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Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

Boston
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Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

I am looking for recommendations for a good beach town to vaction at with a 3 year old and 6 month old. Our recent beach escapes in the past with kids have been Cannon Beach Oregon, Carpinteria CA, Sullivan's Island SC, Tybee Island GA. All those were great because we had good house rentals on or near the beach and were also close enough to other activities (hiking in Oregon, Santa Barbara in Cali, and Charleston near Sullivan's), but still had the beach when we wanted to stay local or for after a day of exloring. We like the funky beach town atmosphere of those places, as opposed to condos and high rises - quiet and secluded is far better than crowds, of course. Is there anything similar to the above beach towns, in Florida. Feel free to recommend outside of Florida too. The other criteria is that this is April, so most of the East Coast is probabaly not beach weather yet. We'd prefer to stay on the east coast since the flights across country start to get long with a 6 month old.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

UK
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1. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

Ok, so most beach aras in fFL in april are OK for kids, but you want small town feel, house rental near the beach, and an urban area with activites not too far?

I'd suggest Anna Maria Island and Sanibel/Captiva. Single family homes, low rise low key, near major towns over a bridge.

If you don't want too much of the urban nearby, ie just want a mainland with good grocery stores, play parks, malls etc then I would look at Casey Key south of Sarasota (lots of great rental homes right on the beach) and maybe Boca Grande (if townhomes would be OK over single family home beach front rentals-which they have but Very pricy) are OK?

Melbourne, Florida
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2. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

In northern Florida look at Amelia Island & Fernandina Beach. Nice small towns, nice beaches, close enough to St. Augustine for a day trip. Otherwise I would head to the gulf coast area near Sarasota. Look at Siesta key, Anna Maria Island, Longboat key, etc. Nice wihite soft sand beaches, lots of seashells, nature areas, etc.

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

In April, the northern beaches could be a little on the cool side.

The west coast beaches along the Gulf are soft white sand, with gentler surf than the eastern coast, with a very family-friendly atmosphere.

Boston
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4. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

Thanks for the updates. I have been looking at Anna Maria and Amelia so at least I was on the right track. We dont need to be near an urban area necessarily, but they tend to have most of the museums, aquariums, zoos, ect. I am probably going to rule out Amelia as it most likely will not be warm enough. I will take a look at Kasey, thanks for the tip. Is Marco island commercialized? Anna Maria seems closer to a quiet beach town than the resort feel, so that may be the way to go.

Is there any thoughts about Miami for a few days and a week on Key Largo - is there much to do there? Doesn't seem like the keys have the best beaches, and the kids are too young to snorkle.

UK
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5. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

I wouldn't call it commericialized exactly, but it does have a lot of high rise condos on the beach. Some don't like that.

Miam and the keys are fine, but the keys don't have the beaches you are looking for, and Miami is a city beach so not the atmoshere you are looking for,

Captiva Island...
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6. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

Consider South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island.

--Far enough south to guarantee great weather

--Tons of kids activities, Slide poor for your older one, infinity wading pool for younger

--On site candy store, ice cream, pizza

--Dolphins sighting daily, Manatees in the harbour

--Nearby, Sanibel Island has Sea Shell Museum, Ding Darling Wildlife Park

--Captiva Village has funky feeling, with 8 small restaurants

Vero Beach, Florida
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7. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

Amelia Island would be nice in spring. You can visit American Beach (which was an African-American enclave during the Jim Crow era) and get an introduction to the slave trade at the Timucuan National Preserve. This is part of the Sea Islands region where salt marshes and rivers laden with tannic acids color the ocean water.

The Hammock Dunes resort between St. Augustine Beach and Flagler Beach is typical Florida manicured landscaping, but the community, such as it is, is a backwater stuffed with live oaks.

Flagler Beach is small, probably too small. Farther south, the Ormond beach area is quieter and more affluent than Daytona Beach and environs.

Farther south, New Smyrna Beach is a likable town, but the beach is lined with condos and there's driving on the beach. It nevertheless rates well as one of Florida's nicer, less pretentious beach spots.

St. Augustine Beach is a bit of an analogue to Cannon Beach, a weekend escape from Jacksonville and Gainesville) home of the enormous University of Florida). It also has driving on the beach, which is wide, fine sand, and perfect for barefoot running.

Sanibel is serious about nature. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge has more visitors than Everglades National Park. It will be busy and expensive in April.

It's also high season for my town, Vero Beach. The barrier island has only two tall buildings, and vast retirement communities for the affluent. There's a reasonable number of natural areas to visit (you can get info at the Environmental Learning Center on Wabasso Causeway). April is too early for most sea turtle nesting. It's also a poor month for surfing.

The only reliably warm water is from about Stuart south along the Atlantic coast to Key West, which will all be at least 75 F.

Water gets pretty cold as you go north on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts. For California, San Diego is an obvious place to visit if you can find one of the quieter beach neighborhoods.

Captiva Island...
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8. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

Thanks for the recommendation, Rojamg.

Boston...
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9. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

BlueRusso,

I hope Amelia Island never hires you to write their travel brochures.

I thought I might like to visit there someday but not after reading your description...tannic acids coloring the waters....doesn't sound too appealing

Edited: 06 December 2013, 17:39
10. Re: Recommendation for Fla beach with kids in April

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