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Your 7-Day Cruising Itinerary for a Perfect Trip on the Florida Keys

By Chris Boyle

Florida keys

Whether you need relaxation or adventure, we have chosen the perfect seven-day itinerary that has it all

The southernmost point of the United States with a blissfully tropical climate and kaleidoscopic sunsets, Florida is known as the ‘Sunshine State’ for good reason. Legendary beaches, magnificent coral reefs and lush jungle make it the perfect destination for your luxury yacht charter, and many celebrities and US presidents—current and former— vacation here year after year.

In the very south of the state, the worldrenowned Florida Keys form a necklace of tropical islands that curve across the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico towards Cuba. Starting in the glamorous metropolis of Miami Beach, the capital of beach chic, you can soak up the glitz, indulge in the finest luxury spas and dine in some of the world’s top restaurants before making your way through the Keys to Key West, the only Caribbean island in the US.

Famed for their sunsets and signature key lime pies, each of the islands on the way offers an eco-paradise of emeraldgreen lagoons, subtropical everglades, mangrove-lined shores and seas teeming with life. Florida boasts the only living coral barrier reef in North America, attracting elite clientele from all over the world for its spectacular diving and fishing. During your charter you will have the chance to dive through shipwrecks and coral formations, swim with dolphins and fish for tarpon and sharks for your dinner. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, Florida offers superb cruising territory and by the time you reach Key West you will see why Ernest Hemingway found it so hard to leave.

➤ Arrive in Miami Beach

Day 1: Miami Beach to Elliott Key

Day 2: Elliott Key to Key Largo

Day 3: Key Largo to Islamorada

Day 4: Islamorada to Duck Key

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Day 5: Duck Key to Newfound Harbor

Day 6: Newfound Harbor to Key West

Day 7: Key West and disembark

Day of Arrival

Miami beach


Fly to Miami International Airport and transfer to Miami Beach Marina where your yacht awaits.

The first stop in your itinerary plunges you straight into the heart of Florida’s most glamorous social scene.

One of the USA’s hottest holiday destinations, Miami Beach is famous for its sexy clientele and electrifying nightlife which attracts countless celebrities all year round. A city laced with a sensual Latin vibe, it abounds with a dazzling array of gourmet restaurants, luxurious shopping quarters and achingly chic bars. South Beach—or ‘SoBe’ as it is known to locals—is the epicenter of the island where the bronzed and beautiful lounge on the golden sands, sip iced coffee in the cafés of Lincoln Road, or cycle along sidewalks lined with palm trees. However, there is more to Miami Beach than just glitz and cocktails—a number of museums and fabulous Art Deco architecture prove this is also a city rich in culture. The perfect starting point, Miami Beach caters to the elite traveler’s every need.


Canyon Reach Spa


Treatment and facilities: Not only is the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa situated on 750 feet of unspoiled white beach, but it is also within easy reach of the South Beach scene.

There are plenty of opportunities to relax, with a 70,000-squarefoot wellness spa, 150 luxurious suites and four dining venues. On hand are physicians and other health professionals to provide medical advice for those looking to address any health concerns.

Signature treatments: Muscle Melt for Road Warriors, a traditional Thai massage using lemongrass oil and warm herbal pouches pressed into muscles.

Charlotte Prescott, Spa and Fitness Director

+1 305 514 7000

6801 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 33141


Elemis Spa

Treatments and facilities: Housed within the fabulous Art Deco St. Moritz building, a Miami Beach landmark, the Elemis Spa offers a chic retreat from the bustle of the city.

The London-based brand offers world-class facials with a scientific focus such as their signature Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial. There are also a number of body treatments that nod to the city’s exotic clime, including the Lime and Ginger Salt Glow or the Frangipani Nourishing Wrap. Covering a vast 18,550 square feet with sixteen treatment rooms, a Calming Lounge, fitness center, hair and nail salon and relaxation rooms complete with hydroptherapy, sauna and steamroom—there is plenty on offer to make sure you are ready to hit South Beach feeling buffed and beautiful.

Signature treatments: Exotic Frangipani Nourishing Wrap, Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow, Aroma Stone Therapy, Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial, Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial, Skin IQ for Men Facial.

Ernest Sanchez, Spa Director

+1 305 695 3400

Lowes Miami Beach Hotel, 1601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139


Spa V at hotel victor

Treatments and facilities: Just steps from the bustling South Beach scene, Spa V is an underground sanctuary that is fit for a modern-day sultan.

Scattered pillows, daybeds and subdued lighting complement a co-ed steam bath, cool-down room and South Beach’s first traditional Turkish hammam. With European influences aplenty, and an ambiance that is stylish and sultry, visitors will find the Spa V a calming refuge of tranquillity. Fans of Spa V include former Miami Heat basketball player Shaquille O’Neal.

Signature treatments: The Victor includes an invigorating body scrub using essential oils, a de-stressing Stone Me massage with hot stones and oil and a Visage pour Homme facial.

Ninoshka Williams, Spa Manager

+1 305 779 8787

1144 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 33139

Where to shop



Sleek sister shop to the famous Barney’s in New York, this is one of Miami’s finest retail outlets.

With a range including A.L.C., Alexander Wang, Gant by Michael Bastian, L’Agence, Rag & Bone, Shipley & Halmos, and celebrity patrons such as Naomi Campbell, Penélope Cruz and Nicole Richie, Barneys is the place to go to for top fashion.

+1 305 421 2010

832 Collins Avenue 33139

Alexander Mcqueen, Intermix


As the name suggests, Intermix provides discerning fashionistas with a wide range of the latest European and American fashion styles, including some of the industry’s biggest names: Alexander McQueen, Chloé, Diane Von Furstenberg and Michael Kors. Celebrity shoppers include Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Kate Hudson.

+1 305 531 5950

634 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139




Cuisine: Chinese

Style/Ambiance: Located in the newly renovated Fontainebleau Hotel, Hakkasan was a landmark moment for Miami when it opened in 2009.

Not only did it exemplify the standard and quality that Miami dining had reached, it created a restaurant that would continue to raise the bar even more. Hakkasan doesn’t disappoint, and is a favorite with locals and visitors alike, who flock to sample the excellent Cantonese cuisine, the award-winning wine list and the stylish, opulent ambiance.

Gail Karas

+1 786 276 1388

Fontainebleau Resort, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 33140

Joe’s Stone Crabs


Cuisine: Seafood

Style/Ambiance: Since its opening in 1913, Joe’s Stone Crab has remained a perennial favorite among locals in Miami.

Joe’s specialises in the delicious local stone crab, as well as other regional seafood. Expect a lively time in Joe’s— there’s no reservation policy, but don’t let the idea of a packed house put you off, as the atmosphere is always great. Celebrities such as Madonna, Billy Joel, Muhammad Ali and Presidents Bill Clinton, George W and George H W Bush have all attended this Miami Mecca, and all have left having enjoyed the finest stone crab in Miami.

Ed Witte, Maître d’

+1 305 673 0365

11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, 33139


vizcaya museum & gardens


The historic 50-acre Vizcaya Estate will provide distraction for those seeking something other than a day on the beach.

The mansion was built in a European style in 1916 by industrialist James Deering, and the grounds surrounding the mansion blend the garden styles of Tuscany and Île-de-France with the native plant life, creating a beautifully serene retreat. A popular venue for concerts and galas, the estate has also featured in the movies Any Given Sunday and Bad Boys II. A visit to Vizcaya is a perfect day trip, so ask your concierge to make arrangements for you.

Joel M. Hoffman, Director

+1 305 250 9133

3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami, 33129

Art deco building


A great way to see the historic district of Miami is on the South Beach Art Deco Tour.

Organized by the Miami Design Preservation League, the 90-minute walking tours are flexible and tailored to your requirements. The private tour offers an introduction to the style that captured Miami during the 1920s and 30s, and encompasses the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival, and Miami Modern (MIMO) styles found within the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Richard Towers, Tour Director

+1 305 672 2014

Art Deco Gift Shop, The Ocean Auditorium, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 33139



For those looking for a quirky yet interesting experience, The Wolfsonian–FIU Museum is just the ticket.

The brainchild of eccentric collector Mitchell Wolfson Jr, The Wolfsonian–FIU features an eclectic collection of industrial art from 1885 to 1945, and examines the effect of art and design on popular culture. With approximately 120,000 objects, The Wolfsonian–FIU has a wealth of information on display. The top VIP experience on offer is a private tour of the museum, which includes fine wine and a selection of cheeses.

Kelsey Kyle

+1 305 535 2631

Wolfsonian Museum, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, 33139




Regarded as one of Miami’s hottest clubs, Mansion has hosted some of the world’s most glamorous events and features guest performances from top artists.

Hip-hop star Diddy held his MTV Video Music Awards celebration party here, while Britney Spears, Prince and Velvet Revolver have all performed at Mansion. With exquisite décor, world-class DJs playing the latest music and a fashionable guest list, Mansion is one of Miami’s most affluent nightspots. With an ideal location in the heart of South Beach, this lavish club is a great place to begin or end an evening.

+1 305 695 8411

Mansion Nightclub, 1235 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 33139



Recently refurbished, the Mokai features a fresh new design that has re-established the club as one of the premier destinations for Miami revellers.

At just 4,000 square feet and capacity for 220 people, this is a far more intimate club than Set or Mansion, which are also part of the Opium Group. The size of Mokai just adds to the exclusivity of the club—very much somewhere to be seen.

+1 305 673 1409

Mokai, 235 23rd Street, 33139, Miami Beach

Nikki Beach


Located right on the ocean, Nikki Beach is regarded as the quintessential way to experience the SoBe nightlife.

The private cabanas and hammocks on the beach are a great place to chill out and watch the movers and shakers while sipping on a cocktail. If you’re looking to dance, head upstairs to the recently opened O-1 (formerly Club Nikki) where top DJs play for models and other glam guests in a faux-1930s bourgeois cabaret setting.

+1 305 538 1111

One Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, 33139


With one of the tightest door policies in the world, and a list of celebrity attendees that includes Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, Mickey Rourke, Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez, this super trendy club is one of Miami’s finest.

Renovated every year, this club is always fresh, and with a crowd that includes local models, scene makers and DJs, it’s always a fabulous night out.

+1 305 532 0727

1921 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 33139

Day 1

key biscayne

DAY 1: Miami Beach to Elliott Key

21 nautical miles

From the glitz and party atmosphere of Miami Beach to the island paradise of Elliot Key, Day One introduces you to the natural treasures and laid-back vibe for which the Florida Keys are renowned.

Elliott Key is the largest island in the Key Biscayne National Park, a seven-mile stretch of emerald islands, turquoise waters and exquisite coral reefs. Although it lies within sight of downtown Miami, life on Elliott Key seems a world apart. Reachable only by boat, this quiet, lush island was once filled with the pineapple farms of a thriving community of pioneers, but now plays host only to a myriad of birds, rare butterflies and other exotic wildlife. Dotted with picnic tables and small campgrounds, the island offers a number of pleasant hikes, as well as some great scuba diving.


Ritz-Carlton Spa


Treatments and facilities: Set within the golden sands of one of the USA’s finest beaches, the full service spa at the luxury Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne resort offers an impressive range of sumptuous treatments for the elite traveler.

