Travel

Florida Keys

Establishment neighborhood
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
102601 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo
The tropical waters of Key West are home to some of the most protected living coral reefs in the country. There are tons of outfits offering kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and even glass-bottom boat tours, but we like the in-house folks at John Pennekamp, which is a massive underwater park (statues, sculptures, and the like) that justifies the drive. They’re also nicely attuned to visitors’ wishes and skill levels.
Alabama Jack’s
58000 Card Sound Rd., Key Largo
Seafood is understandably abundant here, and there’s really no better place for conch fritters than Alabama Jack’s in Key Largo. But you should come here just as much for the ambiance as the food as it’s a bit of a haul from Key West. It looks like a standard roadside dive (there are dedicated motorcycle parking spots out front) except that it sits on a floating barge with insane views of the creek and neighboring mangroves. Come on a weekend for live music and dancing.
Casa Marina
1500 Reynolds St., Key West
This is a big, beautiful, Deco-style resort that somehow manages to strike a balance between the glitz of a Waldorf Astoria property and local clout: The structure has been here since the ’20s and is listed on the National Register for Historic Places. The massive, 300-plus-room compound sits on a private beach, so you can retreat to a lounge chair, or your beautifully appointed guest room, or the world-class spa whenever the craziness of Duval Street, which is walking distance from the hotel, gets to be too much.
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
28500 Overseas Hwy., Little Torch Key
Lush tropical plants tower over the thatched-roof bungalows on the private white sand beach of this luxury resort on Little Palm Island. No phones, TVs, or kids under sixteen make it a romantic, secluded retreat with not much else to do besides lounge or learn how to deep sea fish or sky dive. The resort’s SpaTerre offers delicious sounding treatments inspired by the area, like coconut sugar scrubs and margarita-infused pedicures. They also offer massages on the beach for optimal relaxation.
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