Islamorada Key is definitely coming up in the world with trendy new restaurants, hotels and recreational activities that cater to wide variety of prices from affordable to ultra luxurious options. With a relatively short drive from Miami, a quick getaway to Islamorada Key takes under two hours and you have a plethora of choices to relaxed and enjoy a variety of activities, food and hotel accommodations.
For those looking for water recreation, Islamorada beaches and sports activities, the various islands of Islamorada offer a plenty choices to explore and enjoy the clear blue waters and coastline of the Florida Keys. Check out these Islamorada attractions, food and resorts for your next trip to the Florida Keys.
Where is Islamorada located in Florida?
Islamorada is located in the Florida Keys, which is a coral cay archipelago in the southeastern part of Florida, USA. It’s situated between Key Largo and Marathon and is known for its beautiful beaches and excellent fishing opportunities.
Islamorada is approximately 81 miles (130 kilometers) south of Miami, Florida. The drive from Miami to Islamorada typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It’s a popular destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway from Miami due to its scenic beauty and outdoor activities.
Best way to get to Islamorada, Florida
The best way to get to Islamorada, Florida, depends on your preferences and circumstances. The easiest method would be to rent a car and drive there so you can stop and start anywhere along the way. Here are some options:
If you’re in Miami or nearby areas, driving is a convenient option. Take US-1 South, and you’ll enjoy a scenic drive through the Florida Keys. It’s a picturesque journey with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way.
If you prefer to fly, you can book a flight to Miami International Airport (MIA) and then rent a car for the drive to Islamorada. Alternatively, you can look for flights to Key West International Airport (EYW), which is closer to Islamorada, and then drive north.
Bus or Shuttle:
Some shuttle services and bus companies operate routes from Miami to the Florida Keys, including stops in Islamorada. This option may be suitable if you prefer not to drive.
If you have access to a boat or prefer a maritime adventure, you can sail or take a ferry to Islamorada. There are marinas and docking facilities available.
Each option has its pros and cons, so consider your schedule, budget, and preferences when choosing the best way to reach Islamorada for your travel adventures.
Things to do in Islamorada
With so many sports and recreational activities to choose from at Islamorada, along with more quiet time spent at Islamorada beaches, you can be as busy as you like or just relax and enjoy some beach, bar or pool time to your hearts content. Here’s some suggestions of places to visit and activities to enjoy around the island.
Robbie’s on Islamorada is one of those busy hubs where you can choose from a large choice of water activities from private boat charters, party fishing boats, snorkeling adventures to DIY kayaking or SUP ( Stand up Paddle board). There’s a lot to explore along the scenic coastal waters just past the harbor area or further out into the ocean for more serious deep sea fishing or scuba diving excursions.
Here’s a quick fishing video in Islamorada
Fishing is one of the biggest draws to the area and you also have a variety of options from private charters to larger party boat fishing tours. Robbie’s marina offers many options for fishing from offshore fishing, back country fishing to lobster and fishing. For more affordable fishing, you can book a cruise on the Captain Michael which is a 65 foot deep sea fishing vessel. These half day tours sails out about 5 miles to a variety of fishing spots and they even help you with baiting, assisting in casting and netting your fish. At the end of the tour, the crew also cleans and filets all the fish you caught to take home or bring next door to be cooked.
You can check out details to Captain Michael’s fishing tours here for hours and cost.
First catch of the day on Captain Michael’s fishing tour
At the end of the tour, they even will filet or make steaks from your catch, a fantastic option. For visitors, you can take your catch next door to the Hungry Tarpon and have it grilled or prepared in many ways so you can enjoy your catch immediately and savor fresh fish varieties from the local waters.
Enjoying our freshly caught catch prepared at the Hungry Tarpon restaurant
You can bring over your freshly caught seafood next door to the Hungry Tarpon where they will prepare it several ways to your liking from simple grilling, breaded to blackened and spicy fish. Make sure you grab a spot along the water’s edge to enjoy the views or if you are interested in something more funky head to the covered bar with hundreds of dollar bills and you can mix with the locals and their pets. As far as Islamorada bars, the Tarpon also has one of those really cool retro style bars that makes it fun to hang out with the bartenders and locals hanging out around the bar area.
Renting a private boat and exploring the coastlines at Islamorada
Trying out the Jet Pack at Islamorada
For adventure seekers looking for a real thrill then you should check out the Jet Pack water experience at the Postcard Inn Beach resort on Islamorada. Combining the thrill of flying and water jet skiing, this water experience is one of a kind with an expert guide that trains you at each step of the way and quickly shows you how to take advantage of this water sport. It is a guided experience but also allows you to push your own personal limit to how fast and high you want to thrust yourself out of the water. If you’re looking for a real adventure, this Islamorada activity will definitely give you the thrill of a lifetime.
You will quickly learn how to navigate and start flying!
Here’s a video highlight of the Jet Pack Experience
There are plenty of casual to fine dining options at Islamorada which has been elevated with wonderful new restaurants to explore and enjoy. Here are some delicious bites to visit and have a fantastic eating/drinking experience. Oltremare, the Italian seafood restaurant at the Amara Cay resort is modern with an inventive Italian inspired menu. You can choose from a variety of wonderful seafood specialties, and there are also delicious meat entrees like the short ribs or rack of lamb that is so tender and delicious.
