A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Key Largo vs. Tampa for Families, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, Beaches, and Food

Should you visit Key Largo or Tampa?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Key Largo and Tampa can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Key Largo

Key Largo is a relaxed, peaceful, and family-friendly island. As it is a quaint destination, it has a nice vibe. It's also popular because of the scuba diving and snorkeling and beaches.

Tampa

Tampa is a easy-going, low-key, and laid-back city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the food and beaches.

Key Largo and Tampa: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Key Largo or Tampa?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Tampa. Although Key Largo and Tampa are popular destinations, Tampa has more sights and attractions for tourists. Tampa is very popular for its food, beaches, and big city activities, while Key Largo attracts visitors for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and quaint atmosphere. Key Largo is more touristy than Tampa and is known for its snorkeling and scuba diving including that around John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the artificial reef around the USS Spiegel Grove. Tampa is famous for its amusement parks, wildlife parks, and popularity as a cruise ship port. It is also well known for Busch Gardens.

How is Key Largo different from Tampa?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Tampa and Key Largo. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is the Food Better in Key Largo or Tampa? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Key Largo
Tampa

Tampa is a city with good options for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Tampa is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are a surprising number of great local restaurants around town as well as a good food truck scene. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.

Key Largo offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Like the rest of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is known for its Key Lime pie and seafood. You'll find a great selection of restaurants that serve seafood dishes and options for the land-loving crew. There are even a few international restaurants to choose from.


Is Key Largo or Tampa Better for Nightlife?

Key Largo
Tampa

The vibe at night is reasonable in both Key Largo and Tampa.

Key Largo doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. This area is not known for its nightlife, so you'll need to head further south if partying is your style.

Most people don't head to Tampa specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Is Key Largo or Tampa Better for Resorts?

Key Largo
Tampa

Key Largo is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Tampa is not a resort destination.

Key Largo is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Popular resorts in the area include Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Reefhouse Resort & Marina, and Largo Resort.

Tampa is not a resort destination.

Is Key Largo or Tampa Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Key Largo
Tampa

Key Largo is an excellent place to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Tampa is lacking in options for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Key Largo. Near this island you'll find some of the best snorkeling and diving in the Florida Keys at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There are private tours that head out to the reef for either snorkeling or diving. There are also shipwrecks and other fascinating spots to explore.

Tampa has a few snorkeling spots. While the water isn't always the clearest, there are some nice snorkeling and diving spots in the area. Options include Shell Key and Egmont Key, Crystal River, and Fort De Soto.


Is Key Largo or Tampa Better for Beaches?

Key Largo
Tampa

Tampa is great for the beach. Also, Key Largo is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its beaches.

The beaches at Tampa attract visitors from all over. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

Key Largo offers a nice beach destination. Many of the beaches around Key Largo are man-made, but they do offer nice sand and beautiful blue water. The water is turquoise, although not as striking as further south.

Is Key Largo or Tampa Better for Families?

Key Largo
Tampa

Key Largo is an amazing island to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Tampa is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Key Largo is a very family-friendly destination. This area has some of the best family-friendly snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There's also several places where your kids can interact with dolphins or experience wildlife. If you want to get out on the water, there's kayaking, sunset cruises, and glass bottom boats, all of which are great for the whole family.

Tampa is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.

Is Key Largo or Tampa Better for Couples?

Key Largo
Tampa

Key Largo is a popular place for couples. However, Tampa is lacking in options for romance.

Key Largo is a good island for couples to visit. Most couples head further down the Florida Keys, but for snorkeling and scuba diving, Key Largo is the better option. You'll also find kayaking and sunset cruises that leave from the area.

Tampa is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore, but the downtown area has room for improvement and much of the city is suburban.


Is Key Largo or Tampa Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Key Largo
Tampa

Neither Key Largo or Tampa offer decent public transit.

Public transit is quite limited in Key Largo. There's no real public transit around the island and you must have a car to get around.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Tampa. There is the street car that runs from downtown Tampa to Ybor City and stops at 11 stations.

Is Key Largo or Tampa a more walkable city?

Key Largo
Tampa

Tampa is adequate for its ease of walking around. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for its walkability.

Tampa is generally not a very walkable city. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

Key Largo is not a walkable island. It is a sprawling area that spreads out along a main highway that is not pedestrian friendly.

For even more information, also check out Is Key Largo Worth Visiting? and Is Tampa Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Tampa or Key Largo?

How long in Key Largo or Tampa?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Key Largo and Tampa. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Key Largo than in Tampa. Usually, 5-7 days is a good amount of time for Key Largo, and 2-3 days is enough time in Tampa.

Families should spend more time in Key Largo than Tampa. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Key Largo, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Key Largo than Tampa. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Key Largo that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Key Largo than Tampa if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Key Largo.


  • How many days in Key Largo or Tampa? Ideal Length of Stay
    Key Largo 5-7 
    Tampa 2-3

One day in Key Largo or Tampa?

In Key Largo, many people enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling that this relaxed destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find food around the city of Tampa. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Key Largo or Tampa?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Key Largo. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

You'll find food around the laid-back destination of Tampa. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Key Largo or Tampa?

Key Largo is a fun place to experience. In Key Largo, many people enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling that this destination offers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Travelers enjoy the food when visiting the easy-going city of Tampa. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Key Largo or Tampa?

