Looking for quiet beach vacation in Florida

Old Nov 5th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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Looking for quiet beach vacation in Florida

...we LOVE Sanibel Island (quiet and peaceful). What other Florida beaches are comparable to Sanibel? I have looked at other properties, like Marco island and I don't want to stay where the beach is lined with hotels/condos. Would prefer the Gulf Side as the water is just gorgeous. I'm open for suggestions ! (traveling with hubby and 3 grade school aged kids...)
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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When?
 
Old Nov 5th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Sorry..not until next June.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 04:08 PM
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Between Clearwater and St. Pete Beach are sleepy little areas like Indian Rocks and Indian Shores. Small Mom and Pop hotels and low level condos interspersed (is that a word?) with homes. Nice long beach for walking.

Anna Maria Island, near Tampa and Sarasota, would probably fit the bill as well. Limitations on high rise condos and few hotels. Many beach houses for rent there. Again, a long beach with great sand for hours of walking.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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A great place in the panhandle of Florida is around Seaside and Grayton Beach. Grayton especially is very undeveloped but there's plenty to do close by. If you think the beaches of Sanibel are nice, wait until you see the beaches of the Emerald Coast! The area is just east of Destin. June is a great time too cause it's not too terribly hot yet.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Check out www.vrbo.com for home rentals at both locations.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 07:14 PM
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we love the emerald coast as a previous poster mentioned. in my opinion, there are really some of the best beaches in florida.

although i really like destin, it has gotten super crowded. if you're looking for a lot of quiet, think about perdido key or navarre. also nice is seagrove, seaside, rosemary beach, grayton beach. look on vrbo.com for a plethora of options.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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Hi- We have vistited Sanibel and would highly recommend Sanibel Moorings. They are apartment type rentals with kitchens. If you are interested in more of a resort atmosphere I would suggest Casa Ybel. It is just beautiful. The Sundial resort beach is super crowded, I wouldn't recommend this resort. Hope this helps.
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Old Nov 6th, 2005, 05:13 AM
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If you love Sanibel then you'd be happy at Siesta Key, Lido Key, Long Boat Key, Anna Maria Island, parts of Indian Rocks, Treasure Island's Sunset Beach, and Passe-a-grille beach at the southern end of St. pete Beach. Another spot to check out is Dunedin with its cute downtown that is not on the beaches but has a ferry that goes to all-natural Caladesi Island. And in the panhandle, Seaside has a small town atmosphere with car-banished streets that give way to bike-riding.

But actually I recommend instead that you head to the east coast to Melbourne where it's the height of nesting season (June, July, August) and your school aged kids can enjoy the awesome experience of watching thousand pound sea turtles lumber out of the sea to nest. This occurs all over Florida but not in the high numbers (think thousands) as the Melbourne area. The east coast is also great for body surfing.
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Old Nov 6th, 2005, 04:45 PM
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We rent a two bedroom two bath house on the Gulf in Longboat Key for one week each November. Found it on vrbo.com and it's just wonderful. You might want to do some research on thr website - I've never had a bad experience with one of those rentals!
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 06:15 PM
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A friend recommended Anna Maria Island (barrier island to Sarasota) in 1991 when my husband and I desperately needed a relaxed vacation, but had a one-year old. We were referred to The Nautilus condos on Holmes Beach and loved it so much we went back 7 straight years. Since at one point we had 3 kids under 5, it was the perfect spot. The Nautilus is set up with 3 buildings in a U shape with the pool in the middle. The middle building is beachfront. You have a walk-out patio with cooker in this building, a very short grass area and then the beach. So you can grill on the patio while the kids play in the sand and eat on the patio to a beautiful sunset. We went every year in May and the temperatures in the low 80's with a blue sky daily - perfect for young children. There are some small shells, but the sand is great. The pool is right out the front door so we could let a child nap and either sit by the pool with a monitor in the open front window, or sit on the beach out the back with the monitor in the window beachside. There is a business down the street which will deliver to the condo anything one needs for small children - crib, highchair, swing, etc. It is there in the condo upon your arrival. The condos are 2 bedroom/2 bath, adequate size, not huge, and vary with remodeling. It's not plush, but pleasant.

There are also numerous beachfront homes you can rent and different condo places.

The island itself is quaint, not ritsy, with no noise, big crowds or high rises/resorts. It's a gem. There are 4 different parks on public beaches on Anna Maria with swing sets and play scapes. The peers on the northside are fun to eat a casual meal at with small kids and to watch local fisherman. The Sandbar restaurant offers a great meal to live music, watching the sunset and the kids can play on the beach while you wait for your table. We also took the kids up to Busch Gardens each year - the zoo/amusement park. Only about a 45 minute drive north to Tampa and well worth it for young kids! A day trip south on Gulf Drive through Long Boat Key 30 minutes to St. Armands circle where they are nice restaurants and shops was also a treat. Siesta Key beach is right there and beautiful, and very international. There is a local wildlife rescue place, Mote Marine, near there which has a stingray pool, etc., was great for small kids.

When our oldest hit middle school we decided to try something new. We tried a LongBoat Key condo once and once was enough. Resorty, rule oriented and anti-kids - it certainly wasn't Anna Maria. Since then we branched on to the Carribean and Mexico since our kids are able to do more all-day activities. But we will always love our great family time on Anna Maria with young children. We are trying Sanibel this spring break.
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Old Dec 8th, 2005, 06:21 PM
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When I saw your title, I thought "Sanibel!" Then of course you said you love Sanibel. My gut reaction was, Anna Maria Island. The beaches are beautiful, it's quiet and peaceful, family oriented. You won't have Ding Darling, but you do have St. Armands Circle just south of you for wonderful shopping and eating.

Of course, the other option is North Captiva ... now that's quiet! No cars, just golf carts, the beach, and pools....
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