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Best Day Trip Miami 2006 - Key Largo

Fort Lauderdale? West Palm Beach? Close enough, but please. Naples? Nice, but too far. Bimini -- great. But if you don't have a speedy 60-foot power boat, fuhgeddaboutit. Miami, unlike a lot of places on the east or west coasts, does not have loads of quick, nearby escapes to the mountains that can be tackled reasonably in a day. But one 90-minute escape from the Magic City is Key Largo. Of course, a trip to Key Largo is warranted because it's a recreator's paradise -- snorkeling at Pennekamp, fishing in the flats, canoeing and kayaking through the maze of mangroves. But the primary reason Key Largo is the our escape du jour is because it's different. Even the passage to Key Largo is semiexotic. Cross Jewfish Creek or Card Sound, enter the murky never-world of the Everglades, and you're away. Once in Key Largo, with its kitschy shell shops, sportfishermen, seafood restaurants, and drink-your-sorrows-away attitude, you're on vacation. A sun-baked day on the water, enhanced by a few stiff drinkies and then wrapped up with a conch fritter at Alabama Jack's, is a true getaway.
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