Capitol City Visit

Capitol City Visit
Madison Wisconsin

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Scenes from the Florida Keys... Summer 2011


Today, I'd like to tell you about recent trip to the Florida Keys! But first, please check out this great Buy and Stay Treasury on Etsy that I am featured in. You can save 15% on your purchases from my shop by entering coupon code BNR15 at checkout! Good on everything in my shop!

We've been to the great state of Florida many times over the last 25 years! I do have to tell you that I had never been to florida as a child. The first time I went was to take my first child to Disney World! Since then, I've been to Orlando, staying both on site at WDW and off site, nearby. I've also been to Marco Island, Tampa, St. Pete Beach, Sanibel Island, Amelia Island, and now the Keys. Whew! I guess I've been there a lot!

We decided on the keys this year, in part, because I was able to get a great deal on airfare for flights that were non-stop to Miami! We stayed in the middle keys, on Duck Key to be specific at Hawk's Cay Resort! The first thing I must tell you is that this resort is absolutely fabulous!
The grounds are stunning and well kept. The pools (five of them) are clean and sparkling! They even have a salt water lagoon and a dolphin connection program right on site! We loved the resort and would definitely go back there.

The rest of the keys I found frustrating. You see, I like to do a few things while on vacation. Nothing too extravagant but maybe a half day of shopping or sightseeing a couple of afternoons. After arriving and getting the lay of the land (which of course is very flat and water filled), we knew we would be relaxing for much of this vacation. We did find a couple of beaches that were nice to snorkel at and did that 3-4 times during our visit.

One beach was in a State Park. It was called Bahia Honda and had beautiful, clear water. While there, my youngest son was able to come face to face (about 12" away) from a stingray while snorkeling! They were both shocked and swam away from each other! It thrilled everyone who was able to witness the encounter!

You must go to the keys understanding what they are; beds of coral, that are now land. The beaches are shallow and not all that sandy. There is a lot of sea grass and rock to be found. This did not detour anyone, however, the beaches were crowded (only pleasantly so) and clean. They just were a little different from other beaches we had visited.

Another beach we liked, but only found near the end of our trip, was Sombrero Beach. This beach is, in part, under the city of Marathon and well maintained. You'll find more sand here and nice facilities but the water wasn't quite as good for snorkeling as Bahia Honda, in our opinion. This beach is free. There is a charge at Bahia Honda, as it is a State Park.

We did a fair amount of driving up and down route one. We drove to Key West on afternoon. I was anxious to see the sunset and document that I was at the most Southern Point in the US. We arrived, turned around, and left. as it was crowded with people seemingly there to wander aimlessly down the streets. There were tons of bars and we felt, not exactly the place we wanted to spend the afternoon, as a family.

On the upside, I was able to get some awesome photographs of the sunsets right at the resort. One night, there was even a very strange cloud formation that had a blue streak rising out of a thundercloud, visible 180 degrees across the sky! You'll have to wait for those pictures! The weather was fabulous, 92 during the day and 82 at night with humidities only in the 60's to 70's. We had a good laugh that it was cooler in the keys that it was in the mid-west, the week we were there!

All in all our trip was enjoyable. We did get to go to a Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center that was interesting.....some of my pictures were from there. It was very, very relaxing and as I said, the resort was phenomenal! I'm a very luck lady to be able to take such a lovely, relaxing trip! I hope you enjoyed reading about it!


  1. I loved reading about it! I live in Florida and haven't ever been down to the Keys.
    Would you recommend staying in Miami, and visiting the Keys during day trips as an alternative to staying on one of the islands, or would you choose a different island to stay on? I'm hoping to make it down there sometime soon!

    Thanks for sharing your vacation, and I'd love to see more!

  2. Della, sorry it took me so long to reply. It's funny you would ask about Miami. We met a couple with a baby at the resort. They were from Miami! They said that the resort is great if you want to get away (and we agree), quiet, very family oriented, great night life (restaurants, bars, etc) if you want it and a tram to take you everywhere......but if you want a classic beach experience, they recommended South Beach in Miami. The woman said she thought it was one of the most beautiful beaches. I know you would get an eye-full there. Not sure I want my young kids to experience that .....yet! And we've been to Maui and Bermuda.....and Sanibel Island.....a beach would have to go pretty far to out do any of those. So, I guess it just depends what you are looking for. Key Largo seemed to have more shops, etc. and I'm sure there are plenty of things to do if you own a boat. We absolutely would recommend Hawks Cay Resort......and would definitely go back there. If you want to relax, that is the place! I'll try and get more pictures up for you! Thanks for being a faithful reader! Carol