This was a full day. First we visited Curry Hammock State Park. Always on the lookout for a great place to stay, this state park is one of my favorite beach parks in the Florida Keys. It is smaller and a real gem. Nice beach, a place to launch our kayak, great sites with full hookup. The trick is trying to hit the computer button for getting a reservation. Not an easy feat. Hope to be able to stay here one day.
Next was the Turtle Hospital
. A wonderful place dedicated to the short and long term care of injured and sick turtles. Most impressive was the surgery facility. Our very informed and passionate tour guide kept us captivated. Injuries to turtles come from all sources as you can imagine. Boat propellers, fishing nets, fishing line and more. But in addition are things like tumors that plague these gentle creatures. These come from their environment....polluted waters being hight on the list. This place is amazing! The efforts to take care of the injured and sick know no bounds. If you like turtles take a look at their website. You will be amazed. For only $15, the tour is a bargain for the work that is done here.
Our next visit was to the Dolphin Research Center
. Dolphin shows abound! However, I did not see much going on about research. My feeling was this facility was all about the money. There were many programs offering folks to do everything from touching/petting the dolphins to getting in the water with them. Prices for these activities were very high. The show was $20. If you have not seen many Dolphin shows this is a good one to attend, but we will skip this place the next time we visit the area.
A little known key called No-Name Key just south of Marathon is the home to No-Name Key Pizza
. We read about this place from Nick Russell of the Gypsy Journal. Without a doubt some of the best pizza ever. The bar & restaurant are covered in dollar bills. Not just hanging down, the walls and ceiling are inches thick with the bills then there is the layer of bills hanging down vertically.
On our way out the door just across the street, a family of Key Deer
were grazing. Unique to Florida, the Key Deer are protected by the National Wildlife. They are very small weighing is at around 60 lbs. and standing at about 30 inches tall. They are a subspecies of the White Tail Deer. At one time, it was believed only 25 existed. Today they number 700-800. There are a number of places to view these timid little creatures. They are allowed to roam free. Take care when driving through the preserve area.