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heartinlimbo

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Husband and I are planning to take a trip to the southwestern part of Florida next month. It has been a very long time since I have been there and he has never been south of Orlando. Anyone have any suggestions on where along the coast to stay? We love the Gulf and the white beaches.

Thanks

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I would ask what you consider the south western part of Florida? Naples would be my favorite part of south west Florida. There are nice islands I have never been to close to(sanibel, pine tree, and long boat key). Clearwater has some nice beaches, but it's still a bit cold. You might want to check out Tarpon Springs, near Tampa.

Busch Gardens if you like roller coasters.

 

Just for fun, my favorite part of Florida is the forgotten coast. Panama City beach to Destin. The beaches and water are amazing! Can't wait for summer!

2nd close favorites are St Augustine and Daytona Beach.

 

And Zika virus is so overblown. Like the bird flu. So, silly!!!

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^Agreed with Musicman!!! Zika has had several cases found but it's being blown very much out of proportion. I wouldn't worry.

 

I live in SW Florida. Be prepared for tons of traffic if you're staying somewhere with beaches. As far as weather goes, it's been in the 60s during the day and sometimes dropping into the 50s at night. You can go to the beaches if you like, but realistically the water is still going to be a little too chilly to really enjoy.

 

Naples is a very nice and pretty town, but also fairly expensive. Beach hotels won't run cheaper than $200/night at least, and those are for the lowly ones at that. Depending on how long you stay, you'd be better off looking for a deal on a rental cottage or bungalow. They have a lot of these around with full amenities that are within walking/biking distance to restaurants and beach events.

 

Fort Myers Beach is a good place to go, but less classy than Naples. It's also an island with only 2 ways off and on the island, so traffic is a real bear every single day. You'd probably get more bang for your buck than Naples, but like I said, it's less classy than Naples; most areas of beach access are free, so you will be dealing with all walks of life (as opposed to Naples, where most beach access points are private or pay-to-access).

 

If you're wanting to spend more but truly get the most out of a Florida coast experience, look up Sanibel or Captiva Island. Captiva especially is known worldwide as a vacation spot for the well-to-do. It's beautiful and worth the money, if you choose to go that route. It's pretty exclusive and private, though, so be prepared to pay your way for everything without much wiggle room.

 

From any of the above locations, you're about a 2 hour car trip to Miami in the south and Tampa to the north. Miami has some great shopping (the Sawgrass Mill Mall) and, depending on where you go, nightlife, and Tampa has theme parks and isn't as far as Orlando. Sarasota is about a hour north on the way to Tampa and has some great shopping and locally owned restaurants that have been featured on the Food Network several times.

 

Mosquitoes and bugs aren't really a problem this times of year. March shouldn't be too much of a hassle for you.

 

 

If you decide on any of the previously mentioned areas, feel free to send me a PM for info on local points of interest. I'd be glad to point you in the right direction!

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^Agreed with Musicman!!! Zika has had several cases found but it's being blown very much out of proportion. I wouldn't worry.

 

I live in SW Florida. Be prepared for tons of traffic if you're staying somewhere with beaches. As far as weather goes, it's been in the 60s during the day and sometimes dropping into the 50s at night. You can go to the beaches if you like, but realistically the water is still going to be a little too chilly to really enjoy.

 

Naples is a very nice and pretty town, but also fairly expensive. Beach hotels won't run cheaper than $200/night at least, and those are for the lowly ones at that. Depending on how long you stay, you'd be better off looking for a deal on a rental cottage or bungalow. They have a lot of these around with full amenities that are within walking/biking distance to restaurants and beach events.

 

Fort Myers Beach is a good place to go, but less classy than Naples. It's also an island with only 2 ways off and on the island, so traffic is a real bear every single day. You'd probably get more bang for your buck than Naples, but like I said, it's less classy than Naples; most areas of beach access are free, so you will be dealing with all walks of life (as opposed to Naples, where most beach access points are private or pay-to-access).

 

If you're wanting to spend more but truly get the most out of a Florida coast experience, look up Sanibel or Captiva Island. Captiva especially is known worldwide as a vacation spot for the well-to-do. It's beautiful and worth the money, if you choose to go that route. It's pretty exclusive and private, though, so be prepared to pay your way for everything without much wiggle room.

 

From any of the above locations, you're about a 2 hour car trip to Miami in the south and Tampa to the north. Miami has some great shopping (the Sawgrass Mill Mall) and, depending on where you go, nightlife, and Tampa has theme parks and isn't as far as Orlando. Sarasota is about a hour north on the way to Tampa and has some great shopping and locally owned restaurants that have been featured on the Food Network several times.

 

Mosquitoes and bugs aren't really a problem this times of year. March shouldn't be too much of a hassle for you.

 

 

If you decide on any of the previously mentioned areas, feel free to send me a PM for info on local points of interest. I'd be glad to point you in the right direction!

 

Thanks for all of this information. It's very helpful!

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