Islamorada

floridakeysaquariumencounters.com

A resort and a major attraction are reopening about three months after Hurricane Irma slammed into the Florida Keys.

Tourists can return to Islamorada’s Amara Cay Resort and Marathon’s Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters on Friday.

The Keys reopened to visitors Oct. 1, and most tourism facilities in less-affected Key Largo and Key West quickly recovered. But many properties elsewhere in the Keys were significantly impacted.

Saeed Adyani / Netflix

The Netflix series "Bloodline" recently released its third and final season. The show is set in Islamorada and did a lot of shooting there.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Art in Islamorada tends to focus on the subjects you might expect from a Florida Keys village that bills itself as "the sportfishing capital of the world." Popular subjects include the game fish that people pay thousands to pursue in Florida Bay and the deep Atlantic, as well as the palm trees and subtropical sunsets.

Monroe County Public Library

  Eighty years ago, hurricanes weren't given human names. So the storm that devastated the Upper Keys in 1935 is known simply by the day it swept across Islamorada: the Labor Day Hurricane.

Islamorada in 1935 was a small village of a few hundred people, scraping through the Depression growing Key limes and pineapples. The village was also the site of a camp for hundreds more: relief workers building a highway. Most of those workers were World War I veterans.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Indian Key at first appears like a typical South Florida island — mangroves on the shore, buttonwoods inland.

  But Brad Bertelli sees a different place. He sees Indian Key from almost two centuries back.

"In its heyday, the island was home to as many as 150 people," Bertelli said. "There were 45 buildings. There was a hotel with a nine-pin bowling alley. Billiards tables, restaurant, saloon."

Lt. David Carey / Monroe County Sheriff's Office

An Islamorada homeowner woke up Thursday morning to find an uninvited guest in the pool — an American crocodile.

The Lower Matecumbe resident called the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Deputies called in the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. Together, the law enforcement officers removed the croc, estimated to be about 8 feet long, and returned it to its natural habitat: saltwater.

Keys InfoNet

Since March 16, the last drawbridge on the Overseas Highway has only opened once an hour.

Before that, it opened twice an hour — which caused massive backups through the village of Islamorada in the Upper Keys, said Islamorada Mayor Mike Forster.

On Thursday, the Coast Guard informed the village that it would be extending the test period of once-an-hour openings for another 30 days, Forster said. The test period had been scheduled to end this Tuesday.

"It's been pretty effective," Forster said.

Head To The Florida Keys for Beer Milkshakes

Jul 30, 2013
David Samayoa

Combine two hot-weather refreshments, beer and ice cream, and you get a beer milkshake. Depending on your perspective, this beverage may sound either intriguing or alarming, but two restaurants in the Keys pull of the mash-up successfully.

M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom, 88005 Overseas Hwy (at MM 88), Islamorada; 305-852-3833

Balancing Tourism With Eco-Preservation On Islamorada

Jul 23, 2013
Cammy Clarck/Miami Herald

A proposal to build an eco-friendly resort in the Upper Keys is raising questions about how to marry economic development and environmental preservation.

Coral Springs urologist Dr. Albert Vorstman owns eight acres of land in Islamorada along US-1 that Miami Herald reporter Cammy Clark described in a recent article: