Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sun, Serenity and Spectacular Savings: 10 Reasons to Visit the Florida Keys This Autumn

As the autumn months make their arrival, the warm tropical air still surrounding the Florida Keys is blended with a sense of calm following the busy summer family season, making it a desirable destination for couples of all ages looking for a relaxing retreat, or friends traveling together.

Autumn Fall in the Florida Keys

With kids back at school, the months from mid-September to early December are filled with peace and quiet yet there is still every opportunity to find fun during autumn with a variety of water-based and nature-focused activities. As the majority of the world braces itself for the start of an inevitable cold snap, the sun is still shining its golden rays over the Florida Keys so you can escape the chilly winds and warm up in paradise.

Here are the top reasons to visit Marathon, FL this autumn:

1.) A Tranquil Breeze: With the average temperature topping a breezy 84 degrees and the ocean remaining beautifully warm, you can take time out to soak up the autumn sun and indulge in watersports activities without being surrounded by the excitable sounds of families on vacation.

Autumn Fall in the Florida Keys

2.) Love Long Weekends: With summer tucked away and Christmas looming in the distance, there is still plenty to celebrate in autumn. You can enjoy a long peaceful weekend break or week-long vacation during Columbus Day on October 13th or Veteran’s Day on November 11th. Thanksgiving Day on November 27th also provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate in style and make the most of the extended weekend break.

Autumn Fall in the Florida Keys

3.) Nearby Autumn Events: The surrounding Florida Keys offer an array of autumn events to take advantage of during your vacation. With Key West just over an hour away, you can enjoy a day trip to see some of these exciting activities.

  • Oct 9-13: SoMo Marathon & Half Marathon
  • Oct 17-26: Fantasy Fest (Key West)
  • Oct 17-18: Goombay Festival (Key West)
  • Oct 18: Annual Stone Crab Eating Contest
  • Nov 7-10: Key West International Latin Arts Festival
  • Nov 12-16: Key West Film Festival
  • Nov 2-9: Key West World Championship Races
  • Nov 29: Big Pine & The Lower Keys Island Art Festival
  • Dec 4-7: TRIKW Swim-Bike-Run in Paradise

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4.) “Sea” Life… Without the Crowds: A quieter season means less crowds across Marathon, so you can enjoy a more relaxed experience at the island’s attractions including the Dolphin Research Center, Aquarium Encounters Florida Keys, the Turtle Hospital, and Florida Keys Wild Bird Center.

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5.) Cook Your Catch: Autumn is also a calm time of year to enjoy fishing, and you can return to the resort with your catch for our chefs to cook exactly how you like it at Butterfly Cafe! Two popular autumn seasons include Lobster season which runs from August 6th through March 31st, while Stone Crab Claw season starts October 15th and runs through May 15th. There are a range of other fish in season during the autumn and we can arrange fishing charters at the resort.

Autumn Fall in the Florida Keys

6.) Savor the Flavors: Local cuisine in the Florida Keys is one of many reasons why visitors just can’t get enough of the destination, and in autumn you can savor the flavors of the season including delicious deep-fried fish caught from the surrounding waters. At Tranquility Bay Resort, you will be spoiled for choice in our award-winning Butterfly Cafe where top chefs capture the tropical flavors of the islands using local ingredients and the finest seafood. You can also enjoy casual oceanside dining at TJ’s Tiki Bar where the cocktail menu will no doubt beckon you to sample a cool autumn creation before sunset.

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7.) Love is in the Air: Autumn is one of the best seasons in which to indulge in a romantic break in the Florida Keys when the island is at its most calm and relaxed following the busy summer months. You can hide away in one of our new luxury Tropical Garden Guestrooms for peace and privacy, with a central swimming pool nearby and our private 2.5 acre beach. Or try the larger adults-only relaxation pool just a short walk from our Tropical Garden Guestrooms.

Autumn Fall in the Florida Keys

8.) Space Out: If you’re traveling as a group this autumn, you can all enjoy space, luxury and comfort in our two or three-bedroom beach houses, each one boasting its own private porch which overlooks the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Offering a relaxing “home away from home” atmosphere, everything your party needs is under one roof, including laundry facilities, a fully-equipped kitchen and a super comfortable living room complete with a 42-inch plasma TV.

