Key Largo Information
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Key Largo Information
Key Largo is a tropical island in the upper Florida Keys archipelago string and, at 33 miles (53 km) long, the largest of the Keys. It is also the northernmost of the Florida Keys in Monroe County, and the northernmost of the Keys connected by U.S. Highway 1 (the Overseas Highway). Its earlier Spanish name was Cayo Largo, meaning Long Key.
Key Largo is connected to the Florida mainland in Miami-Dade County by two automobile routes. The Overseas Highway, which is called U.S. Highway 1, enters Key Largo at Jewfish Creek near the center of the island and turns southwest. Card Sound Road connects to the northern portion of Key Largo at Card Sound Bridge and runs southeastward to connect with County Road 905, and runs southwest and fianlly joins U.S. 1 at about mile marker 106. These two routes originate at Florida City on the Florida mainland.
Key Largo is a very popular tourist destination and calls itself the “Diving Capital of the World” due to the the living coral reef located a few miles offshore that attracts thousands of scuba divers and sport-fishing enthusiasts. ConchTV can tell you all about Scuba Diving in the Florida Keys and Key West
Key Largo’s proximity to the Florida Everglades also makes it a distinctive destination for kayakers and ecotourists. Automotive and highway pioneer plus Miami Beach developer Carl G. Fisher constructed Key Largo’s famous Caribbean Club in 1938 as his final project.
The tropical island gained notoriety as the setting for the 1948 Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall motion picture film Key Largo, although it was shot entirely on a Warner Brothers sound stage in Hollywood. The island’s main village, which had been known as Rock Harbor after a nearby cove, converted it’s name to Key Largo after the film’s huge success.
There are three census-designated places on the island of Key Largo: North Key Largo, near the Card sound Bridge, Key Largo, eight or nine miles from the southern end of the island, and Tavernier, at the southern end of the island. Ocean Reef Club is a private gated community and club at the northern end of the island. None of Key Largo is an incorporated municipality, so it is governed at the local level by Monroe County.
Key Largo is located between Florida’s Everglades National Park to the north-west and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to the east which is the first underwater park in the United States and the site of the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States.
Geology and geography
The tropical island of Key Largo is an exposed, fossilized artifact of a coral reef that was formed during a period of much higher sea levels and then was uncovered and eroded during a subsequent ice age. The highest elevation is a slight ridge forming the spine of the island, which rises to as high as about 15 feet above sea level. The land slopes from the spine down to sea level on the oceanside and bayside.
The island’s rock substrate is called Key Largo Limestone and in many places, fossilized corals and smooth, eroded limestone “caprock” are visible at or near the surface. Solution holes, which are pockets dissolved in the limestone by acidic rainwater, form shallow depressions into the land.
The natural shoreline of the tropical island is generally rocky. A slippery, gray, limestone-based clay called “marl” is the shoreline and near-shore soil. There are no natural sandy beaches on the island of Key Largo
More inland, decomposed vegetation forms a rich, acidic humus-like soil up to about six inches thick, topped by “leaf litter.” The soil supports a diverse flora of herbaceous plants that includes woody shrubs and hardwood trees.
Key Largo’s climate is considered tropical. Frost has never been recorded in the island.