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-   -   Need Florida Suggestions - 1st Time Visitors! (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/need-florida-suggestions-1st-time-visitors-582781/)

monalua Jan 18th, 2006 07:42 AM

Need Florida Suggestions - 1st Time Visitors!
 
Hello there,

My husband and I are considering a four- night trip to Florida this summer to celebrate our anniversary. We've never been before and don't know much - we're looking for specific suggestions! We would like to go somewhere with a beautiful beach - soft white sand, and nice water for swimming etc. We also love snorkeling. We're looking for something relaxed and low-key. So far we're considering the Keys, Destin, Sanibel, Captiva, etc. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Judyrem Jan 18th, 2006 07:48 AM

For the summer, I would stick to the panhandle esp Destin or Sandestin....you could snorkel near Panama city beach. Not great snorkeling on the Gulf side IMO ...you could do Key Largo which has Fab snorkeling.

AustinTraveler Jan 18th, 2006 08:46 AM

Check out the beaches east of Destin like Grayton Beach, Seaside, etc. If you want really low-key you may even go further east toward Appalachicola. Destin is definitely not laid back as there is always a ton of traffic. Snorkeling isn't really good in Florida except the Keys. But, the prettiest beaches are definitely in the Panhandle (IMO).

dsquared Jan 18th, 2006 08:51 AM

Gulf coast beaches are the white sand beaches you're talking about. For quiet, relaxing, and low-key, Sanibel/Captiva, Longboat Key, or Anna Maria Island would be good. All are on Florida's west coast.

Sunshinesue Jan 18th, 2006 11:35 AM

The Beaches of South Walton (the same beaches AustinTraveler referred to) would fill the bill except for snorkeling. People snorkel but there isn't much to look at. The beaches of South Walton are located just east of Destin-between Destin and Panama City.

http://www.beachesofsouthwalton.com/

For a fabulous and unique hotel check out the Watercolor Inn. I have stayed there a couple of times and love it. It would be perfect for an anniversary trip.

http://watercolorinn.com/

mosey10 Jan 19th, 2006 12:52 PM

Like the other posts said. For snorking you really need to go to the reefs in the Keys. Lots of beautiful wildlife there. But, the problem is there are basically no beaches in the Keys. I would decide which is most important to you. Either good diving/snorkling or the beach.

beachhunter Jan 19th, 2006 01:27 PM

We are a group of 4 families looking for a spring break location the last week of March. Husbands will golf and wives will lounge and shop. Will our teenagers/college students have a good time on the beach or will the last week in March be too cold?

beachhunter Jan 19th, 2006 01:28 PM

I forgot to post that we are looking at spring break in Destin. Will the water there be too cold for our college students to enjoy their spring break the last week of March.

AustinTraveler Jan 19th, 2006 01:36 PM

beachhunter, the water will probably still be pretty cold at the end of March, but it depends on where you're coming from.

Sunshinesue Jan 19th, 2006 02:50 PM

The water will be cold. I never get in it in March. However, lots of people do. Usually the air temperature is nice for sitting or walking on the beach. But as far as golf and shopping are concerned, Destin is great. Huge outlet mall-lots of designer stores. And golf is great in Destin. Are you planning to stay in Sandestin? If so you are only minutes from the outlet mall.

luvtravl Jan 20th, 2006 08:25 PM

We've been visiting Sanibel for many years and LOVE it. If you like beautiful quiet beaches, wildlife (Ding Darling Refuge), shelling & biking it's great. It's not, however, a very good place for snorkeling.


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