San Pedro Catholic Church
Jesus afloat in a boat? Wow is this one beautiful small church entrance and courtyard! This is worth a stop just to see the courtyard… but the cream of the crop is the life-size statue of St. Peter standing in a boat upon the ocean in the middle of the turn around in front of the church.
The statue itself was carved in Italy from Carrera marble. Now get this… so cool, the rounded stones on either side of the front doors used as planter bases are actually from the Spanish ship “San Pedro’s” ballasts (a ships counter weights) that sunk in a 1733 hurricane just off the Florida coast. How neat is that, you can touch a part of history from Spanish 1733! Just think, those rounded stones were at one time on the bottom of the ocean! And now you know a little bit more about history and how and why the church is named San Pedro. This statue makes for an AWESOME photo, look at the up close of St. Peter aligned with the doorway below, I stood on the hood of my car in order to get the exact angle of St. Peter in the doorway for you! (I’ll get the dent in my hood fixed later) 🙂
This Spanish style church was built in 1955 and contains artifacts from Spain & Italy. This church is in the bend of the road in US-1 South and can easily be driven by since you’re going about 55 mph at this point. Slow down in preparation to brake at Mile Marker 89.4 bayside in Key Largo to pull off for 5 minutes of your life and just take in the view and beauty. It’s FREE and worth the time.
There are so many beautiful murals along the 126.7 miles of Florida Keys that you tend to miss some merely because of the quantity. In the past I’ve spotlighted the Oceanic K-Mart in Marathon & the Dive Center Mural directly across the street from this, the Key Largo Inn. Case & Point, so many people stop and photograph the dive center taking little notice in its single story neighbor. Well, that all ends now, this unique mural adorns an equally quaint structure of its own. I’ve always said that I was going to stay in the Keys one weekend without traveling down the entire way to Key West but have yet to fulfil that desire. What a sight that would be to wake up to in the morning seeing such beautiful murals on both sides of the street and then starting your tourist list by winging-it and hitting every side road & dirt road wondering what might be around the next corner. Awe, my kind of exploring with no time limit and no agenda! 🙂
You can find this magnificently mural laden Inn on the northbound traffic side of the split US-1 in Key Largo at Mile Marker 99.2. OK, if you get lost just look for the 4-story 4-sided mural painted Dive Shop that dominates the center median portion across the street!
Oceanic Painted Dive Center
This is one fantastic and beautifully painted building! You absolutely can’t miss it being smack dab in the middle of the divided road in Key Largo.
Located at Mile Marker 99.2 is this “In Your Face Oceanic Mural”! This is one place that you must stop your car and walk around this incredible 4-sided find… I assure you, this painted building is well worth several photographs!
For a fee, this PADI certified Dive Center can get you fixed up with the correct gear needed for an underwater adventure so that you can see the REAL LIFE equivalent of the paintings!
The Boatel “Stress Relief”
This is on my to-do list for sure! Though I’ve not done this, I have stopped by and walked into one of them docked here.
You can rent your floating boatel for the night, weekend or week here at Mile Marker 103.3 on the left southbound in Key Largo. You will see the sign for this and others like this on billboards at the entrance of highway US-1. This one is aptly named “Stress Relief” and would be a great change of pace from your standard run-of-the-mill hotel or motel. So do yourself a favor and spice up an evening of leisure upon one of these floating home away from homes beginning at $75 a night… go ahead, surprise your loved one with a unique night out waking to the salt air, ocean view hide-a-way for two! I’m sure you’ll be justly rewarded for your generosity!
Seen here is one of the Florida Key’s newest sharks to make its appearance on tourist laden US-1. Located at Mile Marker 82.3 bayside where you’ll see it in the parking lot by the Sunset Inn pictured here.
Its ominous steps & railings look more like your last steps to the gallows than a tourist trap! 🙂 As always, these type of FREE PHOTO-OP attractions are erected with one purpose in mind… and that is to get potential customers like you and I to stop by and see it with hopes of you also walking into their shops after your photo-op with Jaws Jr. Well, I’m sad to say that their marketing ploy failed this time as my compadre and I simply posed for the picture (seen below) and then bolted back into the car scurrying our way back home.
Where can you find one of those “Wish You Were Here” signs in the Florida Keys? Have no worries, I’ve found it for you! These type of signs are popular sights in vacation hot spots all around the world.
What a great photo to send on your I-Phone back to your friends and family stuck somewhere in the freezing cold! Or simply stand on either side of the sign, snap your photo, then email it to anyone you’d like rubbing in the fact that you’re in paradise while they’re wearing a Snuggie! That’s what I’d do! 🙂
You can find this “Wish You Were Here” sign painted on the exterior portion of the wall of Popp’s Motel at Mile Marker 95.5 bayside of US-1 in Key Largo.
An absolutely beautiful place to stop with PLENTY of things to do & see for ALL types of travelers! Just the view itself is spectacular as you can tell by the provided photos. At the marina alone, the walkway entrance is an eye-catching pagoda-looking arched roof worth a photo no matter what. Being called a marina, you won’t be denied a string of multi-sized boats tied to a picturesque pier with an ocean background. The parking lot is too an incredible sight that includes an awesome tree shown below that sticks out like a sore thumb and can’t be missed just feet away from the pagoda entrance.
Here’s the BONUS part! Not only do you get the above sites for FREE, but in the same parking lot to the marina you’ll fill other parts of your vacation to do list. To the immediate right is the Morada Bay Surf Bar written about in a previous blog. To the immediate left is another prior blog favorite of Ernest Hemingway’s Boat ‘Pilar’ on display inside of the World Wide Sportsman superstore. Also inside the superstore is the wildly popular Largest Fish Tank in the entire Florida Keys.
To find this ‘MANY THINGS TO DO IN ONE PLACE’ simply go to Mile Marker 81.4 on US-1 bayside. Too simple my friends! Enjoy soaking in all of the many views! Don’t you dare leave this parking lot without doing ALL 4 OF THEM! 🙂 You’ll thank me I promise!