Taking in the Beauty of Florida's Marathon Key & Jupiter

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I have friends in Jupiter, Florida, which is where we spent a long weekend at the beginning of our trip. If you happen to find yourself in Jupiter, you must visit Castaways (aka the Square Grouper Tiki Bar), Dune Dog Cafe and Guanabanas.

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How amazing is this? These are the mangroves that you walk through to where people dock their boats.

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I could have ridden around on that boat all day, just checking out the gorgeous houses.

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The sand bar.

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The famous Jupiter lighthouse.

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I loved hearing from him about all the work they’re doing, as well as visiting the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and turtle rehab hospital. All the sea turtles this organization has rescued — or that people have rescued and brought there — are swimming around in their own tanks in the Center as they rehabilitate.

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I also made my first visit to a Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. on this trip — wahoo! This particular Bubba Gump’s was right on the water and had live music.

We then headed down South to our second stop — Marathon Key.

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So this particular Key, is much, much more … well, low key. The 7-mile bridge is only a handful of feet from Hawks Nest (cars can no longer drive on the old bridge — which is right next to the newly constructed bridge — so it’s only for walkers and bikers. The old bridge where you can walk is actually only a little over 2 miles in distance each way, so about a 4-mile round trip.), and we walked that stretch nearly every day. We saw sharks and dolphins and manta rays and starfish and tarpon …

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Where we plopped ourselves every single day after our bridge walk. Hello, ocean!

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Beers with a view. (That’s the 7-mile bridge in the background …)

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Iguanas were everywhere! We went kayaking through the mangroves — apparently the iguanas have become prolific lately, most likely due to people getting them as pets
and then releasing them in the wild once they get too big.

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Bloody Mary’s at the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar right next to Hawks Nest on our last full day.

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Iguana crossing.

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Cheeky French Toast!

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Fried Key Lime Pie at Burdine’s Waterfront on our last full day.

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We took in the spectacular sunset on our last night and caught this man paddle boarding with his water-loving pup.

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After spending seven days in Marathon, I think it’s safe to say all of our cares had melted away. Despite all our relaxation, though, we managed to fit a lot in as well, with the bridge walks and kayaking — we even made it to Key West one night to visit friends and have dinner at Blue Heaven.

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This was an actual hot dog/hamburger stand in the middle of the water. Genius.

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We saw countless alligators on Saturday’s boat ride!  Bis bald, friends! Let me leave you with these awesome moments of beautifulness ….

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Cheryl Lock
Cheryl Lock is a former magazine, newspaper and website editor turned full-time freelance writer. She has worked on staff at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, More and Parents magazines, as well as for Learnvest, the leading women's financial website. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, Forbes, Ladies' Home Journal, the Huffington Post, AOL Travel and more.

Cheryl was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up moving around every few years as an Army brat. The urge to travel has been with her her whole life. While she calls New York City home, Cheryl makes it a priority to travel as much as possible throughout the year. Some of her favorite places include Iceland, the Great Barrier Beef, Cabo, Rome, Calabria and Munich, although she hopes to never stop exploring. Cheryl blogs about her travel adventures (and what's happening in and around New York City) at Weary Wanderer.
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