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Where to Go in 2015: Florida Keys

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The Florida Keys have long attracted nostalgic travelers who want to relive the days of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams or experience the island’s kitschy bars. But suddenly there’s a new hipness to the Keys worth discovering. Key West is really experiencing a renaissance thanks to the opening of two new boutique hotels—the Marker and the Gates— craft cocktail bars, chef-driven restaurants, a rum distillery, and a new craft brewery.
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3824 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, USA
Long associated with spring break excess and the literary world (Hemingway lived and wrote here for years), Key West is undergoing a sort of hipster sanding down: New cocktail lounges, third-wave coffee bars, and boutique hotels—including...
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601 Front St, Key West, FL 33040, USA
Key West’s small downtown is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, perhaps best characterized by The Marker, a new hotel opening in early 2015 that straddles the line between iconic and forward-thinking.
 
The wrapping is classic Key...
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429 Caroline St, Key West, FL 33040, USA
In the land of piña coladas and light beers, The Other Side cocktail lounge is chiseling out new booze territory one ice globe at a time. Drinks, loosely inspired by the Keys, are like nothing else on the island. There’s the frothy...
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It is irresistibly tempting to compare distiller Paul Menta to Captain Jack Sparrow. There’s the long, dark hair, the slightly Depp-ish eyes, and yes, a shared love of rum and open sea (Menta’s a competitive kiteboarder). Menta’s...
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400 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040, USA

Key West is billed as "the Home of the Sunset," which means every time the sun sinks below the horizon, it’s time for a party. Since the 1960s, Mallory Square’s dock has been hosting this nightly celebration, which begins two hours...

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907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, USA

Key West’s most famous literary resident, Ernest Hemingway, lived in this two-story Spanish-colonial villa for nearly a decade and composed several of his best-known works here. His second wife, Pauline, insisted they add a pool to the...

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516 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040, USA
The San Carlos Institute was founded in 1871 by Cuban exiles who came to Key West to campaign for Cuba's freedom from Spain. The original building was elsewhere and burned to the ground. The present building was erected in 1890. The interior was...
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400 Front St, Key West, FL 33040, USA
The Hog's Breath Saloon on the corner of Duval and Front Street in the heart of Old Key West has been in business since 1988. The Saloon was a hit from the day it opened. It's a place to enjoy lunch or relax after a day of swimming, fishing, or...
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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo is popular among the diving and snorkeling crowd, with good reason. The first undersea park in the United States boasts a pale-white sunken algae-coated statue of Jesus Christ with outstretched...
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58000 Card Sound Rd, Key Largo, FL 33030, USA
Alabama Jack's is a well known shack on the water on Card Sound Road in Key Largo that serves a good lunch. It is in the middle of nowhere just north of the toll bridge. Alabama Jack's is a great place for lunch. It specializes in fresh, fried...
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100470 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA
The pink plastic flamingos at the entrance made it even more enticing to visit. Key Largo Chocolates came highly recommended as the place to get a slice of frozen key lime pie, but it was clear when I visited that I would get far more than that....
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96 Madeira Rd, Islamorada, FL 33036, USA
the menu may be mostly deep fried, the drinks from a machine and the music (cover bands) stuck in the 80s but honestly there is no better place in the upper keys to hang out at sunset time. Go early to get your preferred table on the sand.
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81600 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, USA
The Morada Bay Beach Cafe on the bay side of Islamorada is the perfect spot for a Keys lunch. Colorful chairs and tables dot the beach; the food is excellent and the restaurant regularly receives fantastic reviews. Try the Wagyu beef burger. It is...
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97860 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA
Built in the 1930s as a conch house, Ballyhoo's is open today as a tropical roadhouse... with a very gourmet flair. Famous for stone crab, oysters and fresh fish caught locally, the restaurant is one of those places that should go to the top of...
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Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida, USA
You’ve been snorkeling off a tourist catamaran in Key West, and you’ve finned within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary—but you’ve hardly scratched the surface of this vast, watery wonderland. Designated a marine...
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88000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036, USA
Since the late '60's, this gourmet seafood restaurant has been a popular spot and a tradition in Islamorada. One reason is the well prepared fresh food. Try the yellowtail snapper or the mahi-mahi. The prime steaks are delicious, too. Another big...
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30813 Watson Blvd, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, USA
For over 10 years, Zagat has rated the No Name Pub the best casual dining in the Florida Keys. In 1931, there was a general store and a tackle shop on Watson Blvd. on Big Pine Key. In 1936, a small room was added to the main structure and the...