So you’ve decided to visit our island, and if you’re smart and a sailor (contrary to popular belief the two are not mutually exclusive), you’re coming here to the Key Lime Sailing Club. So I thought you might want to know a little about the area.
Key Largo is the northernmost island in the Florida Keys archipelago. At about 32 miles long it’s the largest island in the Keys. There are about 11,000 full time residents on the island. It is part of a remnant of an ancient coral reef that flourished here about 125,000 years ago when sea levels were higher than now. Tourism is our major industry today, although decades ago the island was known for its plantations of Key Limes.
Key Largo was originally called Cayo Largo, Spanish for Long Island (take that New York). The name given to the first post office here was Rock Harbor. In 1948, Warner Brothers released the movie Key Largo, starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Edward G. Robinson
It won a couple Academy Awards, and as a result of pressure from local businesses, the post office name was changed from Rock Harbor to Key Largo and from that point on everyone on the island had a Key Largo address. After Bogart’s death, the Caribbean Club became famous as a purported "on location" filming site for the movie. In fact, only the initial exterior shots were filmed in the Florida Keys, and the rest was filmed on Warner Brothers studio sound stage. Many locals will want to burn me at the stake as a heretic for printing this, but that’s the way it happened.
There are lots of cool things to see in Key Largo. We are home to the nations first underwater State Park, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The park is the home of the Christ of the Abyss statue, a larger than life statue of the Christ set in about 25 feet of water and anchored to about 9 tons of concrete.
Key Largo is also the home of the Dupont Castle, also known as the Largo Sound Rock Castle. It’s the oldest house in Key Largo, built in 1920. It survived the horrific 1935 hurricane and is reputed to be haunted.
Probably our most popular attraction is our coral reef. We are home to the third largest living coral reef in the world (following Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and Atlantic Basin’s Mesoamerican Reef). Millions of divers and snorkelers visit the reef every year. (Shameless plug: we’d love to sail you out to snorkel the reef aboard Pirate’s Choice.)
But the best attraction (I may be biased) is the Key Lime Sailing Club, home of the Key Largo Cottages, the American Sailing Academy, and Morningstar Charters. Come for the sailing, the paddle craft, water toys, eco-tours, good fellowship, and spectacular sunsets. Looking forward to seeing you.
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