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STAFF PICKS

Looking to learn more about our favoirte are attractions and upcoming events? Our Staff Picks blog features the best of Islamorada so that you can plan you perfect Keys getaway with ease — or just daydream about it until then.

 

Discover One-Of-A-Kind Creations

July in the Florida Keys means that summer vacations are in full effect, so the coastlines and waterways are bustling. If you’re looking to beat the heat, Islamorada offers a...

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Discover One-Of-A-Kind Creations

July in the Florida Keys means that summer vacations are in full effect, so the coastlines and waterways are bustling. If you’re looking to beat the heat, Islamorada offers a number of art galleries and boutiques that provide solace from the sun and certainly make for an interesting day.

There’s a reason why Old Road Gallery is #1 on TripAdvisor: this spot is renowned for gorgeous pottery and art by Keys locals, but it also includes the owners’ workshop, where visitors can witness the constant elaboration of a tropical hardwood garden with winding pathways adorned with sculptures and surprises.

If you’re looking for options, head to The Rain Barrel Artisan Village to discover one-of-a-kind creations in both the main gallery and the craft stands throughout the property. If you’re not looking to shop, you can always snap a family photo with the famous giant lobster sculpture outside.

Seaside Glassworks is also deemed well worth a stop for the incredible, colorful pieces that the artists fashion from glass. No matter how you choose to spend your time on land, we know you won't be disappointed!

A Well-Crafted Taco Is A Beautiful Thing

Fish tacos. Ah. The sweet allure of fresh ocean-to-table fish...

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A Well-Crafted Taco Is A Beautiful Thing

Fish tacos. Ah. The sweet allure of fresh ocean-to-table fish delicately folded in flour tortillas and topped with delicious ingredients and slaws. In our opinion, a well-crafted taco elevates any meal from ordinary to extraordinary

Fortunately, poolside days at Amara Cay pair perfectly with Grilled or Blackened local whitefish topped with chopped iceberg lettuce, pineapple chutney, salsa fresca, queso blanco, and smoked chipotle aioli. Reelburger, our on property restaurant, has gone above and beyond to create a mouth-watering taco, just for you.  Your first bite should be amazing, your second bite incredible. Wash them down with specialty craft cocktails, like Bali Blossom made of Bacardi Superior Rum, Fresh Strawberries, and Basil, Fresh Pressed Lemon Juice, and Organic Agave Nectar, or select from our list of local and international beers. It's a match made in heaven. 

Colorful Sunsets in Islamorada

The Florida Keys may be known for world-class fishing, snorkeling,...

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Colorful Sunsets in Islamorada

The Florida Keys may be known for world-class fishing, snorkeling, and dining, but one of the greatest parts about being on this archipelago off the southern coast of Florida is the breathtaking sunsets. The gentle curve of the islands means you can basically catch a picturesque sunset from any island. Sunsets are so gorgeous in Islamorada that it feels like a special occasion every day. 

Expert weather forecaster Bill Cottrill explains what makes our sunsets so colorful. He says it is a delicate balance between low cumulus clouds close to the horizon that create pockets of blue shadows and the high cirrus clouds that are made of ice and reflect the suns rays. The result is usually a combination of vibrant pinks, creamy oranges, and a variety of purples shades that change like a kaleidoscope as the sun approaches the horizon. Gather your loved ones and share fresh seafood and tropical drinks while watching the day turn into night, Florida Keys-style.

Islamorada Adventures by Eco-Boat

The Florida Keys are a vibrant archipelago with a thriving...

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Islamorada Adventures by Eco-Boat

The Florida Keys are a vibrant archipelago with a thriving ecosystem just waiting to be explored. You may not associate American Saltwater Crocodiles or Bald Eagles with our stunning islands, but if you are feeling adventurous, we know just the way to see a plethora of surprising wildlife. 

Eco-Boat tours by KeyZ Charters takes you into the winding mangroves and animal laden waters with Captain Samantha, a South Florida native and Florida Keys local. Expect an educational afternoon under the sun where you will sail along the shoreline and uncover secret channels and legendary landmarks such as Indian Key State Park, Alligator Lighthouse, and Lignumvitae Key. The Florida Keys are home to a vast variety of animals such as alligators, manatees, dolphins, crocodiles, osprey, and egrets. Are you ready to get up close and personal?

How to Enjoy Snorkeling Along Alligator Reef Lighthouse

Snorkeling is the perfect vacation activity for families, couples, and...

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How to Enjoy Snorkeling Along Alligator Reef Lighthouse

Snorkeling is the perfect vacation activity for families, couples, and groups of friends. Imagine swimming with swarms of yellowtail snapper, spotted parrotfish, blue tangs, and great barracudas in the pristine turquoise waters of Alligator Reef. It’s part of the only living coral barrier reef in the United States, and on bright days snorkelers may experience up to 100 feet of visibility in the calm waters.

