Islamorada comprises five islands on the southern Florida coast between Key West to the south and Key Largo to the north. According to Vacationidea, Islamorada is a peaceful town. It is best known for its endless fun activities out on the water that includes: snorkeling excursions, boat tours, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, and encounters with dolphins and other marine life.
This village is a hub of world-class sport fishing and attracts saltwater anglers from all across the globe who come in search of bonefish, tarpon, and billfish. The area also has plenty of modern tourist amenities, including; tropical-themed bars, five-star hotels, and seafood restaurants. Islamorada is the perfect getaway location if you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure. In this article, we will take a closer look at the 20 best things to do in Islamorada.
20. Relax at Anne's Beach
Anne's Beach is a popular white sand beach named after the renowned environmentalist Anne Eaton. The water here is usually shallow and warm; very few waves make the Beach perfect for swimmers of different abilities. Anne's Beach is filled with amenities like two parking lots, washrooms, and a gorgeous wooden boardwalk that stretches for half a mile through the wetlands on the shore. The main downside with Anne's Beach is limited shade; thus, you are advised to pack an umbrella or a reef-safe sunscreen and have a day of endless fun in the sun.
19. Visit the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District
The Morada Way Arts and Cultural District is a favorite destination for its stunning and rugged beaches. According to Thecrazytourist, the Arts and Cultural District is a six-block corridor and is the only traditional 'main street' to be found between Key West and Miami. This great area is filled with restaurants, art studios, galleries, and shops. Here, you will be amazed by the great handcrafts of local artisans and artists' creations and be able to take some souvenirs back home. The Morada Way Arts and Cultural District is home to many community events and festivals, such as art fairs, sidewalk sales, and the annual Seafood fest.
18. Enjoy Eco Tours and Kayaking
Is kayaking one of your favorite outdoor activities? Then, you should try out the several eco-tour companies available in the Islamorada area that provide you with an exceptional kayaking experience while preserving the natural beauty of the environment. You can also sign up for the Eco-Adventure and Snorkeling Cruise. This half-day boat trip allows you to enjoy the natural beauty and complexity of the village's delicate ecosystem.
17. Feed the Tarpon at Robbie's Marina
No vacation to Islamorada is complete without stopping at Robbie's Marina to feed the tarpon. Here, you will not only hand-feed these enormous fish but also marvel at the spectacular views of the fish jumping out of the water. If feeding the tarpon is not for you, you can try out the different water sports activities, go shopping or dine at the nearby world-class restaurants. Robbie's Marina
16. The Dolphin Research Center
Located a short distance from Islamorada down the scenic Overseas Highway to Grassy Key/Marathon, Dolphin Research Center is popularly known for its amazing dolphin sessions and is also a research facility. The Center was founded as a non-profit organization in the mid-1980s to protect and provide forever homes and care to dolphins and other marine mammals like sea lions. The facility also focuses on education, research, and conservation.
General admission is a great way to see all of the animals in narrated behavior activities, focusing on different aspects of their abilities and intelligence. For those who want to experience a personal connection, Dolphin Research Center offers a number of different programs where guests can interact with the dolphins either from a dock or in the water. They vary in price from $50 for Meet a Dolphin which also includes all day admission, to the Dolphin Encounter swim program for $210 up to half-day and full-day experiences.
15. Dine at the Key Largo Conch House
According to Divergenttravelers, the Key Largo Conch House is a family-owned and managed restaurant that is best known for its ample portions, affordable prices, and well-accommodating staff. The restaurant also offers many non-seafood dishes and other delicious cuisines. The restaurant has also been featured on several national television shows and awarded various awards. The Key Largo Conch House is open all days of the week from 8 am to 10 pm.
14. Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters
Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters offers a wide array of high-quality equipment rentals for clients interested in exploring the beautiful sceneries around Islamorada. The company also offers outfit campers with sleeping bags, tents, and other necessary camping gear they might need. Moreover, you can rent standup paddle boards and kayaks if you want to enjoy the crystal clear waters of the town.
13. The Kayak Shack
Are you a fan of water-based activities? Then, it would be best if you made your way to The Kayak Shack, situated in Robbie's Marina. Here, you get to comfortably explore the beautiful sceneries in the Florida Keys by a kayak. There are also three amazing kayaking locations to choose from: the Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, the mangrove tunnels, and Indian Key State Park. The company also offers guided kayak tours for an average price of $24, including a calming sunset tour through the saltwater flats and mangrove tunnels.
12. Visit Theater of the Sea
The Theater of the Sea is a family-owned and operated business founded in the mid-1940s. It is considered one of the first marine mammal habitats worldwide. The Theater of the Sea is home to a wide array of animals that include; stingrays, birds, sea turtles, and birds, among others. The price of admission is quite budget-friendly, costing around $45. This includes access to the park's sea lion, parrot, and dolphin shows; you will be allowed to interact directly with the animals for an additional fee. There are also other amazing tourist attractions in the park, such as a guided marine life tour, a glass-bottom boat cruise around the dolphin lagoon, and a secluded lagoon-side beach that executive visitors are welcome to use for sunbathing, snorkeling and swimming.
