Chef Flack has spent most of his life in these islands and his pride and passion for creating magnificent coastal cuisine is evident in his many offerings. With a smile on his face, he loves coming to diners’ tables to answer questions or make suggestions about entree choices and preparation selections.
Remember those sleepless nights lying on a rickety camp bed — or worse, on rough ground? Well, this yurt has a large, super comfy double bed and bunk beds for the youngsters. Forget wandering across to the shower block to freshen up in the morning. There’s a modern bathroom with double sink and shower.
Ponce de Leon first discovered these small islands in 1513. He found plenty of turtles but nada agua. Hence the name Dry Tortugas appeared on early maps of the Florida Straits. Sea turtles and bird eggs were hunted until the area was first protected in the early 1900s by the formation of a national wildlife refuge. In 1935 Franklin Roosevelt set aside the seven islands comprising the Dry Tortugas as a National Monument. In 1992 it was redesignated as a National Park.
This 2,799-acre mountaintop region indulges a broad range of interests. Bunker Tower, previously a fire lookout, attracts visitors of all ages to ascend into the clouds for 360-degree views of the forests, towns, and countryside. Near the tower, Bald Rock Trail is the easiest trail in the park. The wooden boardwalk parallels the original trail, ending with expansive views at the exposed gray-toned Bald Rock. Nearby, Pulpit Rock Trail overlooks the expansive Talladega National Forest. A popular repelling destination, this red-blazed trail demands careful footing and steady balance on boulders and tree roots, but is worth the effort for impressive scenery at the trail’s end.
The baths are a favorite among Connemara’s hiking crowd — a soothing end to a day of trekking. “I’ve been coming to the Leenane Hotel since I was a little girl,” says 50-something Claudia Baan, from Germany. “And the best part of my daily hike is always the seaweed bath at the end of the trail,” she adds, laughing. Hikers unwind and rejuvenate as soothing music fills the candlelit rooms, and soakers are greeted by the stunning vista of the fjord, visible through the privacy of one-way glass windows. A tranquil soak in the velvety, silky sludge is the ultimate relaxation experience — at the very least it’s sure to promote a good night’s sleep!