2013 Winter Destinations: Key West, Florida

Winter is great, except when you’re holed up with no sun all day. Take your weekends back with one of these fresh, easy adventures.

Bicycles parked at Schooner Wharf bar in Key West, Florida.     Photo: Richard Ellis

February in the Keys means flocks of snowbirds, fishermen, and Parrotheads. But the right guide can get you away from the crowds and on to trophy-size fish. Enter Bruce Chard, who’s been leading clients in search of bonefish, tarpon, barracuda, and sharks for 21 years (day trips from $650). After an hour-long tug-of-war with a 125-pound tarpon (a “circus fatty,” in these parts), you’ll be ready for a bowl of shrimp bisque and the sweet corn-dusted diver sea scallops at downtown’s Café Marquesa. And if you spend a little too much time swapping big-fish stories, the beds are a quick stroll away (doubles from $300).

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