Florida Keys Real Estate, Islamorada homes

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About Islamorada and the Florida Keys


About Islamorada

Imagine two seas brimming with the world's most sought-after gamefish: Sailfish, tuna and dolphin in our Atlantic, and a grand slam shot at permit, tarpon, and bonefish in the backcountry waters of Florida Bay. Add to that a selection of some of the finest charter boat captains and backcountry guides around, and you're in Islamorada, Sport Fishing Capital of the World.

An array of marine life inhabits the patch coral reef alongside our islands, making Islamorada a favorite also for divers. Landlubbers, on the other hand, may prefer viewing acrobatic dolphin and other deep sea stars at Windley Key's Theater of the Sea.

The shops and galleries at the Rain Barrel on Plantation Key offer a colorful collection of arts, crafts, and other creative island treasures. Robbie's Marina on Lower Matecumbe Key sells buckets of bait for feeding swarms of tarpon that linger off the dock. Islamorada and its surrounding areas also boast several state parks.

At Long Key State Recreation Area, campers can kick back or meander nature trails. Added trails are offered at Windley Key Quarry Fossil Reef State Geologic Site, where acres of fossilized coral and an environmental center are at-hand, and at Lignumvitae Key State Botanical Site-an island with the highest elevation in the Keys: a dizzying 18 feet.

Come visit Islamorada. Like all the Keys, you'll find it's rich in history.

Diving

Islamorada, long recognized as the "Sport Fishing Capital of the World," is now an icon among sport divers for much the same reason, a massive population of tropical marine life. High profile coral heads and broad ledges shelter huge congregates of French grunt and goatfish, while regal queen angelfish casually graze amid the reef recesses. Friendly green moray eels swim freely along the spur-and-groove channels, and reclusive nurse sharks lurk beneath the overhangs.

Islamorada offers a wide variety of shallow coral reefs, mini walls, shipwrecks, and even an underwater habitat for scientific research, the Aquarius. To learn more about Islamorada or any other manner of local lore, stop by the Chamber of Commerce at mile marker 82.5 or dial 1-800-322-5397.

* The Eagle - This 287-foot ship was intentionally sunk in 110 feet of water as a dive attraction and rests on her starboard side cloaked in a colorful patina of encrusting sponge and coral, populated by huge schools of grunt, tarpon, and jack.

* Davis Reef - This reef is revered for its incredible concentration of grunts and schoolmaster snapper, as well as several amiable resident green morays, long accustomed to benign interaction with the dive masters.

* Alligator Reef - Now marked by a 136-foot-tall lighthouse, on this spot in 1822 the USS Alligator grounded and sank while protecting a convoy from pirates. Now all that remains of the wreck are the twin piles of ballast stones, but the coral reef - in just 25 feet of water - is vibrant and alive.

* Conch Wall - Offering an exciting change of pace from the normal spur-and-groove profiles of most Keys' reefs, Conch Wall presents a precipitous sloping wall and captivating concentrations of barrel sponge and gorgonia punctuating the seafloor.

* Crocker Wall - A 450+-foot-long wall in 50 feet of water. The wall has a thirty-foot decline and features grunts, yellowtail and grouper with spur-and-groove coral and block coral on the wall.

* Pickles Reef - For macro photo enthusiasts, Pickles provides a wonderful opportunity to encounter the reef's minutia, from flamingo tongue cowries to banded coral shrimp, all amid a dynamic coral reef in only 15 to 25 feet of water.

Fishing in Islamorada

On the sea, you can let go and go after the big ones with a Charter Boat Captain. Or chase the wily bonefish and tarpon with one of our backcountry guides in the waters of Florida Bay or the Everglades

The waters of the Keys are teeming with some of the world's most sought after gamefish, making it a mecca for sportfishermen from around the globe.

More than 10 percent of the IGFA saltwater line class and fly fishing world records have been set in the Florida Keys - no other destination even comes close.

You don't have to be in search of a six-hour fight with a feisty marlin or a world record to appreciate what the Keys offers fishermen. Those with less lofty goals in mind will find plenty to please. Hire a guide to take you into the tranquil reaches of the backcountry for redfish, snook and trout, for instance. And there are plenty of charter boats and rental boats to take you out to fish.

From the big gamefish of the deep sea to the elusive tarpon and bonefish of the backcountry to the tasty grouper and yellowtail snapper of the reef system, The Keys delivers.

