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“72 Hours in Paradise” By: Liza M. Santana

Miamians have long known of the gorgeous paradise that serves as a wonderful “quick weekend getaway.” By hopping in a car for few short hours, you will be relaxed just by the site of the palm-lined streets, gingerbread mansions, conch houses, and what seems to be perfect weather all the time. If you are looking for some history, head over to the John Audubon House or Ernest Hemingway’s home which is open for the public to visit. From tons of entertainment to eclectic art, theater, Key West is still one of the most beloved places for the active Miami professional.

From water excursions, late night parties, beaches, fabulous resorts, Key West has a little something for everyone. In three days, one can grasp what this welcoming city has to offer. Key West, can serve as a rest and relaxation spot, a romantic interlude with your other half or just a way to learn more about Florida but in a very casual setting. Never a hassle, you can check out attractions on foot or via popular favorite forms of transportation, like scooters, pedi-cabs, bicycles, tour trains, and trolleys. The “southernmost” spot is perfect for the active Miami professional looking to disconnect under some blue skies and enjoying some of the great things Key West has to offer to include watersports, fishing, diving, and if golf is your favorite pastime, head over to the Key West Golf Club.

shutterstock_270034925 1024Another must is to head for the Sunset Celebration on the Mallory Dock which is always a huge gathering of visitors and locals alike. An array of performers including street artists, mimes, musicians, and jugglers will entertain you before you head over to your next spot which could be one of the energy-filled bars, pubs, cafes, of popular restaurants (Key West has quite a few).

Key West was founded in the early 1800s by Africans migrating from the Bahamas. The tropical paradise boasts architectural and a botanical treasure restored old wooden homes, lush tropical trees and flowers, historic churches, indigenous food, festivals, Historic Seaport district and is the hidden gem perfect for that Friday-Sunday getaway.
Where to stay? Well, depending on whom you ask, you will get a different answer for accommodations. From legendary guest houses to boutique hotels, different options exist for the Miami traveler. For bed and breakfast options, go to the Key West Inn Keeper’s website at But for the Miami traveler looking for something err a bit more…”fabulous” such as perfect, convenient location, lots of amenities, and just the right dose of luxury, the historic landmark, Crowne Plaza La Concha Hotel, located in the heart of Key West’s Duval Street would be your best bet. The spot which has been a favorite for Miami travelers (and from across the map) for years just underwent a multi-million dollar renovation last year and boasts newly enhanced guest rooms and suites. For anyone wanting to stay right in the middle of all the action, this is it. If you simply want to “chill” this spot is also a great place for some needed relaxation from the Miami madness.

Just steps away from over 300 Key West area attractions, restaurants, shops, and the Key West nightlife scene, the Crowne Plaza La Concha Hotel offers luxury those from Miami expect, complete with lovely views of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast from the center of historic Old Town. There’s no better place to catch the Key West sunset than from the hotel’s rooftop deck which is also the tallest point on the island. Want to take a dip? Amongst the great amenities the hotel offers is also a fabulous pool with a full bar onsite to quench your thirst with some of the signature cocktails Key West is known for. After all, Miami folks love rooftop parties!

The Crowne Plaza La Concha has all of the attractions right outside the front door. Located in the heart of Key West it’s a great spot for all Miami visitors used to nicer amenities and convenience. With lots of great new additions and its recently renovated rooms and suites, you’ll be happy to head to the Conch Republic for that much needed re-charge. For additional details, visit

Whatever you decide to do while escaping the 305 area code for a bit, there’s no doubt that Key West will serve as fantastic min-vacation. From Miami it’s just shy of four hours to a welcoming paradise that will give you the disconnection you need. For those not wanting to disconnect, it’s also a great place to meet new friends and well… you get the point.