Florida's Gulf Coast for 6 weeks

Old Feb 1st, 2018, 10:39 AM
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Florida's Gulf Coast for 6 weeks

Hi, my husband and I (both 70) are planning six weeks somewhere on Florida's Gulf Coast beginning February, 2019. The "somewhere" is what I need advice on please. We'd like to be fairly sure of warm weather so are looking at Sarasota and areas south (but not the Keys). We'd love to be within a short drive to beaches and don't need tons of amenities... restaurants and some shopping will do. We really just need to get out of Dodge for a few weeks starting next winter. I know lots about Orlando where we've been many times but very little about the cities/areas on the Gulf. My only consideration is that, as retirees, we need to keep cost down (we'll be looking at condos to rent) and also be near a good sized hospital. I'd love any suggestions please!

Thank you!
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Old Feb 1st, 2018, 12:19 PM
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How about Naples? (2 hospitals) You can zip across to the east coast quickly on the Turnpike.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 01:01 AM
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Actually, Tomfuller means I-75, not the Turnpike. Have you considered Sanibel and Captiva? Very quiet and you'd probably want to drive over to the mainland for any shopping. Whatever you do and wherever you decide to go, make reservations months in advance.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 10:11 AM
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Thank you both for replying so quickly! We will be driving to the east coast to visit friends and it would be nice to be so close to 1-75. We also want to see the Everglades and possibly a side trip to Key West. I'll research Sanibel and Captiva and Naples. Also will check out those hospitals - my husband had a mild stroke in last August and will bring us peace of mind to be near a hospital that has a good neuro unit if heaven forbid, it was needed. Decades ago, my parents started retirement in Bonita Springs for the first two years and loved it but I didn't visit them and know nothing about it. We'll research condo prices in the different areas too, settle on whichever place and get a deposit down soon.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 12:35 PM
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Naples is very nice. I just got back from spending a few weeks there.
Sanibel is pretty and quieter. Haven't been to Marco Island, but have friends that bought there. It is close to Naples area.
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 07:04 AM
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I hadn’t thought about Marco Island... a former co-worker bought a time share there & loved it. I’ll check out hospitals in that area first before anything else. Thanks!
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Old Feb 9th, 2018, 12:15 PM
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We spent 3 weeks in Venice last month and it's a lovely area. We preferred it to Sarasota which seems to be experiencing a lot of growth with lots of construction and traffic. Venice is much more quaint and less expensive. Downtown Venice has a variety of very good restaurants and there's tons of restaurants in the surrounding area. We rented a house in South Venice and were within 10-15 minutes of several beaches, lots of grocery stores, shopping, etc. There's also a lovely walkway along the intra-coastal shared by walkers and cyclists and completely safe. http://www.traillink.com/trail/venetian-waterway-park/

While in Venice, we spent a day driving down to the Everglades. It was a 2-hour drive to Everglade City. We did the 10,000 island boat tour which was awesome. The dolphins love to ride in the quake of the boat and we had several pods of dolphins right behind our boat.

Wherever you decide, enjoy your trip. We were so happy to get away from the cold weather!
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