Taking inspiration from the natural riches of the ocean, massages include the Atlantic Stone Therapy as well as packages such as the detoxifying Ocean Indulgence. It comes complete with a salon and a stateof- the-art fitness center with an array of fitness classes.

Signature treatments: Tropical Coco-Luscious Body Treatment and Signature Massage—a traditional Swedish massage combined with your choice of aromatherapy oils.

+1 305 365 4157

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149


Miami Seaquarium’s


This unique experience is one of the city’s most exclusive ‘must-do’s’. Miami Seaquarium offers guests the chance to be a Trainer For a Day.

This incredible course allows elite travelers the chance to learn all about the dolphins from the trainers. Guests will be able to participate in various training sessions, get involved in the set up of the shows and even play with the animals. In addition, there will be an opportunity to tour the Seaquarium and see some fantastic shows.

Cristina Rodriguez, PR and Promotions Manager

+1 305 365 2525

4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149

Key Biscayne National Park


Divers and nature lovers flock to this park to catch a glimpse of its extraordinary natural treasures.

With more than 95% of the park underwater, it is ideal for exploring by boat and also means it is less crowded than other national parks. The lush, green islands are rife with herons, pelicans and rare butterflies and you can easily while away an afternoon navigating the shallow lagoons and mangrove shorelines in a canoe or kayak, keeping a lookout for the endangered American Crocodile. However, it is below the waters of this natural Eden that the park truly comes to life. Over 500 species of fish light-up this aquatic universe in a multitude of colors. Parrotfish and angelfish dart along the coral reefs or among the wrecks that pepper the seabed. Seasoned divers can follow the underwater shipwreck trail to experience all of these lost bounties, which span a century of maritime history. Look out too, for the endangered West Indian manatee or one of the many species of sea turtle that roam these underwater highways.

+1 305 230 1144

Key Biscayne, Florida

Crandon key biscayne


Golf lovers will not want to miss this stunning championship 18-hole golf course.

Overlooking Biscayne Bay, it is renowned as one of the most beautiful, and challenging, par-72 courses in the Sunshine State and boasts spectacular grounds draped in lush tropical foliage. Seven saltwater lakes, mischievous sand traps, glorious drives over mangrove thickets and even a subtropical lagoon make it clear why it had been chosen as the site for the Senior PGA Tour for the last 18 years, and elite travelers can walk in the footsteps of such golf greats as Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Don Messengale, Ray Floyd and Gary Player. The seventh hole has been credited as one of the greatest holes in golf—a par-4 that sends your golfball sailing over spectacular views of the bay. A dinner or gala can also be arranged on the club grounds, should you wish to turn your game into an event.

+1 305 361 9129

6700 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149



Cuisine: Modern American

Style/Ambiance: After a $7 million renovation, this landmark eatery has been transformed with floor-to-ceiling windows and an ultra-luxe interior.

The private entrance is a tropical walkway across a cascading waterfall into a sultry dining room clad in polished wood and dotted with tableside aquariums. Choose from small plates such as seabass ceviche, eel and fois gras, or the signature lobster bouillabaisse. Among the beautifully presented cocktails is The Rusty Spice, a blush-pink infusion of watermelon and ginger sprinkled with petals.

+1 305 361 3818

3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149

cantina Beach


Cuisine: Mexican

Style/Ambiance: A slice of coastal Mexico against a stunning ocean backdrop, Cantina Beach promises sophisticated and authentic Mexican cuisine within the opulent Ritz-Carlton resort.

Tiki torches, plush furnishings and a thatched Palapa roof give an opulent tribal atmosphere, Mexico-native Chef Andres Parlange works his magic with dishes such as Achote braised chicken with almonds, chilis and Mexican chocolate sauce or grilled prawns flambéed in tequila with Cilantro rice. The pride of the restaurant however lies in their wide range of premium tequilas, the largest 100 percent Agave tequila selection in Miami. The resident Tequilier, Heriberto, is on hand to provide exquisite cocktails to pair with your meal as you watch the sun sink into the waves.

+1 305 365 4500

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149




Richly decorated in sultry reds and chocolate browns, the RumBar aims to transport you to the glamorous heyday of vintage Havana.

Darkwood tables lie next to sumptuous leather sofas and armchairs which are scattered throughout the decadent lounge. RumBar boasts a menu of 52 rums, cachaças and piscos from no less than 18 countries, so you are sure to find a tipple to suit your taste, as well as a dizzying array of cigars from the humidor. On weekends, guests are serenaded by a four-piece band in white dinner jackets, so that you can enjoy the seductive rhythms of live Latin music as you sip your drink.

+1 305 365 4500


Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149

Day 2

Key Largo

DAY 2: Elliott Key to Key Largo

23 nautical miles

Sandwiched between the subtropical wilderness of the Everglades National Park and North America’s only living coral barrier reef, Key Largo is an island blessed with natural wonders.

The largest island of the Florida Keys, it boasts a landscape of tropical hardwoods, winding creeks and spectacular underwater scenery which has drawn the attention of both Hollywood and the cream of society. Made famous by the 1948 film Key Largo starring Humphrey Bogart, it provides an exotic escape just hours from Miami airport. One of the diving capitals of the world, the reef provides a wealth of stunning coral formations which attract divers from all over the globe. Not to be missed is the wreck of the Spiegel Grove, a 510-foot former US Navy vessel which was sunk in 2002 and is becoming the backbone of a new artificial reef. The bounty of the reef also provides excellent sport-fishing, the rewards of which you can bring to almost any restaurant on the island to be prepared for your dinner.


Wood-oven pizza


Cuisine: American

Style/Ambiance: Nestled on the northernmost tip of Key Largo amid 2,500 tropical acres lies the members-only Ocean Reef Club.

