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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.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Florida Keys cuisine is amazing. There’s nothing ordinary about it, even when ingredients have been cooked simply and with minimal fuss. At Tranquility Bay Hotel and Resort, every guest can experience unforgettable dining when they choose to indulge at our elegant Butterfly Café - the number one rated restaurant in Marathon, according to TripAdvisor – or sit back for a casual bite to eat at our oceanside TJ’s Tiki Bar.
To make your vacation dining even more memorable, we have launched the Tranquility Bay Culinary Escape package for a limited time only which offers every guest $50 per night to spend in Butterfly Café or TJ’s Tiki Bar when you book one of our spacious and stylish two or three-bedroom beach houses. That’s up to $250 (maximum 5 nights’ credit) at your disposal to sample the tropical tastes, delicious Caribbean-inspired cooking, and the most refreshing flavors that all make our delectable cuisine in the Keys so special.
This is the ultimate package that combines the luxury, spaciousness and comfort of our spectacular two or three-bedroom beach houses, with the indulgence and elegance of dining at Tranquility Bay. Your $50 credit per night for five nights can be spent in the evening savoring the finest flavors of the Florida Keys at our award-winning Butterfly Café where the tempting menu is particularly popular for its local seafood as well as the must-try Key Lime Pie. You can expect warm, welcoming service in light, beautiful surroundings.
You can also spend your credit at the laid-back waterfront TJ’s Tiki Bar which is an ideal spot for unwinding over a casual lunch, afternoon snacks and a cool tropical island drink while the gentle water laps on the beach nearby. Just step outside your luxury haven overlooking the water, take a stroll through our lush landscaped gardens and be indulged by the best Southern hospitality and culinary creations you could wish to find in the Florida Keys.
The Tranquility Bay Culinary Escape package includes:
- Overnight accommodation in a two or three bedroom beach house on select dates (this offer does not apply to guestrooms)
- $50 per night food and beverage credit for food and drinks at Butterfly Cafe (dinner) and TJ’s Tiki Bar (lunch and snacks) up to $250 total
We’ll take care of your dining credit leaving you to make those all-important decisions about whether to dine on coconut shrimp, Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Yellowtail Snapper or a whole host more. Bon appetit!
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.
Wildlife adventures, spectacular sunsets, delectable dining, pristine beaches: these are just some of the reasons why Marathon, Florida is one of the most popular hot spots for an unforgettable family vacation. To help you make the most of your precious time away together, we’ve highlighted ten of the top reasons why families love Tranquility Bay Resort:
1) Spacious Family Beach Houses
At Tranquility Bay Resort, you will never fall short on space in one of our two or three-bedroom beach houses. Designed with spaciousness and luxury in mind, each beach house boasts its own private porch and overlooks the sparkling 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.
2) Three Sparkling Pools
Much of your family time in Marathon will center itself around water, whether in it, on it or lounging around it. As you stroll through the lush, landscaped gardens surrounding your beach house, you’ll soon discover one of three sparking pools, each beckoning you to take a dip and cool down. The largest of the three is a beautiful lagoon-style pool for all ages. There is also an adults-only pool and a more intimate pool near our Tropical Garden Guestroom area. Your little ones will be endlessly entertained splashing around and practicing their swimming style under the tropical skies of the Florida Keys.
3) Private White Sand Beach
Within steps of your beach house, you’ll soon feel your toes sink into powder soft white sand on our private beach. Clean, peaceful, and safe, our Tranquility Bay Resort beach is the perfect haven for the whole family to unwind, have fun and dip in and out of the crystal clear ocean. Although the water entry access to our beach is small, you can still enjoy 2.5 acres of white sand beach overlooking the water. To help keep the beach in pristine condition, we have recently installed a seagrass fence which ensures seagrasses are kept in the ocean to continue their vital job of protecting the ecosystem, rather than mounting up on the beach.
4) A Sunset to Remember
No trip to the Florida Keys is complete without an evening watching the sun go down, and at Tranquility Bay your family can celebrate spectacular sunsets together from our private beach by TJ’s Tiki Bar. Try a tropical drink with plenty of frozen options for the kids. It’s a perfect spot to watch the tropical orange glow sparkle on the ocean before disappearing on the horizon, ready to rise again the next morning. Sunsets in the Florida Keys are renowned worldwide and will become part of your family’s special vacation memories.
