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Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

NY
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Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

I've appreciated many of the posts here. My husband and I are looking for a relatively last minute getaway. We are mid 30s and expecting in the fall. We usually enjoy all inclusives as we love to just sit on a beach. We don't need the alcohol this trip but still really want a warm location with a low key beach to sit, relax and escape on. We love finding good restaurants and exploring but mostly love the beach. We are flexible with dates but likely the end of April or beginning of may. We would love to stay for about a week and keep the condo cost below $1000 if possible.

I lean a little toward sanibel but have heard about siesta key's beaches... Help! Any suggestions on particular condo units would be great. We'd love to be right on the beach or at least beach front. We are open to any suggestions you can recommend. Thank you!

Venice, Florida
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1. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

Siesta Beach was named the #1 beach by Dr. Beach for 2011, and it deserves the reputation.....white cool sand, and beautiful gulf water. It is very busy right now, but should get a little quieter in April/May. The village is nearby with lots of nice shops and restaurants. Also, you are in Sarasota, which is a very sophisticated small city, with great restaurants and the arts. THe legacy of John Ringling is here, with his gorgeous restored estate Ca d'Zan, along with the Ringling Art Museum, and a fab circus museum. We have Selby Gardens, a gorgeous botanical garden with knockout orchids, as well as Mote Marine. Check out www.vrbo.com for rentals, or google Siesta Key rentals.

Sanibel Island is a very different feel. No chains, and no traffic lights. Should be very quiet by May. The beaches are very nice, but more shells with the sand, and some beaches drop off when you enter the water. Amazing shelling there. Some of the best in the country. Some good restaurants and cute shops when you are not on the beach. More "old Florida" feel.

Either place would be very enjoyable, just depends what type of atmosphere you want. I live in Venice, which is 20 miles south of Sarasota...also a cute, quaint town.

Look at flying into Tampa or Sarasota. Or Ft. Myers if you do Sanibel. have fun, you can't go wrong!

Hell, Michigan
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2. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

Captiva's water entry has the drop off, not Sanibel. Sanibels waters stay shallow for quite a ways out, and has a couple sand bars. Sanibel is the #3 shelling spot in the world, but there are not more shells than sand. There could be a lot of shells, however, where you would need flip flops to get to the water line, very unlike the white sand of Siesta.

IMO, the two areas are very different - it is only a matter of taste and preferences. Since I prefer Sanibel, i'll tell you that she is 2/3's nature preserve, 20 + miles of bike paths, almost all condos, cottages on the beaches, the restaurants and shops are centered in the middle of the island. Definitely an old florida, small town feel. There are plenty of great shops and restaurants on the island.

UK
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3. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

I agree that both places on your list will be great. Sanibel in particular can be very relaxing if you like strolling and looking for shells.

But, I can think of another - Anna Maria Island. Where there are beach bars and restaurants where you can eat toes in the sand.

Dunblane, United...
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4. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

Think about Naples which is a little further down the Gulf coast. Naples Bay Resort or Bellasera or lots of other options. 5th Avenue and 3rd Street for shops and restaurants.

Sanibel Island...
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5. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

If the all-inclusive-sit -on-the-beach atmosphere is what you are really looking for then Sanibel has very limited choices. Most properties are small motel/inns or condos.

The closest properties on Sanibel would be Casa Ybel and Sundial but neither is a complete full-service resort. But the island itself is what most folks come down here for. You might look at South Seas on Captiva as well.

Massachusetts
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6. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

Sanibel is rated 3rd in the world (not just the country) for shelling. It is also a top place for birders and even non-birders can enjoy the fabulous birds that are easy to see all over the island and especially at Ding Darling Wildlife preserve. We have come in May several times and love it here that time of year. And if you look in a dictionary for "low key" there should be a picture of Sanibel beside the definition. You can go anywhere in shorts. There are also many artists living on the island and several nice art galleries. If you like bicycling, Sanibel is great -there are many miles of bicycle paths, most of which are separated from the roads by at least several feet and often by so much vegetation that you can't even see the road from them.

I don't know Siesta Key, so I can't really compare the 2 for you. In all fairness I should warn you that Sanibel can be very addictive.

Naples, Florida
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7. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

Agree with Alfaman159 re Naples if you want beach + shopping + great restaurants - all within walking distance of each other.

Sanibel Island...
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8. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

The beach scene is very different between Sanibel and Siesta Key. Aside from the difference in the kind of sand, there is much lighter use of the beach on Sanibel. It's an island where no building is taller than a palm tree, there are no traffic lights and the only fast food is the DQ. If you want peaceful, tropical and natural, then Sanibel is the obvious choice. For more action and more people, Siesta would be a better bet...

NY
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9. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

Thank you all for your comments. I think we're leaning toward Siesta Key at this point with the beautiful beach. We have found condos in either Crescent Towers or Crescent Arms - it seems like Crescent Towers has a slightly better location with at least a few restaurants within walking distance although it will be a drive to the town. We definitely want to be right on the beach which seems easier at that end of Siesta Key than up by town. Thanks again for your suggestions - it was very helpful!! We will likely plan a drive to Sanibel to check it out for future visits!!

10. Re: Sanibel vs siesta key vs another suggestion

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