ISLAMORADA HAPPENINGS

What’s happening in the Florida Keys? Catch up on the best things to do and discover hidden gems in and around Islamorada.

TOP 4 PLACES FOR COUPLES

Islamorada, Florida is the perfect place for a romantic and...

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TOP 4 PLACES FOR COUPLES

Islamorada, Florida is the perfect place for a romantic and adventurous getaway. Whether you and your partner are looking to relax or have some fun, these are the four top places you’ll want to visit. 

Florida Keys Brewing Company
Head to one of the first microbreweries in Upper Keys. It has a variety of local beers that you’ll be able to taste during the brewery tour. After you’ve found the right match, enjoy live music by local artists and leave your mark by adding your bottle cap to their wall collection.

Little Palm Spa 
Everyone deserves a day of relaxation, and Little Palm Spa is exactly where you will find that peace of mind. Indulge in a wonderful, relaxed environment, with floral scents to enhance your spa experience. Disconnect from the real world and get lost in paradise. 

Tiki Tiki Adventure 
Key Largo Adventures offers the Tiki Tiki Tour, which is known for being the most popular one among visitors to the Florida Keys. You’ll begin at a clear water sandbar for some paddle boarding or snorkeling. Then you’ll go ashore on Mangrove Island, where you can relax by the shore and enjoy a BBQ made by the captain himself!

Anne’s Beach 
Voted as one of the "Best Hidden Beach of South Florida", you and your partner will have a romantic day on this hidden beach. Enjoy a picnic by the water, take a walk on the fine sand, or discover different paths that lead to the boardwalk. 

TAKE A TRIP TO WINDLEY KEY FOSSIL REEF STATE PARK

Islamorada is known for its off-the-beaten-track attractions, but the sights...

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TAKE A TRIP TO WINDLEY KEY FOSSIL REEF STATE PARK

Islamorada is known for its off-the-beaten-track attractions, but the sights at Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park are sure to be some of your favorites. This park is located at Mile Marker 85.5 near Islamorada.

The park is a former 1900s quarry that was used by Henry Flagler, an oil and railroad tycoon known as the founder of the Florida East Coast Railway. Before the grounds were used as keystone and railway construction quarries, travelers to the area wouldn’t have seen any “land” at all — the entire area is a fossilized coral reef! As you explore, take note of the sea-like patterns in the rocks and the evidence of underwater life on the vast number of walking trails. Admission into the park is only $2.50 per person, along with another $2 for a guided tour of the park. Please note that the park is closed to visitors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

ROBBIE’S MARINA – CROSS IT OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST!

Robbie’s Marina has quickly become the number one spot in...

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ROBBIE’S MARINA – CROSS IT OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST!

Robbie’s Marina has quickly become the number one spot in the Keys to put on your bucket list. For the last several years, this local’s staple, located about ten minutes from our hotel, has gone from a hidden gem to consistently ranking as the No. 1 place to visit in the Florida Keys. But it’s not the gorgeous water, thrilling ocean sports or home-cooked grub that draws visitors year after year.

The big draw of Robbie’s Marina is the natural school of tarpons that live near the docks. Not much is known about these massively huge fish nicknamed “Silver Kings” by anglers around the world. But what we do know about these mysterious creatures is that they love to eat! For $5, you’ll gain access to the far-reaching docks and a bucket of bait. We won’t spoil the spectacle that follows for you. Just know that when a tarpon leaps from the water, it’s customary to bow.

FAMILY FUN ON JULY 4TH!

Islamorada rocks Independence Day Keys-style. Spend the night of July...

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FAMILY FUN ON JULY 4TH!

Islamorada rocks Independence Day Keys-style. Spend the night of July 4th at Founders Park, not far from our hotel, for an evening of music, entertainment, food, and of course, fireworks!

