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Old-fashioned Family Beach

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Jul 28th, 2013, 12:53 AM
  #1
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Old-fashioned Family Beach

I have rather an odd question.

We love the Outer Banks of North Carolina -- lots of nature, laid-back atmosphere, no high-rises, lots of old-fashioned family hotels.

Are there other beaches in the southeast like that? Especially in Florida, where it is a bit warmer in the winter?

We are trying out a place in Cocoa Beach this January, but I know it probably be particularly warm.

The atmosphere is the most important aspect. It doesn't have to be swimming temperature. We aren't the "laying on the beach" type anyway.

This spring we visited Jekyll Island, Ga., and Amelia Island, Fla. They were both far too much "resort" atmosphere for our taste.

The Florida Panhandles used to be like what I am looking for -- back in the late 1960s. (Yes, I am dating myself!) But it looks to be totally high-rise these days.

I would be really interested in any beach, town or hotel recommendations. Thanks!
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Jul 28th, 2013, 06:15 AM
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The Banks can ge COLD in winter!

Not warm enough to swim in winter, but you might want to look at Edisto Island, SC, south of Charleson. It's remote, no high rises, very quiet. And people are trying to keep it that way.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 06:18 AM
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Yes, I know what the Bank are like in winter -- that#s why I'm looking for something a bit warmer!

Doesn't have to be beach weather -- just something more comfortable than the German winter....
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Jul 28th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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Oh it's WAY more comfortable than the German winter, I can tell you that with certainty. The sun is strong even during winter months. Google it and see what you think.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 07:38 AM
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Check out Hollywood Beach, Florida. Very retro.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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Cocoa Beach is not resorty IMO. What I do like about it is that it is laid back and not overly commercialized. Hollywood Beach is a fun family kind of place and the atmosphere quite retro and very different than Cocoa Beach.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 08:57 AM
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There might be some on the west coast of Florida, away from the "strips". Maybe the Keys.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Check out Siesta Key on Florida's west coast.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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Gee, I thought Amelia Island fit that bill. If you spent all your time over by the Ritz Carlton compound, I can see why you'd call it resort-y, but the island is long, and hasn't a single high rise on the beach... Most of the west coast from the center on down is much more built-up.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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I think many places have older sections away from the "strips". We stayed at a kind of cool place in Marco Island far away from the resort hotels.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 11:47 PM
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What we missed in Amelia Island was the infrastructure -- grocery stores, resturants, etc.

Gretchen, yes, I would like some recommendations on the west coast of Florida, or panhandle.

I don't want "family" in teh sense of lots of activities for the kids, more of a laid-back small town, unbuilt-up feeling -- well, like the Outer Banks.....

But I am beginning to think they are unique!
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Jul 29th, 2013, 06:26 AM
  #12
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Check out Cape San Blas, Florida It is a peninsula with no high rises, beautiful beach. Port St Joe is 15 miles away and where you would go for grocery shopping. Appalachicola is 30 miles away and a quaint old fashioned town. St George island is nearby. This whole area is old time Florida, laid back and lovely.
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Jul 29th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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For the record--and I'm not arguing with you, just making sure future visitors know this--Amelia Island has at least one large grocery stores, and a charming small downtown area with good restaurants, ice cream shops, a coffee shop, etc.

I have no clue where you stayed on the island that you didn't see any of that!
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Aug 1st, 2013, 07:50 AM
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For the record: we found one grocery store. Yes, there were lots of little shops but really barely any restaurants at all. We were very very surprised by that.
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Aug 1st, 2013, 08:08 AM
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NewbE - I am w/you - Greenway, are you sure you even went to Amelia Island ? For the size of the place itself, it has a virtual plethora of good restaurants. There is a Harris Teeter out towards the resorts as well as a Publix on the main drag as you enter the island & approach the Old Town. Here is a helpful link - http://www.ameliaisland.com/area-services/dining/ True there isn't much of anything on the 'Resort end', which I tend to avoid - but there is plenty to do in the Old Town, Ft. Clinch, the beach near the Ft. etc. To answer the question, if you want to be sure of warm weather in Jan. you need to go to Miami or the Keys. Very little in the way of beaches in the Keys though. That being said, I have been in the ocean in January @ Amelia Island as well, maybe twice...but you have to be lucky & warm-blooded. I might also consider St. Pete...
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Aug 1st, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Would you be interested in Sanibel or Captiva, on the West Coast of Florida?
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Aug 1st, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Flagler Beach

Google the Topaz Motel and then zoom in to see what the beach area looks like
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Aug 1st, 2013, 02:58 PM
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Pass-a-Grille is very laid back. VERY family-ish. It's on the west coast, just south of Saint Pete Beach. Lots of family owned "houses" that rent out rooms, etc. When you are ready to shop and explore and see more activity, Saint Pete Beach is just a couple miles "up" the road!

I always stay on St Pete Beach, but I drive to Pass-a-Grille, just because I love the laid back atmosphere, and it's fun to watch the fishermen reel 'em in, on the "bay" side of this particular peninsula.

I always consider the Gulf water to be warmer than the Atlantic water in the wintertime.
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Aug 1st, 2013, 04:03 PM
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Bookmarking.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 01:14 AM
  #20
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Thanks for the tips. Will check them out.

Again, yes, we really were at Amelia Island. But obviously it was just the wrong match for us.
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