Hawks Cay Blog: The Ultimate Resort Guide!
Three Irish Drinks with a Twist to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
March 17, 2015
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day today, our talented bartenders have concocted three special holiday drinks, best enjoyed with the Irish-themed dishes we are offering at Ocean, as part of the dinner buffet today. Whether you’ll be celebrating under a palm tree with us or elsewhere, we’ve got the recipes so that you can make these drinks at home and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day all year round:
“Pot of Gold"
You will need:
6 oz. Angry Orchard Hard Cider
1 oz. Fireball Whiskey
Cinnamon and honey for the rim
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour the hard cider and whiskey over it. Trace the rim of the glass with honey and sprinkle cinnamon on top.
You will need:
1.5 oz. Raspberry vodka
2 oz. agave nectar
4 oz. soda
Fresh lime and raspberries for garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the vodka, agave nectar and soda over it. For garnish, cut one slice of lime and slide through an olive pick with three raspberries.
“St Paddy’s Day Punch”
You will need:
¾ oz. Malibu rum
¾ Captain Morgan’s White Rum
2 oz. pineapple juice
3 oz. club soda
Float Midori Melon Liqueur over top.
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the next four ingredients over it. Then, float the melon liqueur.
Of course, in addition to these special drinks, we’ll have green beer for those beer lovers and food specials. Stop by Ocean from 6-10 p.m. to snack on cheesy potato pancakes, fried Irish cabbage with bacon, apple and brown sugar corned beef and Irish beef stew, all part of the buffet.
Until next time…Happy St. Patrick’s Day and cheers!
March Brings #HawksMadness!
March 10, 2015
March brings plenty of things: the arrival of Daylight Saving Time, the first day of spring, St. Patrick’s Day and, of course, the most anticipated tournament for college basketball fans.
This year, we’ve decided to put our signature Hawks twist on things and create some friendly competition of our own with our first-ever #HawksMadness Tournament. A total of 16 teams based on our wide variety of activities will be competing over the next few weeks, and you as our fans and loyal guests will decide who proceeds to the next round, all the way through to the final battle between land and sea for the ultimate fan-favorite Hawks Cay activity!
Here are the match-ups:
Lounging in a cabana by the Tranquility Pool vs. Lounging in one of the chairs by the Saltwater Lagoon
Serving an ace on our tennis courts vs. Going for a hole in one on our putting course
Exploring Duck Key by Segway vs. Exploring Duck Key by bike
Relaxing by the fire pit vs. Relaxing at Calm Waters Spa
Encountering bottlenose dolphins at Dolphin Connection vs. Zooming by on a jet ski
Kayaking to remote islands vs. Kiteboarding around the flats
Getting hooked at Hawks Cay on a fishing trip vs. Exploring the underwater by SCUBA/SNUBA
Stand-up paddleboarding vs. Snorkeling
Want to play along? Download the printable bracket from our Facebook page and try to predict the winner for a chance at the title of “#HawksMadness Winner!” And of course, taking home some awesome Hawks Cay swag. In order to be eligible to win, entries of fully completed brackets must be received by 11:59 am EST on Wednesday, March 11 either by direct message, posting to our Facebook wall or uploading as a tweet or Instagram post.
Until next time, start completing those brackets!
You’re engaged! Now what?
February 24, 2015
If you’re like any of the thousands of other couples who became engaged over Valentine’s Day, you’re probably scrambling to select the perfect wedding venue right about now, but don’t sweat it! Your trusted Hawks Cay blog team is here to help with tips for planning a destination wedding in the beautiful Florida Keys.
- Pick the ideal location – First, let’s start off with the fact that Hawks Cay is awesome. The resort offers something for every age, so you can make sure all of your closest friends and family are there to enjoy the special day. Only 90 minutes from Miami, we are easy to get to yet far enough away to disconnect from everyday life in a true island setting. Plus, no passport is needed. Bonus!
- Then, find the right spot – We have so many scenic locations on our 60-acre property that it can be hard to choose “the one.” Here’s a little secret: the ceremony is all about you as a couple, so pick a spot that sets the tone you want or that you connect with, and the rest will be magic. Also, with so many venues, you don’t ever have to use the same spot twice. Have the rehearsal dinner in Ocean, the ceremony at the wedding gazebo, the reception on the wedding lawn and brunch on the Dolphin Deck. Best of all, you never have to worry about the weather because we always have a backup plan in place.
- Get a helper with heart – Here at Hawks Cay, we have the best weddings team in the Florida Keys. They design each wedding from the heart, which gives each couple and their wedding day a special touch. Just one conversation with our in-house weddings expert Jennifer, who leads the weddings team, and you’ll know what we mean. Be sure to tell her we sent you.
- Be in the moment – Don’t worry about everyone else or what needs to get done. This is your day, so enjoy it and remember it. Take time to be present to notice the smiling faces looking at you and, of course, that first look from your soon-to-be spouse seeing you as you walk down the aisle. These are your memories to cherish forever.
- Have fun – As a one-stop-shop destination resort, we will make sure you and your guests have the time of your lives. From men’s versus women’s fishing tournaments to a bridal brunch on Blue, the opportunities for fun in the sun during a destination wedding here at Hawks Cay are endless.
Until next time…Happy wedding planning!
Your Favorite Resort Just Got Even Better
February 10, 2015
Have you heard the news? We got a makeover! Yes, you read that right. Your favorite resort just got even better. And we’re not talking about just a fresh coat of paint either.
Our awesome team of designers infused the resort with a new color palette inspired by the beautiful waters that surround us. Creating a coastal casual look with a simple charm, the new design perfectly complements our island chic way of life. But wait, we’re not done yet.
We’ve blown this renovation out of the water with a ton of new additions too. Some of our favorites are the new luxury cabanas at the Tranquility Pool, stylish penthouses perfect for stargazing, family suites with built-in bunks for the kiddos, the high-tech hangout for teens and an expanded educational program at Island Adventure Camp complete with an indoor, saltwater touch tank. Phew! And we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.
A new Marina Walk, which will open later this year, will be the final piece of our upgrade. As the new entertainment hub of the resort, the Marina Walk will bring Florida Keys island culture to life with art, music and more. Plus, Angler & Ale, our new restaurant will be the perfect spot for great seafood and a cold beer. Trust your favorite blog team, it’s going to be awesome!
Until next time…Share your pics of the new Hawks Cay Resort on social media and be sure to use #DiscoverHawksCay to show us how you discover the new resort.
Top Five Reasons Why we Love Hawks Cay in the Winter
January 27, 2015
In light of Winter Storm Juno burying much of the Northeast under a blanket of snow, we thought it would be a good time to think about why we live in in the Florida Keys – and why we love it so much in the winter. Of course, it helps that we’re spared the snow shoveling, freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions, but winter in “our little slice of paradise,” as we call it, is pretty special. Here, a list of our top five reasons:
- Sunny skies and cool breezes. In the winter, we’re rewarded with day after day of clear blue skies and mild temperatures in the 70s and 80s, perfect for soaking up some sun. While the kiddos splash around in the Pirate Ship Pool, the adults can snag a cabana by the newly redone Tranquility Pool and some liquid libations at the all-new Oasis to relax the day away.
- Ideal weather for snuggling up by the fire pit. Wintertime also brings cool nights, and we think there’s no better way to warm up than by the fire pit, listening to your favorite Keys tunes before heading off to bed.
- Sailfish season. In the winter months, sailfish will head into the Middle Keys and can be caught just a few miles from the Hawks Cay docks. Our expert guides help anglers nail down these hard-fighting and truly incredible billfish.
- “Cold fronts” that make for ideal kiteboarding conditions. You might have heard kiteboarder extraordinaire Matt Sexton of Keys Cable and oTHErside Boardsports talk about winter being the perfect time to try out the new extreme sport in a previous blog post. If that’s not your thing, spend the day experiencing one of our other watersports, from paddleboarding to kayaking to jet skiing, and take advantage of being able to be outside during the winter.
- Bragging rights. You knew that one was coming – it’s the perfect time to make all your friends back home jealous of your warm-weather escape. All they need to do is take one look at our live webcam and they might be on the next flight to join you. And if you’re Instagram-savvy, keep your eyes out for an opportunity to win something special by posting your best winter Hawks Cay snapshots.
Until next time…stay warm! And if you want to trade in those snow boots for flip flops, you know where to find us.
- Sunny skies and cool breezes. In the winter, we’re rewarded with day after day of clear blue skies and mild temperatures in the 70s and 80s, perfect for soaking up some sun. While the kiddos splash around in the Pirate Ship Pool, the adults can snag a cabana by the newly redone Tranquility Pool and some liquid libations at the all-new Oasis to relax the day away.
Saltwater Experience's Capt. Tom Rowland on Fishing at Hawks Cay
January 13, 2015
Hawks Cay Resort has become a second home. My daughter thinks she was raised at there and I guess she kind of has been. My family and I have enjoyed great times around this resort. Plus, Saltwater Experience has now been on the air for 10 years and much of that time has been spent at Hawks Cay.
On the first day of our film shoot this year, the marina was buzzing. The fishing was great and guides were streaming back into the resort with smiles from ear to ear. This is always a good sign for a week of filming. Beginning our 10th year of production, we had big plans for the kind of shows that we hoped to get this year. Certainly we planned to revisit some of our old favorite haunts, but Rich and I both wanted to try a few new things and expand our knowledge of the Florida Keys. Many might think that having guided in the Florida Keys for 15 years that there might not be much left to explore, but anyone who has spent that kind of time on the water around Hawks Cay Resort knows that exploring the Florida Keys would take many lifetimes. The fishing never gets old here. We routinely fish for more than 50 species of fish from Hawks Cay Marina and find new opportunities regularly.
This year we did something entirely new by exploring the deep (600-800 feet) spots that we have run over for years. By the end of the day, we had caught three new species of fish; Tile Fish, Snowy Grouper and Barrel Fish. Just a few years ago, Rich and I went fishing with Hawks Cay Guide Captain Scott Walker and landed our first Swordfish in the middle of the day! Last year, we documented an accidental, first time Sawfish catch. This place is amazing, unique and different every single day.
No matter how long you have fished in the Florida Keys, there is always something new to do. Conversely, for those who have not fished much or are very young, the Florida Keys offers something for every skill level. This season, we will feature more shows with kids than we have ever filmed before. Rich brought his two young sons for an amazing day of Dolphin fishing. My sons, who are now almost grown, tested out their muscles with some giant fish in the Gulf and explored deep creeks in the Everglades with us. Plus, we were privileged to fish with Riley Stevens, a young viewer from Fort Myers, Florida, who won a trip with us through the Yellowfin Owners Tournament, an annual Hawks Cay event, and caught his first tarpon.
Whether it is your first time angler or you’re a seasoned expert, the Florida Keys is sensational. Hawks Cay is situated exactly in the middle of the Florida Keys chain and also exactly in the middle of the shallow and deeply hidden areas of the Everglades and the offshore waters. It’s the perfect home-base for all kinds of fishing opportunities.
I am happy to call Hawks Cay Resort a second home and look forward to many more years of exploration right from the marina. To check out my fishing adventures and the beauty of Hawks Cay and the Florida Keys in high definition, be sure to watch the new season of Saltwater Experience now airing on NBC Sports, Destination America and Sportsman Channel. No matter how good your TV is or how good our cameras are, no technology can replace seeing it with your own eyes. Get out of the cold and come on down to Hawks Cay this winter! For more blog posts about our adventures at Hawks Cay, visit www.saltwaterexperience.com.
-Capt. Tom Rowland
Say “Spaaahhhhh” with our new Girls Getaway Package
December 30, 2014
We’re all for family fun and couples getaways, but sometimes you just need a weekend alone with the girls. With all of the holiday craziness about to end, there’s no better time than now to take a girlfriend getaway. Start 2015 off the right way…relaxed, pampered and indulged.
Just in time for the New Year and to celebrate our redone spa and salon, we’ve launched a new Girls Getaway Package. Created for the perfect weekend in paradise (so you don’t have to leave the kiddos for too long), select two of our favorite Keys-themed treatments to reach maximum relaxation and beautification. From the Tropical Breeze Massage for increased circulation and a Sea Mist Facial for refreshed and brighter skin to the Pina Colada or Salt on the Rim body scrubs and mani/pedi at Calm Waters Spa, we have a treatment to take care of all the winter blues. If that’s still not enough to get you where you want to be, no problem – we’re offering a 15 percent discount on additional treatments too, and a 10 percent discount on retail items to bring the beauty home.
A stay at Hawks with the girls wouldn’t be complete without time lounging by the Saltwater Lagoon, sipping on a tropical drink at the Tiki Bar or going for a morning stroll by the Marina. Make sure to check out our newly redone Tranquility Pool for some adults-only relaxation time (don’t worry, it’s still maturity-optional).
Want to sprinkle in a little activity during your stay? The package also includes 50 percent off yoga classes, so start off your day with some outdoor yoga in the fresh Keys air. Of course, if you’d prefer to spend your weekend soaking in some rays by the pool, we won’t tell.
Until next time…happy spa-ing!
Hawks Cay Holiday Cheer
December 16, 2014
We are serious about Christmas here at Hawks Cay Resort. Don’t believe us? Just ask Santa. He’s been popping up all over the resort the last couple of weeks, trying to get in as much R&R as he can before the big day.
He’s actually been spotted soaking up some sun by the Saltwater Lagoon, hanging out with guests at the Front Desk and making sure Sundance Watersports’ Marinna the Elf stays out of trouble. Now, you didn’t hear this from us, but we heard he will be making a Keys-style arrival this Saturday for the last of our Santa Saturdays program. If you’re going to be here with us, be sure to be at the Saltwater Lagoon at 10 a.m. and stick around for pictures at 11 a.m.
Starting December 22, our holiday calendar will literally be overflowing with festive activities like Snowman Shot Put, Candy Cane Toss and Penguin Bowling. Yes, you read that right, Penguin Bowling. Check out the full schedule here and be sure to get your “silver and gold” game face on.
Be sure to stay though the New Year because we have the best party in the Keys for New Year’s Eve. Savor a special dinner at Ocean, dance into the night with live music then enjoy our specular fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean at midnight. It’s the perfect way to ring in the New Year. We hope you’ll join us.
Until next time…We wish you and yours happy and healthy holidays.
Ride the breeze in the Keys with oTHErside Boardsports and Keys Cable
December 2, 2014
Today is the first official Hawks Cay blog takeover! We’re so excited about this new element to the blog where we will be inviting friends and partners to guest post. Now you can learn more about our special amenities, activities and partnerships straight from the experts themselves.
We’re stoked to introduce our first guest blogger, Matt Sexton. He’s an internationally known kiteboarder and the co-founder of oTHErside Boardsports and Keys Cable. Matt and his partners are some of the coolest people in the Keys and we think we’re pretty cool for being able to connect our guests with their Kiteboarding expertise here at Hawks Cay for a lesson or at their training facility, Keys Cable. Now, here’s Matt with today’s post.
As the cold fronts begin to arrive in the Florida Keys we experience a rare time of the year where, just for a moment, we catch our glimpse of what it’s like to live with changing seasons. Traditionally, as the northern states start to get blasted with snow and blustery weather, we see a quick day of north winds that bring the occasional rain. Then the front passes and our trade winds return from the east, bringing warm steady air with them. While the name "cold front" might sound contradictory to what’s expected on a Florida vacation, take note that the temperature rarely drops below 70 degrees and if it does, it’s very short lived. The bright side is that these "cool fronts" usually make for unbelievable fishing and some of the best kiteboarding conditions available in the world.
While fishing has long since been a staple in the Florida Keys, Kiteboarding is rapidly on the rise. It’s one of those sports that can literally change your life. Whether you think it’s for you or not, it can't be denied that the first time you see it, you won't be able to look away. Not only is it extremely visually stimulating, but it’s hands down one of the most addicting sports that exist in the world today. While it remains in its infancy, kiteboarding originated in the late 90's with the greatest amount of growth in the first decade of the new millennium. In 1999, only the most hardcore watermen were making the pilgrimage to Maui to figure out how to master and improve the sport. But by 2005/2006, the equipment was so advanced and reliable that kiteboarding was rapidly emerging as the go to "extreme sport" for almost anyone willing to put in the effort to try it.
Our crew at oTHErside Boardsports and Keys Cable have been involved in kiteboarding since day one. Our early years in the scene were spent scouring the world in search of the friendliest locations to teach and enjoy the sport the way we thought it should be done! Hawks Cay Resort and its marina provides us with one of the premier facilities in the Keys to access all wind directions, whether we're out in the bay for the "cool front" days or soaking up our tropical east winds on the ocean side. Our instructors have been hand-picked from around the world to guarantee a quality experience that will have you smiling from ear to ear by the time your session is over! On top of our shallow water and consistent winds, we also have a fool proof back up plan should Mother Nature choose not to cooperate. Keys Cable, our nearby cable park, is one of the most advanced training locations for all boardsport related activities in the keys!
We live and breathe with the wind and the water, so next time you’re sitting at the pool or the Saltwater Lagoon and a gust of wind blows your umbrella out of your cocktail, give us a shout and let’s have some fun on the water! For more information, visit our kiteboarding page on HawksCay.com.
Until next time, may the winds be forever in your favor!
“Thanks” for Thanksgiving
November 25, 2014
We’ve highlighted Halloween on Facebook and wrote about Christmas on the blog. Just because Thanksgiving is “stuffed” between two holidays, we don’t think it seems fair to ignore it. So, to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving feast (and hopefully get some good karma in return), we’ve compiled our top 10 list of things we are thankful for this year.
- Our guests! We love you guys. You are the reason we come to work each and every day.
- Our Staff!! Well, you wouldn’t visit us without the amazing smiling faces that greet you upon check-in, serve you your frosty beverage and introduce you to amazing new experiences.
- Speaking of frosty beverages, we’d like to give a special shout out to our bartenders. They really do create the tastiest libations in the Keys.
- The amazing team Sundance Watersports for all they do to give guests amazing and memorable experiences while visiting us.
- Dive Duck Key. They introduce guests to the wonderful world below the sea. It doesn’t get much better than that!
- Our Captains. These salty guys get to do what they love most and know exactly how and where to get the perfect catch.
- Dolphin Connection for educating guests on the incredible bottlenose dolphins that call Hawks Cay home.
- Key Limes! We wouldn’t have our popular Calm Waters Spa Key Lime Mojito Scrub without them.
- The fire pit for creating the perfect setting to snuggle up with loves.
- Mother Nature. We live in a wondrous place with magical sunsets, amazing wildlife and crystalline waters. It’s a privilege to call this place home and share it with guests from around the globe.
Here in “our little slice of paradise,” as we call it, there are so many things to be thankful for each and every day. Beautiful weather, fantastic fishing and the fact that we can wear shorts to work – the list goes on and on. Humor aside, Thanksgiving really is a special day to be grateful for family and friends. To all of our guests, have a safe and happy holiday.
Until next time… Happy Thanksgiving!
Have a Holly Jolly Hawks Cay Christmas
November 18, 2014
We don’t mean to steal Thanksgiving’s thunder, but we just have to say that we’re really excited about Hawks Cay Christmas, our annual holiday program. In our usual Hawks Cay style, we put a fun, Florida Keys twist on holiday celebrations. Where else in the world can you wear a bathing suit while sipping holiday libations under a palm tree lit up with Christmas lights? Yep, we think we’re pretty lucky.
We know just how exhausting preparing for the holidays can be. Just thinking about the to-do list can feel overwhelming. And that’s exactly why Santa has been known to pop up at the resort this time of year – to relax and rest up for the big night. He’s usually chillin’ by the Saltwater Lagoon or taking a Jet Ski out for a spin. We welcome guests to do the same, plus we make it very easy to get into the holiday spirit with holiday bonuses, from a Christmas “Spirit” Punch Card to Story Time and Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus.
Now, here comes the best part of this year’s program. For the first time ever, Santa’s Little Helpers will be here this year to help us spread holiday cheer with elf tuck-ins. Yes, you read that right. Santa’s elves will be on patrol to read bedtime stories to our youngest guests and of course, they just might leave behind a little pre-Christmas present too.
Plus, we’ll be offering discounts on all of our favorite Hawks Cay activities including diving, SNUBA and Dolphin Connection. We highly recommend a Calm Waters Spa massage. It’s the best way to ease away the holiday stress. Check out the full Hawks Cay Christmas package for all our holiday activities and see for yourself.
Until next time… Happy Ho! Ho! Holidays!
Say cheers with our Key Lime Pie Mojito
November 4, 2014
Key limes are about as Keys-y as you can get. Whether it’s key lime pie, key lime chocolates or a key lime mojito scrub, we love finding ways to incorporate those tart little fruits into pretty much anything and everything at Hawks Cay. Now, thanks to our genius bar tenders, we have “stirred” things up with our famous Key Lime Mojito by adding cream liqueur to make it a Key Lime Pie Mojito. Dessert in a glass made just for grown-ups. Yes, please!
This drink is perfect for a cool fall night by the fire pit, but if you’re not able to make it down here to try it for yourself, we’ve got the recipe to make it at home.
What you’ll need: Conch Republic Rum, Keke Key Lime Cream Liqueur, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, mint, limes and club soda. Because a drink this good should be enjoyed with friends or family, we’ve included a recipe for a 32 oz shaker along with the 12 oz single. Of course, if you want to keep it all for yourself, we won’t tell!
1 ½ oz Conch Republic Rum
½ oz Keke Key Lime Cream Liqueur
½ oz Fresh lime juice
½ oz Simple syrup
2 ½ oz Club soda
8 Mint leaves
1 Mint sprig
3 oz Conch Republic Rum
1 oz Keke Key Lime Liqueur
1 ¼ oz Fresh lime juice
1 ¼ oz Simple syrup
6 ¼ oz Club soda
20 Mint leaves
1 ½ Lime
4 Mint sprigs
- Combine all ingredients (except club soda) into a shaker.
- Fill 2/3 full with ice.
- Shake vigorously.
- Add club soda.
- Shake once.
- Pour contents into 12 oz glass or 32 oz shaker.
- Garnish with fresh lime juice and mint sprig (s).
- Serve Shakers with (2) 12 oz glasses, each garnished and filled with ice.
Until next time…Bottoms up! We’ll save you a seat at the Tiki Bar.
Halloween Done Island Style
October 21, 2014
You know what we love about Halloween down here in the Keys? It can still be done in a bathing suit and flip flops! But that’s just how we roll down here. When everyone up north has to bundle up the kiddos for a night of trick-or-treating, we’re going to be dressed for weather in the low 80s. Don’t believe us? Come see for yourself!
If you’re visiting next week, be sure to join us for all of our Halloween festivities. Since the holiday falls on a Friday, we’re making it a weekend full of spooky and kooky events at the Indies Club. Check’em out:
- Decorate a trick-or-treat bag from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. The activity is open to kids of all ages as well as those who consider themselves kids at heart.
- Swing by at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31 to try your hand at pumpkin ring toss, our holiday version of the old carnival game. If you win, we’ll treat you to a free ice cream cone from the Dockside Store.
- At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1 to join the Great Teen Pumpkin Bike Scavenger Hunt, a race to find clues we’ve hidden in pumpkins scattered around the resort. Mawhahaha!
- Make your own Hawks Cay souvenir by painting a pumpkin from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2
Of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without some good, old-fashioned trick-or-treating. And it wouldn’t be Hawks Cay without putting our own spin on it, so we’ve decided to make trick-or-treating a little “tricky” if you know what we mean. You’ll have to stop by the Indies Club starting at 5 p.m. on Halloween night to find out more.
Get your sugar rush on with some s’mores at the fire pit when you’re done. It’s a great place to share a scary story or two!
To see the full list of Halloween weekend activities, click here.
Until next time…Be safe and Happy Halloween!
Cruis’n the Keys
October 7, 2014
If you think Hawks Cay Resort is the only resident of Duck Key, we’ve got news for you. Duck Key is actually made up of five small islands connected by Venetian bridges, which are really just little humps that join the islands, and is home to a pristine residential community. While we love for guests to relax by the pool all day sipping tropical concoctions, it’s a good idea to get a little vacation exercise in with a bike ride to explore the area. Don’t worry…We don’t have any mountains or rough terrain. We’re talking about a leisurely ride on a beach cruiser that can be rented at the Indies Club.
Everyone in the family can join too. We have men’s and women’s adult cruisers and a full set of kids bikes, with and without training wheels. Two of our cruisers are even outfitted with trailers for the wee ones. Although the ride isn’t long, we recommend bringing water, sunscreen and even some snacks. Oh and it’s a good idea to grab a map!
Start your biking adventure off with a loop around the resort then head out into the residential area. The islands are home to some beautiful and “Keys-y” properties. (If you don’t know what Keys-y means, it’s wonderfully eclectic look that reflects the vibe that can only be found here.) Check out the native flora and fauna, take a sneak peak at some of the impressive boats in the neighborhood and enjoy what real island life feels like.
Take in the views - the amazing views - which can be found in all directions. If you’re lucky, you might even see a sea turtle or a manatee swim by. Now, here’s our insider’s tip…When you get to the third island, go straight on Corsair Road and you will find our favorite spot for photo ops overlooking nearby Tom’s Harbor island.
A typical ride will last about an hour, but take as much time as you need. Before you head back to the resort, however, be sure to snap a pic on a bridge with the beautiful view behind you and upload your #HawksCaySelfie then head on over to the Dockside Store for some ice cream. You’ll surely need a sweet treat to cool off and reward yourself for all that hard work.
