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Islamorada Attractions, Fishing, Watersports & More
Things To Do In Islamorada
Islamorada, the "Fishing Capital of the World" is chock full of places to see and things to do for the first-time and repeat visitor.
You can take tours of Islamorada aboard an air-conditioned bus, or above in an ultra-light. You can experience the waters around the islands aboard a glass-bottomed boat or on an organized wave runner tour.
Surprisingly, a history buff will find some interesting places to visit. The Pioneer Cemetery is the location of a statue of an angel with a wing that was broken off when, during the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, it was lifted into the air and thrown onto the Old Highway that existed at the time. The Hurricane Monument reminds us of the hundreds of people who lost their lives in the same hurricane and is on the National Register of Historic Sites. At the entrance to the Whale Harbor dining room stands a stone tower that shows the high-water mark of Hurricane Donna that hit the area on September 9, 1960. At the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site you can explore the geological wonder of long walls of fossilized coral reef. Tours for this site are held only on the third Saturday of every month, but you can get around this by going to the Long Key State Recreation Area, or stopping at Lady Cyana Divers, filling out a form, and signing out a key that unlocks the quarry gates so you can guide yourself through the park. A short trip offshore to Indian Key and Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site can be an interesting side trip into the historical past of this area. The beautiful and exotic foliage found on Lignumvitae Key will be an added thrill for the nature lover.
The Chamber of Commerce lists four beaches in this area. Plantation Yacht Harbor has a funky beach with a good, deep swimming area. There are bathrooms and a concession that offers a small menu of fast food. A live band plays here Sunday afternoon beginning at 2pm. Weekend evenings may find rock bands as the centerpiece of some big parties. Islamorada County Park has a beach on one side of a natural creek. The snorkeling is great here, but the currents are strong, which makes it dangerous for children. Anne's Beach is located on Lower Matecumbe Key south of the Caloosa Cove Resort and features a great boardwalk; public bathrooms here are not the best. Finally, the famous Sandbar is actually what the name denotes. What the locals call "Islamorada Beach" is actually a wide sandbar jutting out into the ocean close to Holiday Isle. There's only one way to get there - by boat.
Islamorada sport fishing
Big game fishing is king in the Islamorada area; the many celebrities of the past and present who have been drawn here would attest to that fact. The Gulf Stream comes in close and that is where you find the fish. Islamorada boasts the largest concentration of fishing boats in the Florida Keys. If the price tag for a private charter is beyond your means, you can always reserve a place on a party boat. Bridge fishing is very popular too, but you do need your own equipment and a license. Many restaurants in the area will cook your catch.
Many interesting dive sites grace the waters around Islamorada. Alligator Reef Light, Davis Reef (with its statue of Buddha), Horseshoe Reef (with its statue of Jesus) and Pickles Reef are only a few. The San Pedro Underwater Archeological Preserve and the Eagle site are great for wreck diving. Snorkelers can have great fun at Cheeca Rocks, located 600 yards out from Cheeca Lodge, and Hens and Chickens Reef, with its huge coral heads and caves.
If you want to get closer to the Keys marvelous marine life, you can feed the tarpons at Robbie's Marina; some of them are as long as 6 feet. You can also swim with the dolphins at Theatre of the Sea, a marine park that is home to dolphins, sea lions, sharks, stingrays and sea turtles. You can also spend time with injured specimens like a blind crocodile and some sea turtles missing fins caused by entanglement with monofilament fishing line.
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