Alligator Reef Lighthouse is considered one of the best diving and snorkeling locations in all the Florida Keys. Back in 1825, while on a mission against pirates off the coast of Islamorada, the USS Alligator sank in shallow water. To prevent the 86 foot long ship from being salvaged by the pirates, the crew blew her up and she landed in two pieces on the ocean floor. This was the beginning of the great coral reef that is now home to over 500 species of marine life.
Snorkeling Cheeca Rocks is a real treat. It ranges from around 8 feet down to about 20 feet. Perfect for snorkeling and freediving for pictures. This near-shore hotspot is a favorite with younger children because of the shallow calm water. See sea fans, turtles, and dozens of species of tropical fish!
Indian Key is only located a ½ mile offshore but feels a world away. This 11-acre island is only accessible by boat and sits just off Lower Matacumbe. Once on the island, Take a self-guided tour around the historical ruins of the Jacob Housman’s 1830’s wrecking village. Here you will see the remains of buildings that were burned to the ground during the Indian attack in 1840. The crumbling foundations are surrounded by the sharp tipped sisal agave plants that have colonized the island after their introduction by Dr. Henry Perrine. While sitting under the shade of the West Indian tamarind trees, visitors can ponder what life would have been like living on this tiny island in days gone by. Be sure to climb the observation tower for a spectacular bird’s eye view of the island and surrounding blue water.
The world famous Islamorada sandbar is located less than a mile offshore around Mile Marker 84 on the Atlantic Ocean side. Very popular in the summer months, especially on holiday weekends, you will see hundreds of boats gather to create a huge party on the water. Because the water is shallow on the sandbar, you will see lounge chairs, barbecue grills, picnic table, umbrellas, all submersed in the water. The sandbar is a great spot for all ages, and even welcomes our four legged friends.
Another boating hotspot, White Marlin Beach is just a few miles from our docks. This bay side attraction is a wonderful alternative to the Islamorada sandbar if the winds are high coming off the Atlantic. There is no land access, however boaters can anchor up in just a few feet of gin clear water and white sand for a day of fun.
The virgin tropical hardwood hammock that thrives on this island was once common on most of Florida's Upper Keys.
n 1919, William J. Matheson, a wealthy Miami chemist, bought this tiny island and built a caretaker's home with a windmill for electricity and a cistern for rainwater. Today, his hideaway is the visitor center for this island forest.
Ranger-guided tours are given December through April. Tours are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
This underwater preserve features a submerged shipwreck that is perfect for diving and snorkeling.
Part of a Spanish flotilla, the San Pedro was a 287-ton, Dutch-built ship that sank in a hurricane on July 13, 1733. Its remains were discovered in 1960 in Hawk Channel near Indian Key.
After major salvage efforts in the 1960s, all that remains of San Pedro is a large pile of ballast stones covering an area 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The underwater site has been enhanced with seven replica cannons, an anchor and an information plaque. Visitors also can appreciate the marine life that inhabits the site.
This beautiful natural island is located about 2 miles from our docks. It's a favorite spot for families with kids because of the shallow clear water that is great for snorkeling the mangrove shoreline. The state maintains a series of five mooring buoys off the key's NW shoreline. There is also plenty of room to anchor.
Good depths of 6 feet or better are maintained to within 100 yards of the isle's NW banks.
This anchorage field affords good shelter from the wind.