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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I will be heading down to Florida next month to pick up the new skiff. Since I'll be just about 120 miles from the Keys, I figured I'd spend a couple of days down there before I head back to Texas. Won't have a whole lotta time, but I gotta get my pretty water fix........

Anyway, my girlfriend, who LOVES Destin but has never been further down the state than that, is coming with me. When it comes to hotels / motels, she demands clean. Very, very clean. Extremely clean (none of my friends can believe that she has anything to do with me).

We will be visiting a relative (his mom was my favorite aunt) I haven't seen in many years; he recently purchased a condominium on Marathon, and he winters there now. He isn't much of an angler though. I am hitting him up for recommendations, but I don't know if he is all that familiar with the island yet. Anyway, I'm looking for recommendations. We plan to stay two or three nights. I hope to splash the skiff and do a little fishing one of the days, and I need secure parking for it for the rest of the stay. Any recommendations?
 

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Hotels are your best shot because most of the keys require 28 day minimum rentals for houses. If you stay in Islamorada there are several old FL kinds of places with cottages that are good. Try Kon Tiki, Breezy Palms, etc. - just search the web for lodging in Islamorada. Kon Tiki includes a boat slip with rental and has a ramp on the property. A little further down on Layton Key in the Lime Tree Bay resort - really nice place. You're going to love it in the middle Keys and fishing there will ruin you.
 

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You may try Duck Key. (Hawks Cay).. I have not been there is years, but it took quite a beating in the hurricane and I've heard is pretty much been fully re-vitalized.

They have a boat ramp, some boat/trailer parking, is rather secure for the Keys, and a nice pool & swimming lagoon for hanging out. You would have direct access to the Ocean and back country to splash the skiff and pick a side to take advantage or hide from windy weather.
 

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We did several buddy trips to Marathon years ago and stayed at local Mom & Pop motels. Unfortunately most of those properties have sold for condo development and wouldn't meet the GF's strict criteria anyway. Same with Palmers (clean but rustic). Little Palm Island is the ultimate resort in that stretch of the Keys, but it's still undergoing renovation after the storm and won't re-open until 2020. Another option might be Hawk's Cay, although that would still require some driving to Marathon waters. Good luck, let us know what you find and have fun. There are some great opportunities around there, especially the Content Keys.
 

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Look into rentals on Key Colony. Its right there at Marathon and you may be able to find something with a sea wall, slip, etc.

Maybe check the Key Colony Inn. Eat at Key's Fisheries if you can.

My family loves that area.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the input. I Googled the Key Colony Inn and it seems to be a restaurant, but no lodging. Am I missing something?
 

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We stay at the Hyatt Place,Marathon. Complimentary hot breakfast, at Faro Blanco Lighthouse marina
 

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fishing there will ruin you.
can confirm this statement. wish I could help more with recommendations for lodging but Im fortunate to have a close friend who is from the keys and has family there still. will also second the keys fisheries recommendation, lobster reuben :D

what I can say is Hawks Cay will absolutely meet the gf's standards, plenty of good fishing between there and marathon and only a 15-20 minute drive to the first ramp in marathon
 

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Thanks for all the input. I Googled the Key Colony Inn and it seems to be a restaurant, but no lodging. Am I missing something?
You may be right. We've always driven past en route to our rental location so I've never stayed there personally.

At Keys Fisheries ask the kitchen for fish scraps to feed the tarpon.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dave Nickles: Just being on the water down there will ruin you. I spent a large part of my youth down there and I fished all over the Keys in the sixties. I went back to Miami after I got out of the service but making it there was tough. I crewed on a lobster boat, I rigged sailboats, I worked for a landscaper, and I finally gave up and moved to Texas in January of 72. I made it back with the wife in 2014 (Bahia Honda SP) and last September with some fishing buds (Big Pine Key). The wife loved it (she died in 2015) and I think the GF will too.
 

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I just stayed at the Fisher Inn at Islamorada. Good boat parking, boat ramp, and very clean and modern rooms my wife liked.
 

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Rainbow Bend & little conch key. Had great time at each. RB has whalers you can use 1/2 day. Had a blast , about a 1/2 mile from large flat. ( or used to be ). Had manatees swim within 20-25 ‘ of me while wading. Blew my mind anything that big could be so quiet
 
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