Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Islamorada, FL

  • Published 2022/10/27

Craving for some hot tropical beaches and sunny skies?

Then Islamorada is the right place for you!

It has all the beauties of a perfect island getaway, apart from being significantly less crowded.

Sounds perfect, isn’t it?

Referred to as the “Village of Islands,” this beautiful archipelago is a cluster of a few tiny islands.

From water sports like snorkeling and swimming to laidback kite flying and more, it has an array of things to choose from.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 25 best things to do in Islamorada, Florida:

Snorkeling at the Alligator Reef Lighthouse

Daytime view of the Alligator Reef Lighthouse

CaptJason /

The Islamorada islands encompass six of the Florida Keys Coral Reefs.

Thus, the first thing to do once you reach here is snorkeling and taking in the beautiful sea life.

There are colorful corals present, along with many different species of medium-sized fish, which you can gaze at.

View of the Alligator Reef Lighthouse

LukeandKarla.Travel /

There are also various spots nearby for some scuba diving, which is suitable for adventurous souls.

The deep waters are home to some really unique and different marine life that 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.

Chill at Anne Beach

Sunny day at Anne Beach

Susanne Pommer /

This laidback beach is stunning with its sparkling turquoise waters and calm waves.

This makes it great for swimming regardless of your age.

The water is very shallow, but be careful when you step into the sea since there are many tiny marine lives lurking in the sea.

The beach is also special, as it is a historical landmark.

The waters of Anne Beach

evelyng23 /

It is named after the famous environmentalist Anne Eaton who spent a huge portion of her life preserving much of South Florida’s natural splendor.

Another great thing about this beach is that it has been customized, with many tourist amenities, such as restrooms, two parking lots, and covered picnic spots, and so on.

There’s also a very beautiful boardwalk extending half a mile that winds through the wetlands and huge mangroves all the way to the shore.

View of Anne Beach

j loveland /

Buy Souvenirs from Rain Barrel Village

Giant lobster sculpture at Rain Barrel Village

EWY Media /

This open-air complex has attracted tourists for over 40 years with its enticing handicrafts and local artworks.

Rain Barrel Village is a haven of shopping and fascinating items.

Ceramics, jewelry, sculptures, collage, and paintings abound in this commercial center.

What’s more?

Walking around the village is also a pleasurable experience, and it’s incredibly romantic for couples visiting Islamorada.

Pose for a photo with Betsy, the lovely, gigantic lobster.

After that, meander through the village’s tropical gardens at your own pace.

Aside from that, you may meet local artists and eat delicious food at one of the area’s cafés

Kayaking in the Indian Key Historic State Park

Trail at Indian Key Historic State Park

Phillip Sunkel IV /

This offshore park is special because it can only be reached through boat ferries or kayaks.

Though it is just a few yards away from U.S. Route 1, it is a little less crowded than most parks accessible by foot.

It is typically a ghost town, but it also has many rich historical remnants.

Waters of Indian Key Historic State Park

JMcQ /

The ruins from the 1800s give you a glimpse of how life used to be back then.

History enthusiasts might even love to stroll through the recreated street system.

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.

Kayak boat at Indian Key Historic State Park

Phillip Sunkel IV /

Learn About the Nuances of Diving at the History of Diving Museum

Front View of the History of Diving Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This museum is one of a kind and helps you learn more about diving.

Though it was only opened in 2005, the museum has amassed an astonishing amount of equipment and structures related to diving.

Its wide set of displays includes diving equipment, memorabilia, well-accounted stories of local divers, and insights that influenced the book, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas.

Exterior of the History of Diving Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A unique feature is a special gallery that features the artifacts used by Art McKee, a great pioneering treasure hunter.

Another great area is the “Parade of Nations,” which houses historical dive helmets used from 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.

Check Out the Hidden Sandbar

Islamorada and the White Harbor Channel region near to it are two of the few sites where you may get your Robinson Crusoe on.

A small island emerges during low tide.

Visitors can come ashore, take pictures, and explore the area until the tide goes out on barely visible sandbars.

Check the tidal schedule, bring a lunch and an umbrella to the beach, and then head out on the Atlantic in a boat or kayak.

Just remember to keep an eye on the sands and time your escape accordingly.

The sandbar is one location where you do not want to transmit an S.O.S.

Feed Tarpons at Robbie’s Marina

Boats at Robbie’s Marina

lazyllama /

This is a charming and awesome family experience to have with kids.

