Outdoors + Nature

Off the Grid

by Sarah Tuff

THE FLORIDA KEYS

The hideout: Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Little Palm Island (view slideshow) is a sliver of land in the Florida Keys, where "traffic" is an iguana on the crushed-shell path.

Low-tech lowdown: Little Palm has such disdain for disruptive modern devices that one of the island's few telephones is stowed in an outhouse. Said WC once served Harry Truman when he retreated here for fishing. Today, vacationing couples find decidedly more posh privies (with indoor and outdoor showers) in the 28 thatch-bungalow suites that grace the five-and-a-half-acre property. Sans boob tubes and alarm clocks, it's Gilligan's Island—only with wrought-iron chandeliers, chilled Champagne, and velvet-trimmed throw pillows.

Your new "to do" list:
• Dive Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, home to 150 fish species and 7,000-year-old coral reefs
• Tool around in a Boston whaler
• Decide whether to order the pan-seared diver scallops with lobster pancake or veal chop with truffle risotto

The road less traveled: Unless you're going to wing it in your own seaplane, fly to Miami, Marathon, or Key West, Florida, and drive to Little Torch Key, at mile marker 28.5 on U.S. Highway 1. Then board The Truman, a private motor yacht that glides across the three miles to Little Palm while you sip on Gumby Slumbers—rum punch topped with shredded coconut soaked in rum too.

Don't forget: Postage stamps. Between sunbathing on the white-sand beach and a milk-and-honey body wrap at the spa, send some snail mail to your kids back home—under-16s aren't allowed on Little Palm.

Little Palm Island
Tel: 800 343 8567
Doubles from $775 per night; meal plans including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, $175 daily

NEXT: The perfect empty Mexican beach >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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