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9.) Autumn Color: Who says you have to travel north to see autumn color when we’ll bring the color to you. Each autumn, vibrant autumn sunsets fill the Florida Keys skies with amazing color right from our private beach.

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10.) Spectacular Savings: Autumn is the best time to secure an unbeatable deal at Tranquility Bay Resort, so if you’re after a budget-friendly getaway then you’ll find a variety of discount options from our specials page, along with packages including our tempting Culinary Escape Package. If you book directly through Tranquility Bay, you are guaranteed the best deal so call 855-606-4502 to speak with one of our on-site vacation planners and secure an unbeatable package this autumn.

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Discover the Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival This September

The 16th annual Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival, set for Tuesday through Sunday, Sept. 23-28, offers birders, outdoor enthusiasts and nature photographers a backstage pass to view native wildlife and explore one of Florida’s most precious ecosystems.

Marathon Birding and Wildlife Festival

Anchored at Marathon’s oceanfront preserve of Curry Hammock State Park, mile marker 56.2, the family-friendly event characteristically includes field trips to national, state and private natural and backcountry areas of the Florida Keys.

Participants can enjoy behind-the-scenes guided walks and boat and kayak adventures to some of the Keys’ wildest places. They include Florida Bay by Everglades National Park, the National Key Deer Refuge, Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock State Park and Dry Tortugas National Park, located 70 miles off Key West.

More than a dozen birding and wildlife experts, guides and writers are to lead excursions, workshops and informative presentations. Topics include how to be a better birder, radar ornithology, raptor behavior, migratory birds and more.

The popular Wildlife Fair and Family Day is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at Curry Hammock. Admission to the fair is free.

Sunday, Sept. 28, is the signature all-day birding excursion to Dry Tortugas National Park. A ferry to the remote birders’ paradise boards at 7:30 a.m. in Key West and returns around 5 p.m. Reservations are required and space is limited to two groups of 20 people each.

Festival attendees also are welcome to join “hawkwatchers” daily as they monitor the flights of record numbers of peregrine falcons and other raptors from a perch at Curry Hammock State Park. The Florida Keys Hawkwatch team spearheads the southernmost migration count in the continental United States, documenting as many as 18 species and 25,000 diurnal birds of prey and more than 120 species of waders, shorebirds and songbirds.

Event registration fees apply for daily programs and field trips. Early registration is encouraged.

Event information: www.keysbirdingfest.org or Kristie Killam at 305-304-9625

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Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters Opens Near Tranquility Bay Resort

Visitors to the middle Florida Keys now can enjoy an immersive experience with reef fish, invertebrates, stingrays and even sharks — without entering the ocean — at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters. At the marine life attraction, recently opened in Marathon, they can learn about the importance of marine conservation while discovering the Keys’ complex underwater habitats.

The signature feature of the multimillion-dollar facility, located near the foot of the Vaca Cut Bridge at 11710 Overseas Highway, is a coral reef exhibit and shark habitat housed in a massive 200,000-gallon interconnected saltwater aquarium.

Following an instructional presentation, participants in the flagship 90-minute encounter can immerse themselves in the tank to hover over an artificial coral reef structure and interact with tropical reef fish, rays and other reef-dwelling marine species that are part of the in-tank ecosystem.

The encounter employs tethered diving technology, enabling individuals without prior scuba experience to enjoy the in-water opportunity with supervision from trained professional dive instructors. A large fortified Plexiglas window divides the coral reef tank from a shark and predatory fish tank, and participants can hand-feed those creatures through underwater feeding ports in the window.

Other interactive aquarium encounters include shallow touch tanks that feature starfish, conchs and horseshoe crabs, and allow feeding debarbed stingrays and docile baby nurse sharks. At each encounter, a staff marine biologist provides educational introduction and guidance.

Visit www.floridakeysaquariumencounters.com or call 305-407-3262.

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Silver Airways offers daily nonstop flights between Orlando and Key West

Silver Airways has initiated daily nonstop flights between Orlando International Airport and Key West International Airport. Two flights are offered daily and take approximately 80 minutes. The airline is using 34-passenger Saab 340B Plus aircraft for the route.

As well as its nonstop Orlando/Key West flights, Silver Airways offers nonstop service between the island city and  Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Tampa, Fla.

In addition, passengers can choose connecting flights to dozens of destinations beyond Florida through the airline’s codeshare and interline ticketing partnerships.

For more information and to book a flight, visit www.silverairways.com.

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