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drako Jun 27th, 2012 09:28 AM

Which Golf shores beach in Florida?
We are planning a trip somewhere and have been considering the Caribbean. It will be my husband and 3 year old. I am pregnant and will be in my second trimester when we are considering traveling. I am attracted to the Caribbean turquoise clear waters but just a little hesitant due to water issues on some of the islands. I have a thread going in the Caribbean forum and Aruba was suggested since they have a good water filtration system. Since I am pregnant I am more prone to food borne illness, water issues etc. We are considering going in August or September. (I know the height of hurricane season). So I will have to look into trip insurance. I need that anyway since I am pregnant. Due to water issues, being pregnant etc we are considering domestic travel.

Anyway, what are some recommended beaches on the gulf side that will give us that turquoise clear caribbean feel? I have read about Siesta Key and Anna Maria Island. Any that are good or which out of those two are better? Someone suggested Captiva Island but I have read that the water isn't as clear there because of the shells stirring up the sand.

What are recommendations for the best beach experience in Florida. We would prefer a beach that is less crowded and not wall-to-wall people. We go to OBX in NC every year so we are spoiled by uncrowded beaches. Thanks for any recommendations. Also, a relatively close drive from any of the major airports.


kansasmom Jun 27th, 2012 10:07 AM

We have enjoyed Pensacola Beach very much. It is not crowded, and the beach is a wonderful, soft, walk-barefoot-in-it white sand. However, the water, while nicely warm, is not completely clear. Still pretty great though.

Either Springhill Suites or Holiday Inn Resort has a nice pool with zero-entry and other features that your 3-year-old will enjoy.

4sharie Jun 27th, 2012 11:44 AM

Longboat Key. Way less touristy than Siesta Key, but gorgeous water.

drako Jun 29th, 2012 05:18 AM

Thanks kansasmom and 4sharie! I've looked into those two areas and both look nice. Still undecided so keep the recommendations coming!

MollyinFL Jun 29th, 2012 07:54 AM

St George Island in the panhandle is beautiful, there is a state park there also that is nice. I love Sanibel Island, sister to Captiva, empty beaches, the water is cloudy but doesn't matter, the shells make up for it.

Littleman Jun 29th, 2012 12:28 PM

I would stay in one of the beach areas on # 30 A around Santa Rosa Beach. The water and beach are gorgeous.

cd Jun 29th, 2012 02:05 PM

I feel like a broken record because I have recommended this so much but it might be what you are looking for.
This is my report from a few years ago, we have been back ever since.

cd Jun 29th, 2012 02:06 PM

Opps, here's the link:

OO Jun 30th, 2012 03:56 AM

The clearest water in FL, the water closest to that in the Caribbean, is not in the Sarasota area (Siesta and Anna Maria and Longboat). It's in the Panhandle. Not quite as turquoise as the Caribbean, but it can be just as clear. When we vacationed there, we always stayed in Destin. You might consider Rosemary Beach or Seaside area as well. I haven't been to cd's area, so can't comment, but that entire stretch of the FL coast has the most beautiful water in the state.

I am not biased against the Sarasota area despite recommending elsewhere. When we bought, we bought in that the same stretch of coastline, but St Pete....but bought there ONLY because winters in the Panhandle are colder than we wanted. If you are looking for beautiful water, the Panhandle is it.

4sharie Jun 30th, 2012 08:15 AM

Very informative OO! We might have to consider the panhandle ourselves sometime instead of Longboat (which is a LOT further driving).

I have a friend who loves Dauphin Island in the Gulf. Maybe that's worth looking into.

ishkribbl Jul 3rd, 2012 10:59 AM

I live within 40 minutes of Dauphin Island and do not recommend it for what you are looking for. I think the areas on 30-A just east of Destin have the prettiest water- look at the small towns of Santa Rosa, Grayton Beach and Seagrove (my personal favorite). The more upscale places of Rosemary Beach, Watercolor, and Seaside are very nice but not our style.
I have a friend with a home on Pensacola Beach and we like it there as well- near the east end where there are only private homes and Portofino condos. Navarre Beach is nice as well.
If you look at areas around 30-A you might look at the Panama City airport if you are flying as it would be closer than Pensacola for those beaches.
If you do a search for "The Beaches of South Walton" you will find some good information.

ishkribbl Jul 3rd, 2012 11:03 AM

near the top of the page are the names of the beach communities and if you click on one it will show you some photos and give you some information to narrow down to what you might like.

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