20 Best Things To Do In Islamorada

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Photo by Sebastian Koenig on Unsplash/Copyright 2018

Did you know that Islamorada is called the Sport Fishing Capital of the world? Islamorada is a beautiful village famous for its coral reefs. It is situated between Everglades National Park and the deep blue waters of the Florida Strait, encompassing six of the Florida keys: Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Indian Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, and Lignumvitae Key.

This stunning village of islands is a perfect vacation spot for nature and adventure lovers! Only ninety minutes away from some of Miami’s top spots, Islamorada gives you the feeling of being in a completely different world.

Things to do in Islamorada
Photo by Keith Luke on Unsplash/Copyright 2018

The area offers nearly endless opportunities for fun on the water. Popular activities include boat tours, snorkeling tours, kite surfing and wakeboarding, and interactions with dolphins and other marine life. Doesn’t matter what you’re looking for. Whether it’s an adventure or a relaxing vacation, Islamorada has it all!

If you’re looking for a place that reminds you of paradise, a place that gives you a glimpse of nature’s beauty, a place perfect for vacation, Islamorada is a perfect fit. From water sports to luxurious resorts, there are a vast variety of things to do in Islamorada. This place is packed with attractions that highlight the region’s unique culture and Florida’s key history. Islamorada offers great sporting opportunities, too, such as panoramic and safe biking on a section of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail and a kayaking tour in the Keys – Kayaking out to the Historic Indian Keys.

Have you decided to give Islamorada a chance yet? Then here’s a list of the top things to do in Islamorada!

1. Twenty Things to do in Islamorada To Make a Memorable Trip

1.1 Delve Into the Marine Life of Islamorada Florida Keys by Visiting Theater of the Sea

A visit to this marine mammal park is one of the best things to do in Islamorada, especially with kids.

This kid-approved park has enchanted its visitors with its spectacular marine mammal shows since 1946. Theater of the Sea is home to various creatures, including California sea lions, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, alligators, birds, stingrays, and more. It was one of the first marine mammal sanctuaries in the world.

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Photo by Nicolas Jossi on Unsplash/Copyright 2018

The entry fee includes that of the park’s dolphin, sea lion, and parrot shows. You can directly interact with the animals if you’re willing to pay an additional fee. Another attraction of Theater of the Sea is its glass-bottom boat, which takes you through dolphin lagoons, guided marine life tours, and a private lagoon beach where you’re welcome to snorkel, swim and sunbathe.

1.2. Feed Some Tarpons at Robbie’s Marina, Islamorada

What’s a trip to Islamorada, Florida keys without feeding the Tarpons at Robbie’s Marina? Feeding these 250-pound Tarpons is one of the interesting things to do in Islamorada.

Robbie’s Marina is famous for allowing tourists to hand-feed these giant fish. Watching this wonderful breed of fish leap out of the water is exciting to watch, even if you’re just an observer. You can witness the epic tarpon feeding while dining at a nearby restaurant. Or you could straighten your shoulders and let them eat from your hand.

And if you’re not into this whole fish-feeding thing, don’t worry. This place offers you many activities. You can add water sports or shopping, or dining to add to your list. You can choose fishing, snorkeling, or parasailing, according to your preference.

1.3. Enjoy the Alligator Reef Lighthouse

Are you a lighthouse fan? If yes, paying a visit to this famed Keys landmark will be a great choice to add to your list of things to do in Islamorada!

Guarding the wreck of the USS Alligator, this pirate hunting vessel was abandoned and devalued in 1822 by the Navy to protect it from wanderers. Standing tall at 136 feet high, Alligator Reef Lighthouse marks the remains of the ship’s position, four miles off the coast of Islamorada.

Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Photo by Peter Pryharski on Unsplash/Copyright 2016

Apart from that, the Alligator Reef Lighthouse is best known for its crystal clear waters and thriving reef, visible from the surface. It’s also one of Islamorada’s premier spots for underwater adventures, including snorkeling and diving.

