Things to Do in and near the Marina

Scuba and Snorkeling Dive Trips
Stroll down the PH Boardwalk and sign up for a scuba or snorkeling trip by boat to the John Pennekemp Coral Reef State Park, just a few minutes away by boat. The undersea Park and the adjacent Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary cover 178 nautical square miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps. The Park extends 3 miles into the Atlantic and is 25 miles long. These areas preserve the only living coral reef in the continental US.

You can visit the underwater Park, two times a day, right from the PH's Boardwalk aboard one of two dive boats. Go on wreck dives, visit Molasses Reef, explore the huge Pennekamp Park and Marine Sanctuary. Get certified as a scuba diver, or learn to snorkel.

Scuba & Snorkling
Scuba-Do Dive or call 1-800-516-3446 or email The limit their boat to just ten divers maximum. Instruction in English, Spanish and French. They are literally just steps down the Boardwalk from Calypso.

Keys Diver Snorkel and Scuba is the newest outfit to come to the Pilot House Marina, right on the Boardwalk. They even offer fluorescent night diving and a free lunch voucher at the Glass Bottom Bar. Or, call 305-451-1177.

Go out On your Own
Bring your own equipment, or use theirs and learn by diving the shallow reefs, or sign up for wreck dives in the crystal clear waters of Key Largo and Tavernier. Free moorings are provided throughout the Park (daytime use only) if you want to snorkle or scuba from your own boat. Call the Dock Master (Matt, 305-747-4359) to bring your own boat and store it on their racks, on its trailer or in the water nearby.

Coral Restoration Foundation
Further down the board walk, charter a fishing boat for the day, or visit the Coral Restoration Foundation Educational Center (Coral Restoration Foundation). Take their 1- or 2-day coral preservation course which includes lectures on coral anatomy and two afternoon dives, one in the coral nursery and one at an out-planting site. Of course, you can get PADI scuba certified at all three dive centers at the Pilot House.

Largo Looker glass bottom boat
There's also an unsual highspeed Russian glass bottom hydrofoil boat (Largo Looker) that leaves right from Pilot House at 9:00AM and 12:30PM for 2.5 hour tours ($65@): Largo Looker

You may even want to leave the marina! Walk a few hundred feet down the street to Dolphins Plus, the original Swim With The Dolphins (or sea lions) program in Key Largo.

Or, drive a couple minutes down to the next harbor and take a dinner cruise aboard the steam powered African Queen–its the actual boat used by Hepburn & Bogart in the 1951 movie!
Home port of African Queen

Let the kids bike 1/2 mile, down residential streets, to the Jacobs Aquatic Center's three pools with water slides, etc. Jacobs Aquatic Center. Next door to the Center is the free Key Largo Community Park park () offers six free tennis, courts. 3 basket ball courts, 2 baseball fields, 2 handball courts, 2 volleyball courts and roller blade/cardio paths and dog walking areas.

You can also drive the 3.6 miles to the Park's Visitor Center and see the 30,000 gallon aquarium, or use their three sandy swimming beachs (a rarity in the Keys) one of which has the remnants of a Spanish shipwreck just 100 feet off shore for snorkling fun. If you don't snorkle, go out on their glass-bottom boat or canoe/kayak the park's inland waters surrounded by mangroves. Walk the trails and picnic.

Beaches are rare in the Keys which are made of built-up coral, but you can drive and park at tiny beaches along the Overseas Highway in Islamorada; see the section in this guide on beaches.