Admission is free and the whole family is welcome. Join the fun for everything from apple pie contests to live music. There’s plenty to see and do at Islamorada’s Independence Day Celebration. Kickoff the night at the USA Swag truck and get decked out in your patriotic best. Those feeling strong and fit should try their luck at the Adrenaline Rush Obstacle Course and Rock Climbing Wall, then celebrate your victory as a winner at the temporary tattoo booth. Don't miss the Patriotic Puppy Parade and costume contest just before the fireworks. Local food trucks will statisfy your appetite.

EXPLORE ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHTHOUSE

Generally, when we think of a lighthouse, we think of...

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EXPLORE ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHTHOUSE

Generally, when we think of a lighthouse, we think of a narrow, cylindrical structure at the base of a distant shoreline, gently warding off approaching ships from the perils of the reefs. Alligator Reef Lighthouse is just such a structure, minus the land. The lighthouse, erected in 1873, is a skeletal rig moored in the open ocean in an area known as the “Florida Passage.” The water here is the clearest in the Keys, making it ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.

The lighthouse was originally built after the famous USS Alligator, a Navy schooner that acted as a nautical sheriff, ran aground after attempting to subdue a fleet of pirate ships. The crew abandoned ship and blew up the Alligator in order to keep it out of the hands of the pirates. To this day, a popular pastime is to dive the area in search of artifacts left over from the wreckage in the graveyard of pirate ships at the ocean bottom.

DAY TRIP TO INDIAN KEY GHOST TOWN

Who hasn’t had the childhood daydream of exploring an uncharted...

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DAY TRIP TO INDIAN KEY GHOST TOWN

Who hasn’t had the childhood daydream of exploring an uncharted island in a tropical paradise? Of course, you have! Now you can pull that same daydream out of your mind and into the world with a day trip to Indian Key.

Indian Key is an abandoned island and protected national park that can only be visited by boat. It’s common for guests to the Keys to kayak out to this beautiful island. Without spoiling the adventure, we can tell you that Indian Key is an oasis of history set within an untamed, lush garden of indigenous plant life. There are plenty of walking paths for navigation around the island. More interestingly, during the 1830s, Indian Key was established as the very first county seat for Miami-Dade County because the lucrative salvage operations in the area bought people and commerce to the tiny island. Tragedy, pirating and raids followed, eventually causing the inhabitants to abandon the island, but their presence is still felt within the ruins of their little ghost town. So grab a boat, paddle out, and see what you can find.

VISIT THE OLD ROAD GALLERY

While the Florida Keys are notoriously known for blissful beaches,...

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VISIT THE OLD ROAD GALLERY

While the Florida Keys are notoriously known for blissful beaches, sunset cruising, museums, aquariums and perfect pool days, those who dive a little deeper will discover the hidden gems that make the Keys artful and unique.

If you’re seeking a peaceful escape from the ordinary, Old Road Gallery is the place to be. Art enthusiasts consider this gallery a must-see for its intimate nature and no-frills beauty.

Nestled between US1 and the Old Road is a hidden sanctuary filled with bronze, copper, and clay masterpieces. From whimsical sculptures of animals and people to beautiful decorations, step inside and immerse yourself in owners Dwayne and Cindy King’s working pottery studio, copper workshop, and stunning Sculpture Garden. As everything involving the Florida Keys is one-of-a-kind, why not take a piece of the experience home with you? Before your visit, be sure stop by the gallery’s website for special events in the Sculpture Garden.

THE HISTORY OF DIVING MUSEUM

Deep sea diving is arguably one of the most majestic...

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THE HISTORY OF DIVING MUSEUM

Deep sea diving is arguably one of the most majestic and dangerous forms of thrill-seeking and exploration in the world.

The Florida Keys are a renown diver’s paradise with some of the best sites located only a short distance away from our hotel. Before you cast away into the unknown beneath the sea, take a ride to the largest collection of diving artifacts in the world at the History of Diving Museum, just off the Overseas Highway.

The museum is owned and operated by champion divers, the Bauer Family, who have spent over forty years collecting, salvaging, and maintaining dive artifacts and equipment from more than thirty countries. As part of their mission to educate the public and prospective divers about the sport, their exhibitions rotate frequently and the museum often hosts special events for visitors to truly emerge themselves in dive history. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children. Visit their website for more details.

