Seaside Escape

Florida’s Hawks Cay is the ultimate getaway for easygoing family fun.

hawks-cay-marina

Hawks Cay is a AAA Four Diamond resort in Duck Key, Fla., though it feels more like you’re in the Caribbean than on the Atlantic ocean. A two-hour drive from the Miami airport, the 60-acre cceanside property has everything you need for everyone in the family. Five pools, a saltwater lagoon, a spa, tennis courts, a marina, three restaurants, and a poolside grill—even dolphins that live and play with visitors—all right on your doorstep.

EAT

Angler and Ale, the resort’s brand new restaurant, sits on the marina’s dock and offers a laidback vibe—and tasty food to match. Order the lobster reuben and enjoy “Rock the Docks,” a nightly live music that draws locals and resort guests alike. Chefs here will take whatever you reeled in on the open water and whip up something fabulous to eat. For more upscale fare, check out the Latin flavors at Alma, where you can find specialty seafood and steaks. And if you don’t want to get out of your swimsuit, dig into a mix of casual fare at Beach Grill.

Whatever you do, don’t skip s’mores night. Several times a week resort guest can enjoy gooey chocolate and marshmallow treats around the poolside fire pits.

 

PLAY

You really don’t have to leave the resort to have fun—but you may be tempted to. Spend the day deep sea fishing, rent a jet ski and tour the island, or dive the only living coral reef system in the continental United States. At the resort itself though, there are tons of planned activities to choose from (that is, if you don’t want simply to lounge by one of the five azure pools.) Moms and dads may enjoy sending the kids off to Camp Hawk where a full slate of programming, including a speciality environmental camp, offers fun all day. And don’t miss the resort’s Dolphin Connection. Sealife enthusiasts can shake hands with dolphins, feed them, swim with them, and even train one for a day.

STAY

The drive to Duck Key and Hawks Cay Resort is a scenic one with plenty of scenic stops along the way. Once you get to resort, it’s so large that it can feel a bit spread out at first, but as soon as you get your bearings, you realize everything is just a five minute walk away (and there are golf carts for those who need them). There are dozens of different types of rooms to accommodate couples, multi-generational families, and everything in between. If you’re bringing the whole family, consider one of the Charleston-style two-story villas with fully functional kitchens and multiple balconies. And for the ultimate seclusion, opt for the villas at Sunset Village, which have their own private beach and, of course, offer spectacular sunset views.