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Seeking beach area on GULF that caters to kids & adults

Seeking beach area on GULF that caters to kids & adults

Aug 9th, 2001, 08:00 PM
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Seeking beach area on GULF that caters to kids & adults

We are traveling with 2 children (3 yr old & 5 month old) to Florida in October. Want to hit Orlando for a few days (Disney & such) and also want to stay at a beautiful beach with fun things to do for 3-4 days. In past, have always stayed on Atlantic side but this trip we would LOVE to try the GULF side. Any recommendations? Have heard Sanibel/Captiva are beautiful, but not much to do. Any other recommendations for family fun on the beach? Looking for nice but not too expensive place to stay, as well.
Aug 20th, 2001, 09:52 AM
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After Disney, the quiet of Sanibel might be just the thing for you. It is absolutely beautiful and relatively unspoiled. I have been 3 times and am planning to go next spring with my 3 year old. some resorts have kids programs & he will be old enough to participate in them this time. Kids love just wandering the beach, looking for shells. We stayed at Casa Ybel. I think a one bedroom condo was around $400/night. I have also stayed at the Best Western which is less. I don't think we will go to Sanibel when my son gets older & is looking for more activities but for now it's fine.
Aug 20th, 2001, 09:59 AM
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If you're willing to drive to Sanibel, (4-5 hours) certainly you'd be willing to drive another 20 minutes past Sanibel to Captiva. Prettier, more authentic and more low key with little b&b's, etc. The big resort at the end of Capita (I forget the name tho that's where we stayed) has lots of waterfront activities -- jetski, kayaking, etc. Sanibel looked nice enough but too many condos. Don't wan't the drive? Go to Longboat Key.
Aug 20th, 2001, 11:33 AM
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I would comment that the drive to Sanibel/Captiva is a LONG one. These are beautiful beaches but definitely a relaxed area. There is not much going on for kids in this area at all. I would suggest LongBoat Key as an alternative. It has a little more to offer than Sanibel but is still a "quiet" area though there are plenty of restaurants and shopping. For the most activity in that area, go for Clearwater Beach. Not Clearwater the town, Clearwater Beach is actually on an island. It has become more bustling in recent years and has more activities than tennis golf and sunbathing (Captiva/Sanibel). Your children should love this area.
Aug 20th, 2001, 12:06 PM
Olive Oyl
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Gosh...the kids are only 3 and 5 mos, you all, what sort of activities do they need, anyway? You've got sand, water, shells, pails and shovels and they are happy campers! They've just been to Disney and are probably ready to wind down.

We've stayed at Casa Ybel and it's great for our needs--beach, pool, a few catamarans and some Sunfish, units with kitchens, separate bedrooms and living rooms and a large screened porches, all overlooking the gulf and a good beach.

Longboat Key is an easier drive from WDW and you'll have the same ammenities as Sanibel or Captiva. It doesn't have quite as many shells, but otherwise, has all the same activities, and perhaps an even better selection of restaurants. I live in the area so can't recommend places to stay there...likewise with Clearwater Beach/St. Pete Beach vicinity. All have beautiful beaches--I guarantee you won't be disappointed with any beaches already mentioned. Considering just the towns, not their beaches, my favorites in order would be Longboat Key area (Sarasota), St Pete area, Sanibel/Captiva, then Clearwater Beach. CWB, IMHO, is rather ugly and tired after you get away from the beautiful beach.

Don't know what is going on over in Volusia County (East coast of FL) this year. There were 6 (!) shark bites over the weekend, 3 each Saturday and Sunday!!
Aug 20th, 2001, 12:19 PM
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Have you considered Treasure Island ... white beaches rebuilt in the past year, which will keep a three-year old occupied endlessly ... and there's a rather nifty goofy golf fairway on Gulf Blvd. ... it's never too early to get the kids putting. Well, maybe a tad for the 5-monther. Plus lots of t-shirt shops on 107th, certainly a capstone of any beach trip. And lots of kids menus. Perhaps a swimming pool might be in order currently, and TI has lots. Have a great trip.
Aug 20th, 2001, 01:00 PM
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Sanibel or Captiva would be a great choice for youngsters. Too many condos? Those condos are WONDERFUL for families! Ours was stocked with games, videos, beach paraphernalia of all kinds. Mom and dad get a master bedroom and the kids have a room. Kids can eat breakfast in their jammies just like at home! We spent our time between the pool and beach. Kids just love digging in the sand all day, chasing the sea birds, wading, and building.

Captiva is harder on the budget, and there really is no body of water separating Sanibel and Captiva anymore...drive north on Sanibel and you'll be in Captiva before you realize it.

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