EXPLORE LIGNUMVITAE KEY BOTANICAL STATE PARK

Welcome to the Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, the largest...

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EXPLORE LIGNUMVITAE KEY BOTANICAL STATE PARK

Welcome to the Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, the largest and most prevalent home of one of the strongest and heaviest woods on Earth: the lignum vitae.

This wood is so strong that structures built from it in San Francisco easily survived the 1906 earthquake. As you enter the park, note the odd smell emanating from the lignum vitae trees all around you — at seventy-nine pounds per cubic foot, the scent comes from the trees’ thick trunks.

Explore these sturdy trees, endangered flora and fauna, and protected insects and birds by boat or by foot, but be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and consider wearing long sleeves and pants in order to protect from mosquitoes, even in the winter months. Kayak, bicycle and water gear is available for rental, as are guided tours of the area led by expert park rangers, most of whom are native to the area.

AN ISLAND OF MANY NAMES

Our home is an eclectic collection of fun activities, history,...

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AN ISLAND OF MANY NAMES

Our home is an eclectic collection of fun activities, history, warm people and beautiful, balmy weather — but sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between our island and the more than 800 neighboring islands in the Florida Keys. Read on to learn more about what makes our island special.

Most commonly known as the “Village of Islands,” because Islamorada township actually encompasses Plantation, Windley, Upper, and Lower Matecumbe keys, the island is also known as the “Purple Isle.”

This nickname is actually a misnomer since it’s origins are open for debate. Some believe early Spanish explorers circa 1500s named the island so for the purple hue of the sky at sunset. Others say it was due to a tropical fish that has since died out due to overfishing.

Unlike the purple mystery fish, a multitude of other fish species are alive and well, giving the island the much-deserved moniker of “Sport Fishing Capital of the World” where visitors flock from all over the globe for a chance to fish here.

CHRISTMAS AT THEATER OF THE SEA

We do the holidays a little differently in the Keys....

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CHRISTMAS AT THEATER OF THE SEA

We do the holidays a little differently in the Keys. Instead of hot cocoa by the fire and snowball fights throughout the season, we have beach volleyball and chilled cocktails by a glistening, turquoise ocean.

Embrace a new tradition this holiday season and consider taking your loved ones to Theater of the Sea, Islamorada’s hit marine park and aquatic stage, not far from our hotel.

Here you’ll find exhibits and attractions to keep the whole family entertained. The park is open 365 days a year, including Christmas Day, with no break or alteration in their show schedule. Open your presents, have your holiday nibbles, then watch sea lions and bottlenose dolphins perform stunning acrobatics and delightful tricks. Follow the show with a trip down the lagoon on a bottomless, open-center boat, escorted by your new dolphin friends. Prefer to stay on land? The theater also has fish and reptile tours as well as parrot shows featuring varied species. It's a popular holiday attraction, so plan in advance and purchase tickets online in advance. 

FULL MOON PARTY IN ISLAMORADA

Just a short drive from our resort you can enjoy...

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FULL MOON PARTY IN ISLAMORADA

Just a short drive from our resort you can enjoy the monthly Full Moon Party hosted at Morada Bay. Think of this beach “party” as more like a circus, steeped in bohemian extravagance. Bury your toes in the sand and let fire-blowers, stilt-walkers, Brazilian Capoeira dancers, and surprise performers entertain you while you savor the cuisine and cocktails of the Keys. All with large bonfires on the beach and firework shows over the ocean, various DJ’s and live local bands will keep you dancing long enough to see the brilliance of sunrise peek over the horizon.

HALLOWEEN SPIRIT IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

Autumn is our favorite time of year. While temperatures are...

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HALLOWEEN SPIRIT IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

Autumn is our favorite time of year. While temperatures are dropping around the country, it remains a sunny 85 degrees here. However, that doesn't mean we don't know how to celebrate Halloween. Ignite your inner spookster with these Florida Keys events happening around town.

Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest
Calling all divers! Head to Key Largo to show off your underwater carving skills for the chance to win a diving trip for two, plus other exciting prizes up for grabs.

Fantasy Fest
Key West is a two-hour drive from Islamorada, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the parades, concerts, and Halloween-inspired festivities. Plan a day trip and then head back to Pelican Cove Inn for peace and relaxation. 

The Annual Islamorada Zombie Pub Crawl
Awaken your inner Zombie while getting your bikes ready. The pub crawl begins at Moose Lodge at 5:30 pm and will tour the best watering holes, including the Florida Keys Brewing Company. Ride alongside locals and get into the spirit the Florida Keys-way.

SNORKEL ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHTHOUSE

Families, couples and groups of friends can all enjoy snorkeling...

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SNORKEL ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHTHOUSE

Families, couples and groups of friends can all enjoy snorkeling the bright tropical reef below Alligator Reef Lighthouse. Explore the pristine blue waters filled with colorful fish, including yellowtail snapper, blue tangs, spotted parrotfish and more. Spend the day taking magnificent underwater photos while admiring the panoramic display of more than 500 marine species in one of the largest reefs in the Upper Keys.

It’s one of the only living coral barrier reefs in the United States, and snorkelers can experience up to 100 feet of visibility on clear days. Located four nautical miles from Indian Key, the lighthouse stands 136-feet tall and was originally built to warn sailors of the jutting reef below. Unfortunately, many vessels were shipwrecked before its building. Don't be fooled by its name — there are no alligators to be found. The reefs namesake comes from an 1800s Navy Schooner that kept the islands safe from dangerous pirates. After a day of fun, return to Pelican Cove for afternoon cocktails and snacks at Cabana Bar & Cafe.

TASTE DELICIOUS CRAFT BEERS

Simple pleasures come in chilled pint glasses with no end...

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TASTE DELICIOUS CRAFT BEERS

Simple pleasures come in chilled pint glasses with no end in sight. Dive into local brews the Islamorada-way by visiting one of our favorite craft breweries. Islamorada Beer Company perfectly embodies the “Island State of Mind” by featuring a rotating menu of beers that are inspired by the Florida Keys lifestyle.

Try the key lime beer, Sandbar Sunday, for a refreshing zing of citrus, or gulp down the Channel Marker IPA for a nice balance of hops and brightness. Both pair well with salty air and sandy toes. The 25,000 square-foot brewery has been open since 2014 and has been gaining in popularity. It’s hard to miss the bright yellow exterior when driving down Overseas Highway, so carve out some time during your vacation to absorb the laid-back Florida Keys vibe, sip by sip.

Islamorada Beer Company, 2229 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, 305-508-9093, https://www.islamoradabeerco.com/

CULINARY SPOTLIGHT: CHEF MICHAEL’S

Imagine the windows down with the tropical Florida Keys breeze...

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CULINARY SPOTLIGHT: CHEF MICHAEL’S

Imagine the windows down with the tropical Florida Keys breeze blowing in your hair. Part of the fun is the journey, and fortunately, Islamorada is located directly in the middle, making it the perfect spot for lunch or dinner. If you are lucky enough to be staying with us in Islamorada, indulge in all of the culinary goodies throughout your stay. Hungry travelers shouldn't miss Chef Michael’s, an upscale restaurant with a laid-back vibe.

The menu features modern American dishes and freshly caught fish prepared to perfection. The chef Michael Ledwith began his career in some of New York’s finest restaurants. Drawn by his love of island life he migrated to Florida, spreading his talents through central Florida and then finally Islamorada where he is now known for his culinary-minded restaurant and is considered to be one of the best in the Upper Keys. Brunch is one of our favorite meals of the day, and Chef Michael’s features Hogfish Benedict topped with dill hollandaise sauce. Hogfish is a Florida Keys specialty and is characterized by its flaky white meat and gentle flavor. The fun twist on the traditional dish keeps foodies coming back for more.

Chef Michael’s, 81671 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

A PRIVATE BEACH IS A BEAUTIFUL THING

Is island life calling your name? Pelican Cove Resort &...