Do you want to cruise the Keys this fall? Check out our new Fall into the Keys package, which includes a one day bike rental.
Until next time…Happy trails!
Channel up your pin-spiration to win a stay at Hawks Cay!
September 23, 2014
To kick off the fall, we’re launching a Pinterest contest, giving you, our fans, a chance to stay at Hawks Cay and enjoy the change of seasons, Florida Keys-style. One lucky winner will win a three-night stay at Hawks Cay for two!
How to enter? It’s simple. Find us on Pinterest and follow us @HawksCayResort or go to http://www.pinterest.com/hawkscayresort/. Create a new board named “My Dream Hawks Cay Vacation” and pin your top 10 inspirations (or more) for your dream Hawks Cay vacation. Maybe it’s wading the flats by the resort in search of some elusive bonefish, or maybe it’s enjoying a Sunshine Bucket at the Tiki Bar or maybe it’s watching a beautiful sunset by the Sunset Village villas.
Whatever they may be, use your favorite Hawks Cay moments and activities to create a board. There’s no limit to the number of pins, so let your imagination run wild. Once your board is completed and pin-perfect, fill out the form on http://hawkscay.com/pinterest to submit your entry to win! We’ll be announcing the winner this winter, just in time to book a Hawks Cay getaway and escape to the Keys.
Don’t forget to tag each photo #StayAtHawksCay before submitting your board. Need some “pin-spiration”? Check out our board at http://www.pinterest.com/hawkscayresort/my-dream-hawks-cay-vacation-pinterest-contest/ for some ideas to get started. The deadline to enter is November 25, so make sure your entries are in before then!
Until next time…Happy pinning!
"Fall" in love with Hawks
September 9, 2014
Sad that summer’s over? We sure are! Since school officially started around the country last week, our team already misses all the kiddos running around. But once we get over the fact that we have to get back to the daily grind too, we actually love this time of the year down here.
With the kids back in school, the resort takes on a completely different vibe. It’s more like summer camp for grownups! Days are still long, but the air is a cool, the water is calm and the resort is peaceful. The adults have free reign over the kayaks and standup paddleboards in the saltwater lagoon. The pool is perfect for floating with cocktail in hand. And it’s easy to find something – or nothing – to do. Happy hour around the fire pit is only time you might have a hard time finding a seat.
It’s a great time for a romantic getaway or visit with a group of friends. Reserve side-by-side villas to enjoy coffee together on the back porch in the morning and sip a glass of white wine while watching the sun set over the water in the evening. You’ll thank us later!
Being the fishing fanatics that we are, we certainly can’t talk about the fall without mentioning the awesome fishing this time of year too. Inshore, bonefish and permit are cruising the shallows and our backcountry waters are loaded with redfish and tarpon. Yay! On the other hand, offshore offers rod-bending action with blackfin tuna and mahi mahi (or dolphin as we like to call them) biting. Ah… decisions, decisions.
Hopefully, that’s the hardest decision we have to make this season. Until next time…Cheers!
Hawks Cay Honors America’s Heroes
August 26, 2014
It has become a tradition here at Hawks Cay Resort, one that we are proud to host. And with so many friends and colleagues of the Hawks Cay family among those honored – military, fire and rescue, law enforcement, medical personnel – our annual Heroes Salute celebration has become ever more meaningful, memorable and popular with each passing year.
It’s not merely about discounted access to an activity or two. You see, we host this annual program to celebrate the amazing service of our heroes and first responders. For us, it’s all about giving back to these dedicated men and women by providing a place where they can take a break, spend time with family and friends and make wonderful memories in the process.
If you don’t already have plans for Labor Day weekend, come stay with us and do something good for your country in the process. We’ll be kicking off Heroes Salute, which runs through November 25, with a tribute weekend full of patriotic events and activities. There will be a 5K race, touch-a-truck area, all-American barbeque, tribute ceremony complete with Color Guard and a concert by country crooner Daniel Lee Martin that will be topped off by a beautiful fireworks display over the ocean.
This year, for the first time, guests will be able to submit images for our tribute ceremony in advance via social media using #HawksCayHeroes. It’s a lovely way to pay respect to the hero in your life and join us in creating a touching tribute for all guests who will be on property for the weekend. Of course, if you can’t join us for the tribute weekend, be sure to submit images and the dates you will be on property by uploading the photo and information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and using the hashtag #HawksCayHeroes. We host a tribute ceremony every Saturday night throughout the program.
