50th Birthay 'Girl Trip', need suggestions.

Old Jun 18th, 2004, 06:57 AM
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50th Birthay 'Girl Trip', need suggestions.

A group of 4 of us would like a 'girl' trip to Florida to celebrate two of us turning 50 this year. The main goals of this trip are beach, shopping, and sitting by the pool with a pina colada, basically in that order. Price is an issue. We're talking about traveling in early to mid September for approximately 3 nights. I've been toying with Sanibel or Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, South Beach, Longboat Key, and even Key Largo. Any suggestions? Have I missed something?
Thanks,
H
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 08:20 AM
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hey- I turn 50 next year, too! Price won't be a huge issue in September- it will be dirt cheap and you might get some great deals. I would suggest you even look on luxurylink.com for a really nice resort dirt cheap. If you like shopping, I can't suggest Sanibel. Great beach, nice places, but you'll have to drive over the bridge to get to shopping, bar a few places on the island. I'll get flamed, but Ft Myers beach is the pits , IMO. T-shirt shops, motorcycles, you get it? I much prefer Naples! They have nice shopping mall near the Registry and Ritz as well as cool places in old Naples. Ft Lauderdale is nice- you can take the water taxi to the upscale shopping areas; they also have outlet mall nearby. Ya know what you've missed? Tampa/St Pete! You can get good airfare generally- stay at the Don Cesar (I've seen this on luxurylink). Great area, beaches, pool, lots to do, easy to get around. They even have a shuttle that runs the length of the beach to Clearwater so you can drink, party and not worry. Key Largo, not worth the extra expense to get there. Longboat....a bit boring for your group. Have fun!
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 04:01 PM
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phieaglefan,
I think that LLindaC has given you great information. The only thing that stood out for me is the time of year that you are visiting. I've lived just south of Sarasota on the coast for 15 yrs. and September is by far the hottest and most humid month of the year. Truly unpleasant. Just wondering if you could move it to mid-October, you would all have a much better time.
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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I'd go to Longboat Key any day of the week. I love it down there. The water is lovely, and St. Armands Circle is fun to shop and lunch. I haven't been for about two years, but last time I went I stayed at the Longboat Key Club. Lovely resort with a nice pool and I had a really nice dinner at their restaurant.
I've done some reading on Fodor's chat group, and there is a part of Sarasota that seems to be gaining in popularity that I didn't know existed. It seems like it would be a very nice place to spend some time. I'd do a search on Sarasota and see what comes up.
You could also take a tour of the Ringling Museum while you were there with your friends.
Plus there is a really good outlet mall in Ellenton, just to the north of Sarasota. Not too far away.
Naples is really nice as well. But I'd say it was a bit more exclusive than Sarasota. And it just doesn't seem like Naples has as many choices of beach front accommodations as Sarasota does.
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 06:58 PM
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Happy Birthday! My vote goes to Lago Mar in Ft Lauderdale. Rent the 2 BR oceanfront deluxe...3 Tv's, 3 Baths, full kitchen for breakfast & lunch, big living room. Great oceanfront balcony for morning coffee & drinks @ night. Wonderful shopping close by. Lots & lots of dining options! You can walk for miles on the beach. I love this area & have been going there for years. Have also visited Sarasota & Naples but something keeps pulling me back to the East Coast. Let us know what you decide to do!
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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South Florida in early Sept will be really uncomfortable. Yes, you can definitely shop in a/c and eat well, but sitting outside could be really ucky.

I'm most familiar with Boca Raton and find the shopping there terrific. There's everything from dept stores like Saks, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus at the Town Center to discount stores like Loehmanns, Steinmart, TJ Maxx, to boutiques everywhere. Fly into either Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm.

Staying in Delray Beach is also a nice idea. It's in between West Palm and Boca. There's a good Marriott on the beach. You can walk from the hotel to tons of restaurants in the evening.
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Old Jun 20th, 2004, 06:04 AM
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If you're looking for a combination of beach, shopping, pool, and price then I would look into Longboat Key in September. Prices sare lower then and some of the truly nicest places are available.

You'll find shopping at St Armands Circle about as good as it gets and if you prefer outlet then the Ellenton outlet shops are great.

If you're coming from the north - fly down to Tampa and rent a car - from there it's about 45 minutes to Longboat Key.

You could probably rent a two bedroom condo on the island for three nights or go to The Colony or Key club (they might be a bit pricier). For dinner I'd recommend Harry's and Euphemia Haye both escellent for a b-day dinner but a bit pricier. For mid-priced you could try Mar-Vista, Sandbar, Dry Dock - there are many, good restaurants.

Let us know how your celebration goes!!
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Thanks so much for all of your suggestions.
hibiscushouse- Longboat Key has been on my 'short list' for awhile now and I was pushing for it. Alas, the group has decided on Key West instead. All but one of us have been before and had a good time, but I was kind of hoping for somewhere new. But... we'll have a great time and if it rains, we'll just bar hop for 3 days! By the way, I'm looking at a place called 'Traveler's Palm', their Catherine Street Compound. Anyone hear of it?
Thanks again for all you comments. I'll file them away for next time.
H
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