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A PRIVATE BEACH IS A BEAUTIFUL THING

Is island life calling your name? Pelican Cove Resort & Marina is the perfect place to rest, relax, and break a sweat in privacy. Our private beach lets guests enjoy the freedom of being your own navigator and selecting from fun watersports to enhance your vacation.

That’s why guests have access to beach services such as kayak rentals, snorkel gear, fishing rods, bicycles, and even paddleboards. Long summer days equal more opportunities for adventure. You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm. In this case, the worm is a full day of water sports and leisurely activities. Challenge your buddies to a paddleboarding race, or send your little ones to our water trampoline to cool off. In the Keys, we believe genuine freedom complements a laid-back attitude. Your vacation can be as restful or exciting as you want. Enjoy! 

DISCOVER A GEOLOGICAL TREASURE

Take a break from the beach to take a walk...

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DISCOVER A GEOLOGICAL TREASURE

Take a break from the beach to take a walk in the park at Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park. A short car ride away from the hotel, spend the day discovering the history of the old coral reef in the area and the impact the Flagler Railroad and Overseas Highway has had on the geological makeup of the area.

During the summer months, embark on a self-guided hike through the tropical trails which offer shade on the hotter days. Tip: be sure to pack extra water and bug spray. In addition to walking trails, there are ample areas to set up a picnic and take in all the natural beauty the treasured geological site has to offer. And, a variety of bird wildlife can be found (grab your binoculars). Get all of the details on park hours and best places to set up camp for the day here.

GO FOR SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

The Florida Keys are known for being a fisherman’s paradise,...

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GO FOR SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

The Florida Keys are known for being a fisherman’s paradise, offering some of the best fishing conditions in the world. We’re putting a spotlight on sustainable seafood and best practices to help preserve the waters and wildlife that calls our ecosystem home. It’s all in the technique. With the demand of fish on the rise, many purveyors have turned to mass long lining and drift netting.

This has a significant impact on non-target fish, sea turtles, marine mammals and even sea birds. Nets are routinely left at sea, floating across miles and miles of water before washing ashore. What’s more, dolphins and sea lions are often identified as the culprits when it comes to a decrease in available and viable fish. This often leads to the capture and killing of these animals. 

While it may seem like a large feat, there are many ways consumers can make conscious decisions when it comes to purchasing seafood. Check out Seafood Watch on a regular basis, they do an amazing job of identifying sustainable seafood items to purchase that support healthy fishing in our waters based on a set criteria, including the amount of environmental damage from fishing gear and activity, health and abundance of fish, a well-managed operation, and little impact on other wildlife in surrounding areas. We can all do our part to make better seafood choices for a healthier ocean.

LIVE MUSIC IN THE KEYS

Live music and The Keys go hand-in-hand. Most months, there...

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LIVE MUSIC IN THE KEYS

Live music and The Keys go hand-in-hand. Most months, there are number of opportunities to take in local musical talent through a series of outdoor performances. Bring a blanket and picnic basket and get ready to be transported through music thanks to free, outdoor concerts

The ICE Amphitheater at Islamorada’s Founders Park (MM 87) hosts live concerts and sometimes you can catch a pop-up puppy parade and petting zoo. The Florida Keys Concert Association is another music venue where you can catch shows ranging from the toe-tapping sounds of Latin, Spanish, Sephardic, Balkan and classical.

You can find upcoming musical events and purchase tickets here.

EXPLORE ISLAMORADO BY ECO-BOAT

You might not think American Bald Eagles or American Saltwater...

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EXPLORE ISLAMORADO BY ECO-BOAT

You might not think American Bald Eagles or American Saltwater Crocodiles when you think of the Florida Keys, but venturing out on an Eco-Boat Tour will show you unexpected wildlife. Known for a vast ecosystem, the Florida Keys are home to a number of species including egrets, osprey, alligators, crocodiles, manatees, dolphins and more. The best way to get up-close to these indigenous creatures is by getting out on the water.