At Robbie’s Marina, you can feed these huge tarpons for as little as $5!

They give you a bucket filled with fish that you can carry into the docks and then feed the fish.

View of a Bird at Robbie’s Marina

Irina Wilhauk /

Another great sport you can enjoy at Robbie’s is kayaking.

For beginners, we would recommend sticking to the mangrove tunnels for their laidback natures.

The Jet Ski tours are also great to try out, along with some snorkeling.

People at Robbie’s Marina

lazyllama /

Bike Through the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Bicycle ride at Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Michael Rosebrock /

All the people who love being outdoors would love this beautiful trail.

Paved over a length of 75 miles, it is so stunning you can’t help but enjoy some me-time on it while riding your bikes.

You can also try hiking and brisk walking on its long stretch.

View of Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

FotoKina /

The best thing is that it has been strategically constructed and 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, camping, and horseback riding.

This trail is truly the jack of all trades and does a great job at it.

Watch a Cute Dolphin Show at Theater of the Sea

Dolphin at Theater Of The Sea

Joseph Sohm /

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.

Cute Dolphin Show at Theater of the Sea

Joseph Sohm /

A great experience is swimming with these dolphins, along with stingrays and some sea turtles.

It also offers a marine life tour with a good guide.

The in-house private lagoon-beach lets guests use it for some swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing too.

Welcome sign of Theater of the Sea

GagliardiPhotography /

Explore the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District

Main Street America can be a surprise in a country famed for its stunning, rocky beaches.

Many separate settlements make up the Keys’ islands, but none have city cores like many cities on the mainland.

The only exception is this arts and culture district.

This six-block stretch connects Miami with Key West, and it’s the only major thoroughfare.

Galleries, restaurants, boutiques, and art studios abound in this beautiful neighborhood.

Countless festivals and local activities, such as the Seafood Fest, take place here.

There’s a historic B&B with an excellent restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and supper here called the Green Turtle Inn, where travelers can spend time.

Mother Nature has devastated this region several times, as seen by the nearby Hurricane Monument.

If you’re in town on the month’s third Thursday, don’t miss the Art Walk.

At this event, budding artists, singers, chefs, and small business owners are honored to contribute to this thriving neighborhood.

Beer Tasting at the Islamorada Beer Company Brewery and Tasting Room

Exterior of Islamorada Beer Company Brewery

Kristi Blokhin /

This local brewery churns out some excellent craft beers with an Islamorada twist.

It started its operation 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 excellent sample tasting.

Additionally, this brewery also has some great funky merchandise like accessories, stickers, and clothing.

So, shop some of your funky stuff for your friends back home.

Take a Walk Through Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Daytime view of Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Lynda McFaul /

Take a fantastic walk at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, a real fossilized coral reef.

The fossils are supposedly 125,000 years old and very beautiful to look at.

These intricate fossils can be visited between December and April.

Trees at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Lynda McFaul /

Opt for the guided tours at a nominal fee to fully grasp all the details.

There is also a visitor center, which gives you great information and an overview of the place.

The trails are also well-marked, along with many covered seating areas.

A trail at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Lynda McFaul /

Indulge in Whale Harbor Restaurant’s World-Famous Seafood Buffet

Visitors from other states often think of Florida vacations as an excuse to consume as much fish as possible.

Whale Harbor Restaurant’s Seafood Buffet in Islamorada is a great option for anyone visiting or vacationing in the area.

Islamorada’s most recognizable restaurant underwent significant renovations, and it now features a rooftop bar.

The restaurant serves everything from lobster to shrimp to oysters to fresh local seafood, and it’s open every day from noon until 9 p.m.

There are no bookings accepted, so expect some waiting time if you go during a busy period.

Most people prefer to buy a beer and wait for a table while relaxing by the lake.

Shop for Healthy Food at Florida Keys Farmers Market

To provide local food, crafts, and artwork to residents and visitors of the Florida Keys, the Florida Keys Farmers Market was founded in 2017.

It is situated in the Islamorada Gardens Plaza parking lot, and leashed dogs are allowed.

Due to the weekly change in vendor composition, dropping by is enjoyable and interesting to do every Sunday.

They have what you need, whether you want to pick up supplies for brunch or fill up on a delectable picnic basket.

Discover artisan cheeses, premium meats, fresh seafood, baked products, freshly made juice from the farm stand, organic fruits, art pieces, orchids, and much more.