5) Exciting Onsite Watersports
With a huge variety of water-based activities available in Marathon, there is every opportunity to make a splash and immerse the whole family into a fun, action-packed day. Onsite watersports can be arranged through our adventure concierge, from kayaking, Florida Keys fishing charters and leisurely cruises, to WaveRunner rentals and parasailing. The warm waters surrounding Marathon are teeming with tropical fish and beautiful coral waiting to be explored, making it a colorful paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers.
6) Dining for the Family
Families will love dining together in our award-winning Butterfly Cafe which features a children’s menu and a delicious range of local delicacies. The restaurant opens at 6:00 p.m. to suit little ones needing an early bedtime. The light, airy space of Butterfly Cafe provides the perfect atmosphere for family dining, or you can dine outdoors on our breezy patio. For light bites and lunch, try TJ’s Tiki Bar right by the beach which is a family favorite for lunch, refreshing drinks, smoothies and afternoon snacks. The kids will especially love our virgin Key Lime Daiquiri or Cookies n’ Cream Smoothie.
7) Putting Green
There is nothing quite like the peace and quiet of putting in the warm open air under the bluest of skies. At Tranquility Bay Resort, you can prepare for the golf course on our immaculate putting green designed by Nicklaus Design, and enjoy the indulgence of “me time” as you put against the stunning backdrop of palm trees and a sparkling ocean.
8) Standalone Cottages
Our family-friendly beach houses are ideal for creating the ultimate in privacy and exclusivity so the whole family can spend time together in a home-like environment. Each cottage is set within its own beach house unit so there are no communal hallways shared by other guests which suits many families on vacation, particularly those with younger children who won’t be disturbed by any noise after their early bedtime.
9) Nearby Family Attractions
Many families find the tranquil setting of the resort, with its private beach and swimming pools, difficult to leave. However, Marathon is home to a range of attractions to add even more fun to your family vacation, including the Dolphin Research Center which runs a variety of programs including the Dolphin Dip, a perfect way to plunge into unforgettable fun. Families can also meet sea turtles at the Turtle Hospital, discover shells, fish tanks and pirate costumes at Crane Point Hammock, and make friends with herons, owls, pelicans and egrets at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center.
10) Budget rooms for families
Our new luxury single-level double queen-bed Tropical Garden Guestrooms offer seclusion and calm among a lush tropical landscape. Perfect for families looking for a budget-friendly stay, each guestroom is designed in conch style architecture, with understated luxury and graceful touches to add to the sense of serenity and relaxation.
Call 855-266-2703 to book your family vacation at Tranquility Bay Resort.
Every year in Marathon, families and friends join together on July 4th to celebrate Independence Day with picnics, parades, beachside fun, and spectacular firework displays.
This year will feature an entire day of fun followed by one of the largest and longest firework displays in the Florida Keys on Sombrero Beach. Celebrations begin with a patriotic parade in the morning, starting around 10:30, from Marathon High School to Sombrero Beach where a daylong party brings together food, drink, kids’ crafts and entertainment. The fireworks will then fill the skies with color after dark and there will be hundreds of boaters lined up in front of the beach for the best view of the celebrations.
The Americana Music Festival also takes place during the July 4th festivities. Between June 30th and July 5th, you can discover around 30 musical bands and solo performers on stage at Marathon’s popular waterfront venue, Dockside Tropical Cafe (35 Sombrero Boulevard). The free event will feature afternoon performances and headliners later in the evening, all creating a lively atmosphere to add to the Independence Day celebrations.
If you’re feeling adventurous, head down to Key West for the day and get a taste of the Key Lime Pie Festival (July 3 – 5). There’s every excuse to indulge in Key West’s favorite flavor during this festival while enjoying a number of highlights, including a Key lime pie-eating contest, a Miss Key Lime Pageant, and the unveiling of an impressive 9 foot-wide pie which will be served up on Greene Street, just off Duval Street.
