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Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

mnr
Kansas City, MO.
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155 posts
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Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

Hello,

My wife and I are looking to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary somewhere on the Gulf side in July 2006 for eight days. We cannot decide on where to stay. We would appreciate any comments or suggestions from anyone out there. We are in our late forties looking for some swimming/snorkeling and dining. We would prefer to be away from the noisey kids and any construction going on because of renovation or hurricane damage.

Thanks again!!

St. Petersburg...
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1. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

Wow, you don't ask for much, huh? Seriously, it's hard for either beach to fit your exact specifications, although I think Ft Myers might be closer to what you are looking for. Be advised: Ft Myers area did suffer hurricane damage two years ago, but I think it was closer to Pt Charlotte and I'm not sure how serious it was or how much has been repaired. Clearwater though is more for kids and has a ton of construction going on. Both are beautiful beaches, but for a bit more peace & quiet I would have to put my vote for Ft Myers.

Doesn't offer as much restaurant/bar wise, but there's a cute pavillion area near the pier with shops, eateries, ice cream, etc. Also, for snorkeling you're just a drive over to Sanibel Island, which is where you're going to find the best area for that. Ft Myers is great for seashell hunting and you'll often find shark's teeth too. We stayed in a Holiday Inn about 4 years ago and it was pleasant, nothing to brag about, but not crappy either.

Also keep in mind no matter where you go for a beach vacation during the summer it'll be hot and probably crowded with school kids on their summer vacation.

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

Can't say much about Ft. Myers Beach having only driven through and not stopped.

Clearwater is a lovely beach area and depending on location draws a young crowd, but there is a mix of age groups.

May I suggest Indian Rocks Beach, a little south of Clearwater. It is an area that is relatively quiet with some smaller motels and also timeshares and condos. The St. Pete/Clearwater Beach area did not experience major hurricane damage over the past couple of years, so that type of construction will not be going on. The main type of construction that is going on is where older motels have been torn down and new hotel or condo building projects are going on.

St. Petersburg...
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3. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

Sarasota is nice too, with St Armand's Circle and beautiful beaches too. Another nice area a bit south of Ft Myers is Naples. Sanibel is a small island near Ft Myers and has some great snorkeling areas. About the only good snorkel area in Pinellas County would be off St Pete Beach and catch a ferry out to shell island. There's a lighthouse out there and nice water to swim in.

Tough call on the construction. Either they're repairing damage, or like the last poster said, tearing down old hotels and putting up condos. With any luck, as you narrow down the area and which hotel you might choose, a call to them might give you some "area answers" to your construction questions.

mnr
Kansas City, MO.
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4. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

flgal65,

Thanks for the tips. I "try" and not ask for much, but it's hard sometimes!! ;0) You're probably right about vacationing in the summer on a beach. There's going to be others! I've done a little research here, and FMB did get some hurricane damage but not like Pt Charlotte did, according to a friend of mine who's been down there. What I didn't like was this Red Algae stuff that's affecting Sanibel/Captiva and parts of FMB. It is not nice at all from what I've read on other Posts on this site. My wife did like the Pink Shell place but heard some mixed reviews of construction right next door. We had a taste of that in Hawaii five years ago and it cost us a day of having fun because it was bad, so we checked out. We did like the Sheraton Sand Key in CWB, plus it's on the south side, so it's somewhat removed from the main beach area. Naples looks nice but is pricey. I'll have to see about the snorkeling near St. Pete.

DonnaFL,

I will check out Sarasota and the Siesta Key to see if there any possiblities. Again, Sanibel looked great, but that red stuff down there is a real bummer for tourists and the locals. I also hear that

at a Red Tide could occur on the Gulf side as well. A bunch of dead fish washing up shore would ruin anybody's day!! Thanks also.

Stinky New Jersey
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5. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

I been to Clearwater beach and saw some people snorkeling, they have a nice beach. Never did the Honeymoon Island thing but it's supose to be nice.

Will be going there soon....there is a gambling cruise around there if you wanted some night time action. And the boat ride out is nice.

St. Petersburg...
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602 posts
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6. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

Unfortunately, when red tide comes, it hits with a vengance, and it'll hit the entire gulf coast. Just a matter of time of where and when. I don't recall any word of it being here now, but yes, by July there's no telling where it will be. And it's not nice. But if it's in Ft Myers, the northern beaches of Clearwater will be free. And vice-versa.

The Sheraton Sand Key is nice, a bit off by itself, and a great hotel. There's a Jolley Trolley that runs the length of Gulf Blvd (the beaches) and will take you for a buck each trip. Nice to leave the car and hop on for visits to other areas on the gulf.

People can snorkle anywhere, just depends on how much you want to see. Not much on the Pinellas County end unless you head to Egmont Key/Shell Island or take the ferry out to Honeymoon Island. Even so, you're not going to see much. For truly good snorkeling you'd have to visit the Keys where the water is crystal clear and there's tons of fish and coral to view. A trip a bit north of Clearwater into Homosassas Springs will let you snorkle and pet manatees. That's kind of neat. The springs are like 72 degrees year round and sparkling clear.

mnr
Kansas City, MO.
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7. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

flgal65,

After reviewing some cheaper hotels on CWB, there's several on Hamden Drive that rec'd some poor reviews. I was wondering if you could tell me what area(s) of CWB to avoid.

mnr
Kansas City, MO.
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8. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

Also, what is this Red Tide?

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9. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

check out Sea Captain resort by the bay!! We stayed there last October and will be back this October, already reserved the hotel again. Even if there is construction, the way this hotel sits, you are looking out at the marina and really wont see any of it. Its a small 2 story mom and pop motel but a great place, clean, wonderful pool and hot tub, across the street from the beach, right by the pier. Check the reviews, I had also submitted pics there to. Hope this helps!!!

St. Petersburg...
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602 posts
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10. Re: Clearwater Beach vs Fort Myers Beach

Red tide is this micro-organism that gets into the water and kills the fish. Well, it basically kills everything in it's path. Scientists aren't sure where it comes from or what causes, but it comes every summer. Some summers are worse than others. Last year's was awful. When the fish die, they either float on top of the water, sometimes by the hundreds, or they wash up on the beach. Now, imagine that on a nice, hot, humid Florida day...I think you can see how bad it can get.

Weird thing, is some times it can stay quite a way off shore, and not too many dead fish will come to land. Other times, it can cause death for miles. It can be in one area and not another, ie, can be killing fish on St Pete Beach and Clearwater can be free of it (about a 25 mile difference).

Hate for that to damper any one's holiday. As your vacation time nears, might want to check out local news sites (www.baynews9.com, www.tbo.com) and see if they have any word on it. The hotels themselves can usually tell you, if they're honest, if there's an outbreak in that area on a particular week.