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View Full Version : Things to do other than dive around Islamorada/Tavernier area?



Malbec
01-24-2008, 13:08
We've got our diving as figured out as we can get it while it's still three months out, so now we're trying to figure out what to do to fill the rest of the time we're in the Keys.

We're particularly interested in boating and biking- a nice sunset cruise would be wonderful if anyone has a recommendation. Any guided bike tours or trails you'd recommend?

We'll do all our diving in the first few days of our trip, so of course the most important question for the last few days is- who makes the best margaritas!? :smiley20:

mpd525
01-24-2008, 14:57
me and the wife leave on feb 20th, and i'll let you know about the margaritas, we're not much on biking so i won't be much help there.

I know their is an aquaruim,and a couple of dolphin places to go, and we plan on doing one of those, so as soon as we get back, i'll post a trip report.

BusDiver
01-24-2008, 15:30
You have to feed the tarpon at Robbie's. The greatest tourist trap of all time. Drink beer and hand feed big fish.

My wife and friends enjoy drinking at Lara Lie's (sp?). It is on the bayside around mile marker 80. Nice place to relax after cocktails.

Enjoy. I am attempting to get down there in May.

Malbec
01-24-2008, 17:18
Thanks for the advice, guys!

I'll have to check out Robbie's. Are you talking about Lorelei's, by chance? I saw it on a map and I'm guessing it's the same place.

mpd525- enjoy warm and sunny Florida while the rest of us are up here freezing our buns off- have fun!

Capt Hook
01-24-2008, 20:40
You might check out Theater of The Sea, good way to kill an afternoon.

BuzzGA
01-24-2008, 21:52
Try the Islamorada Sea Food Company. Great seating right on the water and a "lagoon" full of tarpon and nurse sharks. Good place to watch the sunset, have some food and a cold one (or two)

BusDiver
01-25-2008, 07:00
thank you for correcting the spelling. Keep in mind the everglades are just north of where you are staying. There are numerous eco-tours that are offered in that area.

You can rent kayaks and paddle all over the place. The bay side is great at sunset. If you get down to Bahia Honda (sp?) there is diving, biking and kayaking right on sight.

When I head down I want to check out that Islamorada Sea Food joint with the nurse sharks. Nice suggestions. The theater of the sea is entertaining but pricey. Actually all the dolphin encounters are pricey.

Malbec
01-27-2008, 15:51
So far these all sound like wonderful suggestions-

Seafood? Check!
Dolphin encounter? Check!
Kayaking in the Everglades? Check!

Maybe we should be going to the Keys for longer than we are... :smiley2:

No suggestions for sunset cruises, though, eh? We'll just have to stay busy with all the other things I guess!

BusDiver
01-30-2008, 19:33
Sundowner's is a great place for dinner, lots of locals and a nice place to eat. Great Mojito.

Key largo Coffee House--great environment, great breakfast, great desserts, very cool place with free wi-fi

BusDiver
01-30-2008, 19:40
Avoid Snooks in Key Largo. It is located on Bayside and you would figure it would be great. I have tried this place a few times thinking it was a fluke that service and experience could be so bad. I have asked for the alcohol on the side in drinks because I was convinced there was not alcohol in the drink. It has taken Snooks over 1 hour to bring drinks to our table. 12 other people in the restaurant.

No more, for the same view with a good experience you go down to Lorrelei's (sp) in islamorada.

There is a bar/restaurant located on the Atlantic side that I go to when we are down there. Great service, great food, great drinks. It is in a marina, located by I believe Crystal divers, part Tiki/part fancy. Around mile marker 98ish. Great place, just can't remember the name. Anyway, right by there, not on the water is a cuban restaurant painted with crazy colors. Great place for food.

More to come. Because of the OP I am planning another trip down there with my neighbor for diving, drinking, and fishing. Thank you OP

BusDiver
01-30-2008, 19:47
The Pilot House is the bar/restaurant I was thinking of. It took three phone calls to friends for people to shake it out of their haze. Good place for food and cocktails.

In the same series of phone calls two friends reflected on how bad Snooks was and my father reiterated how good the mojito was at sundowners.

I swear folks, my friends and I do more then just drink in the keys. Occasionally we blow bubbles.

jeepbrew
01-30-2008, 19:47
The Florida Keys History of Diving Museum is located at MM83 on Islamorada. I was there in '06 about a month or so before they opened but the owner was nice enough to let us come in and take the tour. They have a lot of neat stuff (artifacts, old scuba gear, sharks teeth, etc...) and it is definitely worth a visit... especially if you have a day of poor weather.

