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Florida's Upper Keys: Islamorada Vacations Hit the Spot
By Caitlin Moore

The Florida Keys are an especially treasured portion of the peninsula that is one big playground for men, women and children of all age and temperament. Everyone can find something pleasant to do here, particularly in Islamorada; this 'Village of Islands' is primarily known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World but it has so much more going for it than rods and reels. Leave all preconceived notions on the mainland, because anything could happen in this exotic and action-packed destination.

To acknowledge the reputation that precedes it, Islamorada is indeed a top-notch place to cast a line. The waters are jumping with tuna, sailfish, tarpon, bonefish and more both in the Atlantic and Florida Bay, and interested fishers can either rent a boat and head out on their own or reserve some time with an experienced charter boat captain. There?s plenty of wild open sea to explore and many channels to troll, enough even to satisfy those die-hard fisherpeople stuck on dry land 99% of the time.

After, or in lieu of, getting your sport fishing fix it?ll be tough to decide what to do next. Scuba divers will find incredible conditions for taking a deep-sea plunge within the network of coral reefs that line the islands, and just about anyone will be thrilled at the prospect of swimming with the dolphins that frolic in these seas. Ecotours will further reveal the marine environment in all its glory and allow glimpses of manatees, crocodiles and a variety of birds. The backcountry is a place unlike any other and will no doubt suck you and your companions in for an informative and engrossing journey.

This trip might spark some interest in seeing more of Mother Nature, so save some time to hit one of the state parks. Lignumvitae is located on its own little island and is accessible to boaters looking to see the Botanical Park and the tropical forest. For a little human intervention but just as many thrills, try Marine Mammal Adventure Park on for size. This is the place to swim with sting rays, sea lions or dolphins under the guidance of professionals in a fun and safe setting. And, if your schedule allows it the History of Diving Museum is another Islamorada point of interest worth taking a look at.

Of course there should be plenty of just plain down time during this vacation. Florida trips tend to bring out the lazybones in people, so go ahead and indulge the urge to lie peacefully on the beach or take the occasional (or daily) nap. Lots of restaurants and bars are on hand to take care of hungers for seafood and thirsts for fruity drinks, and all the souvenir bases will be covered thanks to the array of shops that can be found on the island. The Wide World of Sports sells some of the best outdoor gear around, displays a huge aquarium and even contains a replica of Ernest Hemingway?s boat.

With all the typical Florida diversions plus a few unexpected ones that only the keys seem to offer (an extra-laid back attitude, a definite feeling of away-ness, etc?) a trip to Islamorada, meaning ?purple island? by the way, will no doubt lead to the realization of any and all vacation goals that you and your companions might have come up with. In addition to ridding the body of all stress and working on your tan, you?ll also have time to reconnect and remember how much fun it is to spend time with the people you love.

This particular aspect of the trip will come off especially smoothly if you decide to rent a vacation home. By settling into an Islamorada Vacation Rental, be it a spacious villa, a modern beach condo or a teeny-tiny romantic cottage, complications will fall by the wayside in favor of living a life of simplicity. Use an affordable waterfront house as your home base for exploring Islamorada and the surrounding keys, and don?t be surprised if you end up with a better knowledge of what it is to be truly satisfied with a vacation. is the place to go for all vacation rental needs.

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