Florida Gulf Coast in July

Old Jun 28th, 2011, 04:45 AM
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Florida Gulf Coast in July

We are thinking about going to Florida the last week of July. We are conisdering the Central Gulf Coast area. Maybe St. Pete or Clearwater beaches. Will the weather be too stormy to enjoy the beaches that time of year? What beaches would you reccomend for a family with a 10 year old and a 16 year old? Do any of the beaches have snorkeling?
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Old Jun 28th, 2011, 06:11 AM
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At the end of July there will be a good chance that you will have afternoon thunderstorms. These will probably be very brief and intense, and may or may not occur daily. No way to predict exactly, but most likely the majority of the day will be hot and sunny.

Other than Egmont Key off of Fort Desoto park not much in the way of snorkeling. From St. Pete Beach all the way to Clearwater the beaches are fantastic. For families I would recommend St. Pete or Treasure Island (our favorite). Clearwater has more of a party atmosphere. If you have any specific questions I will do my best to answer them. Have a great time!
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Old Jun 28th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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Good beaches in the Pinellas County area include Pass-a-Grille and gmoney's suggestion of Ft. Desoto Park, as well as Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach. gmoney's also right about what to expect weather-wise.

There are several beaches in the Sarasota and Bradenton area just south of Pinellas County -- the only one I'm familiar with is Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, and it's wonderful.
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Treasure Island and St Pete Bch are both great for families.

Ft. Desoto Park beach does not compare with the others mentioned. It has it's own unique charm but doesn't cut it for a family for me. And as mentioned, I believe that Clearwater Bch is more the party bch college kids (and I bet the 16 year old would love that!) Pass-a-Grille is nicer for quieter adults. On TI and St Pete Bch one can walk for miles north or south(all the way to Pass-a-Grille), can walk across the street for food and other activities. You should be able to find a place around there for renting personal watercraft etc. Certain times (might be the weekend) the kite flyers put on quite a show on the beach (TI I believe).And on Sunday afternoon there might still be a live band behind the Bilmar.
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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I forgot to mention, you might also consider Sanibel Island and Ft Myers beaches. They are great for families also.

As far as snorkeling, as long as you have your gear you can snorkel anywhere up and down the beaches. My son snorkled all of those beaches (except Ft. Desoto) when he was between l0 - 14. I can't guarantee clear water - depends on so many variables (storms in the gulf etc). And you can go into St. Pete to the parks to see the alligators. Lots for children in St. Pete - Tpa area (if you can get them off the beach!)
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Old Jul 2nd, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Thanks everyone, we rented a condo in Treasure Island. Now we welcome ideas for places we must see, things we must do, and place to eat. We are very interested in the best plce we might go to enjoy and see Manatees.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2011, 06:50 PM
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If you google Florida and Manatees, you will find a lot of info re Homossa Spgs and Crystal River concerning swimming with the Manatees etc. It is about 80 miles north of TI. Just to 'see' one, you can go to the Tampa Zoo or to Mote Mariine lab. Mote is south of TI to Bradenton. There is also an aquarium in Tampa but not sure if they have a manatee.

Things to do in St. Pete - Sawgrass Lake Pk - stroll for an hr or so over the swamp and check out the alligators and Swamp. Another good park in St. Pete is Boyd Hill. Museums in St Pete besides the usual History museum and fine arts, is a Dali Museum. Also an exhibit of Chihuly (someone there has a personal connection with Chihuly and has managed to get an exhibit locally.)

The Moon guide book for the Florida Beaches looks like it is full of ideas. And Trip Advisor can give you some ideas also.

I would stop in the office of the Bilmar and ask about the kite flying on the beach and also check to see if they still have a live band out back on Sundays. Last time I was there the kites were flying, the adults picked up a drink to go at the bar behind the Bilmar and it was a very laid back enjoyable time for all the ages in the group.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2011, 06:53 PM
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Another thing my kids liked to do, was go to the docks to meet the deep sea fishing boats when they came in to see what they were catching for the day. Sometimes a shark or two.
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Old Jul 12th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Thanks everyone for all your wonderful suggestions.
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