Key Largo, Florida is the first of the many Florida Keys and often overlooked by tourists. Perhaps it is because of the news media and Hollywood productions that highlight Key West more than Key Largo, but everyone thinks that Key West is the place to go for diving. There are certainly lots of reasons to visit Key West.
- Ernest Hemingway
- Wyland Gallery
- The few Florida Keys beaches
- 20 annual events
- Old Town architecture
Key West is also full of various bars, restaurants, and an accepting population of all people. Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West Lighthouse, and West Martello Tower are just a few of the attractions.
For scuba diving, you need to know your stuff. The reefs in Key West are on walls, which can be over 200 feet deep. As a diver, you need to be able to keep your wits about you, pay attention to your depth and enjoy the beauty. While beautiful, Key West is also over populated with divers. For decades, everyone traveled to the reefs as the only Florida Keys dive place to truly go. Now, you have hundreds of visitors a year, some damaged areas of the reef walls, and most wreck dives are below 80 feet.
If you want to scuba dive with nothing in mind, but the beauty, then it has to be Key Largo. Sure, you are going to check your gauges to determine if you are going the proper direction, have plenty of air, and dive safe. But, with diving in Key Largo, you have more time underwater. Many of the dive locations are 20 to 30 feet down to the bottom when you want to dive reefs or wrecks.
You can choose the USS Spiegel Grove or USS Duane for deep dives, but Eagle Ray Alley, Benwood Wreck, Christ of the Abyss, and City of Washington are all within 20 to 30 feet depths.
The water is so clear in Key Largo, on most days that you can see the dive boat without having to go to the surface, in the event you get a little disoriented in the alleys or along the wrecks’.
There have been days, when the head of the Christ Statute is almost above the surface, as well as some of the reefs.
Since everyone tends to overlook Key Largo for diving and heads straight to Key West, you can expect plenty of days when you can dive with 10 to 20 people on your tour boat, and maybe 100 in the water versus triple that number in Key West.
Besides the scuba diving, Key Largo has its own charm. As a beautiful town, where the highway is often surrounded by water and mangroves on both sides, you can truly see the ocean, gulf, and the beauty of living on a strip of land. There are plenty of equally great restaurants for dining that are more affordable than Key West, ensuring you can fulfill your craving for seafood and fish after your morning and afternoon dives. You can even throw in a night dive because you know you will have the dive time left over after the shallow 30 foot dive you do earlier in the day.