7 Unique Hotels In The Florida Keys

7 Unique Hotels In The Florida Keys

Just another day in paradise.
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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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30 Places Every Millennial Girl Needs To Travel To BEFORE She Turns 30

Live your best life, all around the world.
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I am a travel enthusiast. There is nowhere I do not want to go.

Traveling the world is one of my biggest goals in life and I am determined to make it happen. The world is so big and I would love to see every inch of it at some point or another.

However, if I can travel to these 30 places before I turn 30, I will feel as though I have accomplished more than enough.

1. New York City, New York

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. San Francisco, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Nashville, Tennessee

8. Honolulu, Hawaii

9. Walt Disney World, Florida

10. Chicago, Illinois

11. Nassau, Bahamas

12. Cozumel, Mexico

13. Cancún, Mexico

14. Bridgetown, Barbados

15. Basseterre, St. Kitts

16. Philipsburg, St. Maarten

17. Montego Bay, Jamacia

18. Christiansted, St. Croix

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

20. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

21. Tortola Baths, Tortola

22. San Juan, Puerto Rico

23. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

24. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

25. Oranjestad, Aruba

26. Mykonos, Greece

27. London, England

28. Paris, France

29. Barcelona, Spain

30. Rome, Italy

Okay, so these are 30 places I want to go out of like, a million. I have traveled to some of these places and would not hesitate one second to go back.

Every new place is like a new adventure, and traveling will forever be so exciting and intruiging to me.

Cover Image Credit: Maisa Teat

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You Asked, I Answered: Study Abroad Edition

Tips, tricks and truths about studying abroad.
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I still constantly get asked about my study abroad experience, and if you know me you know those are my favorite questions. I will go on for days about my semester abroad because it truly was the best time of my life (thus far).

That's why I've compiled a list of some commonly asked questions I receive about my experience and some questions I know I had before I went abroad.

Keep reading for some tips, tricks and truths about studying abroad:

Q: Where did you go?

A: The beautiful Florence, Italy.

Q: When did you go?

A: I studied abroad Fall of 2018, as a Sophomore in college.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to study abroad?

A: I've always loved travelling and seeing new places, but I've never really gone on any real adventure where I travelled on my own, only family vacations. I did want to study abroad when I was High School but never actually planned for it to happen.

I honestly didn't think my parents would ever say yes.

Q: Was this the first time you've left the country?

A: No, I've been to Mexico and Costa Rica so I already had a passport.

Q: Did all of your credits transfer?

A: This one kills me because this is what makes so many people not want to study abroad, and for good reason. It's been an entire semester since I studied abroad and my credits have still not successfully made it onto my transcript.

But wait, as you read this they are being articulated and reprocessed and should show up in about a week (fingers crossed). Basically, I went through all the necessary steps (and they were extensive) to ensure my credit would transfer. All of the courses I planned to take had to be approved by advisors, and heads of different programs. So you can imagine my shock when I returned home to find that my University (in America) does not accept the specific University I attended in Florence.

How does that happen after all of the approvals I had received before I left...I don't know but it did and you can I threw fits in every office on campus until someone decided to help me.

That took a while, but things are looking up now!

Q: Did everyone speak English?

A: Yes.

Everyone I met spoke at least enough English for me to understand what they were saying.

Q: Can you speak Italian now?

A: No.

I've never been the best with foreign language so I did not pick it up as well as my friends, but I knew enough to get around, order meals, pay for things, and read street signs.

I definitely knew more when I was there because I was hearing in constantly whenever I left my apartment, but it is not something that stuck with me, unfortunately.

Q: How many classes did you take?

A: 5 class, 15 credits, so a full schedule like I take at my home University.

Q: Were the classes hard?

A: I thought the classes were much, much easier than the classes I take at home!

Q: What classes did you take?

A: Intro to Communications

Public Speaking

Media in the Digital Age

Wines and Culture

Beginners Italian

...maybe that's why I thought the classes were easier.

Q: Did you travel every weekend?

A: Not every weekend, but a lot of weekends!

Many places I went to in Italy were just day trips because the trains are so fast you could go to Rome and back in the same day!

Q: Where did you go?

A: Florence, Italy (obviously)

Rome, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

Pompeii, Italy

Capri, Italy

Sorrento, Italy

Viareggio, Italy

Venice, Italy

Vatican City (It's actually its own country)

Berlin, Germany

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Brussels, Belgium

Paris, France

Barcelona, Spain

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Budapest, Hungary

Vienna, Austria

Salzberg, Austria

18 Cities, 10 Countries

Q: How much did you pack?

A: I had 2 suitcases, a backpack, and a duffle bag. Most people only had 1 suitcase and a large carry-on, but if you know me you know I do not, under any circumstances, ever, pack light.

So, of course, I won't be packing light when I'll be away for four months!

Pro Tip: those vacuum seal space savers bags are the way to go! Just make sure you can find a vacuum before you leave your destination, believe it or not, that was the real struggle.

Q: Could you use your phone/did you have service?

A: I got a very small phone plan with my service provider that was meant for studying abroad.

Most people bought chips to put in their phone once they were over there that allowed them to have service or bought small phones that look like the old phones your parent had mid-two thousands and they would be for emergencies.

I only ever had wifi when I was inside and I learned the hard way the third day I was there that data rates are much more expensive abroad.

Pro Tip: Make sure your cellular data is off ALWAYS, and only use iMessage when you're sure you're on wifi, if not use WhatsApp, it won't charge you!

Those are just a few answers to some of the basic questions I get asked on the reg. If you have any questions that you still want answered about studying abroad feel free to reach out to me, it's my favorite thing to talk about!

If you're able to study abroad there's no question that you should do it!

It's the most life changing experience, and I promise you won't regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Beltran

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