People all the time ask me, “hey, we’re going to the Keys, where should I stay, eat, sleep, drive, dump, run, jog, snore, fart, etc.” so much so, that I have gotten the nickname, Yelpstronovo! So today, I begin part one of my Florida Keys Travelogue otherwise known as Travelblog, with the first of the Florida Keys, Key Largo!
There’s one way in, and one way out, right? Wrong. There’s two ways in! There’s the 18 mile stretch, US1 south, and the best kept secret: Card Sound Road, which is a bit longer, but if the stretch is backed up, you’d rather go a few miles out of the way, then sit there for 10 hours not moving. Plus you can stop at Alabama Jacks and grab a cold one to break up the trip
Where To Stay:
I love the Key Largo Bay Marriott, been staying there for years. Comedian Billy Gardell loves the place too and brings his family whenever he can. It’s got all the water sports, from fishing charters to wave runners, a tiki bar and a beach. What more do you want?
We had breakfast at this place, Playa Largo…it’s is absolutely beautiful and can’t wait to stay here sometime. It ain’t cheap but nothing in the Keys are!
If you’re looking for a bigger place, we had my 50thbirthday here, the Mariners Club, where they have big condos and villas and the Keys largest pool plus a killer marina!
Where To Eat:
For me, it begins and ends with the Fish House. It’s a great restaurant and a market, so the fisherman bring it in the front door and they cook it up fresh. Love the fish sandwich and the conch chowder.
The Big Chill! One of the greatest bars anywhere happens to be owned by the great and legendary head football coach, Jimmy Johnson! Watch the sunset, Drink a Papa’s Pilar and have some of the best pizza in the Keys, oh and the Coach is always there!
There’s also Hobo’s Café, if you’re bringing the dog…this is pet friendly and the food is awesome!
The Pilot House is great too, locals love it…off the beaten path. It’s got a glass bottom bar!
Keys Fisheries…on my way out of the Keys, I love to bring stone crabs home. Keys Fisheries is not only a restaurant but it’s also the biggest seafood wholesaler in the Keys, the market is sick. They also make the best smoked fish I have ever had!
What To Do:
Go snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There are dive shops and operations all over that will take you out no matter what your level is, and it is breathtaking!
Take a ride into movie history on the African Queen, the actual boat sailed by Humphry Bogart in the 1951 film of the same name.
Watch the Sunset, that’s what people do in the Keys. Best to watch at a bar with a cocktail (if you can’t be on a boat!), there’s plenty to choose from, but here’s one I like: Sundowners restaurant in Key Largo
Book a fishing charter: It’s like fishing in an aquarium! Decide if you want to fish in the bay, which is usually calm and you can catch a variety of snapper, Snook, redfish, bonefish, etc. or offshore, which can be world class depending on the time of year!
Next week we do the middle Keys!