Call (855) 266-2703 to book your stay at Tranquility Bay Resort this 4th of July.
Getting organized early for summer can help you spend less on your family vacation so that you can get a piece of luxury at a slice of the price. It’s our way of treating you and your loved ones to a more affordable ticket to paradise following the long winter months, because you deserve to relax and have fun amid the beauty of the Florida Keys here at Tranquility Bay Resort in Marathon, Florida.
Our “Sale Into Summer“ promotion offers up to 25% savings on spacious two or three-bedroom beach houses with views of the Gulf of Mexico, so you can look out on your own private paradise. Our charming two-bedroom beach houses are perfect for a family of four, offering two-level living with French doors that lead out onto spacious porches on both levels.
We’ve created each beach house with comfort and luxury in mind, so you can indulge in style surrounded by quaintly painted furniture and enjoy the benefits of a private laundry service, flatscreen TVs, wireless internet and cable TV. The master bedroom features a king size bed and the second bedroom is perfect for siblings to share with twin size beds, all beautifully prepared with luxurious linens.
Also available in our ‘Sale Into Summer‘ offer are the super spacious three-bedroom beach houses, ideal for larger families or groups of friends. Offering all the comfort, luxury and detail of our two-bedroom houses, you will find even more space here for up to six people with an additional bedroom offering a queen size bed. Whichever size beach house suits you and your party, every morning you can guarantee to wake up to the sight and sound of serenity before you plan your fun-filled day of family adventure.
There couldn’t be a more ideal location for a summer family vacation than the Florida Keys. Tranquility Bay is surrounded by attractions and activities for all age groups to enjoy, including swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center, meeting sea turtles at the Turtle Hospital and snorkeling to find colorful coral and tropical fish. The resort is home to its own private beach, sparkling pools and the award-winning Butterfly Cafe which offers relaxed dining and a children’s menu. There are also more water-based activities than you can even fit into your vacation, to help make the most of your long-awaited summer break.
It’s no surprise that our resort remains the number one hotel in Marathon on TripAdvisor, so make sure you don’t lose out on the pleasure of unwinding in style at a lower price, as our family-friendly beach houses are set to sell fast the sooner summer arrives.
The “Sale Into Summer” promotion launches on May 5th and is available until May 14th for bookings over the summer through September 22nd. Book now via Call 877-705-5758 or visit www.tranquilitybay.com/saleaway.
Every mom deserves a much-needed break, and if she’s lucky enough to be spending Mother’s Day (May 11th) at Tranquility Bay Resort this year, she is sure to be pampered and indulged in style. Whether mom prefers an action-packed day soaking up the sights of Marathon, or a few restorative poolside hours to herself before sampling some of the island’s finest delicacies, there are many wonderful ways to celebrate mom this May. Call 855-597-7574 to book your Mother’s Day vacation today. Here’s our pick of the best ways to pamper mom:
1. Swim with dolphins
Treat mom to one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime – swimming with beautiful dolphins. The nearby Dolphin Research Center runs a variety of fun programs including the Dolphin Dip, a perfect way for mom to plunge into fun with the whole family nearby. There are flipper shakes, back rubs and interactive behavior for mom to splash about and enjoy with her new-found dolphin friend, and the whole experience is captured on camera by professional photographers.
2. A tempting tiki lunch or refreshing drink
During your Mother’s Day weekend at Tranquility Bay Resort, you’re guaranteed to take time out at TJ’s Tiki Bar for a midday tropical smoothie, a bit of lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, or a pre-sunset cocktail. Imagine you’ve just stepped out of the sunshine and into the shade for a cool down. You need a long, fruit-based cocktail to go hand-in-hand with this slice of paradise, so may we suggest the Blueberry Mojito? It’s bursting with flavor and packs a punch with its well-balanced blend of Stoli Blueberry, fresh mint and lime juice. Then there’s the Key Lime Pie cocktail which is an absolute must for savoring the original flavors of the Florida Keys. Key lime rum is blended with vanilla ice cream and rimmed with a Graham cracker crust; it is the ultimate taste sensation from TJ’s Tiki Bar!
