The Florida Keys are as close to the Caribbean (and its nice weather) as you can get in the U.S. Formerly islands thriving on the loot from wrecked ships, the Keys now thrive on tourism. Visitors flock to the area during the winter and spring to soak up the year-round heat and swim in the beautiful, calm waters. Read more
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Due to the focus on tourism, the Keys have gotten built up and some areas feel kitschy. The bar scene is loud and packed and some streets are lined with souvenir shops. But art galleries are interspersed, and much of the wildlife remains -- the Keys are a great place for birdwatching and dolphin sightings. The laid-back attitude on the islands means slower service but less-pushy vendors, and the vibe is very relaxed and happy-go-lucky.