Craving for some hot tropical beaches and sunny skies. A cool breeze flowing across the horizon as you sunbathe. A cool pineapple drink in your hands that you sip on as you gaze at the vast endless sea. Then Islamorada is the right place for you! It has all the beauties of the perfect island getaway along with being very less crowded, sounds perfect, right? Literally meaning the Village of Islands, this beautiful Archipelago is a cluster of few tiny islands that can set your hearts racing with all that it has on offer. From water sports like snorkeling and swimming to laidback kite flying and more, it has an array of things to choose from. So, all the water babies, give it a shout out!
Snorkeling at the Alligator Reef Lighthouse
The Islamorada islands are actually encompassing 6 of the Florida Keys Coral Reefs. Thus, the first thing to do once you reach here is go snorkeling and take in the beautiful sea life. There are colorful corals present along with many different species of medium sized fishes which you can gaze at.
There are also various spots in nearby areas for some deep sea scuba diving for the more adventurous souls. The deep waters are home to some really unique and different marine life which resides here. If you are a pro at diving you might even be interesting to go scouring the gigantic shipwreck called the eagle. This 287-foot wreck is quite off the coast and very rustic in its charm.
Chill at Anne Beach
This laidback Beach is very beautiful with its sparkling turquoise waters and calm waves. This makes it great for swimming for all age groups. The white sands are great to laze in and get those tan lines glowing. The water is very shallow but be careful when you step into the sea since there are many tiny marine lives below your feet in the sands. Thus, get your child some foot protection before going in.
The Beach is also special as a historical landmark since it is named after the famous environmentalist Anne Eaton who spent a huge portion of her life in preserving much of South Florida’s natural splendor.
Another great thing about this beach is that it has been customized with many tourist amenities to welcome you. From clean restrooms, two parking lots and covered picnic spots, it has it all. There’s also a very beautiful boardwalk extending half a miles that winds through the wetlands and huge mangroves to the shore.
Kayaking to the Indian Key Historic State Park
This offshore Park is special in that it can only be reached through boat ferries or kayaks. Though it is just a few yards away from U.S. Route 1, it thus remains little less crowded than most Parks accessible by foot. It is typically a ghost towns but has many remnants of its rich history. The ruins from the 1800s provide you a glimpse of how life used to be back then. History lovers might even love to take a stroll through the recreated street system that they have now constructed.
The other activities you can enjoy here include canoeing, kayaking and Fishing. The Park can be visited at nominal charges anytime from morning to sunset at any time of the year.
Learn about the nuances of diving at the History of Diving Museum
This museum is one of its kind in the relics it houses and helps you learn about an interesting subject – Diving. Though it was only opened in 2005, it has amassed an astonishing amount of equipment and structures related to diving. Its wide set of displays include diving equipment, memorabilia, well accounted stories of local divers and an insight into what influenced the book , 20,000 leagues Under The Sea.
A unique feature is a special gallery which features the artifacts which were used by the great pioneering treasure hunter Art McKee. Another great area is the “Parade of Nations” which houses historical dive helmets that had been used from over 25 nations. The museum remains open throughout the year except on public holidays between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are even guided tours available if you visit as a group of 15 or more.
Feed tarpons at Robbie’s Marina
This is a very cute and awesome family experience to have with kids. At Robbie’s Marina you can feed these huge tarpons for as less as $5! They give you a bucket filled with fish which you can carry into the docks and then use to feed the fishes. The creatures come out of the waters and try grabbing a bite right from your hands which makes its really fun thing to do for your children.
Another great sports you can enjoy at Robbie’s is Kayaking. The Kayak Shack located here helps you choose Kayaking experiences through three areas depending on your expertise. For beginners, we would recommend sticking to the mangrove tunnels for its laidback natures so you can enjoy the experience to the most. The Jet Ski tours are also great to try out along with some snorkeling.
Satisfy your Sweet Tooth at the Blonde Giraffe Key Lime Pie factory
Touted as the State’s Best Key Lime Pie, it is a favorite among all the locals and tourists. The pie is very fresh and tastes heavenly. It is located nearby in Tavernier and offers great coffee too. The restaurant itself has a happy vibe with quaint indoor and outdoor seating. Do try out the other variants as well including those without lime. The cookies and lime candies are great sweets to savor. Buy some sweet candies or coffee to take back home too while at it.