1.4. Relax and Enjoy a Swim at Anne’s Beach

The Florida Keys are all about having fun in the sun, and Islamorada has some great beaches.

Often described as a paradise by visitors, a peaceful swim at Anne’s Beach is surely one of the relaxing things to do in Islamorada. Situated on Lower Matecumbe Key, this popular white sand beach is named after the environmentalist Anne Eaton.

The water here is clear and shallow, making it a great place for small children and for those who want a quiet place for paddling and snorkeling. This beautiful beach is also popular for kiteboarding.

1.5. Go for a Kayaking Tour in the Mangroves of Islamorada

Kayaking is an activity that offers us a completely different perspective of the landscape. Luckily, the Islamorada region has several eco-tour companies that provide wonderful ordeals while keeping the environment healthy

You can find some of the most fascinating parts of the habitat in the mangroves. The beauty of this delicate ecosystem can be explored by paddling through these picturesque tidal channels.

Another option is an organized eco-adventure and snorkeling trip, a half-day boat trip that allows you to see several sites and snorkel along a reef. You also get to see a variety of native fish species and coral, making this one of the interesting things to do in the Islamorada Florida Keys.

1.6. Visit Indian Key Historic State Park, Islamorada

Indian Key State Park is an island within the Florida State Park System and is now an uninhabited ghost town.

A reconstructed street system allows visitors to roam around the island. Fishing on the island’s plains, canoeing, and kayaking are popular local pastimes. You can sunbathe, hike, snorkel or rent a kayak from Robbie’s Marina or Kayak Indian Key, or plan a snorkeling adventure at Snorkel Indian Key.

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Image by Jason Taylor from Pixabay/Copyright 2018

1.7. Learn More About the Undersea Adventures at the History of Diving Museum

A visit to the History of Diving Museum is among the best things to do in Islamorada, especially if you’re a fan of diving.

This museum, which has been wowing history geeks since 2005, houses a carefully curated collection of diving equipment and memorabilia over the last 40 years. Exhibits cover topics such as the history of scuba diving, the stories of famous local divers, and the influence behind the book 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

You can visit the museum on the 3rd Wednesday of the month to join the free presentation about the diving culture. Also, don’t forget to check out the interactive exhibits and enjoy an indoor scavenger hunt.

1.8. Visit the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District

Amongst the Islands in the Keys that make up many different communities, Morada Way Arts and Cultural District is the only traditional city center.

This traditional small town between Miami and Key West is captivating and filled with restaurants, shops, art studios, and galleries. You get to enjoy the artists’ creations and handicrafts of local artisans. The historic Hurricane Monument, built in 1935, and the nearby famous Green Turtle Inn are in the heart of the Morada Way district.

The Morada Way Arts and Cultural District also hosts many festivals and community events, including the annual Seafood Fest and art fairs. And hey, if you go there, you can take a quick break and go to the infamous B&B, the Green Turtle Inn, and enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

1.9. Explore at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Offering a beautiful exposure to a geological unit known as the Key Largo Limestone, paying a visit to Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is one of the top things to do in Islamorada.

Fossil corals and other ancient marine life are preserved in these rocks, documenting a unique part of Florida’s geological history. This helped American industrialist and founder of Standard Oil, Henry Flagler, build the railroad system in the early 1900s. quarry

Strolling through the park, you can learn about the area’s ecology and a few cultural information as well. And if you find the place to be a perfect picnic spot, don’t worry, they’ve got you covered. There are picnic tables for you to enjoy, learn and relax.

1.10. Midway Cafe & Coffee Bar, Islamorada, Florida Keys

Well, Islamorada is not only the destination for fishing and watersports, but it also gives you a lot of tasty food too! Many good restaurants in Islamorada will fulfill both your heart and stomach.

Midway Cafe and Coffee Bar is one of the top-rated restaurants in Islamorada, and they don’t intend to back down from that position. This place offers baked goods, hot and cold beverages, and delicious breakfast and lunch to make you happy.

