Summer vacation is a trip that we eagerly anticipate, every year. Typically, we spend time looking for a place that allows us to enjoy the things we like to do (collectively and individually) while also having to do NOTHING at all…just relax and take in the view. Of course, during the time that we plan to relax, we’d rather do it without much fuss and with a beautiful view. For these reasons, we always find our way back to the private beach of Palm Island Resort in Cape Haze, Florida.
After driving to the nearby inlet, we are guided by an attendant to drive our vehicle onto the ferry for transport to the island. After departing the ferry, we then drove to the guest parking lot and unpacked our luggage from the car. Upon check-in, our luggage was loaded onto a golf cart tram and we were taken to our villa (condo). The driver then unloaded our luggage and placed it inside the villa.
As we entered, our eyes were immediately drawn to the living room’s sliding glass window leading to a patio which allowed for a breath-taking view of the Gulf of Mexico rimmed with white sand. Because we were on the 2nd floor, our view was not obstructed by the umbrellas and chairs on the beach. We watched vacationers as they came into view. We saw various activities from sunbathing to full out jogging.
Our two bedroom, two bathroom villa (condominium) was very spacious and beautifully decorated with a refreshing beach theme. The condo walls were painted light blue which instantly brought a soothing presence. A nautical theme was tastefully applied throughout the unit and I especially liked the welcome note left on the bed accompanied by a seashell picked just for us!
The large master bedroom housed a king-sized bed, dresser and mirror, night stands with lamps, an alarm clock and a flat-screen TV. The vanity in the master bathroom included double sinks flanked by granite counter tops and the walk-in shower big was enough for two or more. Bathroom necessities which are commonly provided at better hotels, were included.
The master bedroom and bathroom were separated by a walk-in closet that housed additional linens, towels, blankets, and more. The second bedroom was decorative and had two twin-sized beds, dresser and mirror, night stand with lamp, alarm clock flat-screen TV and an ample-sized closet.
A second bathroom was located just outside this bedroom. I looked somewhat similar to the master bathroom with the exception of the vanity (only one sink) but it included both bath tub and shower.
The kitchen was fully stocked with household accessories and included modern appliances. Literally, we only needed to bring food and drinks. However, we also brought ice because I didn’t know how if there would be an ice maker available and if so, how long the ice had been sitting in the freezer.
One side of the kitchen extended to a bar area with four bar stools and a wine fridge! The eating area included a dining table which seats six guests, comfortably. I wish I could have taken the chairs home!
The living room area had a couch and loveseat, coffee table, end tables, a bookcase (with books to read) and large flat-screen TV. Cable for each TV was included in the cost in addition to Wi-Fi. Not only was Wi-Fi available inside the villa, the resort provided Wi-Fi for most areas on the island. However, the signal strength for the latter was not strong.
Dinner after Arrival
We arrived around 4pm and naturally, after unpacking and familiarizing ourselves with the villa, we were ready to eat and enjoy. We decided to prepare dinner and settled on Mandarin Orange chicken, fried rice, and baby broccoli.
One hour later, we were fully satisfied and ready to partake in adult libations (virgin for the kiddo). Since we didn’t have dessert, we opted for fruity, frozen drinks which when you think about it, were appropriate for the occasion. Each of us wanted something different so my hubby went to work; Rum Runner for me, Margarita for him and a virgin Pina Colada for the kiddo.
After using our phones and to let friends and family know we’d arrived safely, we went for a stroll on the beach followed by a shower and a movie.
Our First Full Day on the Island
Upon awaking the next morning, I was assured that we’d made the right decision by choosing to vacation here. A sun-kissed view of the beach was peeping upon us and as I fully opened the blinds and windows, we were greeted by the playful sounds of wind and waves. It was fairly early in the morning and I noticed that there weren’t many people on the beach.
After eating breakfast and getting dressed, we decided to take a tour of the island using our golf cart. In addition to bicycles, this is the only mode of transportation allowed on the island. The golf cart rental was included in our vacation package but even if it wasn’t, paying separately for the rental is well worth it. Without stopping, we drove around the entire island and took note of places we’d like to visit later and then headed back to the villa.
Next up was a scheduled dolphin tour which was not included in our package but well worth the money spent. We were guided through the mangroves of Rum Bay to the Gulf of Mexico in a pontoon boat for this tour. The captain was very familiar with this part of Florida and was able to provide insight on the history of the island including the famous Useppa Island Club. Check out the video below to see why this excursion was one of our favorite memories from this vacation.
Our lunch was a DIY buffet of sandwich ingredients that rivaled your local deli along with chips and fruit. The fact that I was able to prep most ingredients prior to our drive to the island helped to minimize the time spent preparing meals. Also, because we chose to use paper plates and cups during lunch (and breakfast), cleanup was a breeze! By this time, the kiddo was dying to go to the beach.
Our condo came equipped with beach equipment that we used including beach chairs and umbrella, floats, and boogie boards which we used… a lot! The pristine, white sand was more impressionable up-close. Because we were on a private island, there was an eternity of available coastline on which to settle. So we picked a spot, set up camp, and surrendered to island life (pics below).
Check back next week or subscribe to our newsletter to read part two!
Do you have a favorite summer destination you’d like to tell us about? Comment below and let us know!