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Celtic music lovers will be in their element at the annual Florida Keys Celtic Festival, taking place in Marathon in the new year. The two-day event on Friday and Saturday (January 9 through 10), will bring together America’s best collection of Celtic musical masters including international super group Rathkeltair, The Screaming Orphans and West of Galway. Book your stay at Tranquility Bay Resort before rooms sell out. Call 877-582-6970 today.
The weekend festival kicks off with Irish music by Bernie and Stephen from the West of Galway band, on Thursday January 8 at Marathon Grill and Ale House (Mile Marker 53) from 8pm. The party will continue into Friday through Saturday with live performances, bagpipes and drums, and men’s and women’s Scottish Highland athletics demonstrations. There will also be plenty of Celtic merchandise, food and drink, and children’s activities.
The party takes place at the Marathon Community Park (Mile Marker 49) on Friday January 9 (3pm – 10pm) and Saturday January 10 (9am – 9pm). Tickets can be purchased online at www.celticheritageproductions.com/keys Children age 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.
Picture the scene: it’s December 25th and you’re far from feeling the pinch of winter with its cold winds and threats of icy showers. Rather than crunching through white snow in thick boots, you’re walking barefoot through powder-soft white sand. You’re no longer wrapping up warm beneath multiple layers of clothing, but bathing in a swimsuit beneath the golden rays of glorious sunshine. It’s not 35 degrees and cloudy, but 72 degrees with clear skies and balmy air. You indulge in a delectable Florida Keys-inspired Christmas buffet and it hits you: You’re not dreaming… It’s Christmas and you’re in the Florida Keys!
If you’re now dreaming of a white sand Christmas with your loved ones, you can make it a reality with a holiday of a lifetime at Tranquility Bay Hotel and Resort in Marathon. The island is a popular destination during the holidays, so book your place in paradise early to avoid missing out on a spectacular Christmas experience.
During the holiday season, trees, boats and houses are all decorated with magical lights and colorful displays to add festive cheer to the island. Memorable events, including boat parades and concerts, will be taking place throughout December, to heighten the holiday spirit in and around Marathon, Florida.
Enjoy the festive spirit in style in our spacious beach houses
At Tranquility Bay Resort, our immaculate two or three-bedroom beach houses are ideal for families and friends spending Christmas together. Stylishly designed with spaciousness and luxury in mind, you can enjoy views overlooking the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico from your own private balcony. You can all unwrap gifts, play games and relax together in the exclusivity of your own beach house which comes complete with your family needs under one roof, including laundry facilities, a fully-equipped kitchen and a super comfortable living room complete with a 42-inch plasma TV.
More intimate single-level guestrooms are also available for couples.
Indulge in our Christmas buffet
You can rest assured that your Christmas Day dining will be taken care of to the highest level of quality at Tranquility Bay’s award-winning Butterfly Café, which will be serving a delicious Christmas buffet. Capturing the flavors of the island’s tropical cuisine, our chef and his team focus their culinary talents on local ingredients and the freshest of seafood from Marathon’s surrounding waters. View the Christmas buffet menu >
This year is your well-deserved break from planning, preparing and cooking a festive family feast; instead, you can all sit back, relax and indulge in the ultimate Florida Keys cuisine within Butterfly Café’s impressive dining room or outdoors on the restaurant’s covered patio.
During your Christmas vacation, you can also enjoy cocktails and smoothies, afternoon snacks and laid-back lunches right on the beach at our oceanside TJ’s Tiki Bar. It’s the perfect spot for soaking up the most spectacular sunsets on the island.
Kick back and relax under the winter sunshine
It’s not often you’re greeted by endless blue skies, white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and towering palm trees during the depths of winter. Marathon is a haven of natural beauty, adventure and fun family attractions waiting to be explored, all topped off with southern hospitality and opportunities to relax round every corner.
Just imagine waking up on Christmas Day morning to views of tropical gardens or sparkling water before taking a dip in one of our three pools, each nestled in its own garden paradise. You may be used to a particular way of spending Christmas back home, which often involves plenty of preparation and a huge clean-up after dinner. At Tranquility Bay Hotel and Resort, all you’ll need to focus on is relaxation, fun and luxury in the ultimate definition of a tropical paradise.
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online. Call 305-289-7177 to book Christmas buffet reservations.
If the dark and cold winter months are starting to drag and you’re craving sunshine with a balmy breeze, now is the time to plan for something to look forward to in 2015. The good news is that on Cyber Monday you can book your stay in the Florida Keys at Tranquility Bay Hotel & Resort and enjoy up to 25% off across selected dates throughout 2015. Click here to book now.
