Best Weekend Getaway

Like the Bahamas, or Cuba before Castro decided he wanted to run the place into the ground, Key West is one of those surreal locations that seems just to be waiting for you to show up and spend your money. But if you're going to make the road trip all the way down there -- a journey for which you should definitely rent a convertible if you don't already own one -- you should have the right roof over your head. Do not stay at any of those massive resort hotels, so far removed from downtown, where all the action is. Bed-and-breakfast Eden House is within easy walking distance of Duval Street, the main thoroughfare, and it beats the holy hell out of the resorts, both in atmosphere and price. At the busiest point in the season, around mid-March, it's $110 per night for a bedroom and bathroom and up to $350 for the bottom half of the Conch House, which includes kitchen and private Jacuzzi and comfortably sleeps four. In the dog days of summer, rates drop to $70 to $265. And each room is its own little world, hidden away from other rooms by a jungle of vines, trees, and ferns. When you're lying amid this flora, sipping a fruity drink, you'll know you've finally reached paradise.


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