In Key Largo, many people enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling that this family-friendly destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Tampa is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America, The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America, The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, and The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Tampa or Key Largo?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Key Largo is $212, while the average daily cost in Tampa is $179. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Key Largo and Tampa in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Key Largo $117
    Tampa $85
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Key Largo $234
    Tampa $170
Compare Hotels in Key Largo and Tampa

Looking for a hotel in Key Largo or Tampa? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Key Largo


Hotels in Tampa


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Key Largo Hotel Prices and Tampa Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Key Largo $56
    Tampa $69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Key Largo

Also for Key Largo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Key Largo Private Transfers (up to 14 passengers): $142

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

Also for Tampa, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Tampa Bay Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Tampa hotels: $306
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Transfer tо Tampa Bay Cruise Port: $306
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Private Transfer to Tampa hotel/address: $206
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg Accommodation: $189
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport TPA to Lakeland/Winter Haven: $189
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach: $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address : $187
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $175
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $175
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Lakeland and Winter Haven: $158
  • Private transfer from Tampa airport To Zephyrhills, FL: $155
  • Private transfer Tampa airport To Ruskin, FL: $135

Is it cheaper to fly into Key Largo or Tampa?

Prices for flights to both Tampa and Key Largo change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Key Largo $60
    Tampa $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tampa

For Tampa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking Class near Disney in Tampa Florida: $88
  • Ybor City Food Tour On Sundays: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Key Largo $27
    Tampa $20

Tours and Activities in Key Largo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Key Largo.

  • 1.5 Hour Bay Side Key Largo Sunset Cruise on a Spacious Catamaran: $60
  • 2 Location Snorkel Tour - Gear Included, 65 minutes per location: $79
  • Cruisin' Tikis Key Largo - Sunset Cruise: $99
  • Florida Key West Self-Driving Tour (Overseas Highway, 7 Mile Bridge): $17
  • Guided Tour Explore Key Largo on Jet Ski : $185
  • Half-Day Florida Keys Catamaran Snorkel Adventure: $79
  • Key Largo Bay Sunset Tour: $66
  • Key Largo Boat Charter Day Tour: $65
  • Key Largo Coral Reef Glass Bottom Boat Adventure : $45
  • Key Largo Snorkeling Tour - rental mask, fins and vest INCLUDED: $68
  • Key Largo Two Reef Snorkel Tour - All Snorkel Equipment Included!: $78
  • Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Adventure in Key Largo: $68

Tours and Activities in Tampa

For Tampa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour: $69
  • 2 Hour Private Floating Tiki Boat Tour in Tampa: $59
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $50
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket: $108
  • Christmas Lights Wonderland Deluxe Golf Cart Guided Tour in Tampa: $49
  • Discover Tampa with Local Stories from a Virtual Tour: $30
  • Downtown Tampa Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • Escape to Paradise: Private Island Boat Adventure in Tampa: $630
  • Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour: $39
  • Ghost Investigation Tour Interactive Paranormal Experience 18Plus: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Key Largo $24
    Tampa $26

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tampa:

  • Tampa Bar Crawl on a 2023 Street Legal Golf Cart: $40
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Ybor City Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $200


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Key Largo and Tampa, we can see that Key Largo is more expensive. And not only is Tampa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tampa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tampa and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Key Largo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Key Largo than you might in Tampa.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Key Largo Expensive? and Is Tampa Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Key Largo or Tampa?

Tampa has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Key Largo. When comparing the sizes of Key Largo and Tampa, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Key Largo or Tampa?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Key Largo or Tampa in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Key Largo and Tampa. Many travelers come to Key Largo for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Tampa in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

Key Largo is around the same temperature as Tampa in the summer. The daily temperature in Key Largo averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Tampa fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tampa this time of the year. In Key Largo, it's very sunny this time of the year. Key Largo usually receives more sunshine than Tampa during summer. Key Largo gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Tampa receives 265 hours of full sun in the summer.

Tampa receives a lot of rain in the summer. Key Largo gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Key Largo usually receives less rain than Tampa. Key Largo gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Key Largo 82°F (28°C) 
    Tampa 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Key Largo or Tampa in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Key Largo as well as Tampa. Also, most visitors come to Tampa for the city's sights and attractions during these months.

In the autumn, Key Largo is around the same temperature as Tampa. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Key Largo in October average around 78°F (26°C), and Tampa averages at about 75°F (24°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Key Largo this time of the year. In the autumn, Key Largo often gets more sunshine than Tampa. Key Largo gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tampa receives 234 hours of full sun.

Key Largo receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Key Largo usually gets more rain in October than Tampa. Key Largo gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Key Largo 78°F (26°C) 
    Tampa 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Key Largo or Tampa in the Winter?

Both Tampa and Key Largo are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Key Largo for the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Tampa because of the cuisine.

In January, Key Largo is generally a little warmer than Tampa. Daily temperatures in Key Largo average around 67°F (19°C), and Tampa fluctuates around 60°F (15°C).

It's quite sunny in Tampa. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Key Largo. Key Largo usually receives more sunshine than Tampa during winter. Key Largo gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Tampa receives 200 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Key Largo usually receives around the same amount of rain as Tampa. Key Largo gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Key Largo 67°F (19°C) 
    Tampa 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Key Largo or Tampa in the Spring?

Both Tampa and Key Largo during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Key Largo because of the beaches. Furthermore, the beaches and the activities around the city are the main draw to Tampa this time of year.

Key Largo is around the same temperature as Tampa in the spring. The daily temperature in Key Largo averages around 74°F (24°C) in April, and Tampa fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Key Largo. In the spring, Key Largo often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Tampa. Key Largo gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tampa receives 299 hours of full sun.

Key Largo usually gets more rain in April than Tampa. Key Largo gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Tampa receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Key Largo 74°F (24°C) 
    Tampa 71°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Tampa and Key Largo

Key Largo Tampa
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (19°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 71°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 74°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)