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Visit Key Largo - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

There is a song by the Beach Boys called Kokomo that makes a famous reference to Key Largo and the Florida Keys, not to mention the famous film ‘Key Largo’ that starred Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Ever since I first heard that Beach Boy song and flew regularly into Miami I have wanted to visit the Keys and last year we managed to do it.

Key Largo one of the islands forming part of the upper Florida Keys, it is 33 miles long and the largest of all of the islands. Key Largo is the most northern of the Keys connected to the mainland by the famous US Highway 1 and also via Card Sound Road which connects the northern part of Key Largo at Card Sound Bridge, through County Road 905 and joining US 1 further up.

Once you depart the mainland it is an 18 mile journey (via the ' Eighteen Mile Stretch' ) to Key Largo through mangrove and everglade savannahs for the entire journey. This stretch is abundant with bird life such as Herons and the Roseate Spoonbill which turns pinker during its residence in the Everglades.

When using Card Sound Road it adds an additional 8 miles to the journey. We haven' t tried it but if you take this route, and just before reaching Card Sound Bridge, there is a well known restaurant called Alabama Jacks which is well known for good food with live music at the weekends. Just prior to reaching Key Largo you stumble upon the Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. This park contains one of the largest contiguous tracks of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the USA. There are 84 protected species of plants and animals including wild cotton, mahogany mistletoe and the crocodile. The park has over 6 miles of nature trails, most of which are paved and with plenty of signage, giving visitors the chance to observe the beauty of the park either alone or via Ranger guided tours. Great for bird watching and for photography. The park covers a massive 2000 acres of land.

For those that like life on the water it is said that Key Largo has the clearest water in the keys, making diving and fishing very popular. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a beautiful location to base yourself if snorkelling or scuba diving are a favourite pastime. The shallow living corel reef is a beautiful environment to experience and is very safe for all ages to enjoy.

Next time you fly into Miami give it a thought.

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