3. Time out for mom
Tranquility Bay Resort has its own private beach, so give mom the ultimate gift of relaxation with time out ocean-side to soak up the tropical Florida sunshine and escape into paradise. There are also three sparkling pools at the resort where mom can take a dip or lounge around with her favorite book in one hand and a tropical cocktail in the other. In-room spa services are also available upon request.
4. Dinner at Butterfly Cafe
Indulge mom over a leisurely lunch with the whole family at our award-winning Butterfly Cafe. The menu features the finest tropical flavors with ocean-fresh seafood among the most popular options, and our Key Lime Pie is a must-try for dessert. Expect a warm, welcoming service in light, beautiful surroundings that will make mom feel utterly spoiled.
5. Soak up a spectacular sunset
Be sure to bring a memorable Mother’s Day to an unforgettable close by taking mom to one of Marathon’s best spots to watch the sun go down. Head to Seven Mile Bridge, the longest bridge in the Florida Keys at the southern end of Marathon, and catch one of the most magnificent sunsets you’ll ever experience. Or if you’re enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of Tranquility Bay resort, soak up the sunset right from our private beach.
Let’s start the week off right with some exceptional offers from Tranquility Bay Resort. We’ve highlighted some of the best dates where you can save big bucks between now and the summer months. These offers are available as of the week of April 7th only so book now to avoid disappointment! Please note for all offers that rates do not include a daily resort fee of $25 or applicable taxes. Offers are also subject to limited availability and blackout dates. Your deposit and cancellation policy will additionally depend on the type of reservation that you have booked. Please call 855-606-4502 for details.
SUMMER WEEKDAY SALE FROM $219/NIGHT… A 15% SAVINGS!
Relax, unwind and find serenity this summer at our Florida Keys resort. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or are in search of a romantic retreat, Tranquility Bay offers a little something for everyone and relaxation for all. Dive into rejuvenating watersports activities, swim with dolphins nearby, try beach yoga, or just enjoy some traditional family fun. You can also soak up the sun on our 2.5 acre beach or our lagoon style pool. Discover paradise from just $219/night when staying Sundays through Thursdays in a Tropical Garden Guestroom. Find this offer on select dates from June 8 – August 23, 2014.
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
STAY 5 NIGHTS BEACH HOUSE SPECIAL: SAVE UP TO 20% FROM $299/NIGHT
Enjoy special savings for staying at least five nights at Tranquility Bay Resort! Book a two-bedroom waterview beach house on the following dates and receive up to 20% off of our best available rates:
- Sunday April 27 – Thursday May 1 (15% savings)
- Sunday May 18 – Thursday May 22 (15% savings)
- Monday May 26 – Thursday May 29 (15% savings)
- Sunday June 1 – Thursday June 5 (10% savings)
- Sundays through Thursdays from June 8 – 26 (20% savings)
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
MAY ESCAPES FROM $199/NIGHT IN A TROPICAL GARDEN GUESTROOM
Discover paradise in May when staying in our new Tropical Garden Guestrooms at Tranquility Bay Resort. Call 855-606-4502 for two and three-bedroom beach house pricing. Find this offer on the following dates:
- Friday, May 2, 2014
- Monday, May 5 through Friday, May 9, 2014
- Sunday, May 18 through Thursday, May 22, 2014
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
VALUE DATES FROM $169/NIGHT DURING SELECT TRAVEL PERIODS
Book a Tropical Garden Guestroom during the following dates and enjoy rates from just $169/night. Call 855-606-4502 for two and three-bedroom beach house pricing.
- Sunday, April 27 through Thursday, May 1, 2014
- Monday, May 26 through Thursday, May 29, 2014
- Sunday, June 1 through Thursday, June 5, 2014
- Sunday, August 24 through Thursday, August 28, 2014
- Many dates in September, 2014
Call 855-606-4502 to speak with an onsite vacation planner or book online, now.
Rates do not include daily resort fee of $25 or applicable taxes. Offers are subject to limited availability and blackout dates. Deposit and cancellation policy depend on type of reservation booked.