Key Largo, originally called "Caio dos 12 Ligues" in the early 1600's and officially named "Cayo Largo" on a Spanish map of 1733, is rich with pirate lore (like Black Caesar's Creek, named for one of Blackbeard's colleagues), movie legends (like Bogart and Bacall in the 1948 movie, "Key Largo"), and scuba stories (like tales of diving exotic coral reefs and ghostly shipwrecks).
The largest of the Florida Keys at 12 square miles, Key Largo boasts "America's First Undersea Park" (John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park), an A+ rated K-8 public school and two community parks, one of which (Jacobs Aquatic Center) features a 25-meter competition pool as well as an interactive play pool/water park that has a Pirate Ship and "spray" gym. Key Largo is also home to three "swim-with-the-dolphins" facilities, one of which caters to handicapped children.
Because of the popularity of Key Largo's reefs, professional diving and fishing boats dot the docks up and down the island, offering choices to people of all skill and experience levels. In between the docks are the striking contrasts of Key Largo: mom-and-pop motels next to luxury chain hotels; gourmet restaurants near fast-food joints; specialty shops around the corner from K Mart; and millionaires' homes next to mobile home parks. Set on 100,000 year-old coral rock, today's Key Largo, "The Dive Capital of the World," is a true introduction to the cultural, recreational and aesthetic diversity of the Florida Keys.