June
30

MI OLA in Red, White and Blue

Happy #Friyay! Not only is today Friday, BUT it’s also the kickoff to one of the best holiday weekends in the US – – July 4th weekend!!! Days off, warm weather, sunshine, and more daylight to #GetOutThere is exactly what we love here at MI OLA. This July 4th holiday, we will be rocking our red, white, and blue – – MI OLA style. And just in case you need some bikini inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite MI OLA ‘kinis from our ambassadors and influencers. Go ahead and mix + match to rock your red, white, and blue!

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@amanda_strachan in our Thong tha Thong and Tira Halter

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@sirenwilliams in our Pin-Up Top and Casita Boythong

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@_elodypetit in our X-Back Top and Thong tha Thong

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@amanda_strachan in our X-Back Top

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Ambassador @rock3roll in our Lorelei Maillot

 

P.S. Did you know that the red, white and blue of the US flag signifies purity and innocence (white), hardiness & valour (red), and vigilance, perseverance & justice (blue)?!?!

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@lenamahfouf in our Pin-Up Top and Supercheeky Bottoms

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Ambassador @rock3roll in our Thong tha Thong and Premio Tank Rashie

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@lulumercer in our X-Back Top and Thong Tha Thong

 

AND in case you need a little outdoor #GetOutThere inspiration for things to do over July 4th (besides feasting with of hamburgers, corn, watermelon…and a couple of cold cervezas!), we’ve got you covered there too!

Plan a full or 1/2 day hike.

You don’t have to hop on a plane or drive a long distance – – check out the hiking trails in your backyard. For more inspiration, check out our Ambassador #GetOutThere Guides to hiking by our ambassadors: Na Pali Coast, White Mountain, El Yunque Rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, Lost Coast Trail, and our beginner’s guide to hiking ‘Hike Like a Girl‘. Or, if you’re nearer the beach than a trail, how about a long beach stroll?

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📷by @scottyj1208, featuring our Striped Boyshort and Pin-Up Top

If you’re near any body of water, go SUP or surf if there are waves!
There is nothing like a great day on the water. Check out our pretty awesome Surf Guides to waves right here in the USA, like Montauk, La Jolla, Rockaway, Deerfield Beach, Tybee IslandLong Beach, and Folly Beach.

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@giuliamanfrini and @misskellieeee in our Serena Zip Rashguard and Lorelei Maillot

 

Now go grab your bikini and celebrate! Happy 4th of July!

June
23

MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Ahhhhh, summer 2017 is officially here! With the super long days and warm weather, we chatted with the awesome MI OLA mermaids + brand ambassadors to create one epic Summer 2017 Bucket List. Are you ready for this? Check it out below!

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The MI OLA 2017 Summer Bucket List

Do you love paddle boarding, hiking and biking? Then head out to Lake Tahoe with Briana @wanderlovebri ! She is planning to paddle board around Lake Tahoe (~75 miles) over 4 days in July. Then, she will bike around the lake in a day.

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Photo by Briana @wanderlovebri

Sunlight until midnight?! Yes, yes, yes! Head to the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway above the arctic circle with Susu @insta_susi. The Lofoten Islands have been on her list for years and this summer it’s finally gonna happen! Picture road tripping, comfy tent, pristine white sand beaches, beautiful mountains, and even waves to surf! Check out Susi’s Surf Guide to Northern Norway.
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Photo by Susi @insta_susi

Ahhhhh Tahiti! Pristine beaches, crystal clear water, waves, tropical foliage, and our very own brand ambassador Elise @babeinthewaves who just so happens to have a kite surf school with her hubby. Yogi + ambassador Amanda @mermanda_ would LOVE to visit Tahiti this summer – – so connect with these two because you’ll definitely get great kite surfing lessons AND yoga sessions!
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Photo by Amanda @mermanda_

A yoga outdoor festival? Yes please! Check out Wanderlust, a favorite of several of the MI OLA brand ambassadors. With over 15 Wanderulust festivals in just North America alone this summer, you can stay as close to home OR have an adventure!. Briana @wanderlovebri will be attending and working Wanderlust in Vermont and California! Be sure to check out our guide to Wanderlust!
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Photo by Lauren @rock3roll

Do you love hiking as much as ambassador Ashley @ayeboulet? Ashley is heading to Alaska this summer for a two week road / backpack trip. She’ll be backpacking the Kesugi Ridge in Denali National Park. Or check out these hiking guides by our ambassadors: Na Pali Coast, White Mountain, El Yunque Rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, Lost Coast Trail, and our beginner’s guide to hiking ‘Hike Like a Girl‘.
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Photo by Ashley @ayeboulet

 What’s on your list this summer?  Let us know in the comments and inspire us!

 

June
16

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide

If you’ve been a tad bit too busy getting out there enjoying the warmer weather and forgot that Father’s Day is this Sunday (gasp!), we’ve got you covered (literally and with our surf bikinis that stay on!). Check out our top five last minute Father’s Day gift recommendations for the active dads in your life to help him keep up with you!

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MI OLA brand ambassador Jen P. @flentil with her family

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide

  1. Grab a gift card to the ultimate online outdoor shop for men – Huckberry. Send the gift card directly to the dad in your life, or send it to yourself and print at home to deliver by hand (we recommend presenting with a bottle of his favorite drink).
  2. Meal subscription service to Thrive Foods Direct.  Perfect for your dad on the go! Focused on high-net-gain nutrition (aka the biggest nutritional bang after digestion), you may want a subscription too!
  3. Spotify Premium subscription, because there is nothing like being in the groove and staying in the groove (no pesky ad interruptions!)
  4. Cool outdoor gear that’s tried, tested, and delivered to his front door every month? Yes please! Enhance his outdoor experience with a subscription to Nomadik.
  5. For when he’s kicking up his feet and relaxing after a long day outside, how about a subscription to his favorite magazine like Outside Mag or an Amazon gift card for his favorite e-books?

 

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MI OLA brand ambassador Susi @insta_susi with her husband

June
9

#GetOutThere Guide: Cuba

Cuba is on everyone’s radar, especially since travel for Americans has become more lenient in the past year. Traveling to Cuba is like stepping back in time, to a time when the internet didn’t rule over our attention and days went by slowly. Friendly smiles greet you as you stroll lazily around town. For American travelers, travel is still restricted to a dozen broad categories in order to obtain a visa.  Once you get this detail sorted, check out this biking guide by MI OLA brand ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri) to #GetOutThere in Cuba!

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

#GetOutThere Guide: Cuba

We arrived in to Havana mid-week, in the afternoon. The sun was blazing. After a Rocky Mountain winter, there is nothing like Caribbean humidity! Long distance biking was at the top of our list so we headed directly to a small bike shop to set ourselves up for a week in Cuba. The best part about this trip was the minimal planning, which set us up for many moments of adventure and spontaneity. The only plan we had upon arrival was to rent bikes, aim toward Trinidad and take each day as it was.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Day 1: Bike ~20 km from Havana to Guanabo.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Havana is bustling, full of locals and tourists, cars older than my grandparents, beautiful architecture and crumbling buildings. All together in one city, beside the sea. The energy of the city will bring you to life! Our bike path wandered along residential streets and along busy streets. We eventually met the ocean and followed along the shoreline until we arrived at the ferry dock. A ferry is one of two options to cross from Havana to Casa Blanca: cars and buses commute through a tunnel and cyclists and pedestrians travel by ferry. The adventure in Cuba began!

Biking out of the city and into the country felt invigorating and inspiring. We biked through small towns, heading west. The hills are sustained and the descents are refreshing. At times the ocean was in our view, watching the sun move effortlessly through the humid air. As the sun approached the horizon, it was clearly time to discover accommodations for the first night. “Casa Particulares” are home stay lodging options that range from hostel style rooms to private apartments. Government authorized Casas display a blue and white symbol on the entry way. Rooms can be reserved in advance but since internet usage is so limited here, we decided to find a room by biking around each evening in the local town.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Day 2: Bike ~80 km from Guanabo to Matanzas.

We woke up to a view of the ocean from our Casa. On the second day, the bikes felt heavy. We loaded up our things, strapped everything on, and trudged up the first hill of the day. It seemed that our initial optimism drowned out the reality of many hill climbs. I highly recommend a topography map or a slower pace if you have intentions to bike around Cuba!

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Day 3: Beach Day!

Its hard to believe that we spent a week on a Caribbean Island and only got a single beach day! I packed four MI OLA bikinis, hopeful that I would find myself living in them, beachside everyday. But the long mileage objectives the first couple of days meant that we had limited beach access. This morning, I made clear that we weren’t doing anything important- I needed to feel the sand between my toes, the exfoliation on my tired body, and the warm salt water to revive me!

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

With some pieced-together Spanish dialogue, we found the local bus, which is really just some benches in the back of a big truck, and headed to Varadero. This peninsula is a resort filled area with a stunning 18km long beach. Initially we were concerned it was too developed and wouldn’t be peaceful. But, to our surprise, it was sleepy enough, and we found a slice of heaven on a nearly deserted beach. The water was so blue, with some of the most beautiful shades of aquamarine I’ve never seen before. The fine sand is like magical fairy dust. I strapped on my goggles and walked into the great ocean. Floating in the water was perfection; letting the gentle movement of the waves carry me into shore and out to sea, back and forth.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Later, we found all the resorts we had worried about, but they are clumped into an area on the end of peninsula. Don’t let this change your plans to enjoy this beautiful area. You can walk along the long stretch of white sand, wander the streets of Varadero, or hike around the Reserva Ecologica Varahicacos (a nature preserve with a simple trail system). While resorts often seem ubiquitous with tourists, it should be noted that this area is also enjoyed by locals. It isn’t far from Havana (a couple hours by bus) so even a single day or night venture is possible.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Day 4-6: Havana City Exploration.

We headed back to Havana by bus after the reality of distance, humidity, and a short length of time shifted our biking objectives. When in Cuba, plan to move leisurely and without too much planning! Here, plans evolve, buses don’t rush, and people are just living a relaxed island lifestyle.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

I’m not much a city explorer; I prefer wide open spaces along the sea and in the mountains. But, here are some must sees in Havana:

Mercado Tulipa: The markets are the heart of the people. Everywhere I travel, I seek the markets to enjoy local fruits and vegetables, to find spices to bring home, and to enjoy the local foods. This market is just outside the city center. You can get here by bus, taxi, or a nice walk through some of the historics sites along the way.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Eat street food: In many places around the world, street food gets a bad reputation for making people sick. But, this is where the local flavors are and for cheap! For less than a dollar you can enjoy fresh breads piled with smoked meat, arroz con griz (rice and beans), and fresh juices. La Riviera in the heart of downtown offered the absolute best Pan con Lechon! Think fresh rolls with freshly sliced pork roast, a pinch of salt and some pepper infused vinegar. So delicious! And don’t forget to get an orange soda to wash it all down. Enjoy the bustling city street as you sit on the sidewalk and basque in the energy of Havana.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Callejon de Hamel: On Sunday at 12pm every week, locals and tourists gather in an alleyway that has been covered in art. It is a cultural hub for Afrocubana art and music. There is live music, dancing, good food, galleries to explore and art hanging from ornately created pillars of what most would consider junk. It is beautiful and vibrant. If you visit any other day, it is likely to be much quieter than Sundays- this is the gathering day! At every turn, your imagination will come to life.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Coppelia: Cubans love their ice cream. There are little spots to get a cone of delicious ice cream all over the place. But here at Coppelia, it’s a scene worth seeing. Stand in line for a while then get guided into the largest ice cream parlor you’ve probably ever seen. Its a gathering place for the local people and well worth a visit. They only serve ice cream in a variety of ways- scoops, sundaes, shakes. But only ice cream!

Walk around: Make time to walk around the city. The architecture, corridors of culture, colors and energy are best enjoyed by foot. There is so much to see and feel that this experience should not be rushed. If you want to cover a little more ground, consider a bike rental. Ruta Bikes offers an inexpensive bike rental with lock, helmet, and everything you need to stroll around the city. At some point, jump in an old classic car to feel the energy of the 50s, but trust me on the walking part- move slow.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Other Cuba Tips:

Get out of the city! Beautiful beaches, lush green forest, sleepy fishing villages, and a truly connected experience exist away from the bustling city. Bike, train, bus, taxi, and car are all great options for exploring. Many locals bike so drivers are very respectful and give plenty of space (except in the tight city streets). Trains are few and slow. Buses are relatively frequent yet they are not cheap. There are a few types of public transportation, but many are segregated between locals and tourists. If you are well spoken in Spanish and can talk your way on to a co-operativo bus, you are guaranteed friendly interaction with local people. The tourist buses are more comfortable, with air conditioning and wi-fi, but the local modes of transport are vibrant and give beautiful insight to how the people move. Taxis are a great way to get around the city or across short distances, but they will get quite expensive if you intend to use them for long distances. Be sure to agree on a taxi price before getting in. Lastly, cars are an option for exploration although without personal experience with renting, insurance, etc, I don’t have much to offer for tips.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

Don’t expect to find much wi-fi connection. For the moments when a connection is absolutely necessary, locate a wi-fi park on a map. Yes, its an outdoor plaza where there is a random internet connection. Look for someone selling wi-fi cards at about $3 cuc for an hour. Where the people are congregating is likely the best connection. Then log on and enjoy your brief connection into modern time…then log off and enjoy the simplicity of life without constant connection.

Download Cuba maps on Maps.me . These maps are great for seeing wi-fi zones (parks with wi-fi), casa particulares, playas (beaches), and more.

When: We visited in early May. The weather was hot, & humid: island perfection!

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

How to get there: Flying in and out of Havana from the states is simple and direct. While Havana has a lot of character and historic sites to see, I highly recommend wandering outside the city to truly experience the Cuban culture.

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Photo by MI OLA ambassador Briana (@wanderlovebri)

June
2

Hang With MI OLA Girls

All around the world, from Tahiti to the Florida Keys, our MI OLA ambassadors #getoutthere. They surf, salute the sun, SUP, hike mountains, cycle cross country, to so much more and we love keeping up and supporting them with their adventures. Not surprisingly, several lead retreats and are instructors, from yoga to kite surfing. If you have a trip planned or need some inspiration for your next outdoor vacation, why not hang with the MI OLA girls? Check it out below!

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Do you love traveling to yoga vocations around the world? Then yogi and ambassador Jessica Bellofatto is your go-to mermaid! Jessica leads retreats all around the world, from Greece to Panama. Past retreats have been surfing in Costa Rica, Stand Up Paddleboarding in Mexico, hiking in Macchu Picchu or cycling through Tuscany. Her ultimate priority with her yoga retreat vacations is FUN. Get ready for your dream adventure: energizing yoga, cultural immersions, and delicious organic food are on the agenda. Jessica has upcoming retreats in York, Maine, Bocas del Toro, Panama, Rincon, Puerto Rico, Tulum, Mexico, Ithaca, Greece, and Umbria, Italy.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica- @jessicabellofatto

 

Planning on exploring and road tripping through the Florida Keys? Be sure to stop in Marathon at ambassador Amanda’s yoga studio, Sol Shine Yoga. After a transformative trip and yoga teach training in India, Amanda founded Sol Shine Yoga Studio in Marathon. The studio is a community staple in Marathon where conchs, snowbirds, and spring breakers alike come to practice. And be sure to check out the studio’s great workshops, from full moon yoga to a Zen Sound session. Sign us up!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @mermanda_

 

 

Dreaming of escaping to a tropical island? Us too! Why not learn to kite board in Tahiti with ambassador Elise and her husband Mat? For all levels, from beginners to advanced, Wind Chasers Tahiti personalizes your lessons, making sure it’s safe and fun. Their school does lessons on the different spots of the main island of Tahiti so you can discover the most beautiful places for kitesurfing. Follow the wind with Wind Chasers Tahiti !

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Headed to the Hamptons this summer? Drop on in to ambassador Leslie Pearlman’s yoga studio, Good Ground Yoga in Hampton Bays.  The studio is a vibrant, creative center where people gather to embrace the spirit of yoga and holistic healing. Good Ground Yoga welcomes students from all walks of life– from first time students to seasoned practitioners. Throughout the year the studio offers teacher trainings and workshops. And don’t worry, you don’t have to plan to teach yoga to take yoga teacher training – – check out Leslie’s great insight!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Leslie- @goodgroundyoga

 

 

