Florida experts...HELP!!

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Aug 27th, 2001, 11:34 AM
  #1
traveler
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Florida experts...HELP!!

Would like to spend the christmas holiday in Florida-have narrowed it down to the gulf coast. We are a family of 4 (2 kids ages 6 and 4) we are considering Captiva and Siesta Key. Any other suggestions? we would like to be able to swim and enjoy some warm weather. Probably looking at renting a home. would consider a condo or resort if it is very family friendly. Have been to a few resorts in the past that other guests looked at my kids as if they were monsters every time they dared to speak. Thanks in advance.
 
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Aug 27th, 2001, 11:58 AM
  #2
Rachael
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Have you considered Marco Island? I'm not sure of the availablity of condo/home rentals, but there is a lovely Marriott resort there as well as a nice Hilton resort right next door. There is also a Holiday Inn I believe. All are family/kid friendly. I stayed at the Marriott myself and there were many families with children there-- and they offer many activities for children as well.
 
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Aug 27th, 2001, 12:11 PM
  #3
Celeste
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I'm sure you know this already, but thought you'd appreciate one little warning from someone who has lived in Florida for 15 years: Sometimes at Christmas-time it's pretty cold here, too! It probably won't get below 45 or 50, but it might not make it up to swimming temperatures, either! When you're looking for a place to stay, make sure the pool is heated. I know the Gulf is way too cold for me until about April!
 
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Aug 27th, 2001, 12:41 PM
  #4
joan
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If you want a rustic, beachy spot, Captiva is beautiful. I've stayed at the 'Tween Waters and South Seas Plantation. Both are family-friendly. South Seas has condos and single family homes for rent in addition to hotel rooms. It's expensive, but beautifully spread out, with a trolley system to take you back and forth to the main restaurant area. If I were you, I'd consider renting a beachfront home on Captiva. I've seen some great properties on www.vacationspot.com. You would need a car, but then you could go to Sanibel for shopping and dining, there's also great dining right on Captiva. If you go, definitely consider renting a Boston Whaler from the Tween Waters and checking out all the islands on the Intracoastal in that area. Beautiful!
 
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Aug 27th, 2001, 02:34 PM
  #5
gulf coast
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Don't count on swimming in the gulf at xmas. Though the weathr is generally not to bad, it isn't good for swimming, and if you think you can take cold water, can you handle sand blasting?
Generally, the wind picks up the sand and it hurts.
We have even had snow ( a flake or two) from time to time.
Wouldn't count to highly on that though, as Jan. and Feb. are the coldest months. Must admit that I have seen others (those from the north) going around in shorts a time or two.


 
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Sep 26th, 2001, 08:20 AM
  #6
Larry
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Jason- Traveler has narrowed their vaction plans to the Gulf Coast, that's not "South Florida". You are correct in that South Florida (Martin County, Palm Beach, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, and particularly the Keys) is generally still warm around the holidays, keep in mind that the southeast coast of Florida has that huge body of warm water (the Gulf Stream) flowing just a few miles offshore. The Gulf coast has no such moderating influence. As most people have pointed out, comfortable swimming weather on the gulf coast during the holidays will be hit or miss.
 
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Sep 26th, 2001, 10:42 AM
  #7
hurry
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We'll give Jason a break, but not much credit for knowing Fla. in Dec. Fact is, 85-degree days are a rarity in late December, even for "South Fla." (wherever that is). Bottom line: If you're going to the Sanibel/Ft. Myers area at Xmas, don't count on being able to swim in the ocean -- unless you're from some place like Minnesota and think anyything above 60 degrees is swimming weather. (No offense meant, all you Minnesotans.)
 
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Sep 29th, 2001, 10:46 AM
  #8
Mary
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South Seas Resort (they are dropping the "Plantation") is very family friendly, as is the Sundial on Sanibel Island.
 
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Sep 29th, 2001, 06:58 PM
  #9
Lynn
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A Floridian here:

Sanibel, Captiva or as suggested before Marco Island - they are all gorgeous and family friendly....

As mentioned earlier, if you want warmer waters, you will have to head further South - to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys -

There are tourists enjoying the Gulf waters as far North as the Emerald Coast (Pensacola Beach, Destin, Panama City, etc.) in the heart of winter where the Gulf's temps are as low as 50 degrees and feels like ice needles on your skin.
 
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Sep 30th, 2001, 07:46 AM
  #10
lena
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Florida is pretty big and does have some diversity. How are you arriving? Do you prefer to stay in the northern half of the state, what's your budget? what type of accomodations are you looking for? Marco is pretty far south, the beaches are nice but to me it's just one condo after another with the Marriott and Hilton, both not their best properties. There isn't much ambience but if you just want the beach and a place to stay ok, Naples has some nicer hotels but also pricier, there are some beautiful ones and some smaller ones. Naples has a little more charm but also more upscale. Ft. Myers Beach is more of a party town. It's great if you want to have fun, but a little grungy...it's getting revitalized again. We've spent many fun weekends there, which I don't remember. They'll accept the kids better but your kids may see things at night you don't want them to. Sanibel/ Captiva is very nice, calm, quiet, lay out and read a book. A good friend goes every year so I feel like I know it well, although it's too slow for my pace. South Seas Plantation is the big resort but she stays at a lovely smaller place called song of the sea. relaxing. Depends.... weather wise. my kids usually swim on Christmas, sure it's cold for Miamians but the waters are filled with northerners. Kids will go in the water anytime. We wish it would be cooler on Christmas but it usually isn't. Maybe in the morning it'll drop down but by 11 am we have the AC back on. You'll still get sunburn and be able to swim. A heated pool would be nicer. I hate cold water. Tell us more and maybe we can give you more specifics. Budget matters.
 
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