BusDiver
01-30-2008, 19:54
Didn't the owner pass a few months ago? It is a neat place to spend between diving and bars, but I am not sure if it going to be staying open.

jeepbrew
01-30-2008, 21:00
Didn't the owner pass a few months ago? It is a neat place to spend between diving and bars, but I am not sure if it going to be staying open.

Not sure. That is the first I have heard of the owner passing and/or it closing. I did hear that it was still open in December.

Osprey
01-31-2008, 07:50
Any good beaches just to wade into the water and kick about, but still see some neat things? Or snorkel tour?

mike_s
01-31-2008, 07:56
Try the Islamorada Sea Food Company. Great seating right on the water and a "lagoon" full of tarpon and nurse sharks. Good place to watch the sunset, have some food and a cold one (or two)


This was going to be my suggestion. get there before sunset and eat dinner. They have fish basket food, but it's so fresh that it still has salt on it from the ocean.

at sunset, they feed all the fish scraps to the tarpon and nurse sharks. They eat it out of the feeders hands sometimes. It's pretty neat to watch.

sunsets are great. sit back and have a cold one like Buzz says.

There is also a Bass Pro Shop on site with Hemmingways old boat inside. It's kinda neat also.

BusDiver
01-31-2008, 07:57
Dr. Joseph Bauer passed april 3rd, 2007. His wife now runs the museum. I thought I had seen that the founder (or at least one of the founders had passed). I am glad it remains open. Truly worth a visit.

Beaches. There is John Pennekamp which has a beach and fun snorkeling right off that beach. There are beaches located on the Atlantic side as you drive south. The best beach is Bahia Honda south of the 7 mile bridge. A great place to spend the day.

Malbec
02-01-2008, 16:57
Did someone say Bass Pro Shops? Quick, delete this thread before my husband "hears"! We'd spend our whole vacation there, against my will :smiley11:

I will write down the name of some of the places you mentioned, Bus Diver. I definitely will NOT go to Snooks! I'll try Lorelei's, the Pilot house, the no-name Cuban place and Islamorada fish company (isn't that the name of the restaurant chain in the Bass Pro Shops, anyway? Is it close by? If so we're not going!!!)

I have heard good things about Pennekamp state park.

I'm glad I inspired you to take another trip- let me know how it turns out!

BSea
02-01-2008, 17:08
Did someone say Bass Pro Shops? Quick, delete this thread before my husband "hears"! We'd spend our whole vacation there, against my will :smiley11:

I will write down the name of some of the places you mentioned, Bus Diver. I definitely will NOT go to Snooks! I'll try Lorelei's, the Pilot house, the no-name Cuban place and Islamorada fish company (isn't that the name of the restaurant chain in the Bass Pro Shops, anyway? Is it close by? If so we're not going!!!)

I have heard good things about Pennekamp state park.

I'm glad I inspired you to take another trip- let me know how it turns out!
Don't worry, it's nowhere as big as the 1 in Springfield. And Yes, the Islamorada Fish Company is right beside the Bas ProAnd but if he goes in, you can just hang out by the water & watch the sun go down.

Besides, if you drive down the keys, he's going to see it anyway. Since there is only 1 main road, most major attractions are right on highway 1. At least till you get down to Key West.

Black-Gorrilla
02-03-2008, 00:04
Did someone say Bass Pro Shops? Quick, delete this thread before my husband "hears"! We'd spend our whole vacation there, against my will :smiley11:

I will write down the name of some of the places you mentioned, Bus Diver. I definitely will NOT go to Snooks! I'll try Lorelei's, the Pilot house, the no-name Cuban place and Islamorada fish company (isn't that the name of the restaurant chain in the Bass Pro Shops, anyway? Is it close by? If so we're not going!!!)

I have heard good things about Pennekamp state park.

I'm glad I inspired you to take another trip- let me know how it turns out!
Don't worry, it's nowhere as big as the 1 in Springfield. And Yes, the Islamorada Fish Company is right beside the Bas ProAnd but if he goes in, you can just hang out by the water & watch the sun go down.

Besides, if you drive down the keys, he's going to see it anyway. Since there is only 1 main road, most major attractions are right on highway 1. At least till you get down to Key West.

BSea is right... there is no way to drive down and not see the bass pro... it's big... there are signs... and he will see it...
only thing i can suggest, if you really wanna avoid bass pro..... give him some niQuil and hope he sleeps right past it.:smiley36:, other than that, you might be in there for at least an hour or two, but as mentioned... watch the sun go down, it is really nice to see.