With only 24 hours in between back-to-back conferences in Miami and Ft Lauderdale, I decided to spend the time in Kay Largo. Having only passed through the island in the past, driving to Key West, I learned what makes Key Largo the ideal destination for all kinds of water sports.

Key Largo is a sucba diving enthusiast’s playground. The Florida Reef spans 350 miles from west of Key West up Florida’s southeast coast to St. Martin County. More than 40 species of reef-building corals, provide an underwater experience of color and life beneath the waves. An early morning walk around the marina outside my hotel, was busy with dive boats and crew loading equipment and getting ready to welcome excited, if not still a bit groggy scuba guests from their pre-dawn wake up.

Boat Excursions & Charters In Key Largo

Naturally, coral reefs make for a pleasurable glass-bottom boat excursion for water lovers who like to stay dry. While not enough time this visit for me to enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride, I know from past times, what a relaxing few hours this can be.

Yachts of all-sizes and pontoon boats ply the waters of the marinas in Key Largo offering half-day and full day charters. Out on the open sea, playful dolphins can often be seen to the delight of boat passengers. Cruising off the coast on a yacht can be both active and restful depending on the level of activity one chooses. Either way, it’s living the life people dream about enjoying and an escape from daily routines.

Sport Fishing In Key Largo

And of course, there is sport fishing. Like the scuba diving boats heading out early morning, fishing charters depart early as well. The waters of Key Largo are teaming with marlin, grouper, snapper, mahi, tuna, kingfish, sailfish, amberjack, wahoo, and barracuda. When the boats return to their docks, fish cleaning stations are available to take away your own catch of the day what eventually becomes an amazing lunch or dinner perfectly prepared fresh.

Key Largo is home to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the country’s first undersea park, occupying 70 nautical square miles of pristine nature preserves. Renting kayaks is a popular activity in the park, which also has a swimming beach and a visitors center containing aquariums showscasing the sea life and fish that inhabit the unique ecosystem of the area.

Dining In Key Largo

After working up an appetite with all of this activity, the dining scene in Key Largo is on the water or overlooking the water. I had dinner the only evening I had on the island sitting on the sand looking at the incredible sunset at Bayside Grille and Sunset Bar. I became mesmerized by the view while sipping on one of their specialty cocktails. Of course my entree was an amazingly prepared catch of the day, blackened grouper.

For lunch the next day before leaving the island, I stopped at Skipper’s Dockside Restaurant built on wood pilings and wooden deck right on the marina. A beer and a fish sandwhich hit the spot while watching boats come and go. What a great way to spend the middle of the day enjoying the island breeze and fresh air, looking forward to my next visit to Key Largo.

John Werner

As a 45 year veteran of the travel industry and the President of MAST Travel Network since 2002, John’s career has included 14 years as a travel agency owner. He has served in various capacities on the Board of the Midwest Chapter of ASTA including Treasurer and Vice President. John has also held several positions on the Board of Directors for MAST including Vice Chairman and Board Chairman during the years he owned Travel Group International, a MAST member during the 1990s.