7 Unique Hotels In The Florida Keys

7 Unique Hotels In The Florida Keys

Just another day in paradise.

The state of Florida is definitely one of a kind. Whether you're in North Florida or South Florida, you can always find something to do. This past spring break, I did what I always love doing: I went to the Florida Keys. The great thing about my little adventure was that I didn't want to plan anything. I didn't want to book a hotel, or plan to stay for any certain amount of time. I just wanted to be spontaneous and go with my gut, so that's what I did. Lucky for me I went on a Thursday, so the traffic wasn't bad and there was plenty availability in the hotels. My problem was that I wanted to keep this trip adventurous. I didn't want to stay in some basic hotel like the Marriott or Hyatt (although these hotels are very nice). I wanted something rustic, something wild, something different. I wanted old Key West type of living. I drove all around the keys searching for unique hotels to stay at that were off the beaten path, and here are my top favorite ones.

1. Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo

Yes, it is underwater. If that isn't the craziest thing you've heard all day, I don't know what is. Jules Undersea Lodge is one of the most unique hotels I've ever heard of. In order to get to your room, you have to dive 30 feet underwater. Yes, you do need to put on a suit, a tank, goggles, and flippers. To stay here, you actually have to have a scuba certification, or take a class at the hotel so you can learn how to get to your rooms. You can read all about how it works on their website. It really is a one of a kind place.

2. Floating Sea Cove Resort and Marina, Marathon

You read that right, it's a floating resort. Or to be more exact: a houseboat! This little resort is hidden away on the Atlantic side of the Florida Key's. There are about eight to 10 house boats total, and then there are a few bungalows. You basically get rocked to sleep every night and wake up every morning surrounded by the ocean.

3. Marrero's Guest Mansion, Key West

If you're into spooky ghost stories, you'll love this one. I won't spill about the entire story, but people have said that the woman and her children who use to live in this house got kicked out onto the streets. She claimed that she would always live in the house in spirit. Now, the mansion is said to be haunted by her and her kids. Guests of the hotel claim to have seen her ghost in many places around the hotel and have even heard the sound of a child crying.

4. Tropical Cottages, Marathon

These little cottages are super cute and cozy. They're all different colors and each one has its own space for parking and even a little area outside for sitting. There's also hammocks, a main bar and a tiki hut outside, where the community can come together as one and relax with their neighbors.

5. The Boatel, Key Largo

The Boatel is a very neat place, it's actually right next to Jules Undersea Lodge. You can literally walk from one place to another. There's a restaurant in the middle of the two called the Hidden Restaurant. The Boatel has house boats a little bit bigger than the Floating Sea Cove, and the view here is spectacular. It also has its own little private beach with a bunch of areas to lay out in the sun or just lounge under a palm tree.

6. Wicker Guest House, Key West

What's unique about this inn is that is it right on Duval street, which is the most popular street in Key West. Duval street is known for its bars, food and entertainment. Staying at this inn would definitely be interesting, because you can people watch from your room. Enjoy the music and all the fun without having to mess with the crowd, and if you want to join in, all you have to do is go downstairs!

7. Cruising House Boats, Islamorada

I've mentioned a few houseboats because they're my favorite, but this one is a little different. While most houseboats are stationary, this one actually drives. Instead of staying in a houseboat that is tied up to a dock, you actually take this one out into the bay and anchor the boat. These boats are huge and extremely roomy. There's even a top deck of the boat where you can lay out and tan, or throw a party with all of your friends. They range from 44' to 52', which is plenty of room for a group of people. The small ones sleep six to eight people, and the bigger ones can sleep up to 10 people! Talk about partying on a boat, right?

Cover Image Credit: google.com

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7 Signs You're From the 732

Only the best part of New Jersey.

If you're from New Jersey, you know how badly the state's looked down upon by outsiders (thanks a lot, Jersey Shore). But you know that all of those false accusations aren't true- the Garden State is your home and only you're allowed to make fun of it. Although Jersey's small, there are different regions and everyone thinks that their's is the best. Here are seven signs you're from the 732, AKA the best part of Jersey:

1. You know that Central Jersey is a place.

One of the biggest arguments is whether or not Central Jersey exists. I live in the middle of New Jersey, so it's pretty funny when people say it's not a real place. I'm not from South Jersey, and definitely not from North Jersey. Also, it's close to both Philadelphia and New York, not just one or the other. Perfect location.

2. Everywhere you go, you see a Wawa.

Legit everywhere, and you go there 24/7. All hail the holy grail.

3. Surf Taco means a lot to you.

Every time I come home from being away at school the first place I go to eat with my friends is Surf Taco. Even when I am home, Surf Taco's always on my mind. Who doesn't love a good taco with chips? P.S. I highly recommend their Teriyaki Chicken Taco, you won't regret it.

