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The Cay Life

An easy four-hour drive from Naples is Hawks Cay, a resort on a quiet protected lagoon on Duck Key. To our intrepid travelers, Sara Casanova and Clint Miller, Hawks Cay felt like vacationing on a private island.

“The setting is is gorgeous with a beautiful lagoon where you can paddle board and kayak, experience dolphins, and stay active…or not,” says Sara, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Personal Trainer in Naples. “It was very romantic and relaxing, though would also be a fun resort to visit with our extended family, too."

The hotel:

Reopened in August 2018 following a $50 million renovation, the 60-acre property includes 177 guestrooms and 250 two and three-bedroom villas, a full-service marina, six restaurants, a saltwater lagoon, five swimming pools, kid and teen clubs and a spa.  Situated between Key Largo and Key West, enjoy offshore, flats and backcountry fishing; diving; kayaking; standup paddleboarding; tennis and a unique resort-based daily Dolphin Connection program.

Where to dine:

Angler and Ale - The bartender, Eric was lovely and very friendly. He gave us great recommendations on the menu. We started with chicken wings and peel and eat shrimp (the best I’ve ever had). Cocktails were well balanced and the beer selection was excellent.

Sixty-One Prime - Terry was an exceptional bartender. Nice, upscale setting. The NY strip and lobster tail special was a stand-out. Save room for key lime olive oil cake for dessert.

The Marketplace  - For morning coffee, pizza, snack, sunscreen, and necessities for a busy (or not!) day.

Where to chill:

Oasis Cay is the adults-only pool and bar. Tropical frozen drinks and food are served, poolside. True resort living!

Get active:

We played pickleball every morning before hitting the fitness center where they have a nice variety of free weights and machines with a separate room to stretch and do core work. The front desk staff was helpful and welcoming. They also had a great selection of skincare products, notably one of my favorite brands Elemis at the spa.  Bike around Duck Key for the local experience!