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Karen Aug 3rd, 1998 05:10 AM

Beaches near Disney?
A group of friends are planning a trip to Florida. Some want to see the sites in Disney, while others just want to lay around on a beach. We're trying to compromise - what beaches in Florida are closest to Disney, so we could spend a few days at the beach and then head to Orlando or vice versa. Any help would be appreciated. <BR>

Kelli Aug 3rd, 1998 06:10 AM

I think Daytona Beach is pretty close. I know Jacksonville, Florida is fairly close too. I guess it depends what time of the year that you're going. If you are going in late fall you probably want to head to beaches further south to ensure warm weather. I had friends of mine on Spring Break drive from Clearwater Beach to Disney World and it didn't take that long -- maybe a couple hours or so. In my opinion, the beaches on the gulf side tend to be nicer.

Greg Aug 3rd, 1998 10:29 AM

Karen, <BR> <BR>The closest beaches to Orlando are New Smyrna, Cocoa, and Melbourne. All are nice and cleaner than daytona. My choice would be Clearwater beach on the Gulf coast. As an Orlando resident Clearwater is my beach of choice. It is very clean and lots to do and see. It is about a 1 hour and a half drive. <BR>

karen Aug 3rd, 1998 01:43 PM

Thanks for your suggestions. Clearwater sounds ideal -- now, do you have any suggestions on places to stay and eat. Budget is not a big concern. <BR>

K. Sunner Aug 3rd, 1998 06:59 PM

<BR>I suggest eating at Frenchy's in Clearwater. It's a quaint, casual restaurant that serves moderately priced seafood and nice cold beer. Also, another thought...Although I agree that Clearwater and the west coast beaches are nicer than the east coast beaches, the west coast beaches don't tend to have much of a nightlife (if that's important to you).

Melinda Aug 3rd, 1998 10:06 PM

<BR>I spent my first 22 years living in Florida and hands down Sanibel Island off of Fort Meyers is by far the nicest spot. It is an island with a wide shell filled beach that you can bike on while watching dolphins. Rooms are not that expensive and there are no high rises on the island. Lots of hotels provide bikes and the water seems always to be so nice. Eating out is not expensive, however there isn't much nightlife but it is soooo relaxing and very safe. Lots of nice shopping as well.

Karen Aug 5th, 1998 12:40 PM

Sanibel sounds nice, but how far is it from Orlando? <BR>

Debra Aug 5th, 1998 03:41 PM

I saw your posting and it sounds like you live near Sanibel. I'm in Ponte Vedra. I have relatives coming in December and they want to go were it will be warm (apparently No. Florida is not good enough!). Do you know anyone who rents out houses on Sanibel, or around Fort Myers area? Let me know if you can help. Deb

Kay Aug 6th, 1998 04:05 AM

I think that Sanibel is quite a drive to go to Disney World. More than just a couple hours. Stick with Clearwater Beach. It's definitely nice. If you are looking for nightlife near Clearwater, take a short drive into Tampa. There's lots to do there. The beaches in Clearwater are nice and so are the hotels. We stayed at the Adams Mark, which was right on the beach, in Clearwater a few years back. Have fun!

Cindy Aug 7th, 1998 11:47 AM

Last November, I visited Orlando and vicinity including Clearwater. My husband and I found "Honeymoon Island" in Clearwater area. While Clearwater has a lot of people and it's hard to find a parking spot, Honeymoon Island is very quiet and private - as the name says! It's private beach so you have to pay the admission $4. Of course there are parking spots and very nice. There are hiking, cycling, climbing(?) and walking routes as well as beach. Even if you go there by yourself, you'll make a great memory.

Sharon Aug 28th, 1998 10:23 AM

My vote is for gulf beaches. If you are not on a budget may I suggest the Don Cesar on St. Petersburg Beach? It is a beautiful old resort in the Mizner tradition. Looks like a pink wedding cake from the air. Fabulous dinner at Brunello while there or go over the beautiful bridge to Anna Maria Island (closer to Sarasota) to the Beach Bistro on Holmes Beach and dine to nouvelle Floridian food right on the sunset side of Holmes Beach. You could also go about a 1/2 further and stay on Long Boat Key which is wonderful but not as glamorous as the Don Cesar.

Sharon Aug 28th, 1998 10:42 AM

Let's see if Fodor's will let you hot link off the site. Link to Don Cesar recommended above. <BR> <BR>

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