Located between Miami and Key West on six islands, Islamorada is a fishing paradise. This amazing village is called “The Sport Fishing Capital of the World” for good reason. It’s home to the largest fishing fleet per square mile in the world.
Once here, you will instantly feel the charming small-town island vibes that this little strip of atolls possesses. A two hour drive away from the Intracoastal Highway, the islands are a treasure trove of scenic views, water sports, and tons of other attractions.
Whether you’re a water lover, or just want to explore the restaurants and activities the islands have to offer, there’s plenty to do in Islamorada. Here are 17 things to do in Islamorada that will make you fall in love with this amazing place too.
THEATER OF THE SEA
Theater of the Sea is a family-owned attraction in Islamorada that has continued to welcome visitors since it opened in 1946. It is one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the United States, providing a sanctuary for animals, while also letting visitors have a chance to see them up close.
The facility is most famous for hosting some incredible events, such as sea lion shows, dolphin shows, parrot shows, and others. Additionally, the mission of the Theater of the Sea is to raise awareness about conservation and environmental issues on public platforms.
When you’re visiting this side of Florida, do make it a point to participate in one of the exclusive interactive programs here, as well as swim with dolphins and meet sea turtles!
Details: 84721 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
FLORIDA KEYS BREWING COMPANY
There’s nothing quite like a lazy day where all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy sipping a variety of local beers. If this idea appeals to you, then you can experience it for real in Islamorada at the Florida Keys Brewing Company.
The Florida Keys Brewing Company is the only production brewery of the Keys, and it’s a popular hotspot for visitors and tourists. This charming brewing company sits in the heart of the Cultural District. Although a micro facility, this brewery delivers powerful flavors and unbeatable artsy vibes you will hardly find anywhere else.
Adding to its appeal are the 30 styles of beer that this tiny company produces annually. Be sure to enjoy a flight, a pint and a growler on your visit here!
Details: 81611 Old Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
HISTORY OF DIVING MUSEUM
Those who happen to be in the picturesque key of Islamorada, and are divers or enjoy the diving sport, are in for a double treat. The key is home to one of the most exclusive diving museums in the country. The History of Diving Museum takes you a through a journey of undersea adventures, spanning over a century, as well as narrates some mesmerizing diving tales from the Florida Keys.
At this museum, you will find the most expansive collection pertaining to the undersea world. It is no wonder that this attraction took approximately 40 years to come together, including marvels like armored suits, diving helmets, and more.
For even more memorable experience, try visiting this museum on the third Wednesday of the month, so that you can immerse yourself in one of the most engaging sessions on the diving culture.
Details: 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHTHOUSE
Alligator Reef Lighthouse is where you can satiate your adventure cravings. This attraction is comprised of a unique lighthouse structure, which is also among the most popular landmarks of the Keys. This lighthouse once stood proudly as a hunting vessel, but lost its glory after its abandonment in 1822. The Navy protected this structure from falling into the hands of vagabonds, by removing everything of value that once the lighthouse possessed.
Today, the structure stands guard over the USS Alligator wreck, and is a popular attraction for visitors. It sits four miles away from the Islamorada shore, with the surrounding area home to more than 500 marine life species.
In addition to the diving and snorkeling activities here, you can also check out the thriving reed, barracuda and parrotfish in the waters here.
MORADA WAY ARTS AND CULTURAL DISTRICT
Morada Way Arts and Cultural District is a six-block corridor that mimics Main Street USA. In this district, you will find everything that charms you about city life, including restaurants, shops, art galleries and more.
You can enjoy touches of city life in artsy island forms, including seafood festivals, music nights, and a lot of other vibrant events. There are also a couple of sightseeing places, including the Hurricane Monument, where visitors can experience up close the extent of the powers of Mother Nature.
Details: 151 Morada Way, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
INDIAN KEY STATE HISTORIC SITE
Indian Key State Historic Site may only be a shadow of the bustling town it once was, but a visit here is an experience you don’t want to miss. This historic site was once Dade County’s county seat, which came together from all the wealth the residents accumulated by salvaging cargo from the shipwrecks.
Despite being a ghost town today, archeologists and tourists flock here in great numbers to take a historic trip down the building foundations. The trip to the historic site is an experience in itself, for you can only reach the Indian Key on a boat.
The activities here are endless, including kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, sunbathing, swimming and more.
Details: Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
Discount Tickets: Mangroves Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals
WINDLEY KEY FOSSIL REEF GEOLOGICAL STATE PARK
How does the thought of a coral reef gliding majestically above the surface of the waters grab you? If it feels like an enchanting idea, then here’s your chance to experience it in real life. Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park offers self-guided tours on trails stretching for 1.5 miles.
During these tours, you can learn all about the ecological aspects of the area, while also discovering some interesting cultural tidbits. The high season is a particularly good time to visit here, when visitors can enjoy picnics in the outdoors at the tables. There’s a Visitor Center nearby, too.
A trip to the preserved geological treasure of Florida will not disappoint you, with its fascinating fossilized history.
Details: 84900 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
A sandy beach never fails to please, and the one paying tribute to environmentalist Anne Eaton in Islamorada certainly won’t either. Once here, you will soon realize why visitors often describe this sandy beach as a stretch of paradise, with the tropical, ocean-warm waters of the Atlantic before you.
Shallow and clear, the beach is an ideal spot for picnicking, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, and generally just lazing under the sun. There’s not a lot of shade here, but there’s certainly tons of fun to be had on this gorgeous beach.
The sunsets here are particularly mesmerizing. Be sure to catch one when you plan a day to hang out at Anne’s Beach in Islamorada!
