florida keys for our first anniversary
November 13, 2007 10:35 PM   Subscribe

first wedding anniversary. florida keys area : need suggestions.

we split our time between northern kentucky and naples florida. during February we will be in the naples area and will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. our honeymoon was ok, really want to have a special weekend for our first anniversary, maybe in the keys. we want a destination that is not cheesy and overly touristy, someplace on the beach, little bungalows maybe, resort like feeling, not a rented condo like feeling. not key west, something more simple and romantic. ability to kayak, snorkel, etc.

any suggestions appreciated.
posted by slowtree to Travel & Transportation around Florida (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A couple years ago, I stayed at the Looe Key Reef Resort, at Big Pine Key in the Lower Keys. It's mainly a motel/dive base for SCUBA divers and snorkelers heading out for day trips to the Marine Sanctuary, and so may not be as "romantic" as you are looking for, but it's clean, moderately priced, and has a great Tiki bar! And in terms of convenience for divers/snorkelers, it's hard to beat, with a complete dive shop/day tour operation on premises.


305-872-2215 * 800-942-5397 * Fax: 305-872-3786 * Email: info@divelooekey.com
Mile Marker 27.5 Overseas Hwy Ramrod Key, FL 33042
posted by paulsc at 12:03 AM on November 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

I recommended Parmer's Resort in an earlier thread that I can't find now, so I will link to it again. Nearby is Bahia Honda state park, which has some really cool tent campsites if you are into camping (ask for the Sandspur campsites). Both these are also near Big Pine Key, which is about 30 miles from Key West. If you want a more laid-back experience, you definitely want to look at the Lower Keys, which start at Big Pine.
posted by TedW at 5:17 AM on November 14, 2007

One more thing, if you aren't familiar with the Keys, be aware that there are almost no natural beaches there, so the beach at Bahia Honda is somewhat unique. It is also just past the Seven Mile bridge, which has been in so many movies and ad campaigns that you will probably get a sense of deja vu when you cross it.
posted by TedW at 5:23 AM on November 14, 2007

I've stayed in the Keys several times, everything from The Hampton Inn to private houses.

You might like the Bay Breeze motel in Tavernier. I've stayed here once a few years ago and I had no complaints. It's older, but pretty, and fairly secluded. Avoid the efficiency apartments. All rooms have kitchens. The pool isn't luxurious but it's clean. The landscaping and the tropical feel is superb. The owners have white mini lights on a lot of the trees and it's very romantic at night to walk around the property and out on the long dock. There are twin lounge chairs set up in several areas covered with Tiki huts. There are fishing poles available and free paddle boats. Since it is gulf side the water is a bit murky. We snorkled and saw plenty of anemones and fish and had a great time cruising around the paddle boats. It's very pretty.

As you probably are aware, Tavernier is in the lower keys; It takes forever to get to Key West. There isn't a whole lot to do around here, but that may be what you're looking for. This location is ideal if you like to snorkel and dive because it is close to John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo. I recommend Keys Diver for snorkel trips if you don't have a boat. They probably won't be heading out in February though. I can pretty much be sure of it, but you can inquire.

If you stay in this area, be sure to eat at Morada Bay. Eat outside if the weather permits. The man-made beach and the atmosphere is gorgeous. If you want something very special and romantic, go to Pierre's. Pierre's and Morada Bay share the same owners and property.

Other fun things to do in this area: Islamorada Fish Company restaurant next to the World Wide Sportsman store (Bass Pro Shop) is fun.

Since you will be in Naples you may want to look into Lover's Key. It's beautiful and primitive.
posted by LoriFLA at 5:41 AM on November 14, 2007

I second Bahia Honda. It's gorgeous.
posted by LoriFLA at 5:43 AM on November 14, 2007

If you're looking for something very special: Little Palm Island (sound) in Little Torch Key. Accessible by sea plane or boat only. I haven't stayed here, but I want to. ;)
posted by LoriFLA at 5:50 AM on November 14, 2007

Also consider renting a house. We had a group of 5 of us head down to key west for spring break, and we managed to rent a little bungalow for cheap, and walk anywhere we wanted.
posted by craven_morhead at 6:09 AM on November 14, 2007

Not one of "the" keys, but Casey Key is perfect. Spend your days walking the white soft-sand beach searching for sharks teeth, or rise early in the morning to watch the dolphins feeding right off the shore. The homes on Casey Key are multi-million dollar deals. Stephen King has a home on Casey Key. Maybe you'll run into him. Go Gulf side and rent some jet-skis or a boat. There are yummy restaurants near-by. Take a trip to Nokomis Groves for some freshly squeezed orange juice or an orange ice cream cone. There used to be on Wednesday evenings a get together at Nokomis Beach (at the bridge end of Casey Key) of drummers and other neat musical artists and a few dancers that play and dance to the setting sun.

There are little bungalows/cottages and homes to rent on Casey Key.
posted by Sassyfras at 6:36 AM on November 14, 2007

Tavernier is in the lower keys

That should read: upper keys.

Also consider renting a house

You may get lucky finding a house in February. Check out VRBO and other sites. This year we stayed in a house on the same road as the Parmer's Resort that TedW recommended. A few steps away, actually. I can attest that this area is very pretty and secluded. This particular house would be out of my budget if I weren't with friends. There are more affordable options, depending on your budget. It's a whole different feeling in this part of the Keys. I could live here. Bahia Honda and Key West are much closer. The upper and lower keys both have their advantages.
posted by LoriFLA at 6:39 AM on November 14, 2007

Casa Marina resort. Beautiful place, has an actual beach, a swim-up bar, and some of the architecture is Frank Lloyd Wright.

You also must go snorkeling with Pennekamp's, as mentioned above, and I enjoyed The Fisherman's Whart restaurant for sunset on the pier. Of course, I also went to Hemingway's house to see the cats with the extra toes and the saltwater swimming pool.
posted by misha at 8:55 AM on November 14, 2007

« Older Magnetic Flux passing through an area?   |   early (1950s, earlier?) examples of R-Rated... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.