can explore the unique coral reefs at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, take a walk through the Hammock Botanical State Park, or hike the trails of Everglades National Park.

Key Largo also provides easy access to other Florida Keys destinations, such as Key West. 

However, with so many incredible natural attractions, visitors may find it difficult to leave Key Largo.