A delicious meatball appetizer at Oltremare
Delicious selection of mixed fritto misto at Oltremare
Dinner entrée rack of lamb at Oltremare
Why not have three kinds of dessert
Chef Michael’s at Islamorada
For a special only in Islamorada occasion, check out Chef Michael’s restaurant which specializes in fresh seafood and other locally sourced ingredients for their appetizers to their main courses. You can’t go wrong with any of the excellent dishes on Chef Michael’s menu, everything is cooked perfectly starting with the appetizers, inventive entrees to some classic Floriday Keys inspired desserts. The must try dishes worth ordering definitely are the fresh fish entrees which are served in a variety of styles grilled, blackened or sautéed with delicious sauces. If you can’t make up your mind, Chef Michael offers a fantastic three types of fish and sauces in one dish which gives you a nice sampling of a regular entrée.
Coconut milk ceviche appetizer
Fish three ways at Chef Michael’s
Fish is a very popular option with your choice of grilling, saute, fried or breaded along with a variety of sauces. For those that cannot choose, you can try the fish done three ways which is a great way to sample the different types of fish and sauces and they are all excellent choices.
A traditional and oh so good Key Lime pie for dessert
More places to enjoy a meal at Islamorata, Florida
If you are looking for more delicious venues and popular local favorite spots, check out these following restaurants and cafes in Islamorada below:
Certainly, Noel Morata! Islamorada, Florida, offers a variety of dining options where you can savor delicious meals while enjoying the tropical atmosphere. Here are more places to enjoy a meal in Islamorada:
Lazy Days Restaurant:
This waterfront restaurant offers fresh seafood and breathtaking sunset views. It’s a popular spot for seafood lovers and those seeking a relaxed dining experience.
Morada Bay Beach Café:
Located on the bay, Morada Bay Beach Café offers a picturesque setting with beachfront dining. Enjoy Caribbean-inspired cuisine and live music in a laid-back atmosphere.
Known for its seafood dishes and tiki bar, Marker 88 is a waterfront restaurant offering stunning views of Florida Bay. It’s a great place for a romantic dinner or a casual meal.
The Green Turtle Inn:
A historic landmark in Islamorada, this restaurant serves a diverse menu that includes seafood, steaks, and traditional American fare. It’s known for its charm and Old Florida ambiance.
Islamorada Fish Company:
Located at the Worldwide Sportsman complex, this restaurant offers seafood dishes, and you can dine overlooking the marina. It’s a great spot to enjoy a meal after exploring the area.
Kaiyo Grill & Sushi:
If you’re in the mood for sushi and Japanese-inspired dishes, Kaiyo Grill is a popular choice. They offer a range of fresh seafood options and creative sushi rolls.
Whether you’re craving seafood, international cuisine, or classic American dishes, Islamorada has dining options to satisfy your taste buds while you take in the tropical ambiance. Enjoy your culinary adventures in this beautiful part of the Florida Keys!
Islamorada resort stay at Amara Cay resort
Touted as an uber chic modern design hotel with eco/green sensibility, a stay at the Amara Cay resort is perfect for Islamorada. Upon entering this Islamorada hotel, you encounter some swinging bamboo chairs in the lobby – drawing out your inner child to try them to see how far they can actually swing. The rest of the lobby space is a comfortable blend of large, contemporary seating arrangements and chic/comfortable signature restaurant called Oltremare.
Modern design chic at the lobby of Amara Cay Resort
The pool/beach scene at Amara Cay Resort
The pool is nice and a great way to unwind at the end of the day with bar services close by, or you can choose to hang out at the white sandy beach with nice coastal views of the Islamorada. It’s also a perfect spot to get out early and have the entire beach to yourself for sunrise, if you can wake up that early!
Modern and comfortable beds and seating areas in the bedroom
What to do in Islamorada always centers on being somewhere on the water. When you combine water recreation, exercise or sport on the island, then you definitely are maxing out on the fun and outdoor island lifestyle. Staying overnight at the Amara Cay resort allows you to have more time to explore and enjoy these outdoor activities and wonderful dining venues. Even if you doing nothing but enjoying the sunrise over the coastline, you’ll be savoring every wonderful moment because it is all special and memorable at Islamorada.
Beaches to explore around Islamorada
There are some beautiful beaches to explore around Islamorada in the Florida Keys and relatively easy to get to. Here are a few notable ones:
Located in Lower Matecumbe Key, Anne’s Beach offers shallow, clear waters and a boardwalk that meanders through the mangroves. It’s a serene spot for a leisurely stroll and a dip in the shallows.
While technically a park, Founders Park in Islamorada has a sandy beach area with calm waters. It’s a family-friendly destination with amenities like picnic areas, a pool, and sports facilities.
Islamorada Library Beach:
This hidden gem is a small, tranquil beach area near the Islamorada Library. It’s an excellent spot to relax, read a book, or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park:
Although not a traditional beach, this park features a rocky shoreline with tide pools and opportunities for fossil hunting. It’s a unique and educational experience for beachgoers interested in geology.
Indian Key Historic State Park:
Take a short boat ride to Indian Key, where you can explore the island’s history and enjoy its secluded beach. It’s an ideal spot for snorkeling and picnicking.
Remember that the Florida Keys offer a variety of coastal experiences, from sandy beaches to rocky shores, so you can choose the one that suits your preferences best during your travels. Enjoy your exploration, Noel!
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Conclusion to visiting Islamorada on the Florida Keys
In conclusion, a visit to Islamorada in the Florida Keys is an invitation to paradise. With its stunning beaches, tranquil parks, and unique geological features, this tropical haven offers a blend of relaxation and exploration. Whether you’re into water sports, nature walks, or simply unwinding on the shore, Islamorada promises a memorable escape in the heart of the Florida Keys. Enjoy the beauty and serenity of this island gem during your travels!
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