They serve you locally roasted coffee, bread, and baked goods made fresh from scratch in the restaurant. They use fresh, organic ingredients whenever possible, and there are plenty of vegetarian options!

You are wrong if you think good food and drinks are all that Midway Cafe & Coffee Bar offers. They also have a small beautiful section full of gifts and souvenirs for you to buy!

1.11. Visit Florida Keys History and Discovery Center to Learn More About the History of Florida Keys

The Keys History and Discovery Center, located in the Florida Keys Conference Center, is devoted to preserving and disseminating the fascinating history of Islamorada and the Florida Keys. It is a classy museum that helps you learn about the Florida Keys’ history and sea life.

This beautiful two-story building has exhibits, a movie theater, and a research library. As you stroll through the museum, you can discover fun facts about the Keys, such as over-sea railroads and pineapple farming.

1.12. Charli’s Shave Ice, Islamorada

Now, no trip is complete without a tasty dessert, is it? Go straight to Charli’s Shave Ice, a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day. The gourmet syrups are made with one hundred percent sugar, and you can also choose from delicious treats such as organic ice cream and chocolate-coated key lime pie; visiting here one of the top things to do in Islamorada.

1.13. Enjoy A Stroll Through the Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park

Rich with intriguing and exquisite flora and fauna, this beautiful 280-acre park is only accessible by boat. A wonderland home to protected insects, birds, and endangered plants, this dense and untouched island offers a glimpse into the Florida Keys before it was developed and civilized.

The tropical hardwood hammock is the star of the floral collection here. Among the species of trees on the island are False Mastic, Holywood Lignum-Vitae, Poisonwood, Florida Strangler Fig, Pigeonplum, and Gumbo Limbo. Take a golf cart tour of the Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park and see many interesting sights!

1.14. Florida Keys Farmers Market, Islamorada

What’s a better way to get a full experience of a place than visit their local market? And that makes visiting the farmers market. Established in 2017, the Florida Keys Farmers Market is the perfect place for you to shop for local food, art, and other specialty items.

The vendors change weekly, and the items for sale mostly include locally-grown produce, handcrafted jewelry, and fresh seafood. Colorful artwork by Miami artist DaveL is scattered throughout the space, providing many great photo opportunities.

The market is held every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm, and also, the parking lot at Islamorada Gardens hosts a special event each October called the Glowfest!

1.15. Visit the Long Key State Park

Long Key State Park is undoubtedly a wonderful location with lovely beaches that serve as the backdrop for an ideal sunset. Visiting here is one of the most popular things to do in Islamorada.

Long Key, ideal for birdwatching, swimming, or sunbathing, has a reputation for catering to the wealthy and famous. You can also find the longest nature trail in the Keys, the Golden ORB nature trail.

Long Key has a rich history with fishermen who have swarmed the area for centuries before the overseas highway was built. The park is open from 8 am to sunset every day, and the best part is to spend the night under the stars while enjoying the beautiful sparkling sea!

1.16. Try A Key Lime Pie from The Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory

The Florida Keys are famous for their key lime pie and The Blonde Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory offers some of the best key lime pies in the world.

Along with the traditional key lime pie, you may also try other inventive sweets like Key lime pie cookies, Key lime rum cakes, and even Key lime candies. You can also get coffee, packaged sweets, and retail merchandise as well.

So, enjoy some of the tasty key lime pies and the beauty of Islamorada as well!

1.17. Go For Fishing at Drop Back Fishing Charters

Owned by Captain Jon Reynolds, an experienced fisherman, Drop Back Fishing Charters is a perfect option if you are interested in offshore fishing in the waters around Islamorada.

The company’s sport fishing boat, constructed in the Florida Keys by a long-time fisherman and boat builder, is equipped with high-quality equipment and fishing tackle. You can choose a half-day, three-quarter-day, or full-day tour. Even three-hour evening sunset fishing tours are sometimes available, making this one of the best things to do in Islamorada.