Founded in the mid 1940s by Minneapolis entrepreneur Morris Baker, this exclusive community has been offering complete privacy to presidents, heads of state, industry leaders and celebrities for more than 60 years. Set within the club’s Fishing Village, The Galley continues the nautical theme with specialty fresh fish dishes served with panoramic views overlooking the club’s private marina. A lengthy list of wood-oven pizzas and pasta dishes are also on offer in this modern, family friendly establishment available only to members and their guests. Relax and dine among some of the Keys’ elite clientele and watch the yachts come and go. For membership enquiries, contact Michelle Simpson, Executive Director of Membership and Marketing on +1 305 367 5921.

Susan Boudreau, Manager

+1 305 367 5879

The Fishing Village, Ocean Reef Club, 35 Ocean Reef Drive Suite 200, Key Largo, Florida 33037


Cuisine: Seafood Grill

Style/Ambiance: Only the finest and freshest ingredients are selected for the seafood fare on offer at Gus’ Grille.

Subtly refined touches such as polished wicker chairs and crisp white tablecloths add to the laid-back Caribbean vibe of this award-winning restaurant. Expect dishes such as lemon pepper (mahi mahi) in Caribbean curry sauce or jumbo lobster ricotta ravioli with sherry butter sauce and asparagus tomato compote. The pièce de résistance however is the sunset view over the bay which provides an ever-changing backdrop in hues of pinks, purples and blues.

+1 305 453 0000

Key Largo Marriott Bay Resort, 103800 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida 33037


Alligator, Everglades National Park


The Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the American crocodile and the West Indian manatee.

The Everglades are a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance and there are several different ways to experience the park. There are jet and air boat tours for those looking to enjoy the everglades in style, or buggy tours and hiking trips which will take you further into the prairies, wetlands and sloughs. Kayaking and canoeing tours let you explore off the beaten track with a little fishing thrown in, or for the more adventurous, a floatplane lets you see the Everglades from the skies.

+1 305 242 7700

Everglades National Park, 40001 State Road, 9336, Homestead

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park


One of the jewels of the US state park system, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park shouldn’t be missed.

The first underwater state park in the United States, it protects 78 square miles of coral reef, mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks and a host of colorful marine life. Snorkelers will delight in the 600 varieties of fish such as the stoplight parrot fish or the cocoa damselfish that flit through the park’s seagrass beds. Make sure to grab your scuba gear and see them for yourselves. A popular highlight is the Christ of the Deep, a two-ton underwater statue of Jesus. There are plenty of snorkeling and canoe trails through the mangroves, or if you prefer to stay on land, the visitor center’s 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium lets you view the best of its inhabitants through floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Elena Muratori, Park Services Specialist

+1 305 451 1202

MM 102.5 OS, 102601 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo, Florida, 33037

Swimming with Dophins © Bob Krist


Key Largo’s surrounding coral reef, lush grounds and warm waters make it the perfect location to encounter some of the ocean’s friendliest mammals.

Dolphin Plus offers a wide range of both structured and natural swims, as well as sea lion encounters. There is also the opportunity to shadow a dolphin trainer for a day which includes swims and assisting with dolphin and sea lion training—a must for any sea life lover. Swimmers must be at least seven years old to participate.

+1 305 451 1993

31 Corrine Place, Key Largo, Florida, 33037




Treatments and facilities: Set within the grounds of the luxury Marriot Bay Resort, this spa offers a wide array of custom facials, aromatherapy massages and sea salt scrubs to choose from.

Indulge in one of the signature body wraps such as the Therapeutic Desert Heat Wrap which uses Arizona desert mud to nourish and hydrate, or the soothing Water Lilly Wrap—perfect after a day in the sun.

Signature treatments: Therapeutic Desert Heat Wrap, Detoxifying Seaweed Wrap, Water Lilly Wrap, Plantomer Facial

+1 305 453 0020

Key Largo Marriott Bay Resort, 103800 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida 33037


Miami Mojitas


Delicious frozen concoctions aren’t the only attraction at this open-air bar, as fabulous sunsets are also one of the venue’s main draws.

Just a short walk from the signature restaurant Gus’ Grille, Breezer’s Bar and Grille makes an ideal place to continue your evening. Island music provides a fun touch to your evening in the tropics.

+1 305 453 0000

Key Largo Marriott Bay Resort, 103800 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida 33037

Day 3

Cayo largo

DAY 3: key largo to Islamorada

20 nautical miles

The calm, aquamarine waters surrounding the island of Islamorada are among the world’s top destinations for sport fishing, earning the title ‘sport fishing capital of the world’.

For over a hundred years it has been a mecca for seasoned anglers and the rewards of their plunders can be tasted in a number of excellent restaurants. However, it is not just the delights of the sea that attract—many a traveler has become hooked on the laid-back luxury and idyllic landscapes of this small key. Pastel-colored houses with quaint white picket fences, powdery coral beaches and quiet streets adorned with orchids, bougainvilleas and fuchsia make this a popular choice for a sophisticated tropical excursion.




Cuisine: French with Asian and Caribbean influences

Style/Ambiance: The gorgeous colonial façade sets the scene at this onetime plantation house— a gourmet gem with an air of a rustic laid-back chic.

Once you walk along its decked veranda and through its blue painted shutters, you find yourself in an Aladdin’s cave brimming with Indian and African artifacts, Moroccan lamps and richly carved walls. The menu is an eclectic mix of French technique, the finest local seafood and culinary influences from all over the world. Dine on Margez lamb sausage from Alsace-Lorraine, yellowtail snapper and Florida lobster as you recline on banquettes strewn with colorful pillows.

