Travel, Food & Books


Islamorada pronounced as “eye la more ah dah” means the village of islands in Spanish. Located about 36km away from the last place we stayed, Key Largo, Islamorada was our third stop, on our way to Key West.

The Purple Isle, nicknamed by Spanish explorers centuries ago perceived the world-class sportfishing as well as fishing tournaments.

Hadley House Resort

Hadley House is a coastal-style new boutique resort in Islamorada featuring modern decoration and resort-inspired facilities. There are two different structures in this resort – houses, and apartments.

The apartment located about two metres away from the marina offers a great Seaview, while the beautiful little houses are close to the pool and the reception.

We arrived at 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 had 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-bedroom 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.

Video of Hadley House Resort

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 on 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 in 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, and Stone Oven Pizzeria for Pizza to snack on. It was also where the next-door, Whistle Stop, ordered their pizza from.

For a Chinese takeaway, they have the Taki Outi, and for grocery shopping, there was Publix supermarket. These places were 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’s drinking and fighting scenes took place.

The Whistle Stop offers all sorts 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 grocery shopping, we walked past this unique museum. This nonprofit museum was established and opened in September 2005 and is committed to collecting and conserving any history related to Diving and then displaying it for the public. The 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 online that some claimed to swim over to this lighthouse every year, while others by kayaking.

Theater of the Sea

Theatre 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 allow visitors to interact 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 sharks), meet the Sea Turtle or the Alligator or participate in more relaxing programs such as paint with the Dolphins or Sea lions.

Hurricane Monument

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 a visit, but after our long walk in Key Largo, I didn’t have the urge to walk in 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

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