Only four nautical miles from Indian Key, the reef is marked by a 136-foot tall lighthouse named after the 1800’s Navy schooner, Alligator, that protected the islands from dangerous pirates. Aptly, the lighthouse was built to warn sailors of the reef that had left several vessels shipwrecked. Today over 500 marine species live in the waters, which is one of the largest reefs in the Upper Keys. Spend the day snapping underwater photos while admiring the vibrant tropical colors and rich biodiversity. It’s a can’t-miss Islamorada experience only 30-minutes from the shore.

The Best Craft Beer in Islamorada

Here in Islamorada, we like to keep things local, like...

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The Best Craft Beer in Islamorada

Here in Islamorada, we like to keep things local, like real local. We enjoy simple pleasures like crisp cold beers, sunsets, and crystal clear waters. Islamorada Beer Company captures the “Island State of Mind” in each of their craft brews. Check out the seasonally rotating lineup to enhance your Keys experience.

Feel refreshed with a hint of key lime in Sandbar Sunday, their American Wheat Ale, or opt for Channel Marker IPA that pairs perfectly with sand under your feet. There are usually 16 beers on tap, and if you are feeling curious about them all, tour the 25,000-square-foot brewery where the magic happens. They've been open since 2014 and are quickly becoming a can’t-miss-stop on our beautiful archipelago. Pick up a six-pack to bring home, and let the Florida Keys feeling linger. 

Islamorada Beer Company, 2229 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, 305-508-9093

Rainy Day Ideas for Your Islamorada Vacation

Rainy days equals unparalleled sightseeing opportunities! When it rains it...

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Rainy Day Ideas for Your Islamorada Vacation

Rainy days equals unparalleled sightseeing opportunities! When it rains it pours, but sometimes that's not a bad thing. Islamorada is beautiful all year round, but if we get a small drizzle session it becomes downright magical. Nothing beats the sound of pitter-patter and the fresh ocean breezes that follows. 

Curl up with a local brew in our comfy lobby while you plan your rainy day. One of our favorite drizzly day retreats is The Rain Barrel Sculpture Gallery located on the side of Overseas Highway. It’s impossible to miss the massive larger-than-life lobster sculpture outside. Spend the day exploring the artisanal village and shopping unique handmade gifts and artworks. After a day of browsing, treat yourself to one of the best lobster rolls on the island at the Lobster Shack. It’s one insider’s secret we don’t mind sharing. End the meal with a surprisingly delicious Cuban coffee before heading back to Amara Cay for a mid-afternoon dip in the ocean. The rain never lasts too long in the Florida Keys, just enough time to feel nostalgic and shop for a couple of treasures.

The Rain Barrel Sculpture Gallery, 86700 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Lobster Shack, 86700 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

The Resilient Key Lime

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a...

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The Resilient Key Lime

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a Key lime and a regular lime? Look no further, the difference is clear. The Key lime is stronger, the juice is more powerful, and the zest is irresistible. 

We are like the world-famous Key lime, full of energy and strength restoring Amara Cay to its own unique flavor. Our staff is working around the clock with the occasional "stop to smell the roses" or carve a festive pumpkin. Our spirits are high and we can’t wait to celebrate with you. Help us honor our Florida Keys culture by following the recipe below for your own delicious slice of pie.

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 3 cups of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium-size bowl, mix the condensed milk, sour cream, Key lime juice, and lime rind. Stir well and pour mix into the graham cracker crust.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for five to eight minutes, until little pinhole bubbles are appearing on the surface of the pie, remove and chill thoroughly before serving. Garnish with delicate Key lime slices and delicious whipped cream.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Amara Cay soon!

Fall Attractions in Islamorada

We know it’s hard to pull yourself away from our...

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Fall Attractions in Islamorada

We know it’s hard to pull yourself away from our luxurious poolside lounge chairs, but if you find yourself craving some Islamorada adventures, check out these fall tourist attractions.

Theater of the Sea, 84721 Overseas Hwy.

Head to Florida’s oldest marine mammal park for an array of fun activities like swimming with the dolphins, snorkeling, and an exciting sea lion show that will amaze you. Don’t forget to say hi to the sweet and lovable rescue sea turtles, a South Florida species in need of our protection!

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, 84900 Overseas Hwy.

Spend a day winding through the fossilized coral reefs that date back to 125,000 years ago. Originally a quarry for the Florida East Coast Railroad, the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park has become of one Florida’s natural wonders.

These are just two suggestions or you can spend the day relaxing by our pool, the choice is yours. Just remember there are no wrong decisions in The Florida Keys, especially when the sun is shining!

