The Best Things To Do In Islamorada
When you think of the Florida Keys, a few things usually come to mind. Gorgeous turquoise waters, a Caribbean climate, margaritas, and dozens of tiny remote islands chained together by a long highway. All of these are enough to convince you to make that Oceanfront hotel booking and pack up.
You might even think of some of the major destinations in the keys, like the bookends of Key West or Key Largo. But what you don’t generally think of are all of the smaller local communities in between. Places like Islamorada – a village that consists of six island keys, scattered across the middle of the chain, if you choose a location that a flight is need it be sure to get your self a seat cover to have a clean travel.
Islamorada represents the quieter side of the Florida Keys vacation hub. The kind of place where Floridians go and look for beach rental properties and get away from northerners on their Florida getaways.
That’s not to say that it’s so quiet that it has nothing to offer. In fact, we think that in some ways Islamorada actually has more to offer than you’ll find elsewhere in the Keys. Let’s find out here our favorite things that we think you should do on your next trip.
Feed the Tarpon at Robbie’s of Islamorada
One of the first restaurants we visited in Islamorada was Robbie’s, a restaurant that also offers a variety of water activities (including jet skis, marlin fishing, and more) you just need to make sure to bring the right kind of equipment for this type of fishing, we’d suggest visiting https://www.raise.com/coupons/bass-pro-shops to get the best deals. One of their most popular offerings, though, is feeding the tarpon. For just under $10.00 per couple ($4.00 for a bucket of fish and $2.25 each for the entrance fee), you can walk onto a large dock with tarpon swimming nearby, waiting for you to toss them a fish from your bucket.
They’re truly spectacular – we always knew they were large fish, but seeing them up close and feeding them gave us a new sense of just how awe-striking they are. The biggest challenge? Keeping the pelicans from snagging the fish from your hand before you can toss them to the tarpon. The pelicans are smart little buggers and have figured out that if they camp out at the dock they are likely to score some fish throughout the day.
Eat at the local restaurants
After you finish feeding the tarpon, you can obviously enjoy a delicious lunch at Robbie’s as well. But, while Robbie’s is a spectacular place to start, it is far from the only local restaurant with a unique experience to offer. Learn Everything you need to know before you buy fish online to avoid mistakes for a special meal.
Not only will you find places to eat in all sorts of special settings, but you’ll find some of the best seafood you will ever eat (Islamorada is known as the Sport-Fishing Capital of the World where you can find the top reels for walleye fishing). Some of our highlight lunch and dinner venues are:
- Hog Heaven – a sports bar and grill that offers waterfront seating in their own cove.
- Wahoo’s Bar and Grill – a seafood grill located above a marina, featuring a wealth of fresh locally caught fish.
- Morada Bay Beach Café – one of the more intimate locations, offering delicious cuisine with seating on a candlelit beach.
- Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar – a fantastic place to grab a drink, watch the sunset, enjoy some live entertainment.
- Islamorada Fish Company – A great spot to watch the sunset right on the water and watch the tarpon swim around in the restaurant’s inner cove.
- Sunset Grille and Raw Bar – if you make the trip down to nearby Marathon, you’ll find great seafood (including sushi), as well as an oceanfront pool and tiki bar.
When at the pool, accidents are unpredictable by nature. It’s impossible to make any activity completely hazard-free, but there are several things parents and caregivers can do to make their pools safer for kids and adults alike. Not only can kids injure themselves by falling on the pavement, according to local slip and fall lawyers, they can also slip and fall into the pool, resulting in a very serious drowning risk, especially in cases where the injured victim suffers a head injury, or in situations where the injury victim is not an experienced swimmer.
Florida Keys Brewing Co.
We also made a stop at the Florida Keys Brewing Co. (one of two breweries in the area) and were pleased with the variety of beers they had available on tap. The brewery seems to be located in an old beach house, and the backyard area is set up to be a relaxing spot to kick back and enjoy a cold one (a literal beer garden). If you are a wine lover then, you can forget your wine opener amazon, offers a substantive mechanical advantage over other types of wine bottle opener screws
And of course, the beers were delicious too – my favorite was the Spearfish Amber, while Katie preferred the Honey Bottom Blonde (sticking pretty much to our normal beer preferences). If you’re a brewery fan, we highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area.
Dolphin Research Center
One of our favorite attractions that we visited was the Dolphin Research Center (DRC) (another activity that will take you down to nearby Marathon, FL). The dolphins that reside at the Dolphin Research Center are very interactive with the employed trainers as well as the public, and it was amazing to watch them perform tricks and communicate. The mission of the DRC is to promote the relationships between humans and marine animals through research and education, and that was evident from spending time in their facility. While we didn’t swim with the dolphins this time, that is an option as well if you’re looking to interact with them one-on-one. No matter what your preferences are, the Dolphin Research Center has something for you!
