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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

4 Tips for Florida Keys Mini Lobster Season

Mini Lobster Season kicks off in the Florida Keys on July 29th and 30th. The Florida spiny lobster, known for its sweet and tender meat is smaller than its cousin in Maine. Before you go out hunting for “bugs,” as the locals call them, make sure you're prepared. Here are some tips:
1)  Know the local rules and regulations. They were designed to protect lobster populations and the coral reef, as well as ensure the safety of boaters and divers. Plus, they keep you from racking up unwelcome fines. Most of the Monroe County regulations for recreational harvest and lobster information can be found in this brochure. It includes bag and size limits, proper measuring techniques, approved gear and no-take areas, such as national and state parks. 
2)  Get a license. You’ll need a valid Florida Saltwater Fishing License with a current crawfish endorsement. Licenses are available at most fish & tackle or K-mart stores. You can also call 1-888-FISH-FLORIDA or go online to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s site
3)  Know the waters. The Keys are famous for shallow patches, sandbars and coral reefs. All of which could add up to damage to the environmentally sensitive sea grass and corals -- not to mention a costly tow and repairs. Free nautical charts can be found online through NOAA.

4)  No boat? No problem. Check out lobster dive excursions with a local company.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rooms With a View in Key West Photo Series

When you're coming to Key West, it's a must to ask for a room with a view. There's nothing more soothing than soaking in the open ocean vistas or looking out over the Victorian architecture. Here are just a few of the fabulous rooms with a view I've had the joy of staying in.

Oceanfront at Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Key West

Oceanfront Suite at Ocean Key Resort & Spa in Key West overlooking Sunset Pier
Southernmost House, Key West
La Mer at Southernmost Resort overlooking South Beach, Key West
View from top floor room at La Concha Hotel in Key West

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hemingway Days Festival in Key West

Ernest Hemingway’s larger-than-life legacy is woven into the historic fabric of Key West. The Pulitzer Prize winning author made the island his home and playground throughout the 1930s--the most productive decade of his life. Pull back the curtain of time, and you’ll find his “St. Tropez of the poor” during July’s Hemingway Days Festival when the Southernmost City is flooded with hundreds of doppelgangers all vying to win the look-alike contest at Sloppy Joe’s Bar. ...Read more.