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Thread: Looking for vacation places in Florida

  1. #1
    Junior Member pahega's Avatar
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    Looking for vacation places in Florida

    We recently retired and are looking for a place to go in Florida in January for 2-4 weeks. We've never been there and have no idea where to go. We want to go to the gulf side with nice beaches where the temperatures are as warm as possible for that time of year. We've thought about renting a small house or condo for a short term through one of the vacation rental sites like airbnb or vrbo.com. Have any of you used those and what has been your experience? Having never been to Florida, it's kind of overwhelming trying to figure out where and how to do it. We play a little golf, have no interest of being in the water, and don't care for the tourist attractions, but sitting and strolling on the beach is what we're wanting. Any advice or guidance is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Good Luck. Sometimes Florida can be very warm like California and other times is can be very cool.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
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    Pensacola Beach and Navarre have beautiful stretches of beaches that can be walked for miles. But January is iffy with the weather. Sometimes it's perfect and sometimes it's the worst of the year.

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Sanibel Island has the best shelling in the world
    Nancy in western NY
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  5. #5
    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    My daughter has a rental in Anna Maria Island the beach is beautiful and not crowed . You can ck it out on "all Conched Out"

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    I would tell you that Dunedin Florida is a wonderful place to visit. Quaint town that does not allow big stores so all are owned by individuals. Also, it is close to Tampa, St. petersburg and Clearwater if you want to go to bigger towns.
    Carmen E.

  7. #7
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    I also vote for Sanibel Island. It's a very nice spot for shelling and relaxing. Stay away from the Big Bend area (northwest section). It gets cold up there in January and February, lots of nights below freezing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AlvaStitcher's Avatar
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    Fort Myers Beach/Sanibel Island. Great beaches and shelling. You will be coming in peak snow bird season so expect high housing expense.

  9. #9
    Suz
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    Cape Coral on the Gulf side. Close to Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva. The latter two are quite pricey, I think. Beautiful area though.

    On Sanibel, look for Pinoccio's Homemade Ice Cream. A real treat!!!

  10. #10
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    Bonita Springs which is south of Ft. Myers, north of Naples. Smaller town 30-40 minutes to either either city.
    Highway #41 is the main road north/south so expect some congested traffic especially in season.
    Look into the gated community "Pelican Landing", nice amenities, work out room, private beach(recently overhauled), tennis and golf. Probably less $ than Sanibel, Captiva, Marco Island probably more $ than Ft. Myers area or Tampa area.
    You might also look into the area west of Tampa/St. Pete. Pinellas Park my Aunt and Uncle winter there every year and love it!
    The further south you go the cost of living increases.
    Sarasota is another very nice place, I very much enjoyed the half price used book store.
    I so miss Florida!!! Despite the No-See-Umms eating me alive.

  11. #11
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    We love the Crystal River area. Great restaurants, friendly people. My husband and I have visited the area several times and always ready to go again. There is an area with springs that the manatees go to when the golf waters cool. Lots of places to walk.

  12. #12
    Junior Member marshaKay's Avatar
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    Dunedin is fabulous! Also the home of Florida's best quilt shop. IMHO." Rainbow's End". Check out their website. Always stop there and do MAJOR damage to my credit card. Love that place, Dunedin, that is. Close to Clearwater and some major attractions. Do Busch Gardens. It's awesome. Better than Mickey World. rainbowsendquiltshoppe.com
    Last edited by marshaKay; 11-12-2015 at 05:45 AM. Reason: additional text

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    We spend some of the winter on siesta key which is near Sarasota. It has the best beach ever. My husband I and walk it everyday. It's six miles of the most beautiful white sand you'd ever see. We stay a casa mar which is right on the beach,. We love it.
    Barb

  14. #14
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    On the east coast we have St. Augustine and Cape Canaveral. Our quilt guild is having a quilt show at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center Feb. 4-6.

  15. #15
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    My brother lives in Panama City . If you stay close to that area there are very nice beaches away from the tourist destinations . Mexico Beach is very nice . Crooked mile beach is very secluded . I would go there every morning and be the only one there . If you stay near Panama City , check out Quilting by the Bay . A great shop and super nice ladies working there .

  16. #16
    Super Member sewNso's Avatar
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    we spent two weeks in jupiter, parked our RV in park there. there were several 'rental' units there. i was really impressed with the walkablility of the park, and the closeness to the beach, and there was a turtle reserve there. then we went to the west coast north of sarasota. it was beautiful. it's been several years, so ladies help me out with the names. huge flea market there, and lots of michigan people go there. lots of rentals at parks also....

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sandi's Avatar
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    Anna Maria Island is near Tampa with great places on the beach and Gulf. The water is clear and warm

  18. #18
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    I live in Largo which is between Clearwater and St. Petersburg, across the bridge from Tampa. Anywhere from Dunedin down to Naples is great, our area is known for our sugar sand beaches. I go to Dunedin all the time, in my area we have 4 great Quilt Shops, there are more in Tampa and all the way south to Naples. Great shopping, theater, museums and beach combing. Restaurants galore!
    “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest”~Jesus

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by celwood View Post
    I would tell you that Dunedin Florida is a wonderful place to visit. Quaint town that does not allow big stores so all are owned by individuals. Also, it is close to Tampa, St. petersburg and Clearwater if you want to go to bigger towns.
    That's what I was going to suggest! There's a great calendar of local events on the Dunedin site. St. Pete Beach is also nice.

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