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It is an island experience like no other: Rent a convertible (let's say a red one), put the top down and point the headlights south, then drive off the edge of America ... cruising along a ribbon of highway surrounded by blue sea, to one low-lying island after another, for more than a hundred miles.

Since it was built in 1938, the Overseas Highway linking the Florida Keys has been one of the world's great drives However, it's only after you stop the car and get out that the world shifts into island time -- which is what the Keys are all about

Divers may clock some underwater time on the coral reef at Key Largo and fly-fishing fans will probably explore the backcountry saltwater flats from Islamorada. But in a place where watching the sunset has become a true art form, life centers on more laid-back pleasures ... stone crab and key lime pie, hammock practice, people-watching amid the throngs in Key West, a few beers in some of America's most colorful bars ... Reasons enough to salute the last light of every tropical day with gusto.