11. Stop at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
The Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park was formerly a quarry used to construct the Overseas Railroad. All visitors are welcomed to the park and are allowed to walk freely through the fossilized coral reef that is full of fossils formed about 125,000 years ago. This State Park offers a small fee for guided tours between April and December. Visitors can also opt for self-guided tours through the park's five short trails. Moreover, the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park has plenty of historical exhibits that try to explain the origin of the park and the Overseas Railroad.
10. Dine at Whale Harbor Restaurant and Seafood Buffet
Are you looking to taste the most delicious seafood in town? Then, you should go to the Whale Harbor Restaurant and Seafood Buffet. It is Islamorada's most iconic restaurant and has major renovations. It now includes a rooftop bar. The restaurant's menu includes everything from oysters and fresh local fish to shrimp and lobster. However, they do not take reservations, meaning that you may be requested to wait if you visit during peak hours. The Whale Harbor Restaurant and Seafood Buffet are usually open daily from 12 pm until 9 pm.
9. Stop at Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
The Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge is from1980 and provides a secure breeding area. It is also a preserve for the crocodile's natural habitat. The refuge also has several trails that allow visitors to access the observation areas easily and have the opportunity to view the crocodiles in their natural settings. These grounds also include garden and seating areas and plenty of informative signs that describe the things you will see at the reserve.
8. Visit The Florida Keys Turtle Hospital
Islamorada is home to a wide array of marine turtle species thanks to the warm, calm waters off the Florida coast. The Florida Keys Turtle Hospital was founded in the mid-1980s to help provide safe, natural habitats to sea turtles orphaned or injured in the wild. The hospital functions as a non-profit organization and is all about returning most turtle species to their natural homes. Additionally, the Florida Keys Turtle Hospital has a well-accommodating staff that offers visitors a wide variety of conservation-centered activities and educational tours suited for people of all ages.
7. Stop at the Crane Point Museum, Nature Center, and Historic Site
The Crane Point Museum, Nature Center, and Historic Site sits on 60 acres of land and includes various natural and historical tourist attractions. Here, you will learn more about the town's history, immigration, economy, culture, and settling. Nature trails also make their way through hardwood forests and coastal wetlands. This is the perfect destination for tourists who prefer to increase their limited vacation period.
6. Relax at the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is famous for its visitors' natural habitats and fun outdoor activities. The park is also a favorite destination among wildlife photographers and animal lovers. The park is home to many land animals, including alligators that are relatively easy to spot from the well-marked trails and include secluded observation and seating areas. According to Travellens, the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park offers its visitors guided tours for a fee of $2.50.
5. Stop at the History of Diving Museum
While the History of Driving museum is around since 2005, it houses a collection of driving equipment and other memorabilia that span over the last four decades. According to Planetware, the History of Driving Museum offers all its visitors guided tours. The museum is usually open every week from 10 am to 5 pm.
4. Visit Indian Key Historic State Park
The Indian Key Historic State Park is only a few yards from U.S. Route 1 and is easily accessible by kayak or boat. The island is famous for the eerie early 19th-century village that hosts traders and fishermen. All visitors and the locals can now visit the island by walking through the recreated streets system. There are plenty of fun outdoor activities you can try out while at the Indian Key Historic State Park that includes; fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. The park is usually open from 8 am till sunset throughout the year.
3. Stop at Keys History & Discovery Center
Located inside the Florida Keys Conference Center is the Keys History & Discovery Center, which is fully dedicated to preserving and showcasing the colorful history of Florida Keys and Islamorada. This Center is a stunning two-story building with a perfect view of the beautiful town. There is also a state-of-the-art movie theater that boasts a wide collection of permanent historical exhibits that touch on a large number of topics appropriate for both adults and children.
2. Grab a snack at Midway Cafe & Coffee Bar
According to Treksplorer, the Midway Café & Coffee Bar is a highly ranked restaurant in Islamorada, Florida Keys. They are famousfor their amazing selection of delicious breakfast, baked goods, and lunch dishes. Their coffee is local, and all the baked goods, including loaves of bread, are fresh in the restaurant. Moreover, their food is all fresh, organic, and local ingredients. All customers have vegetarian and gluten-free options on the restaurant's menu.
1. Try the tasty lime pies at the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory
No shortage of world-class restaurants in South Florida that claim to have the best key lime pie in the state. Key Lime Pie Factory is one of them. Here, they make fresh pies daily and their classic Key lime pie. You can also try out other tasty desserts like Key lime pie cookies, Key lime candies. You can even have frozen Key lime pie dipped in chocolate and served on a stick. This is the perfect location to stop and grab your afternoon coffee and a slice of their delicious lime pie. Apart from their stylish interior décor, they also offer outdoor dining settings. The Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory is usually open everyday from 10 am to 9 pm.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn