“I call it my ‘sky Harley,’” said Evan Doumis of Overseas Aero Tours, and we can’t find a more apt description for the vintage biplane he uses to fly locals and visitors through the skies above the Middle Keys.
Passengers will certainly get an unobstructed view, not to mention the air blowing through their hair, on this flight. The plane is a 1940 Waco UPF-7, originally developed by an Ohio company specifically for traveling businessman, postal service and explorers. Two passengers can fit in the front bench seat, as Doumis wheels and steers the aircraft from the rear seat. It’s a narrated tour of the islands, courtesy of the Snoopy-like cloth helmet inset with mic and “ears.”
Doumis is a natural at picking out what his passengers want to see: turtles, the lighthouse, or even their own home. He grew up in the Florida Keys, so he knows the terrain and the skies above them well. Prices range from $55 per person for a short flight. For best results, pick a calm and clear day to see the spectacle – a panoramic view of the Florida Keys in all its sparkling glory.
That much sunshine and fresh air is going to work up an appetite. Less than a mile and a half down the road from the Marathon Airport is Brutus Seafood Market and Eatery. It’s owned by a family of commercial fishermen with the knack of elevating fresh, local seafood to the sumptuous category. It has a range of options from a simple fish sandwich enhanced with flavorful homemade aioli to a surf and turf dinner.
9400 Overseas Highway, starting at $55 per person
6950 Overseas Highway, $$
Editor Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes small and weird children (she has two); prefers target practice with a zombie rat poster; and looks best with saltwater dreads. Occasionally she tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister.