An hours drive from Miami Florida on the overseas highway towards Key West, the Southernmost city in America, lies the small Island town of Islamorada. We first stumbled upon Islamorada while heading to Key West to experience some Hemingway / Buffett history, but stopped at Islamorada as we were fascinated by all the Tiki Bars dotted along the sand, and lets face it, there’s nothing better than feeling the sand between your toes, sipping a Rum cocktail from a coconut, while listening to the Beach Boys in the background (Kokomo moment).

Tiki Bar Islamorada

We checked into the Postcards Inn and headed straight to the Rum Runner, a Tiki inspired Tree House looking out over the blue ocean. We sat in one of the top decks sipping on local beer, and felt it appropriate to carve our names in the tree to hopefully one day come back to.


Rum Runner Islamorada

The Postcards Inn is a 3 story open style hotel with its own beach, marina, waterfront restaurant, swimming pool and bar and Tiki Bar.

Postcards Inn restaurant

Postcards Inn Firepit

We held up the bar one night and encouraged all to join us at the fire pit where we shared stories, bottles of Tequila and Moonshine and a few karaoke hits including John Denver’s “Take me home country roads” for the West Virginians, and Men at Works “Down Under” for us Aussies. It’s amazing how travel brings strangers together, releasing inhibitions in a unifying bond that does not discriminate or judge.

Fire pit, Karaoke and Tequila

Just over the bridge from our hotel was Robbie’s Marina where we went for a suggested “hangover” breakfast at the Hungry Tarpon, little did we know what was in store for us. The Hungry Tarpon is an unassuming Caribbean inspired, open aired cafe bar, situated at Robbie’s Marina. Our table was right on the waters edge with amazing views, and as we ate our Huevos Rancheros and Lobster Frittata, we noticed quite a commotion down by the water on the marina. Washing our breakfast down with Cuban coffee we headed over to investigate.

The Hungry Tarpon Restaurant

Robbie’s Marina

Walking through the bait and tackle shop we were stopped and charged $1 to enter the dock and sold a $3 bucket of dead fish and warned not to let the pesky Pelicans snatch them from our hands. I think the Pelicans were the least of our worries.

Pelican at Robbies Marina

Pelicans on the wharf

By the time we got to the end of the dock there was only one other couple there who mentioned we should lie down on the dock and dangle the fish over the side to hand feed the Tarpons. You have to watch the video below to get the full picture, but WOW what a buzz. These fish were huge. Ron held his dead fish out and teased the Tarpon a little, and suddenly out of know where a 6 foot Tarpon propelled out of the water taking the smelly fish and half of Ron’s arm with it. Injuries aside we repeated this for the next couple of hours, and before we knew it Ron had quite an audience of onlookers cheering for the Aussies.

Tarpon in Florida Keys

Tarpon takes hold of hand

hand bitten by tarpon

The Pelicans are annoying, and can cause some serious damage if they catch your hand when stealing a fish. As it turns out the Tarpon, who’s teeth are a bit like sandpaper, carry harmful bacteria in their mouth. Ron required some heavy duty antibiotics and still carries a scar where the bacteria ate away at his hand.

Robbie and his wife Mona have been feeding the Tarpon at the marina since 1976 and locals and tourist have flocked there ever since to continue the tradition.

I highly recommend a weekend at Postcards Islamorada with a visit to Robbie’s Marina, feeding the massive Tarpon is certainly unique, and at $4.00 for entry and feed, well within the budget. It’s sure to be a trip you will never forget.


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