Enjoy the Margaritaville lifestyle in Key West Florida
Further north, the town of Islamorada stretches across four islands in a region known as the sport fishing capital of the world, a jumping-off point for charters heading into the Atlantic for sailfish, tuna and mahi mahi, and into the waters of Florida Bay for tarpon and bonefish. The atmosphere is pure Keys, one step down on the party scale from Key West but still active. Divers can explore the coral reef, fishermen can head out on charter or party boats, and those who just want to get a gander at a sea monster or two can head to the pier at Robbie’s, the island’s best-known boatyard, where between 50 and 100 huge tarpon show up every day to be fed by visitors.
For a one-of-a-kind overnight experience, you can go deep and bond with the fish at Jules’ Undersea Lodge, about 23 miles north in Key Largo. Built as an underwater research lab in the 1970s, it’s now a two-bedroom hotel, 30 feet down in a protected lagoon. You enter by diving 20 feet down and popping up through a pool in the lodge’s floor. Large 42-inch windows provide a fish-eye view, and rates include unlimited scuba tanks. At dinner time, a chef dives down to prepare your meal in the galley, and if you get hungry between meals, a call to the surface can summon a pizza, delivered in a waterproof container.