Since 2015 did not afford us any opportunities to travel (4 moves in one year will do that to your vacation plans) we are hoping to treat ourselves better in 2016. The first step was planning — and actually executing — a long weekend in Key Largo. Although it’s only 70 miles from our home in downtown Miami, it’s a world away.
We arrived in a rainy Thursday evening to get settled in, and planned a full day of land-based activities for Friday. First up was a visit to the bird sanctuary at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center. The sanctuary is a permanent home for injured birds treated by the rehab center that cannot be released to the wild. The sanctuary is home to a variety of types of birds, including many raptors, owls, wading birds, shore birds and backyard birds.
Although the property is small, the enclosures for the different birds are cleverly integrated into the natural environment and offer a surprising variety of habitats. A boardwalk provides easy access throughout the property and gets visitors up close to the residents.
Probably the best part of the sanctuary property, however, is that it obviously welcomes visitors of the feathered variety. Whether they are visiting injured friends, or just like the setting, many wild birds are also extremely comfortable at the property.
A quick trip around the boardwalk could have been accomplished in 15 minutes or so, but when I have my camera and a cast of willing subjects you know it’s going to be a much longer visit. Our leisurely 1 hour stroll — with plenty of stops for photos — was the perfect way to start off our day on land in Key Largo.