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east side vs tarpon bay/west side

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Ohio
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120 posts
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east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Hello,

Well we've narrowed it down to Sanibel (from Key West, Destin, etc) thanks to your keen advice!

There is a house for rent on Donax - it says walk to the beach - last year when we went (for a 2 day trip, and we stayed in Fort Myers) we never made it that far east. We got to the Tarpon Bay beach, Turner Beach, and Bowman's Beach.

How different is that area (Donax/Middle Gulf) from those beaches? Does the bike path go near Donax/Middle Gulf? What is the beach like over there? Is there a "bad" area in Sanibel?

My husband and my mother-in-law went for a day trip last summer and ended up on the lighthouse beach. My husband said he wasn't that impressed with it. He loved Tarpon/Turner/Bowman though. Will the beach at Donax be like the lighthouse beach?

Thanks a million!

Maine
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1. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Experts will be along...and I can not answer all your questions but will try to at least be a little helpful. Lighthouse Beach is different IMHO than all the other beaches because of its location. In part it faces Ft. Myers and is near the causeway. This means it gets more day traffic and thus has a very different feel than any other beach we went to...I asked this same question upon our return and this is what I learned. Having said that we did go to Lighthouse Beach to look for shells and I highly encourage you to do the same- great minis (baby shells) as well as some other nice shells. I personally would not want to stay near it. The further towards West Gulf you go the fewer people and condos you will find. From looking a map Donax appears to be still in the more populated part of the island. So there will be a difference when compared to the beach's you name but the beaches you walk to will be different than Lighthouse. You wouldmost likely see more people on the beach, potentially fewer shells (although one never knows!). Again based on the map it looks like it might be a distance to the beach...and as I recall you will have a child in a wheelchair so I would really look at the location very carefully. Others may know that for sure...and if you put the address in the map I give you below it will show you exactly where it is compared to beaches, etc. Personally this location would not suit my needs to be on the water and have it be a very close walk...

This link for the interactive map will also show you where the bike paths go as well as let you see how close other things are together. Based on this the bike path goes right down Donax St! And I don't know if anyone would say there are bad areas just different- more populated, less so, etc.

http://www.sanibeltrails.com/

So glad and soooo jealous you will be going to Sanibel! Hope this helps:-)

Ohio
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2. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Thank for the map, True! Oh and I see you live in Maine? I love Maine! My uncle lives there. It's always so salty and charming...I keep trying to get my husband to go, but he doesn't think it looks very interesting. Anyway, back to the topic.

From the map it looks like the house is near the intersection of Donax and Middle Gulf Drive.

Yes we do have the son in the wheelchair (good remembering!) - that was going to be my next question...I don't know if this question is too obscure, but does anyone know what the "walk way" to the donax beach is? Like is it paved, or gravel, etc.

We just got our "all-terrain" chair so that will make things much easier, but still paved would be better.

THANKS!

Hell, Michigan
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3. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

HI Hidey!

We just spend 10 days in the Donax and Middle Gulf area - at Coquina Condos. There were several house rentals in that area - I am wondering though, You can only rent a house monthly in Sanibel - please keep that in mind when researching.

It is a short walk to the beach access in that area - but I have been thinking, in the middle of summer in the heat and humidty - that might not be so nice for you guys while pushing his wheelchair. Depending on where on Donax - it could be a 2-3 block walk. I also don't recall many houses on that street with pools - did you want a pool?

I'm sorry - knowing what you have told me about your son's condition, I was trying to put myself in your shoes about what would be easiest. Do you need a house? Or could you make do with a 1 or 2 bedroom condo on the beach?

Beach info:

There is no bad area of Sanibel. The beaches are all different - I liked the middle gulf beach area, great shelling BUT - way busier than West Gulf beaches. Still not crowded - but definitely lots more people.

The beach on Middle Gulf seemed narrower - less space between sea grass and water, and more packed toward the water line. It was harder to walk on without shoes than West Gulf, at least to me. West Gulf - just get over the shell line and off the flip flops go.

