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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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.

Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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Visiting Barcelona Made Me Realize How Small I Am In A Very Big World

I know now that my way of living is not the definition of what it is to live.


Just a week after my high school graduation, I took a student trip to Paris and Barcelona. While Paris wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, I absolutely fell in love with the city of Barcelona. From the cuisine to the landmarks, everything in Barcelona seemed so surreal and I couldn't quite grasp the fact that I was in a whole different country. Despite loving everything different about the city, there were also times that I felt extremely uncomfortable with the way things worked there.

I was so used to the intricacies of daily life in the United States that I completely forgot there were other places in the world that were so unlike my own. Just using the restrooms in Barcelona threw me off! You had to feed the door a 20 cent euro coin for it to open and upon opening, the door would then proceed to print out a coupon for your next purchase of milk. Strange.

My friends and I decided on a restaurant that sounded like it'd be good when we read what their menu was like. It was the standard burgers, fries, and chicken sandwiches. So we were all shocked when our fries came out drenched in oil and mixed with pieces of scrambled egg. The waiter took one look at our faces and laughed, as he knew we definitely weren't from around there.

These experiences are so little, and they seem like they have hardly any impact at all. They do though. I've been in a country where a small bottle of water is five dollars, but health insurance is free. A country where the beach is lined with smooth rocks instead of the seashells I'm used to, and I can drink all the alcohol I want without getting carded. Having traveled to a country like Barcelona has not only challenged me to think about what I consider to be "normal," but to be interested in the things that I think aren't normal.

We live in a society that is split down the middle about whether or not it wants to let in more cultures, more people with more backgrounds than we could have ever imagined. We see xenophobia in every corner of our communities and hear talk about walls being erected to keep people out, and bans being passed to keep people away. Once you've seen other cultures and learned the beauty of what it is to be different, you know that no wall can keep that beauty out.

Visiting Barcelona has made me realize just how small I am in this very large world. This is a good thing. I know now that my way of living is not the definition of what it is to live. I know people on the other side of the world they like their fries with tons of olive oil. I know that the culture of a country so far away from me is just as beautiful as my own and deserves to be embraced.

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