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blackmons Feb 15th, 2014 01:39 PM

Sick of winter. Beautiful beach needed for quick getaway from Chicago
I know I am probably asking an impossibly vague general question, but you never know, right? After this wonderful winter we've had in Chicago, I am trying to think of a quick, convenient, warm place to go for a long weekend to celebrate my son's college graduation in early May. My other son can only take off a couple of days from work so I'm trying to find a place that ideally has a direct flight from Chicago and is fairly hassle-free once we arrive. A beautiful beach would be top priority plus activities for a pretty adventurous group who probably won't be happy with just laying on a beach. I'd love to go somewhere that isn't overcrowded with tourists. Maybe an all-inclusive? We've never done anything like that. I get seasick on cruises so that's out. Snorkeling would be great. The Caribbean? Florida or anywhere else in the southern U.S. I will post this on the Caribbean boards also.
Any and all recommendations appreciated!

fmpden Feb 15th, 2014 01:43 PM

South Beach or one of the islands - St Thomas

Ackislander Feb 15th, 2014 02:10 PM

In May, South Beach is a great recommendation and a direct flight.

Anywhere in the Keys.

If they like golf + beach + great town + great food, Isle of Palms outside Charleston. Wild Dunes is a resort, but I am not sure about inclusive packages. We have only stayed in a friend's condo.

Gretchen Feb 15th, 2014 02:14 PM

Take a look at Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort--Pawley's Island. Fly into Myrtle Beach and immediately leave it. No snorkeling--just wonderful beach sitting--probably can go in the ocean (brrr for me), but pool sitting.
won't be overcrowded in any way. the food will be the best you can have north of Charleston--and can rival Charleston. You can go to C'ston for the day even.
Lots to do in the area with shopping, and Brookgreen Gardens and Georgetown nearby.
I see you want "excitement". This will be laid back. But have fun wherever you go.

StuDudley Feb 15th, 2014 02:36 PM

How about California - San Diego/La Jolla.

Stu Dudley

garyt22 Feb 16th, 2014 06:06 AM

South Beach is the Clear winner... amazing beach, good food, tons of hotel rooms in many price ranges, shopping, party nights... stay on Ocean Drive or Collins and you can walk everywhere...

We like the Surfcomber, Loews, and the James Royal Palms at the North end of the Deco District, but there are dozens of properties... have fun

nanabee Feb 16th, 2014 07:40 AM

Aren't they having snow and cold weather in the south? We heard there was snow in North Carolina.

We are having a heat wave here in San Diego! It's not a bad flight if you can get one direct.

garyt22 Feb 16th, 2014 11:44 AM

the poster is going in May...

JJ5 Feb 16th, 2014 01:49 PM

blackmoms, in May and with the least hassle- I would pick Midway direct to any of the gulf coast Florida cities, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest. Very Quick. I've been from Chicago to all 4 or 5 of them numerous times. But if it was I and with sons of that age- it would be that short hop to New Orleans. Not beach sitting but a whole lot better for that age. Would not even need a car there.

JJ5 Feb 16th, 2014 02:00 PM

Forgot to add- I am sick of it too. We have not seen ground in our fields since way, way before Christmas and have 11 foot mounds on the ends of every street. They do make good snow forts, if you dig them out.

And also- if cost is any factor- N.O. and FL are much lower fares than the West Coast from Chicago- and you have convenience of multiple, multiple flights every day from Midway, with SW being in hub home territory.

StuDudley Feb 16th, 2014 02:25 PM

According to Travelocity for travel on May 15, returning on May 18 there are:

15 non-stop flights to San Diego - most starting around $388

16 non-stop flights to Miami - most starting around $440

10 non-stop flights to New Orleans - most starting around $348

1 non-stop flight to Ft Lauderdale (at a reasonable time) for $228
7 non-stops flights at $400

Stu Dudley

JJ5 Feb 16th, 2014 02:53 PM

You are using a Sunday return. Not cheaper fares in hardly any regime. But extending to Monday or Tuesday you can get "getaway fares" far, far cheaper. $154 to N.O., even coming home on a Sunday for instance- non-stop from Midway. Still some of those left. Ft. Lauderdale is under $200 and San Diego far more than $200 on any date in May -using your dates OR extending to a Monday date. My biggest fares from Midway in the continental USA have been to San Fran., personally. Also, the SWA cancellation or delay is far less than the large O'Hare carriers.

blackmoms does not say where she resides. That might make an even bigger difference as far as "fast" goes. For a long weekend of 4 or 5 days at most- that ease or quickest quotient may hold more priority than cost. Lots of places with great beaches are not favorites of Northern Chicagoans of low 20's age, IMHO. But I do not know these. From doing this with kids and grown grandkids, N.O. has been a huge winner. But none of us are beach sitters or standers.

JJ5 Feb 16th, 2014 02:55 PM

And blackmoms, 6 more inches again tomorrow. Honestly, its like the old winters of the 60's and 70's. It should be melted by May. Hopefully.

nanabee Feb 16th, 2014 04:28 PM

interesting that the OP has never returned

StuDudley Feb 16th, 2014 04:54 PM

She's trying to dig out from all the snow!!!!

Nice, sunny, and warm here in the San Francisco area. MY FIL moved here from Indianapolis 3 1/2 years ago, and enjoys going for walks in Jan & Feb & shooting pool at the outside pool table with his condo buddies. He was the Big Winner yesterday at pool.

Stu Dudley

blackmons Feb 16th, 2014 07:17 PM

Sorry. I'm back. Wow! All great ideas. You've given me lots of food for thought. My kids are big music lovers so New Orleans may be interesting, something I hadn't considered. I'm also going to look into San Diego and South Beach and some of your other suggestions. You guys are great. I really appreciate it. Side note: I've ordered seeds and am having my pruners sharpened. I just KNOW it will be spring again some day!

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