We all know Pennekamp State Park is for the tourists and Biscayne National Park is for the serious snorkelers, but sometimes you just want to swim off the beaten path. A few miles west of Pennekamp is a popular snorkeling and recreation spot called Indian Key Historic State Park. It lies unconnected to the Overseas Highway, which means you can only reach it by boat, kayak, or heavy-duty swim fins, but rentals and tours are available from nearby marinas. (Robbie's Marina is a popular one, where you can also hand-feed large tarpon.) Instead of a sandy beach, the island has a coral/rocky shoreline with plentiful sea life just inches away from shore. Dolphins, manatees, sharks, rays, crabs, and lobster are seen frequently in the flats, while large fish are visible in the channels. The island itself is a historic site. It was the former Dade County seat (until Monroe County was established in 1836), and is home to a sunken galleon salvage fleet and Dr. Henry Perrine's botanical garden. Native Americans used it for thousands of years before that. Though most of the buildings are gone, lots of artifacts — including Perrine's plants — remain. Don't forget your diver down flag.

Location Details

Mile marker 78.5
Islamorada FL 33036


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