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A Caribbean Paradise without a Passport

When you're looking for a destination that's a world away, but doesn't require a passport, I highly recommend Key West, Florida! With its rich history and old world influence, it offers travelers a great Caribbean experience. The stunning flowering foliage and sparkling turquoise Gulf waters offer a stunning refuge for travelers.

The first time I stayed in Key West, I was thrilled to find the Banyan Resort and its Tree Top Suite, but there are numerous other choices available at from luxurious resorts to quaint, charming inns including the Westin, Sheraton, Pier House, and Conch House! Because the island is small, visitors will never be far from the action whether it's one of the many delightful restaurants or small, but pretty beaches.

During my visit, some of the treasured memories I made were attending the heavenly Key West Food Festival, the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, the Lighthouse Tour, Ernest Hemingway's Home and Museum in Old Town, and the shipwrecked treasures in the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. One night I even witnessed a happy couple get engaged on the beach as the sun was setting over the fiery, endless ship-lined horizon - how romantic!

Duval Street, which caters to all tastes and sensibilities is the hot spot for drinking, dining, and observing the unique Key West culture with its charming eateries, eclectic shopping, art galleries, and non-stop nightlife in places like Sloppy Joe's, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, Hard Rock Café, and Hog's Breath Saloon.

Saving the best for last, my number one recommendation is a sunset sail or one of the various cruises departing each night.

Until next time, Happy Travels!

© 2006, Jessica McDonnell for GoldenTravelGuides, a national network of 80+ Internet-based guides to the "Best of" cities like the Poconos, Naples, Hershey, Niagara Falls, and Punta Cana. They arrange group, leisure, and business travel at 40,000 hotels worldwide. 877.465.3368 /

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