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THE KEY TO KEY WEST

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Flights directly to the Key West International Airport are available, but to get a sense of how far the Keys stretch between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, it's better to fly into Miami, rent a car and drive 150 miles south on U.S. 1, across 43 bridges, to the highway's end in Key West. A third option is taking a seaplane from Miami that splashes down not far from Duval Street in Key West.

The Casa Marina, where Wallace Stevens stayed, provides much the same charm and glory when it opened on New Year's Eve, 1922. Prices for its 311 rooms range from $259 in the off-season to $710 for suites with a view in season. For more information, call (800) 228-9290.The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, 907 Whitehead St., is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6.50 for adults, $4 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 are free. Phone: (305) 294-1575.

The only other writer's home open for tours is the Heritage House Museum and Robert Frost Cottage, behind the home of Jessie Porter Newton, at 410 Caroline St. It is open daily for tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $6, with senior citizen and military discounts. Call in advance; sometimes the cottage is closed for writing seminars. Phone: (305) 296-3573.

An hourlong Writer's Walk is sponsored each Saturday and Sunday morning by the group that also sponsors the annual Key West Literary Seminar each January. Phone: (305) 293-9291.

For more information, call the Key West Welcome Center, (800) 352-8538 or the Key West Chamber of Commerce: (800) 648-6269.