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warbo May 10th, 2004 11:33 AM

Venice, Siesta Key or Manasota
My husband and I are taking our 13 year old son and his best friend to Universal and then heading to the beach. Any recommendations about which is the best area for us to relax while our boys adventure? Looking for something not too pricey.

jaye May 10th, 2004 03:12 PM

I'm going to ask you to narrow things down a bit. First, do you want to stay on the beach or just be within walking, easy driving/park distance? By adventure, do you allow or are you thinking about the boys venturing solo maybe to grab an ice cream cone, sandwich on their own? Answers to those questions might help some of us reply more specifically to what your aiming for.

Tandoori_Girl May 10th, 2004 03:42 PM

I don't know of too many places to stay at Manasota. It's mostly houses. Perhaps there are rentals. Am I wrong about this, anybody else know?

Of the three I like Siesta best, but I believe you will get more value for your dollar in Venice.

Jayne11159 May 10th, 2004 06:08 PM

Tandoori Girl,

I have lived in Florida all my life and I'm not sure what/where Manasota is (other than a combining of Manatee and Sarsota counties)!

Tandoori_Girl May 10th, 2004 06:26 PM

Jayne, you would love it. The mangroves are very high there and make canopies over the roads -- sort of like in Captiva -- but it's just a little sliver of a town, no wider than a house on the gulfside, the road in the middle, and a house or two on the bay side. It's south along the gulf btwn. Venice and Englewood. Used to be you could buy a piece of beach there for a song, but not anymore (or anywhere else for that matter). I was looking to buy a beach cottage two years ago and someone suggested looking there. I decided to find something closer to Tampa where I live so I could take care of it, and use it when it's empty, which, unfortunately, is not often enough.

You know, Jayne, I don't know how it got that name -- but I do know that some rabid environmentalists (the best kind) who hail from Sarasota bought some land down there. They decided to leave things the way they were, not a lot of development. You'd like it.

Jayne11159 May 10th, 2004 08:18 PM

Thanks Tandoori--the light bulb finally went on. That IS a beautiful stretch of beach. DH and I loved to take our daughter there when when we lived in south Sarasota. That was 17 years ago when she was a toddler. It sounds like it hasn't been over-developed as have so many of the beautiful beaches in the area. Remember when Casey Key was almost rural?!

audreyleigh99 May 10th, 2004 08:30 PM

I lived in Florida for many years and am also not familiar with Manasota. However, as I lived across the street from Crescent beach on Siesta Key I can say that is my favorite beach in Florida - beautiful white sand, very wide beach, cute village area (shops, restaurants, good ice cream place, etc.). That said Siesta Key has become very pricey and can get crowded - although Turtle Beach (at the south end of the Island) is less pricey and crowded than Crescent Beach (which is nearer to the village), but you need a car to get to the village from Turtle Beach. To save money you could also stay at one of the hotels near the south bridge to the key, but again you need a car to get over to the key so this might not be ideal if you want your boys to adventure on their own. Venice beach is also quite nice, there are shops, restaurants and such there too which will be less expensive and less crowed. I am less familiar with the exact layout of the Venice beaches but if you have any more specific questions about Siesta Key I'd be happy to help.

Wednesday May 11th, 2004 04:24 AM

I grew up off Manasota Beach road (age 9-18 in the 80's)...we enjoyed the beaches there as opposed to Venice as I remember them being much more scenic and less crowded...Many times we were the only ones there almost, and would ride bikes down there to watch sunsets alot...

jaye May 11th, 2004 05:03 PM

I guess Warbo hasn't checked back in yet. Technically, there is no city named Manasota. I'm looking across the intercoastal right now from the mainland onto Manasota Key, which is what you are referring to as Manasota. It is actually considered part of Englewood, FL.

I think that Siesta Beach and the Beaches at the north end of Manasota Key (Manasota Beach and Middle Beach) are the nicest of those mentioned. Siesta will be more pricey, but more things to do. Venice Ave. has lots of fun shops, soda fountain etc. Manasota Key has next to nothing on the north end and junkie sort of tourist shops etc. on the south end. We need to know if Warbo will have a car. Hello Warbo?????

bailey554 Aug 25th, 2004 04:41 PM

Manasota Key is beautiful......Englewood Area has great beach, nice restaurants, lots of relaxing time.....

You can sometimes rent a 2 bedroom, 2 bath villa at the Englewood Beach Villas. They are renting for about $750 a week I think. It has a huge pool that the kids would love.

kazamm Aug 25th, 2004 05:32 PM

Living in Englewood I would say Manasota is great 4 beautiful county beaches on Manasota Key. Many motel and condo rentals on the southern end.Kids would have to be content with basketball and volleyball at Englewood beach. At the southern end of the key is a state beach; no house's,or condo's for 2 miles just pristine beach . Kids will find many shark teeth on the beach, next to this beach is a motel Westons Resort many different room types . Venice has nice beachs and is only 20 minutes from Englewood.

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