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bluesphee Jan 18th, 2014 07:58 AM

Beach + Pool Florida Recommendations with 16 month old
My wife and I want to go to Florida sometime around March to May with our 16 month old son. We obviously won't be able to do much in terms of attractions but more like walks, beach and pool time. We're looking for recommendations on towns/cities as well as 2 bedroom places with a kitchen so we can eat in frequently. We're looking to stay for around 4 days / 5 nights. Our top range of budget would be 1,000 for accommodations but would prefer it to be closer to $750 (~$150/night). We have free airfare on Southwest to either Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Meyers and Ft. Lauderdale. I'm thinking Tampa or Ft. Meyers would be best since I prefer the Gulf side and Orlando doesn't have much else besides theme parks. We're not interested in doing any theme parks. Just a simple, relaxing vacation with a nice pool and easy, quick access to a beach.

We've had Sanibel and Gasparilla recommended to us. Any other suggestions? Any suggestions on where to stay in Sanibel or Gasparilla that fits our criteria?

Thanks very much in advance for any advice!

HappyTrvlr Jan 18th, 2014 08:46 AM

Fly to Ft. Myers and stay on Sanibel, perfect beach on the Gulf for a toddler.

gail Jan 18th, 2014 09:12 AM

I think $150/nite for 2 bedroom with kitchen is going to be tough to find. I also prefer the west coast of FL to east, but since my brother lives between West Palm Beach and FLL, I go there every year.

Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach might fit some of your criteria (not price - although around $200/nite later in season). All rooms are genuine 2-room/2 bath suites (with door between), balcony and comes with decent breakfast and 2-drinks/person reception each nite. Pool, across street from beach. All have at least refrigerator and m/w - some fuller kitchens. I think there are also grills for use on premise. Nice area to walk in, but not much really walking distance other than beach, though.

bluesphee Jan 18th, 2014 09:59 AM

Thanks for the responses. While I am not a big chain hotel person, that Embassy Suites option is pretty good. However, I think I'm going to stick to the gulf side.

Gail, I think you're correct about pricing. Seems like $200 a night is more realistic to get what I'm looking for. I'm currently checking out a place called Sanibel Siesta and it looks promising.

AustinTraveler Jan 18th, 2014 10:39 AM

Also check out Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key (fly into Tampa). I would be looking for condos on Much easier staying in a condo with a toddler than a hotel. You can often find good deals when an owner has five nights unrented because someone is just staying the weekend. Don't be afraid to ask for a discount.

Dukey1 Jan 18th, 2014 02:02 PM

Look at Mitchell's Sandcastles on Sanibel:

clarkgriswold Jan 18th, 2014 02:45 PM

This place is great and prices drop about 25% starting April 11th.

stumpworks73 Jan 19th, 2014 06:51 AM

Consider that beach weather will be more reliable April or May than March. Central Florida can still get cool weather through March. Sannibel and Fort Myers are lower risk.

bluesphee May 5th, 2014 10:22 AM

Just to close the loop on this, I ended up booking a 1 bedroom cottage at Mitchell's Sand Castles on Sanibel for this May. I was able to negotiate a slightly reduced rate with the owner and get a unit directly facing the beach! (think it's called Sea Star). Thanks for the suggestions!

bluesphee May 5th, 2014 10:23 AM

oh and also worth mentioning...I booked a car through Southwest Airline's portal but through Alamo. I had booked it originally for $220 but I got an e-mail from Southwest saying I could save 35% with a sale they had going on. I ended up cancelling my booking and rebooking it through the sale for having a full sized car for only $120! They also gave me an extra 1,200 reward miles. Sweet deal.

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