What’s New in the Florida Keys & Key West

What's New — By Julie on January 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Hotels, Attractions and Historic Sites, Oh My!

Check out these latest cool things to see and do in the Keys …

Marathon‘s Island Hoppers helicopter tours has added to its menu of aerial adventures. Located at the Marathon Airport, 9850 Overseas Highway, Island Hoppers offers charters and sightseeing tours including the new Scenic Shoreline Flight and Lunch at Cabbage Key.

The tour lifts off from Marathon Airport and soars over the azure waters along the middle Keys and Islamorada before heading on an adventure over the backcountry of the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands for lunch at the Cabbage Key Inn at Pine Island Sound, Fla. Total tour time is approximately 4.5 hours, including lunch.

Shorter adventures also are available, such as a one-hour Key West Adventure to see the Conch Republic from a bird’s-eye perspective, and a Keys Discovery Tour over the Seven Mile Bridge, Pigeon Key and the waters around Marathon, Bahia Honda and Big Pine Key. For more information visit www.ravenair.net or call 305-619-9603.

Casa Marina Resort, Key West

Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, 1500 Reynolds St. in Key West, has introduced a “fish concierge” at the property’s Sun-Sun Beach Bar & Grill beside the Atlantic Ocean. Executive Chef Erik Malzahn will identify, fillet and cook guests’ catch at the restaurant, located in an open-air wood pavilion and specializing in tantalizing seafood and tropical salads.

Based on optimal ways to prepare each species and size of fish, Malzahn advises diners about the best cooking method, such as pan-fried, deep-fried, blackened or grilled, to bring out the flavor of the catch. He also will answer questions and provide tips on cooking with fish.

For visitors who enjoy pursuing prime food fish such as yellowtail snapper and mahi-mahi, consulting the Casa Marina’s “fish concierge” means they can enjoy the fruits of their angling and savor an expertly prepared dinner.

Recently joining Waldorf Astoria Resorts, Casa Marina dates back to 1920 and includes more than 300 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites, two tropical swimming pools and 1,100 feet of private Atlantic Ocean beach.

Fine artwork in Gallery Morada. Image courtesy of Niche

To showcase the fine arts, music and culinary nuances of the Purple Isles, a group of Islamorada galleries, restaurants and shops have formed the Morada Bay Art & Cultural District, whose mission is to feature monthly casual gatherings for residents and visitors to enjoy.

One highlight of the newly formed coalition is a monthly Art Walk to be held the third Thursday of each month. The cultural stroll features the national and local artisans who are showcased in galleries at Morada Way between MM 81 and 82, as well as live music from 5-9 p.m. Participating galleries include the Redbone Gallery, Gallery Morada and the Pasta Pantaleo Signature Gallery that opened in September.

A schedule of music and culinary events sponsored by members of the Morada Bay Art & Cultural District is to be developed over the coming months.

Rounding out Islamorada’s artistic flair, nearby Gallery 84 also opened recently at MM 84.7 oceanside on Windley Key. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the gallery specializes in fine art and offers art classes for kids and adults beginning in January. Classes are to be scheduled Saturday mornings as well as Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings through season. For details, call 305-735-4596.

Tags: fishing, Florida Keys, florida keys art, Florida Keys fishing, helicopter tours, Islamorada, Marathon