Islamorada, Florida Travel Guide

There are many exciting and fun activities to do on Islamorada vacations. Some of the favorites among locals and visitors are the sport fishing, sunning on beaches, and of course, dining at one of the amazing restaurants. With near perfect weather, Islamorada is a great place to visit any time of the year. Use this travel guide to help you plan an amazing Islamorada vacation.

What to Do in Islamorada

islamorada travel guideSpend some time on the beach when you come to Islamorada. There are four main beaches here. Plantation Yacht Harbor is a fun beach with a deep swimming area. On Sunday afternoon, live bands play on the beach and on weekend evenings you’ll often find rock bands front and center.

Islamorada County Park has a beach that runs along the side of a natural creek. This beach is great for snorkeling. The currents are very strong, so be sure to keep an eye on small children. Anne’s Beach is located on Lower Matecumbe Key. The boardwalk is the big attraction here! And the famous Sandbar is what locals call the Islamorada Beach This wide sandbar jutes out into the ocean. The only downside is there’s only one way to get here…by boat.

Islamorada sport fishing is the best in the world. In fact, Islamorada is known as the “Fishing Capital of the World.” Big game fishing is one of the islands greatest attractions. Islamorada fishing is popular on fishing boats, private charters, and on bridges. Many anglers have been known to go home with big catches. There are no tall tales here!

Islamorada fishing has attracted celebrities, politicians, and media personalities for decades. Some of the most famous names to catch here are Presidents Hoover, Truman, Carter, and Bush. Fishing is so great in Islamorada because the Gulf Stream passes right by the islands. Big game fish, such as sailfish and marlin call the Gulf Stream home. If you fish inside the reefs, you’ll find delicious kind fish. Take to the backcountry in the Florida Bay and you’ll find trout and redfish. Private charters are available to take you out on the waters with a captain, mate, and crew. You can also rent a party boat for a half-day trip, or fish from the bridge where all you need is a license, rod, tackle, and bait. No matter where you choose to fish in Islamorada, you’re sure to go home with a great catch.

Former President George Bush is a big fan of Islamorada fishing. Every year, he hosts a bonefish tournament at Checca Lodge. This fundraiser goes to help restore Florida Bay and The Everglades. There’s not keeping the fish in the tournament; it’s all catch and release in the name of charity.

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What to See in Islamorada

Islamorada has seen its fair share of hurricanes. History buffs will enjoy seeing the many monuments and museums dedicated to these nature storms. The Pioneer Cemetery is home to a statue of an angel with a wing that is broken off. The statue lost its wing during the hurricane on Labor Day in 1935. The monument here reminds visitors of the lives lost during the storm. This site is on the National Register of Historic Sites. You’ll also find another hurricane spot at the entrance to the Whale Harbor dining room. A stone tower stands outside the restaurant that shows the high-water mark of Hurricane Donna that hit on September 9, 1960.

You may also enjoy the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site where you can see the fossilized coral reef. Take a tour of the area every third Saturday of the month. You can take a short trip to the historical Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site to check out the beautiful foliage.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Islamorada

Islamorada is known as the best place to eat in the Florida Keys. Any Islamorada restaurant is sure to provide a culinary delight. The restaurants here compete every year for a spot in the Annual Taste of Islamorada. You’ll find wonderful choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can dine in a variety of restaurants, ranging from local favorites to elegant fine dining. Restaurants in Islamorada specialize in seafood, bars and grills, and even sports bars. Most establishments have take out as well. You’ll also find many name-brand fast food franchises on the island.

You can find some fun shopping in Islamorada. There are many local shops, specializing in quaint boutiques, crafts, and fun souvenirs. You’ll find plenty of places that sell fishing equipment, water sports needs, and other recreational tools.

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When to Visit Islamorada

islamorada beach vacationIslamorada vacations are perfect any time of the year. You won’t find much difference in temperature from summer to winter, so you’re sure to see plenty of sunshine. With the tropical atmosphere, many visitors come to Islamorada during the winter months to escape colder weather. Many also come here during the summer for family vacations. To avoid the crowds, come during the spring and fall time. No matter what time of the year you come to Islamorada, you’re sure to have beautiful weather.

Be sure to check the weather during hurricane season. Hurricanes can occur from June – November. Be aware of the forecast when planning a vacation to Islamorada this time of the year.

 

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What to Bring on an Islamorada Vacation

The weather in Islamorada is near perfect most days of the year. Because of the beautiful weather, you’ll be most comfortable in shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. Light clothing is best, as you may experience warmer weather than you would in other parts of Florida.

Don’t forget your bathing suit and the sunscreen. You’ll likely spend a lot of time at the beach or on the water, so be sure to protect your skin with plenty of sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to pack along some insect repellant.

You’ll be fine in most restaurants and in most shopping centers in casual clothing. For a fancy dinner or a fun night at the clubs, you may want to pack a nicer outfit. There is no set dress code in Islamorada, but many residents are fashion conscience, so a fun outfit will work well for a night on the town.

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Local Services in Islamorada

Islamorada has many local services to make your stay here pleasant. You’ll find plenty of shops to rent equipment for fishing, boating, and diving. You can also find charter captains in the area to take you sport fishing.

One of the many benefits of an Islamorada vacation is the quick access to health centers and spas. You’ll find many options for massages, spas, yoga classes, or a Pilates workout. Health and beauty is a big part of life in the Florida Keys, so you’re sure to find any kind of service you need.

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What to Know About Islamorada

Islamorada is located in the Florida Keys. The Keys are the closest you can get to the equator without leaving the United States. The subtropical region combined with the close proximity to the Gulf Stream and the Gulf of Mexico, the Keys experience mild, tropical temperatures. The difference in temperature between the summer and the winter rarely differs more than 10 degrees.

Islamorada is made up of six islands including Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, and several offshore islands from Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key. Islamorada is located between the saltwater wilderness of the Everglades National park and North America’s only coral barrier reef. Because of this location, Islamorado is the only place on the planet where you can catch a sailfish in the morning and a bonefish in the evening.

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Getting to Islamorada, Florida

You can easily get to Islamorada by car. Simply take the Florida Turnpike south to Exit 4. The Turnpike will connect you to Route US 1 and then straight to the Keys to Key West. Just follow the signs and you’ll arrive in Islamorada in no time.

If you want someone else to do the driving, take the Greyhound Keys Shuttle. There are three daily scheduled bus departures from the Miami Airport. The shuttle will take you to Islamorada and other areas in the Florida Keys.

Want to bring your boat for some Islamorada fishing? You can sail your way to Islamorada along the Intracoastal Waterways through Florida Bay or along the Atlantic Coast. There are many marinas to dock your boat once you get to Islamorada. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time to reserve your spot.

Ferries are also a fun way to get to Islamorada. Ferry service to Key West from Ft. Myers embarks daily. The ferry offers a full gallery and bar with frozen drinks and indoor and outdoor seating.

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Why Islamorada Vacation Rentals?

Islamorada vacations start at VacationRentals.com. You’ll find the best prices on homes, condos, and beach houses for rent on your trip to the Florida Keys. Accommodations tend to be expensive in the Florida Keys. By choosing VacationRentals.com, you’ll find a comfortable, modern place to stay at a reasonable price. The places you’ll find to stay in at VacationRentals.com will soon become your home away from home.

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