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rfolmar May 20th, 2006 05:21 AM

Beautiful water/Beaches/4 yr old?
Hi -
My husband, 4 year old son and my 5 month pregnant self want to see beautiful water before the baby arrives. We would hopefully leave in a month IF we can get reservations. Problem: Destin is beautiful but wonder if it will be a zoo of people. Naples looks great, but we don't golf and all resorts have golfing. Key West looks fantastic (would prefer to go to carribean anyway on vacation, but don't want to leave US in case something happens w/pregnancy) but I hear there are no beaches and I wonder if it is just for people looking to party. We aren't on a budget and prefer more upscale things. We are just looking to relax by the beach and pool; maybe some water activities if my husband gets bored! Any help would be fantastic. Thanks!

kswl May 20th, 2006 05:35 AM

I know what you mean about not getting too far from a hospital, but Key West <i>is</i> a part of the United States. :)

Why don't you try St. George's Island in the panhandle region of Fl? When you go to Florida beaches during warm weather it's a sure bet they will be crowded, but some less so than others. Try also Rosemary Beach, Watercolor, Graydon Beach---all in the same general area.

State park beaches are always less crowded than public beaches. In the Clearwater area, Caladesi Island off Dunedin is a nice beach, well-maintained, completely non-commercial, and family friendly. There are just a few concessions (food and drink) and the carnival atmosphere that prevails in Clearwater, St. Pete and Panama City is conspicuously absent.

rfolmar May 20th, 2006 06:03 AM

Yes, yes, I know Key West is part of the US! I guess I didn't write that very well! I would prefer to go there, but wonder if there is ANYTHING to do with a 4 year old.

mclaurie May 20th, 2006 06:09 AM

Naples is a great idea. So what if there's golf. You don't have to use it. Nice low key town.

Key West not a good idea for beaches or kid friendly.

More ideas including Sanibel,;tid=34806507

Seagrove Beach;tid=34805506

South Walton County;tid=34757269

Annabel May 20th, 2006 06:45 AM

You may ant to look into LaPlaya in Naples. We just love this resort. Very family, beautiful beach with beach chairs and umbrellas and beach service. I love this resort for it's laid back elegance and it is DIRECTLY on the beach. It's not a &quot;mega&quot; resort, but more of a smaller boutique type resort. If you want to go into town the trolly stops at the hotel and has many stops along the way. There are many dining options as well. The pool area is beautiful and clean and has a nice area to eat. There are also cabanas to rent for not a lot of money and they include a fridge stocked with water, fresh fruit and attentive service. There are different types of accommodations available, including beach front in which you walk out of your sliding glass door right on to the beautiful beach.

Another option is the Tween WAters Inn in Captiva. It is not an upscale place, but nothing in Captiva is. Look into the cottages there, they are beautiful. The beach is amazing and there must be a zillion shells, you will also see dolphins jumping out of the water 40 feet from shore. The rate includes a full breakfast bufet and if you want a something off the menu it is $5. The beach also has cabanas for rent and also beach chairs. You can rent 1/2 day then go to the beautiful pool 1/2 day cabana rental is $8. We just returned from here and are going back for my B'Day....we loved it that much. It is so laid back and relaxed, there is no need for dressing up at night. We saw mostly families there and they were having a ball. There are also plenty of dining options here as well. The Old Captiva House on property is nice and the Crows Nest has good food too as well as their Nascrab races on Mon and Thurs...lots of fun.

Both resorts offer great beaches, beautiful pools, water sports, amazing sunsets and lots of fun. I know you mentioned that $$ is not a problem but keep in mind that LaPlaya is VERY expensive. I found Captiva is more caribbean like in its laid back feel and no highways and it's just so peaceful. My DH and I laughed when we checked out of Tween waters...we charged everything to the room lunches (every day), dinners (2),beach chairs and cabanas and too many drinks to count for 5 days the grand total was $1300.00- that's including the room.

LaPlaya is beautiful, but be prepared to pay up. On top of the room charges, they tacked daily resort fees on top of that. I think our nightly rate including taxes and fees was around $730.00. The food is also very expensive example: they charge shrimp by the piece to the tune of $5 each.

Key West is nice, but it is not a beach town. There is a Town beach, which is man made. It is a quaint town, with shopping, bars, restaurants, bars, sightseeing and bars.

nini May 20th, 2006 07:23 AM

I would suggest Seagrove Beach near Destin but much less crowded and totally family friendly. There are many places to choose from. And there is the upscale resort of Seaside if you want to spend more on a rental. Lots of good restaurants in the panhandle area. Long ago Destin was a sleepy fishing village but, IMO, now is rather tacky.

Sunshinesue May 20th, 2006 07:43 AM

For uncrowded and laid back I recommend any of the Beaches of South Walton. For photos go here:

For very upscale accomodations:

St. George also fills the bill but the water and sand are definitely not as pretty as south Walton or Destin. You are also much more limited in terms of restaurant choices. If you do decide to go there, you might want to rent a house in the Plantation (far west end of the island). I was in the plantation a couple of years ago on July 4th and saw only a handful of people on the beach all day and the weather was beautiful.

rfolmar May 21st, 2006 11:59 AM

Thanks for all of the replies! I have looked at tween-waters and it looks good-- I had never head of it. We booked at La Playa last year and had to cancel last minute... it looks wonderful too. Will check out the other links too. Thanks again!

SusanCS May 21st, 2006 12:12 PM

We just got back from Key West and it was unbelievably hot and humid. Though it's our favorite vacation destination, it's much more pleasant in the early spring or late fall. I absolutely can't imagine being in Key West during this climate while pregnant.

mah1980 May 21st, 2006 12:19 PM

We went to Seagrove beach last week. I'll top it so you can read it. Look at for last minute specials...I think it will be what you're looking for and significantly less crowded than Destin yet close enough for activities.

mah1980 May 21st, 2006 12:20 PM

Didn't see that you are preganant when I read your post initially. We saw about 3 pregnant women on the beach when we were at's relaxing and I think it would have a lot to offer.

mah1980 May 21st, 2006 12:20 PM

pregnant not preganant...helps to edit the post! lol

bakpakr May 22nd, 2006 05:50 PM

Sarasota. Siesta Key is, IMO, one of the best beaches. The Ritz Carlton is nice and they have a private beach club and pool (with a kids club). Sarasota also has some very nice restaurants and upscale shopping.

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