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biscottibyg Jan 22nd, 2009 06:16 AM

Vacation with 2 babies
We have 2 boys: 8 weeks and 18 months old at the moment. We'd like to go somewhere warm, fast, (we live in Upstate NY) on the beach, where we can stay put pretty much, but have places to walk around (lots to see locally for the older boy). Where to go?

biscottibyg Jan 22nd, 2009 06:18 AM

I should add that when I say "fast" , I mean no lonnnng flights. We'd like to go in late March, or April or even early May.

tchoiniere Jan 22nd, 2009 06:54 AM

Warm in late March would be Southern Florida. Miami, Keys or Naples would work

msjames Jan 22nd, 2009 07:41 AM

With kids those ages, I would choose a location reachable by one nonstop flight. Is that an option for you? Once you know that, you can narrow it down pretty easily.

Scarlett Jan 22nd, 2009 09:53 AM

Renting an apt on Sanibel Island would be nice.
Bermuda is only 2 hours away :)
Paradise Island in the Bahamas has some fabulous hotels with wonderful pools that also have good areas for little ones to play ..

( these I have addition to Jamaica .. we rented a house with a cook and maid .. now that was nice lol )

gail Jan 22nd, 2009 01:18 PM

Fort Myers Beach - there is a place called Pink Shell we stayed at years ago - it has since undergone a majuor renovation and can't speak to that - but they have cottages, suites with kitchenettes, etc - great with little kids. No idea if one can fly NS from NY

sanibella Jan 22nd, 2009 01:44 PM

Not sure about the situation with flights, but there is a perfect beach called Seagrove in the Florida panhandle for you. There is a condo on the beach called One Seagrove Place ( that rents two bedroom units with a kitchen that is RIGHT on the beach. VERY reasonable, very nice accomodations-you can choose your exact unit online. You won't believe the prices for what you get when you arrive. Also there is a convenience store directly across the street (which is key with childre that young) and a grocery store within a couple miles. Seaside beach is just 2 miles down the beach, where your whole family would enjoy going for ice cream or just hanging around after a day at the beach or whatever. I have taken my family with young children here consistently for the past few yeras, and have never been disappointed. The weather will be warm enough in April and May. March is too iff-y. IMO these beaches are truly the prettiest in Florida--sugary white sand.

I guess you'd fly into Fort Walton and rent a car to drive into Seagrove? The condo website may have more info on that.

Jaya Jan 22nd, 2009 01:46 PM

I second the motion for NONSTOP flights - worth the extra money if it comes into play.

Florida is probably the best. Plus it's on the east coast so no jet lag.

biscottibyg Jan 23rd, 2009 04:11 AM

Great. No way to avoid the stop in the flight, unfortunately. Flying from Syracuse. : (
Any ideas in Sanibel?

sanibella Jan 23rd, 2009 05:28 AM

Sanibel is beautiful--one of my favorite places in the world (look at my screen name!). I have lived in both Destin and Fort Myers, so I have experience in both beach areas.

Overall, I really think you would like the Destin (Seagrove) area better. Just for convenience sake and the type of beach there. But both would be very nice options. Given seasonal traffic, I think the airport travel time (from airport to condo) would be about the same and I suppose you could find a place directly on the beach in Sanibel. (This would be key, IMO, with kids the ages of yours.) The sand in Seagrove is more powdery whereas in Sanibel it is coarse and sometimes shelly. Both places you run the risk of seaweed at any given time of the year, so you can't really factor that in. The Condo at Seagrove comes with complimentary beach chair and unmbrella rentals everyday; not sure you can find something like that in Sanibel. (And I think the Seagrove condo prices are much more reasonable too.) Also while there is a convenience store or two on Sanibel, expect prices to be higher and there is not a grocery store on the island. You will have to drive across the bridge for that and with traffic this could take awhile, depending on when you go.

All of that said, these differences are really minor and either place would be lovely and fit your needs just fine.

gail Jan 23rd, 2009 05:31 AM

Another thought - several MLB baseball teams have Spring Training in Fort Myers area - puts a premium on hotels, space, and spot traffic - so consider that as well.

sanibella Jan 23rd, 2009 05:35 AM

Very true, Gail--the traffic at that time of year really just cannot be underestimated. It's a fact.

I really want to make it clear that I absolutely LOVE Sanibel and normally highly recmomend it as a vacation spot for familes. but given the ages of their children I think convenience is key. Just wanted to point that out :)

gail Jan 23rd, 2009 05:37 AM

Thinking backwards - convenience and ease of travel. What about driving to Albany and flying out of there. I just did a fast search and it does not appear you can fly anywhere non-stop out of Syracuse. Southwest has non-stops from Albany to Tampa - you could actually drive from there to Sanibel, Fort Myers - or stay in that area.

kcapuani Jan 23rd, 2009 05:42 AM

I almost always suggest the Naples area for families with little ones. My family and I have been going down there since our daughter was 11 mo's old. We love that the gulf water is a bit warmer and calmer than the Atlantic side.

In terms of things to do, the Naples zoo is always a hit for us. Your toddler will love the boat trip around monkey island, and the Planet Predator show. Also, the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is great fun for toddlers to run through on the boardwalk. Sanibel has wonderful beaches with tons of shells and you're sure to see a dolphin or two.

As for a hotel suggestion, look into the Hyatt in Bonita. It has super pools, a private beach, and you'd get access to the Vacation Club which has a lazy river!

I live in Buffalo and Air Tran, Jet Blue and Southwest all have direct flights to Ft Myers in the winter/spring. Do you have this option from Syracuse on any of these airlines?

If you search my username, you'll see tons of trip reports I've done on the area. Happy travels!

sanibella Jan 23rd, 2009 01:56 PM

Gail--you have a good idea brewing there--maybe Longboat Key would be a good idea!

biscottibyg Jan 29th, 2009 05:59 AM

sorry. So is Destin the same as Seagrove?

biscottibyg Jan 29th, 2009 06:08 AM

The Pink Shell is over 400 a night and I think that's too much for us.Looks nice, though. I know that Sanibel isn't exactly cheap, but would love to go there again, as I haven't been in years. Just don't know where to stay.

sanibella Jan 29th, 2009 10:34 AM

Seagrove is approx 15-20 miles west of Destin. Between Panama City and Destin actually.

sf7307 Jan 29th, 2009 10:38 AM

<i>Another thought - several MLB baseball teams have Spring Training in Fort Myers area - puts a premium on hotels, space, and spot traffic - so consider that as well.</i>

Just clarifying - spring training is over by the end of March.

sanibella Jan 29th, 2009 01:07 PM

Good point--and another thing to consider is that Easter is mid-April. So you might check again with some of the Ft Myers locations and ask about rates AFTER Easter. You might find them to be much lower post-Easter than they are right now, if you are willing to wait until late April or especially May.

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