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Where to go? Family looking for the perfect vacation spot.

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Sep 2nd, 2014, 05:58 AM
  #1
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Where to go? Family looking for the perfect vacation spot.

We are looking for a vacation spot for my family with two kids who will be almost 4 and 1.5 when the time comes and my 70 year old parents. We are thinking the end of February or the end of April. I have been to Florida many times but have a new perspective now that it's a vacation (and not work or visiting relatives) and now that I have kids. We are looking for a house rental on a quiet beach near a cute town with restaurants (gourmet restaurants and sandwich shops). We'd love to rent a sailboat and go dolphin and/or manatee watching. I am thinking of the Gulf Coast but am open to suggestions. I am not wild about the Keys or Miami. We'd prefer somewhere without high rises along the beach. I am interested in any suggestions but wonder what you think of the area from Holmes Beach/Anna Maria Island to Naples. Also, what about St. George Island? Is it warm enough there in Feb or April? I hear Siesta Key is the nicest beach but aren't there a lot of high rises? I am looking for something low-key. Nice house rentals, no high-rises, good restaurants, walking or biking trails, white sand beach, and calm waters for the kiddos! I can't wait to hear suggestions from you Fodors experts! Thanks!!!

Also - regarding budget, we are mid-range. Around $2,000 a week would be great for a 3 bedroom (give or take a little).
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 05:59 AM
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Sanibel maybe?
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 06:20 AM
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Look at Captiva.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 06:38 AM
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Aren't Captiva and Sanibel more shell beaches rather than sand?
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 06:46 AM
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cd
 
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St George might be what you are looking for except it will not be warm enough for the kiddo's to play in the water in Feb, end of April, maybe, but there are not a lot of restaurants either.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 07:28 AM
  #6
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Thanks, cd. Sounds like it may not be warm enough at that time of year.

I was reading more about Captiva and Sanibel, and I understand now the beaches are sandy but shells wash up daily. That sounds fun. Would love to hear more thoughts and recommendations! Will it be warm enough in these areas in Feb or April to get in the water?
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 07:42 AM
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We love Sarasota - Siesta Key beach is, IMO, the best beach we've been to in Florida.

I love Sanibel, too, but there is more to do with kids in the Sarasota area than in Sanibel.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 09:57 AM
  #8
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Thanks PhillyFan. I worked at Mote so am familiar with Sarasota. Does Siesta Key have high rises?

How about water quality in all of these areas? I am wondering with the oil spill if there are water quality concerns.

Thanks!
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 03:21 PM
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I love Anna Maria. No high rises, much better beaches than Sanibel, and way more interesting.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 04:37 PM
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End of Feb can still be cool. Easily might not be beach weather. Particularly if you choose as far north as Anna Maria.

You also will still have snow birds at max end of February.

If you can swing April, the weather is better. Check Easter timing for spring breaker density.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 05:09 PM
  #11
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Thanks. I'll check out Anna Maria too.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 05:15 PM
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I think April is a better bet than February for that area. Siesta Key does have a mix of high-rises and low-rises, so it may not provide the ambiance you are seeking. It is a very long, walkable beach, and your parents would probably feel right at home.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 05:20 PM
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We went to Anna Maria in the end of February for several years and the weather was lovely.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 09:30 AM
  #14
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Thanks for your input voyager and jubilada!
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