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Lowkey, waterfront, natural area for winter months--no high rises

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We are looking for a place to escape Minnesota winters (or several months of MN winters) and are thinking of anywhere along the Gulf coast from Texas on to Florida. We are interested in coastal areas rather than freshwater areas, but it does not have to be real beaches. We have a boat and kayaks we'd like to be able to use on some bays or back waters rather than heading far out into the big seas. We don't need beach weather all the time but want it to be pleasant enough that we can go out in the boat comfortably. We'd be fine with an area that the locals regard more as a summer rather than a winter area. My husband is a fisherman (fly and regular but not deep sea) so we want an area that is good for that activity. An area with nice biking (meaning not totally isolated with only major roads to ride on) is also a desire.

Miles of traffic jams and strip malls do nothing for us. We are not into shopping other than for necessities. I'd like access to a decent grocery store that carries at least a few more interesting and upscale things. Casual, low key, restaurants are where we eat, and ethnic restaurants are our favorite. We are more interested in parks and nature than glitz. Some opportunities for occasional cultural events would be a definite plus. We have no interest at all in areas that are filled with high rise condos.

Ideally we would like to stay in (rent or maybe buy) a townhouse-like condo on a canal with a boat slip at hand. And, of course, we don't want to spend a gazillion dollars.

We spent a month on Sanibel, and in many (but not all) ways it has what we are looking for. Plus, it is definitely pricey. I guess perhaps you could describe what we are looking for as somewhat more the upscale silent sports enthusiasts.

Does anyone have any suggestions? If you know of something that isn't in the areas I described, I'd be interested to learn more about that too. Thanks.

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