Plan Your Perfect Wedding at Amara Cay

Wedding season is in full swing and we can’t think of...

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Plan Your Perfect Wedding at Amara Cay

Wedding season is in full swing and we can’t think of anything more romantic than a beach wedding. Here are the top three reasons you should consider an exotic destination wedding at our luxurious resort.

Beautiful Beach Ambiance

There is nothing more romantic than the sand below your toes, the sound of the ocean waves, and the flavor of salt dancing in the air. It doesn’t take much to make a beach wedding magical.

It’s Intimate

Destination weddings are not just one day of fun, they are an entire weekend. Spend more time with your special guests and let us coordinate a fishing trip, family picnic, or beach bbq to make memories for a lifetime.

More Affordable Than You Think

The combination of our beautiful resort and the natural beauty of the Florida Keys are actually kind on your pocket. Let us provide the exquisite wedding ambiance, that doesn’t require much. We’ll alleviate your wedding stress and block rooms in groups of ten so that everyone can be close to you and your beloved on your memorable day.

Start planning your wedding today! Visit our website , for more delightful information. 

History of Diving Museum: Spiegel Grove Exhibit

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the USS Spiegel...

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History of Diving Museum: Spiegel Grove Exhibit

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the USS Spiegel Grove, which was sunk in 2002, to create an artificial reef in the Florida Keys. The vessel is 510 feet in length and 84 feet wide and has a history as vast as it’s surface space. 

The boat resides 134 ft off the coast of Key Largo near Dixie Shoals and divers from far and wide travel to explore this stunning manmade reef. Check out the informative exhibition on view at the History of Diving Museum until Labor Day. The show maps out the history of this magnificent boat and celebrates its 15th year since her sinking. Spiegel Grove is becoming one of the world’s most known artificial reef. Artifacts will be temporarily on display highlighting the people that served on this prestigious vessel, the missions it spearheaded, and the science behind the sinking and the environmental impact it had on the Keys. This is an opportunity not to be missed, and who knows, maybe you’ll check out the dive for yourself!

History of Diving Museum, 82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, (305)664-9737

The Florida Keys Farmers Market

While the farmers markets in more northerly climes are closing up shop, the Florida Keys Farmers Market continues to provide locals and visitors alike with fresh, organic fare every Sunday from...

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The Florida Keys Farmers Market

While the farmers markets in more northerly climes are closing up shop, the Florida Keys Farmers Market continues to provide locals and visitors alike with fresh, organic fare every Sunday from 10 A.M. – 2 P.M. all year long.

In addition to the pristine produce, vendors also specialize in delicious meats, fresh seafood, artisanal cheeses, organic juices, baked goods, handcrafts, artwork, flowers, and much more. With the many dazzling murals that adorn the market, your eyes will be just as delighted as your taste buds. If you’ll be in town on Sunday, October 29, drop by the Florida Keys Farmers Market for Growfest, an annual celebration where you can learn how to harvest honey, grow fruits and veggies, make kombucha, and many other fun green activities, all while enjoying live music by popular local bands.

Address: 81001 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036 (in the parking lot of Islamorada Gardens)

A Fun And Informative Adventure At The Keys History & Discovery Center

Just five minutes by car from our resort, the Keys History & Discovery Center is the perfect place to get acquainted with the fascinating history of the Florida Keys. The...

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A Fun And Informative Adventure At The Keys History & Discovery Center

Just five minutes by car from our resort, the Keys History & Discovery Center is the perfect place to get acquainted with the fascinating history of the Florida Keys.

The museum’s first floor features permanent exhibits devoted to ecology, geology, and culture. At Legends of the Line, you’ll learn how personal and commercial fishing has shaped civilization in the Keys. The First People exhibit illuminates the daily lives, struggles, and triumphs of the Keys’ indigenous tribes, while the Pirates, Wreckers, and Salvage exhibit turns to treasure hunters and vicious buccaneers, including the notorious Black Caesar. The second floor showcases rotating temporary exhibits that touch on civic life, arts, and culture. Rails and the Road tells the stories of Flagler Railroad and the Overseas Highway, which transformed transportation in the Keys. A related exhibit, Roadside Attractions presents historical photographs of notable attractions alongside the Overseas Highway during the last century. Lighthouses of the Florida Reef details the social and political intrigue caused or otherwise enabled by lighthouses throughout the Keys. And that’s not all. In addition to its many other exhibits, the Keys History & Discovery Center boasts a 35-seat theater that screens fun and informative films for the whole family.

KeyZ Charters: Islamorada’s Premier Eco-Adventure Provider

One of the most diverse and vibrant ecosystems in North America, the Florida Keys abound with opportunities to explore tropical flora and fauna both above and below the waves. During...

