(Very) early birds find the Florida Keys are doable in a day from Miami. But having a long weekend to play with is ideal, and not just for trying every take on key lime pie. Driving this character-crammed string of islands is better than any Orlando rollercoaster – a single road on stilts runs from Key Largo to Key West.
If Miami belongs to the Rat Pack, Key West is Hemingway’s. At his house-turned-museum, look for the penny he pressed into the pool cement as a tongue-in-cheek nod to its cost. Today’s creatives showcase work in the Studios of Key West and Morada Way Arts and Cultural District on Islamorada – best on the third Thursday of every month.
Top Tip: at sunset, gasp-inducing stunt performers – including a troupe of cats – come out to play at Key West’s Mallory Square.
At the opposite end, Key Largo is the poster boy for natural beauty. Hike or bike the Dagny Johnson State Park trails for Instagrammable’ scenery – including the largest patch of West Indian hardwood hammock.