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"Sailing away to legendary Key Largo"

Key Largo is the largest and the longest Key in the chain of islands. It is approximately 30 miles long and is nestled between Everglades National Park on the west and North America's only living coral barrier reef on the east. The northern tip of Key Largo starts at about MM 107 and Key Largo extends south to Tavernier Creek about MM 91. Key Largo was originally called "Cayo Largo" by the Spanish explorers, which meant "Long Island". Film aficionados will always associate Key Largo with the 1948 classic film "Key Largo" starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The Caribbean Club at MM 105 on the bayside is where parts of the movie Key Largo were filmed. Across the street further south at MM 100 on the Oceanside is now home to the highly recognizable steamboat from another film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn "The African Queen". But despite loving tributes to the film era, seasoned SCUBA Divers acknowledge Key Largo as the "DIVING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD" because Key Largo has two of the most beautiful underwater attractions off shore: The Nation's first underwater park JOHN PENNEKAMP CORAL REEF STATE PARK and the KEY LARGO NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park at MM 102.5 Oceanside, is adjacent to Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary which encompasses 2,900 square nautical miles. The area has approximately 190 square miles of coral reef, and is known for crystal clear waters with great visibility. Underwater diving and snorkeling shallow reefs show off the natural beauty of the plentiful sea life off shore. SCUBA Diving many various deep sea areas and shipwrecks uncover a whole different world under the sea. Sea life includes about 50 types of coral and over 600 species of fish. There are sea grass beds are home to sea turtles and Manatees. Mangrove swamps provide a constant changing display of native plants, animals and abundant shorebirds including: Pelicans, pink flamingos, Roseate Spoonbills, Ibis, Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Wood storks, King Fishers, Frigates, Albatross, Osprey, Southern Bald Eagles, Red Hawks, Shouldered Hawks, and more.

keylargo statue John Pennekamp was a journalist who wrote preservation articles, urging environmental protection of the fragile underwater reefs and eco-systems. Glass bottom boat trips, Eco-tours, diving, snorkeling, canoeing, and kayaking provide intimate and up close observation of the abundant sea life surrounding Key Largo. Deep water diving and wreck diving uncover mysterious wrecks and still lure treasure hunters seeking old graveyards of pirate ships in search of gold coins and doubloons. Colorful reefs teeming with underwater life, not treasures of gold, is what most people find when they dive in and they mostly take back fond treasured memories of the clear calm waters of the Atlantic, where the color turns from blue-green to brilliant turquoise and royal blue.

Key Largo has it all, and it is the closest Key to the mainland. It is a short commute to Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports. In addition to diving, you can fish the Atlantic and fo out for over 200 game fish in the ocean. Or if you like you can go back- country fishing on a charter boat on the bay in search of Tarpon or Bonefish. Key Largo is home to two world class dolphin facilities where you can learn about the dolphins, meet them up close and even swim with these gentle mammals of the sea. Dolphins Plus (MM100) is on the ocean side and Dolphin Cove (MM 101.9) is on the bayside, both in Key Largo. Key Largo is also home to the Marine Mammal Conservancy at MM 102, where they take care and rehabilitate various marine mammals found in the upper Keys. Many canals on the bayside in Key Largo are winter homes for manatees that come down from the cooler northern waters of Florida to seek food and warmer waters. Eco-tours along the bayside provide opportunites for unique photos of wildlife, in fragile eco-systems surrounding the mangroves and uninhibited island along the intracoastal waterways.

Key Largo has land lover activities too. Nature trails, bike paths, parks, art galleries, shopping and an Olympic size pool at Jacobs Aquatic Center in Key Largo Community Park. Dining and dancing, good food with great seafood restaurants is found throughout Key Largo. Live entertainment can be found nightly at many Tiki and Kabana bars. Dining alfresco by the water, with florribean flair is found everywhere on the ocean and bayside in Key Largo. Keys characters in Key Largo are friendly and always happy to meet you. If you introduce yourself to the locals and start to get used to the lifestyle you might be tempted to become one of us and apply for a license to chill!! You might get the Keys disease and never want to leave.

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Islamorada   Key West   Big Pine   Marathon    Tavernier



Pat Ketchum

Cell: 305-923-9424

Email: Pat Ketchum at Pat4KDM@aol.com



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