Florida Keys, United States
When to go
The winter months of November to February are the best time to steal away for sunshine. Summer is hurricane season in Florida, but tourists who aren’t afraid of heat, humidity and the chance of a downpour can nearly have the archipelago all but to themselves.
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PlanesKey West International operates flights on United (www.united.com), British Airways (www.britishairways.com) and other major carriers from nearby cities, including Atlanta, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. On the mainland, the nearest airport is Miami International, about an hour north of the Keys. Virgin Atlantic (www.virgin-atlantic.com) flies direct from London Heathrow. From New York, catch a non-stop flight on United Airlines (www.united.com), American Airlines (www.aa.com) or Delta (www.delta.com).
BoatsMany people travel by boat through the Keys, and boat parking is almost as plentiful as car parking. Only experienced mariners should pilot boats, since the waters are quite shallow and quickly turn to marshes or coral reefs.
AutomobilesThe northern-most Keys are approximately an hour south of Miami; Islamorada is a 90-minute drive. One highway connects the region, so guests are best off renting a car to explore. The chain of islands is linked by a single road, the Overseas Highway (US 1), which snakes 128 miles through the Keys, passing over the rather spectacular Seven-Mile Bridge at Marathon.