Eric Carlson, General Manager

+1 305 664 3225

81600 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 81.6, Bayside, Islamorada, Florida 33036

Atlantic’s edge


Cuisine: American Seafood

Style/Ambiance: Handsomely decorated in shades of cream and adorned with chandeliers made of delicate shells, Atlantic’s Edge is a luxurious seafood restaurant that harnesses the bounty of Islamorada’s seas.

Whether you choose to dine inside or along the outdoor patio surrounded by tiki torches, you will be sure to have glorious views of the Atlantic Ocean to accompany your meal. Taking inspiration from its exotic surroundings, the menu offers seafood dishes and American classics served with a tropical twist. Try the guava glazed mahi mahi with bamboo rice and coconut curry sauce, or the black angus cowboy steak with Yukon purée, but make sure you leave some room for one of the homemade desserts.

Michelle Harris, Director of Food & Beverages

+1 305 517 4522

Cheeca Lodge & Spa, Islamorada, Florida 33036


Mahi Mahi , Bud n’ Mary’s


The island’s unique location between the Atlantic Ocean and the shallow waters of Florida Bay and the everglades makes it ideal for backcountry or ‘bonefishing’, where trophy-worthy fish such as tarpon and bonefish are prime pickings.

There are countless fishing charters to choose from but the classic fishing marina Bud n’ Mary’s provides a nostalgic taste of fishing in days gone by. Established in 1944 and home to some 40 of the finest captains in the world, many of whom were born on the island, Bud n’ Mary’s has been the choice for presidents, movie stars and top athletes. Whether you are a world-class angler or a complete beginner, there will be a fishing charter to suite your needs. End the day with a private cookout or party in the marina’s oceanfront tiki bar where you can dine on the fish you catch.

Sara Michael, Bud n’ Mary’s Fishing Marina

+1 305 664 2461

79851 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 79.8, Oceanside, Islamorada, Florida Keys


Cheeca lodge spa Mahi Mahi


Treatments and facilities: Hidden deep within lush gardens dappled with palms and waterfalls, the Cheeca Lodge Spa provides a tropical sanctuary in the heart of Islamorada.

A sprawling 5,700-square-foot spa boasting seven treatment rooms, a fitness center, adult-only pool and poolside butler-serviced cabanas, there are a number of ways to indulge yourself here. A myriad of treatments are offered using ingredients from fair trade and sustainable sources.

Signature treatments: Little Sea Remineralizing Salt Bath, Golden Veil Body Wrap and the popular Signature Hot Lava Shell Massage.

Francine Mitchell, Spa Director

+1 305 517 4487

Cheeca Lodge & Spa, Islamorada, Florida 33036

Beachfront Massage


Treatments and facilities: Set on the white sands of the picturesque Moorings Village, the Island Body and Sol Spa is a small, holistic spa that prides itself on using the finest organic and botanical ingredients in its treatments and rituals.

Within a charming private cottage, guests have a choice of treatment rooms and beachside cabanas in which to enjoy an aromatherapy massage. Owner Amy Schmitt trained extensively in Japan and offers a number of clay body masks and hair treatments as well as her signature Kobido facial with polished gemstones.

Signature treatments: Kobido Facial and Isla Sol Massage

Amy Schmitt, Owner

+1 305 664 3264

123 Beach Road, Islamorada, Florida 33036


Cheeca Lodge Members Bar


Sweeping roof arches, rich wood paneling and furnishings in luxe shades of amber and gold give the members-only bar at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa a sophisticated ambiance.

This is where guests at the luxury resort come to sip their cocktails in complete privacy and, as a favorite hotel of choice for elite clientele, you shouldn’t be surprised to spot a celebrity or two. An adjoining lounge and club sun deck are also exclusively available to members, while access to the rest of resorts facilities and amenities, such as the spa, golf course and restaurants, are included in membership privileges.

Kim Rittenberry, Director of Club Membership

+1 305 517 4449

Cheeca Lodge & Spa, Islamorada, Florida 33036


Duck key

DAY 4: Islamorada to Duck Key

20 nautical miles

Duck Key lies at the very heart of the Florida Keys offering an oasis of pristine sandy beaches and untouched wilderness.

This smattering of inlets are linked together by Venetian-style bridges and meandering canals, and with picturesque picnic spots and calm waters, this is the perfect family stop-over, or a break for those in search of peace and quiet. Fresh seafood restaurants, homey resorts and year-round sunshine have attracted a number of US presidents and star athletes to the Key over the years, each of whom revel in the excellent fishing, diving and swimming. Grab your snorkel and head to the Bahia Honda State Park, or spend the day relaxing on your yacht and take in the earthy fragrance of the nearby mangrove forests.


Calm Waters Spa


Treatments and facilities: Luxury and tranquility go hand-in-hand at the Hawks Cay resort and it has received a host of accolades for its Calm Waters Spa.

The decadent 7,000-square-foot spa features eight treatment rooms, a tropical rain shower room with Vichy shower, and a candlelit whirlpool. The spa menu comprises opulent treatments which evoke the resort’s paradise surroundings such as the Pineapple Sugar Scrub enriched with tropical essential oils or the signature Key Lime Mojito body treatment. There is a ‘Man-Only’ menu with treatments specifically designed for male grooming, while ladies will enjoy the state-of-the-art manicures in the salon. A fully-serviced fitness center including top-of-the-range equipment is available as well as a dry sauna and eucalyptus steam room to provide a relaxing ending to your work out.

Signature treatments: Key Lime Mojito body treatment and Deep Ocean facial.

Ciara Catalano

+1 305 289 4810

Hawks Cay Resort, 61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, Florida 33050


Snorkeling In Bahia Honda State Park


For the elite traveler craving golden sands, the 524-acre Bahia Honda State Park provides a break from the mangrove shorelines with over almost three miles of fabulous sandy coastline.

