If you love exploring Florida’s food and culture scene, it’s time to plan a visit to Key Largo. Considered the gateway for exploring the Florida Keys, the northernmost island of Key Largo is the largest section of The Keys. It is known for its stunning coral reefs. Key Largo offers an abundance of dining and drink options to accentuate your vacation, whether you prefer to kick back and relax at the beach or dive deep into water sports.

Waterfront gardens of Kona Kai Resort & Gallery FWT Magazine

Waterfront accommodations at Kona Kai Resort & Gallery © CT Shier.

Key Largo: A Relaxing Retreat

If the point of your island getaway is to rest and relax, you’ll want to tuck yourself in at an island oasis like Kona Kai Resort & Gallery. The boutique property offers cottage style rooms and suites. You’ll feel like you have a private vacation rental, while enjoying a host of amenities and services.

I stayed in the Papaya Suite, a master guest suite with a full kitchen, modest living room, separate bedroom and large bathroom. A large pool deck was just steps from my private suite. Private access to Florida Bay Beach was just a few feet down the tropical path. The resort provides complimentary use of paddleboards and kayaks. The beachfront garden is stocked with hammocks, chaise loungers and BBQ grills.

Nightly sunsets were a perk during my stay at Kona Kai Resort. I especially loved how quiet and restful the property was thanks to its modest size. The property is centrally located in Key Largo on the Overseas Highway. I was never more than a few minutes away from a night out on the town.

Sandbar Sunday Ale © Florida Keys Brewing Company FWT Magazine

Sandbar Sunday Ale © Florida Keys Brewing Company.

Key Largo: What to Sip

For an introduction to the area’s craft beer market, sample Islamorada Beer Company’s “Sandbar Sunday,” an American Wheat Ale often enjoyed with a twist of key lime. Or visit the tasting room and take a tour of Florida Keys Brewing Company. Both breweries are a mere 20-minute drive from Kona Kai Resort.

Less than two miles from Kona Kai Resort, visit Keys’ Meads to taste and tour the family-owned meadery. Or sample their “honey wine” at local events including the Morada Way ArtWalks, hosted on the third Thursday of every month.

Fresh seafood at The Fish House in Key Largo FWT Magazine

Fresh seafood at The Fish House © CT Shier.

Key Largo: What to Eat

You’ll find one of Key Largo’s most popular seafood restaurants less than five miles from Kona Kai Resort. The Fish House specializes in local seafood including yellowtail snapper, mahi mahi, grouper and stone crab. Matecumbe, the favorite local dish, features fresh fish topped with tomatoes, shallots, basil and capers.

Fish tacos at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in Key Largo FWT Magazine

Fish tacos at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen © CT Shier.

For a hearty breakfast or light lunch, head to Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen. The busy diner is a local favorite, but there’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating at this casual venue. Try the fresh fish tacos, but save room for Mrs. Mac’s legendary key lime pie! If your sweet tooth persists, pay a visit to Key Largo Chocolates for handcrafted candies and fudge, and homemade ice cream.

Key lime pie at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in the Florida Keys FWT Magazine

Key lime pie at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen © CT Shier.

Key Largo is your gateway to experiencing a magnificent stretch of tropical paradise. From locally crafted beverages to fresh seafood and stunning sunsets, your relaxing island retreat awaits!

A portion of this itinerary was made possible by Florida Keys tourism partners.