Interested in fishing? Go to www.yabbacharters.com

Fun Facts About the Keys

The Islamorada Restaurant made famous by Jackie Gleason?
-Ziggie’s Crab Shack, Mile Marker 83
The cannery for conch chowder and turtle soup?
-Sid & Roxie’s ( now Green Turtle Inn), Mile Marker 81.5
Where the movie “Key Largo” was filmed?
-Caribbean Club, Mile Marker 104
The current home of the African Queen?
-Holiday Inn, Mile Marker 100
The largest ship intentionally sunk as an artificial reef?
-Spiegel Grove, +/- 6 miles east of Mile Marker 100 Oceanside.

Parks and Attractions

This island at the top of the Florida Keys island chain boasts natural wonders plus friendly locals who are ready to help you enjoy them. You can arrange an eco-tour, float on a parasail, thrill yourself on a jet ski, or relax on a sunset sail or sightseeing tour. When you're done, you can unwind at one of our parks or beaches or stroll through a local art gallery.

Key Largo is home to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park which offers two swimming beaches and tons of dive opportunities. A little further south is Key Largo Community Park which features tennis courts, bike & jogging paths and the Jacobs Aquatic Center which features 3 pools: an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a ramp-accessible pool, and a child’s pool featuring a pirate ship and beachfront entry. In Tavernier on Plantation Key, you’ll find Harry Harris County Park which offers a boat ramp and swimming lagoon as well as ball fields.

Further south is Islamorada’s Founders park which offers a sandy beach and swimming pool set amid a beautiful outdoor recreation area, along with baseball fields, a dog park, a skate board park, soccer fields and plenty of room to have fun and relax. Nature lover? Stroll through Key Largo’s Wild Bird Rehabilitation Sanctuary. Manatees, a protected, endangered species familiarly known as the “sea cow”, frolic in the area’s clean canals. Take a ride to Big Pine Key and you are sure to see the famous and endangered miniature Key Deer. While on Big Pine Key, don’t forget to see the bat tower! Dolphins Plus at Mile Marker 99, Oceanside, in Key Largo, offers swims with dolphins! Further south, in Islamorada “Theater of the Sea” also offers swims with dolphins and sea lions!

There are many parks in and around Key Largo. Jacobs Aquatic Center is a 3 pool complex located in Key Largo Florida featuring: A 25-meter 8-lane MYRTHA competition pool, A 24x44 ramp-accessible multipurpose MYRTHA pool and an interactive play pool/water park (12-18" deep) featuring a Pirate Ship’s. Or you can go to John Pennekamp State park your gateway to the world famous Pennekamp / Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary featuring glass-bottom boats, snorkel and scuba tours, and family water fun. See the original boat from John Houston's classic film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.

The African Queen is also on display, free of charge. Rides can be arranged. You could also visit the Everglades national Park the only ecosystem of its kind in the world, encompasses some 1.4 million acres. Visitors see bald eagles and many of the 300 other species of birds found in the park as well as alligators, deer and bobcats. Activities include guided tours, canoeing, fish.

Art lovers are sometimes surprised by the variety of works they find on display in the galleries of Key Largo. The works range from inexpensive, hand-crafted pieces that cleverly capture the tropical beauty of the Keys to powerful sculptures made by internationally-renowned artists. We encourage art lovers to take a leisurely tour of the galleries of Key Largo.

Those who have always dreamed of interacting one-on-one with tropical sea creatures, such as the bottle-nosed dolphin pictured here, can do so at one of Key Largo’s educational dolphin facilities.

Where to Eat

Eating inthe Keys will become one of the best culinary experiences of your life. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast in one of our local restaurants and then head out for a fun day of fishing, diving, boating or snorkeling in the beautiful waters of the Keys.

At the end of your day, throw on a pair of shorts, shirt and sandals and head out to one of our many and varied restaurants. Here on the islands we have it all when it comes to good eating.

You many wish to start your evening with a margarita, rum runner, ice cold beer, glass of wine or any other refreshing beverage of you choice. Dine on or off the water, haute cuisine or simple wholesome fare and everything in between is available. Fresh local seafood tops the list of favorites but if you have a taste for steaks, Latin, Mexican or Oriental foods or just burgers or fast foods, you will find them all.

In addition to some of the national food chains, there are many wonderful individually owned and family owned restaurants that serve our locals and visitors. Just about every restaurant here serves the best Key Lime Pie you'll ever taste, you can even ship some home.

It's hard to go wrong no matter what your budget or taste. One thing we guarantee, you won't leave the Keys hungry. Don't forget to bring your appetite and enjoy!

