Little Palm Island: Your Own Private Idaho in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are an archipelago of over 1,700 islands stretching 120 miles off of Florida’s southern tip. It’s an extremely scenic drive from Miami along U.S. 1, across bridges and causeways, on a narrow stretch of land surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Known for its world-class fishing as much as its honky tonk bars, The Keys are a unique part of Florida. Join Daytripper as we board a boat at Mile Marker 28 for a trip to Little Palm Island Resort and Spa, a private island offering guests the ultimate in peace and relaxation.

Tripper Tips:

Little Palm Island is a place to disconnect-- there are no phones and no televisions on the island, though there is Wi-Fi.

Leave the kids at home--Little Palm does not accept guests under 16.

Two days are ideal at Little Palm, after that you might feel claustrophobic as the island is so small. It’s a perfect combination with a trip to Miami.

Want to stay right in town? Check in to the brand new The Marker, a boutique hotel in Key West.

Stay: Jump on Little Palm’s private launch, say yes to the Gumby Slumber (LPI’s addictive version of a Rum Punch, complete with fresh coconut) and leave the world behind.  It’s a quick 10-15 minute ride to Little Torch Key, an exclusive, private island populated by royal palms and accessible only by boat or seaplane.  Surrounded by water it’s peaceful, romantic and relaxing with only 30 cabins scattered across the 5-½ acre property. The bungalows are a mix of wood and rattan that feels slightly dated, but are extremely comfortable and spacious.

Activities: LPI offers you a perfect opportunity to do absolutely nothing beyond reading a book on their sandy beach, but there are plenty of water sports to keep you busy if you so choose. Get motivated and jump in a kayak and weave your way in and out of the mangroves. There’s deep-sea fishing and excellent flats fishing. (May-June are the ideal months to try and hook a tarpon.) There’s snorkeling right off shore and scuba diving, sailing, and kite boarding can all be arranged. Still not relaxed—book a massage or body scrub at the Spa Terre. 

Pets: The endangered Key deer, found only in the Florida Keys is a small white tailed deer that easily swims between the islands and is used to human contact. There’s a family that call LPI home, wandering around the island freely. (Would you want to leave?) Grab a handful of the dry food if you’re inclined--the deer love to eat right out of the palm of your hand. 

Sunset: The Keys are known for spectacular sunsets, and what could be better than your own private perch to watch the day fade away in an explosion of colors. Grab a chair on the dock, rock in a hammock or from a seat in the dining room and enjoy one last Gumby Slumber as you watch the sun set.

Day Trip: Your so close, just a half hour drive, so why not spend a few hours exploring Key West. Sure it’s touristy and can be tacky, but it’s also quirky and historic. Enjoy the Victorian and Queen Anne architecture, keep your eye out for chickens crossing the road, and have a drink at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’ve never been. 

Morning Fuel: Stop for coffee on the way at Baby’s Coffee, part coffee shop, part general store and a charming pit stop. 

Literary: Head right to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and join a tour for a fascinating look at Hemingway’s life and his years living in the Keys with his second wife and two small sons. We hope you like cats, as there are over 50 cats wandering around the house and property, all descendants of Hemingway’s 6-toed cat Snow White. Our tour guide, Chris, was enthusiastic, engaging and his love and respect for ‘Papa Hemingway’ was apparent in every story he told. 

Lunch: Authentic Key West character (you’ll be amazed at their collection of license plates decorating the bar) and oysters can be found at old-timer Half Shell Raw Bar, located waterfront on the harbor. Head to Hogfish Bar and Grill, just 5 minutes from town, for their fish tacos, peel ‘n’ eat Key West pink shrimp or their signature Hogfish sandwich. Long time favorite Louie’s Backyard, right on the Gulf of Mexico, is as popular for their food as the views from its upper deck bar. Right on Duval, Banana Cafe and Antonia’s are popular choices. 

Shops: Wander down Duval Street and see what shops appeal to you, a mix of low and high-end boutiques, dive bars, galleries and souvenir shops. A highlight of our wandering was Archeo; specializing in Gabbeh hand-knotted rugs form Iran, museum quality African art and the softest collection of Himalayan scarves and throws.

More Attractions: If you have more time before heading back to Little Palm, check out the Harry S. Truman Little White House, Mel Fisher Maritime Society or the San Carlos Institute. At sunset, bustling Mallory Square is the place to be for a true, festive sunset celebration.

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