When the words 'Alligator Reef Lighthouse' come out of someone's mouth... I am taken back to when we visited Florida keys, back in July of last year (see our full YouTube video here) and swam in some of the clearest water (imagine pool water) that we have ever experienced (besides the Bahamas & Anguilla). I mean... look at the pictures (click to see more), and tell me you wouldn't love to see this water, reef AND lighthouse, first hand?!?
I'll be honest, we had NO CLUE this place was even real until we had joined the Florida Ski Riders Facebook page.... and from the minute we saw it, we HAD to make it a priority! It makes us wonder what other incredible must-see places in Florida, that we still have no clue about (if you have any suggestions, send us a message!). 🤔
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So the Alligator Reef Lighthouse is just under 5 nautical miles off the coast of Islamorada (to the east) and you can only get there by water vessel. If you don't have means to a water vessel (boat/ jet ski), luckily for you, we have done A LOT of the research for you and asked around! If you are curious, Alligator Reef Lighthouse coordinates are 24.8518° N, 80.6189° W , plus you can simply type this info into your gps and it will pull up as well.
Here's a list of business that you can contact to gain access to the Reef:
1. Reef Quest Eco Tours (OUR #1 PICK)
2. Robbies (sometimes hit or miss)
7. Islander Girl tours (best for larger groups of 7+)
8. Check out jet ski's from Wahoo's Restaurant
QUICK TIP: Be sure to check Groupon for ANY of these activities/locations... great way to save some $$$
QUICK TIP #2: If you have your own water vessel, you can launch from the Indian Key Public Boat Ramp (be forewarned, it is hard clay and not paved... but its free), or you can check around Islamorada and contact the local business' to see if you can utilize their boat ramp
QUICK TIP #3: If you have jet ski's, we have noticed more and more resort/hotels that have boat ramps, are no longer allowing jet skiers to launch from there private locations (just a heads up)... be sure to call ahead, if you plan on staying somewhere over night, to make sure you can even park there too.
First off, NO... there are no Alligators at the Alligator Reef Lighthouse (Phew... I think I would die lol). The Reef and Lighthouse actually got it's name from a ship called the USS Alligator. It was used originally to escort merchant ships and helped fend off pirates back in the day. While escorting merchant ships in 1822, it actually ran aground and couldn't be saved, so they blew it up for fear the pirates would pillage it's remains. The largest part of the wreckage is actually just south of the Lighthouse, and bits and pieces of it, still can be found while snorkeling and diving in the area.
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A few things we WISH we knew prior to heading out to Alligator Reef:
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Thank you for your trust & Happy Adventures!
- Ashley, (Nate & Blake)
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