1.18. Pay A Visit to Florida Keys Brewing Company and Islamorada Beer Company Brewery and Tasting Room

Since 2014, locally owned Islamorada Beer Company Brewery and Tasting Room is renowned for creating high-quality craft beers influenced by the Islamorada lifestyle. A short distance from the international highway are the business’s tasting room, brewery, and gift shop.

Apart from delicious beer, you can purchase beer accessories, stickers, and women’s and men’s clothing. There is an indoor sandbar, which gives the taproom a nice beachy feel. They provide outdoor space and plenty of games to keep your children busy while you can sample the beer and tour the brewery.

Florida Keys Brewing Company, consisting of a brewery and taproom, is the first microbrewery in the Upper Florida Keys. The company brews about 30 different types of beer each year, and their taproom offers you regular beers, as well as seasonal and limited releases. The Florida Keys Brewing Company taproom is currently the only place customers can purchase beer. Their options include cans, bomber bottles, and refillable growlers. And just like Islamorada Beer Company Brewery, there’s plenty to do for visitors who aren’t into beer, including a selection of games and exhibits of local artwork.

1.19. Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters, Islamorada

Offering a variety of high-quality equipment rentals Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters helps people who love to explore and enjoy the beauty of Islamorada. If you’re a fan of exploring, this is easily one of the best things to do in Islamorada.

There are many popular camp spots and state parks in the area, and the company happily provides campers with tents, sleeping bags, and anything else they might need. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent for those who want to enjoy the water. Bikes are available for rent for those who want to explore the island’s beautiful trails.

And if you’re worried about safety, don’t be. Backcountry Cowboy Outfitters has got your back with helmets and combination locks!

1.20. Enjoy Some Delicious Seafood At Chef Michael’s 

You can’t make a list of things to do in Islamorada without including a place that serves you the best food of all time. With the motto, “Peace, Love, and Hogfish,” Chef Michael’s will give all you need; great people, a perfect atmosphere, good service, and awesome food!

This fine dining-restaurant has been a fixture in the region’s booming culinary scene for years. The cozy 40-seat restaurant features indoor and outdoor seating with upscale Keysy décor, and you can enjoy the view of the wall paintings and wood sculptures by local artists. Known as the go-to place for fresh hogfish cooked to perfection, this place also offers a daily selection of seafood that you might not see on other menus, including tilefish, tripletail, and mutton snapper.

The menu offers eight melt-in-your-mouth dishes like Ambassador. A generous serving of thick-cut fish sautéed with blue crabs, shiitake mushrooms, and capers served with a creamy key lime sauce. For light meals, the Adriatic style is really simple. Grilled and then braised in a blend of olive oil and herb concoction, each bite gives you a burst of unique, wonderful flavors and leaves you more than satisfied. Hmm, sounds like heaven, right?

So, there you go! Here’s the list of the top twenty interesting things to do in Islamorada, Florida Keys. But this is not all, folks. Islamorada has more for you. There is Rain Barrel Village, the go-to place for some shopping and unique souvenirs. The Pelican Cove Resort is famous for its saltwater lagoon and private beach, making it a perfect option for a relaxing stay. There are plenty of other resorts in Islamorada, which you can find here. Founder’s Park a hive of activity spanning 40 acres in Islamorada.

That’s not all; Islamorada is a perfect wedding destination too! So if you have a romantic proposal or a beautiful island wedding in mind, Islamorada is ready to give you the feels. Islamorada house rentals are also great option to try.

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Photo by Tanja Sommer on Unsplash/Copyright 2022

Convinced Islamorada is a cool place? Next time you plan a trip to somewhere special, beautiful, and unique, make sure it’s a Florida Keys vacation. And keep the gorgeous, interesting Islamorada in your mind. Also, don’t forget to follow this wonderful list of things to do in Islamorada!

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