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KeyZ Charters: Islamorada’s Premier Eco-Adventure Provider

One of the most diverse and vibrant ecosystems in North America, the Florida Keys abound with opportunities to explore tropical flora and fauna both above and below the waves.

During your stay in Islamorada, we highly recommend the many thrilling sightseeing charters by KeyZ Charters, which specializes in eco-tours, historical island tours, snorkeling, sunset cruises, and much more. KeyZ’s friendly staff will help you choose the perfect outing for you and your family or friends. Venture through lush, winding mangrove forests or sail into glistening open waters as your expert guide regales you with a thorough and fascinating account of your surroundings and the animals you’re likely to encounter, which may include alligators, crocodiles, dolphins, egrets, manatees, osprey, and many other majestic creatures. KeyZ can also customize a boat tour to suit your specific desires.

Address: Robbies Marina, 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Dive Into The Deep Blue

Visitors to the Florida Keys are often looking to feel one with the ocean. We’ve highlighted a few options in the Islamorada area that offer a unique experience of the...

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Dive Into The Deep Blue

Visitors to the Florida Keys are often looking to feel one with the ocean. We’ve highlighted a few options in the Islamorada area that offer a unique experience of the deep blue, beyond the usual snorkel adventure

If you want to keep your legs on land, you can always explore the ocean vicariously at the History of Diving Museum. This special spot is also right here in Islamorada. Over a span of forty years, the museum founders acquired one of the world’s largest collections of diving helmets, hand-operated air pumps, armored suits, lights, memorabilia, prints, photographs, books, and more. Collected from more than 30 countries, these artifacts present a true deep-dive into the history of this barrier-breaking pastime. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

Superb Snorkeling & Top Notch Tunes

May is a lovely time to enjoy the outdoors in the Florida Keys. Languid beach days are always an option, but we suggest taking advantage of mild temperatures with a...

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Superb Snorkeling & Top Notch Tunes

May is a lovely time to enjoy the outdoors in the Florida Keys. Languid beach days are always an option, but we suggest taking advantage of mild temperatures with a more active exploration of our beautiful islands.

One option is to kayak to Indian Key. This sea journey only takes 20-30 minutes from Islamorada and will bring you to amazing waters for snorkeling and exploring a historic state park.
This little island was a bustling town in the 1830s, and the ruins of the site still remain under the jungle overgrowth. Just be careful when you pull ashore - the island was once surrounded by a coral reef and the shoreline is still rocky. To snorkel, look for a shell-encrusted bench on the island opposite the dock, which demarcates a good place to get in and out of the water.

If you’re looking for an outdoor soiree, the annual Key Largo Original Music Festival on May 16-19 will showcase an elite collection of Southern songwriters and performers of country, folk, pop, rock, and blues. Admission is free to all venues and the music continues late into the evenings with onstage performances from some of our favorite bands.

Beyond The Beaches

With our turquoise waters and long sunny days, sometimes it’s easy to forget that Islamorada has more to offer beyond coastal activities April is an ideal time to explore this...

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Beyond The Beaches

With our turquoise waters and long sunny days, sometimes it’s easy to forget that Islamorada has more to offer beyond coastal activities

April is an ideal time to explore this Florida Key before daytime temperatures rise for the summer.

One lesser known attraction is Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park. This unexpected gem of a state park features five easy nature trails for the whole family to enjoy. You can borrow a book from a ranger to learn more about local flora and fauna. Highlights of this spot include fossilized coral reefs that are nearly 200,000 years old - well worth the $2.50 entrance fee.

After sunset, there’s still more to explore away from the beach. Every third Thursday of the month, the Morada Way ArtWalks presents live music, performance artists, and local art, hand-crafted jewelry, sculptures and more. The event spans a quarter-mile of the Old Highway, between the 1934 Hurricane Monument and the intersection of Morada Way. The Art District’s business partners remain open late for this indoor and outdoor street festival.

Live Music On The Bay

Rock & roll, blues, jazz, country, Americana, and reggae… enjoy your genre of choice at this year’s Bay Jam. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as enjoying live music outdoors during...

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Live Music On The Bay

Rock & roll, blues, jazz, country, Americana, and reggae… enjoy your genre of choice at this year’s Bay Jam.

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as enjoying live music outdoors during one of the most gorgeous months of the year in the Florida Keys. Mild temperatures, sunny skies, and ocean breezes will set the tone for this daylong jam on the Florida Bay.

On March 31st from 11am until 7pm, show up at Founder’s Park to dance the day away. You’ll be asked for a $10 suggested donation for your ticket, but kids and seniors may enter for free. The annual event is run by a local non-profit organization, and ticket proceeds go toward scholarships for students in the arts. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, but coolers are not.
Bay Jam is the premier outdoor music festival in the Florida Keys. If you’re around, it’s not to be missed!