Being a Conch is a condition of the heart, and foreclosure on the soul. Many throughout the Florida Keys wear that label proudly, yet there's anything but a shared lifestyle here.
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Things You Can't Miss
Take in the aquarium at the visitors center. View the reef from a glass-bottom boat or on a snorkeling or scuba tour. Rent kayaks or canoes.
Gregory Wrona / Alamy
Tour the museum, then walk the nature trail to the classic Bahamian-style Adderley House and on to the Marathon Wild Bird Center for rescued birds.
The author wrote 70 percent of his work at this colorful estate. Guides tell stories about him and the descendants of his famed six-toed cats.
Robert Clare / Alamy
Huge tarpon swim around the docks looking for snacks, and pelicans swoop in from above. Charter a fishing boat; treat yourself to a Caribbean-inspired meal.
Jeremy Pembrey / Alamy
Join the nightly party as the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico and paints the sky amazing hues. Eclectic street performers and snack vendors abound.
imagebroker / Alamy
Discover the very best of the Florida Keys.
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Must Reads Before You Go
Try these 10 easy tips from the pros on your next vacation.