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Stretching 112 miles into the ocean from the southernmost tip of the mainland, the Florida Keys are an archipelago of pretty coral islands surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

The islands vary greatly in size and character but are connected by a series of bridges making it possible to drive the length of the Keys on the busy but spectacular Highway 1.

Duval Street, Key WestAt the very tip of the island chain Key West, once home to Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, is a touristy but gloriously eccentric and wonderfully lively community full of galleries, museums, bars and restaurants.

Off the coast to the west and renowned for abundant sealife and spectacular coral reefs, Dry Tortugas National Park is an excellent place to visit from Key West either by boat or seaplane. The park is among the most isolated and least disturbed of the Keys and makes for a lovely day trip.

Along with wonderful opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and diving, the park is home to an impressive former Civil War prison, Fort Jefferson.

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Map of Key West

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