The warm waters and powder-soft Sandspur makes this one of the best beaches in Florida. The shallow waters make for excellent kayaking, swimming and snorkeling, with soft coral, queen conches and small fish dwelling just below the surface. The park is also home to one of the largest remaining silver palms. The Silver Palm Trail offers a chance to see these and more rare plantlife such as yellow satinwood and lily thorns, as well as a variety of butterflies. For guided snorkel tours contact Daryl Obenour from the Coral Reef Park Company on +1 305 872 3210.

Eric Kiefer, Park Ranger

+1 305 872 2353

36850 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, Florida 33043




Cuisine: Nuevo Latin American

Style/Ambiance: Adding a Latin flavor to the Florida Keys fine dining scene, Alma is the number one choice for dinner in Duck Key.

The intimate dining room, decorated in tones of olive green with dark wood, provides a causally refined setting for guests to enjoy Latin-Caribbean fare. Incorporating ingredients from his Puerto Rican heritage, Chef Juan Natal offers dishes such as bronzed Florida mahi mahi with crispy plantain toston, black beans and truffle avocado purée, or grilled Angus steak with boniato mash drizzled in cilantro aioli. Guests have the option of dining outside on the veranda where they can enjoy the restaurant’s extensive collection of hand-rolled cigars under the twinkling night sky.

Bethany Reily, Restaurant Manager

+1 305 743 7000

Hawks Cay Resort, 61 Hawks Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, Florida 33050



DAY 5: Duck Key to Newfound Harbor

32 nautical miles

The lower keys are the wildlife sanctuaries of the keys and the area surrounding Newfound Harbor is blanketed with wildlife refuges and parks that protect a number of rare and endangered animals and sea life.

Newfound Harbor is a long sandbar that curls across a shallow coral reef within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and offers a haven for nature lovers. Explore the key’s many mangrove trails and shallow flats that teem with conch, rays and cuttlefish and soak up the backcountry atmosphere. For diving enthusiasts, the crystal clear waters of Looe Key Reef lie just moments away, while the National Key Deer refuge gives you the chance to encounter these rare animals in a stunning location.


Parrotfish, looe key reef


Just five nautical miles offshore from nearby Big Pine Key is the beautiful Looe Key reef.

Startling clear waters make this reef an excellent site for snorkeling and scuba diving, particularly for beginners. Over 150 species of fish provide an underwater theater of color—look out for angelfish, parrotfish, barracudas, sharks and rays. See elkhorn coral, purple sea fans, and sponges, before descending 90 feet to explore historic wrecks. In June, the annual Underwater Music Festival sees its coral beds come alive with classical music and jazz as well as underwater Elvis impersonators.

key deer, national key deer refuge


This 9,200-acre refuge of pine forest and hardwood hammocks was established in 1957 to protect the endangered Key Deer.

The deer once roamed throughout the Lower and Middle Keys but due to excessive hunting and the growing population within the Keys, their numbers dwindled. The deer are one of the many rare and endangered species to be found in the park, and can be spotted in the early mornings or late evenings as they search for grass and bougainvillea to nibble on. The prime spots to see them are at the end of Key Deer Boulevard or on No Name Key. For a host of trails to explore seek out the Blue Hole, the largest body of freshwater in the Keys and home to a myriad of wildlife.

+1 305 872 2239

Mile Marker 30.5 BS, Visitor Center Headquarters, Big Pine Shopping Center, 28950 Watson Boulevard, Big Pine Key, FL, 33043

Sky Dive Key West


Thrillseekers will not want to miss this opportunity to view the best of the Florida Keys.

The beautiful coral reefs, lush emerald islands and never ending sunshine make the Keys the perfect location to experience the rush of a lifetime in a tropical paradise. Falling at 130mph, a sky dive offers spectacular views and whether you are a seasoned professional or a complete beginner, Sky Dive Key West can cater to your needs.

+1 305 745 4386

Sugarloaf Airport, Mile Marker 17, US Highway 1, Florida 33042

Kayaking, Big Pine Key


For a watery adventure of a different kind, the crystalline waters, flats and mangrove islands of Newfound Harbor and the surrounding Big Pine Key make for great kayaking.

Many of the small lagoons and islands are only accessible by kayak or small boat and offers an array of wildlife—look out for herons, rays, turtles and even dolphins and sharks. Big Pine Kayak Adventures offer custom tours and kayak delivery to almost any location. Its backcountry tours take you to rarely-seen locations in the remote heartlands of the grass flats and national parks. There are also kayak fishing tours on offer if you have a Florida fishing license and want to net your own tarpon, bonefish or barracuda.

Bill Keogh

+1 305 872 7474

Mile Marker 30 BS, Old Wooden Bridge Fishing Camp, Florida, 33043




Cuisine: French and Cuban fusion

Style/Ambiance: Impeccable service and exquisite fare are the hallmarks of The Dining Room.

Nestled within the tropical hideaway of the Little Palm Island resort, this refined waterfront restaurant offers an eclectic menu of modern seasonal dishes with a tropical twist. Heart of Romaine salads with candied pecans and roasted figs serve as a prelude to coriander crusted elk with dried fruit compote, toasted asparagus and port wine sauce. Picnic baskets and private dining on the beach can be arranged, or the chef’s table can be reserved for an exclusive meal prepared for you by Chef Luis Pous. For the ultimate dining experience, guests can be flown by seaplane to their own private island where they can enjoy a gourmet dinner served by a personal butler, all accompanied by champagne and live music.

Kevin Geanides, Resort Manager

+1 305 872 2551

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, 28500 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, Florida 33042


SpaTerre at little palm Island resort & spa


Treatments and facilities: Mixing Caribbean and Asian influences, this boutique spa and fitness center offers a number of indulgent rituals within the private paradise of the Little Palm Island Resort.

