The Top Honeymoon To-Dos in Islamorada
If you're looking forward to a relaxing, stress-free honeymoon, look no further than the Florida Keys. Laid-back Islamorada, located halfway between Miami and Key West, is the perfect spot to unwind and unplug. Known as the sportfishing capital of the world, this is the place to go if you want to reel in big-game fish out on the ocean or dip your pole right off the dock of your hotel. Add in its sunny beaches, temperate waters and fresh seafood, and Islamorada will tick off all the boxes on your ideal honeymoon checklist. Read on for our picks for where to stay and what to do—though we won't judge if you decide to do a whole lot of nothing.
Sun worshippers take note: For soaking up rays on the beach or marveling at the riot of colors as it sinks into the ocean, Islamorada is the place to be. (They don't call Florida the Sunshine State for nothing.)
How cute are these brightly colored oceanfront cottages for two? As one of the only Islamorada resorts with its own private sandy beach, you'll be just steps away from the Atlantic. And there's both a heated and freshwater pool for afternoon dips and tanning poolside (don't forget the SPF!). When you want a break from sunbathing, rent a complimentary kayak, paddleboard, bicycle or fishing equipment, or take the shuttle to nearby sister resort Postcard Inn for tiki drinks and dinner.
Eat: Morada Bay
Head to this picturesque bayside retreat, which offers two on-site restaurants: the upscale Pierre's or the casual Beach Café, both of which are famous for their stunning sunset views. Watch the magic happen from the second-floor wraparound veranda at Pierre's, or from a table right on the sand at the Beach Café. If the timing works out, don't miss the monthly Full Moon Party, complete with fireworks, performers and DJs. For the best sunset viewing, reserve a VIP table in the sand, which comes with a bottle of champagne and your own server—the perfect opportunity to toast to your newlywed status.
When you're ready to explore, walk around the six-block cultural district in downtown Islamorada where you'll find galleries, restaurants and studio spaces helmed by local artists—perfect for picking up unique handcrafted souvenirs. The monthly Art Walk features even more outdoor vendors, food trucks and artists selling their wares. For a taste of the local beer scene, stop by the neighboring Florida Keys Brewery to sample a flight of seasonal microbrews in the charming back garden.
Whether you're into diving, snorkeling or boating—or just dining with your toes in the water—you'll find tons of fun saltwater activities to take advantage of in Islamorada.
Stay: Cheeca Lodge & Spa
With its turquoise waters, soaring palm trees and expansive wooden fishing dock, this ocean-facing hotel and spa is perfect for active days and romantic nights. Take a dip in the saltwater lagoon, and try on-site watersports and activities—there's something for everyone, from kayaking in clear-bottomed boats to stand-up paddleboarding to a leisurely pedal boat excursion. Back on land, you and your partner can enjoy an in-room massage, dine at any of the four restaurants, or hit the oceanfront tiki bar.
Eat: Marker 88
At waterfront bar and grill Marker 88—an Islamorada institution since 1967—join the regulars and shed your shoes to wade in the water between courses. Enjoy specialties like freshly caught Florida Keys lobster and yellowtail snapper, before sipping cocktails from colorful Adirondack chairs planted directly in the sand a few feet from the bay.
Visit: Theater of the Sea and History of Diving Museum
At the 17-acre marine mammal park Theater of the Sea, you can swim with dolphins, sharks, stingrays and sea lions; take an adventure and snorkel cruise; or enjoy one of the many animal exhibits and performances. We recommend the bottomless boat ride (we're not talking mimosas): a tour of the main lagoon aboard an open-center boat as dolphins swim alongside you. And if you're interested in undersea exploration—without having to put on a scuba tank—visit the History of Diving Museum to tour fun exhibits about sunken treasure, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and more.
There's no shortage of specialties from the sea to savor in Islamorada. What could be better than catching your own dinner together, followed by oysters and bubbly for your honeymoon meals à deux?
Stay: Pines & Palms Resort
Fishing devotees should post up at the Pines & Palms, where every suite or standalone cottage is equipped with a full kitchen to stash and cook your catch. Meet with on-site boat captains—including Islamorada's only spearfishing guide—at the poolside bar to plan your private on-the-water adventure. After snagging a snapper, redfish or stone crab, you can even request a BBQ be sent to your room to grill up your dinner.
Eat: Lazy Days and Green Turtle Inn
For a true seafood feast, start with the raw bar at Lazy Days and then let the chefs cook up your fresh catch just the way you like it—grilled, broiled, blackened or fried. The customizable theme continues with your seating options; choose from the outdoor patio, inside porch, happy hour at the bar, or open-air beachfront tables tucked right in the sand at the water's edge. You'll also want to check out the casual Green Turtle Inn, open for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Florida fish arrives daily and is featured in a variety of dishes, from the Keys benedict to Barney's fish sandwich.
Visit: Robbie's of Islamorada
Get ready to spend the whole day exploring this marina. Book a fishing expedition helmed by an experienced captain and try your hand at hooking some wahoo, blackfin tuna, amberjack, or the occasional blue marlin. Then browse the local artwork and photography at the open-air market before fueling up at the restaurant, or cooling down at the waterfront Thirsty Tarpon Bar with their famous bloody mary. Speaking of tarpons, Robbie's is also famous for its tarpon feeding—for a few bucks, you can buy some bait and hand-feed these six-to-eight-foot fish. Have your camera ready to capture the powerful tarpon leaping out of the water; you'll want to preserve yet another unforgettable moment during a honeymoon sure to be full of them.
Find even more amazing places to stay and activities to plan for your Islamorada honeymoon here.