Key Largo is the first of the Florida Keys and is know as the Dive Capital of the World. Key Largo is home to the world’s second largest artificial reef, the 510 foot USS Spiegel Grove, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef Underwater State Park, the African Queen and the famous Christ of the Abyss underwater statue.
Six miles offshore in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is the Spiegel Grove shipwreck, a 510-foot former US Navy ship intentionally scuttled in 2002. Because the living coral reef a few miles offshore, Key Largo attracts thousands of scuba divers and Key Largo is also famous as a sport-fishing destination.
Visitors can enjoy Key Largo’s scuba diving, snorkeling, an underwater hotel, sport fishing, eco-tours, and beaches.
Key Largo, like many of the islands in the Florida Keys, is not known for its beaches. Its water is shallow, the result of a 221-mile-long coral reef system that extends from Miami to the Dry Tortugas National Park near Key West. These shallow waters do not provide the wave action necessary to form a beach. Still, tourists flock to the Florida Keys to enjoy a subtropical climate and several man-made beaches that skirt waters teeming with tropical fish.
Since no natural swimming beaches exist in Key Largo, locals head to Harry Harris Park and Beach, a man-made lagoon complete with a sandy beach for sunbathing or beach-combing. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park also features two manmade beaches, including Far Beach, the best spot to swim and relax.