Specialty treatments such as the Coconut Sugar Body Polish and the Margarita Key Lime Pedicure make use of the rejuvenating herbs and minerals found only in Southern Florida while a range of exotic massages from Indonesia to Thailand are also on offer. Try the fragrant outdoor showers and Japanese ‘Ofuro’ soaking tubs infused with aromatherapy oils and sprinkled with petals. The jewel of the spa menu however is the Madrugada Water Massage where guests enjoy a customized massage surrounded the warm turquoise sea.

Signature treatments: Madrugada Water Massage and Sacred Stone Massage.

Jessica Tipler

+1 305 515 3028

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, 28500 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, Florida 33042

DAY 6 – 7

Tin-roofed conch houses, key west

DAY 6 – 7: Newfound Harbor to Key West

25 nautical miles

A haven for free-spirited artists, eccentric writers and glamorous mavericks—the vibrant island of Key West is the final leg of your charter.

Just 90 miles from Havana, this southernmost island with its clear blue skies, tin-roofed conch houses and palm-lined streets has a distinctly Caribbean air. Here elite travelers can walk in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Edison and Tennessee Williams, all of whom were entranced by the key’s lush tropical landscapes and laid-back atmosphere. As well as a rich maritime history, Key West is a fishing and diving paradise, and one of the hottest holiday destinations in the US. An eclectic mix of hippies and A-listers, this island meltingpot comes complete with chic hotels, fascinating museums, luxury spas and gourmet restaurants. Finish your day watching one of the island’s spectacular sunsets.


The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum


One of the stars of US literature and erstwhile inhabitant of Key West, Hemingway lived in this stately home for over ten years—mainly writing and drinking cocktails, and leaving the house to go fishing.

The Nobel prize-winner wrote a large portion of his works within these walls, and although only a few of his personal belongings remain—a battered suitcase here, a snakeskin sunhat there—this National Landmark at the center of the Old Town offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the author. Guests can imitate Hemingway’s decadent lifestyle by holding their own private cocktail parties in the verdant gardens, complete with 1930’s music, magicians and period costumes.

Dave Gonzales, Events Director

+1 305 587 4282

907 Whitehead Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Harry S. Truman Little White House


One of the highlights of Key West is a tour around the delightful Little White House that was once the residence of former US president, Harry S. Truman.

This charming home served as a winter retreat for the president, and has played host to dignitaries including John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Today the house has been carefully restored to imitate the way it looked during Truman’s residency, from the tiled fireplace to the decorative wallpaper. The private tours offer fascinating insight into the life of one the shapers of the modern world.

Bob Wolz, Foundation Director

+1 305 294 9911

111 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040

The Audubon House & tropical garden


Built at a time when pirates prowled the surrounding seas, this elegant 19th century house was once the home of wealthy ‘master wrecker’ John Geiger.

His success in the wrecking trade is apparent in the regal rooms strewn with antique furniture and chandeliers. The real jewels of the house are the rare first edition prints and engravings from renowned artist and ornithologist John James Audubon. Audubon visited Key West in 1832 and drew 22 new birds for his magnum opus, Birds of America. His delicate watercolor lithographs and hand-tinted copper engravings adorn the walls and feature many recognisable Key West inhabitants such as the booby gannet, American flamingo and brown pelican.

Veronique Murphy

+1 305 294 2116

205 Whitehead Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Yellowtail Snappers, Deep Sea Sportfishing


Key West is blessed with some of the best fishing in the world and elite travelers should not miss the opportunity to fish the waters Hemingway once ploughed.

Yellowtail snapper, bar jacks and kingfish roam the deep reefs and wrecks, while offshore sharks and marlin provide bigger trophies. Southernmost Sportfishing is located in the Westin Resort marina, the closest marina to the best fishing grounds, and offers spearfishing among other excursions. Later you can enjoy your catch served for you in the resort’s restaurant, Latitudes, or take your trophy home on a customized fish mount.

Andrew DeSantis, Southernmost Fishing

+1 305 393 3299

Westin Resort and Marina, 245 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park © Andy Newman


Seventy miles west of Key West lies a cluster of seven uninhabited islands that make up the Dry Tortugas National Park.

The park’s top attraction is Fort Jefferson, the largest brick building in the western hemisphere, which looms dramatically above the glassy turquoise waters. A national monument, the fort itself acts like a 16-acre reef with coral clinging to its moat walls and schools of tropical fish flicking through its seagrass meadows. If not content with snorkeling around the fort, the nearby offshore reef offers dives over majestic coral formations dappled with sea fans. The islands are also rife with birdlife. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, this remote archipelago makes a perfect day trip during your charter.

+1 305 242 7700

Key West, Florida 33041


Café Marquesa


Cuisine: Contemporary American

Style/Ambiance: Relaxed yet elegant, Café Marquesa is an intimate 50- cover restaurant.

The dining room is thoughtfully decorated with West Indian planter chairs, large mahogany framed mirrors and highly polished teak tables which give it a warm, cozy ambiance. Chef Susan Ferry and her team continue to uphold their reputation for excellent inventive fare on their daily changing menu, with dishes that use the finest cuts of meat and local seafood. Expect to dine on black Angus fillet wrapped in prosciutto or herb dusted black grouper with pear and cheese pasta purses. A fine selection of wines, custom martinis and homemade desserts provide the perfect accompaniment.

Carol Wightman, Managing Partner

+1 305 292 1244

Marquesa Hotel, 600 Fleming Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Chevre and Beat Terrine, Louie’s Backyard


Cuisine: Caribbean-American

Style/Ambiance: If walking up the veranda steps of Louie’s’ Backyard feels like entering a home rather than a restaurant, it’s because it was exactly that.

