Oceanfront Resort with a Mangrove Preserve and Private Marina
When Key Largo lost its once-thriving pineapple-farming industry in the mid-1900s, a tourism boost from resorts such as Ocean Pointe Suites turned the area’s economy around. Visitors began to discover 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. There, guests can tie up boats up to 28 feet long in between sailing trips to the area’s deep-sea and Everglades fishing spots or to simply soak in the idyllic scenery along the boardwalk.
After exploring the Atlantic by boat, clean any tuna, red snapper, or fillet-o'-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 (kayak rental included in this deal). Those looking to simply relax can take a soothing dip at Ocean Pointe Suite’s junior Olympic-sized pool.
Although no two are exactly alike, all one-bedroom suites contain private balconies, fully equipped kitchens, and in-unit washers and dryers. With more than 600 square feet of space, you’ll find plenty of room to spread out in the tropical-themed living room. In the morning, walk down to the Waterfront Café to enjoy breakfast in a polished-wood dining room that overlooks the peaceful marina.
Key Largo, Florida: Diving Capital of the World
The largest and northernmost key in the archipelago chain of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is called the diving capital of the world for 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 eel and hawksbill turtles.
Those hoping to stay on dry land can head to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, 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. Or take about a half-hour drive up Key Largo to the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, a park with tropical hardwood forests and scenic self-guided walks through a butterfly garden.