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Florida - East Coast vs. Gulf Coast - opinion asap

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Florida - East Coast vs. Gulf Coast - opinion asap

Old Apr 20th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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Florida - East Coast vs. Gulf Coast - opinion asap

We are going to Orlando for 4 days toward the end of July. Then we are going to the beach for 2 or 3 days. I have been to St Petes and loved it, but I see the the East coast beaches are actually closer to Orlando than St Petes. So based on the time factor I was wondering if it would be better to do an East coast visit. But I have not been on the Eastern side, so I really don't know it is the best choice. We are going to plan our air return flight based on which coast we choose......SO.....in your opinion....which side is the better one to go to? We will have 2 little girls with us, and would like beach front accomodations too. Which coast do you think would be the most peaceful, safe, fun and appealing for all? Thanks!
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Head to the Gulf Coast.

The waves on the east coast can get large and the Gulf Coast doesn't really have waves.

I'd rent a house or a condo over a hotel.
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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For peacful safe, and fun waves for little girls, I would definitely recommend the west coast. The Gulf is usually pretty calm and good for swimming. Check out places on the beach between Clearwater and St. Pete (Indian Rocks Beach, etc.). We stayed there three different times with our kids when they were small and loved it. I grew up on the east coast, east of Orlando. Though the beaches there are nice, it's never guaranteed that it won't be too rough for little kids.

Enjoy your visit!
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Old Apr 20th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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I agree, the Gulf coast would be better for little children due to the lack of large waves.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Your question is totally subjective. As a person who grew up on the Coast, I like having the waves & such. The flatness of the Gulf (in general) is not appealing too me. Your kids will be fine - I would also opt for a cottage or Condo.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 09:17 AM
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I lived on the Gulf Coast side and am partial to that, but this spring we also spent a few days in Indialantic on the Atlantic side. It was really lovely and uncrowded, BUT...I was astounded at the waves. Surfers were out in full force and were catching good waves and long rides. The water was still too cold for me to get in, but our friend, fortitude personified, (she was visiting from England), did. The waves were pretty strong for her and she kept getting knocked back as she tried to move out deeper. As I'm not that familiar with the Atlantic side, I don't know if this was an unusual day or not. It certainly wasn't unusually windy. If the kids just sat in a few inches of water they'd be fine, but at least while we were there, it would have been too much for them to do more than that. The beach was beautiful there, I must say, and again, I'm really a Gulf Coast person, so biased in the opposite direction.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Let me give you an educated answer. I lived on the east coast of Florida (Indialantic and Melbourne Beach) for 15 years and have now lived on the west coast (St Pete Beach) for 20 years. I can tell you unequivocally that you will prefer the west coast. Anywhere from Clearwater down through St Pete Beach will be great. The Gulf is indeed much more calm, the beaches in general flatter, and there are plenty of places to eat.

Don't listen to anyone who tells you the Atlantic beaches and the waves in the area east of Orlando are not dangerous. There have been grown men who drowned in the waters off the east coast in that area where you would go. Go to a west coast area, either St Pete Beach or Treasure Island, for the best family atmosphere and accommodations.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 01:44 PM
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The sand is much nicer on the Gulf Coast too.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 04:24 AM
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I'd leave out the part about the sharks in the gulf though...Wayne, generalizations such as yours are much more dangerous. Certainly you have to be aware of any body of water if you intend to get into it. Educating yourself about rips, sharks, jellyfish, tides, wave patterns, etc. should be done by everyone before they ever enter the water. But we both know, this doesn't typically happen. Personally (& I am a frequent visitor, not a resident) I have pulled 6 people out of the ocean that were in trouble. Oftentimes they are kids w/inattentive parents, but I've also pulled out some adults as well. To suggest that the Gulf side is 'safer' may well be misinformation. Knowledge = safety.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 05:55 AM
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SAnParis2-- you are a prime example of a person who wants to be authoritative but isn't. And who mentioned sharks? I left sharks out of my post just because I didn't want to frighten people needlessly -- though I will say now that you mentioned it, there have been shark attacks and deaths reported every year on the east coast around the Cocoa Beach-Indialantic-Melbourne Beach area.

