AMOR AMARA Lovers of Brazilian designer Debora Aguiar’s organic décor for 1 Hotel & Homes in South Beach will find a similar setting at the newly launched Amara Cay Resort in Islamorada. Its beach chic interiors culminate in the lobby’s wooden slats, abundant plant material and cozy, hanging basket chairs. Eighty-six rooms and suites, several of which directly face the ocean, offer luxurious touches like 100 percent cotton linens and eco-friendly bath products made with honey. Oltremare Ristorante has already gained a strong following for its authentic meatballs, grilled octopus atop wilted kale and white beans, and tagliatelle vongole that stars clams sourced around Cedar Key in northwest Florida. Dine on local fare like fish tacos and key lime pie at Sparrows Rum Bar, too. The daily resort fee includes bocce ball.
ROLL UP Bad Boy Burrito, an organic Mexican eatery in Key West, expanded to Village Square compound tucked behind Trading Post Grocery Store in Islamorada. Chef owner Chris Otten, who also cooks at the perennially packed 2 Cents in Key West, and his wife Erin are always around to suggest the day’s best dishes and juices, such as fresh-squeezed star fruit or limeade mixed with hibiscus iced tea that puts a regular Arnold Palmer to shame. Build platters of three tacos from grilled fish to steak to carnitas, which are accompanied by beans, rice and salsa. There are also gourmet burgers and salads with microgreens and shaved star fruit. Order from the window and sit on purple, turquoise and lime green chairs at farm tables in the tropical garden oasis.
BEACHY BREWS Craig and Cheryl McBay opened Florida Keys Brewing Co. five months ago in Islamorada’s happening arts district. With his Canadian craving for hops and her native roots, it’s the perfect blend of the craft beer trend and a laid-back Keys vibe. They brew about 10 beers onsite, which larger production capabilities to come. Sip marine-themed recipes like a citrus Hogfish Amber ale and Run Aground Brown ale with hints of chocolate and oatmeal. Try a flight with a cheese plate. To commemorate Jerry Garcia’s death, they’re creating a special West Coast rye IPA for a Grateful Dead tribute on August 9. It’s one of many live music-filled occasions, since the brewery hosts local and visiting musicians on Tuesday nights. Check Facebook for yoga classes, too.
FISHING FASHIONS Before heading to Islamorada, load up on the latest, high-tech angler attire at Columbia Sportswear’s first Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) concept store in Florida. The nearly 6,000-square-foot location debuts on July 30 at the Falls shopping center. (The first of its kind opened less than a year ago at half the size in Atlanta.) Shop for men’s, women’s and children’s clothing like the Tamiami shirt in fabrics with UPF 40 sun protection and Omni-Wick moisture control in a rainbow of colors. Even flip flops are among footwear that features innovative side vents. Starting August 1, visitors can enter to win prizes including a Mako 18’ LTS fishing boat; a trip to Resorts World Bimini Bahamas, and a one-on-one coaching session with saltwater fishing legend George Poveromo of NBS Sports.