4 Ways to Experience Key Largo, Florida
Looking for a laid-back getaway on the Florida Key known as the most laid-back of them all? Or an adventure, both on and under the water? You’ll find both on Key Largo, as well as a plethora of activities for families and a wealth of culinary treasures for foodies. Here are four different ways to experience the best of what Key Largo has to offer, with the Reefhouse Resort & Marina as your home base. Try a new approach each day of your stay, or stick with what you love and sink into the kind of vacation that feeds your unique soul.
A KEY LARGO ADVENTURE VACATION
Get Energized and Fuel Up for the Day
Adventures require good preparation beforehand. Start your morning with a run on the beach right outside your room; you can warm up first in the Reefhouse’s state-of-the-art fitness center, and finish up your workout with a swim in the heated outdoor pool overlooking Key Largo Bay. Then fuel up for the day with Bayside French Toast or Smoked Salmon Benedict on the outdoor patio at Gus’ Grill.
Go Snorkeling at the Coral Reefs
Key Largo’s moniker of “Diving Capital of the World” comes from the living coral reef a few miles offshore, which attracts thousands of scuba divers annually. But in order to explore the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you just need to be a good swimmer — equipment and training are provided, including prescription masks for the visually impaired.
Angle in Key Largo’s Fish-Rich Waters
The warm, nutrient-rich water from the Caribbean Basin and the shallow waters of the Everglades and Florida Bay combine to create an exceptionally nourishing environment for hundreds of fish species. Take a fishing charter right from the Reefhouse marina and angle for redfish, snook, trout, and yellowtail snapper.
A LAID-BACK HOLIDAY IN KEY LARGO
Soak Up the Sun and the Waves
Rule number one for a laid-back vacation: Do as little as possible, for at least several hours per day. At the Reefhouse, all the ingredients for kicking back are just feet from your room. Sunbathe and swim at the heated outdoor pool, then stroll down the beach (with private access from the resort) and hop a few waves … before settling on your lounger again with loaded nachos and a frozen umbrella drink from Flipper’s Pool Bar.
Take a Vinyasa Class at Key Largo Yoga
Ready to move, just for an hour or so? This eco-friendly studio has been operating for 10 years, providing an energizing and welcoming atmosphere for beginner and experienced students alike. Take one of their daily yoga classes, or check out their workshop schedule, with special events focused on practices like sound healing or deeply relaxing Yin Yoga.
Pamper Yourself with a Relaxing Spa Treatment
The Reefhouse Spa’s therapeutic treatment offerings utilize the methodology and philosophy (as well as the extensive product line) developed by the 45-year-old Swedish skincare company Kerstin Florian, named for its founder. Her skin and body care lines are made from ingredients like mud, mineral water, algae, plant extracts, and essential oils. Treat yourself to a therapeutic massage, a glow-enhancing facial, or an invigorating body scrub.
Sip a Cocktail by the Ocean
Unwind with an umbrella drink and live music at Breezer’s Tiki Bar. Choose from salads with a tropical twist, super-fresh seafood like grilled mahi or blackened shrimp, and a mouthwatering menu of citrusy handcrafted cocktails. Or if you’re feeling motivated, you can build your own pizza. The ambience is the epitome of the laid-back life: live music and panoramic views of the Florida Bay.
A FAMILY-FRIENDLY KEY LARGO VACATION
Stop for Muffins at Harriette’s Restaurant
The oversized baked treats at this local landmark garner raves from locals and visitors alike, and the amazing buffet of options is guaranteed to satisfy every palate, no matter how simple or sophisticated. The Key Lime is Harriette’s signature, but there’s so much more — from Snickerdoodle and Oreo Cream for the kids to Guava Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Swirl for the grownups.
Hang Out with Dolphins
Follow up your virtual experience with a real-life marine meetup for ages 3 and up. The Shallow Water Dolphin Encounter at Dolphins Plus is a waist-deep dolphin interaction program that allows kids (and their parents) to meet the dolphins up close while standing comfortably in shallow water. They’ll remember those dolphin kisses and handshakes forever.
Have a Family Feast Al Fresco
End the day on the outdoor patio at Gus’ Grill, which boasts a menu designed to satisfy the pickiest toddler on up to the most discriminating grandparent. The seafood options are legion, from lobster tail and almond-crusted snapper to pan-roasted shellfish and blackened mahi. The kids’ menu features classic faves like cheesy mac and chicken fingers.
A FOODIE GETAWAY IN KEY LARGO
Start the Day at the Sunrise Cuban Market & Cafe
This local haunt serves up authentic Cuban cuisine all day long, but it’s especially beloved for its fabulous breakfasts, with a buffet of zesty omelettes (Basque, Western, Spanish, or design your own) and excellent coffee options, including café con leche, cortadito, and Cuban coffee (as well as plain old American style).
Take a Cooking Class
The Cooking School at Carysfort Kitchen offers hands-on classes, specialty dinners, and other culinary events with local and celebrity chefs. Offerings have included a series focused on classic Italian cooking as well as dishes designed to complement specialty wines or whiskeys. A recent mouthwatering menu paired with Grey Goose vodka featured Kumamoto oysters with cranberry pearls, Compressed Watermelon Salad with whipped feta, poached Maine lobster with pea mint risotto, and gingersnap and mascarpone cheesecake.
Sample the Best Key Lime Pie in Florida
You’ll find this classic flavor all over Florida, of course, but the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory’s version has been named Best in the State (more than once) by the Florida Times. The recipe for the prize-winning silky meringue, crispy graham cracker crust, and tart filling comes from founder Tania Beguinati’s Brazilian grandmother. Over the years Tania has added to the inventory, inventing luscious variations like key lime rum cake and frozen pie slices dipped in chocolate and served on a stick.
Sup While the Sun Sets
Watch the sun sink below the sparkling sea from the covered deck or glass-walled dining room at Sundowners. The seafood menu is beyond extensive, but you can also bring your own catch for the chefs to prepare. The surf is well balanced by turf, like the Island Churrasco Steak—a 10-ounce marinated skirt steak with chimichurri, rice, and beans. The cocktail menu features house specialties like Dragonfruit Cucumber Refresher, made with Ketel Cucumber Mint Botanical, dragon fruit, mint, lime juice, simple syrup, and a splash of soda.