Experience the Exquisite Meals and Service of Green Turtle Inn

Neon sign of Green Turtle Inn

James Kirkikis /

Since 1947, The Green Turtle Inn has been a landmark for Islamorada.

It may have a distinguished past in the Florida Keys, but this trendy spot is anything but ancient.

For decades, tourists, residents, and food experts have been drawn to this renowned bar and restaurant thanks to its exquisite cuisine and kind friendliness.

The Green Turtle offers catering services for all the significant occasions in your life in collaboration with their sister restaurant Kaiyo Grill.

It offers a simple décor for creative seafood, like scallops with fettuccine and conch soup.

The Green Turtle will always be the place to go for delicious food, wonderful people, pleasant service, and great moments.

It mixes contemporary cuisine with a genuine Keys-casual atmosphere.

Engage in a Water Adventure with Family Fun Boat Tour Co.

The hottest locations for eco-tours, sightseeing tours, swimming, and sunset excursions will be revealed to you by Family Fun Boat Tour Co.

Visit the well-known Islamorada sandbar, go on an eco-tour, or take a sunset boat, their knowledgeable U.S. Licensed captains of the Coast Guard will welcome you like family.

Since they have had so much experience over the previous 20 years, they are skilled at what they do to provide joy to your trip.

Family Fun Boat Tour Co. provides exclusive, enjoyable boat trips for groups of up to six persons.

Explore a coral reef and take in the turquoise seas of Florida Bay.

Family Fun Boat Tour Co. is regarded as one of the top family-friendly things to do in Islamorada.

Explore Famous Eateries with Florida Keys Food Tours

Florida Keys Food Excursions is a company founded by a local culinary enthusiast specializing in distinctive food and historical tours that educate tourists about Islamorada’s rich culture and delectable cuisine.

On the renowned Florida Keys Food and History tour, you may enjoy a relaxing journey through Islamorada, the center and crown of the Upper Keys.

The typical walking tour lasts around three hours and takes visitors through the Rayburn area, featured in the hit television series Bloodline.

Highlights include a visit to the Upper Keys’ sole operating brewery, the opportunity to view multiple Bloodline shooting locations, and several eateries.

You’ll understand why their culinary tour is one of the most popular activities in the upper and middle Keys.

Private customized trips are also possible for parties of almost any size.

Spend a Day with Beach Bum Paddle Sports

Beach Bum Paddle Sports offer daily environmental trips to various places in Islamorada and the Upper Keys.

Their specially designed tours, scheduled to last around two to three hours, may feature a private guide.

They have the greatest local knowledge for organizing and supplying paddling equipment for the ultimate Florida Keys experience.

They adapt each trip to the group’s ability level to ensure you get the finest on-water adventure.

Allow Beach Bum Paddle Sports to plan your ideal day!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Pay a Visit to the Florida Keys Turtle Hospital

Turtles at Florida Keys Turtle Hospital

Daniele Novati /

How about visiting a hospital where cute little sea turtles are treated to get better?

This NGO-run hospital does precisely this, and watching them at it will help you feel complete with happiness, too.

The Florida coast houses many different varieties of marine turtle species.

Those injured or caught off the coast are then brought here at Florida Keys Turtle Hospital for treatment before releasing them back into the wild.

Exterior of Florida Keys Turtle Hospital

Andriy Blokhin /

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.

Sea turtle at Florida Keys Turtle Hospital

C.Arnold /

See the Crocodiles at the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The crocodile can be described as one of the elders and heavier cousins of the alligators.

Much more fierce and stronger than the alligators, crocodiles are beautiful creatures to look at.

This refuge was founded in 1980 in providing and preserving the crocodile’s natural habitat.

Crocodiles are well known in Florida, and hence this park should be a must-visit on your list.

There are also observation areas here, so rest assured that you can gaze at these regal creatures wandering about in their natural waters.

The refuge is filled with many information boards, as well as seating areas to sit and relax at.

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 locals and tourists.

The pie is very fresh and tastes heavenly.

It is located nearby Tavernier and offers excellent 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.

Final Thoughts

Postcard-worthy Islamorada is ideal for a more laid-back holiday, but it also offers many outdoor activities to keep you entertained.

Its family-friendly activities, scenic beaches, and mouthwatering restaurants are just some of the reasons to visit this charming seaside community.

So, book your vacation to Islamorada, Florida, today, and add our list of the best things to do in the area to your itinerary.

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