A subtropical winter in the Florida
Keys & Key West typically offers the warmest weather in the continental
United States. This year brings refreshed and expanded resorts, an expanded
wild bird centre and new dining options.
Among what’s new:
National Park, the all-new restaurant at the 24-unit Flamingo Lodge and Restaurant
is now open. The stand-alone 75-seat restaurant — with casual
fare including burritos, wraps, sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts such as
Key lime pie, catch-and-cook options, and signature 20-ounce smoothies — is
open to all park visitors and lodge guests. The lodge (which opened in
November), with studios and one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and
balconies overlooking Florida Bay, has rates of $259 to $399 per night, plus
In the Lower
Keys, the waterfront Sun Outdoors Sugarloaf Key
, located along a 7-acre saltwater lake surrounded by mangroves,
has opened as the Keys’ fourth Sun Outdoors RV resort. It features 73 full
hookup 20-, 30- and 50-amp RV sites with patio, complimentary Wi-Fi, and
outdoor picnic tables; a heated pool, boardwalk, Tiki bar with firepit; and
custom Airstream food truck with snacks and beverages. An additional 20 holiday
cottages are also available. Amenities include rentals of kayaks, paddleboards,
and “AquaBanas” or giant water inflatables.
In Key West, the legendary
311-room Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
, has unveiled its grand
renovation with all new guest rooms — including 63 suites, many featuring
oceanfront balconies and walkout beachside lanais — a new lobby Canary Bar,
enhanced food and beverage venues and a new 5,000-square-foot oceanfront event lawn.
Two outdoor piers for watersports have also been fully renovated, with
offerings including jet-ski tours, paddleboard and kayak rentals, and snorkelling
trips on a luxury catamaran.
The new two-bedroom, one-bath
floating The Outpost
booked for an "off-the-grid" experience as a private "conch
cottage" in backcountry waters off Key West. The Outpost includes front
and back decks, a back sitting or game room and fully equipped kitchen and
topside seating area. Paddleboards and snorkel gear are provided, and kayak and
eco-tours can be booked. The floating cottage can sleep four with a minimum
two-night stay. The Outpost also can be booked for sunset, half- or full-day
In Key West, Reef Relief's Plastic Free Key West
programme helps motivate businesses to voluntarily commit to
reducing or eliminating single-use plastics through sustainable replacement
strategies. Tier 1 businesses are committed to reduce utilisation of one
single-use item. Tier 2 participants pledge to reduce use of two items. Tier 3
operations are committed to reducing all single-use plastics. A resolution
supporting Plastic Free Key West to stem plastic pollution in waters
surrounding the Keys was adopted by the Key West City Commission in 2023.
the 63.5-acre Crane Point Museum & Nature Trails
is scheduled to unveil its all-new home for the Marathon Wild
Bird Center by late January, with educational bird enclosures, a shaded outdoor
seating area, and a hospital and rehabilitation facility for treatment of sick
and injured rescued wild birds. The facility can shelter more than 40 non-releasable
birds and continues to treat about 750 birds annually. Since 1995 the hospital
has rehabilitated more than 25,000 wild birds of different species and released
them back into their natural habitat.
Keys Food and Drink
The 24-acre,199-unit Isla Bella Beach Resort
in Marathon has unveiled its
55-seat Sushi Cabana, an al fresco sushi restaurant located adjacent to the
resort's Yellowfin pool. It features traditional sushi and sashimi offerings
such as hamachi, king crab, chirashi rice bowls, handcrafted sushi and seaweed
and cucumber salad. The resort now has four food and beverage venues.
In Marathon, the new 80-seat
oceanfront eatery The Rhum House at Grassy Flats Resort & Beach Club
seafood, steaks, shareable small plates, craft cocktails, wine and beer.
Breakfast is served on the Palm Deck, a new rooftop lounge with views of Hawks
Channel and ocean flats. A main dining room, open 5-9 p.m. daily, is nautically
decorated with salvaged mahogany, brass, bronze and local artwork. Signature
fare include seafood specials, Cuban coffee–rubbed meats such as bone-in strip
steak and bison tenderloin sourced from sustainable farms.
Cayo Hueso Brewing
, a new brewery and tasting room with 12 drafts on tap, has opened
on Stock Island, Key West, behind Roostica Wood-Fire Pizzeria. The brewery's
interior and exterior walls feature murals by local artists including
depictions of Ernest Hemingway and Key West roosters. Its tasting room is open
4-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 2-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Customers can order food from Roostica for delivery to the brewery.
Posted by: Florida Keys & Key West
Posted on: 08/02/2024