The Seven Mile Bridge
One of the most well-known features of the Florida Keys is US Highway 1 (aka the Overseas Highway) – the lone highway that winds its way from the mainland all the way down to Key West. And the crown jewel of US-1 is the world-famous Seven Mile Bridge, which is built over seven miles of open water from Marathon to Little Duck Key. While driving across it is not necessarily the most exhilarating experience you will ever have, it’s definitely a bucket list item that’s worth doing.
Things We Want to Do Next Time: Turtle Hospital and Long Key State Park
While we did get to take advantage of the many activities the Florida Keys have to offer, there are some things that we didn’t get a chance to do, and plan to do the next time we’re there. In Marathon, there’s a sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center known as the Turtle Hospital that we’d like to visit. We’d also like to visit Long Key State Park to swim, try their kayak rentals, and check out some of the trails.
It’s pretty remarkable that we were able to fill out the week we spent in Islamorada with this much activity, and yet still have more that we’d like to do. Even still, while our week might have been action-packed, our time in Islamorada was nonetheless relaxing and rejuvenating given the slower pace of daily life in the area. There’s no doubt that our next trip to the Keys will be another fun-filled adventure!
wow!! fishii i like to eat fish and watch the fish’s movement, the place is so beautiful.
The fish were so fun to watch!
Loved photos and narratives here. Although USA is far far away from where I am now, I feel called for the waterfront. I’ll definitely refer back to this post next time I get to America.
Being on the water is amazing!
The dolphins looked so fun!
That was one of my favorite things we did! The dolphins were so interactive and had such cute personalities.
Beautiful photos! This looks like a great substitute to the caribbean islands!
It was truly beautiful! And it feels very much like the Caribbean Islands!
We have a trip to Key West planned and booked for May to celebrate a milestone birthday! I was so sad to cancel it but def saving your recommendations for when we reschedule in 2021!
We were going to go back down there this year as well, but had to postpone! We’re hoping to reschedule soon!
Looks like a great place! We go to Florida in the Spring usually to visit my son. Maybe this would be a great place to check out! I love the Tarpon! Thanks
The tarpon were so fun! Definitely a cool place to check out!
This brings back great memories. I love Robbie’s and my kids had a blast feeding the Tarpon. What a crazy experience. We flew into Key West and then took a drive out to Robbie’s. Well worth the trip and such a scenic drive.
The views are amazing! We also had a blast feeding the tarpon!
My list for adventures in Florida keeps growing! The dolphins are a must. Thank you for sharing!
The dolphins were so cute! Next time we’re there I’d love to do an interactive experience with them!
This place has always been on my bucket list to go to! Now I can add these to my list of things to do there! the dolphin research facility seems amazing!
The dolphin center was amazing, we highly recommend it! You’ll love Islamorada!
Oh my gosh, this is amazing! Love the details of your review here, you make me want to go like right now! I am so adding this place to our future adventures!
Thank you! It’s one of our favorite adventures!
This is a great post, I’ve been researching some trips to the keys – very helpful! Thank you
You’re welcome! Enjoy your adventure!
I’d love to visit the Dolphin Research Center. A trip to the keys sounds wonderful!
The Dolphin Research Center was amazing! Definitely a must-see!
I have never been to that part of Florida but it is now on my ever increasing bucket list.
Bucket lists have a way of always increasing!
Great recommendations! Our family has never been to Florida – I know. We’re working on a trip right now!
Wow. Thank you for your details on this post. And I like that you reflected on things you would like to do next time.
There are so many things to do there, we just couldn’t fit it all in one week!
Interesting! I’ve never been to Key West, but would love to go. I’ll keep Islamorada in mind!
It’s a great place to go and see if you’re traveling to Key West!
My daughter was just down there (just came home today actually) and loved everything about it. They didn’t visit the Dolphin Research Center but they did do a couple of the other things on your list. All very nice activities. Not a bad one in the bunch! 🙂
That’s awesome! Glad to hear she had a good time – we did too!
We were just in Key Largo and Key West. I loved driving on the seven mile bridge. We went to Island Dolphin Care in Key Largo, and it was amazing. I’ll have to look into Dolphin Research Center. We also want to check out the Turtle Hospital too! Great post!
That’s awesome! We definitely want to see the Turtle Hospital the next time we’re down there!
I can not wait to visit the Keys. Your photos and descriptions are amazing. They make me wish I was there already! 🚢👓🍕
The Florida Keys are truly beautiful!
I live in Miami. LOVE the keys :), it always feels like you’re in a different world when you go out there. Robbie’s is definitely a lot of fun. I mostly enjoy seeing all the little kids’ faces feeding the fish haha.
Restaurant recommendations are on point too!
Thank you! We loved the Keys too! And Robbie’s was a lot of fun!
Wow looks really nice for sure a place to consider next time we travel to Florida!
It was very beautiful, and we had a great time!