Opened in 1971 by Louie Signorelli, the original restaurant seated just twelve people. Today, husband and wife duo Phil and Pat Tenney have transformed the house into a fine dining restaurant full of character. Executive chef Doug Shook demonstrates his culinary prowess with beautifully presented plates of cracked conch with hot pepper jelly and wasabi cream, or sautéed veal sweetbreads with smoked scallops in lobster sauce. The oceanfront setting of the outside deck gives guests a feast for the eyes as well as the palate—an ideal spot to watch the Florida sunset.

Jed Tenney

+1 305 294 1061

700 Waddell Avenue, Key West, Florida 33040


Cuisine: Seafood

Style/Ambiance: Since its opening in 1983, Pisces has become a dining institution on the island, providing a taste of old Key West in the heart of the historic old town.

Crisp white tablecloths and original Andy Warhols are the only decoration in this boutique restaurant, lending an understated elegance. Making the most of the ocean, Pisces presents exotic seafood dishes such as yellowtail atocha and the award winning signature dish, lobster ‘Tango Mango’. Reservations are recommended.

+1 305 294 7100

1007 Simonton Street, Key West, Florida 33040



Cuisine: Contemporary

Style/Ambiance: Set within the private island resort on the exclusive Sunset Key, Latitudes offers high class gourmet fare in a luxurious tropical setting.

Photos of Ernest Hemingway hang on the walls of the Hemingway dining room, and the array of fresh seafood on offer includes pan-seared snapper with citrus risotto in a ginger-lime cream sauce. The eclectic, ever-evolving menu also features meat dishes including honey and ancho chile crusted Waygu beef steak with roasted garlic potato purée. Guests also have the option of dining alfresco on the white sands of the resort’s private beach amid palms swaying in the breeze.

Terry Luzius, General Manager

+1 305 292 5300

Westin Resort Sunset Key, 245 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Crisp Goose Fat Potatoes, Strip House


Cuisine: Steak house

Style/Ambiance: Sultry Viennese dancing girls pose seductively out of black and white photographs on the walls of this sleek steak restaurant.

Sister to the famed Manhattan eatery, Strip House in the luxury Reach Resort adds a touch of allure to Key West’s dining scene. Moodily lit tables of dark polished wood and the striking red décor are the hallmarks of David Rockwell’s interior design, while the dining room’s floor-to-ceiling latticed windows offer ocean views. As well as prime cuts of exquisitely prepared meat, a wide range of liqueurs are available. Make sure you leave room for the signature 24-layer chocolate cake.

Jason Gates

+1 305 295 9669

The Reach Resort, 1435 Simonton Street, Key West, Florida 33040


Jala spa


Treatments and facilities: Nestled within the oceanfront Hyatt resort, the Jala Spa provides an oasis of calm away from the bustle of nearby Duval street.

This award-winning spa takes inspiration from its natural surroundings with treatments that use locally sourced ingredients. Try the Glades re-balancing treatments or the signature ‘Green Flash’ wrap, a rich detoxifying wrap that uses native minerals to cleanse and purify the skin. A wide variety of massages and facials are also available, all of which take place in private spa suites or poolside cabanas.

Signature treatments: Cuban Coffee Body Glow, ‘Man’ Grove Scrub, Green Flash Wrap.

Joslynn Sarver, Spa and Concierge Supervisor

+1 305 809 4022

Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, 103800 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida 33037



Treatments and facilities: Enjoy a slice of East Asia in the world-class spa located on the deluxe Ocean Key Resort.

Highlights include treatments with exotic tropical oils, aromatic herbs and purifying volcanic clays from Java, Bali and Thailand. The long list of facials and massages features the tropical essence massage and the sacred stone massage which uses heated volcanic river stones. A full service salon and state-of-the-art fitness center complete the luxury package.

Signature treatments: Javenese Royal Treatment, Volcanic Earth Clay Ritual, SpaTerre Signature treatment facial, Sacred Stone Massage.

+1 305 296 7701

Duval Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Spa Cabanas, Sunset Key


Treatments and facilities: Located on the lush, private island resort of Sunset Key, this spa provides an exclusive and luxurious retreat.

Guests can enjoy a full range of facials, wraps, massages and body rituals in treatment suites resplendent with tropical flowers. Island-inspired treatments such as the signature Tropical Sugar Scrub and the brand new Bamboo Massage reflect the spa’s Caribbean surroundings. For a romantic treat, the Sunset Romance package includes beachside massages for two followed by a champagne dinner in your own private cabana.

Signature treatments: Blushing Rose Hydrating Facial, Tropical Sugar Scrub.

+1 305 292 5370

Sunset Key West, 245 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Where to shop

Diamonds International


Jewels as dazzling as the Florida ocean await the elite traveler at this newly renovated store.

Diamonds International is one of the largest diamond retailers in the world and stocks a staggering array of loose and pre set diamonds from brands such as Forevermark, 88 Cut and O diamonds, as well as pieces from their own Crown of Light collection. Professional staff are on hand to give advice and offer same day jewelry services. For those in search of something different, there is a large trove of rare diamonds in a kaleidoscope of colors including blue, black and natural yellow. Try its sister store, Tanzanite International, in Clinton Square Mall for precious gems in shades of violet, sapphire and deep sea blue.

+1 305 293 1111

129 Duval Street, Key West, Florida


Blue Mojito Bar


This candlelit open-air bar offers sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico and a prime position from which to enjoy the Florida sunset.

Relax in a plush wicker chair or designer sofa as you sip on a signature cocktail under the swaying palms of the Hyatt Key West Resort. Prominent local musicians provide live accompaniment as darkness falls, providing a romantic ambiance.

+1 305 809 4000

Hyatt key West Resort and Spa, 601 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040

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