Never have I been more content than when I was in Key Biscayne. It's one of those things that I'm not sure I can even fully describe. Maybe it was because I rolled solo to this trip. Usually, I'll have someone tag along to help me capture content but that means I have to try to balance how much I work with not overworking someone else who doesn't have the same passion. I could shoot photos 24 hours a day. I love chasing light and waiting patiently for the perfect moment to arise. It's challenging to do myself considering I'm in most of the photos but it's also therapeutic for me. My mind slips into this meditative state where my concentration is unbroken until the moment I feel that I've nailed the shot. This photo above is a prime example. I shot for 45 minutes until I walked back to look at the screen and realized this beautiful flock of birds put on a show for me. I had no idea.
It's also hard not to be content in Key Biscayne. I was there as a guest of the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne to check out the property and also their annual charity all-star tennis tournament that coincides with the Miami Open. All these years of going to the Miami area and never once did I go to this gorgeous island. It's only 25 minutes from the Miami airport but you feel a world away.
Part of the allure is the proximity from the hotel to the State Park which is proudly home to a lighthouse from the early 1800s and gorgeous nature trails. It's a completely natural park, meaning everything there is native so I felt that I really got a grasp of what South Florida should feel like: wild, lush & free. The Ritz is the only hotel on the island and it's a world away from the crazy of South Beach. It's teeming with wildlife.
What to Do
- When the water is flat and calm take the paddle board out around sunrise and paddle towards the lighthouse for a spectacular view.
- Find a cozy spot at Dune Burgers and pick from one of their many delicious craft, you guessed it, burgers
- Breakfast at the buffet. I rarely ever choose buffet over a la carte but this property has one of the most beautiful gourmet buffets I've ever tried. Everything is healthy but I loved the fresh green juice and DIYing a yogurt and granola bowl with seasonal fruit (oh, and candied kiwi!)
- Hop on a bike and ride to the Bill Baggs State Park to admire the lighthouse. Bring snacks and picnic on the beach
- Try the Tequesta Spa Ritual. It's inspired by local Native Amerian detoxifying ritual. Starts with a dry brushing and exfoliation then clay wrap to draw out impurities and finishes with a massage and scalp treatment.
- Wake up at sunrise for a walk and make sure to reserve a beachfront chair or a cabana at Dune Burgers
- For a snack head to the Key Pantry and grab a lemon coconut water (this was my fave) or some Panther coffee, a miami based roaster
Good to Know
Rooms: Approx 490 but feels boutique
Spa: Yes. 20,000 sq ft spa & salon. Steam room, sauna, whirlpool access.
Workout facilities: Yes. The gym is spacious and modern, bright and airy. Desirable location by the pool and lawn. Spin classes are in a gorgeous studio. Paddle board, kayak, wind surfing are also available. Largest tennis center of any Ritz Carlton. Hiking trails at the State Park are very accessible from here via the complimentary shuttle.
Staff: Some of the friendliest I've experienced. They remember your name, room number and genuinely interested in you and your stay
Vibe: Coastal Chic