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Monday, September 19, 2016

The Best of Islamorada - Florida Keys

When I start dreaming about another trip to the Florida Keys, I’m not thinking about laying on a beach in Key West or snorkeling in Key Largo….. I’m thinking about Islamorada! I love everything about the place! It’s right in the middle of everything. It has pretty beaches, great snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and good places to eat without all of the crowds. It is located about half way between Key West and Key Largo, which makes it perfect for a day trip in either direction.

Where to Stay

1)  Chesapeake Beach Resort 

The Chesapeake Beach Resort has nice clean accommodations surrounded by tropical gardens at a reasonable price. Spend some time playing tennis, kayaking, swimming in one of the heated pools, or just relaxing in a hammock. This place is the perfect place to get away from it all and have fun!

Address: 83409 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

2) Pines and Palms

While visiting the Pines and Palms, we stayed in an ocean view suite. It was minimal, but clean. What sold us on the places was the grounds. The area was beautifully landscaped with stunning views of the water. We spent hours in the pool overlooking the ocean and then lounged in the hammocks.

Address: 80401 Old Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Where to Eat

1).  Island Grill 

The perfect upbeat place. Loved the live entertainment. 

Address: 85501 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

2). Islamorada Fish Company

Good food with a laid back feel. Very relaxing.

Address: 81532 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Places to Visit

1). Anne’s Beach

This Lower Matecumbe Key beach is located on the oceanside, but there is almost no wave action due to the wide expanse of shallow water typical for Florida Keys beaches.

Located at Mile Marker 73, there are two parking area ¼ mile apart with a boardwalk connecting the areas.

Address: Mile marker 73, Overseas Highway

2). Robbie's

A trip to the Keys would not be complete without a visit to the famous Robbie’s to feed the tarpon.

Address: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

It is also a great place to charter a fishing trip or snorkeling adventure.

Happy Travels! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sunrise Garden Resort (Review) Anna Maria, Florida

Set among a lush tropical landscape in a quiet residential area, The Sunrise Garden Resort is the perfect place to enjoy the laid back feel of Anna Maria Island. The Resort is located on the north end of the island and is within walking distance of the beach and the City Pier.

The view from the street.

Brick pathways connect all of the suites and the pool area.

Each suite has a private patio surrounded by palm trees and tropical plants.

The view from our front door. I would love to just move into this place! :)

We loved the gorgeous pool area!

A cute little color fish statue was right outside our suite.

The suites are beautifully decorated, spacious and clean.

Large suites with full kitchen or kitchenette
Heated swimming pool
Laundry facilities
Friendly staff
Great location
Very clean suites
Beautiful grounds
Free WiFi throughout the property
Barbecue grill
Tropical patios
Pet friendly

I cannot think of one thing that I would change about this place! It is amazing!

Happy Travels! ~ Sherri

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Rip Van Winkle Gardens (Balinese Style) New Iberia, Louisiana

We stumbled upon this amazing place by accident. My Mother and I  were needing a place to stop and stretch on our way to Biloxi, Mississippi from Arkansas.

We were really excited to see that lodging was available in one of the garden cottages! We were lucky, considering they have limited lodging and it was so last minute!

The Rip Van Winkle Gardens is twenty-five acres of semitropical Balinese style paradise that surrounds the Joseph Jefferson Home. It is crazy how beautiful this tropical garden is in January. Can you imagine what it looks like in the summer!

The land sits atop a salt dome on Lake Peigneur in New Iberia, Louisiana.

The home was built in 1870 by Joseph Jefferson as his winter home.

In 1905, the home and land was sold to John Lyle Bayless, Sr. After the death of John Bayless, his son Jack developed Rip Van Winkle Gardens around the historic home in the late 1950's.

He later donated the home and surrounding land to a private operating foundation and built himself a new home by the lake.

On November 20, 1980 a drilling accident involving the salt mine caused a whirlpool effect pulling some of the Rip Van Winkle garden area and Jacks new house into the mine.

The top of the chimney in the lake is the only visible remains of Jack’s new home. The damage to the Rip van Winkle place had been restored.

The beautiful gates lead up to the Joseph Jefferson House. The cottages are on the right at the end of the drive.

If you stay in one of the cottages, the whole place is yours to enjoy alone after they close at 5 pm.

We walked along the shore of the lake and watched an amazing sunset before returning to our cottage for the night. This is truly a unique place to stay!
Planning your visit:
  1. Make reservation well in advance if you want lodging. They only have three cottages to stay in at the gardens.
  2. The best thing about staying in one of the cottages is that you have to grounds to yourself after it closes to the public!
  3. Go in the spring, summer, or fall time. Although it is beautiful in the winter, there are a lot of bare spots.
  4. Be sure and take the tour of the Joseph Jefferson House. It is very interesting! (The tour is free with lodging)
  5. Check out their web site here.

Happy Travels!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Old Colorado Inn (Review) Stuart, Florida

I was on a on a long road trip from Arkansas to Key West with my mother, daughter, and her friend where we drove drown the gulf coast and back up the east coast. We were on the tail end of our two week trip when we pulled up at the Old Colorado Inn.

Upon arriving we were greeted by the owner, Steven, who met us with glasses of fresh limeade for us all. It was by far the best limeade I have ever tasted!

After checking into our suite, Steven insisted on helping us unload our luggage and carry it to our room. I was kind of hesitant because the jeep was a total disaster from practically living in it for the past two weeks, but he only hesitated for a second before he pulled the luggage out for us.

Despite being attacked by junk and bags of luggage as soon as the hatch was opened, he just smiled and made us feel welcome!

We stayed in the Key West Suite. The path and entryway that led to our door was simply beautiful! Along the path, you are surrounded by flowers and a little gate that opens up to the path.

That evening, freshly baked cookies were placed on our kitchen counter. In the morning, fresh bagels, muffins and orange juice were delivered to our door.  Talk about service!

A shot walk thought a neighborhood filed with beautifully landscaped cottages will get you to many small specialty stores, restaurants, and the river walk.

It is a short drive to the beaches on Hutchinson Island.

Overall our experience was one to remember! We truly felt like family members while staying at Old Colorado Inn and were treated with nothing but the best service! I would HIGHLY recommend this hotel!

Happy Travels! ~ Sherri