Vacation Homes: Islamorada, Florida

Feb 16, 2010
Outside Magazine

   Photo: Courtesy of A. Emtiaz/Florida Park Service

Not only the best fishing in the Keys, but an honest fishing-and-boating-village aesthetic, with roadside stands that have been pretty much unchanged for decades. You can cast near-shore flats for bonefish and tarpon or troll open waters for wahoo, yellowtail, and mahi-mahi. There's also wilderness kayaking in lush mangrove forests, great windsurfing and kitesurfing, and arguably our best domestic scuba, in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, 20 miles north.
NUMBERS: You can get a maintenance-friendly condo off the water, with strong rental-revenue potential, for less than $150,000.
INTEL: Islamorada is both a village and an island group, not a single key, with four "major" islands. The farther you get from town, the more off the grid you'll feel.
ACCESS: About 90 minutes from Miami's airport, 45 minutes farther to Fort Lauderdale.