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Walkable Florida Beach Vacation - Key West or other?

Walkable Florida Beach Vacation - Key West or other?

Jun 9th, 2014, 12:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 89
Walkable Florida Beach Vacation - Key West or other?


I am planning a vacation for my husband, one year old and me for next Mar. 2015. I am from Florida, but have not lived there in 10 years and need some advice.

We are looking for a place where we do not have to rent a car. We also don't want to be confined to a resort and hotel restaurants etc. We want to rent a condo/beach house and be able to cook, walk to a local lunch cafe, play on the beach or at a pool, see some local history, and take the little one window shopping, or to a local play ground (all within a one mile radius).

We would prefer Southern FL to Northern FL since in March there could be a potential for chilly weather still.

The ONLY place that is popping up in my mind to be able to do this is Key West. I know there are no "natural" beaches there but it meets all of my criteria. Are there any towns or places that I should look?

If Key West is in fact unique in meeting our requirements, I was thinking that we would try to find a place on Atlantic Blvd. Any advice on location? Will it be overrun with spring breakers or will there be a bit of peace and quiet off Duval St.? I would also take advice on where to look for updated/clean vacation rentals in Key West.

HeaAndrews is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I think many beaches fit your criteria if you take out the 'local history' part. Treasure Island fits and St. Pete Bch, maybe even Pass-a-Grille. Sanibel, further south fits if the place you rent has bicyles. And probably many more. I believe TI and St. Pete Bch and those have a trolley that goes up and down the outer beaches AND can be taken into down town St. Pete proper. While TI fits the 1 mile critiera (or can depending upon your choice of lodging) the trolley negates the need for the 1 mile limit. I prefer the West Coast beaches to Key West and I'm from Florida. But it sounds like you have already decided upon Key West. Others may have other suggestions.
wintersp is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
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I like Sanibel and Captiva, too, but I am not familiar with the places enough to know if everything you want to do is "within a 1-mile radius." And then there's the issue of just getting there (from an airport) without renting a car.

I think Key West might be your best bet considering there are a lot of places to "window shop" on Duval; easy to get to your rental from a CLOSE-BY airport, too.

I'm not sure it is the Spring Breakers you need to be worried about as much as it is all those people who drive down to KW on the weekends and are dragging main on Duval.
Dukey1 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 01:42 PM
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Siesta Key/Sarasota may fit the bill. There is public transportation to/from Siesta Key/Sarasota airport. Miles of beautiful beaches to walk, Siesta Village to do an occasional shopping, hang out at some some nice cafe/bars, etc. Many condos for rent right on the beach or just across the street.

Public transportation to take you to downtown Sarasota to walk around, eat, shop, or just have fun.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Key West is never over run with Spring Breakers just cruise boaters. They don't even dock everyday.
Truman annex is great for vacation rentals.
flpab is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Thanks everyone.

I grew up in Tampa so we used to go to Treasure Island all the time. The beach is beautiful, but I remember it being spread out a bit not having access to a car it would be difficult to get to any shopping, restaurants and groceries.

How "upscale" is Siesta Key? I know the beaches are gorgeous. I don't want to have to change out of a bathing suit to walk into stores. Is it like Naples where you feel like you have to "dress"?

I have always preferred the Atlantic coast (maybe it is because I grew up on the Gulf side). Juno is by far my favorite beach, but you would absolutely need a car to get anywhere. I have never been to Singer Island. Is it easy to get around there?

I will check out Truman Annex in Key West as well.
HeaAndrews is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 06:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I second Truman Annex... a stroller will cover all your transportation needs and you can even explore more by using the Conch Train... kids love it...
garyt22 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Lauderdale by the Sea. Small low-rise community on the beach. Restaurants and bars and stores and grocery all walkable. When we want to get away for a long weekend and not worry about sighseeing or car rentals, that's where we go. It's a short taxi ride from FLL airport.

For local history you will have to take a bus or taxi into Ft. Lauderdale proper. Or a shorter bus or taxi ride to the water taxi. There is also a free pelican shuttle (I've never used it) worth looking into.

There's a free street concert on Friday nights. There's a pier to walk out on (minimal charge) and see what fish people are catching.

I highly recommend High Noon/Sea Foam hotel/motel. Right next to the small town square. Clean, well manicured, right on the beach. You may be hard pressed to get a room in March. They have hotel rooms, efficiencies, apartments with kitchens. They even have a beach house!

The beach is beautiful there. Now I want to go! Good luck!!!
BuffaloGirl is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 06:46 PM
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Longboat Key has a lotta beach.
330east is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 06:52 PM
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Siesta Key is not upscale in the way that Naples is. It's more "beachy". I think it will fit what you are looking for. Make sure your rental is in the "village" area so that you can walk to shops and restaurants.
KathyK is offline  
Jun 9th, 2014, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Yes, Treasure Island is 4 or 5 miles long. However, when you come from St. Pete, Central Ave dead ends into Gulf Blvd. You can make a 1 mile circle there and have every thing you mentioned - shopping, many restaurants, bars, etc.(except local history). The Bilmar has a live band on the beach side every Sun, and they fly kites behind the Bilmar every Sun. It has a major grocery, Publix I believe etc. Everything you mentioned is in that l mile radius even though it is a long beach. And it has the trolley that goes from Passe AG to Madeira. To get to the beach from the airport you would need to take the shuttle. But if you went there a lot when you were growing up in Tampa, it may feel too 'ordinary' to you so you may want a new place.
wintersp is offline  
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