Top Islamorada Attractions: 8 Ways to Play in the Florida Keys
Located south of Key Largo in the Florida Keys sits an island village known as Islamorada. But don’t let its location fool you. The area provides a paradise away from the hustle-and-bustle of larger cities and offers tons to do. With local brews, outdoor recreation and shopping, it’s hard to resist these top Islamorada attractions. Check out the top places to go.
Top Islamorada Attractions Vacationers Love in the Keys
Beach Park: Founders Park
Looking for a local beach spot? Visit Founders Park, which features over 40 acres of recreation facilities. Palm trees line the crescent-shaped beach, and guests have access to an Olympic-sized swimming pool, diving center, marina, and an amphitheater that hosts concerts and festivals. Sports lovers also enjoy playing soccer, volleyball and tennis, or strap on skates and glide through the skate park. The park also houses restrooms and shaded areas, providing a place to spend the day. Note: There is an admission fee, and it’s based on the number of people per vehicle.
Beer: Florida Keys Brewing Company
Great for a parent’s night-out activity, Florida Keys Brewing Company is the area’s first microbrewery. This fun-loving attraction features local brews – from lights to darks – and offers brewery tours. Stop in the tasting room to sample beers made by Florida Keys Brewing Company, local artwork and to see bottle caps from all over the world. For added fun, call ahead to check for karaoke events. Don’t forget to shop for souvenirs.
Culture: History of Diving Museum
Snorkeling ranks as one of the top things to do in Islamorada, and the History of Diving Museum pays homage to the area’s rich diving scene. The museum dedicates their time and resources to preserving artifacts, antiques, documents and photos. Top exhibits include: the timeline of diving, treasure room, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and living aquarium perfect for photo ops. Before planning, check for upcoming events at the History of Diving Museum, which includes seminars, family-friendly festivals and fish experts.
Dolphins: Theater of the Sea
Theater of the Sea provides a safe environment for animals and ranks among the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world. This family-owned and -operated attraction welcomes guests to get up-close with animals, and watch dolphins, sea lions and parrots interact with the crew. In addition to the show, guests can see exhibits such as endangered sea turtles, nurse sharks, fish, crocs and birds of prey.
Theater of the Sea also offers access to the private Lagoon Beach with the price of admission. This beach spot provides a place to relax and swim, freshwater showers, changing rooms, and lockers. Guests also have the option to rent snorkeling gear and head into the water. The park is pet-friendly, but make sure dogs are people- and dog-friendly and properly cleaned up after.
Local Art: Lobster Trap Art Gallery
Immerse in island life and see thousands of paintings and handmade lobster trap frames at Lobster Trap Art Gallery. The gallery features vibrant, colorful paintings by Nadine and Glenn Lahti and other artists from the Florida Keys area. Other artwork includes framed and unframed prints, art prints, charts and maps, personalized gifts. Lobster Trap Art Gallery offers several souvenirs that guests won’t find other places, including license plates, clocks, cutting boards, signs and coasters.
Local Art Galleries: The Rain Barrel Artisan Village
Home to several art galleries and local creations, the Rain Barrel Artisan Village ranks as a must for art lovers. To find this attraction, look for the 30-foot by 40-foot lobster that sits outside the entrance. Affectionately known as Betsy, she’s a replica of the popular Florida Keys spiny lobster. The village has been a local favorite for creativity and art for over 30 years, featuring a mix of souvenirs and local masterpieces. Shops include the sculpture gallery, clay pieces, glass art and jewelry.
Hiking: Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Ranked as a must for hikers is Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park. The park features quarry walls that visitors can walk along to see fossilized coral and learn about the park’s history. Once used to produce decorative stone – known as Keystone – the park features five self-guided trails. This ranks as a great place to see native plants, fossils, wildlife and enjoy a picnic in Islamorada.
Pet-friendly Beaches: Anne’s Beach
This popular beach in Islamorada welcomes people and pets. Anne’s Beach has water too shallow for swimming, however offers young children and adults a place to wade and sunbathe. Due to the size of this beach, there is limited parking and space. Those visiting should bring chairs and umbrellas, and plan to spend a couple of hours. Couples with dogs will find this spot ideal for taking a quick walk on the boardwalk.
Snorkeling: Indian Key State Historic Site
Only accessible by boat, Indian Key State Historic Site once served as the site for salvaging cargo from shipwrecks in the Florida Keys. This must among top Islamorada attractions provides a scenic and peaceful place where visitors can kayak, canoe, hike, snorkel and fish. Those interested in a half-day trip idea should bring a picnic, water, sun protection and cash to pay the small admission fee.
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