Known for its irreverent vibe and cultural diversity, Key West, the southernmost city in the U.S., has long been an escapist paradise. But before hitting the bars, restaurants, shops and galleries of Duval Street, set aside a couple of days for the ultimate resort experience.

If getting lost in paradise is your ideal escapism, then Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is the ultimate destination. Located on a private 5-acre island accessible only by boat or seaplane, this tropical oasis boasts luxurious private thatch-roofed bungalow suites, secluded beaches, gourmet dining and unsurpassed hospitality and guest services.  

From the moment you arrive at their Welcome Station on Little Torch Key, where you will be greeted with a customary and refreshing Gumby Slumber while awaiting the private motor yacht to take you to the island, you will be immersed in the spirit, privacy and romance of this award-winning resort.

Whether unwinding at Little Palm’s SpaTerre or embarking on a fishing, snorkeling or kayaking journey from one of the island’s docks or beaches, you’ll feel thousands of miles away from the Space Coast. And to ensure you unplug and relax, televisions and telephones are intentionally absent from all bungalows while cellphone usage in public spaces is an island no-no.

No escape is complete without exquisite food and the dining experience at Little Palm is second to none. Reserve a table on the beach, be greeted by local Key Deer that freely roam the island, and watch the sunset while indulging on the fresh, tropical and creative island cuisine.

little-palm-islandHead South to Shop and Party

After a couple of days of complete relaxation, it’s time to crank up the Jimmy Buffet tunes for the 45-minute drive down to the palm-lined streets with gingerbread mansions and 19th century clapboard houses of Key West. Check in at the Ocean Key Resort & Spa at the northernmost end of Duval Street adjacent to Mallory Square. The resort’s spacious oceanfront rooms overlook the placid waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean, offering spectacular views of the energizing scenes surrounding this vibrant locale – from the cruise ships to Sunset Pier.  

Let the valet park the car for the duration of your visit as nearly everything to do is a convenient walk, bike or pedi-cab ride away. Take an afternoon to stroll Duval Street from the hotel to the buoy marking the southernmost point of the United States. The 1-mile trek and surrounding Old Town is rich with island history and culture – but be sure to come back later that evening for dinner and entertainment when the area bursts to life with music, pirates, street performers and some very “interesting looking” people.

Get lost in these island escapes and you may see why so many people decide to stay forever.

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa | 

Ocean Key Resort |

This article appears in the November 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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