4. You go to all the summer concerts.

There's really nothing more fun than summer shows outside, and you already know that PNC Bank Arts Center and Stone Pony Summer Stage are the hot-spots. 'Tis the season of tailgating and enjoying a good show with your friends.

5. Two words: Pork. Roll.

I don't care what Chris Christie has to say, it's pork roll. Quite honestly, Taylor Ham just doesn't sound right. And what's better than a pork roll egg n' cheese on your favorite bagel? Nothing.

6. You live close to the beach...

Spring Lake, Manasquan, Asbury, you name it. You know these areas and where all of the good food spots are in each of them. Living so close to the beach makes for the perfect summers, but with summer comes the bennies.

7. ...So you can easily spot a benny.

If you're from Jersey and you don't know what a benny is, you most likely are one. Bennies usually come in packs; they bring lawn chairs and tents to the beach, wear socks and sandals, and have the "Jersey accent" because they're either from New York or close to.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

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My Take On New York City

Travel diaries of my first trip in!


I rushed home from Global Political Economics, dumped my backpack on the couch, threw on my favorite black jeans (Madewell to be exact) while the PA sun gleamed through the white shades on my apartment windows. It was around 10:00 am on a low, 70-degree day in early October. After wasting fifteen minutes trying to plan an outfit, I settled on complementing the black denim with a linen, yellow scoop tee from Anthro, matching yellow platform slip on sandals and think, dark, tortoise hoops – also Antho. I rushed to the bathroom, curled my blonde hair, touched up my makeup, threw some clothes in an overnight bag, grabbed my wallet and keys, and rushed out the door… for I was headed to the city.

New York City.

As I left Pennsylvania, I began to re-track my route to school, back in late August, headed north, I approached my first toll booth. The foreign concept of needing a "ticket" to travel on the highway was something that quickly grew to be irritating. After making it over the bridge, I approached the Bronx, almost to my first destination, Fordham University. I was traveling to visit my friend from high school. She would be showing me around the city for my first time. Having always been a city girl, people are always shocked when I tell them that.

Campus was pleasant. For its location in the Bronx, the tall black gates, cobblestone entrances, abundance of trees, marble steps and polished stone buildings completely hid the evidence that you were in fact still in the Bronx. I parked my white Volkswagen three floors up in the garage, grabbed my stuff and scurried over to a Starbucks across campus, where my friend was in a Biology Lab. As I finished off my grande pumpkin spice chai tea latte, my friend approached me in excitement. Next stop? NYC.

The duration of the train ride consisted of thoughts accelerated by excitement, consumed by images of New York City shown in Gossip Girl, Friends and the most fabulous Christmas movie, Elf. Because it was my first time, all I could think of when it came to the city were the glamified TV shows and movies that took place there, which frankly, only added to my excitement.

Grand Central, seen in the first episode of Gossip Girl, Serena van der Woodsen, bags in hand. To say the least, it took my breath away. The old-fashioned architecture and grand, old clocks. I felt like I was in a fancy airport and if you're in New York City, a visit to the station should be required. Next came Rockefeller Center, NBC Studios and Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show. In the center, flags waved in the brisk air as employees began tending to the half-assembled yet remarkable ice skating rink. I dreamt of the Christmas tree and skating on the rink in late December as it snowed. Before I knew it, we were in line with our tickets to Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show.

With tall men dressed in expensive suits monitoring that no one take photos, it began to hit me that we were about to experience a taping of a show, with celebrities. I quickly found myself in the very front row, watching Jimmy Fallon charm the audience with his impeccable sense of humor and the perfect questions for his special guests. To top off the show, Lil Wayne performed one of his newly released hit tracks. It was wonderful.

To Times Square we went! After walking just a few short blocks, we suddenly became absorbed into lights, billboards, colors and tall, tall buildings. It was beautiful. Times Square is one of those places that in a similar way to the top of mountains in national parks, can leave you speechless. It is the heart of our culture and offers so much more than just to provide a check off your tourist landmarks list. After walking the streets, we turned to corner and approached the Empire State building.

I had been to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Prudential in Boston but never been to the Empire State building. Up 80 floors, I stepped off of a five-minute elevator ride and into a 360-degree view of America's favorite city. The glitz and the glamour hidden within the dark streets while people, celebrities, families, businessmen, and models occupied the mysteriously lit up rooms within each skyscraper which served no other purpose than to simply remind us all that it truly is the city that never sleeps. Not a star is in sight but instead of looking up, you find yourself looking down. Hustle and bustle, were two of the first words that popped into my head when I first saw the spectacular view. With another elevator ride up six more floors, I found myself stepping out between tall glass doors and into the skywalk observatory. Protected by fences and cement walls that reached just above my shoulders, I peeked out into the open from a higher view of the gorgeous, lively, city of lights. Despite the fact that I could've sworn I felt the building sway… it is a must-do, even for those afraid of heights!

P.S. If you're looking for some good Italian food, check out Tony's Di Napoli – DELICIOUS


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