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Just about a four-hour drive from Miami, head the southernmost part of the US and feel worlds away in Key West, Florida. Technically closer to Cuba than to Miami, Key West offers a true tropical paradise with warm weather, unspoiled natural beauty, cultural diversity, and storied past.
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Just a few miles long, this tiny island is filled with plenty to do and see all year long. Plan to spend most of your time outdoors in Key West, so make sure to carry sunscreen and pack your flip-flops. Water enthusiasts delight in spending time on or in the water. The beaches in Key West are vastly different than other Florida beaches, as the sand is a bit rockier, but the water is jewel-blue and crystal-clear. Hit Smather’s Beach for watersports concessions of all kinds or go to Fort Zachary Taylor Beach to relax with a good book. Try jet skiing, diving, and snorkeling through pristine coral reefs, or fish for your dinner on the pier.
Walk along Duval Street and hit up the lively bars and cafes for some icy-cold beers and a Jimmy Buffet Margarita. At dusk, head to Mallory Square to watch the sunset over the water, which has become a daily event and celebration.
To get a glimpse of Key West’s history, visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Audubon House and Tropical Gardens and Harry S. Truman Little White House. Take off in a seaplane (or boat) to reach one of the country’s most remote recreational areas, Dry Tortugas National Park. Of course, no trip to Key West is complete without paying a visit to the Southernmost Point Buoy to take an obligatory picture to mark your territory.