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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Pearl Hotel (Review) Rosemary Beach, Florida

The Pearl is a luxury boutique hotel located in the charming seaside town of Rosemary Beach. We checked in and sipped on complimentary wine while our car was being parked.  Our luggage was delivered to our room while we relaxed from our long drive. We could not have asked for a better reception.

The Old World European architecture of the Pearl is unique to find in the Florida Panhandle.

It was cool the day we were there, but we still enjoyed the pool and rooftop lounge.

 Nice boutique shops, small restaurants, and beautiful beach houses located around the hotel.

The use of the three community pools comes with the romm rental. Unfortunately, one of the pools was closed for renovations and this one was very dirty. I'm not sure if it is just not cleaned during off season or what. It was heated, so we could have used it.

The beach is just a couple minute walk from The Pearl.  Beach chairs and umbrellas are complimentary.

Things to know before you go:

The area around the Pearl is very busy, all the time!

There is no parking at the hotel. You must use valet parking. There is not particular place they park your automobile, just wherever they can find a spot on the side of the road.

It is an adult only hotel.

The Pearl Hotel is located:

24 miles (40 minute drive) from Panama City
32 miles (50 minute drive) from Destin
115 miles ( 2 hour drive) from Pensacola

Address: 63 Main Street, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461

Overall, we were pleased with our stay. We would like to go back when it's not off season and see if things will be a little better.

Happy Travels! 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Visiting a Greek Island in Florida (Alys Beach)

Want to feel like you are on an island in Greece without leaving the United States? I have the perfect spot for you!  Alys Beach, located in the Florida Panhandle, reminds me of Santorini in Greece.

The beach town of Alys Beach feels like a world away. The white stucco architecture and stone walkways are stunning! The fact that it has beautiful white sand beaches and clear emerald water makes it a perfect!

Alys Beach is more of a residential area, so lodging is limited to vacation rentals.

We recommend checking out George's for dinning. Their seafood dishes are amazing!

Alys Beach is located:

24 miles (40 minute drive) from Panama City
32 miles (50 minute drive) from Destin
115 miles ( 2 hour drive) from Pensacola

Address:  30 Castle Harbour Dr, Alys Beach, FL 32461

Happy Travels! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Kona Kai Resort (Review) Key Largo, Florida

One of the Florida Keys most beautiful resorts, Kona Kai is located in Key Largo. It is by far, one of the most relaxing places in the Keys.

I have had this place on my list for lodging since my first trip to the Keys. We usually do not stay in Key Largo, but I decided this would be the trip that we would do just that.

Getting to Kona Kai Resort, Gallery and Botanic Gardens

Kona Kai is located in Key Largo, the uppermost island of the Florida Keys. It is 64 miles (1 1/2 hour drive) from the Miami airport and 96 miles (2 hour drive) from Key West. 

Address: 97802 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

The Resort

It is composed of 13 rooms and suites, all with tropical fruit names, nestled in among palm trees and tropical plants. They are all connected with a walkway.

The Check-in

We were phoned the day before to confirm that we would be there and to see what time we would be arriving. Upon arrival, we were checked in and given a tour of the grounds and our cottage.

 After parking, the office is over a little bridge and down the path to the right. It is also a glass front art gallery. 

Our Suite

We stayed in the Banana Suite. It is a one bedroom suite with a garden view from the front door and kitchen window. It has a full kitchen, livingroom, dining area, large bedroom, and bathroom. A sleeper sofa accommodated our third person. All rooms were decorated in a relaxing beach style.

Hotel Grounds and Amenities

Winding pathways lead from the front entrance through the suites and to a sandy bayside beach. Tables, colorful chairs, and hammocks are tucked in the over 250 tropical plants and trees on the landscaped grounds. 

An orchid house is slightly hidden beside the Mango Room. Unfortunately, only a couple of white orchids were in boom during our visit.

The garden is home to many lizards. We saw this big guy, a large green one, several medium sized gray ones, and tons of small ones with curly tails. 

