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Recommendations for Florida Gulf Coast Getaway

Recommendations for Florida Gulf Coast Getaway

Old Dec 13th, 2003, 09:58 PM
  #1  
tpl
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 301
Recommendations for Florida Gulf Coast Getaway

Thinking of extending a winter business trip to Miami with a few days on the Gulf Coast. We are an active, mid-thirties couple who enjoy swimming, kayaking, walking and hiking. We don't play golf or tennis, and actually prefer a property without these amenities. We also aren't interested in nightlife on this trip. We'd prefer not to drive more than 4 hours one-way from Miami.

We've stayed in Naples in the past (Ritz and Edgewater -- both nice), but were wondering if there were something a little more low-key (less resort-like, more small boutique hotel), preferably on or near a beach. Up to $300/night OK, will consider more for something special.

Thanks for your suggestions.

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Old Dec 14th, 2003, 03:49 AM
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There are several favorites in the Naples area that are mentioned here frequently. I can recommend LaPlaya, a small resort just north of the Ritz. It is intimate feeling, has a restaurant with a fabulous view, stunning pool and spa. Patrick likes the Escalante, which is a boutique hotel in the heart of the shopping/restaurant area of Naples.

Definitely not a boutique hotel, but one that might offer more access to outdoor activities would be the Hyatt Regency at Coconut Pointe. They have a golf course but it is right on the bay and has lots of wildlife. Not the landlocked type like the Ritz course. You take a launch to a private key for beach time. Kayaking is popular on the Estero Bay, which this resort fronts. They have a great spa, the best I've found in SW Florida and I'm a spahound. There are several very good restaurants a short distance from the hotel but it is a little remote from Naples itself, especially in season.

Do a search here by typing in each of these resort names and you will find much discussion.

Also: http: www.laplayaresort.com,

http://coconutpoint.hyatt.com/proper...ut/index.jhtml

LMF
LilMsFoodie is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2003, 10:32 AM
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If you like kayaking, I imagine that you'd enjoy staying at the Turtle Beach resort in Siesta Key. It has free kayaks, and is on the bay side so you kayak in the mangroves. I think this is preferable to sea kayaking because there's so much more to see. www.turtlebeachresort.com.

Also, a great kayaking trip is through a mangrove island off Captiva. The island is traversed by a misquito ditch -- a ditch run down the middle of the swampy area to drain some of the water making it harder for misquitos to breed. This time of year, when there are few misquitoes, these places are wonderful for kayaking. The one off Captiva is loaded with wildlife. You could stay at the wonderful Tween Waters Inn (www.tweenwaters.com).

Unfortunately, I know very little about Naples -- or so I've been told.
Tandoori_Girl is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2003, 12:33 PM
  #4  
tpl
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for the responses. I have read many of the past Naples posts, and don't think we'll be going back on this trip, as there don't seem to be any hotels that meet our criteria -- intimate and on the beach. La Playa is a possibility, but we'd rather stay away from a resort. We really just want to swim and relax; preferably in the ocean, not a swimming pool. Believe me, the water will seem warm to us, as we are from the SF Bay Area. Proximity to fine dining and shopping are not really of interest for this part of the trip.

Siesta Key and Captiva look interesting -- I'll check them out. Thanks again.
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Old Dec 14th, 2003, 07:17 PM
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tpl,
You might want to consider Manasota Key in south Sarasota County. The Manasota Beach Club offers a low key on the beach accomodation. One of the owners is very involved with the Audobon Society and local Nature Conservancy organization. It feels so old FL. There are opportunities for kayaking and some great outer islands for day trips, hikes, etc. Cabbage Key and others.

Have fun.
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Old Dec 15th, 2003, 02:51 AM
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You might like Siesta Key, it has no resorts per se, has perfect beaches, some nice restaurants, nature opportunities. It is quite a drive this time of year from Miami. I would say 4 to 5 hours depending on traffic on Alligator Alley. The good thing is you can just stay on I-75 the whole way to the Sarasota area and then it is only 12 miles or so to Siesta Key. LMF
LilMsFoodie is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2003, 05:23 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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I'd say it's five hours from Miami to Tampa, less for points in between. I probably drive faster than MsFoodie. The traffic can be horrendous during the winter season.
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