The Destination

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. Alice Walker

One of our first thoughts after saying "let's do it" was where could we go that we could afford without too much stress, and thanks to a gentleman, John Kurzeja, we found it.

Below is a description found in the VRBO listings and it was perfect. We were looking for a site in the lower Keys with a place for the boat and it had to be pet-friendly.

Crowded beaches, urban sprawl, traffic jams, and long lines in make-believe magic kingdoms…not the Florida vacation you were thinking of? There is still a place where the unspoiled natural beauty remains as it was 50 years ago. Where the pace is still island time and the natives are very friendly.

One Particular Harbour is located on the Atlantic side of Ramrod Key at mile marker 27.5 on the edge of the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary and in the middle of the Great Heron Refuge. A wide screen enclosed porch surrounds the main living area on three sides. In the backyard, the porch faces our private dock on a free flowing canal with direct access to the ocean. The front porch has an uninterrupted sunset view overlooking a salt pond and natural mangrove wetlands with Niles Channel and Summerland Key off in the distance.

Rise early, and step through the French doors from your bedroom onto the screen enclosed porch. If you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of wading birds like, scarlet ibis, rosette spoonbills, and blue and white herons feeding in the shallow salt pond right outside your doorstep. You might even spot one of the tiny key deer, as they forage for their morning meal. Sit back and relax as you enjoy a fresh brewed coffee and the cool morning breeze. You’re on island time and there’s nothing more important to do than enjoy the beauty of nature as it unfolds before you, letting the stresses from the real world melt away.

Embrace the new day with a short stroll up to Five Brothers Market for some authentic Cuban coffee and a fresh baked Cuban pastry. After the refreshing walk you find yourself energized and starting to get hungry. You decide to join the locals over at the Big Pine Coffee Shop, just a short five-minute drive away. The smells of their great breakfast specials, eggs, pancakes, and bacon fill the air. You grab a seat next to a couple of locals and find out where the fish are biting. When you get back to the cottage you mosey down to the dock in the backyard just in time to see the Kokomo Cat dive boat pass by on its way out to Looe Key for the first dive of the day. All the divers give a friendly wave as the boat passes by, and it reminds you of just how welcoming this special place is.

What’s next? Do you load up the boat and head to the blue water to catch Dolphin (mahi-mahi), Kings and Sails; or maybe hit the flats in the backcountry for some Bones, Permit or Tarpon? Or should you head out to Looe Key and do some diving or snorkeling on the reef? Better yet, if it’s lobsters season, head out to just about anywhere and catch your limit of this local delicacy. Fresh Florida lobster on the grill for lunch, now that’s a real treat!!

Maybe you have something a little more adventurous in mind, like a kayaking tour through the mangrove tunnels of the backcountry, maybe paddle out to Tarpon Belly Key to check out the remnants of the old shrimp farm that was once there. Or for real excitement, how about an unforgettable, nighttime kayak tour of the backcountry, offered only during the monthly full moon. Experience the amazing bioluminescence that makes every paddle stroke a magical swirling emerald green explosion of lights in the water. And before the moon rises, see the full majesty of the Milky Way in the night sky, far away from any Earthly lights.

Then again, maybe you prefer to just take it easy. In that case grab your sunscreen, lawn chair, Buffett CDs, and take your boat out to Picnic Island. Located in the middle of New Found Harbor, the island is only accessible by boat and is just a few hundred yards from the mouth of our canal. With it’s sandy beach, Picnic Island is a very popular spot with locals on the weekends, but is pretty much deserted during the week.

No boat, no problem, just head over to Bahia Honda State Park, a short 10 minutes away, and see why it is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in America. Or make plans to rent a boat from the nearby Dolphin Marina on Little Torch Key. They can even arrange to have the boat delivered to the house and tied up to the dock awaiting your arrival.

Be sure and save some time during your stay to visit historic Key West. It’s just a short 23-mile drive away, through the most breathtaking, scenic section of the famous overseas highway. In Key West, take the Conch Train tour; visit Ernest Hemingway’s house, and then Mel Fisher’s Museum where they display the remarkable treasures from the Spanish Galleon the Atocha, shipwrecked in 1622.

Have your picture taken at the Southernmost Point, and then head over to famous Duval Street and do the “Duval Crawl” down to Sloppy Joe’s, Margaritaville, the Hog’s Breath Saloon, Captain Tony’s, Schooner Warf, and finally head over to Mallory dock for the nightly sunset celebration.

When you’ve had your fill of the weird, wild, and wacky, leave the tourists, noise, and congestion behind and head back to the peace and tranquility of your secluded tropical sanctuary.

Once you’ve visited Key West, you may also want to check out the restaurants and nightlife a little closer to home. Both the Tiki Bar and Boondocks are fun local hangouts, and feature good food, a full bar, and live music five nights a week. They are both just up at the end of our street and easy walking distance from the house. The famous No Name Pub is on Big Pine Key, along with several other good restaurants, including Rob’s Island Grill a great sports bar. Mangrove Mamma’s on Cudjo, and for a five star dining experience you can make reservations for their private ferry to take you out to the exclusive Little Palm Island Resort to eat at their award-winning restaurant.

There is something for everyone at One Particular Harbour, so what are you waiting for? You don’t have to leave the Country to find your own tropical paradise. Start planning your own good times, down in the Caribbean sunshine, so far away from the everyday, contact us today!