First Miami then Siesta Key

Old Jun 16th, 2018, 10:49 AM
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First Miami then Siesta Key

Hello,

I have been doing alot of research on the places to visit and have come to a conclusion that a beach vacation is best since we have 2 small kids (7 and 3). We've decided a nice, calm beach vacation in Florida but to maximize the trip we want to also visit Miami before going to Siesta Key or vice versa (Siesta Key first then Miami?), not sure which one makes more sense in terms of time. We are traveling from Southern California and thinking of early December for 7 or 8 days. Can you please give me some suggestions in terms of itinerary, good places to eat? entertainments for kids, transportation, which airport to fly into? etc...appreciate in advance!
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Old Jun 16th, 2018, 01:11 PM
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If you are only staying on the east coast and in the upper keys then flying into Miami or Fort Lauderdale would make more sense..From WHERE in California are you flying as there are non-stops to Fort Lauderdale as well as MIA depending upon departure point if time and price are of concern.
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Old Jun 17th, 2018, 05:51 AM
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Pick a hotel property in South Beach that is right on the beach... we like Royal Palm, Loews, Kimpton Surfcomber. .. the area is very walkable and you could stay there the entire time without a rental car... the weather is much more tropical the further south you go...

traveling north in December can bring cooler weather... Siesta Key could be warm and Sunny or wet and chilly... and the distance between is a lot just for a beach vacation... the Keys, Naples, or even Sanibel/Captiva are much better options... further South and plenty to see...
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Old Jun 17th, 2018, 01:21 PM
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Would it be possible to fly into Sarasota-Bradenton and out of Miami?
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Old Jun 17th, 2018, 02:47 PM
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most likely we'll be flying out of LAX
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Old Jun 18th, 2018, 07:35 AM
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If you're looking for a calm kid friendly beach vacation, if you're not set on Miami & the Keys, I suggest looking on the Gulf Coast. Much more laid back than Miami and IMO, more kid friendly than the Keys. Lots of all inclusive resort places too unless you're doing an AIRBNB or something like that.
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Old Jun 18th, 2018, 09:26 AM
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Siesta Key is not in "the Keys" but is closer to Sarasota. Define "kid friendly" please.
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Old Jun 19th, 2018, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Liebelilly
If you're looking for a calm kid friendly beach vacation, if you're not set on Miami & the Keys, I suggest looking on the Gulf Coast. Much more laid back than Miami and IMO, more kid friendly than the Keys. Lots of all inclusive resort places too unless you're doing an AIRBNB or something like that.
The OP never said they were going to the Keys. They said Siesta Key which IS on the Gulf coast.
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Old Jun 19th, 2018, 06:01 AM
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Are you driving? It is almost 300 miles from Miami to Siesta Key. A lot with small children. If your plan is to visit both coasts, Naples just over 100 miles from Miami. It's beautiful and you could go via the Tamiami Trail and stop at one or two of the boardwalks to view alligators. Naples also has a good zoo and Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is worth visiting. If your heart is still set on Siesta Key. It is a beautiful spot and perfect for small children.
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Old Jun 20th, 2018, 02:11 AM
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Why is it "perfect" fpr small children? What makes it so "perfect?" People here keep talking about "family friendly" and now kid perfect but they don't tell us, or the OP, why. Odd. I ask because one person's "perfect" can be another's disastrous.
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Old Jun 20th, 2018, 07:01 PM
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Thank you all for your input. I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond my post. We are pretty laid back and low maintenance. Since we have small kids, our goal is to just relax and de-stress from everyday responsibilities. hehehe. We love the soft white sand and clear blue water. Definitely dont get that from Southern California.

But, wow, i didn't realize that the distance btwn Miami and Siesta Key is that far, 300 miles sounds pretty exhausting already (LOL). If anything, we'll probably drive. But I've never heard of Naples, I'll do some homework on that. Thank you

Also, what places are on the Gulf Coast?

