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-   -   Where should we go in Florida ? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/where-should-we-go-in-florida-391764/)

helenemarie Jul 9th, 2008 08:51 AM

Where should we go in Florida ?
 
We are planning a trip to Florida in February 2009. We can go anywhere but would like some reccomendations. We would like to be near the beach, not a really congested area and have access to some restaurants. Would prefer to rent a house. Any thoughts on where to head to ?

nolefan1 Jul 9th, 2008 08:57 AM

Rosemary Beach or Seaside in the Panhandle has some nice homes available and some really good dining. It is a very pretty area.

AustinTraveler Jul 9th, 2008 10:12 AM

The Panhandle is beautiful but can be really cold in February.

WannabeinaMontserrat Jul 9th, 2008 10:16 AM

What kind of weather are you looking for/expecting. The Keys may be your only hope for warmer weather. Otherwise, Amelia Island.

AAFrequentFlyer Jul 9th, 2008 10:28 AM

Sarasota area

Longboat Key - somewhat stuffy
Lido Key - somewhere in between
Siesta Key - laid back, great village area with restaurants, bar, shops, wonderful beach

weather in February is just perfect. This year the highs were in the upper 70s and low 80s and sunny.

zelphiacat Jul 9th, 2008 11:05 AM

Florida is a big state with lots and lots of beaches and restaurants. What kind of things to you like to do, what kind of budget are you on? Are you going alone or with children?

helenemarie Jul 9th, 2008 11:51 AM

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, we are hoping for warmer weather perhaps in the 7o's. No children just myself and husband, we like hiking and biking. We also just want to relax by the water.We like to eat out in the evenings.At this point in time we are just happy to escape the north.I had not thought of some of the places mentioned so I will start searching.

stumpworks73 Jul 9th, 2008 12:01 PM

You need to limit your selection to something south of Fort Meyers on the W Coast and S of Jupiter on the E coast to have reliable weather in Feb.

Check out home rentals on Marco Island which is S. of Naples.

AAFrequentFlyer Jul 9th, 2008 12:24 PM

<i>You need to limit your selection to something south of Fort Meyers on the W Coast and S of Jupiter on the E coast to have reliable weather in Feb. </i>

That is a total myth.

Sarasota annual average = 83 deg.
Ft.Myers annual average = 84 deg.

East coast all the way to Miami = high 70s average.


zelphiacat Jul 9th, 2008 12:42 PM

It can get quite cold (freezing) in Feb. on the panhandle.

Island_Time Jul 10th, 2008 04:47 PM

I've been in Miami in February for the boat show. Some folks in our group were wearing their winter coats, and they were from Michigan, so it wasn't just a case of a southerner not being used to a cold snap. Yes, winter is the best time of year in South Florida, but you can't absolutely count on it being like summer up north. The water was too cold to swim, so if you want to be in the water, look for a hotel with a heated pool. That said, sometimes its absolutely perfect. It's hit or miss during the middle of winter.

Angelo721 Jul 10th, 2008 06:01 PM

As an almost Native Floridian and a Travel Agent I have to say that Anywhere in Florida is nice just to relax.

The Keys is your best bet. Start in Miami and drive south. Stay in a few of the upper Keys and make your way down to Key West. All of the Florida Keys are layed back, have amazing beaches and restaurants.

February is touch and go. It can be 78 - 80 and it can be 50. So be prepared to have some cold weather. Keeping this in mind you might want to stasy somewhere central like West Palm Beach, This way if you come down and there is warm Weather, you take a day trip to Miami or over the the West Coast. If it is cold, you can go North to Orlando or just hang out in West Palm Ft lauderdale.

crazyhorse42 Jul 14th, 2008 06:25 AM

I definitely recommend staying around the Sarasota area. If you stay on one of the Keys (not the city itself), you will notice everything moves at a slower pace and that you can truly relax. I think you should look more into Siesta Key. There are restaurants galore in Longboat Key (it's a bustling place), but there are many of nice places on Siesta too. (The beach at Siesta is absolutely gorgeous!)

rattravlers Jul 16th, 2008 02:30 PM

We have lived on the East coast of Florida for 13 years; (Palm Beach County) we get the occasional few chilly days that time of year; but it could also be in the 80's....no guarantees! (P.S. Our &quot;Chilly&quot; still beats the temps up North, of course!)

Anyhow, just a few weeks ago, we were in Port Charlotte (West Coast) and discovered the area of Boca Grande/Gasparilla Island. I absolutely fell in love with this area &amp; feel its definitely one of the prettiest in Florida. The island (you drive over a toll bridge) had such a quaint feel to it; almost like a New England beach town with the small shops &amp; restaurants. Everyone was strolling through town; driving bicycles or driving golf carts. I proclaimed that if I win the lotto, I will buy a place there right away!!

Anyhow, the beaches are gorgeous; there were lots of condo &amp; house rentals &amp; the temps should be nice that time of year. On Boca Grande itself, I did not see one place that I would not have loved to stay in...they were all varying degrees of gorgeous!

Check out this website for info...there are a couple small inns &amp; this website has contacts for vacation rentals as well!
www.bocagrandechamber.com

Alternatively, did you consider Naples? It is a nice area too....love the dining options, shops &amp; beaches!

ronijeni Jul 18th, 2008 07:56 PM

I live in Jupiter Florida and have been all over the state. Jupiter is located on the south east coast. It is a beautiful beach town with great restaurants. It is only a 45 minute drive to the airport and is close to Palm Beach Island, Jupiter Island, Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton. The beaches are clean and peacefull. There are many great places to stay.I also really like Sanibel and captiva on the west coast.

Colleena Oct 14th, 2008 05:59 PM

I would recommend Siesta Key or Lido Beach, both very nice but the sand is completely different. Lido beach has shells where Siesta is very fine and soft. Lido beach is just off of St. Armand's circle which is great, with many excellent restaurants and shops. Siesta Key is a very relaxed area with bars and cafes and tourist shops. I think you would be happy at either beach and they are not far from each other so you can visit both easily about a 15 min drive.
Also be sure to try Old Salty Dog restaurant, they have one near Lido beach and in Siesta Key.

livininthekeys Oct 19th, 2008 10:29 AM

The Florida Keys are marvelous in February. The weather is perfect and there are so many things to do. For ideas to travel the Keys, please check out:

http://www.fabulous-florida-keys.com/

Have a wonderful trip!


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