For more information, visit our Heroes Salute page on the website.
Until next time…Salute to the Services!
Saltwater Experience Weekend Returns to Hawks Cay
August 12, 2014
You know them. You love them. They’re back!!
Captains Rich Tudor and Tom Rowland, of NBC Sports’ Saltwater Experience fame, are bringing their angling prowess back to Hawks Cay Resort for the second annual Saltwater Experience Weekend you won’t want to miss. Fishermen, fisherwomen and fisherkids (yes, made the last two up) of all sizes, shapes and levels of fishing experience will want to be a part of this unique event, September 5-7, to learn from and fish with the guys who make it seem so easy…and always make it fun! If you’re interested in fishing, this is the place to be.
Guests will have the opportunity to discover the hosts’ best kept fishing secrets right from the home base of the popular television series. Not only will you learn from the masters everything there is to know about fishing – including gear, equipment, navigation, bait, casting, fly-casting, netting, finding your target, reeling it in, etc. – but you will have the opportunity to try out your new skills on and in the water, in a location that many professional anglers consider the creme de la creme of fishing hotspots off the Florida Keys.
Saltwater Experience Weekend packages are available but filling up quickly. You have the option of the complete weekend of activities, including the Friday night Welcome Reception with Rich and Tom and Keys Cookout Farewell Dinner, or single day participation if that’s more in line with family interests and budgets. Whatever you choose, you will kick yourself if you miss out on this rare opportunity to drop a line with your favorite TV anglers and learn a lot in the process. And what’s more, you might just be a cool mom or dad, at least for a day, in the eyes of your kids once they hobnob and angle with “the boys.”
Until next time…Tight lines!
It’s Lobster Time!
July 30, 2014
It’s here! Mini lobster season, that two-day mecca of lobster diving the last Wednesday and Thursday of July that welcomes in the full lobster season beginning in August, is upon us. And there is no better place for “bug hunters” to go after those delectable spiny bugs than the Florida Keys or, more specifically, Duck Key. In case you’re wondering, we call lobsters bugs down here in the Keys because they share some physical similarities to insects – plus the little buggers are hard to catch!
Nestled in the much less crowded midway point between Key West and Key Largo, Hawks Cay is the perfect base for bug hunters with our full-service marina, onsite dive operator and access to some of the best lobstering in the Keys. And guess what! The charter fleet at Dive Duck Key makes life very easy for guests to turn into bug hunters with a lobster license that covers everyone onboard.
From 12:01 a.m. this morning (Wednesday) through midnight tomorrow (Thursday), the crustaceans are fair game. And the regular lobster season kicks off on its traditional August 6.
During mini season and throughout the month of August, every Hawks Cay dining outlet will actually cook your catch. From refreshing lobster ceviche to mouthwatering lobster ravioli, our chefs will turn your lobster into a culinary delight for you and your friends to enjoy.
What a great way for guests to experience something they will never forget – a dive or snorkel among one of the world’s most beautiful underwater regions, the opportunity to “hunt” in an appropriate way for one of the most delicious creatures in the sea and to top it off, a personal chef-guided culinary moment to celebrate the season.
Until next time…Happy hunting!
Welcome to the Hawks Cay Blog!
July 16, 2014
With summer vacation in full swing, we know it can be a lot of pressure to fill the days with fun activities for the family. The best way to do so is a summer vacation, of course, and Hawks Cay is the best place to find every activity above and below the water you can imagine. Well, you can rest easy because you have found the ultimate resort guide where you will find all the Hawks Cay answers and more. Learn what to wear to stay “cool” (pun intended). Or read about how to book the best excursions for your kids. Find tips on fileting your first catch. And perhaps the best of all, we will tell you how to make our killer drinks at home. The Hawks Cay blog team is here to share our insider secrets.
In celebration of our summer launch, we thought it would be fitting to share our favorite summertime tunes. It’s a road trip playlist, created by our very own Facebook fans, for the drive from Mile Marker 100 in Key Largo to our front door at Mile Marker 61. For a little Keys-piration at home, just hit play and imagine sitting under a palm tree at our Saltwater Lagoon.
Cheers to the summer and your next Hawks Cay vacation! Be sure to check back with us regularly to learn about how to #PlayatHawksCay and all the adventures that can be found along the way. In the meantime, stay connected through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and (gasp for air) YouTube. We are happy to answer questions and we may even take a blog request or two.
Until next time…Happy summer!