Even though we are now adjusted to a less nomadic lifestyle with fancy perks such as our own bed and a closet to put our clothes, we still fantasize about our next adventure. The final two months of our trip were heavy on city-centric sightseeing so for my next vacation I’ll be looking for a bit of beach time! So I was excited when a resort based in the Florida Keys, invited me to dinner to learn more about their property! Hawks Cay Resort, Villas and Marina, located on Duck Key is situated roughly halfway between Key Largo and Key West. Over the past few years Jeremy and I both have had multiple friends take trips down to the Keys and rave about its tropical feel and laid back atmosphere. It definitely has risen to the top of our “must visit” list.
The team from Hawks Cay hosted us at Joe’s Stone Crab, one of our very favorite Chicago (and Miami) restaurants for a seafood feast and an informal presentation about the resort. The director of marketing Matt Lawrence showed us a short slideshow of the absolutely gorgeous 60-acre resort that includes four full restaurants and several other quick-service options, five pools, a saltwater lagoon, an award-winning spa, water sports, and dolphin connection facility. There is certainly something to do for everyone, especially with an available kid’s club and adults-only pool.
Of course I was thrilled that they offer scuba diving (I’ve never been in the Florida Keys), and a private beach. When I’m on vacation all I really want to do is lounge around the pool or beach and eat! All of their restaurants offer a ton of fresh seafood, tropical beverages and great views of beautiful Florida. I’ve already stalked their newest restaurant Angler and Ale’s menu and found they have many of my island favorites like conch fritters with a key lime aioli, Caribbean BBQ chicken, and fish tacos!
At Joe’s that evening I chose to have their famous stone crabs as my main entree along with their delicious key lime pie. I was assured that if I should ever visit Hawks Cay that key lime would be available. We were also treated to some of Joe’s tasty appetizers like shrimp dejonghe, stuffed mushrooms, calamari and a delicious chopped salad. I am truly never disappointed when dining at Joe’s and this night was no exception. Their service, food, and atmosphere are always pleasant, especially when you’re in good company. I even learned that Sheldon, the managing director at the resort lived in Japan for several years so we talked travel for most of the evening.
I feel like people in Chicago, including myself, often forget that the Florida Keys are a great alternative option when comparing to further destinations like the Virgin Islands or Mexico. And for wary travelers, there’s less of a surprise factor because you’re still in the United States where you have access to clean food, fresh drinking water and no language barriers. I hope that I have the chance to visit the Florida Keys and Hawks Cay sooner rather than later! If you’re interested in more info about Hawks Cay, you can check out their website here, and learn more about the Florida Keys at their website here.