A heated pool and hot tub overlook the beach area. A fridge stocked with cold bottled water and fresh fruit is the perfect way to stay cool during the day while lounging poolside.

Other amenities include:

Complimentary paddle boards, kayaks and paddle boats located at the dock area

Lighted tennis and shuffleboard court

Complimentary wi-fi 

Ping-Pong on the beach

Oh, I almost forgot one of my favorite things about this place! The sunsets! 

Dining and Drinks

There is no dining onsite except for a light breakfast served in the meeting room each morning. Guest are provided with a handpicked list of nearby restaurants that's organised into helpful categories at check-in.

Overall Impression

The suite and grounds were spotless! 

The paths were swept daily.

 The sand on the beach was free of debris.

ALL of the staff were amazing! The housekeepers were very helpful and friendly.

It is an adult only resort, so it was very peaceful.

We would recommend a stay and would love to go back ourselves.

Happy Travels! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Key West (Things to do) Florida Keys

Key west, Florida is unlike any other place in the United States. It has an unique fun vibe all it's own. And honestly, one of my favorite things about the place, is the people. Everyone is so laid back, friendly, and having fun.

We just got home from another Florida road trip and was only able to spend a day there this time. But that's okay, it was an unforgettable day filled with adventure and sunshine!

I wanted to share some of our favorite spots from our trips. I still have several places on my list to cross off, but maybe I'll get to them next time!

Duval Street

Duval Street is the main street in Key West that everything is centered around. It is lined with small shops, restaurants, and bars. It is a fun place to visit during the day, but gets a little wild at night.

Key West Garden Club at West Martello Tower

Located at Higgs Beach in Key West, West Martello Tower is a historic tower built in 1862 during the Civil War.  It has been turned into a tropical paradise by the Key West Garden Club.


1100 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040


9:30am - 5pm daily



Mallory Square

Located on the waterfront in Key West, Mallory Square is lined with upscale restaurants and shops. It is popular for its nightly festivals to watch the sunset. About two hours before sunset, the crowd begins gathering to watch street performers and browse through local made crafts.

If you can only do one thing in Key West, attend a sunset celebration! It's unfrogettable!

Watch a live webcam - https://www.mallorysquare.com/key-west-webcam/


400 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040


Hours vary from business to business

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is the largest and prettiest public beach in Key West. It has about a half mile strip of white sand and tons of palm trees. It is absolutely beautiful! Parking is along the road and runs the length of the beach.


2601 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040


7am – 11pm



Higgs Beach

Small beach with volleyball courts, play ground, and pier. It was once the site of an 1800s African slave cemetery. Nice family beach with palm trees, white sand, and clear water.


1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040


7am – 11pm



Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

The Butterfly Conservatory is a great place to take a break from the sun. Walk among 50+ species of  butterflies from around the world in a climate controlled environment. 

Flamingo Encounter - meet Rhett and Scarlett, two adorable flamingo. Spots are limited and fill up fast, so reserve early! Cost is an additional $37.63 per person. 


1316 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040


9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily


 General Admission -              $12.00
  Children 4-12 years -             $8.50
  3 years and under -                Free
  Seniors 65+ and Military -   $9.00

Southernmost Point

The Southernmost Point in the continental United States is marked by a concrete buoy in Key West. It is in the open and can visited at any time. Be prepared to wait in a long line(in direct sunlight) for your chance at a photo.

Watch a live webcam - http://southernmostpointwebcam.com/


Whitehead St & South Street, Key West, FL 33040

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Fort Zachary Taylor, located in Key West, was built to guard the harbor. The fort was used in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Spanish American War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Snorkeling along the rock at the beach area is a popular activity. Palms and pine type trees provide tons of shade. It is a nice place to spend the day.

Watch a live webcam -  https://fla-keys.com/webcams/fort-zachary-taylor-beach/


601 Howard England Way, Key West FL 33040


8:00 a.m. until sundown, daily. Fort closes at 5 p.m.

Admission Fees:

$6.50 per vehicle

*Key West is about 160 mile drive (3 1/2 hours) from the Miami International Airport.

Have fun exploring Key West!!!