Most Americans hear the words "Key Largo" and think immediately of the 1940s film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Key Largo is also a place, however, and it is one of the premier tourist destinations in the chain of islands known as the Florida Keys. Key Largo stands apart from most of the chain in that it is located quite close to the Florida mainland.
Key Largo is actually connected to the mainland by two different routes. The Overseas Highway, also known as U.S. Highway 1, allows tourists to drive on a road that lies low across the waves. Another connection is provided by Card Sound Bridge. Most tourists booked into vacation homes on Key Largo arrive at Miami International Airport and reach the island by driving one of these two routes.
Known as the "Diving Capital of the World," Key Largo is a Mecca for both scuba divers and fans of sport fishing. Both groups come to this area of Florida because there is a thriving coral reef just a few miles away from Key Largo. Large numbers of brightly colored tropical fish inhabit the reef.
Other reasons to visit Key Largo include the fact that the vast preserved tropical area known as the Everglades is nearby. Ecotourism is popular in the region, with tourists coming so they can learn about the flora and fauna of the region, including native species such as the American alligator. Kayakers also enjoy the Everglades area since many areas in the swamps can be more readily accessed by small boat than on foot.