Key Largo Family Vacation
Key Largo Family Vacation– I know, I know, Key Largo has nothing to do with Disney. As the local Florida resident on this blog team, I wanted to bring you all some other great Florida destinations. As our kids are getting bigger we are trying to get out and about and explore our state! Also, in full disclosure, we had such a great time on our Key Largo Family Vacation I wanted to share our adventures.
Key Largo is in the Upper Keys of Florida. It is approximately 4 1/2 hours from Orlando. US 1 runs the length of the Keys and is basically two lanes. This makes sometimes for a slow drive, but everything is not far off the main road either.
We stayed at a campground called John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This is a small campground that books up fast. If you feel like camping book ahead! You can head to this website to book any Florida campground around 11 months ahead. We camped in a tent. One of the few families to do so. I would much rather be in some sort of camper #glampinggoals. Next time we will rent a camper… it was hot! Despite the heat, this is a very economical way to visit the keys. Three nights at the campsite was around $135 total.
If you are not into camping this is still a great park to visit as a jumping-off point for adventure. The park itself is home to two “beaches”. The beaches are not the lush sandy oasis I am used to. Read about the beach in my hometown here. Cannon beach has some sunken relics and cannons to view a very short snorkel from the shore. The campground has a small aquarium and a few activities for Jr. Rangers ( a program for kids that visit the Florida State Parks ). You could make almost a full day adventure just exploring the park.
There are several ways to enjoy the water from the state park. A snorkel tour. ( our kids are not strong enough swimmers yet). A glass-bottom boat tour and kayak or stand up paddleboard rentals.
The glass bottom boat was a wonderful way to pass a few hours. The water was crystal clear and so beautiful. The boat had four viewing wells. We were seated around the wells on benches and the boat stopped at various spots for us to view the coral beds below. We saw a nice variety of sea life and hard and soft coral. We visited in October.
Our guide explained that the visibility in the water and sea life is more active in the summer months. I could have stayed all day out on the water. The boat was also covered and equipped with a marine potty. I recommend the earliest departure time. We were able to visit more parts of the reef since there were not as many snorkel boats out on the water at that time of day yet.
We also rented kayaks here and padded around and explored all the mangrove trails. It was a great way to be out on the water in easy to navigate paths.
Florida Parks Passport
From here we visited a few other state parks. We are on a mission to visit all 170 something Florida State Parks. We have a Florida State passport book. When you visit each park you can have your book stamped. When you visit them all you receive an annual pass for your family to all Florida State Parks. I wrote about another campground here.
Since we were in the area we wanted to try to get some of the parks near Key Largo crossed off our list. We took a short trip down to Islamorada. There is a “tourist trap” that was recommended to us. It was totally worth the visit for a variety of reasons. Robbie’s Marina is home to several activities. Here we rented a kayak to paddle about a mile offshore to reach a Florida State Park that is only accessible by boat. Indian Key is home to an old abandoned town. All that is left is the footprints but it was fun to explore and swim off the coast of the little island.
We headed back to Robbie’s to feed some giant tarpon. The fish are huge and the Pelicans swarm just like the seagull scene in Finding Nemo. If you want to see for yourself check out the live feed! This was by far one of the boys’ favorite things to do! We ended up getting a second bucket of fish. It’s not free ( tourist trap) but we had $10 worth of fun.
We also grabbed a delicious lunch on the dock and had some tasty drinks. The restaurant was also frequented by what seems like dozens of iguana. The place was simple, beachy and had a great Old Florida feel.
At the request of our oldest boy, we made time to stop at the History of Diving Museum. It was a cute little spot giving you information on exactly what you would expect. They had a great scavenger hunt to keep the kids engaged throughout the museum. You could spend a few hours here exploring. A great spot to get out of the heat or the rain. We found a coupon in the local magazine for a few dollars off admission.
Key Largo Family Vacation- Are the keys on your bucket list? Do you want to visit more of Florida? Let me know your favorite spots I am always up for a new adventure!
I think Key Largo is definitely worth a visit! So pretty!
It was so beautiful!
I have never been to the Florida Keys because well… I go to Orlando lol. I have to make a special trip past the House of Mouse.
It’s hard to get past Orlando sometimes even for us!
We love Key Largo. There is so much to do there, and it’s all so varied. If you can’t have a good time there, you can’t have a good time anywhere. LOL
Agree! We can’t wait to go back. Any must dos?
We long it there and are long overdue a visit back
What is your favorite thing to do there?!
I’ve not been to Key Largo but so much of what you describe is reminiscent of my trip to Jamaica. Nice to know there are options a little bit closer to home:).
Yes! I think it is a great tropical spot!
the keys have never been on my list. frankly i was just happy to go to lake buena vista ;D but it sure sounds like a fun vacation with the kiddos.
Joy at http://www.thejoyousliving.com
I have only been to Florida once and that was to Orlando for my friend’s wedding. But then my friend and I were able to take a few days and travel down south, but we only got as far as St. Petersburg. I would love to visit the keys someday!
Ntensibe Edgar Michael
Well, for now, the Keys aren’t on my list but Florida is! I love this place.
There are so many great places to visit in Fl!
I haven’t been to Key Largo. It seems like a great family vacation spot. I hope to visit it soon.
It’s really a great spot.
I am loving all your piccys here. Looks like you had a wonderful time and a lovely holiday as a family x
Thank you! It was so much fun
Key Largo looks like a beautiful place to visit. I’d sure love to get away there during NH winter season, for sure!
I think the winter is an idea time to visit … less humidity
Florida can seem like it is Orlando focused but I can see how Key Largo could be a great family destination too! I would love to visit and I am in GA so the drive isn’t far!
It’s a bit more tropical than Orlando!
I haven’t heard of Key Largo! Thanks for sharing! Looks like such a great place to take kids and to enjoy nature all together!
It is beautiful!
We love Florida Keys! We are lucky to live in Florida and be able to visit often. We used to live in Miami and would go every other weekend! Key Largo is a favorite due to its proximity and size! There is so much to do there.
Do you have a favorite spot there?