ST. GEORGE ISLAND: St. George Island is located off the Panhandle coast, 80 miles southwest of Tallahassee. From Tallahassee, take State Rte. 319 and 98 south to the fishing village of Eastpoint, where a toll bridge ($2 for cars, $1.50 for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians) spans Apalachicola Bay to St. George Island.

Rooms at the blessedly isolated St. George Inn (Box 222, St. George Island, Fla. 32328, 904-670-2903) range from $40 to $50 a night.

St. George Island State Park offers family campgrounds, hiking, fishing, boating and swimming on nine miles of white-sand beaches. Open 8 a.m. to sundown, year-round. Information: Box 62, St. George Island, Eastpoint, Fla. 32328, (904) 670-2111.

For more information on the island, contact the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, Apalachicola, Fla. 32320, (904) 653-9419.

CEDAR KEY: Cedar Key is one of about 100 small islands located in the Gulf of Mexico, about 45 miles southwest of Gainesville, collectively known as the Cedar Keys. From Gainesville, take State Rte. 24 southwest to Cedar Key.

For accommodations with a local flavor, try the Cedar Inn (P.O. Box 490, Cedar Key, Fla. 32625, 904-543-5455) on Second Street, a two-story, weathered wooden structure with airy rooms, which run $40 a night double, homemade pastries and coffee included.

For more information on the island: Cedar Key Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 610, Cedar Key, Fla. 32625, (904) 543-5600.

CAPTIVA: Captiva Island, in the Gulf of Mexico off the southwest coast of Florida, is about 25 miles from Fort Myers. From Fort Myers, take State Rte. 867 through the toll booth on Sanibel Island. From there, it becomes a two-lane road that strips through Sanibel and eventually onto Captiva.

For top-of-the-line accommodations, the South Seas Plantation (P.O. Box 194, Captiva Island, Fla. 33924, 813-472-5111) at the northern end of the island offers well-appointed rooms and cottages from $190 to $350 a night. Another outstanding island inn is the 'Tween Waters (Box 249, Captiva Island, Fla. 33924, 813-472-5161), a rustic old place nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and a fresh-water lake. The rooms -- which range from motel rooms to two-bedroom cottages -- run from $47 to $115 a night.

For more information on Captiva and Sanibel islands, contact the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, Box 166, Sanibel Island, Fla. 33957, (813) 472-3232.

KEY WEST: Although Key West, 60 miles southwest of the southern tip of mainland Florida, is accessible by boat and by air, the best way to approach it is by automobile. Fly into Miami, rent a car and head south on U.S. Rte. 1, the same road that Jimmy Buffett (one of Key West's favorite sons) has immortalized in tune after tune. The drive takes about five hours.

Accommodations are plentiful and range from guest houses to amenity-laden hotels. The Pier House (1 Duval St., Key West, Fla. 33040, (800) 327-8340), on the beach with a topless beach behind it, is a deluxe respite from whatever drove you insane back at the office. The hotel's restaurant offers a great Sunday brunch. Rooms during the high season (after Dec. 22) run from $160 to $255 a night for two during the week and $180 to $285 on the weekend.

The Reach (305-296-5000), at the foot of Simonton Street, looks like a peach-colored buttermint. Stay in a suite overlooking the beach and check out the Thai food at Emma's, the hotel's restaurant. Rooms run from $95 to $155 a night.

For more information on Key West, contact: Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce, 402 Wall St., Key West, Fla. 33040, (305) 294-2587.