USA, Florida: Key Largo / Key Biscayne / Miami / Everglades

Kategorie: Spotlight on ...

As of June 2011

Before heading to Southwest Florida we chose to stay on Key Largo for another couple of nights. Key Largo is quiet. It seemed to me as if Key Largo is more a home to the locals than to tourists. Key Largo is laid back. Easy. Just a long stretch of an island. No big shopping malls. Hectic? No way.

Key Largo is perfect to explore the Everglades and to do a trip to Key Biscayne or a bit further north to Miami. We did it all.

Miami / South Beach:


The Everglades: You head towards Homestead and follow the signs to The Everglades National Park. At the Visitor Center you pick up maps, another soft drink or a souvenir before you enter the park. We paid 10 USD for the car and this fee is valid for 7 consecutive days. So keep your receipt as you might want to return. I recommend arriving early to have enough time to stop at the different spots and admire all the animals. Don’t forget your binoculars and your camera! We took our time. A few hours. And spotted so many different birds, alligators and other animals. It was just magnificent.


Key Biscayne: Before getting to Miami you just detour to Key Biscayne, pay your fee and cross the Rickenbacker Causeway which connects island and mainland (you only pay the fee to get to Key Biscayne – not return). Key Biscayne is a quiet island with absolutely stunning mansions to the West and your more or less regular kind of homes to the East. Small but nice shopping opportunities along the main road.

Driving back from Key Biscayne towards Homestead and on to Key Largo I recommend taking S. Miami Avenue towards S. Bayshore Drive and on to Main Highway, then take S. Douglas Road until you get to Edgewater Drive. At the roundabout take the Old Cutler Road. This is a very beautiful scenic drive and takes you along beautiful landscape and houses.

Key Biscayne National Park: Dante Fascell Visitor Center

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (Key Largo): Some information I gathered from the flyer: “The first undersea park in the United States, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the adjacent Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, cover approximately 178 nautical square miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps. The park extends 3 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and is approximately 25 miles in length. These areas were established to protect and preserve a portion of the only living coral reef in the continental United States.

The park is named for the late John D. Pennekamp, a Miami newspaper editor, whose efforts contributed to the establishment of Everglades National Park and the preservation of what would become John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

The park contains a wide variety of tropical vegetation, shore birds and marine life. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks offer visitors a unique and interesting experience, it is the coral formations and associated marine life that most park visitors come to enjoy. The coral reefs at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park are among the most beautiful and diverse of all living communities.”

Whale Harbor, Islamorada:
I had dinner at Whale Harbor on Islamorada (about 20 miles south of Key Largo / MM 83.5). *All you can eat* seafood buffet. Well, what should I say? Due to it being a Saturday night it was VERY crowded, noisy and hectic. But the food was really good. Tasty. Fresh. And highly recommendable. No refill on salads though … I rather took a refill on the crab legs instead …

Marine Mammal Conservancy Center: