Ft Myers Beach Condo or Naples Home

May 17th, 2015, 09:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 174
Ft Myers Beach Condo or Naples Home

Looking for travel advice. My 30 yo husband and I are looking to get away from Ohio this coming week for 5 days. My husband's sister and mom are coming with us. No kids. We are frequent travelers but usually internationally,Not very familiar with southwest Florida. When we stay on the beach, would like to go for walks the beach in the am and evening and for this trip would like to find a fishing opportunity, a yoga class and get a massage. Ideally would want a place on the right on beach in naples(resorts to pricy for his family) but since that isn't an affordable option, what do you suggest as the better of these two options? For reference we have been to these beaches to Cali,Thailand, Hawaii, Miami, Caribbean-several (Aruba, DR, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Croix, St John, Barbados), & multiple in Mexico Rivera incl Secrets Maroma &Grande

So, we have two options and need advice on what to choose. PLEASE HELP me pick the best option.
1) Ft Myers Condo, paying $150/nt per condo, short walk to beach, beach views. Worried about "area" as many we have talked to compare it to "spring break" or "atlantic city Tshirt shop area" We do like the proximity to beach, we love the beach and think walking back home for snacks or bathroom is nice. Can we leave things on the beach without worry??? Heard it was unsafe? No idea what evening life is like?
2) Naples-have a friend's home to use in Bonita springs,, its free. Its 2 miles from beach. Much farther from beach, but large home with pool. We eould have to drive and be gone for the day I'd imagine? Any bathrooms or local places to eat right off the beach for lunch or do we bring everything with us? Do any of the resorts lIke Ritz or LaPlaya offer day passes? I hear the beach is nicer (Clearer, better sand)? Is the nicer dinning options and areas to walk at night outweigh the proximity to beach as in Ft Myers?

Sweetness is offline  
May 17th, 2015, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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If you park near Docs on the Beach in Bonita you can buy food and drink there. However, beach parking should not be a problem in May, so you could pop home if you wished. There are public bathrooms near Docs and at Barefoot Beach Preserve and Lovers Key Park. Bonita is a 20 minute drive from Naples, but has lots of good restaurants and shopping itself. Downtown Naples in the evening is great.

Fort Myers Beach is also good with several eating options around Times Square, so if that's where the condo is it would be convenient for a short holiday as you could walk to everything. I would not have any concerns about safety at FMB. It is very much a family centred vacation place and I was there at spring break a couple of years ago and it was fine.

My own preference would be for Bonita, as I think you would have more options, but I have a place there, so I'm a bit biased.
SusanMargaret is offline  
May 17th, 2015, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Your decision should be based solely on how much time you want to drive... Bonita is a better location if you want to sample several beaches, restaurants,and attractions and don't mind climbing in the car a lot...it's between Naples and Ft Myers

Ft Myers is better if you just want to walk the beach, people watch and get a little alone beach time and only use the car for touring ... it is closer to Sanibel/Captiva which is well worth exploring...

Personnally, I prefer daily quick access to the beach with day trips to Wiggins Pass in Naples and Sanibel and Captiva...
garyt22 is offline  
May 17th, 2015, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I can't help you with where to stay but would like to address one of your concerns, namely: Can we leave things on the beach without worry???

I'm surprised that you ask this question since you describe yourselves as "seasoned travelers" but since you did I'll give you some advice: No matter where you stay or where you go a prudent traveler NEVER, repeat, NEVER leaves valuables unattended on a beach or anywhere else for that matter.
RoamsAround is offline  
May 17th, 2015, 04:57 PM
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Have you looked at Sanibel amd C,aptiva Islands, same airport as the other places. Beautiful beaches.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 17th, 2015, 06:47 PM
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Agreeing w/ HappyT. You might want to check out Casa Ybel (Sanibel) or South Seas Resort (Captiva). Maybe Pelican Bay in Naples?
330east is offline  
May 18th, 2015, 06:57 AM
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I'm having trouble figuring out what "kind" or "level" of vacation you want. Ft. Myers Beach is really casual, more "blue collar" and family oriented. Great if you want to go to relatively inexpensive burger joints, etc., and yes, your best shopping experience there will be deciding who has the best Tshirt deals. Naples is way more upscale, and that "free" lodging offers a lot of extra money if you enjoy upscale dining, a spa day, and yoga classes. How much time do you go to the beach -- especially this time of year with 90 degree temps, very high humidity, and the beginning of the almost daily thunderstorms? Relaxing around a private pool, steps from the airconditioning and refrigerator, sounds kind of tempting to me. I guess it just depends on what you want.
NeoPatrick is offline  
May 18th, 2015, 07:33 AM
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I agree with Patrick. This time of year you will not be staying at the beach all day. The house in Bonita sounds more attractive to me. You could easily explore the different north Naples area beaches from Bonita if you want to mix it up day to day. Vanderbilt, Clam Pass, Wiggins Pass, Barefoot.

This time of year I'd think getting to the beach by 9 or 10, and staying until 1 or so would be more sun and heat than most should get, and afternoons by the pool in more shade if you still want to be outside.

It really is no issue driving from Bonita to the different Naples area beaches. All of those beaches I listed above have bathroom facilities.
J62 is offline  
May 18th, 2015, 07:37 AM
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"This time of year I'd think getting to the beach by 9 or 10, and staying until 1 or so would be more sun and heat than most should get"

Funny you mention that, J62. We'll be heading to my place in Naples this Thursday for 10 days. This time of year, our plan is to get to the beach by about 7 AM at the latest for maybe two hours -- three at a stretch. Even that's more sun (and heat and humidity) than we need. A stroll to and on the pier around sunset is a nice completion to the day (particularly if after a thunderstorm) before a nice Naples dinner.
NeoPatrick is offline  
May 18th, 2015, 07:51 AM
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Naples, because I agree with NeoPatrick about the weather and his comparison of the two communities is spot on.
NewbE is offline  
May 18th, 2015, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Rule of thumb about getting to the beach

- one early bird, can plan on 7am. Best time of day. Quiet & cool.
- two early birds, 7 becomes 8.
- 4 adults, lucky to get out of the house by 9
- if any are later risers or linger over coffee types, out the door no earlier than 10:30
-add in kids. Half the group will be ready & in the car waiting at 8, but nobody took care of lunch, kids toys, or the one straggler. Plan on 11am departure.
J62 is offline  
May 18th, 2015, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I am going to agree with the others on Bonita Springs. It has been about 10 years but I used to go to Fort Meyers Beach during this time period. I cannot remember if it was Memorial weekend or the weekend before that they had a boat race that lasted the whole weekend and was pretty loud.

During the week the beach was quite but on the weekends it was crawling with families.
gardendiva is offline  
May 18th, 2015, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 303
Naples over Ft Myers. Lived in Naples for 5 years, can't beat the beaches.
Bonita is nice as well, Little Hickory Island has nice beaches.

I'd say stay in Bonita, and use the save $150/night to drive down to Naples for dinner every night (about 30 minutes, depending on location in Bonita).

Also, be on the lookout- most people have gone home by now, so many of the restaurants on 5th Ave/ 3rd Street will have a 2-for-1 dinner special if you eat before 6pm or something.

And, it will rain (almost) every day. And it's already SUPER hot and humid.
I would plan on being at the beach by 7-8am, leaving by 11am.
needmorevacation is offline  
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