Choose from one- to three-hour Eco-Boat tours by Keyz Charters and explore the waters that make the area world famous. Both tour options will take you through the intricate mangroves and guide you through an adventurous and educational afternoon. Sail along the coastline and discover hidden channels and local landmarks such as Alligator Lighthouse, Indian Key State Park and Lignumvitae Key (which is only accessible by boat or kayak). Ready to discover? Book tours and see times and pricing information here.

MONTHLY IMMERSIONS AT THE HISTORY OF DIVING MUSEUM

Immerse yourself in the diving history of Islamorada. Every third...

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MONTHLY IMMERSIONS AT THE HISTORY OF DIVING MUSEUM

Immerse yourself in the diving history of Islamorada. Every third Wednesday of the month, join the History of Diving Museum at 7 p.m. for a complimentary presentation series, “Man’s quest to explore under the sea.” The best of the best from the diving community bring informative stories to life in this casual series that celebrates the history of diving and underwater life in the Florida Keys.

Past installments, have featured Captain Jon Hazelbaker, Salvage Team Leader. Hazelbaker dives into how searching for Batista Gold lead to the discovery of an unidentified boomer. The presentation shared the details on how a real treasure was found and identified and what happened as the treasure was researched and explored. Museum exhibits and the signature store stay open late during these monthly gatherings. All presentations begin at 7 p.m., with ticket sales available day-off until 6:15 p.m. An upcoming schedule of presentations can be found here.

BOUTIQUE FINDS

Whoever thought to combine art classes and shopping together had...

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BOUTIQUE FINDS

Whoever thought to combine art classes and shopping together had a brilliant idea! With a little art and a whole lot of shopping, what more could you ask for? The Banyan Tree Boutique, set in a tropical garden, is a one of a kind shop that features nature-inspired apparel, local pottery, plants and gifts.

The friendly staff, affordable prices, and unique finds will be all the rave when you return home from your vacation. Make you way to The Banyan Tree Boutique on a Wednesday evening and you could also join their Group Paint Class from 5:30-7:30pm. Top off your shopping by expressing yourself through art and meet the Florida Keys locals. Each week, the class presents a unique topic to spark creativity. You won’t just take home gifts for your family, but a masterpiece to cherish your trip to Islamorada – your very own work of art!

DISCOVER THE PURPLE ISLE

As you vacation on the grounds of Islamorada, find out...

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DISCOVER THE PURPLE ISLE

As you vacation on the grounds of Islamorada, find out the history of its rich soil and discover the theories of why Spanish Explorers named the area, The Purple Isle. Florida Keys History and Discovery Center is jam packed with information that will transform your vacation into a journey through history.

Learn about famous hurricanes to hit Islamorada and their casualties, and check out what’s playing in the brand new 35 seat film room. The constant introduction of new exhibits reflects the curator’s burgeoning discoveries. However its permanent exhibition First People is a must-see. With First People, Florida Keys History and Discovery Center touches on the origins of aboriginal people who first settled along the shores of Florida Keys. The History and Discovery Center is open Wednesday–Sunday 10am to 5pm. Take the entire family to browse informational exhibits built to impress.

Florida Keys History and Discovery Center, 82100 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, 33036, floridakeysdiscover.com

FRIENDLY FISH | SWIM WITH DOLPHINS

If you’re visiting the Florida Keys, then a dolphin encounter...

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FRIENDLY FISH | SWIM WITH DOLPHINS

If you’re visiting the Florida Keys, then a dolphin encounter is a must. Whether you’re spotting them in the wild via boat or swimming with one at a rescue research center, The Keys makes it easy for you to become lifelong friends of the sea. Below are three iconic locations to interact and swim with dolphins in the Keys:

Theater of the Sea
(6-minute walk from Pelican Cove Resort)
84721 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Dolphins Plus
Bayside (29-minute drive), 101900 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
Oceanside (26-minute drive), 31 Corinne Pl, Key Largo, FL 33037

Dolphin research center
(32-minute drive)
58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050