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Christmas in Florida w/ extended family ... where to go?

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Looking for some help to identify a perfect-world beach for our family's holiday trip this year. There will be 13 of us - 7 adults and 6 kids ages 6 and under, and we're looking for the week of Christmas.

Prerequisites are that it be warm (preferably warm enough for the adults to swim ... the kids will get in regardless how cold I think it is), that it be on the Gulf and that the beach be soft. Would be great to stay beachfront somewhere, just because we all know there will be umpteen million trips back to the house for snacks/drinks/forgotten goggles/potty/etc. Would love to stay all under one roof so that we can put the kids down and then eat dinner and relax without hiring sitters or trying to make the monitors reach across several floors of a condo complex.

The extent of my knowledge of Florida beaches is that we've visited (and come to really enjoy) Panama City during trips to visit extended family in the area, and that we hear Naples is great. During my research of this forum and others like it, I've seen that Sanibel has great shelling (but that's probably not what we want), that Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key are regularly noted as standouts (but I wonder if that's too far north to be anywhere near warm enough to swim?) and that Ft. Myers has been called too touristy/high-risey by some. Having never been to any of them, it's hard to decide between all these unknowns.

What I do know: we have a long history with the NC beaches, and we love many of them. Our favorites are the low-key beaches along the Outer Banks (especially Hatteras/Frisco/Buxton, but also Nags Head/Kitty Hawk), and the Holden Beach/Ocean Isle area, which has lots of casual beach houses but not many high rises. That said, though, the kids love the excitement of a Myrtle Beach or Panama City Beach type place with lots to do, so I wouldn't outlaw those types of places.

What I have in my head is a great little beach that has stuff you can walk to, isn't too high-falutin, and isn't uber-expensive (although for this trip, somewhere in the $5000/wk range, and perhaps even higher, isn't out of the realm of possibility). Does this place exist? And if so, can you help me find it?

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