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A Few Weeks in Florida--Late Feb. or Early March 2014

A Few Weeks in Florida--Late Feb. or Early March 2014

Oct 21st, 2013, 09:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2013
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A Few Weeks in Florida--Late Feb. or Early March 2014

Hello, we live in CO & try to get away for a few weeks in the winter to somewhere warm. We've been to Hawaii & AZ & are now considering FL. Could you help us figure out what part of FL to visit -- we like beautiful, quiet beaches, good restaurants & shopping, but not a big crowded city. We are seniors. Thank you!
valleygirl777 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 10:56 AM
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I prefer the Gulf coast over the Atlantic side. Anywhere from St Pete down to Key West would be nice. If I had a few weeks, I'd just travel along that coast, stopping for a few days here, a few days there. I always spend a week to 10 days along the Gulf coast in February. Some years are quite warm, others have a slight chill, but I'm always around St Pete. Thinking I might drive to the Keys this next trip.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Good advice already. Gulf Coast is warmer and prettier in winter, IMHO, though Miami Beach is also fun.
Sassafrass is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 11:23 AM
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I'm another that prefers the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic. What about Sanibel Island/Captiva? Wherever you go, be mindful that you may end up running into high school/college spring breakers as you head into March and the first part of April.
indyhiker is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 12:08 PM
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I still maintain that a 40 liter pack isn't huge--but my experience is colored by the packs used for backcountry hikes, many of which are way bigger than 40 liters. But that issue aside, I would tend to go with a smaller pack and another modestly sized rolling bag. I could comfortably use one of my 28 liter daypacks for sightseeing (although I don't, as I prefer to use a smaller purse with a strong shoulder strap).
indyhiker is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 12:08 PM
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Oops; wrong thread. Please ignore my prior post.
indyhiker is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 12:21 PM
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Last winter we went to Sanibel for a week in February and really liked it. We, too, prefer to avoid crowds, and drove over to Captiva. I like it a whole lot more, and we are going to try it for two weeks this winter!

The beaches are beautiful and the food is excellent. There is some shopping, but not as much as if you choose a bigger town.

FWIW, many houses and apartments are rented to the same people year after year, and we really just lucked out last year.

We rented a small house for this coming winter just as soon as we returned last year.
sum is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 01:08 PM
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Sanibel is amazing in the summer. Lots of great food and there is an outlet mall not far from the bridge for some good shopping. I would imagine it would be pretty quiet in the winter/early spring, it's quiet in the summer.
MollyinFL is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 05:56 PM
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Naples sounds like exactly what you are looking for.
KathyK is online now  
Oct 22nd, 2013, 06:17 AM
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ditty bopping up and down the coast is a great idea. look things over on gmaps.
Katzgar is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:10 AM
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We owned a condo in Naples and agree that it would be perfect for you and within day trip range of both the Everglades and Miami ( or both at the same time if you take US 41) .

But before we bought the condo, we had pretty well explored the West Coast of FL from Tampa south.
Ackislander is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:20 AM
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Sanibel and Captiva are definitely QUIET, that's nfor certain. The Gulf beaches are beautiful but be aware they do not have a lot of surf (if that is any sort of issue for you).

With "several weeks" you are going to exhaust the shopping opportunities pretty fast if you stay in that one location.

Be aware of the distances involved of driving over to the east coast and back.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:46 AM
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New Smyrna Beach for the east coast. You can rent a nice condo, St Augustine Beach is nice also and you have St Augustine to explore. Just be aware of speed week and bike week.
flpab is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2013, 10:49 AM
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Another vote for Naples or a little further north, Siesta Key has such gorgeous beaches!
schmerl is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Anna Maria Island is beautiful and laid back and you can find reasonable seasonal rentals. I lived in South Florida for 10 yrs but extended family from Iowa spends winters in Anna Maria.
doorcountygirl is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 07:57 AM
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Wow, thanks everyone! This gives me a lot to research. My hubby likes to plant himself in one spot, so we probably won't be "ditty bopping up & down the coast", but he's OK with a few day trips.
valleygirl777 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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In Naples, you'll run out of cash shopping long before you run out of shopping options. But there are plenty of bargain shopping opportunities as well if you include the near by outlets in Estero and the other shopping centers within a couple hours drive.

And you won't run out of good restaurant choices in Naples, particularly if you like the trendy, modern, or upscale choices.

In Naples we love to complain about the winter "crowds" and traffic until we travel to the East coast, then we realize how "quiet" we really are.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Well, I'm getting discouraged. Have been on VRBO for days & so many places are completely booked for February & March. If I take out the filters of "Oceanfront, Ocean View, Beach Front, etc." I have thousands of possibilities & hundreds of neighborhoods that I know nothing about. Can anyone suggest a few locations in Naples that are nice & we can walk to the beach (no view). Thank you!
valleygirl777 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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I love Anna Maria
jubilada is online now  
Oct 30th, 2013, 05:04 AM
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In Naples itself, being able to walk to the beach and to restaurants and shopping is pretty tricky. You probably need to look for Olde Naples, which refers to the entire "downtown area" and is within walking distance to the beach. Key words are Fifth Avenue South and 3rd Street South (the two main restaurant and shopping streets. And there are almost NO beachfront rentals in that area as it is private homes until you reach the condos as you go further north along the beach, and many of those forbid short term rentals anyway. There are a number of nice condos is Olde Naples. VRBO is a little tricky here (although I use it myself elsewhere) as many of those rentals are owned by absentee owners and condos have a lot of requirements that are difficult for absentee owners to handle.

You might browse through Royal Shell properties -- tons of rentals and you may even find that the prices are as good or even better than renting from a private owner. I used them to rent out my own townhouse a couple years ago in season and they were great.

Or you can look at Vanderbilt Beach which is about a 10 to 15 minute drive from downtown Naples, but has great beaches. Although admittedly with the addition of places like The Mercato, north Naples has more and more shopping and restaurants all the time. They just won't be walking distance.
NeoPatrick is offline  

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