Known for his years of service in World War II and his major accomplishments on the international stage, the late former President George H.W. Bush served our country with respect and dignity during his single presidential term and years of public service. Another lesser known fact about our 41st president is that he always had a fondness for the Florida Keys, often making trips down to our very own Cheeca Lodge.
President Bush visited our Florida Keys resort during the years of his presidency, with First Lady Barbara Bush and a full security detail. The Florida Keys provided President Bush with a calming respite from the world’s most high-pressured job. Always one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and charming guests to grace Cheeca Lodge, President Bush will be remembered as an icon of American history. In his honor, we have created a guide to some of former President Bush’s favorite things to do on a visit to the Florida Keys.
Both former President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush enjoyed a quiet morning of fishing during their stays at Cheeca Lodge. There’s nothing quite like casting off into the calming waters, while gazing out at the stunning surrounding landscape. Whether you want to go out to sea on a fishing charter or enjoy a causal day of fishing off the docks, enjoy the president’s favorite pastime during your stay.
President Bush would often kick off his morning with a refreshing jog on the scenic roads near our resort. Often times, guests would catch a glimpse of the president during the daily outings. Explore the president’s favorite trails and other picturesque routes on Islamorada.
Perhaps no one more deserving of a relaxing spa day, the president would often request massage treatments – provided on-site – during his stays at Cheeca. Prior to a presidential visit, our team would comb through every detail of his stay, including everything from the rooms, menus, and seating charts, to special requirements, like spa services.
We honor and remember the late President Bush and his legacy, and will greatly miss one of our most beloved guests.
Don’t let the palm trees and sunshine fool you: The Florida Keys are more than just a great vacation destination. This beloved archipelago offers a rich history, beautiful biodiversity, and more than a few quirky characteristics.
Here are 10 of our favorite fun facts about the Florida Keys:
- There’s plenty to explore: The Florida Keys include over 800 islands, many of which can be accessed via a network of 42 bridges.
- There’s even more to uncover below the surface. The expansive Florida Reef is the only living coral reef in North America and the third largest coral reef in the world.
- The Sunshine State is also home to the largest nesting sea turtle population in the country. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL is dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles.
- The diverse marine life—along with some spectacular shipwrecks—has earned the Keys the title of Diving Capital of the World.
- And that’s not all: Our island chain is also considered by many to be the Sportfishing Capital of the World. (Learn about Cheeca’s fishing charters and tournaments here.)
- The queen conch is a protected marine species; shell collectors should steer clear of picking up these massive mollusks.
- If you’re looking to escape the cold, this is the place to be: The Florida Keys boast the highest average temperature in the country.
- Despite the beachy climate, you might be surprised to learn that much (but not all) of the sand you’ll find on our islands has been imported from the Bahamas.
- Fortunately, cats seem to love the heat. The Hemingway House is Key West is home to dozens of polydactyl cats.
- Known as the southernmost point in the country, Key West is actually closer to Cuba than Miami, FL.
Discover the Keys and enjoy luxury accommodations when you stay at Cheeca Lodge & Spa.
Although not a new issue, the consumption of single-use plastics has been a hot topic in 2018. According to a recent article by Business Insider, estimates have tallied the total plastic consumption worldwide at roughly 300 million metric tonnes. In an effort to address this issue, Cheeca is proud to introduce our latest eco-friendly initiative: the Last Straw, a commitment to remove all plastic straws from our property.
Here in Islamorada, we are particularly sensitive to the impact disposable plastics can have on the environment. The waters surrounding the Florida Keys are home to vibrant and diverse marine life populations—including the only living coral barrier reef in North America—and we’ve seen first-hand the adverse effects that plastics can have on this fragile ecosystem. The Last Straw is just one way we can act as a catalyst for positive change in our island community.
Beyond the Last Straw initiative, Cheeca will continue to champion a number of ongoing eco-friendly programs that encourage sustainable tourism. These additional efforts include cardboard and glass recycling; wastewater treatment; on-site thrill craft restrictions; a Camp Cheeca environmental awareness program for children; support of local conservation groups; and much more.
When you stay at Cheeca, you can enjoy beautiful island accommodations and amenities, without leaving a large environmental footprint. Reserve your eco-friendly vacation in the Florida Keys today!
Back to school season isn’t just for kids: For many adults, the beginning of fall marks a return to the daily 9-to-5 grind. However, the end of Summer Fridays doesn’t need to signal the end of fresh air and sunshine. Plan a corporate retreat in the Florida Keys and enjoy an inspiring work experience outside the office.
Business meets paradise at Cheeca, where we offer 4,600 square feet of versatile conference space. Our elegant venues can accommodate a wide range of events, from small business meetings to large company outings. We also invite guests to go beyond the boardroom with a range of on-site amenities and activities, from thrilling water sports to island-inspired dining and relaxing spa treatments.
This season, we’re making it easier than ever to plan your next business retreat with our exclusive Free Falling offer. Available on select midweek dates from September 30 to December 20, 2018, this stress-free meeting package includes a free 45-minute welcome reception, a free general session meeting room, and discounts on our daily resort fee.
To qualify for the Free Falling offer, you must reserve a minimum of 15 rooms for stays of two nights or longer, with a catered food and beverage minimum of $75 per room, per night. Contact Cheeca Group Sales at (305) 664-4651 for additional details and availability, and book your group today!
The Legend Returns for a New Year
No storm lasts forever. In our 70-year history, we’ve been veterans of more than we can count, and long before landfall, we knew there would be work to be done. Shutting down dozens of our neighbors’ businesses, Hurricane Irma battered our homes and livelihoods in one of the year’s most dangerous weather events. Through it all, we’ve remained committed to our community and our guests. That’s why we’re so proud to welcome you back to Cheeca for 2018, to enjoy the feel of a family Caribbean resort vacation within reach of the mainland.
Inside Our #FloridaStrong Efforts
The changes you’ll find when you return to our tropical paradise will add new meaning to your memories. An all-hands initiative from our incredible team has already seen our historic pier fixed, water features cleaned, and damaged plant life replenished. Here are some of the biggest highlights from our restoration to date.
Our front entrance, before and after:
Our staff chipping in to make big things happen:
A massive undertaking for one of the most beautiful trees on our property:
As we get closer to opening day 2018, expect to see many more details of all that we’re doing to make Cheeca even more extraordinary than you remember.
Welcome Back to More of What You Love
In addition to repairing damage from the storm, we remain committed to being one of the best Caribbean-style resorts with limitless on-site activities for every traveler. No other resort in the Keys offers vacation specials like ours. When you join us, your adventures can include:
- Fishing, in waters home to some of the most impressive big game fish in the world,
- Boating and sailing in the pristine cerulean sea,
- Snorkeling, an incredible chance to swim with some of the world’s most beautiful tropical creatures,
- Golfing and tennis, with an award-winning Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and six tennis courts overlooking our exotic island home,
- Pure relaxation on the white sand beaches, and simply enjoying the breeze in the palm trees and the gentle sounds of sea birds.
Join us once again, and continue to be a part of Cheeca’s incomparable legacy.