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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.
Arriving at Tranquility Bay Hotel and Resort is a welcome invitation into paradise. Located right in the heart of the Florida Keys in Marathon, Tranquility Bay offers peace, serenity and seclusion alongside adventure, luxury and delectable dining. From the calm, tropical gardens to the refreshing, sparkling swimming pools, everything has been created with relaxation and comfort in mind to ensure your vacation memories last a lifetime.
A luxury room with a view
Tranquility Bay has accommodation options to suit every combination of bookings, whether you’re travelling on your own, with a loved one or as part of a wider group of family and friends. There are Tropical Garden Guestrooms set among a lush secluded oasis, offering spectacular views and quick access to the hotel’s private 2.5 acre white sand beach – the perfect romantic hideaway.
When extra space is needed, the luxury of staying in a two or three-bedroom beach house is simply irresistible. With stunning views across the Gulf of Mexico from your own private porch, you can soak up every sense of paradise from the balmy Florida breeze to the world-renowned golden sunsets. Just make sure you have a frozen key lime daiquiri within arm’s reach to savor the moment!
Delicious Keys-style dining
The refreshing selection of cool drinks won’t be the only taste bud temptations at Tranquility Bay. One mouthful of Keys-style cuisine expertly created by the hotel’s top culinary team at Butterfly Café, and you’ll taste exactly why TripAdvisor has rated this Marathon’s number one restaurant. Dishes are prepared with the freshest, seasonal ingredients, the ambience is perfectly balanced between sophisticated and relaxed, and the Southern hospitality is always welcoming. Be sure not to forget to sample the unrivaled Key Lime Pie. Lunch, snacks and delicious cocktails are also served daily at our beachfront TJ’s Tiki Bar.
Relaxation or fun-packed action
There is no end to the number of ways to maximize your days on vacation at Tranquility Bay Resort. Onsite you can practice your golf skills on the Nicklaus-designed putting green before dipping into one of three swimming pools including a large lagoon-style pool. Or you may prefer to cruise through the calm ocean on board your kayak and later dive beneath the surface to explore the underwater safari. There’s deep sea fishing, flat fishing, jet skiing, and parasailing, all available to enjoy at your leisure while making sure you allow plenty of time to relax on our private beach with a good book and tropical cocktail from TJ’s Tiki Bar.
It’s hard to imagine stepping beyond this exquisite oasis of calm, but when you do there is plenty to keep families entertained in Marathon with wildlife attractions and museums.
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online.
A progressive new paddleboard program has launched in the Florida Keys. Serenity Eco Therapy provides mental balance through natural balance to visitors seeking health, longevity and enlightenment.
Owner and operator Sarah Sullivan combines meditation, yoga, Pilates, cardio and paddleboards to provide visitors with a therapeutic water experience. Daily classes are held on the Atlantic Ocean waters, just a short drive from Tranquility Bay Resort at Bahia Honda State Park.
Sullivan holds degrees in psychology and environmental studies, and has worked as a rehabilitative mental health counselor in the Keys for the last several years.
For more information call 305-432-1401 or e-mail email@example.com.
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 sauces to season with a tropical twist, all ready for you to indulge Keys-style to celebrate Thanksgiving in Florida in 2014.
A feast fit for Thanksgiving
Rated Marathon’s number one restaurant by TripAdvisor, Butterfly Café will set the scene for a Thanksgiving dinner to remember. 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? 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.
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.
After decades of working hard throughout your career and around the home, there has never been a better time than now to unwind, indulge and take time out in a tropical haven of calm and ease. Make the most of your senior years with a Florida Keys vacation to relax in style. The peace and serenity that surrounds Tranquility Bay Resort will send you on a journey into paradise, while the local attractions, fishing heritage and sleepy seaside lifestyle in Marathon all add a great sense of charm and character to your days on this beautiful island.
Switch off and cool down
Taking time out to relax is just as important as filling your days with activities and tours around the island. At Tranquility Bay Resort, it is hard not to relax. Our comfortable and spacious beach houses are ideal for groups of seniors with two and three-bedroom options. Please note that all beach houses have one flight of stairs. Or if it’s just you and a friend or loved one, try our single-level Tropical Garden Guestrooms. Make sure to ask for a ground floor guestroom if anyone in your party has mobility issues. All of our accommodations offer the ultimate in comfort and style, helping you to start and end each day feeling calm and at ease.
As you wander through the twelve acres of lush landscaping of our beautiful gardens, you will be filled with a sense of serenity which continues as you make your way to our private beach, sparkling pools or to recharge at our beachside TJ’s Tiki Bar. Spend the afternoon honing your short game on our putting green by Nicklaus Design or let us plan a day of exciting water-based activities, ending with a sunset cruise. And sometimes the best days are spent doing nothing at all while basking in the warm Florida sunshine.
Tempt your taste buds
If it’s fresh fish you fancy, cooked exactly how you like it or Caribbean jerk chicken, you will be in your element at our award-winning Butterfly Cafe at Tranquility Bay Resort. Butterfly Cafe is the number one restaurant in Marathon with a talented team on board working creatively behind the scenes to prepare the very best local cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere.
Discover the island’s natural beauty
There is natural beauty to admire around every corner in Marathon and the island offers so many different ways to see it. To discover the ocean’s natural wonders, pick up a snorkel, mask and pair of flippers and explore the underwater world right on your doorstep at Tranquility Bay Resort’s private beach. You can also book a variety of tours through our helpful concierge service, including sunset cruises, sailing, fishing and kayaking. If you’d rather stay on dry land, take a trip to Crane Point Museum, Nature Center & Historic Site where you can hike through an impressively preserved tropical hardwood grove before visiting the home of an early 20th-century settler family. New to the Florida Keys is Aquarium Encounters, offering unique encounters with Florida Keys sea life.
Take a dip with dolphins
With a reputation for having a therapeutic effect on humans, an encounter with dolphins is one of life’s greatest experiences. In Marathon, you can get up close to these beautiful, well-tempered creatures and learn about their behavior and natural habitat at the Dolphin Research Center.
For the creative-minded
If you fancy channeling your creativity while on vacation, you can find your outlet at The Art Studio located at 12535 Overseas Highway, MM 53.6 oceanside. The workshop offers lessons in how to paint in oil, watercolors and acrylic, as well as sculpting and pottery so you can take away a special souvenir of your time in Marathon.
For inspiration and advice on making the most of your stay in Marathon, Florida, our welcoming staff are on hand to help you find the best activities to suit your style so all you need to focus on is taking it easy and soaking up the spectacular Florida sunshine.
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner at Tranquility Bay Resort or book online.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.