There's no need for me to suggest that the Gulf side is safer. Statistics show it, people who have lived there can attest to it, and your attempt to ridicule my statements indicates your own lack of knowledge.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Plenty of sharks in the gulf too, my friend. In fact, you see pictures of them every year. I'd love to see your statistics. If you are going to throw drivel out as fact, you need to back it up. The point I was trying to make (which perhaps you could have seen, had you stepped down from your pedestal) was that any body of water can be dangerous - a lake, a river, a creek, a stream, a swimming pool, the gulf, the ocean whatever. I think you'll find that shark attacks seem to be more prevalent in the Fla. Panhandle area (ie. Gulf side), not the Coast. If, we are talking about Fla. only.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 07:36 AM
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The Cocoa Beach area is definitely closer to Orlando. I'm not getting into this discussion concerning which beach is better - depending on how old your kids are (the younger they are the less chance of you letting them get out into the water much) the size of the waves, etc. may not even be a big issue. What I would like to throw in, though, is that my granddaughter just got back from Cocoa Beach and went on a tour through the Space Center. She's 8 years old and was absolutely thrilled with it including the fact that she was able to meet two astronauts. Personally, I'd be thrilled to do that also! Have fun in Florida.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 07:47 AM
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"If you are going to throw drivel out as fact, you need to back it up"

Great point, SP, so where are your facts to back up your drivel? Or is your "I think you'll find" all the facts we need?

Here is a link to some information about rip-currents and related drownings. If you look at the first sentence of #4 you'll see that 4 to 5 rip current drownings are reported every year in EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. There is no mention of how many in WEST CENTRAL Florida. I wonder why? Duh. Maybe because they don't happen there? Signs are posted many places about the dangers of rip currents (often incorrectly called undertows) on the East Coast beaches. I've never seen such a sign on the West Coast. I wonder why that is?

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/ripnwa/Published.htm
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Rips seldom happen on the gulf side, but I'm sure you already knew that NEO. If you reread my posts I don't believe you'll see anything that needs 'backing up'. He is/was the one quoting 'stats', not me. As stated prior, I was referring to water safety 'in general' not a specific water type or location. I'm also not disputing that either coast can be dangerous, particularly when there are storms brewing. What's your dog in this fight anyway ? http://www.news-journalonline.com/special/sharkattacks/
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Sorry, I must have totally misinterpreted your post, SP. I honestly thought you were taking issue with someone stating that the West Coast is generally "safer" than the East Coast. That's all.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 06:16 PM
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My vote would be for the west coast. We live just to the north of Clearwater beach and love the area. However, we take several trips to the other coast to ride the waves (surfing, boogie boarding and such). And guess what . . . there are young kids that surf and enjoy the waves. Our kids have been a board of some sort (either riding one or strapping one to their feet) since they were four. As previous posters have mentioned (and I agree) the west coast has beautiful sand, calmer water and also warmer water. But if your girls enjoy a little more action then head for the east coast. But I have to say that a visit to the east coast does not necessarily ensure waves. We cut our end-of-July surf trip short last year because the water was flat! Something else to consider on the gulf coast - there are ferries that can take you to a couple nice islands only reachable by boat. If interested, check out the Caladesi ferry that leaves from Honeymoon Island (north of Clearwater) or the Egmont Key ferry (I think this still operates) which is down south by the Skyway bridge. You can even take a dolphin spotting boat ride or a "Thriller" ride on a fast (and loud) boat. The Clearwater beach area has a playground and activities/vendors along the path and pier in the evenings (I think only on weekends). There are pros and cons for each - really just depends on what exactly you're looking for at the beach.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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"there have been shark attacks and deaths reported every year on the east coast around the Cocoa Beach-Indialantic-Melbourne Beach area."

Wayne, really? I live in the area and while I agree that rip currents can be a big problem here, I honestly don't recall attacks and deaths every year. I did find this: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks...tack/mapFL.htm which definitely shows far less shark activity on the gulf coast, but the last fatality in Brevard County to be in 1934.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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321go - Funny how when you call them out they go away. Particularly after he totally misinterpreted my post to begin with. Everybody should go to the Gulf side....please....Leaves more space for me on the Ocean side.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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Another vote for the Gulf coast. Better beaches/sand, no waves, never experienced any rip currents, and my favorite sunsets (I'm not a sunrise type of person). And if I am not mistaken the area around Ponce inlet (east coast) has the highest number of shark attacks. Not that its any more comforting but shark attacks in Florida are hardly ever fatal.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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I'm always more concerned about the jellies.
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