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“Amazing History”

Indian Key State Historic Site
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Eco-Adventure and Snorkel Cruise
Ranked #14 of 60 things to do in Islamorada
Certificate of Excellence
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Amazing History”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Most people have no idea of the amazing history of this little island less then a mile from the bridge they drive over. Now a historic State Park, the island is accessible only by boat, kayak or ferry from Robbie's Marina. Purchased by John Houseman in 1831 after he was thrown out of Key West for unscrupulous wrecking practices (!) he created a thriving wrecking business on the island & built his own small empire to include a hotel, warehouse, store and homes for the 40-50 men, women & children. In 1840, a band of 100 Indians attacked the island, killing several people. The park service has cleared the original town "streets", built an observation tower and cleared the gravestone of John Houseman, but only cisterns and rock outlines of dwellings remain.

Visited July 2013
5 Thank Savvytravelertoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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204 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Plantation, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Birthday fun days”
Reviewed July 4, 2013

WE spend my birthday in this secluded hideaway. This was the beginning of Miami Dade as we now know it. A fun nature filled time, you need a boat or yak to get there!!!

Visited July 2013
Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
316 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 277 helpful votes
“Step back in History”
Reviewed July 3, 2013

You can only get to this small island by boat. Was a settlement of white people who were "eliminated" by the local indian population. Its a self guided tour of what is left of the settlement, and its streets. It makes you realize how difficult life was back then.........We spent about an hour walking through the entire area. The kids enjoyed the history lesson, it was definitely interesting and different.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Slayridez06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Unexpectedly fantastic adventure”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

On a whim, my family and I headed south to Robbie's Marina in Islamorada, Florida to begin a kayak adventure to Indian Key State Historic Park. It was that easy. Robbie's marina is a hot spot for food, boating rentals, and touristy shopping. Parking was easy as people were constantly coming and going. We were greeted at the rental desk by friendly staff who explained where we would be paddling and how long each segment of our day would take. Next thing you know, we were loading ourselves and the small cooler provided for us, into kayaks and heading out to sea. The 25-35 minute paddle was truly serene. The waters are shallow so no speedboats fly by as you cross under US1 and head east to the island. The island itself is practically deserted, with a few other visitors popping up now and again. We immediately were met by the ranger monitoring the key. He gave great historical information and suggestions on where we could jump in and snorkel around the shallow waters. The kayaks had bungee cords and a small storage space to hold our equipment along with the cooler. There are no facilities and there is no water or food on the island; it must come with you. We snorkeled around to the Atlantic side, safely away from the boat dock, spotting stingrays, sea urchins, lobsters and lots of coral. After snorkeling, we toured the ruins on the island following the clean trails. Street signs noted the historic design of the original county seat of Dade County, complete with a town center (empty field). The sites themselves are not the reason to visit. It is the journey to and around the island that makes this a cool trip. Once back in the kayaks we returned to shore and continued our afternoon exploring the mangroves just to the west of the marina. The staff was waiting to help us back in and after a rinse with the fresh water shower we sat down to fresh fish tacos at The Hungry Tarpon, just next to the docks. Great adventure for our group, ranging in age from 14 to 40 something...

Visited June 2013
4 Thank AudGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Cool experience!!”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We kayaked out to Indian Key. It was awesome! No one was on the island, and the views of the water were incredible.
It was a special place to be with my bf. Neat little place. Definitely recommend to anyone who wants to do something "different"!!

Visited June 2013
3 Thank CowboyJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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