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(2016 - Winter Issue)

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Roughly halfway down the jewelled necklace that is the Florida Keys, you discover a harmonious group of six islands called Islamorada.

Stop beside the highway and book a fishing charter at a vividly painted oasis of royal blue and lemon where boats line up at the edge of sun-sparkling sapphire seas, just waiting for you to step aboard and ply these waters while you channel the ghost of Hemingway in the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.”


Get even closer to the sea—at a fascinating museum that introduces you to diving from the earliest experiments in underwater exploration to the latest trends. In one exemplary exhibit at the History of Diving Museum you can even feel like you’ve descended to the depths without getting wet.

But maybe you want to get wet. Check out Anne’s Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key. Get away from it all, relax on fine white sand guarded by mangroves or stroll the wetlands on the boardwalk.

If you want to get wet with company, Theater of the Sea is a must-do. Swim with the dolphins or sea lions. Or learn about those other creatures who share these waters.


Maybe soak up some culture. Make like a patron of the arts in the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District. Browse galleries housed in quirky pastel-painted cottages, listen to live music and take in performance artists if you come during the monthly ArtWalk. And dine al fresco for a reward.

Then work off those calories at Founders Park (free park admission if you have booked accommodation here). Take in an aerobics or aquafit class, maybe learn to salsa. Or just get on the bike and pump those quads in the shaded fitness area.

Given the breadth of things to do here on this village of islands that includes Upper and Lower Matecumbe, Lignumvitae and Windley Keys, you’d think the original Spaniards blew it when they called it “Purple Island” or “Islamorada.”

Having discovered a veritable necklace of delights, a chain of gems to explore and savour, you’ve opted for a new name for Islamorada.

Welcome to a “String of Pearls.”


More pearls wait to be discovered at fla-keys.com/islamorada  or call 1-800-fla-keys.

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