Local Hospital

Mariners Hospital is located at Mile Marker 91.5, Bayside in Tavernier. Their telephone number is 305-852-4418, and the website is www.marinershospital.com. Mariners Hospital has been part of the Upper Keys community since 1959 when it opened its doors as a nine-bed physicians’ clinic. Today, Mariners is a 42-bed, community- based hospital and one of six hospitals affiliated with Baptist Health South Florida.

Our more than 200 employees and 70 staff physicians are committed to providing quality patient care. In fact, based on the latest data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 56% of our quality measures fall in the top 10 percent of all hospitals nationwide -- that’s significantly more than other Monroe County hospitals and Miami- Dade facilities. We’re also proud to tell you that, based on independent research, Mariners Hospital is in the top 2 percent in patient satisfaction compared to all hospitals nationwide

Houses of Worship

KEY LARGO:
Church of Christ at Key Largo, 100695 Overseas Hwy * 305-451-1194
Church of Nazarene, Mile Marker 100.3 * 305-451-1142
First Baptist Church of Key Largo, 99001 Overseas Hwy * 305-451-2265
Iglesia Bautista de Key Largo, 99001 Overseas Hwy * 305-451-3334
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall, Mile Marker 102.5 * 305-451-0288
Key Largo Baptist Temple 835 Largo Rd * 305-451-1642
Ocean Reef Chapel, 32 Ocean Reef Dr. * 305-367-2049
St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church, 105500 Overseas Hwy * 305-451-1316

TAVERNIER:
Burton Memorial United Methodist Church, 93001 Overseas Hwy * 305-852-2581
Church of God of Plantation Key, 161 Pearl Ave * 305-852-5996
Coral Isles United Church of Christ, 90001 Overseas Hwy * 305-852-5813
Immanuel Lutheran Church, 108 Ocean Dr. * 305-852-8711
Keys Jewish Community Center, Mile Marker 93.2 * 305-852-5235
San Pedro Catholic Church, 89500 Overseas Hwy * 305-852-5372
Spirit and Truth Ministries, 89655 Overseas Hwy * 305-852-7975

ISLAMORADA:
First Baptist Church of Islamorada, 81201 Overseas Hwy * 305-664-4910
Island Community Church, 83250 Overseas Hwy * 305-664-2781
Matecumbe United Methodist Church, Mile Marker 81 * 305-664-3661
St. James the Fisherman Episcopal Church, Mile Marker 87.5 * 305-852-8468

Local Schools

The upper Keys are home to an excellent school system including many public and private schools along with a local community college. In the state ranking, Monroe County places 10th out of 67 districts.

Key Largo Elementary & Middle School-(K-8) National School of Excellence! Located at Mile Marker 105, Oceanside, in Key Largo. This school has also been rated A+ for the past 4 years in a row. It is also listed as one of the Top 50 Schools in the nation! 104801 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo, FL 33037 * Phone: 305-453-1255 http://kls.monroe.k12.fl.us/

Plantation Key Elementary & Middle School- (K-8) An A-rated school by the Florida Department of Education. Located at Mile Marker 90, Bayside, 100 Lake Rd. Tavernier, FL 33070 * Phone: 305-852-3281. Http://pks.monroe.k12.fl.us/

Coral Shores High School- (9-12) A B-rated school by the Florida Department of Education. Located at Mile Marker 89.9, Oceanside, P.O. Box 416, Tavernier, FL 33070 * Phone: 305-853-3222. http://csh.monroe.k12.fl.us/

Florida Keys Community College Upper Keys Campus at Mile Marker 89.9, Oceanside, 89951 Overseas Hwy., Tavernier, FL 33070 * Phone: 305-852-8007 * Website: www.fkcc.cc

Along with the local schools the Keys also has many private schools in the area.

Montessori Located at Mile Marker 99.3, Oceanside in Key Largo, FL 33037. Their phone number is 305-453-3939.

Montessori Island School Located at Mile Marker 92.2, Oceanside in Tavernier, FL 33070. Their phone number is 305-852- 3438.

Island Christian School Located at Mile Marker 83.4, Bayside in Islamorada, FL 33036. Their phone number is 305-664- 4933.

Shopping

The Keys offers many shopping experiences. Our wide variety of retail shops offer a selection of island clothing, home and patio furnishings, unique custom jewelry, shoes, recreation equipment, tropical design items and much more.

Retail experience also includes galleries, book stores, florists, pet shops, video rentals, awards & trophy shop, consignment shops, interior designers, fish markets and of course grocery stores.