Last edited by jlee; Jun 20th, 2018 at 07:09 PM.
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Old Jun 21st, 2018, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dukey1
Why is it "perfect" fpr small children? What makes it so "perfect?" People here keep talking about "family friendly" and now kid perfect but they don't tell us, or the OP, why. Odd. I ask because one person's "perfect" can be another's disastrous.
In response to your question: Siesta Beach is a world class beautiful beach with soft powdery sand.. It has a track down to the water, which makes taking a stroller, cart or wheel chair easier. There is a kids play area, changing rooms, and a concession that sells drinks and beach stuff. There is also lots of free parking, which is a huge plus with kids. Siesta Key has two other beaches Crescent and Turtle. Turtle also has quite a lot of parking. Siesta Key Village is a 3 minute drive from Siesta Beach. It is small and walkable with a few restaurants and shops.
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Old Jun 21st, 2018, 04:24 AM
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>>

If that is what you like I would just stick with Siesta Key. It has that great white sand and blue water and a much calmer atmosphere than Miami.
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Old Jun 21st, 2018, 12:55 PM
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Just keep in mind that December weather in mid Florida could be 10 degrees cooler than Miami.... just a risk of that time of year...
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Old Jun 22nd, 2018, 10:29 AM
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Ok. We ll definitely visit siesta key then. What airport do we fly into? Or which airport is close to siesta key?

Do you think 5 days is good enough?

Since December is not ideal for the temperature then perhaps first week of August before kids starting school.

Going there...thursday aug 2 (red eye flight) arrive Friday morning
Head home Tuesday (aug 7) evening.

Last edited by jlee; Jun 22nd, 2018 at 10:49 AM.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2018, 04:54 AM
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Closest airport for Siesta Key is SRQ- Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport
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Old Jun 23rd, 2018, 08:57 PM
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I like Hollywood Beach or Fort Lauderdale Beach better than the famous South Beach (Miami Beach). South Beach is great if you're a supermodel, or too cool for words. I assume that the topless sunbathing isn't necessarily what the kids want to be watching, but if they're preteen boys, i may be mistaken. South Beach is also known for inflated prices, and is having a real problem at the restaurants that don't post prices for specials, and then charge people ridiculous prices ($25-$50 or more for a drink, $100 for a burger, etc.). The authorities are working on that issue.

Maybe 20 miles north of Miami Beach is Hollywood Beach. Same sand. Prices would be much lower than Miami at most of the hotels and for food, unless you stay at the 4+ star Diplomat or the new Margaritaville. Hollywood Beach has a long "Broadwalk" (concrete), and the restaurants on the broadwalk are mostly moderately priced, ranging from Pizza to gourmet, with Ocean views. Kind of tacky, lots of T-Shirt shops and Ice Cream shops. Lots of small hotels.

Fort Lauderdale Beach is about 10 miles North of Hollywood Beach, Classier than Hollywood Beach, probably midway in price between South Beach and Hollywood Beach. Many luxurious hotels.

Good Gulf Coast options include Naples, which is a little over 100 easy Interstate miles from Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale. Naples is a very affluent town, Museums, Thomas Edison House, Nice shopping. Lots of retired midwesteners. Beaches, pier.

If you're willing to drive a little further, Sanibel Island/Captiva Island are about 50 miles further than Naples. Famous for beaches, picking up shells, little restaurants, very laid back attitude. Lots of kids things like mini golf. You have to drive through Sanibel Island to get to Captiva Island.

Hope this helped.
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Old Jun 24th, 2018, 10:01 AM
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Coming from Southern California you might look into flying into Tampa as well. Keep in mind that August is HOT and very humid. I'd take my chances with December. That's a very short time for a trip across the country just to go to the beach. Have you considered Mexico or Hawaii?
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Old Jun 24th, 2018, 08:07 PM
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We've been to Mexico before, beautiful place. With all the crazy news going on lately about the safety in MX, we are kind of concerned. And HI is so much more expensive. So we just want some beachy tropical place that's in the states and affordable.
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