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Florida driving vacation???

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Florida driving vacation???

Postby Backtotheislands » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:40 pm

My husband is not yet ready to return to my first love, St. John and for our 35th anniversary in June, he is thinking about flying into Miami, renting a convertible, and spending a week driving and exploring the keys or the "other keys" on the west side of florida from down around Fort Myers up to around St. Pete. We have never done either of these. We visited Key West on one of 2 cruises we have ever done and were under impressed because it was so touristy. If we did the keys we'd spend one or 2 nights in Key West exploring and maybe go to the Dry Tortugas, but the bulk of the trip would be spent at state parks and the few beaches. I know nothing about the western side of Florida. I have been to Pensacola, Destin and PCB, but that's it. I know the beaches are supposed to be beautiful! I know there are several Florida people on this board so I'm looking for suggestions and thoughts. We love the laid back feel of St. John and I love snorkeling, which I think will be hard to find. This will be something different. Anyway, I appreciate any input you may have! 8)
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Re: Florida driving vacation???

Postby philbetm » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:02 am

Hi :D
We spent our vacation one year on Sanibel and Captiva Islands...amazing !

But that said...St. John is our first love ! Airfare is making it harder to visit. :(

Good Luck with the planning !

Sherry in SC
" I believe there's Magic here...."
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Re: Florida driving vacation???

Postby amy5233 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:44 am

If you want really nice beaches, really do the research on the keys. We were not very impressed, even with the one that had a great Dr. beach review. But, it is the keys so it is still a great escape. We love the island feel of captiva. The beaches there are great for shelling, but are not powdery. It is definitely a place that feels like you "got away." We almost always see dolphins when we are over there.

Siesta Key has amazing powdery sand, but usually lots of people. Still a neat place.

But...Palm Island at Placids is a total escape. There are deserted windswept beaches at the tip of the island, in the resort. Even tho it is called a resort, it is not a crowded touristy feeling place. It is island. Style condos. You have to take a car ferry over. When I get on that ferry, I feel the weight of the real world melting away. (We did not love the restaurant at the resort)

I hope you have a great trip!
My heart belongs on St John!
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Re: Florida driving vacation???

Postby amy5233 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:18 am

I am sorry...i missed a typo. Palm Island at Placida
My heart belongs on St John!
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Re: Florida driving vacation???

Postby AquaGirl » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:09 pm

Hi BTTI!

You might want to check out the thread started by Connie as it has some info you might find useful. We've been to the Keys and the drive is scenic in some places (when you can see the water and on the bridges), and not-so-much in other places. We didn't like the beaches too much, however we are biased towards the west coast of Florida. I would love to go to the Dry Tortugas, so we will make another trip there at some point. We rented a boat and cruised in the waterway, which was fun. We did a few beach dives in the Keys, but water viz wasn't great when we did it, so I don't have a good impression.

We prefer Sanibel, Venice and Sarasota. Lots to see and do, and some pretty beaches. We've never snorkeled on the beaches of the west coast.

Happy planning and let us know what you do. I like reading about other's vacations :)
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Re: Florida driving vacation???

Postby Backtotheislands » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:29 pm

We have decided to drive over to Anna Maria Island and spend 4 nights there and then head down to Captiva and spend 3 nights exploring Sanibel and Captiva. I'll let y'all know what we think. He is excited and I'm getting there. I will really miss snorkeling, but he is relieved I won't be wearing him out! Don't know when, but I WILL be back to my island. St. John has stolen my heart like no other! We did get awesome airfare: $282 RT from Dallas to FLL for BOTH of us, nonstop on Southwest! We aren't saving much on car rental because I want a convertible for Florida since he wants to visit multiple places.
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Re: Florida driving vacation???

Postby Connie » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:55 am

I think you'll really like Sanibel and Captiva. Too bad you can't stay more than 3 nights
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