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Drive a mere 60 miles south from Miami International Airport (MIA) or 90 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and you’ll hit Mile Marker 106 on the Overseas Highway, the northernmost point in the Florida Keys. This is also where 33-mile-long Key Largo begins, and you’ll need wheels to visit the attractions in this area.
That said, there’s a Greyhound bus stop at Mile Marker 99.6, and it comes through twice a day, traveling between Miami and Key West. If you arrive by bus, it’s possible to take taxis, shuttles, and rideshares around the area. If you’re headed south and see Mile Marker 93, you’ve entered the town of Tavernier, and from there you can continue down to Islamorada and eventually Key West.
Key Largo's weather is warm and sunny between November and March, and this tends to come in step with a large number of visitors and matching high season prices. Despite the risk of summer rain, June through August are also great months to visit for snorkeling and diving, though do keep in mind that hurricanes become increasingly likely in late summer and into early fall.
Regardless of when you visit, be sure to pack a sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a trusty pair of flipflops.
No Florida Keys vacation is complete without a snorkel in this mostly underwater park, where glassbottom boat tours of a thriving reef — including large schools of fish and the occasional barracuda or turtle — are great for families. You can also scuba dive or snorkel down to Christ of the Abyss, a 4,000-pound bronze Jesus statue, or explore the park’s 170 acres of land featuring tranquil beaches, nature trails, and boardwalks.
One of the nation’s largest swaths of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock, this park’s six miles of trails — most of which are accessible to wheelchairs and bicycles — feature rare plants like wild cotton and mahogany mistletoe, and protected animals including (shudder) American crocodiles.
Everglades National Park comprises 1.5 million acres of subtropical wilderness to explore. The park has three separate entrances — from Key Largo the closest destination is the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center (a 30-40 minute drive). Once there, the popular Anhinga Trail offers possible sightings of alligators, turtles, and egrets, among rare and endangered species.