Perhaps you’re looking to enjoy a romantic break to the Florida Keys with a loved one next February, or take the family away during Spring Break in March and April. For a peaceful retreat you can book a relaxing escape in the quieter months of May and June, or whisk the family away for some winter sunshine in Marathon. Whichever month beckons you, there will be plenty of white sand, crystal-clear ocean, fishing trips, delicious dining at Butterfly Café, and stunning sunsets awaiting your arrival.
By booking early, not only do you make great savings from the Black Friday sale, but you will also have more time to plan your dream vacation to Marathon. You can add a heap of adventure to your break by hiring a car from Miami and road tripping down to Tranquility Bay to enjoy the breathtaking views across the Overseas Highway. You can also plan your visit to make the most of the variety of events taking place throughout the year on the island, including the Original Marathon Seafood Festival in mid-March.
And then there’s the all important decision of choosing the best room type from our stylish accommodation options including beautifully designed Tropical Garden Guestrooms set among a lush oasis of towering palms, offering spectacular views and quick access to the hotel’s private 2.5 acre white sand beach.
The sale ends on Monday December 1st at 11:59pm so book now!
Terms: Rates and availability may be limited and are subject to change. Blackout dates and restrictions apply. Rates do not reflect $27.00 per night resort fee and 12.5% applicable tax. Advertised discounts are only available on select travel dates. Rates are non-refundable. Advertised discounts include the sale mark down.
The holiday spirit it soon set to sweep over the Florida Keys and while there will be more palm trees than Christmas trees and certainly no sign of snow, there will be a welcoming festive atmosphere for visitors and locals to embrace.
In the subtropical Lower Keys with balmy breezes and warm sunshine, the holiday season will start at the free-admission Big Pine & Lower Keys Island Art Festival from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 29, on the grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, mile marker 31 oceanside.
A schedule of highlights will include exhibits and booths featuring handcrafted art, jewelry, pottery and more by local artists and artisans. This family-friendly event offers visitors the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind holiday gifts and artwork while enjoying the natural beauty surrounding the area.
There will also be live music by popular local bands and entertainers alongside delicious food and drink, making it the perfect seasonal tradition in the Lower Keys.
Jumpstarting the annual seven-month stone crab season is a much-anticipated munch-a-thon, the fourth annual Stone Crab Claw Eating Contest for amateur eaters, set for Saturday, Oct. 18.
Staged at Keys Fisheries Market and Marina, located at 35th Street gulfside in Marathon, the lively consumption competition is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Entrants must register and be present by 12 p.m. the day of the event.
Individual entry fee is $50, and two-person teams can register for $100. Contestants must be at least 18 years of age. Interested eaters are encouraged to register early for their bib-wearing spot at the table.
Contestants must crack, clean and eat 25 stone crab claws in the fastest time. Although they are provided with shell crackers, alternatively, entrants can gently smack the shell with the back of a large spoon — an effective method employed by many Keys locals.
In the event of a tie, those competitors must face off in a 10-claw competition to determine the top winner. Prizes are to be awarded to the top three finishers.
Stone crab season runs from Oct. 15 to May 15 and hundreds of thousands of pounds of stone crab claws are steamed, cracked and served at local markets, restaurants and transported around the nation. The Keys are Florida’s top supplier of the succulent crustacean, considered a renewable resource because of the crabs’ ability to re-grow harvested claws.
Event information and registration: www.keysfisheries.com
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner at Tranquility Bay Resort or book online.
It’s autumn in the Florida Keys and Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner on November 27th, which is why our culinary team at Tranquility Bay Hotel and Resort is starting to turn up the heat in the Butterfly Café kitchen. With a taste bud-tempting menu created especially for the Thanksgiving holidays in Florida, our team will be busy behind the scenes with turkeys to roast, pumpkin pies to prepare and cranberry sauce to season with a tropical twist. Get ready to indulge Keys-style and celebrate Thanksgiving 2014 in Florida. View the Butterfly Cafe Thanksgiving Menu
A feast fit for Thanksgiving: Dine in or take away
Rated Marathon’s number one restaurant by TripAdvisor, Butterfly Café will set the scene for a Thanksgiving dinner to remember, or you can order Thanksgiving “to go” and dine in the comfort of your beach house. Please note that guestrooms do not have dining tables.
