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2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Hartville, Ohio
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2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Our family is headed to Sanibel July 21-27, 2010. This will be our 2nd trip to this wonderful island.

We're staying at the Seaside Inn for the 2nd time. We fell in love with it on our last visit and this time we're renting their 3 bedroom suite. This trip will include my, DH, my parents and our 2 daughters ages 3 and 1.

Activities I have planned:

2 fishing charters for the guys: backbay and shark

1 day at Busch Gardens

a dolphin cruise

I was thinking of doing the Thriller, but now that I've read reviews I think the girls are too little. Should we go with a Captiva Cruise instead?

How long is the drive to Tampa? The guide books says 2 hours, does that sound right?

Is Busch Gardens insane in July?

Now, the food questions! My dad already informed me our first meal will be at Cheeburger Cheeburger. He loves that place.

Last trip we did: Timbers (not that impressed), Gramma Dots (liked), Tween Waters Inn (Yum! but pricey), Island Cow (okay food, bad service).

Where do you recommend with two little kids? I've been reading good things about Doc Fords, should we try there?

So many questions LOL!

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1. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

My guess is that Busch Gardens is closer to 3 hours by the time you actually make it into the park. I don't know that I would invest the time but then I'm a "sit on the beach" kind of guy. You might want to spend a 1/2 day or so on Captiva. You can park at McCarthy's and walk around the village area, look for Manatees at Jensens and maybe grab a bite to eat at R C Otters.

The Bubble Room and Mucky Duck are also there. I think the Bubble Room is way overpriced but a lot of people seem to enjoy it.

Inman, SC
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2. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Just my opinion, but I think The Thriller might be a little much for the two children (especially the 1-year old). Maybe one of the other cruises would be better for the little ones. Haven't been to Busch Gardens in years and years, so I can't be of much help there. You can't go wrong eating at Doc Ford's. I consider it a family-type restaurant and the food is always good--service (for me) is just average. Still hoping I will meet up with RWW there some day, but not so far.

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3. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Amy's Over Easy is kid friendly and I think serves all meals during time you will be there. Also Hungry Heron. I am all for not leaving the island once I arrive so since you asked:-) the trip to Busch Gardens would not be worth it to me. Long drive and very hot in July- especially with 2 little ones...but if your heart is set on it... for me hanging out onthe island, the beach, the pool and doing the other things you mention would bring me more pleasure. You could do Captiva Cruises without a problem again would depend on how boat is for your children...at that age my son would have loved it and been very good on it. I would do half day as to watch how long out in hot weather without shelter and bring lots of water, hats and sunscreen!

Sanibel, FL
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4. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

I saw RWW there one time. He will take time to sign books for anyone - he is so gracious. I agree that Doc Ford's is always a treat. I have never had a bad meal there and my experience with service has always been really good. I find almost everyone Happy and helpful on Sanibel. Some other dinner choices are Sanibel Grill, Lazy Flamingo and Over Easy cafe (no dinner during summer season). McT's has a new chef and gets really good reviews. Jacaranda is consistantly good - great menu, $$not too bad. I have heard great things about Twilight Cafe (located on West Gulf Drive) although I have not been there for dinner. They do have sushi on WED.

We have Schnapper's hots for great take out - super good stuff. hot wings, pizza. East End Deli (great Cubans and some really healthy choices too) and of course we have a good old subway.....

Hartville, Ohio
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5. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Thanks all!

I think I'm going to try to talk the family out of the Busch Gardens trip. I think it will just be too much.

Has anyone done the Imaginarium in Ft. Myers? That looks right up my almost 3 year old's alley. She loves fish/creatures of all sorts.

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6. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

I agree with Hot.. I think the Thriller might be too much for your little ones. I also agree with everyone that the 3 hour trip up and back to Busch gardens would not be worth it. I've been to the Imaginarium I think it is great for a rainy day. Unless it has changed in the last several years you can get through it probably in 2/3 hours.

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7. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Your kids can see parrots either outside Jerry's grocery store or at the Periwinkle Park RV park. The daily feeding of the parrots at the RV park are a lot of fun.

Fort Myers, Florida
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8. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Love the Seaside Inn!

The guys will have fun fishing, there are lots of tarpon out there right now.

Busch Garden's is a little ways and with 2 little ones I would maybe try the Naples Zoo or the Imaginarium instead. I've not yet done the Sanibel Thriller, but I have heard it's pretty fast, with little ones you may try captiva cruises or adventures in paradise.

Love Gramma Dots! Amy's Over Easy has really good breakfast! Has he been able to eat the pounder at CheeburgerCheeburger? Have you gone to Lazy Flamingo?

North Carolina
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9. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

Doc Ford's is by far my favorite restaurant on Sanibel. Everything always perfect ... Also like The Twilight Cafe, Sanibel Grill, Gramma Dot's, Timbers, The Normandy Cafe at West Wind Inn. The Island Cow is a bit too hit-or-miss for me. Have a wonderful trip!

10. Re: 2nd trip to Sanibel in July 2010!

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