52 Weeks of Fun

Not Just Destination Finders, But Destination Storytellers


Islamorada Chamber of Commerce

Sportfishing Capital of the World

Local Attractions

Known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World, Islamorada is a popular vacation destination enjoyed for its up-scale small-town atmosphere, scenic bay and ocean views, sunshine, boating, fishing, locally-owned restaurants, quaint shops, and galleries.

A Spanish treasure fleet was wrecked on the reefs of Islamorada during a hurricane in 1733. Subsequently, a wrecking industry thrived in the area from the late 1700s to the 1870s during which period Key West became the wealthiest city in the United States. The "wreckers" were paid a proportion of the value of the goods they salvaged from vessels unlucky enough to be wrecked on the reefs.

In the mid-to-late 1800s, the first settlers arrived from the Bahamas. In the 1850s the Russell family, with their eight children, settled in Matecumbe on 160 acres. In the 1870s, the Pinder family laid claim to a plot two miles south of the Russell's. They were followed by others, including the Parkers. The Pinders, after whom one of our houses is named, opened the first canning factory for that delicacy which would soon become renowned worldwide - pineapples. The farmers also raised limes, melons, and vegetables.

Henry M. Flagler began building a railroad to Key West in 1903. He filled swamps, bridged waterways, conquered jungles, and then did it all again after destruction by hurricanes. Flagler rode his train to Key West in 1912. Prior to Flagler's remarkable achievement, all transportation to the Keys was by water. The railway brought daytrippers and fishing enthusiasts, and the locals adapted to the needs of these early adventurers. In 1928, the first road opened, and the Keys began to truly flourish.

Much of the area is preserved in State Parks including Indian Key, Lignumvitae Key, and the San Pedro Underwater Park, where one of the 1733 galleons lies.


A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Islamorada

Sportfishing Capital of the World

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