Things To Do In Islamorada FL, few places in the United States are as spectacular and one-of-a-kind as the Florida Keys. This strip of atolls has a small-town island vibe and is only a few hours from the mainland and 90 minutes from some of Miami’s top attractions.
Keep in mind that when driving from Miami to Key West, most directions and addresses use mile markers. These useful reference points can be found along the highway and provide an accurate way of knowing your exact location.
Allow extra time to get to certain experiences, such as a dolphin swim, that require you to be there at a specific time, as Keys traffic can be heavy at times (especially on weekends and holidays).
Islamorada is brimming with attractions that highlight the area’s distinct culture and history, from water sports to history. Plan your itinerary using our list of the best attractions and things to do in Islamorada, Florida.
List Of 9 Things To Do In Islamorada FL Today
1. Theater of The Sea
The Theater of the Sea is a must-see during your Islamorada vacation. Swimming with dolphins, meeting endangered sea turtles, and even getting up close and personal with sharks are all part of this family-friendly attraction.
The Sea Turtle Experience allows visitors to interact responsibly with these magnificent creatures. Although the dolphin and sea turtle encounters appear to be expensive, they are included with admission to the Theater of the Sea’s other programs.
Dolphin, Sea Lion, and Parrot Shows; Fish and Reptile Tours; Bottomless Boat Rides; and the Nature Tour and Lagoon-side Beach are among them. However, the price is well worth it.
You can book one of their four-hour adventures for even more adventure. The Theater of the Sea’s best feature is that all proceeds benefit their animal enrichment program. Book your admission online as far ahead of your visit as possible to ensure entry (and to receive a discount on ticket prices).
Address: 84721 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, Florida key
2. Diving Museum
The History of Diving Museum is a must-see for those who enjoy the sport of diving. This museum, which opened in 2005, tells the story of undersea adventures throughout the century, as well as diving in the Florida Keys brewing company.
It took over 40 years to assemble this massive collection, which includes everything from diving helmets to armored suits, as well as photographs, books, and other memorabilia.
If you happen to be here on the third Wednesday of the month, you can take advantage of Immerse Yourself!, a free presentation given by experts from all aspects of the diving culture. The museum is open every day except Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving.
82990 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Florida
3. Florida Keys History And Discovery Center
The Florida Keys History and Discovery Center is a world-class museum where you can learn about the Florida Keys brewing company history and native sea life.
The 7,500-square-foot Discovery Center appeals to both adults and children, with exhibits, a movie theater, and a research library. From the past to the present, you can learn about everything related to the Keys, including pineapple farming and the over-sea railroad.
The center, which has been open for six years, is located on the Islander Resort’s property and is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
82100 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Florida
4. Discover A Hidden Sandbar
Islamorada and the surrounding White Harbor Channel area are among the few places where you can truly channel your inner Robinson Caruso. At low tide, your own private island awaits your discovery.
Sandbars rise just enough above the water to allow visitors to come ashore and explore until the tide returns. Check the tide schedule, bring a picnic and a beach umbrella, and explore the Atlantic by boat or kayak.
Just keep an eye on the shifting sands and the timing of your escape. You don’t want to send an S.O.S. from this location.
5. Morada Way Arts And Cultural District
Finding evidence of “Main Street America” in a place known for its beautiful, rugged beaches may come as a surprise.
While the islands of the windley Key are home to a variety of communities, they lack the traditional city center found in so many towns on the mainland. The Morada Way Arts and Cultural District, on the other hand, is an outlier.
This quirky six-block corridor is the only traditional small town “main street” between Miami and Key West, and it’s a joy to discover.
You can easily spend a few hours getting lost among the artists’ creations and handicrafts of local artisans in this charming area filled with galleries, restaurants, shops, and art studios, not to mention picking up a few unique pieces for your home along the way of Florida bay.
Many festivals and community events, such as the annual Seafood Fest, take place here, as well as sidewalk sales and art fairs.
Visitors can stop by the Green Turtle Inn, an iconic B&B with a good restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (try the fish chowder!). The Hurricane Monument is also nearby and serves as a powerful reminder of Mother Nature’s strength and the toll she has taken on this area over the years of upper keys.
Take advantage of the monthly Art Walk. This fun event, held every third Thursday of the month, pays tribute to the emerging artists, musicians, chefs, and local retailers who make up the fabric of this vibrant community.
Address: 151 Morada Way, Islamorada Florida
6. Enjoy Eco Tours and Kayaking
Kayaking is one of those activities that gives visitors a completely new perspective on the surroundings. Fortunately, there are several eco-tour companies in the Islamorada area that provide an experience while prioritizing environmental health.
Tourists will find some of the most interesting parts of the habitat among the mangroves, which are home to birds and other wildlife. Paddling through these scenic tidal channels allows you to easily access the natural beauty and complexity of this delicate ecosystem.
An organized Eco-Adventure and Snorkeling Cruise is another option. This half-day boat trip takes you to some of the sites and allows you to snorkel along a reef. Morning and afternoon trips last four hours and include snorkeling and sightseeing around Islamorada.
The real thrill here is exploring the reef, which includes the opportunity to see a variety of native fish species and coral. In addition, you’ll see Indian Key Historic State Park and Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park.
Driving along busy Highway 1, most people have no idea what incredible treasures lie just beyond the stores and resorts that line the highway, all waiting to be discovered.
7. Robbie’s Marina
No trip to Islamorada is complete without feeding the tarpon at Robbie’s. It is well-known for allowing tourists to hand-feed these massive fish. It is thrilling for both fishermen and observers to see this species of fish jump out of the water. They are rod fighters who can weigh up to 250 pounds.
If feeding the tarpon isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things to do while you’re here. There are water sports, shopping, and dining options to suit any itinerary. If you’re feeling daring, you can go fishing, snorkeling, or parasailing.
While dining at a nearby restaurant, visitors can observe the tarpon feeding and the water. Don’t forget to look at the unique artwork and souvenirs, especially the lobster trap art. Robbie’s opens early and stays open late.
Address: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada Florida
8. Anne’s Beach
Anne’s Beach, named after local environmentalist Anne Eaton, is one of Islamorada’s few public sandy beaches. Visitors will be hard pressed to disagree with the description of this stretch of paradise.
Choose one of two parking lots at mile marker 73.4, stock up on supplies, and find a spot by the warm, tropical waters of the Atlantic.
The water here is clear and shallow, making it ideal for young children or anyone looking to try paddleboarding or snorkeling in a safe environment.
There won’t be much shade, so bring plenty of reef-safe sunscreen or an umbrella, as well as your picnic, and enjoy a day of fun in the sun.
Address: Mile Marker 73.5, Upper Matecumbe Key, South Florida
9. Long Key State Park
Long Key has a long history of catering to the wealthy and famous. It’s easy to see why it’s such a sought-after location, with beautiful beaches that serve as the backdrop for a perfect sunset.
Long Key State Park is ideal for bird watching, swimming, and sunbathing, and it also has the Keys’ longest nature trail, the Golden ORB nature trail.
Try kayaking or fishing if you’re feeling more daring. Long Key has a long history of attracting anglers, who have visited the area for centuries, even before the overseas highway was built.
Keep in mind that Hurricane Irma devastated this area, and the beachfront camping area is still recovering. Every day from 8 a.m. to sunset, the national park is open. If you have the opportunity and the space, staying overnight overlooking the sparkling blue water under the stars is an experience you will never forget.
Address: 67400 Overseas Hwy, Layton, Florida
Where To Stay In Islamorada Attractions For Sightseeing?
- The top luxury option is the 4-star Cheeca Lodge and Spa. It has barefoot elegance and Florida Keys architecture, as well as a porte-cochere entrance. The rooms and suites, which cater to both couples and families, are comfortable and modern in design. Some have views of the ocean. Direct beach access is available, as well as a swimming pool, spa, and fitness center. On-site, there are three restaurants, each with a distinct personality. Atlantic’s Edge is the signature restaurant and the best option for fine dining. Families will enjoy Mia Cucina’s Italian menu of pizza, pasta, and salads.
- This category includes the majority of Islamorada’s hotels. The Islander Resort is one of the most well-known hotels on the island. It is a family-friendly beachfront property with a playground for children. Choose between rooms and suites, both of which have kitchenettes. Some have views of the ocean. Aside from the rooms, there is a swimming pool, a hot tub, and a restaurant on-site. Guests can also use the beach’s sun loungers and umbrellas. There are self-service laundry facilities if you need to do laundry amara cay.
- Drop Anchor is another excellent mid-range option. The 3-star boutique hotel offers a variety of clean, comfortable, and individually decorated rooms and suites with colorful accents. The hotel has been around for more than 50 years and is set on lush grounds with a private beach area and a swimming pool. On-site amenities include hammocks, BBQ grills, and a picnic area. There is no restaurant, but there are many restaurants nearby.
- Sunset Inn – Islamorada is one of the island’s few budget properties, though it is still quite pricey by budget standards. The small hotel welcomes children, and rooms include kitchenettes with refrigerators. A swimming pool, free parking, and free Wi-Fi are among the amenities at annes beach.
FAQs Things To Do In Islamorada FL
Is Islamorada worth visiting?
Islamorada is the ideal Keys destination for a more relaxed vacation, with great restaurants and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained.
Is Islamorada nicer than Key Largo?
If you’re looking for exciting outdoor activities like kayaking, snorkeling, or visiting state founders park, Plantation Key Largo is a better choice. Islamorada is better if you want world-class backcountry fishing as well as some great rest and relaxation time.
Which is better: Key West or Islamorada?
When actual travel costs between Islamorada and Key West are compared, we can see that Key West is more expensive. Not only is Islamorada much less expensive, but it is also a significantly less expensive destination. So going to Islamorada would allow you to spend less money overall.