|World Wide Sportsman –
World Wide Sportsman
If you’re in the neighborhood, make time to stop and see the World Wide Sportsman compound. Set on the bayside in Islamorada, the creators of this spot have really gone all out to provide an attraction that has something for everyone to enjoy. The layout is similar to an old southern estate set on the water’s edge, with docks and boat slips on the water. The main building houses a fantastic emporium of fishing gear, poles, lures, line, tackle, you name it. There’s a custom reel shop, an area for snorkel gear, boat shoes, and tons and tons of rugged clothing.
If World Wide Sportsman had only these things, it would simply be a great place for anglers to visit. But it’s a great place for everyone to visit because of all the other special touches you’ll find there. There’s a wall-sized aquarium where you can see live tarpon, bonefish, and lots of other fish that attract anglers from all over the world. Even if you never catch an elusive Bonefish, at least you can say you looked right into the eyes of a live one. There’s also a full-scale replica of Ernest Hemingway’s boat, “Pilar”, plunked down right in the center of the store. You can climb up into the boat, look around the cabin, get a better view of the whole store with its lofty ceilings. While you’re looking around up on Pilar, you might notice the working antique-style glass elevator carrying customers to the second level of the store. Upstairs you’ll find women’s and children’s clothing and even better views. It’s also the entrance to the Zane Grey Lounge, where you can have cocktails overlooking Florida Bay. Something for everyone.
Attention to detail is evident everywhere you look, starting on the grounds of the World Wide Sportsman. The hand railings on the outside steps are artistic interwoven sculptures of iron vines. The informative sign by the water depicting tips about the local flora and fauna and water environment is a work of art. The long wide veranda has rockers for the weary shoppers, placed for a view of the water. The restrooms in the store have brass mermaid handles and top-quality fixtures. The book section has a reading nook with wing chairs. There’s more to see every time you visit. It’s simply a pleasure to visit the World Wide Sportsman.