So it might rank as a sport fishing “capital”, but that’s to underplay the other noteworthy features of Islamorada, a “Village of Islands” that forms a central stretch of the sea-washed and sun-warmed Upper Florida Keys. Collectively, Islamorada is actually six separate islets, though readily linked by bridge it may not always be apparent where one key starts and the next begins.
Open water or balmy sunsets may be Islamorada’s most visible charms, there’s more to this spot than just sand and sea, whether you’re in it for culture or a closer look at flora and fauna. Locally, attractions include Indian Key State Historic Site, where you’ll find a crumbling ghost town nearly consumed by a tropical tangle of foliage (accessible by kayak or canoe), Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site (also boat-in only), home to a restored historic residence, the Matheson House, and Robbie’s Marina, which is a social spot, boat launch and several other things besides. There’s also a geology-oriented state park (Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park) where visitors can get a look at ancient coral (and stay dry) in an old quarry, though for those more interested in the live version the best solution is a dive trip out to Florida’s barrier reef, which lies off the east shore of the Keys, with a detour down to see resident shipwrecks.
Finally, there’s the fishing that gets avid anglers so excited. Local operators offer a full-range of charter services, which often moonlight as offshore parties, so come prepared to tie one on while you tie a few flies.
Islamorada is about a 40 minute drive southwest of Key Largo and 77 miles northeast of Key West.