Islamorada Travel Guide

  • No diving today
    No diving today
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  • Cafe
    Cafe
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  • quarry walls
    quarry walls
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Islamorada Highlights

  • Pro
    goingsolo profile photo

    goingsolo says…

     A visit here offers the complete Florida Keys experience. 

  • Con
    KARLPORTER56 profile photo

    KARLPORTER56 says…

     Just watch out for those grassy flats 

  • In a nutshell
    MatthewMetcalfe profile photo

    MatthewMetcalfe says…

     Fantastic Place to kick back and enjoy life! 

Islamorada Things to Do

  • The Florida Hurricaine Memorial

    The so called "memorial day" hurricaine in 1935 was among the strongest ever to make landfall in Florida and was pretty close to a direct hit on Islamorada.The memorial is not such a cheery place, but memorializes an important chapter in Florida's history. The site has historic plaques and some nice art work. The remains of approximately 190...

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  • The Rain Barrel Artisan Village

    The Rain Barrel is another example of how businesses in the keys are not always as they appear from the road. Many visitors will recall driving by the giant lobster sculpture on the west side of the Overseas Highway. Walk around "Betsey" the giant lobster and through the souvenir shop façade and you will find an extensive artists village selling...

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  • Fossil Reef Geological State Park

    The Florida keys rock! This park was originally a limestone quarry from the early 20th century. The walls of the quarry provide a visible cross section of the fossilized coral making up the ground beneath. There are over a mile of trails through hardwood hammocks, some historic mining equipment and environmental exhibits to see. All in all a very...

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Islamorada Hotels

Islamorada Restaurants

  • Midway between Miami and Key West

    There aren't many starbucks on the overseas highway. Fortunately there's this place. 80 miles from both Miami and Key West, the cafe serves great coffee, lattes espressos etc. and has great bakery items. They open early, and also serve a great hot breakfast. Con Leche - my new favorite!

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  • Hidden from the road

    The Lorelei is pretty well hidden from the Overseas highway, but its worth the search and well known locally as a great restaurant, bar and evening hangout.They serve breakfast lunch and dinner, and have world class seafood. There is a fun, firendly bar is they have quality live music every night. We usually get appetizers at the bar - conch...

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  • Local sweet spot

    Holy baked goods Batman! These folks make a cinnamon roll that puts Cinnibon to shame! Incredible baked goods and a great breakfast and lunch place. Expect a crowd at breakfast Breakfast lunch and baked goods

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Islamorada Nightlife

  • Sunset on Lower Matecumbe Key

    The best bar in Islamorada for sunset has a flawed view. From the elevated deck bar above the wharf, Papa Joe's offers a stunning sunset, marred only by the intrusive electric pylons sprouting from the water. Yet, except for some private resorts, the view here is the best in town.The sunset crowd is enthusiastic, the staff is friendly, the food...

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  • The "world famous" Tiki Bar.

    That's what the sign says at the entrance into this two story wood structure. Everyone in the Keys knows about the Tiki Bar and everyone goes there. Other than a few really small local area bars, its really the only place to go.The Tiki Bar is pretty crowded during the in season (winter everywhere else). Live music plays in the evenings. In...

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  • Pierre's.

    This complex is comprised of two separate restaurant/pubs. Morada Bay is less upscale but Pierre's has real charm and is worth a visit even if only for one of their magnificent pina coladas. The inside bar is something out of a Somerset Maugham novel. You'll feel as if at Raffles in Singapore as you nibble complimentary fancy nuts. The outside...

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Islamorada Transportation

  • Florida Scenic Highway

    The Florida Keys Scenic Highway is one incredible drive. One side you have the Atlantic Ocean and the other is the Gulf of Mexico. Driving down the highway was great. The views of the water was unbelievable. The shades of blue from deep aqua, to light turquoise to baby blue were a sight to see. Liz and I enjoyed driving this stretch of highway....

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  • The best way to come to the...

    The best way to come to the Keys is by car. It allows you the freedom to stop along the way and enjoy the wonders of the Overseas Highway that spans a multitude of bridges and small keys, all the way to Key West.Most of the towns are small enough to explore by foot but to get to places out of the town you are staying, you need a car or at least a...

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  • Islamorada Hotels

    36 Hotels in Islamorada

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Islamorada Shopping

  • Beach Reads

    Small local village shop that specializes in Florida books for adults, youth and children. There aren't many rainy days but when you have one you need something to do. You can get playing cards, jigsaw puzzles, books, both new and used. Pirates--the greatest selection of pirate infomation and the greatest selection of used books--great for beach...

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  • A courtyard style mini shopping mall

    When you drive the US 1 you almost can't miss the signs or the 35 foot lobster. When we passed it by we could use some stretching and decided to stop..You can enter the center garden of this historic castle through the shops or by walking the boardwalk surrounding the garden.The shops offcourse have the usual gifts but also the more special things....

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  • Finally a post office....

    Here you can take care of all your postal needs.The first post office has been established on december 28, 1908. Due to the 1935 hurricane the post office was gone but has returned to Long Key on july 19th, 1963.There's another post office in Islamorada too, 82801 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036.

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Islamorada Local Customs

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Written Sep 11, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You'll have to get used to the locals' peculiar way of telling you where things are. Everything is in relation to the mile marker (MM) as these signs are present along the whole length of the Overseas Highway. Oh, and don't forget to ask if it's ocean or bayside. And please don't forget your baby's bottles if you are out for a cocktail to watch the sunset. Here's my brother and latest addition to the family, my niece.

