TUCKED AWAY AT AMERICA'S southernmost point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico is a hidden tropical gem called Stock Island Yacht Club & Marina.
When visitors pull up to the six-pier marina, they see three bright blue and yellow hacienda-style condos surrounded by palm trees and clear turquoise water. The patios open up to fixed piers with remarkable seaside views. Located on Stock Island adjacent to Key West, this tropical escape has a Caribbean paradise groove.
Family-owned investment firm, Spottswood Companies, recently acquired the 13-acre property. In addition to condo rentals, the Category 5 hurricane- rated marina has 417 dry racks, 101 wet slips, high and dry storage units, fitness facilities, fuel, free ice delivery, pump-out services and member benefits such as access to the fitness facility, private pool and clubhouse.
A new dock and dine restaurant in the clubhouse offers hook-and-cook, where local chef James Jernigan and his staff prepare your fresh catch of the day.
Enjoy amenities such as golf cart, bike, paddleboard and kayak rentals, beach yoga classes and a BYOB tiki bar that sits at the water's edge overlooking a stunning view of Hawk's Channel. With its rapid expansion, developers also plan to bring live music to the property.
The resort also offers both deep sea and flats fishing, plus various boating excursions. One of the main attractions is the family day out charter rental with activities including fishing, snorkeling, sandbar tours, sunset cruises and more.
It's far enough from the mainland for a relaxing getaway, but close enough to venture into the Key West action. You can hop on the complimentary shuttle to visit downtown favorites such as famous Duval Street, only three miles away. You can also try several great dining options on Stock Island including the Italian restaurant Roostica, and the local favorite, Hogfish Bar and Grill.
"As Key West is becoming more and more developed and less affordable, Stock Island is the new place to be with a fun dining and art scene," says Todd Manuel, general manager. "It's been fun to watch that over the past few years."
With full property upgrades including new equipment, cleaning facilities and recently installed fiber optic Wi-Fi service, Stock Island Yacht Club plans to keep growing. Manuel says "the secluded location is off the beaten path with tons of amenities is the most exclusive part of the experience. From our restaurant balcony, you can literally sit at the table and watch both the sunrise and sunset from the same spot without moving that is pretty unique."