Best Florida Beach

Jan 9th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Best Florida Beach

What is your favorite Florida Beach?
Gulf side or Atlantic side?

Trying to decide which beach to go to during vacation in June/July. Mainly just to hang out at the beach with husband and son. Look for shells and walk on the beach. We are going to be flying into orlando and would like a nice beach within 2 hours of that city.

Thanks for any help!
jhd288 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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I lived on the west coast, and am partial to the Gulf beaches, from Clearwater Beach down to Siesta Key. My favorite beach is Ft Desoto, which was voted Best Beach in the US in recent years by Dr. Beach. It's just outside St Pete Beach, but it's a county park and you can't stay there--which is part of its beauty. Aside from the old fort, there are no structures there, just dunes, sea oats, and beach (great shelling too). Still, it's only a short drive from St Pete, and all those accommodations, and those beaches are pretty nice too.

West coast beaches have the whitest sand outside the Panhandle, which has really gorgeous beaches, but would be too far for you, flying into and out of Orlando.
OO is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Be aware that June and July in Florida will be very hot, very very humid, and very crowded. Late spring, such as May or fall such as November, are better times to come.
If this isn't an option, I would stay away from extremely crowded beaches, such as Daytona or Miami Beach or Panama City.
egret is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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Would definitely say Siesta Key
tchoiniere is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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I would say the Gulf side is my favorite. You get sunsets on the Gulf side, nicer beaches, and less waves. It will be hot and humid and watch out for afternoon thunderstorms but that's the time to take a nap and then head out again in an hour or two to watch gorgeous sunsets.
coldwar27 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 07:31 PM
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The Gulf side, by far! I've been in Florida at the beaches from Clearwater to Sanibel in February, June and September. Even when it's very hot and humid, there's that breeze coming off the water that keeps you way more comfortable than expected. I haven't been on a Gulf beach yet that I didn't like.
elsiemoo is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 02:27 AM
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We are staying at the Caprice on St Pete beach in May. Hoping for a nice beach and vacation. Anyone ever rent there? Two of my YaYa's and I are flying into TPA and we are renting a car. We are looking for beach, shopping, some nightlife, and of course amazing sunsets. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
I've been to YBor City and also to Ft DeSoto beach, two places I would like to get back to.
Thanks for any help.
Cas1218 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 04:21 AM
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Gulf side beaches are cleaner and less crowded, IMHO, than Atlantic side beaches. I grew up in south Florida - Miami Beach is a hellhole in the summer.

Venice beach is very nice and quiet. Sometimes you can find petrified sharks teeth there
GreenDragon is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 07:06 AM
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Another vote for Gulf side. Siesta and Longboat Key are beautiful. My favorite (I hate to give it away) is Nokomis, near Siesta and Casey Key. It is quiet, family oriented and you can find fossil sharks teeth there as well. 8-)
nolefan1 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Gulf side;;;;; Naples ( more than 2 hrs.)...... If you want waves, I would say Atlantic side. But for calm, warm waters, you can't go wrong w/ the gulf.
ps.......June and july are hot,muggy and RAINY; not to mention Hurricane season.
EJC is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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The Gulf side, definitely. Like everybody else has said.

The best beaches are the panhandle ones - Destin, Ft. Walton - but they are more than 2 hours from Orlando. But anywhere on the Gulf side is nice IME.
cheryllj is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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We love the panhandle beaches but remember that June/July is high season there. Further south is low season. We love Sanibel in June for that reason.
DownSouth is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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For shells, Sanibel or Captiva.
starrs is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Wow Thanks for all of the great replies!!!

Definately sounds like the gulf side is the way to go. Now i will look up all of your suggestions!

Thanks Everyone!!!
jhd288 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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Naples is a wonderful city. And it will not be crowded because it is out of the "season". We were in Naples for the Fourth of July last year and it was HOT, but not crowded. For them, summer is sort of like winter and you stay inside in the air conditioning.
kelliebellie is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Oh, and can you fly into Ft. Myers (RSW) instead? Everything is so close to that airport.
kelliebellie is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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Do you have to fly into Orlando for some reason? If not, then I wld suggest that you fly into West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale. I prefer the Atlantic Ocean/East Coast beaches to the beaches on the west coast. Nobody has mentioned Red Tide(a west coast phenomenon) but if it hits when you are on the west coast, you will not be able to go anywhere near the beach.
wow is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 05:43 AM
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Thanks kelliebellie and wow!

Wow - what is a red tide?

The main reason we are flying into orlando is because we were going to the disney are for a few days too.

Will look into palm beach and ft lauderdale too.
jhd288 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 05:52 AM
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Red Tide is an algae that floats on top of the water, leaves a red tint to the water. Causes breathing problems for nearly everyone at the beach. Can linger at the beaches for quite a while. My parents live on the Gulf coast and there has been a few serious outbreaks of it over the past few years. But there hasn't been a big outbreak in a long time now.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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If you would like a natural undisturbed beach try the Canaveral National Seashore about an hour east of Orlando.
RedRock is offline  

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