It may be called the Sportfishing Capital of the World, but this string of islands in the Florida Keys offers much more than epic Hemmingway-esque battles of man vs. fish. Islamorada, a chain of six islands—Plantation, Windley, Upper and Lower Matecumbe and Indian and Lignumvitae Keys—is the ideal spot for a weekend getaway for the waterman and woman.
Also dubbed the Village of Islands, Islamorada is banked to the north by the Florida Bay, the Everglades’ southern watershed, with the Florida Straits taking up the southern tract of water. Like the two sides of a coin, each direction is diverse and different, having a range of opportunities for getaways, be it by boat, reel, snorkel or paddle.
Luckily, we here on the Paradise Coast live a mere three hours or so from this thin slice of paradise. It’s close enough for a weekend getaway yet far enough to feel like you really got away. Here, we offer up a few things to do, places to stay and spots to grab a bite on your weekend trip to the Village of Islands.
Take the plunge on a chartered snorkel trip and explore the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Morada Bay Beach Café & Bar
Intimate and tropical, Morada Bay Beach Café and Bar is one of the best eats in Islamorada.
For a “scale-raising” experience, head to Robbie’s of Islamorada to hand-feed giant tarpon.
Explore Lignumvitae Key
Explore Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, a protected tropical hardwood hammock and marine sanctuary.
Fish the Backcountry & Flats
Islamorada is known for the backcountry, where fights with bonefish and tarpon have taken on mythical proportions. Get the goods on fly-fishing these legendary waters.
For a tropical sip with a history, head to the Tiki Bar at Postcard Inn, the purported home of the rum runner.
Stay in Style
Treat yourself at The Moorings Village and Spa—how Islamorada does luxury.
The Green Turtle Inn
An Islamorada original, the Green Turtle Inn specializes in old Florida plates with a twist.
Head Offshore and Fish the Reef
For big game, head offshore and to the reefs on a fishing charter and see why Islamorada is called the Sportsfishing Capital of the World.
Eat Local from a Dockside Fish Market
No luck on the water? No worries, these fresh fish markets have all the local seafood bases covered.
Explore Indian Key
Explore Indian Key, the smallest of the Village of Islands, a historical link to the Florida Keys’ tumultuous past.
Stay fit while exploring the tranquil waters of Islamorada with a kayak.