Dine-in: Thanksgiving Buffet at Butterfly Cafe
Thanks to our covered outdoor patio you can devour your meal outside in the warm, breezy air. There is also the sophisticated Butterfly Cafe dining room complete with a sky-high ceiling that creates an impressive atmosphere among stylish décor, perfect for savoring the flavors of classic Thanksgiving dishes that will include oven-roasted turkey with white hunter gravy.
The carving station will also feature pineapple chutney honey glazed ham and the traditional, much-loved pumpkin soup will be given tropical treatment with a blend of coconut. Meats will be served with a delicious selection of accompaniments, including ginger-spiced cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole topped with pecans and marshmallows. Hungry for more Florida Keys-inspired dishes? There will be oysters on the half shell, peel ‘n eat Key West pink shrimp, surimi crab salad and gourmet cheeses. Just make sure you leave enough room for dessert! Butterfly Café’s Thanksgiving dinner is served from 2pm to 8pm by reservation only.
To make dine-in reservations, email email@example.com or call 305-289-7177
Take-away: Order Thanksgiving dinner “take out”
If you’d like some personal time with family, you can also request Thanksgiving “take-out” and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in the comfort of your Beach House. Order in advance and enjoy the following:
- 1 Turkey (10-12 pounds)
- Sides for 4-6 people, including: Mashed Potatoes (with or without Gravy), Green beans, Mushroom & Brioche Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce
- 6 Dinner Rolls or Corn Muffins
- 1 Key Lime OR Pumpkin Pie (serves 6)
- Price $95.00
- Must prepay and order before November 21st 2014
Send orders to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-289-5920
A tropical haven for relaxation
A Thanksgiving celebration on vacation not only means treating yourself to Butterfly Café’s finest food, but also finding every opportunity to relax and unwind beneath the golden rays of sunshine as the northern hemisphere wraps up against an autumn chill. With its own private 2.5 acre beach, Tranquility Bay provides the perfect Thanksgiving getaway, offering a spacious stretch of soft white sand for sun lounging as well as an exciting range of watersports for adventure-seekers, such as Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Wave Runners, Hobie Cats and boat rentals. The resort features three sparkling pools including our large lagoon-style pool, all nestled among a tropical garden oasis offering peace, privacy and paradise.
A luxury room for ultimate comfort
Guestrooms and beach houses at Tranquility Bay have been designed with the ultimate comfort and luxury in mind, all you need to consider is whether to choose a beachfront view or a luscious green landscape overlooking our tropical gardens. Just a short stroll from the central swimming pool and beach are the intimate Tropical Garden Guestrooms, which are perfect for couples looking for seclusion and serenity.
If it’s more space you’re after for enjoying Thanksgiving travel with family, try one of our two or three-bedroom beach houses overlooking the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Offering a relaxing “home away from home” atmosphere, everything your family 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.
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner at Tranquility Bay Resort or book online.
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.
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
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.
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.
Do you have a friend or family member that you love with all of your heart, yet you have to take them in small doses? Well, many Marathon, Florida locals will agree that we have a love/hate relationship with seagrass on our beautiful island and we would also prefer to take it in small doses. While seagrass is a vital part of our ecosystem in the Florida Keys, it can be a bit smelly as it accumulates on our tropical beaches. To alleviate this issue, we have decided to keep our pungent pal at arm’s length with the installation of a new eco-friendly seagrass fence at Tranquility Bay.
First, let’s not forget all of the reasons why we love seagrass. Florida has roughly 2.2 million acres of seagrasses that perform many amazing functions. For starters, they help make our waters crystal-clear by trapping fine sediments and particles with their leaves.
When the grass matures, it also releases from the ocean bed and floats above where seagrasses then form a canopy which protects smaller marine animals from larger predators. This includes shelter for fishes, crustaceans and shellfish, while the seagrasses also grow organisms that provide food for many marine animals and water birds. Some animals such as manatees, urchins and sea turtles, eat seagrass blades. Other animals get their nutrition from eating algae and small animals that live upon the seagrass leaves. Bottlenose dolphins and water birds additionally use seagrass beds as feeding grounds.
So we obviously cannot and do not want to “do away with” seagrass, so our fence just keeps the seagrasses away from our beach in a creative way. And while this process has taken longer than we would like, it was important to implement the appropriate actions to ensure that our fence was eco-friendly and helped to sustain the nearby seagrass population. The Tranquility Bay seagrass fence works to keep seagrasses off of our beach while the grass stays in the ocean, continuing to do its many good deeds.
You can now bask on our small, yet beautiful beach without seagrass cramping your style. So two thumbs up for seagrass, but we’ll wave from afar as we unwind on our pristine white beach at Tranquility Bay Resort.