Below is a list of my favorite local spots, where I send family and friends. A more complete list of options can be found at the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce’s website: http://www.islamoradachamber.com
Angler House Marina Mile Marker 80.5, Oceanside. (877) 278-0369. Known as the “hidden hideaway of The Florida Keys.” Formally known as La Siesta, the new Angler House Marina is a mix of liveaboards, backcountry guides, and anglers hanging out at The Canoe Club which is the honor bar upstairs at under the tiki roof. This is without a doubt, the best little marina in the Keys. Clean bathrooms with showers, BBQ, full bar and a friendly place to hang out before and after your Florida Keys fishing excursion.
Janet and Mike’s Keys Cottage Mile Marker 76.7, Oceanside. (270) 210-6845. A beautiful, recently updated, 900 sq. ft. cottage in Lower Matecumbe with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. Three big flat screen TV’s, full kitchen, living room and BBQ. Perfect economical option for fisherman seekinga calm, quiet, affordable retreat. Feed the tarpon at Robbie’s Marina, eat at Habanos Restaurant and also have access to the homeowner association’s outdoor pool.
The Islander Resort Mile Marker 82.1, Oceanside. (800) 753-6002. Twenty acre property with sandy beach, poolside bar and restaurant, pier, water sports. All newly renovated ground floor units.
Casa Morada 136 Madeira Road, Oceanside, near Mile Marker 82. (888) 881-3030. An intimate, all-suites hotel. Peaceful and secluded. Kayaks, BBQ, in-room phones, safes, cable TV.
Kon Tiki Resort Mile Marker 81.2, Bayside. (305) 664-4702. Boat basin, pool. Efficiencies available.
Cheeca Lodge and Spa Mile Marker 81.8, Oceanside. (305) 664-4651. Luxurious resort with spa, pool, golf, tennis, water sports and in-house babysitting.
La Siesta Resort Mile Marker 80.2, Oceanside. (877) 278-0369. Known as the “hidden hideaway of The Florida Keys.” La Siesta Resort and Marina is a mix of cottages, island retreat-style suites and secluded bungalows that offer an unexpected blend of tropical charm and sophistication.
Mangrove Mike’s Café Mile Marker 82.2, Bayside. (305) 664-8022. Specializing in generous portions of breakfast and lunch family dining. Bakery. Open daily 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call ahead for subs and box lunches to go.
The Hungry Tarpon Mile Marker 77.5, Bayside. (305) 664-0535. Open daily 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dine by the water overlooking Robbie’s Marina, or soak up the A/C in a traditional conch house-turned diner. Stay to feed the wild tarpon at Robbie’s.
Midway Cafe & Coffee Bar Mile Marker 80.5, Oceanside. (305) 664-2622. Wraps, sandwiches, pastries, and vegan menu items for breakfast and lunch. Coffee beans roasted on premises.
Morada Bay Mile Marker 81.6, Oceanside. (305) 664-0604. An outdoor Mediteranean bistro in the sand open for lunch and dinner. Live unique entertainment, spectacular sunsets, and a large child-friendly beach with giant Adirondack chairs.
Lazy Days Restaurant Mile Marker 79.8, Oceanside. (305) 664-5256. Bird’s eye oceanfront dining indoors or out, lunch and dinner. All seafood is local and fresh. Menu also includes steak, chicken and pasta. Reservations recommended.
Ziggie’s & Mad Dog’s Mile Marker 83, Bayside. (305) 664-3391. Steaks, chops, and fresh local seafood served in sleek, sophisticated surroundings. Orchid-garnished cocktails and international wine list. Open for dinner only. Reservations recommended.
Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar Mile Marker 82, Bayside. (305) 664-4656 Outdoor dining on the bay for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Home of the famous sunset celebration. Boaters welcome. Live music.
Ma’s Fish Camp 105 Palm Ave., Islamorada. (305) 517-9611. Modern and healthier take on traditional Key’s entrees.