Bluegreen Vacations owners who stay at The Hammocks at Marathon are faced with many tempting stops as they traverse the Florida Keys. Just 26 miles north of Marathon is the village of islands known as Islamorada. Surrounded by North America’s only coral barrier reef on one side and the Everglades National Park on the other, Islamorada is just 7.2 square miles of land. But in that small space you have an abundance of things to see and do.
There are many accommodations to choose from. Spend lazy days basking in the picture-perfect tropical surroundings or get out and get active with the numerous options for the water sportsman in you. If you’re looking for more than a beach and a chair to park yourself in, Islamorada offers plenty of activities.
Water Activities Galore
The Florida Keys are a world-renowned fishing destination. Both life-long passionate fishermen and amateurs alike can take part. More experienced types may charter a boat for some big-game fishing, hoping to hook an 80-pound sailfish, while casual fishermen may go on group trips in search of snapper or other small fish.
If you prefer to dive right in, there are snorkeling expeditions as well. The beauty of snorkeling in the Florida Keys is that you can go exploring in just a couple feet of water or go out a little further to the deeper snorkeling and diving expeditions.
There’s something a little different about those clear blue seas when you’re going over them at 30 miles an hour! If you have a need for speed, you can rent a WaveRunner or catch air with the one-of-a-kind experience of kiteboarding.
Islamorada Watersports Company and Seven Sports offer just about anything you can imagine related to water activities. You can rent or charter a boat for a private fishing excursion, a WaveRunner, or paddle boards and kayaks for more casual explorations. Seven Sports, Islamorada Watersports Company’s board sports division, has a special emphasis on the exciting world of kiteboarding, which is a bit like combining wakeboarding with windsurfing.
While Islander Water Sports does boat rentals and snorkeling cruises, you may want to try one of their eco tours where you can experience the natural habitat of the Florida Keys. There is plenty of wildlife you can see firsthand, including everything from manatees and sea turtles to Ibis and white pelicans. It’s certainly a lot of fun to be experienced by the kids and adults alike.
Islander Water Sports also offers an unforgettable sunset cruise. Take to the seas in Islamorada’s only sailing catamaran called the Horizon Cat, where those looking for a little action can help hoist the mainsail, or if you simply want to sit back and enjoy the stunning sunset, that’s perfectly fine as well.
Dive enthusiasts who want to go deep into their explorations of Islamorada should check out Conch Republic Dive Centers. You can dive sites along the main reef line or the many shallow patch reefs. For more advanced options, there are trips to the major ship wrecks nearby. If you’re new to the dive game, they offer convenient online dive instruction to give you a head start before you come down to complete your training.
Robbie’s of Islamorada has many of the familiar activities, such as snorkeling, boat rentals, and every kind of fishing adventure you would like, but what they are probably best known for is the tarpon feeding, which is great fun for the kids.
As the story goes, it all began with one tarpon many years ago, nicknamed Scarface. Robbie noticed that the fish was seriously injured, so he took him in to nurse him back to health. After six months, the fish was returned to the wild, only to return with friends for future feedings.
If you really want to get up close and personal with the sea life of the Florida Keys, try Theater of the Sea, which has its own “swim with the dolphins” program. You can interact with the dolphins, even giving them commands to receive hugs and kisses from these gentle sea creatures. Even if you don’t want to get that close, there is general admission or group tours where you and the family can be introduced to the amazing marine life.
As you contemplate the many places to swim and play in Islamorada, we wish you a great time, with great sights.