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Florida peeps - Help me find a beach please

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knightsbff posted 7/28/2014 11:30 AM

Please and thank you.

We are on family vacay in Florida. Right now in Tampa going to Orlando on Thursday for Universal Studios. I would love to find a nice beach area to stay at for the next couple days until then.

Any recommendations? We like nature, wildlife, water activities, might like a little shopping. We love to eat at great restaurants. we don't mind driving a bit to get to somewhere fabulous we haven't seen before.

TheHardWay posted 7/28/2014 11:31 AM

Ormond or Daytona - gets you close to Orlando.

IrishGirlVA posted 7/28/2014 11:34 AM

I fly into Tampa when I visit my parents who live in Sarasota. It's about a 45 minute drive South (I75 South, I believe) and they have a very beautiful beach there called Siesta Key. I think it was rated #1 in the US. Sarasota also has great shopping and eating in St. Armands Square. And I believe there is a Ringling Circus museum near by that is fun to visit.

[This message edited by IrishGirlVA at 11:35 AM, July 28th (Monday)]

stupidstupidme posted 7/28/2014 11:42 AM

Yep - go to Siesta Key. Beautiful beautiful beach.

atsenaotie posted 7/28/2014 11:55 AM

Fort DeSoto park is nice. I like Passe-Grille in Saint Pete Beach for the shops and Don Cesar.

Sarasota is not too far, and Mote Marine is a nice family activity.

TrulyReconciled posted 7/28/2014 12:01 PM

Clearwater Beach!

or Fort Desoto:


Top 10 - http://www.planetware.com/florida/top-10-best-beaches-in-florida-us-fl-beach.htm

[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 12:03 PM, July 28th (Monday)]

stupidstupidme posted 7/28/2014 12:09 PM

St. Pete beaches too. My parents live in Ft. Desoto in the winter, and it is beautiful. You almost can't find a bad one. The whole area is nice.

jrc1963 posted 7/28/2014 14:43 PM

Clearwater Beach... if you want to stay on the Gulf.

Cocoa Beach is closer to the attraction area... Take the Beachline (SR 528) straight out.

Daytona is clear across I-4 from Tampa... You can't miss it.

Personally, I'd stay in Clearwater Beach or near there... I love that area.

knightsbff posted 7/28/2014 14:48 PM

We go to Clearwater/St. Pete pretty often when we come this way. We went to Sand Key yesterday for a few hours. It was lovely.

Any recommendations on places to stay in these beautiful areas?

jrc1963 posted 7/28/2014 14:54 PM

I haven't stayed in Clearwater Beach in 14 years...

Never spent a nite at Cocoa Beach or Daytona because they're so close to my house... so I'm no help there either.

Sorry.

Jeaniegirl posted 7/28/2014 17:04 PM

Definitely Clearwater!

hurtbs posted 7/28/2014 17:33 PM

I would say St. Petersburg or Clearwater, right near Tampa but a little more "away".

If you want to come farther south go to Sanobel.

wheredoigo posted 7/28/2014 17:46 PM

If you don't mind driving, Sanibel is amazing! My sister lives on island. It's actually off peak season for them (believe it or not) so easier to find a place. It's 2 1/2 hours south from Tampa, but guaranteed that you will not be disappointed. If you choose it, PM me and I can give you the scoop on where to go to rent bikes, go for crab races with the kids, canoeing in their state park and also, did I mention that it is the shelling capital of the world? :)

knightsbff posted 7/28/2014 18:00 PM

I booked us a place on Siesta Key already but I definitely want to go to Sanibel in the future. It sounds like loads of fun.

sad12008 posted 7/28/2014 21:18 PM

Lido Beach/Lido Key is great. Added bonus: just down the road is Caspersen Beach where finding at least one shark tooth is practically guaranteed.

knightsbff posted 7/28/2014 23:11 PM

Oh, DS would be so crazy happy to find a shark tooth!!!! ....but if there are that many shark teeth on the beach would we really want to get in the water?

realitybites posted 7/29/2014 07:21 AM

The West Coast is the BEST Coast!

From Clearwater Beach to St Pete Beach and DeSoto Park. Going a little further south you have Anna Maria Island and Bradenton Beach, you can drive down the key to Longboat Key (you would have to stay at a resort there as there are no public beaches there) but that is gorgeous, you then drive down the key to Lido Key and St Armands Circle or you do into Sarasota and drive down to World Famous Siesta Key.

Venice Island is great, Sanibel and Ft Meyers is nice too.

All on the West Coast of Florida. Enjoy!

TrulyReconciled posted 7/29/2014 08:49 AM

Definitely Clearwater!

Been going there since the 1950s

2oldforthis posted 7/29/2014 10:23 AM

Not sure how old your kids are, but you can go see Winter the Dolphin it is very close to Sand Key. Or you could take the ferry to Caladesi Island, it is a great beach. I go there on weekends and if you go early in the morning there is a good chance you will see manatees in the water. To weekends ago I saw 3. The island is a little more quiet.

I live very close to Clearwater so feel free to ask me about the area.

tushnurse posted 7/29/2014 11:31 AM

If you don't mind driving, Sanibel is amazing! My sister lives on island. It's actually off peak season for them (believe it or not) so easier to find a place. It's 2 1/2 hours south from Tampa, but guaranteed that you will not be disappointed. If you choose it, PM me and I can give you the scoop on where to go to rent bikes, go for crab races with the kids, canoeing in their state park and also, did I mention that it is the shelling capital of the world? :)

I second this. There are many beaches near the Fort Myers/Sanibel area that are phenomenal. The wildlife there is abundant too.

Just got back from a 7 day stay there, saw Manitee, Dolphin, Sea turtles almost daily. Saw many Rays, and tons of Osprey. Great shells, and clear water. Lots of empty condo's and houses available on Sanibel. Had beaches to ourselves some days. Ahhhhh.

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