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Ocala: Four great kayak or canoe rivers within 45 minutes

You can experience four outstanding Florida rivers in one trip if you base yourself in the Ocala area. In four days of paddling, you have a good chance to see wildlife — from manatees to American eagles to alligators and even monkeys. Three of the four rivers are aquarium-clear spring-fed streams. The fourth is a wild and peaceful place where you can escape the modern world.

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Long Key State Park: Florida Keys gem but camping limited

Once the site of a luxury resort for the rich and famous, Long Key State Park is a terrific place to spend a few hours hiking, beachcombing, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking in the Florida Keys. While most of its highly prized beachfront campsites are closed, a few tent sites are open.

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Robbie’s Marina: Feed the tarpon; it’s best cheap fun you can find in the Keys

Robbie’s Marina is a don’t-miss stop as you drive through the Florida Keys. Dozens of tarpon, some more than 6 feet long, gather at the dock and lunge for fish from visitors. The restaurant there, the Hungry Tarpon, is highly recommended , too.

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Crystal River manatees: How to see, kayak or swim with manatees

The magic of manatees draws thousands to the Crystal River on the Gulf Coast each winter. Here’s a practical guide to manatee experiences in Three Sisters Springs and Kings Bay — kayaking with manatees, swimming with manatees or admiring them from a boardwalk.

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36 hours in Key Largo: Gilbert’s Resort and kayaking the wreck at Garden Cove

For a quick trip to the Keys, consider Gilbert’s Resort. The upgraded 1950s-era motel and tiki bar is the first lodging you reach on the road to Key Largo. Then, kayak nearby Garden Cove and discover its picturesque sunken barge, a good place to snorkel.

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