Mancations Florida-Style

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The prospect of island hopping on a kayak through the Keys is hard to resist. Visitors will snorkel, swim with dolphins and manatees and stay at night in private guesthouses scattered from Islamorada to Key West.

This lodge-based trip is a 7-day adventure that skirts dozens of islands with frequent stops to take in the scenery. It costs $1,500 pp.

Says Greg Pflug, one of the company owners and a seasoned guide: “The most popular adventure trip we offer for those who want to get away from it all is a 10-day kayak trip from Flamingo to Everglades City. This is more than 100 ocean miles. We fish along the way, camping at night on the beach to eat what we caught.”

Unlike other treks that cut across freshwater courses, Pflug says that Adventures in Florida follows the ocean route from start to finish. “The scenery is spectacular,” he adds, “and nothing beats a long trip of fishing and kayaking.” He urges fellow travelers that, since this is wilderness trip, to “leave all electronic games, cell phones, watches, palm pilots, iPods, radios, or anything else that distracts from the natural environment at home.”

The trip costs $1,200 pp and exemplifies the call of the wild that those searching for a real mancation invariably hear.

After all, it’s adventure that has lured those who have come to the Keys since the time of pirates and explorers. Ernest Hemingway lived here and immortalized the area with his stories. A mancation spent in the serenity of beaches so white they seem sugar frosted, in the edge of a mangrove, swimming in blue waters and marveling at exploding sunsets, will recharge the spirit and let visitors relive those two-fisted days.