Hemingway lived here and so did Tennessee Williams. Key West, Florida is
a colourful town filled with cats, roosters and laid-back eccentrics;
its the perfect place to unwind and recharge.
in a historic conch style house, the charming Marquesa
boasts a lush, green garden, two swimming pools (one is solar-heated)
spacious, elegant rooms and an award winning resto. For $10 you can
feast on Florida grapefruits, homemade granola and freshly baked banana
bread in bed. From $190/night, 600 Fleming, Key West, 1-800-869-4631, www.marquesa.com
Beyond the typical tourist traps is a handful
of gems such as South
Pointe Gallery where you can snap up an original vintage poster, Wishbliss
for pretty sundresses, baubles and bags and Bésame
Mucho for candles, soaps and perfumes from Dyptique, Tocca and Santa
Maria Novella, to name a few.
The oldest restaurant in Key West, Pepes
Café is a local institution. The Mahi Mahi sandwich served with
fries and slaw is a sure filler-upper, as are the pork spareribs
lathered in a smoky-sweet sauce. Leave room for a slice of Pepes famous Key
Lime Pie. 806 Caroline St., Key West, 305-294-7192, www.pepescafe.net
Rent an electric buggy and zoom around the island
making pit stops at the beaches, butterfly
museum and the Eco
Discovery Centre. If the weather is good, why not charter
a boat for the day? You may catch a snapper for supper.