Oceanfront Resort with Mangrove Preserve and Private Marina
When Key Largo lost its once-thriving pineapple-farming industry in the mid-1900s, resorts such as Ocean Pointe Suites fostered a tourism boom that turned the area’s economy around. Word began to spread about Key Largo’s diving sites, pristine beaches, and gorgeous ocean scenery—not to mention its year-round warm temperatures.
Situated on 60 acres of a protected mangrove preserve, Ocean Pointe Suites overlooks a private marina on the Atlantic Ocean. Tie your boat up here between sailing trips to the area’s deep-sea and Everglades fishing spots. You can clean any tuna, red snapper, or swedish fish you catch at an onsite fish-cleaning station.
For more outdoor recreation, grab a complimentary racket to play tennis on lighted courts, join a game of bocce ball, or paddle a kayak around the lush mangroves (one kayak rental is included in this deal). Those looking to simply relax can take a soothing dip in the resort’s outdoor pool.
Although no two suites are exactly alike, all one- and two-bedroom units contain fully equipped kitchens and private balconies with views of the island or ocean. You can take in the peaceful marina from the onsite Waterfront Café, which serves breakfast, lunch, and light dinner in a polished-wood dining room.
Key Largo, Florida: Diving Capital of the World
The largest and northernmost island in the Florida Keys, Key Largo is known as the diving capital of the world thanks to its proximity to spectacular underwater shipwrecks and coral formations. Small diving charters will take you to many of these sites, including Elbow Reef off the coast of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. While exploring the reef, you might come face-to-face with moray eels and hawksbill turtles.
Landlubbers can head to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, located just a few minutes from the resort. Volunteers at the center rescue and rehabilitate birds that have been injured or displaced, including herons, roseate spoonbills, and other local waterfowl. Take about a half-hour drive up Key Largo to the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park to stroll through tropical hardwood forests and a butterfly garden.