Lighthouse beach is not my favorite either - all the beaches are very different.

I would really love to help you find a great place to stay with your hub and son - I used to work in a school for physically handicapped kids, so am trying to think of what would work best. Could you tell us what your requirements are for accomdations?

Ohio
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4. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Hi Sunny,

Yes, actually we might stay for a month. Or we'll stay for 2 weeks and then our friend and his wife could stay there the other 2 weeks. Would they allow that? It's says that it sleeps 4.

This house does have a pool,believe or not. The house is actually something we can afford (well, we can't really afford anything, but let's say it's not as much as other places!).

His wheelchair is actually really easy to push and maneuver. It also has a large canopy on it to protect him from the sun. Now I've never tried it in sand before, but I'm looking into getting some of those big white wheels that are made for the beach.

So 2 - 3 blocks would be ok. Not ideal, but ok. But you're right, I wouldn't want it to be much farther than that. He's not medically fragile or anything - not tube-fed, not on trach, not on respirator.

A condo would be fine also! I am just zeroing in on this house because it looks nice, it has a pool, and it's not a zillion bucks a month.

Requirements for accommodations: air conditioned (I'm assuming all places are air conditioned?); if it's not on the ground floor, then an elevator; the driveway/walk ways/road around it need to be paved; and 2 bedrooms. We would prefer to be within walking distance to the beach, because loading him up in the car and then getting him out is a bit of a pain.

Thanks!

Hell, Michigan
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5. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Good Morning Hidey.

I am sorry, I didn't mean to bother you with a bunch of questions last night. A month!! Whoo Hooo!! We are going to do that when our kids are a little older and I can put them in the Sanibel Sea School summer camp program.

I personally think that house is in a great location, as long as it is nearer to Middle Gulf than Periwinkle. Double check everything - air conditioning, updates, pool in working condition, etc.

Check for a pm from me - upper right hand corner.

Sanibel Island...
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6. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

The bike path goes along Donox so pavement shouldn't be a problem. It would be a bit of a walk because at that point Middle Gulf Drive is further from the beach than other areas. You might also factor in that there are no public facitities (i.e. bathrooms) nearby so that walk might be more important to think about.

The rule of thumb is the further west, the less crowded and the beaches face further away from Fort Myers giving a more secluded feeling. Donix is still "in town" meaning in a residential neighborhood. But no area is "bad".

As SV said, just different.

If you are looking for budget that is closer to the beach you could look at Seashells of Sanibel, Breaker's West and Blind Pass. All are five minutes or less from the beach and very reasonable.

Sanibel Island...
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7. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Oh, and it never hurts to ask about discounts for monthly rentals even if the place you look at only lists daily or weekly rates. In our case for instance we discount $100 per week after week one.

Ohio
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120 posts
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8. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Oh my gosh! I didn't think you were pestering in the least bit! I appreciate you putting so much thought into it, actually! You guys have given me a lot to consider, and there have been plenty of times when someone points something out that I hadn't thought of.

Maybe we'll stay month...more likely we'll split it with our friend and his wife. We can't really justify spending the money, so we might have to settle for a paltry 2 weeks :) Boo hoo, poor us!

MSC, those are some great points and suggestions! How far to the west end of the island does the paved bike path go? We definitely want to be on the bike path if at all possible.

Ohio
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9. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

Oh my gosh! I didn't think you were pestering in the least bit! I appreciate you putting so much thought into it, actually! You guys have given me a lot to consider, and there have been plenty of times when someone points something out that I hadn't thought of.

Maybe we'll stay month...more likely we'll split it with our friend and his wife. We can't really justify spending the money, so we might have to settle for a paltry 2 weeks :) Boo hoo, poor us!

MSC, those are some great points and suggestions! How far to the west end of the island does the paved bike path go? We definitely want to be on the bike path if at all possible.

Hell, Michigan
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10. Re: east side vs tarpon bay/west side

The intersection of Donax and Middle Gulf Drive is about 2 blocks from the public beach access. I didn't think about the lack of public bathrooms there, that might not be so fun.