An Oasis in the Middle Florida Keys: Hawk’s Cay Resort
Most travelers head straight to Key West from Miami. Unlike Lot’s wife, there’s no turning back for many of them —it’s an arrow-straight drive down gorgeous Route 1, past clusters of islands and over the endless, graceful arcs of bridges down to the tip.
But during a recent family trip to the Keys, we were determined to give the popular Key West just a shoulder brush, and experience life in the Upper Keys. Hawk’s Cay, which is ideally located about mid-point of the entire Florida Keys stretch in Duck’s Cay at mile marker 61, is a pretty grand resort: 60 acres of lagoons, pools, world-class and casual dining and 400 villas and hotel rooms.
The highlight for me at Hawk’s Cay was the Dolphin Connection: think of it as your own personal Sea World at the resort. We hung out dockside with four Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins who were frisky, lively, lovable and obedient despite their age. They showed off their leaping skills in their own ocean-fed saltwater lagoon, interacted beautifully with guests.
Because of the availability of several restaurants on property, there was no shortage of dining options. The high-end version is Alma, a cuban-style restaurant where rum punches flow freely and patrons sip and eat to the beat of salsa music.
And for those who seek quality “me-time,” there is an adults-only pool, with an ocean-view alfresco restaurant called SandBar, new to 2014. It is probably the best place to go if you have a family, and want a quality experience in the Keys.