Special Content Collaboration with Texas Lifestyle Magazine
Photos courtesy of Texas Lifestyle Magazine.

This is where unplugging can make you feel more connected.

“Sunrise, sunburn, sunset, repeat.”- Luke Bryan

Just ten minutes by boat off of the shore of one of the Florida Keys, the tiny paradise of Little Palm Island awaits.
Just ten minutes by boat off of the shore of one of the Florida Keys, the tiny paradise of Little Palm Island awaits.

We hope you’re enjoying our Florida Keys series. Here, we bring you a pretty secret spot for the luxe traveler to waste time wisely!

Get lost and enjoy a bespoke experience at Little Palm Island, named one of Travel + Leisure’s “15 Best Beach Resorts in the U.S.”

Approximately a half hour north of Key West, Little Torch Key has an unassuming check-in shore station with a dock where a boat takes guests on a 10-minute ride to a beautiful refurbished yacht that whisks travelers away to Little Palm Island. This island looks like one you might see in the South Pacific, maybe somewhere around Fiji—a tree-filled sanctuary among thatched-roof cabins sprinkled throughout.

There are 30 cabins on Little Palm Island that are adults only (18+), so the maximum guest load is 60 people at any time, plus a staff known for its longevity.

Due to the high nightly rate ($2,300-5,500!), guests are definitely expecting first-class service along with the bespoke experiences of LPI.

They pride themselves on island isolation, which emphasizes that our guests are there for a digital detox and tropical distancing. Four lush acres—no phones, no televisions and no distractions.

Make a plan in advance to completely unplug. No streaming on your computer or tapping into your social media networks, just enjoying the peace of the island and a few great books.

In terms of activities—other than my favorite: reading a great novel while standing in the coolness of the swimming pool—guests have a variety to enjoy. First, take out one of the four complementary Boston Whaler skiff boats from the back dock. You don’t even have to make a reservation! Simply check in, grab a cooler filled with cold drinks and the staff will get you on your way. With a map of nearby islands, you might want to just cruise around and hit a few interesting places on the map, like Picnic Island, where previous visitors brought their small hometown wooden plaques and nailed them to the trees.

At Little Palm Island, the beach and luxurious housing is not the only way to relax. With a local spa, this island is all about unwinding.

There are also chaise lounges that face the water on the back dock and provide the perfect setting for a nap or some reading. You can find hammocks in hidden alcoves, and there are also various spots around the island for fishing. As you are free to be, you can also choose to enjoy their non-motorized water sports, including paddleboards, kayaks and Hobie Cats.

Make your way to Spa Terre, where you can enjoy an island wellness massage, an 80-minute CBD treatment that utilizes turmeric and vanilla bean with macadamia oil. You may or may not fall asleep during this treatment.

Dining on the island is a real treat! Start your day with bountiful bites and a view of the ocean. A tropical fruit plate popping with color is a great way to greet the morning. Follow that with a healthy omelet, avocado toast or, a favorite, lobster hash.

One should definitely enjoy lunch poolside: lettuce wraps, fish tacos, ceviche or just chips and guacamole with a cold local draft beer.

Sunset is prime time in the Keys, so head down to the beach and grab a table on the sand around 30 minutes before. If the views are not enough to take your breath away, then the dining room menu should. Fresh cuts of meat from both land and sea are available and made-to-order with high-quality ingredients. (Even the macaroni and cheese is high-end.) Dig in and enjoy a cocktail while you watch the sun go down.

The pianist plays his own keys and certainly adds to the sunset beachside ambiance. He’s been there every night for decades!

When it’s time to depart, you’ll have a reservation at the dock where you will once again board the yacht and be shuttled back to the shore station. Once there, you can either continue exploring the Keys or get transport back to the airport. Whatever your final destination, you’ll go there with the memory of your satisfying tropical distancing and getting lost adventure at LPI.

Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the travel editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career with Austin Woman magazine when it premiered in the fall of 2002. Now, she can be seen on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips, in addition to her long-running “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard.


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