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When the words 'Alligator Reef Lighthouse' come out of someone's mouth... I am taken back to when we visited the Florida keys back in July of last year (see our full YouTube video here) and swam in some of the most transparent 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 firsthand?!?
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 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 five nautical miles off the coast of Islamorada (to the east), and you can only get there by water vessel.
If you don't have the means to a water vessel (boat/ jet ski), luckily for you, we have done a LOT of research for you and asked around! If you are curious, Alligator Reef Lighthouse coordinates are 24.8518° N and 80.6189° W; plus, you can type this info into your GPS, which will pull up as well.
Here's a list of businesses that we recommend, to gain access to the Reef & Islamorada surrounding water areas:
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 it's free), or you can check around Islamorada and contact the local business to see if you can utilize their boat ramp. BE WARNED... we found it VERY hard to find public launches (hotel launches) unless you were 'staying' with the hotel. The good news is we can help you BOOK your next stay in the Keys
QUICK TIP #3: If you have jet skis & personal boats, we have noticed more and more resort/hotels that have boat ramps are no longer allowing jet skiers to launch from their private locations (just a heads up)... be sure to call ahead, if you plan on staying somewhere overnight, to make sure you can utilize their launch & if they have parking available for your trailer.
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First off, NO... there are no Alligators at the Alligator Reef Lighthouse
(Phew... I think I would die, lol).
The Reef and Lighthouse got its name from the USS Alligator ship. It was used initially to escort merchant ships and helped fend off pirates back in the day.
While escorting merchant ships in 1822, it ran aground and couldn't be saved, so they blew it up for fear the pirates would pillage its remains. The most significant part of the wreckage is just south of the Alligator Lighthouse, and bits and pieces of it can still be found while snorkeling and diving!
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- Ashley, (Nate & Blake)
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