Gulf Coast Beaches

Aug 8th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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Gulf Coast Beaches

Flying into Tampa for April school vacation and looking for an ocean front beach house to rent. Would like to have things nearby to see and do.

Have spent a week in Holmes Beach before and would like a beach area that is similiar. Have to be within 30 minutes of Bradenton where family lives for easy vists.
We are not interested in Anna Maria to stay for the week but will eat and shop there.
sherryb is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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sherryb is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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You could get on and click on that area and see what's near by. I do that a lot. Just curious why, not Anna Maria? Good luck. I love that area.
luvs2pack is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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I've been to Anna Maria, Longboat Key and Holmes Beach already. I fell in love with Destin and would go back in a heart beat but we are flying in to Tampa and can't change.

I would just like to try a new west coast/gulf coast beach area within a reasonable driving distance from Tampa and Bradenton. I am thinking more south but not sure which beach areas are worth it. I don't want a lot of commercial stuff around.
sherryb is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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How about Captiva Island? North Captiva Island is void of any cars, but has a convenient ferry to shuttle you back and forth to Captiva. Boca Grande is another great town/location and is very close to Bradenton. Other options would be Gasparilla Island, Palm Island, Siesta Key (close to Longboat).
jonalex is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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I've often thought of going to Destin. What did you love about it? (Besides the white sand and blue water)I was always afraid it would be over run and full of college kids. ( not that I don't love kids) Thanks
luvs2pack is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Boca Grande (Gasparilla Island) is wonderful, non commercial, but it's not within Sherryb's "30 minutes from Bradenton" qualifier. It's more like an hour and 30 minutes. Otherwise it'd be great--cute town, great beach houses.

What about Siesta Key. Other than that I'm at a loss for areas close enough to Bradenton to suit your needs. Unfortunately when you ask for a non-commercial area, you also end up with fewer things to do, fewer choices of restaurants etc. I'm curious, is Anna Maria too quiet for you, is that why you didn't care for it? If so, you might find the same to be true with Boca Grande, should you decide you could do the 1 1/2 hr drive. There really isn't a whole lot within a half hour of Bradenton that you haven't already done, unless perhaps you went a bit north to the Pass-a-Grille section of St Pete Beach.
Malesherbes is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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IS Gasparilla Island further south? I am not familiar with this area, sounds interesting
plmrod is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 03:18 PM
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Gasparilla and Boca Grande are one in the same, really. Gasparilla is the island, Boca Grande a town on the island.

It's north of Ft Myers, Captiva/Sanibel by a short distance as the crow flies, much further by road as you have to get around bays and over bridges. It's a bit over 100 miles south of Tampa--about a 2 hour drive from there.
Malesherbes is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Flying in on a Friday night, staying with family in Bradenton and hanging out with them for the weekend. I am looking for stuff to do with a 15 & 12 year old.

They are fair skinned and can't hang on the beach all day so I need activities for Monday and Tuesday afternoons. We will leave for the Hard Rock in Orlando Wednesday morning and do a whirlwind tour of Bush Gardens Saturday, before we fly home Sunday. Any help is much appreciated.

About Anna Maria......I've just been there, done that and can't think of anything there that my kids would enjoy. I am open to suggestions though if things have changed for kids in the past 8 years.
sherryb is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Holmes Beach and Bradenton are so close to each other, I'm not sure you are going to come up with anything new and different in that vicinity. I'm sure you've already done Mote Marine (the little aquarium north of Longboat), and Ca d'Zaan and Ringling? Not sure the children would enjoy Selby gardens, but you would...the orchids are unreal. Kayaking on the Myakka River would get you out in the sun again...
OO is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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They are bored with zoos at this age and would prefer to skip any Museum. They've had their share of that already living outside of Boston.

I am thinking parasailing, go-carts, etc. Is there one place better than another for those activities? That's all I can think of!
sherryb is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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I was going to suggest staying at or near the Tradewinds Resort in St. Pete Beach - they have parasailing, jetskis, shopping etc, all within walking distance. My kids are in their 20's now, but still enjoy hanging out there with their friends when they're in town. Yet it is still family oriented.

But I am confused, because first you say you want the beach house, but then you say they are fairskinned, and you don't want commercialism or hanging on the beach. You can't have parasailing without that "beach scene"!
joan is offline  
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