Private island
Location: Marathon, Fla.
Cost: From $1,000 per night

There's a reason summer is the low season in the Keys, but even the oppressive heat and humidity -- and a few million winged, biting friends -- shouldn't prevent you and up to five pals from enjoying this.

About halfway down the Florida Keys and a quarter-mile off the coast of Marathon Key sits this the 5,000-square-foot luxury home. Complete with a private pool, wraparound veranda, helicopter launchpad and 25-foot skiff for getting to and from the mainland, East Sister Rock Island is surrounded by its own coral reef for snorkeling and is completely powered by wind and solar energy.

The bad news is that you'll miss out on some of the more touristy fare by heading down in the summer. The good news: It's a great time to hook a blue marlin. If you head down in July, you'll be just in time to catch Hemingway Days and a daiquiri or two in Key West. Grab your copy of The Sun Also Rises, take in the look-alike contest and Hemingway's polydactyl cats and grab a little something to take home to the island. You can get around the keys, but when home is designed to be away from it all, why should you?

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