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Florida Guide > Places to Visit

Interesting places to visit in South Florida with kids-part 3

On Day 3 we decided to travel about 55 miles south to Islamorada, a group of islands close to the continent’s only corral barrier reef. It is the second major island region of the super scenic Florida Keys.

Renowned for its sportfishing and diving, Islamorada has plenty to offer children. One classic attraction is the Theatre of the Sea - a marine mammal park where you can venture into the Atlantic waters on an Adventure and Snorkel Cruise. Guides give the kids a great commentary regarding the environment and help them explore the reef. As the grandchildren both swim like fish, this was a fantastic experience for them to take part in.

For lunch, we will never forget the Islamorada Fish Company. It’s casual festive atmosphere and waterfront location are only beaten by the kid proof menu which included fried food baskets which of course the grandchildren enjoyed! They then went on to have an enormous portion of key lime pie each, which fortunately they could not manage to totally consume, leaving it to us mere adults to finish off. Absolutely out of this world.

After stuffing ourselves full of very unhealthy food for lunch, we made a quick trip to Robbie’s Marina to feed the tarpons at the end of the dock before heading to Grassy Key’s Dolphin Research Centre. Here families can hang out with the dolphins for just the right amount of time in the new Dolphin Dip class (children under 3 are free). It is just one of the various places on the Keys where you can interact with dolphins.

After reaching Marathon, we had a lovely stop at the Cracked Conch Cafe where all the locals go for their fresh red snapper. Unfortunately after the lunch we had eaten, it was a couple of cold beers and soft drinks and ice cream for the kids.

Nearby, Crane Point has nature trails, touch tanks and a natural history museum where kids can learn all about the Keys and clamber aboard a re-created 17th century pirate ship. This was great fun for both the children and a great place to go before arriving at Marathon’s Sombrero Beach which was very accessible and has a playground, fishing pier and water with a soft, sandy bottom for wading. This was the perfect place to relax after our busy day and we all agreed that the three days were so different and exciting, although we were still excited to be heading back to Orlando feeling refreshed and ready for more Theme Parks!

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Page added on: 11 January 2010
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