Discount Tickets: Mangroves and Manatees 2 Hour Eco-Tour
WHALE HARBOR CHANNEL
If you wish to experience the best of watersports and fishing in Islamorada, then the Overseas Highway is where you can find it. Make your way to Whale Harbor Channel where you will find the best fishing charters all of Islamorada has to offer.
Whale Harbor Channel is where you can find the fastest access to top-level fishing, a delightful atmosphere, and a fun experience unlike anywhere else.
You can try your hand at a variety of fishing styles here, including backcountry and deep sea fishing.
Discount Tickets: 4 Hour Islamorada Fishing Charter (for up to 6 guests)
FLORIDA KEYS HISTORY AND DISCOVERY CENTER
Include a visit to Florida Keys History and Discovery Center in your Islamorada vacation itinerary. This world-class museum offers rich historical insights, information on native sea life, and explores the fascinating history of the Keys.
There’s something for visitors of all ages here, and kids and adults alike enjoy the exhibits. Spanning an area of 7,500 square feet, this facility teaches visitors about everything that encompasses the Keys, its people, life and history.
Details: 82100 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
Your trip to Islamorada won’t feel complete until you visit Robbie’s Marina to feed the tarpon, a gigantic fish. You will see scores of other tourists hand-feeding the giant sea creatures, and its excited jump out of water will fascinate the crowds.
In addition to watching the fish, you can also enjoy parasailing, snorkeling, fishing, and other adventures sports here.
You’ll also find a fine dining restaurant, Hungry Tarpon Restaurant, here. They’ll even cook your catch for you! There’s also an open-air market, where you’ll find home decor, art, antiques, and more.
Details: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
While cruising across the Overseas Highway, you will find the Hurricane Monument. As you can guess, this is not exactly an attraction where visitors can soak in the glorious Florida sun, but more a memorial testifying to the magnificent, yet terrifying powers of Mother Nature.
This monument is a memorial comprising of coral limestone, and it sits at the site where a number of people lost their lives to a terrible hurricane in 1935. Located between US 1 at mile marker 81.5, the monument is a memorial to those who lost their lives in that hurricane, which was considered one of the strongest to ever hit the United States.
The monument may be a simple structure, but it reflects the legacy of the civilians and the war veterans who succumbed to the hurricane during the Atlantic hurricane season of 1935.
LONG KEY STATE PARK
With beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets as a backdrop, a visit to Long Key State Park is a must-do.
Long Key State Park is comprised of beautiful beaches, nature trails, the Golden ORB Trail, and more. Kayaking, fishing, bird watching, flats fishing, and snorkeling are popular pastimes here.
Want to stay overnight? You can! Camping is also available here, and it’s well-worth it.
Details: 67400 Overseas Hwy, Layton, FL 33001 | Website
GREEN TURTLE INN RESTAURANT
The Green Turtle Inn has been welcoming visitors, while standing as a proud landmark of Islamorada, since 1947. The iconic inn is most popular for their generous hospitality, scrumptious and delectable cuisine, and iconic bar.
You will find this restaurant and bar among the top favorites of locals, critics, and travelers alike. More than its food and drinks, the inn enjoys a reputation for being a hip destination of Islamorada. It has a homey, yet eclectic vibe, where the warm service, friendly atmosphere and welcoming hosts promise a happy experience each time.
Details: 81219 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
Lazy Days is another great restaurant on the beach on Islamorada. The exquisite oceanfront dining here is an experience you surely won’t forget anytime soon. You’ll find fresh seafood, hearty pastas, and delectable steaks here too.
With captivating views of the ocean, and delicious eats, it’s no wonder Lazy Days was voted best overall restaurant by locals.
Details: 79867 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
WHERE TO STAY – ISLANDER RESORT
The Islander Resort is the best place to pick for your stay in Islamorada. There’s no place that will offer the serene, paradise-like feeling like this resort does. With its spacious and grand accommodations, family-friendly environment, and topnotch amenities, it’s a great choice.
The resort sits in an ideal location in Islamorada, with most of the fine dining restaurants, popular eateries, and attractions only a short distance away. With saltwater pools, hot tubs, and recreational activities on-site, the resort has it all.
Details: 82100 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 | Website
DAY TRIP TO KEY LARGO
While in Islamorada, planning a day trip to Key Largo is a great thing to do! There’s a range of activities for all age groups to enjoy here. Key Largo has two state parks, a beautiful beach, breweries, and other attractions that make a trip here totally worthwhile.
Attend a party on the sandbar, visit the John Penne Kamp coral reef park, dive to visit the Spiegel Grove Wreck, and more. And don’t miss taking a steamboat ride aboard the African Queen!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- ALL THINGS FLORIDA: 49 Things To Do In Florida: Unmatched Experiences in the Sunshine State
- HAWKS CAY: A Truly Amazing Resort In The Florida Keys
- SIESTA KEY: 19 Things To Do In Siesta Key For Sunny Fun
- BEACHES: 17 Best Florida Beaches For Families To Relax and Unwind
- KEY LARGO: 15 Fun Things To Do In Key Largo Adventurers Will Love
MORE PLACES TO STAY IN ISLAMORADA
Top Pick. Islander Resort See our write-up above. You won’t be disappointed.
Best Budget Option. Sunset Inn has an outdoor pool and is 3.1 miles away from Windley Key. This is a great way to keep to a budget while staying at a highly rated hotel.
Best Luxury Option. Cheeca Lodge & Spa This property is a 2 minute walk from the beach. It’s positioned on 27 acres of lush gardens and 1,000 feet of private waterfront, and has adult and family swimming pools. Plus 3 fabulous restaurants and a tiki bar.
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