Growing up is hard enough as it is. Which is why when it comes to those big birthday milestones (40, 50, 60), you deserve a bash to beat all other bashes.
If your idea of an adult birthday party involves a night out at your local Dave & Busters, it’s time to think a bit bigger. Especially if it’s a landmark year, where you’re celebrating, say, the big four- or five-oh. Set just a few-minute ferry ride from Key West on a 27-acre island, Sunset Key has all the privacy and luxury needed to make a destination birthday party truly special. Celebrations here include sunset cruises on the Gulf, day trips to Cuba, and key lime “cake.”
Where to Stay
Just minutes away from bustling Key West via ferry, Sunset Key Cottages isn’t your typical Florida resort. Instead of rooms all crammed together in a row, it’s spread out across the island in a collection of spacious beach houses ranging from one to four bedrooms. Each cottage features a full kitchen, living room, and bougainvillea-draped porch complete with rocking chairs for maximum relaxation. Larger groups can book multiple four-bedroom cottages all located within easy walking of one another and featuring their own private plunge pool and beach area.
Spa on the Sand
Even though Sunset Key has all the comforts of home, they aren’t skimping on the big resort luxury. To kick off the next few special days ahead, treat yourself (and maybe a few of your lucky friends) to a massage on the beach from the resort’s full-service spa. Here, under an open-air thatched-roof hut right beside the ocean’s edge, multiple treatment tables are set up for your choice of a 50- to 80-minute massage, which range from traditional Swedish to a warm stone massage. The experience concludes with a private dinner set just a few feet away on the sand.
Drink & Dance at Sunset
Fury Water Adventures, a well-known watersport company in Key West, recently unveiled a new two-hour sunset cruise, aptly named the Commotion on the Ocean tour. Leaving the Historic Seaport on Green Street, the 65-foot catamaran sails off into Key West’s famous sunset to the sound of live music from the on-board entertainment. Dance on the dance floor, hang back and nibble on an assortment of hot and cold appetizers, and sip on celebratory margaritas and champagne.
For a destination birthday experience you’ll never forget, Sunset Key Cottages is now offering private day trips to Cuba exclusively to its guests. Catering to groups of six, the experience starts with a private 50-minute flight from Key West to Havana and ground transportation around the city. Your personal escort will secure visas and all of the necessary paperwork and can customize the itinerary – which at its most basic, includes breakfast and lunch at notable locations, a walking tour of Havana with a local historian, and a tour of a cigar factory with a cigar sommelier – to suit your group’s individual needs and interests.
Set in a towering, baby blue, postmodern building on Truman Avenue with a swanky atmosphere, Seven Fish is the place to go for fresh local fish done in all styles of cuisines, from Italian to Caribbean to even Japanese (sushi). Favorites include the snapper with curry sauce, shrimp ceviche, and mahi mahi over ratatouille. Call a week ahead for a reservation (this place is a full house most nights of the week) or book the whole place for an intimate celebration.
The resort runs its own deep-sea fishing charters right from Sunset Key’s dock, so experienced anglers or those looking to learn can set out for a day beside a guide to track (depending on the time of year) tarpon, sailfish, kingfish, or cobia. After, the chef at the resort’s on-site restaurant, Latitudes, can prepare your catch and serve it to your group for a truly special dining experience.
Every birthday celebration needs a cake. And since you’re in the Keys, why not try a Florida specialty made by the experts? Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe, a small lime-green bakery and shop on Elizabeth Street, has been lauded by everyone from Paula Deen to NatGeo as the place for key lime pie. Owner Kermit Carpenter has been making all things key lime – and we mean all things: spiced peanuts, fudge, marinades, you name it – for almost 25 years. After grabbing your cake, er, pie, check out the koi pond on their rainforest patio.