Watersports -- and plenty of other fun! -- await you in the Florida Keys!
The Keys have a little something for everyone — and fortunately, everything can be done under the Florida sun! Whether you want to hit the beach, set sail on the waters, or make some non-human friends, you can find fun in the Keys, from Key Largo to Key West. Take a look at just a few of our favorite Florida activities!
The One-Bedroom Suite at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado; Santa Fe, NM
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe offers a couples spa package that costs $300 more than a weeknight stay in the hotel’s most basic room (which, by the way, is pretty luxurious).
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Facebook giveaway contest for a free wedding ceremony and stay at the hotel.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has been taken over by the City of Singapore and will be turned into the largest post office in the city.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Rolling Stones will make a stop at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the band’s 50 and Counting tour.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? A hotel employee recently found Amanda Bynes pant-less and smoking, curled up in a corner of the W New York Times Square’s gym.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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Owning a private island is overrated and it’s actually a lot of work — or so we’ve heard from our many island-owning friends. You have to deal with the astronomical taxes, the development, the upkeep — it’s a full-time job (that island owners simply pay other people to do, of course). But visiting a private island? It’s as great as everyone says — and we know from experience. We’ve stayed on some gorgeous private islands in our travels, in equally gorgeous hotels and resorts. Here are six of our favorites:
The pool at Cayo Levantado features a swim-up bar as well as poolside drink service.
The details: The D.R.’s only luxury resort set on its own island, the Gran Bahia Cayo Levantado offers a relaxing atmosphere for couples and families. There are scenic beaches and beautiful pools, and we love the details in the rooms: Four-poster beds, private Jacuzzi tubs, and island-inspired artwork give them a romantic vibe.
How to get there: From the Samana airport, it’s a 45-minute cab ride to the Bahia ferry station. From there, it’s a 10- to 15-minute ferry ride to Cayo Levantado. In lieu of the ferry, you can also hire a private panga boat to take you from Samana. We never said getting to a private island is easy, but it’s certainly worth the flight (…and drive and boat ride)!
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From the cryptic mythology throughout the Mississippi Delta, to the spirits of wartime past down the Atlantic coast, the South has no shortage of spooky adventures. Whether you’re looking for a friendly encounter from the other side, or trying to find a true adrenaline rush by meeting with a tortured (undead) soul, these Southern haunts have plenty of history and unexplained mysteries for thrill-seeking travelers.
Be on the look-out for any "half-headed" cadets at this Charleston hotel
The ghostlore: Charleston prides itself on its chilling past, and it’s no wonder that the town where the Civil War started has its share of lingering souls. One of the city’s most haunted sites is the Embassy Suites hotel in the downtown Historic District. Known as the Old Citadel, the building formerly housed the State Arsenal and military college, which is located just a short drive away nowadays. Legend has it that The Lost Cadet, or “Half Head,” roams the hotel’s halls to this day. The spirit is said to be a young solider missing the top half of his head after losing it to a cannonball. But despite his misfortune, he apparently has a joyful demeanor. Read More »
It seems like everyone has a case of Olympic fever lately, and marine mammals are no exception. They didn’t make it to London for this year’s summer games, but our best dolphin friends down at the Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys may just qualify for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — look at their form! Even if they’re not quite as popular as those other aquatic Olympians (we’d argue that they’re almost as cute as Ryan Lochte), they still make quite a splash.
Dolphin Connection at the Hawks Cay Resort
Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!
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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.
Miami is one of the U.S.’s most celebrated metropolises, a Cuban-influenced coastal city on the Southern tip of Florida, known as the “gateway to the Americas.” But Miami’s wild reputation and glamorous lifestyle can really wear on the locals (and their bank accounts). With its high-brow art scene, luxurious shopping, and A-list clubs, Miami is an energetic, ultra-lively hub for young partiers and jet-setting tourists — but to escape the rowdy scene, southern Floridans have several spots to flock to within the Sunshine State for some much-needed R&R. Put on you sexiest string bikini (or Speedo), pack your bags, and jump in the whip — we’ve got some miles to cover.
Road Trip #1: Miami to Key West
- Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 11 minutes
- Distance Covered: 161.7 miles
- Take This Trip If: It’s been too long since you’ve last passed out in a hammock with margarita in hand.
Key West is known for moving at an...errr... leisurely pace.
Casa Marina Resort is island luxury at its finest.
Eden House boasts beautiful grounds at an affordable price
There’s a reason even the most sunny of Floridians love visiting Key West: Its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it one of the best vacation destinations in the country. Miami residents may get their share of water sports and authentic Cuban cuisine, but Key West maintains a much slower pace. The island boasts warm weather year-round thanks to its Southernmost U.S City status, which even steamy Miami can’t compete with. For a supremely luxurious experience, the Casa Marina Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, offers a sophisticated setting while maintaining a chill vibe with its poolside bar, beach hammocks, and lush grounds. Although not quite a steal, the Eden House is offers a variety of amenities at a fraction of Casa Marina’s price. Within the beautiful grounds, guests can enjoy complimentary happy hour, outdoor pool (make sure to apply your FREE sunscreen!), koi ponds, hammocks, or barbecue on the small rolling grill. What more do you need for some fun in the sun?
- Top Driving Tip: Be prepared for Seven Mile Drive to the Keys to feel like Seven Hour Drive. The bridge spanning the Florida Keys is usually heavily congested, but does offer some of the most scenic views of the Altantic Ocean just about everywhere.
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Marina at the Bitter End Yacht Club
Some people plan summer road trips. For others, a summer adventure involves sailing or yachting on the high seas. But long boating trips are no fun without stopping to see the sights on land and stretching out your sea legs.
Luckily, these nine hotels, in beautiful locales ranging from the Caribbean to the Northeastern U.S., are situated right on marinas — so yachties can park and fuel up both their bodies and their boats. Some resorts, such as Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, let boaters sleep on board and still access all of the pools, restaurants, and activities on-site — all for no more than the docking fee.
We’ll kick off the impending start of spring with another amazing, relaxing Oyster Shot — this time from the picturesque shores of Key Biscayne, just south of Miami, Florida. Like its sister hotels, the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne offers travelers impeccable service — and since it’s not in South Beach, expect a quieter, more tranquil crowd around, ideal for our Monday morning. So as we always say, sit back, take a deep breath, and soak in the goodness that is Key Biscayne.
Beach at Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne -- Florida Keys
Beach at the Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort; Florida Keys
We just returned from the Florida Keys, which is home to one of the largest barrier reef systems in the world. It’s as close to the Caribbean as you can get in the U.S., and most visitors come here for incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, the great weather, and the partying, of course. Though it can get rowdy (especially on Key West), the vibe is mostly laid-back. Check out some of the hotel highlights from our trip after the jump>>
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This week’s moment of Zen comes courtesy of the Cheeca Lodge and Spa in the Florida Keys. Don’t you just wanna sit on the edge of the deck and dip your toes in the ocean? Go ahead! Now take a deep breath, sit back, relax and soak in your Monday Morning goodness.
The beach at Cheeca Lodge and Spa; Florida Keys