Things To Do in Islamorada, Florida

 

December 14, 2020

To help combat the spread of Covid-19, some venues below may be closed or by appointment or reservation only. Note that masks are required in all venues except when you’re eating.

Things are changing rapidly. We do our best to update openings, closures, and hours. All information published below was correct at the time of writing.

The Florida Keys are a chain of islands beginning 15 miles south of Miami and stretching 125 miles. The drive from Miami to Islamorada, a village across six of the keys, takes 1.5-2.5 hours depending on traffic. It’s an easy drive down highway one, aka the Overseas Highway, stretching over the sparkling blue ocean. Be sure to pack a cooler so you can take a picnic to the beach.

overseas highway

Vehicular traffic on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway is extremely light Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Islamorada, Fla. The subtropical island destination is temporarily closed to visitors until further notice due to the coronavirus crisis, according to local officials. Tourism is the Keysb top industry, employs about half of the regionbs workforce and generates almost $2 billion annually for the areabs economy. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Florida Keys Overseas Highway. Photo by Andy Newman, courtesy of The Florida Keys & Key West fla-keys.com

Day One: A Gallery, The Beach, And Seafood For Dinner
For brunch, pull off at Made 2 Order, a diner at the very beginning of Islamorada. The restaurant sits on a canal, so you can tuck into all-day-breakfast (eggs every way, pancakes, waffles) or lunch plates like crab cakes or a mahi mahi sandwich while overlooking the water.

old road gallery

Old Road Gallery. Photo courtesy of Old Road Gallery

Drive five minutes down the road to Old Road Gallery, where Cindy and Dwayne King make pottery and sculptures in bronze, copper, and clay, on display indoors and in their garden.

It’s time to hit the beach, with a stop for sandwiches. Drive 15 minutes to Galley Girls Cafe, the deli tucked inside Bud N’ Mary’s marina. It’s ultra popular and open only until 2pm, so order your grilled fish or Italian sandwich or black bean burger ahead of time. From here it’s an eight-minute drive to Anne’s Beach—named for the late local environmentalist Anne Eaton—at mile marker 73.5, at the southern end of Islamorada, in Lower Matecumbe Key. This is a pretty, natural sandy beach with very calm, clear, shallow water. There are two parking lots, ample bathrooms, and six pavilions with picnic tables. You can walk through the mangroves on a 1,300-foot boardwalk, part of a major repair in 2019 after Hurricane Irma.

annes beach

Anne's Beach. Photo by Andy Newman, courtesy of The Florida Keys & Key West fla-keys.com

green turtle inn

Green Turtle Inn. Photo courtesy of The Florida Keys & Key West fla-keys.com

Have dinner tonight at Green Turtle Inn, a local favorite since 1947 (the current building dates to 2004). Go for seafood—catch of the day, Gulf grouper, scallops—and save room for key lime pie, made here with a macadamia nut and crispy rice crust.

Day Two: Snorkeling, Burritos, and Craft Beer

Spend the morning snorkeling above beautiful coral and a rainbow of tropical fish. There are many well-regarded snorkel tours on Islamorada, and the easiest thing to do is book one closest to your hotel.

snorkeling

Snorkeling off Islamorada. Photo by Rob O’Neal, courtesy of The Florida Keys & Key West fla-keys.com

bad boy burrito

Bad Boy Burrito. Photo by Antoinette Bruno, courtesy of The Florida Keys & Key West fla-keys.com

Some snorkel tours include lunch; if yours doesn’t, stop for a casual bite at Bad Boy Burrito. Tuck into a big burrito, tacos, or a crisp fish salad paired with a watermelon agua fresca.

From here, leave your car and walk seven minutes to family-friendly Florida Keys Brewing Company, which has a big, lush beer garden with Jenga, cornhole, and hula hoops. Beers change seasonally and have included a honey bottomed blonde made with local Keys honey and a traditional IPA brewed with ripe pineapples.

After a pint in the sun, hop back in the car for the 1.5-2.5-hour drive back to Miami.

Hero image: Underwater off the coast of Islamorada. © Brian Sevald/iStock

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