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Where is 'Kokomo?' People are still searching for The Beach Boys' tropical island getaway

Johnny Diaz, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Travel News

You know the catchy, relaxing lyrics: "Off the Florida Keys, there's a place called Kokomo," goes the 1988 hit by The Beach Boys.

Three decades later, people are still wondering, where is Kokomo?

Whether it's in the Keys, the Caribbean or stuck in your head, people continue to look for the fictional romantic island getaway "where you wanna go to get away from it all."

Using social media, tourists and fans of the song mark the spots that look and feel like the alluring destination The Beach Boys reference, even though you won't find Kokomo on a South Florida map.

On Instagram, there are more than 116,000 hashtags dedicated to #kokomo. Users post photos of sun-dappled beaches with palm trees and seas in various shades of blue dotted with sailboats.

The other day, Ryan Sancilio of Boca Raton posted a photo of himself sitting in front of the water at Sunset Pier in Key West. He gazed at the bright blue sky pocked with white clouds against the Atlantic and sailboats.

 

"Still looking for Kokomo," he posted with the hashtag #kokomo and #islandlife.

The tune continues to bring good vibrations. At the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce, people inquire about the song and its inspiration, said Judy Hull, executive director. It's still heard on the radio and at karaoke bars and has become a permanent part of people's vacation playlists.

"You hear it down here all the time," Hull said. "Because the song is still very popular, we do have people ask about it."

In its heyday, the Holiday Isle Resort had a poolside bar called Kokomo. The owner at the time created the bar after hearing inquiries from tourists looking for Kokomo. The bar was formerly a birdhouse, according to the resort.

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