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Best Weekend Getaway Miami 2007 - Islamorada

Readers' Choice: The Keys
Between Homestead and Key West, the eighteen-mile-long village of islands called Islamorada is probably the most happening of the northern Florida Keys. That's saying a lot: The pace of life is still steady as she goes, and sun-drenched relaxation is the order of the day. But there are adorable souvenir shops, tropical art galleries, and — most importantly — lots of bars and restaurants. A cruise down to Islamorada can take less than an hour from Kendall or South Miami, and sitting in the shade at the Tiki Bar (www.holidayisle.com/rest-bars/tiki.html), you feel like you're on vacation much further away from home. At this thatched frat house of a bar back in 1972, inventive bartender "Tiki" John created the rum runner. For $8.60 you can enjoy the sweet taste of Islamorada history. The Island Grill (www.keysdining.com/islandgrill) is another local favorite, with its own beach and comfortable waterfront seating. Dinner at the Islamorada Fish Company (www.islamoradafishcompany.com) is worth the wait for a romantic waterfront dinner and one last cocktail before heading back to Miami. The front of this vast establishment is a popular fish market with great prices on fresh-caught stone crab, yellowtail ($12.99 a pound, baby!), and delectable, buttery lobsters — you can get a whole one for $8.99 a pound, out of season. Eat dinner on the waterfront — some pretty big fish come swimming up to the marina to be fed by eager guests.
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