Are you dreaming of a relaxing beach vacation? Then head out to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, a 200 mile long barrier island that sits off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. With ocean on one side and the Pamlico Sound on the other, it’s one of the only places where the sun rises and sets on the water! The Outer Banks (OBX) also just so happens to be where ambassador Adrienne Kina lives and plays. From pristine beaches, fishing, museum hopping, shopping, hang gliding, world class surfing, kite boarding, windsurfing, SUP boarding, jet skiing, boating, kayaking and biking, the OBX is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. If you’re itching to learn to surf or kite board (or are in the market for a new surfboard!), head on over to REAL Watersports where Adrienne works.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Adrienne- @yokeens

May
26

#GetOutThere Guide: Florida Keys Roadtrip

Road trips are a great American classic. There’s just something about having the radio on and volume up, windows down, and pedal to the metal that invokes an element of mystery and excitement unlike any other way to travel. Follow our ambassador Amanda (@Mermanda_) on a mermaid style road trip down the Florida keys where she uncovers and discovers sunken treasures in her own backyard.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @Mermanda_

The MI OLA girls guide to a Florida Keys Road Trip 

The Florida Keys are an archipelagic collection of 43 islands connected by a 113 mile, 42 bridge leap frog roadway known as the Overseas Highway.

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On this journey we’re starting at the top, mile marker (MM) 102.5 Key Largo, John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park. The first underwater park in the United States and home to Christ of the Abyss, the underwater Jesus statue. While most of the park is underwater, the coral rock beaches are a truly keysie spot for ocean side meditations, a yoga class inspired by the sea, and pirate style exploring through the mangroves. If you stay long enough you’ll probably catch a glimpse of a few marine mammals, if not, cruise on down to our next stop.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @Mermanda_

 

Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, MM 84.5, is home to rescued sea turtles, sea sions, and dolphins turned educators. The trainers and residents of Theater of the Sea are eager to tell you all about proper use, disposal of and alternatives to plastics, as well as what fish to and not to eat right now. There are always new, innovative ways we can keep our oceans healthy, especially the Marine Sanctuary that is the Florida Keys.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @Mermanda_

Also in Islamorada is an eclectic little must see known simply as “Robbie’s.” At MM 77.5 bayside  you can grab lunch, check out some local art, and you can …wait for it… HAND FEED wild, 200 pound, 6 foot long, giant scale-y Megalops sea monster’s, commonly known as Tarpon. Yep, adrenaline is a go and you’re gonna need a MI OLA suit for this one!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @Mermanda_

While we’re on the subject of “Hand Feeding Things Your Mother Doesn’t Want You Anywhere Near,” head south 25 miles and you will find Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters. A fully interactive aquarium where you can feed, by hand, everything from sharks and stingrays to turtles and rainbow fish.

For more adrenaline adventures and action sports check out Keys Cable. They have a full menu of board sports for which you’re gonna want your MI OLA. Most of their offerings can be done on site in their 5 acre lagoon; read: wake boarding, paddle boarding, SUP yoga. If the winds are right they can take you and teach you to kite board.

Also located in Marathon, Florida, affectionately known as “the Heart of the Keys” is Sol Shine Yoga at MM 50.5. This your yoga studio for hot, private, aerial, yin, and even full moon beach yoga.

Check out Amanda’s #GetOutThere Guide to Marathon, FL.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @Mermanda_

 

Keep heading south over the Seven Mile Bridge, through Keys with crazy names like Cudjoe, Sugarloaf, and Shark, another 50 miles or so and you will reach MM 0; Key West – the southern most point in the United States where you’re closer to Cuba than to a Wal-Mart, we like it like that.

Key West is a world of it’s own. There is so much to see and do; a stroll though the butterfly sanctuary, wreck and reef diving until your heart’s content, parasailing, or bar crawling in the footsteps of some of the great paradise dreamers like Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Chesney, and Ernest Hemingway. Of course, you could also spend days, or years, relaxing on the beach sipping rum runners, margaritas, and Miami vices.

The only downside to this MI OLA girls dream is the limitation on where to stay. Camping is hard to come by, hotels can be pricy, and Air BnB’s aren’t always allowed. Check out the hostel in Key West or Gulf View Resort on Grassy Key as your home base for this once in a lifetime, passport not required, road trip.

Go, #getoutside!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda- @Mermanda_