Florida West Coast

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Jan 8th, 2019, 06:54 PM
  #1
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Florida West Coast

Planning a trip to FL for about a week in mid-April. Wed like to stay on/near a nice beach, and short drive to restaurants and shops. We will probably fly in and out of TPA, but would like to visit several areas between Tampa and Sarasota, and possibly as far as Naples. Is the water ok in that area?
Would it make more sense to stay a few days in 2-3 places, or stay at one place and make day trips?
We hope to relax at the beach, but also like exploring local attractions, etc. Were in our early 60s and fairly active.
CindyA is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2019, 10:08 AM
  #2
 
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If you want to go all the way to Naples I would recommend splitting it up into two stays. One in the Tampa area and one in the Naples area.
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Jan 9th, 2019, 03:34 PM
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I think gmoney, has it right. Naples is great, but a three and a half to four hour drive from Tampa. Start in Tampa or end in Tampa (or Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, or Treasure Island) for either the first day or two or the last day or two. Naples will be a little warmer than anywhere north of there, and certainly more "upscale" if that means anything to you.
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Jan 9th, 2019, 07:48 PM
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I agree with the general advice to consider both areas. By mid-April, the weather differential, which can be important in January/February, should be a non-issue. You might consider Marco Island as a beach destination other than Naples. Having said that, I would pay attention to red tide warnings. Although a naturally occurring phenomenon, it has had increasing longevity along the west coast in the last year, and a return has already been noticed in the Sarasota area. Last year, it stuck around the entire west coast for periods much longer than ever. Besides fish kill, it can cause breathing difficulties, especially for those with chronic respiratory issues. Not pleasant in any case. Worth monitoring.
whitehall is online now  
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Jan 9th, 2019, 11:05 PM
  #5
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Thank you everyone! I think we will stay in 2 places...somewhere south first, and then near Tampa.
Whats the best way to check on red tide? Is it worse the father south you go?
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Jan 10th, 2019, 05:15 AM
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You can check red tide status here: https://myfwc.com/research/red-tide/statewide/
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Jan 10th, 2019, 05:22 AM
  #7
 
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Some monitoring has been suspended as part of the government shutdown. Google red tide southwest Florida on a regular basis. Local newspapers and TV stations follow it. I haven't used it, but I saw that someone created an app you might check out: https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/l...track-red-tide

Last summer and early fall, it impacted the entire region Tampa Bay to Naples. It started in the south and moved north, but wind currents and other things can affect its location. Some tourism officials last year recommended that tourists go to the east coast, but check with hotels for cancellation policies.
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Jan 10th, 2019, 08:59 AM
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Look at flying into RSW (Fort Myers) and out of Tampa and see if you can get a rental car with no drop fee.
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Jan 10th, 2019, 12:09 PM
  #9
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Thank you for the links. Yikes...its already in Sarasota county! I was hoping that April would be early enough to avoid any problems, but maybe not.
May have to rethink this trip. 🙁
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