Islamorada, pronounced as “eye la more ah dah” means village of islands in Spanish. The Purple Isle, nicknamed by Spanish explorers centuries ago perceived the world-class sportfishing as well as fishing tournaments. Located about 36km away from the last place we stayed, Key Largo, Islamorada was our third stop, on our way to Key West.
Hadley House Resort
Hadley House is a coastal-style new boutique resort in Islamorada featuring a modern decoration and resort-inspired facilities. There are two different structures in this resort, houses and apartment. The apartment located about two metres away from the marina offers a great Seaview, while the beautiful little houses close to the pool and the reception.
We arrived in this resort quite early, and while waiting for the room to be ready at 4 pm (check-in time), we utilised the facilities and also wandered around the properties.
The swimming pool water was hot, and they have a few shades which were great to avoid the scorching sun. While lounging around the pool, we saw an Iguana climbing on the coconut tree.
We had a nice upgrade on this property, and it made our stay even more relaxing and enjoyable. The Two Bedrooms Ocean View Suite was very spacious with modern appliances and the living room as well as the bedrooms come with 50-inch HD Channels screens.
We especially loved the wide balcony and found ourselves spending more time in the suite than going out! Although we did venture out for a while to do some shopping and use the facility – Dad and Mike used the Kayak.
In the daylight, we chilled out at the balcony, which offers a 180° view of the Atlantic Ocean. Watched as the birds flew past to the other side, and the fishing boat sailed away to the deeper part of the sea to catch fish.
When the night fell, we could see stars twinkling on the night sky, and occasionally lightning lit up over the horizon.
While in Islamorada, we went to the restaurants nearby such as the Whistle Stop Liquor Store & Sports Grill where we bought our beers, Stone Oven Pizzeria for Pizza to snack on, it’s also where the next door Whistle Stop ordered a pizza from, the Taki Outi for Asian food take away, and Publix supermarket for groceries shopping as we did some cooking in the suite. These places are within walking distance; not more than one kilometre away from Hadley House.
Whistle Stop Liquor Store & Sports Grill
Directly opposite the red train car on the highway in Islamorada, one can find The Whistle Stop located at mile marker 82.6. This bar was one of the places featured in the Bloodline series on Netflix where Danny Rayburn drinking and fighting scenes took place.
The Whistle Stop offers all sort of entertainment you can find in a bar such as pool tables, darts, a jukebox, video games, TVs for watching your favourite sports, and not forgetting free popcorn at the bar. It opens every day of the week from 12 pm to 3 am and happy hours from 4 pm until 6 pm, seven days a week.
The History of Diving Museum
While walking towards the Publix supermarket for groceries shopping, we walked past this unique museum. This nonprofit museum was established and opened in September 2005 and is committed to collect and conserve any history related to Diving and then displaying it out for the public. Majority of the museum’s artefacts were a contribution from the founder, Drs. Joe and Sally Bauer, who holds one of the largest collections of memorable diving gear and research texts in the world.
Alligator Reef Lighthouse
From the balcony of our two-bedroom suite in Hadley House, we could see the 136-foot lighthouse in the distance, a station established in 1873. Despite the name, there’s no alligator out there, but rich with marine life. To get to this place, one can take a boat ride, and I read from online that some claimed to swim over to this lighthouse every year, while the others by kayaking.
Theater of the Sea
Theater of the Sea is one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world. The P.F. McKenney family who owned the place has been operating it since 1946 with the mission to provide a pleasant home for the animals as well as allowing visitors to interacts with the animals up close and personal from the various programs and shows offered.
This place opens daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm, but the ticketing counter only opens until 3:30 pm. Visitors can choose the programs to swim or wade with the animals (Dolphins, Rays, Sea lions or Shark), meet the Sea Turtle or the Alligator or participate in more relaxing programs such as paint with the Dolphins or Sea lions.
On our way down to Key West, Dave pointed out this monument to us. The memorial tribute to the hundreds who died in the Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. I knew about this memorial and had planned for a visit, but after our long walk in Key largo, I didn’t have the urge to walk on the scorching sun again.
Dedicated to the memory of the civilians and war veterans whose lives were lost in the hurricane of September Second, 1935.Source: Information Plaque
Travel Date: 29th July ~ 31st July 2019