Island Life: Key West

6.12.2013

By Jerry Portwood

The old standby continues to reinvent itself with culinary surprises.

Whether it’s kitsch, comfort, culture, or kink, it’s available here. With the drop-out vibe that pervades the island, it’s easy to get lost in bohemian fantasies, so break the typical barhopping cycle by seeking out great seafood at Seven Fish. You may need a reservation, but you’ll find casual comfort food along the lines of an amazing fresh snapper with mango salsa and coconut curry. Don’t discount the Hyatt Resort and Spa with its sunset views and exec chef Dan Elinan’s signature combos of Caribbean and local flavors, like the seafood hot pot with a coconut key lime broth. For stories for the ages, dine like the natives and search out the Hogfish Bar and Grill, a local fish and chips experience you can have only in this “last resort.”

While plenty of places can help nurse your inevitable hangover—from beaches to poolside Bloody Marys—let us recommend the most novel approach: a guided morning jet ski tour. Because when you're crashing through waves at breakneck speed, the island's basic philosophy is apparent: no judgments.

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