Florida has many hidden paradises but there is one in particular that is distant from roads and highways. Indian Key island is a Florida hidden gem with miles of trails situated a few hundred yards from the U.S. 1 Highway.
Indian Key became the first county seat for Dade County in 1836. The tiny island was the site of a lucrative business salvaging cargo from shipwrecks in the Florida Keys. Currently, the island is considered a ghost town and is frequented by swimmers and paddlers who want to escape the urban cities.
This virescent island is comprised of hiking nature trails and wildlife that make this place an unnamed sanctuary. Indian Key offers the perfect summer getaway for those wanting private time. The island is only accessible by boat or kayak but there are many rental vendors nearby such as Robbie's Marina and Backcountry Cowboys.
Visitors can also go fishing on site for a variety of species from bonefish on the flats, to tarpon in the channels. The area also has snapper and Spanish mackerel. For the adventure-seeker, you can embark on a self-guided tour and hot expedition that will take you through a 1/3 mile of trail terrain.
Snorkeling in the area is very common too and there are few eco-tours available to book. For a list of snorkeling tours click here.
The state park is open daily from 8 am until sundown and there is a $2.50 entrance fee. Besides inland trails, the 11-acre island is also surrounded by shipwrecks and remains from the 1830s.
It is the farthest you can get from Miami lifestyle without having to book a trip. Islamorada also has many boutiques, cafes, and restaurants nearby that will make your summer getaway unforgettable.
Address: Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
Hours: Daily 8 am until sundown.
Why you need to go: It's a secluded island only accessible by boat with many hiking trails.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.