Located just an hour south of Miami International Airport, Key Largo is close enough to Florida's major travel areas to qualify for a weekend getaway. At the same time, it's just far enough down into the Keys for you to feel that something is entirely different in this part of the state.
When you are ready to throw on some flip-flops and roll the windows down, we have the perfect weekend in Key Largo waiting for you.
Where to Stay in Key Largo
There are plenty of hidden gems along the stretch of highway that runs through Key Largo, but one of the best-kept secrets is Baker's Cay Resort on the western side of the key.
This Hilton property features one critical amenity that isn't as common as you might think in the Keys: beach access!
In addition to having its own beach and plenty of exciting water activities, guests here can enjoy first-class accommodations and fabulous dining options. (The lobby is also an excellent spot for a travel writer looking for some inspiration to plug in a laptop.)
If rentals are more your speed, there are more than a few great options to choose from around the area, and then there are even more available just a bit south in Islamorada. If you are looking for something a little different, there are lots of houseboat rentals to check out around the Keys!
Day One: Morada Bay, Eco Tours, Hobo's Cafe, Tiki Cruise
Our first stop in the Keys might be a little past our destination, but if you have never been to Morada Bay Beach Cafe, it's worth the extra 20 minutes to have lunch this good on such a gorgeous beach.
Fans of the Netflix series Bloodline will get an extra kick out of this stop because “the Rayburn House” from the series is located here as well!
Following a fabulous lunch on the beach, it's time to get into the action that is the heart of the Florida Keys. That means participating in one of the many eco-tours available around the area. This could be anything from kayaks or airboats to scuba diving. The choice is yours, so get out and find a way to enjoy the area's natural beauty.
For dinner on your first night in Key Largo, the only destination to consider is Hobo's Cafe! Don't let the laid-back, friendly atmosphere here fool you. That's how things are in the Keys. The food here will knock your socks off. Tuna Nachos, Godfather's Yellowtail, and Key Lime Pie are all requirements for this one.
If you're feeling like a nightcap and looking for the perfect Florida Keys atmosphere, head over to Cruisin' Tikis at Snook's Bayside Restaurant for a 90-minute “night cruise” on one of their floating tiki bars!
Take a look:
Day Two: Snorkeling, Conch, Dolphins, More Conch
You can't spend a weekend in the Keys without enjoying some of the world's best snorkeling, so that is how we are kicking off our second day in the keys. Most of the best snorkeling locations around Key Largo are only accessible by boat, but there are plenty of great options to choose from here, so you won't ever have a problem finding a charter.
It's easy to work up an appetite out on the water, so don't feel bad when you want to order everything on the menu at Mrs. Mac's Kitchen. This classic Florida Keys cafe is probably best known for its friendly service, but the “Konk” Chowder and the Churrasco Steak aren't far behind.
After lunch, we're getting back in the water, but this time, it's swimming with dolphins at Theater of the Sea. In addition to swimming with dolphins, they also offer animal experiences with sea lions, sea turtles, sharks, and even alligators!
The best way to finish a long day of water activities is to have a casual dinner at Key Largo Conch House. There is conch all over the menu at this family-owned establishment, but the Conch Fritters have been featured on a handful of different TV shows over the years, so don't skip those!
If you are feeling like one more stop before turning in for the night, try checking out Breezer's Tiki Bar at the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort. This open-air lounge had a fabulous view of the water and a great selection of tropical cocktails.
Day Three: Coral Reef, Brunch, Shopping
If you didn't get enough time in the water on the first two days in Key Largo, you can find even more snorkeling and scuba diving spots at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is known for being the first undersea park in the country. If you'd rather stay dry on the last day of your trip, kayak rentals and glass-bottom boat tours are also available.
Regardless of how you choose to explore John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you'll probably work up an appetite for one last meal before closing out your Key Largo getaway. Make the extra effort to head down to Harriette's Restaurant so that you can enjoy their fabulous brunch menu.
As you finish up your 48 hours in Key Largo, give yourself plenty of time to stop at some of the fun stores you'll pass as you cruise up U.S. 1 toward the mainland. There are all kinds of great souvenirs available at dozens of different shops along the way.
One of the best things about a quick trip to Key Largo is that as soon as your trip comes to an end, you will be planning your next adventure down to this tropical paradise. Don't worry. All of these spots will be just as much fun the second and third time you visit!
Thinking About Retiring in Key Largo?
Key Largo offers a wide variety of housing options. If you'd like to learn more about what's available, just fill out this form: