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can you give me infor on sarasoto/ clearwater beaches?

can you give me infor on sarasoto/ clearwater beaches?

Old May 2nd, 2003, 07:15 AM
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can you give me infor on sarasoto/ clearwater beaches?

We are planing to take a five day trip to Tampa at the end of May. All we are looking for a sandy nice beach (not too many shells) and a hotel either on the beach or a very near the beach (we have our toddler with us, we would like o stay close to our hotel). So far we were looking into to Clearwater or Sarasota areas( maybe Lido beach holiday inn). Can anyone tell me anything about the beaches and places to stay? I am from Mediterranean ,and I am afraid the beaches will not be what I am expecting.
Thanks in advance.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 11:02 AM
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The Sheraton Sand Key hotel in Clearwater Beach would be a great spot. We used to go there every year as a family. It's right on the beach, and the hotel is very nice. Also nice pool. Across the street is the Radisson, but it isn't on the beach. There's a restaurant there and I think some shops.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 11:43 AM
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If you're from the Mediterranean(I don't know which part), you're probably familiar with beaches that are all rocks or small pebbles. If that's what you're expecting, then yes, they will be different. The beaches will be thick white sand, soft and beautiful. The surf itself will be similar to most of the Med., very little in the way of waves unless you happen to be right after or during a storm.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 02:51 PM
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Siesta Key, (Sarasota), is the place you're looking for. Very laid back, and beautiful beaches, with the softest white sand in the world(ok, exagarating just a bit), but close....
There is a Best Western in the Village, which is just across the street from the beaches and walking distance to many restaurants, shops and bars. They do have some kitchenette suites, which could save you some money.
Holiday Inn on Lido Key has some great views and it's also across the street from the beach, but Lido beach has more shells and rocks, not enough to spoil anybodies vacation, but they are there. If you decide to stay on Siesta Key it's only about 15 minute drive to Lido Key and the famous St.Armand's Circle(shops,restaurants).
Here is a Siesta Key website:
http://www.siestakeychamber.com/
Whatever you choose, have a great trip!!!
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 03:49 PM
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We just returned from both areas. In Clearwater, we stayed at the Sheraton on Sand Key as mentioned above. This is really a great family hotel. The hotel sits on a very wide stretch of beach so it is a little bit of a walk to get to the beach. In Sarasota, we stayed at the Radisson Lido Beach. Also a very nice hotel, but not quite as family friendly. The new, tower section rooms are beautiful. The beach here is beautiful with powdery white sand. Both places were great. We prefered Clearwater though.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 08:18 PM
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Pongised,

I lived in the Clearwater area (Treasure Island) for several years and you're in for a treat. The weather in May is beautiful and the beaches immaculate. The sand is fine and soft but beware - it gets very hot on bare feet in the afternoon.

My favourite beach in that area is North Redington. There's a nice public parking area that offers fresh water outdoor showers to wash the sea and sand off. There are also well maintained public restrooms.

I'm assuming you'll have a rental car so take the time to explore from one end of the beach strip to the other - North Clearwater to St. Petersburg.

I highly recommend a few hours at John's Passe on Madeira Beach. It's a small village of tacky but wonderful tourist shops. There's also a boardwalk that runs along the inter-coastal waterway. Your toddler might enjoy the fantastic hand-dipped ice cream they sell up there. If not, feel free to take it for them. *chuckle*

I'm not sure what other types of things you enjoy doing but you're welcome to ask here for my input or write me off list at [email protected]

~ Sheryl
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 06:41 PM
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Thanks to every one. I think we will be staying in clearwater at Best Western Sea Wake Beach Resort. Hopefully it will be a nice vacation.
Sheryl please
Let me know if you know good places to eat near by.
Thanks again.
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Old May 4th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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Pongised,

I've been posting on another thread about our time in Florida and you're bringing back such great memories for me.

I didn't spend a lot of time at the northern (Clearwater) end of the beach. Only because back then it was a prime place for the insaner of the college kids. Clearwater has put a lot of work into cleaning that image up, so I'm sure you'll be fine.

I try to make an annual trek back to the area and I have some of my favourite spots. Keeping in mind that you're traveling with a toddler, I'd recommend...

Shells - there are two different locations, both equally good. I prefer the northern location. It's a mid-range priced seafood place with a nice kids menu. Ask for a table facing the water. You'll see boats on the waterway to help keep your toddler entertained. There's also a nice pier you can walk out onto.

John's Passe - Spend a few hours here. Fantastic tacky tourist shoppes that every Florida visitor must buy an obligatory can of sunshine from. *chuckle* If it's getting too warm, head towards the boardwalk and eat at the Rusty Anchor (it's actually under the boardwalk). The inside is cool and dry. Again, ask for a table looking out over the water.

N. Redding Pier - not a restaurant but a fun visitor spot. It's supposed to be the longest fishing pier. There's a nominal fee to walk out onto it. Pelicans freely perch on the railings and make for some fun vacation pictures.

Holiday Inn (previously Hilton) on St. Pete Beach - the top floor is a revolving lounge. All of the seats are along the perimeter and offer a breath taking view of the ocean and the intercoastal, especially at sunset. I'd call ahead though to make sure you're under 21 child is allowed in. I can't remember if there were kids in there last time or not.

Madeira Beach (at John's Passe) - last time I took the kids with me we booked a dolphin sighting cruise. We didn't see many dolphins but they loved it anyway. The staff on all the ships are so friendly. They let my kids steer the ship,wearing the captain's hat, for awhile and pose for terrific "Titanic" pics (remember the scene where Rose stretches her arms out?).

There really aren't any fancy or overly expensive places to dine in that area (except perhaps the Wine Cellar). That area is about as laid back as it gets. Putting shoes on is considered getting dressed up. Try some of the local Mom & Pop stands. Cuban sandwiches are great.

If you're traveling on a budget (or just want some simplicity trying to travel with little kids) there's a Publix grocery store not far from where you're staying. Easy place to stock up on juice boxes and snacks without breaking the bank.

~ Sheryl
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Old May 4th, 2003, 04:31 PM
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Just a quick note about the sand and getting very hot on the feet. Crescent Beach on Siesta Key has quartz sand, which remains cool, a wonderful feature, it's soft, very very fine, powder white sand, that is actually quite cooling to bury your feet in as you lounge on the beach. Even for walking, it remains cool.
However there are no hotels on Siesta Key (thankfully), just a ton of condos. But that may work for you; allows for easy access to food for your toddler, having your own kitchen, also seperate bedrooms etc. Lots of condos available directly on the beach, plus most have pools for when the little one wants to try that as well. A great, easy vacation with a toddler.
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