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Need to decide quick: Clearwater beach, Indian Rocks, Madeira, Treasure Island or St. Pete for mid-March

Need to decide quick: Clearwater beach, Indian Rocks, Madeira, Treasure Island or St. Pete for mid-March

Feb 23rd, 2006, 07:41 AM
  #1  
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Need to decide quick: Clearwater beach, Indian Rocks, Madeira, Treasure Island or St. Pete for mid-March

I always plan my trips way ahead, but we have decided to go somewhere mid-March and I am running out of time. I'm considering one of these beaches, but I have no idea which one to choose. I've been trying to research the differences but there is just so much to read, and I'm afraid if I don't book soon there won't be any rooms left.

We are early 30's and are looking to spend around $150 a night, would like beachfront, although I realize in this price range it may be impossible. We stayed at the Outrigger Waikiki on the beach and loved their restaurant Duke's there. Is there anywhere that has a restaurant/bar near the beach like that in the Clearwater area (ok, I realize its Florida not Hawaii, hehe)

Thanks for any advice. I'm trying to decide in a hurry.
pianogirl is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 07:43 AM
  #2  
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Oh, one more thing, is it even going to be warm enough to get in the water?
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Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:59 AM
  #3  
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anyone?
pianogirl is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 10:46 AM
  #4  
cd
 
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I've recommended this before, we liked Island Inn in Treasure Island and I think it would be in your price range. Ask for a ocean front room. The beach is really nice and we enjoyed walking it. We had a studio with complete kitchen. Check it out at www.islandinnresort.com 1-800-241-9980
cd is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 10:53 AM
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Hi Piano Girl, I live on Treasure Island and no way are we even remotely as cushy as Waikiki. St. Pete Beach has the Tradewinds Resort, a Gulffront collection of hotels, with lots of activities, busy busy. The Don Cesar Resort, a grand old lady beautifully preserved, sits alone on the beach about a mile south of the Tradewinds (not part of the 'strip'). If you want to bust your budget with class and pampering, go with the Don. If you want fun, with lots of activities and beach bars nearby, go with the Tradewinds (or another strip motel, but T is the nicest).

Treasure Island (indeed the whole Pinellas coast) has lots of construction going on, with condo hotels being built. The Bilmar is the nicest hotel on TI, but I'd still only give it 3 stars.

Others here can tell you about CWBeach, I don't fight the traffic to get there too often. Madeira is almost completely condo's on its gulffront. There is also Indian Shores and Indian Rocks Beach, both have cute mom-and-pop type places similar to Treasure Island. TI is also the only town where drinking on the beach is legal (hey that's why I live here - so packing a cooler and hanging out is the order of the day.
Do you think you'd like that? Because there are lots within your budget (although mid-March is extremely high season and it may be hard to get a res).

I think you have about a 60% chance of swimming. The gulf temp today is 65 degrees, so with a nice warm sun that would be quite tolerable. I'm spoiled, and although I sat on the beach last weekend, I did not swim. But if I lived up north, and I saw that dolphin so close (maybe 60 feet offshore), I'd be jumpin' in!

Hope this helps!
joan is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:45 PM
  #6  
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Thanks cd and Joan.

Can anyone else comment on clearwater specifically?
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Feb 23rd, 2006, 06:44 PM
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I love the north side of Clearwater (north of where Hwy. 60 hits the beach) -- the sand is beautiful, the beach is beautiful, there are some interesting restaurants, there is Pier 60. But everything south of there is garbage. There is no beach and the drunken spring-breakers have destroyed the place.

Unfortunately, the hotels north of Hwy. 60 leave a lot to be desired now that the clearwater beach hotel is gone (turning into a very nice spot) -- it wasn't the swankest place but it was cool, IMO.

If you want to be near Clearwater, just across the bridge, go to Sand Key. The Sheraton is very nice. I agree with Joan that the Don is a good spot but I don't think for $150 you can get a place there.
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