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15 days senior vacation/look for rentals in florida

15 days senior vacation/look for rentals in florida

Jan 8th, 2013, 06:41 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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15 days senior vacation/look for rentals in florida

hello all, we are a couple of seniors trying to plan a 15 day vacation to florida we are from long island Ny. never been to fl so my question is what cities or places are a must to visit? our goal during this vacation is to sort of get an idea of what city we would like to move into. somewhere country, tranquil, safe and close to beach. we are ok with clean motels or 3star hotels and we want to rent a car so we can drive to the keys and palm beach miami orlando. We just don't know where specifically. Any help from Floridians or expert fellows would be greatly appreciated. We are going feb 4-feb19.
leon18 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 07:10 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 999
Well, we are seniors from LI too. We've stayed on the islands of Captiva and Sanibel. Also Naples. Also Key West. (Better you should fly to Key West. The drive in my opinion is a drag) This year we are renting a house on Longboat Key (Sarasota area). Casa Marina, South Seas Plantation, Sanibel Harbor Resort are places to look into. West Coast nicer than East Coast.
330east is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 07:12 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 999
You might check out the site vrbo.com ( Vacation Rental By Owner)
330east is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 02:38 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Definitely suggest you focus on West Coast, all the way from Naples to Gainesville (or vice versa if you are driving down). The East Coast can be very crowded, and the traffic is not a lot different from the LI Expressway.

The Gainesville-Ocala area is more country than beach. There is virtually no good country area in South (read "reliably warm") Florida. Hundreds of thousands of northerners got bilked by condo developments in the middle of nowhere which were going to be "the next big thing" and are now turning into ghost towns.

I think a trip like this is a good idea, for as long as you can manage and more than once, at different times of the year.

Many people move to Florida because it sounds like a great idea, then become lonely away from family and friends (or go insane with everyone from home coming down to freeload). They have never experienced a Florida summer: 93 every single day with a late afternoon thunderstorm. Every day. They have not experienced life in hurricane country: Sandy every couple of years. They have not experienced the wild life: alligators, poisonous snakes, "palmetto bugs" (roaches) the size of a cigar butt. Something many people don't think about when they move to Florida is their tax situation. If you make a complete break, fine. Florida taxes are low. But if you keep your place on LI as well, NY will do everything to keep you a NY resident and your estate will get whacked when you die.

I have lived in Florida as a child and as an adult and there are many wonderful things about it. My wife is a native. You really can play golf every day if you are hardy enough. But don't go down when it is icy in LI in February and fall in love. Go back again the third week in August and see how you like it.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 05:46 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,177
Ackislander, I'm sitting here with my Florida friends (yes, I'm freeloading) and have read your comments above to them. They think you've mentioned all of the worse parts of Florida but that they don't all occur in the same place. And, that you've omitted the really bad part: the government!
TDudette is online now  
Jan 9th, 2013, 06:00 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,513
TDudette, no. The worst part is the drivers!

One good point is don't go rent a condo on the beach and fall in love with that lifestyle if your budget will only allow a more modest condo or house a couple miles inland.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 08:16 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,228
Good hotel option in Punta Gorda, not a motel, a bit pricier but lovely. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...a_Florida.html
Ann Marie
amwosu is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 09:06 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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TDudette, you are certain in Florida at the right time to be in Florida! And you are with established friends.

The folks I worry about are people who think they will come down for a beach'n'golf dream and can't afford year round what they can afford for two months, the ones whom NeoPatrick refers to.

I worry a lot about people who buy in developments that are collapsing and have collapsed. When I was a kid in the 50's we were surrounded by the remnants of the 1920's boom, haunted estates, collapsing buildings, etc. Well, what goes around comes around again. Port Charlotte, even before 2008, had streets to nowhere. Look at Google maps west of 41.

I worry a lot about people who won't be seeing their family when they are used to getting together for football every Sunday. I worry about people who don't get to watch their grandchildren grow up or be with their friends when they are ill because the travel costs for going home are too high for their budgets.

I worry about people who think their utility costs will go down and then discover that AC costs as much or more than heat did, and you have to run it almost year round.

I worry about people who have trouble with ethnic diversity (not to suggest the OP does) and then discover the huge Hispanic and Haitian population of Florida, legal and illegal, without whom nothing could get done.

And finally, government. I never saw a problem at the state level when I lived there, but that was pre-Tea Party. Local government was often in the hands of developers, almost all of whom would drain their mother's grave if they thought they could sell the property. Florida taxation, particularly taxation in Collier County, was a model of reason compared to most places in the northeast.

The best book I ever read about Florida was "Maximum Bob" by Elmore Leonard, but any of his Florida mysteries or Carl Hiaason's books or Randy Wayne White or Edna Buchanan will do.

And yet, there is nothing better than leaving Boston and arriving a few short hours later at RSW (Ft Myers) in the middle of January and walking outside and smelling that Florida smell and feeling that warm sun. I just don't want people to go down with a dream and wind up with a nightmare.

I am _encouraging_ the OP's to visit. It is essential!
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 11th, 2013, 10:09 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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OMG, Neo--we were in the middle lane at a traffic light. The light turned green and the woman in the left lane only cuts in front of us and the person to our right! Unbelievable!

I hear you, Ack! I've been looking around for a couple of visits. It's difficult to think that folks don't know beforehand some of the vital things you've mentioned above.
TDudette is online now  
Jan 11th, 2013, 10:14 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,177
And sorry, leon18 for hijacking your thread. So far, I don't believe you can combine country and ocean or Gulf beaches. There are plenty of nice places on lakes in the center of the state. Beach isn't high on my list but on this trip I liked the looks of Delray and Vero Beaches on the Atlantic side. I liked Mt. Dora in the center and have stayed in Clearwater Beach and Naples on the Gulf.

Please let everyone know what you end up doing.
TDudette is online now  
Jan 11th, 2013, 06:30 PM
  #12  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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thank you all so much! very informative. Pease dont be sorry I enjoyed the discussion. We think we are leaning towards beach and atlantic oceans and have heard a lot about palm beach? what are your thoughts. We know we have to come back down in August and see if the humid heat is still more bearable and less boring than winter here. I will be researching all he towns you all mentioned.
leon18 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2013, 07:42 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 60
Here's some ideas. Start in northeast and fly into Jacksonville. Visit historic St. Augustine. You can drive through Daytona Beach and drive on beach just for the heck of it or see the Speedway, then head to Orlando if you want to visit Disney, or to Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral to see the Space Center. In my experience, there's not much between there and Palm Beach, though you might check towns like Port St. Lucie and Jupiter which are away from the hustle and bustle of Miami. I have not been to Palm Beach. Boca Raton is very nice and Delray Beach has less expensive living options I believe. I have no patience for Miami, too crowded and expensive. I loved a recent stay near Marathon Key (about halfway to Key West). I could get used to the layed back lifestyle there.
betsbw is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 04:46 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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So leon18, where are you?
TDudette is online now  

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