Bike through the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
All the people who love being outdoors just for the sake of it would love this beautiful trail. Paved over a huge length of 75 miles, it is so stupendous that you can’t help but enjoy some me time on it while riding your bikes. You can also try out fit hiking and brisk walking on its long stretch. The best thing is it has been strategically constructed and hence passes through many of the famous State and National parks, along with a few marine sanctuaries. Thus, visitors can even enjoy water based activities like fishing or even camping and horseback riding as per their interests and budgets. This trail truly is the jack of all trades and does a great job at it.
Watch a cute Dolphin Show at Theater Of The Sea
The Theater of The Sea was constructed in 1946 and is touted as the world’s second oldest marine mammal’s park. From Sea lions to Dolphins and even stingrays there are a variety of animals to play and interact with. There is a dolphin show where you can see the dolphins prancing around. A parrot show is also another specialty of the place. A great experience is swimming with these dolphins in the same waters along with sting rays and some sea turtles at a special price. It also offers a marine life tour with a proper guide. The in-house private Lagoon-beach lets guests use it for some swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing too.
Beer tasting at the Islamorada Beer Company Brewery and Tasting Room
This local brewery churns out some great Craft Beer with the Islamorada twist. It started operations in 2014 and has since been very popular for its high quality beers. There’s a big outdoor recreation area with a volleyball net and many activities to help keep your children occupied. You and your spouse can then roam around the large brewery and take in the fascinating facts about the brewery along with some great sample tasting. The beer being great, it also seals some great funky merchandise like accessories stickers, and clothing. So, shop a bit of your funky stuff for the friends back home.
Take a walk through Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Take an amazing fascinating walk through a real fossilized Coral reef at this famous Fossil reef Geological Park. The Fossils are supposedly 125,000 years old and very beautiful to look at. These were first discovered when quarrying was being done while building the Overseas railroad and has since been developed and preserved for people to look at in wonder and amusement. These intricate fossils can be visited between December and April. Opt for the guided tours at a nominal fee to get a full grasp on all the details. There is also the Park’s Visitor center which gives you great information and sets up an overview about all that you can expect to see in the premises. The trails are also well marked along with many covered seating areas so you can opt for self-exploration as well.
Look at a Crocodile at the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge
The Crocodile can be described as one of the elder and heavier cousins of the Alligators. Much more fierce and stronger than the alligators, crocodiles are a beautiful creature to look at. This refuge was founded in 1980 to provide and preserve the crocodile’s natural habitat and introduce fresh breeding.
Crocodiles can be considered as landmark Florida animals and hence this park should be a must visit on your list. Special observation areas have been constructed from where you can gaze at these regal creatures wandering about in their natural waters. The refuge is filled with many information boards align with seating areas and gardens to sit and relax while you ingest bits of information about these mighty beings.
Jet packing by Florida Keys Jetpacks
Jet packing is one of the most exhilarating things to do and one of the most fulfilling experiences ever. Strap on that jetpack and watch yourself rise with glee and happiness. With great trainers and certified instructors to help, beginners can also start enjoying within a few minutes from strapping on the jetpacks. The beautiful experience can last for 1 -2 hours and includes a complete 30 minutes of flight time.
Parasailing at Purple Island
Imagine soaring high up in the skies like a bird and getting a great view of the mighty blue sea. This is exactly what parasailing is. Soar almost 600 feet above with the birds high above in the white skies. The air borne phase lasts for almost 12 minutes and you can choose to land directly in the water if the weather is good. The sails are available in combinations for one, two or three people.
You can also spot some marine life when above like dolphins, sea turtles and manatees. Make sure you definitely try out this activity and do not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Pay a visit to The Florida Keys Turtle Hospital
How about a visit to a hospital where they treat cute little sea turtles and help them get better? This NGO run hospital des exactly this and watching them at it will help you feel full with happiness too. The Florida Coast houses many different varieties of marine turtle species. Those injured or caught off coast are then brought here for treatment before being released back into the wild. The hospital offers many types of educational tours customized for all ages.
You can also participate in any of the conservation based activities conducted here. Most tourists who visit here call it one of the most enriching experiences ever.
Thus, Islamorada is one of the best places to visit. It has all kind of activities to fuel your wanderlust to making you feel genuine happiness. The dolphins, turtles and other intricate marine sea life that you get to observe here is truly beautiful and worth a visit.
Try scheduling your trip between December and April so you get to tick almost all the things off this list. We assure you this trip will truly be a memorable lifetime experience for you and your family.