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Islamorada Warnings and Dangers

  • Watch for the grassy Flats

    Especially at Low tide and after dark. they are everywhere. Do not Rev your engine if you get stuck.. You can try to pull out your boat but if you are too far in you will have to wait until high tide.

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  • Be very careful driving,...

    Be very careful driving, especially at night. The main road leading through the Keys is a two lane road which is not lit at night. People walk across the road at all times and are virtually impossible to see. Also, numerous fatal accidents are caused every year by drunk driving.If you're planning a visit to the Keys, try to stay overnight if at all...

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  • The pina coladas and fancy...

    The pina coladas and fancy nuts at Pierre's are not exactly diet fare but who cares, you're on holiday, right? ;=>

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Islamorada Tourist Traps

  • Though the beaches in the Keys...

    Though the beaches in the Keys look great in all the advertisements, they do no live up to expectations. The water is generally very shallow and to find a place to swim, we found it best to stay away from the actual beaches and just jump in wherever we saw turquiose water, generally close to people fishing off rocks.

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  • Key West is the end of the...

    Key West is the end of the road in the Florida Keys. It used to be a cool little funky town but it's been over developed and though still a must see, I would have to say, spend a day there at most and enjoy the rest of the Keys for a more authentic experience.

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Islamorada What to Pack

  • Packing List

    Bathing suits, suntan lotion and shorts. The tropical climate and laid back attitude of the Keys make this an extremely casual place. There are a few fancy restaurants, such as the Cheeca Lodge, and you may want to check if they have any dress code if you plan to eat there. But, other than that, anything other than shorts is overdressed. Don't...

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  • Packing List

    Light clothing...shorts, t-tops, t-shirts, sneakers, sandals, bathing suitPack light...Less is better.Its always a great idea to have a light sweater/jacket in case a cool breeze decides to show up, but thats not often.Always be Prepared. I found that a simple first-aid kit is always handy no matter where or when you travel. Band-aids, extra...

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Islamorada Off The Beaten Path

  • Local history tour

    If you're going to be in the keys when the weather is cooler, take a historic island tour. Tour shuttles leave from Robbie's marina on the weekends. The tour goes to Indian Key, an early settlement in Islamorada,where foundations are still standing and stories of the Keys rich and famous abound. The island has the first post office of dade county...

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  • Christmas parade....

    Well i guess most people will miss this because they simply don't know about it.We didn't also, we where just on our way to get something to eat and noticed these firetrucks. They where preparing to drive of to ??? we don't know we just waited till they left, i have no idea if they where part of a larger parade but the need for food was bigger this...

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  • Hurricane Monument

    Just like us, millions of vehicles have passed through Islamorada and saw the 1935 Hurricane Memorial. One day we decided to stop and take a few minutes to stand still at this monument. On Labor Day, the massive hurricane hit between Long Key and Tavernier. It had winds of 200 miles an hour. This massive storm destroyed Islamorada and killed 700...

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Islamorada Sports & Outdoors

  • MatthewMetcalfe's Profile Photo
    Heading out to sea.

    by MatthewMetcalfe Written Feb 4, 2005

    This Shop will take you to some of the best dive sites in the middle keys. They usually make two trips a week to the Eagle, do night dives on request (minimum group required), and are very friendly and helpful.

    The boat is great although there is not a marine head on it. Also, you'll need to get Nitrox from another source as they mix air only. They should be able to help you source Nitrox though.

    Equipment: In January, the water was 73F which felt fine with a full 3mm suite. Gloves are discouraged on the reefs but encouraged on the wrecks.

    For the Eagle, you might want to try Nitrox. All the reefs though are fairly shallow and a full tank will last quite some time.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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Islamorada Favorites

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Updated Nov 16, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Since it's considered 'the Sports Fishing Capital of the World,' I guess you should go fishing if that's your thing. For me, it would be to just get out on the water, be it snorkeling or kayaking. Of course, sunsets are the hallmark of the Keys, so do enjoy them, preferably with a Runrunner or Pina Colada.

    Fondest memory: It was just a short paddle, but that wasn't the point. It was about two people trying to find a common ground. I had met Doreen in Munich, on her turf, and a city I predominantly associate with beer. Sure, it was fun, but I had to show her the things that mean more to me than the finer side of malted beverages. I had to show her nature as it flows through my veins. I wanted to take her hiking but it was Florida after all, and any lover of nature knows that you have to get in or on the water to enjoy the best the sunshine state has to offer. We had done a walk the day before along a path known for golden orb spiders and I was surprised at her curiosity of an insect she had an inherent fear of. But the kayak trip to a bird rookery was to be our first real test. We secured a double vessel from Papa Joe's, a local outfitter, and soon found ourselves rounding the rocky outcropping and paddling out into the Florida Bay. The turquoise waters glistened in the sun and the rookery was in plain sight from the onset. Doreen enjoyed the hypnotic motion that propels a kayak but her arms tired once or twice so we took a break to enjoy the lush scenery. In no time the island was upon us, and we paddled around it to reveal a flock of majestic seabirds basking in the sun. We enjoyed them from a distance, careful not to intrude on the nesting colony and then circled behind the island, where a mangrove tunnel soon became apparent. I asked Doreen to remain motionless as I gently guided us through the tight opening, where we were suddenly engulfed in a deafening cacophony of chirping that made us feel in a National Geographic special. She turned with the biggest smile but whispered despite the loudness of the tweeting. I knew then I had someone who had a feeling for nature and how to fit in rather than try and be the center of it. We remained a short while more and then paddled out of the cove and back to the marina. And she wasn't the only one smiling.

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