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To wait or not to wait?

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Indianapolis...
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To wait or not to wait?

Hello,

We are a family of a mom and dad (both 33), and three sons--a 13 yr old boy, a 7 yr old boy, and a week-old boy. We live in Indiana and plan to DRIVE to Florida for Spring Break 2013 (March 30th-April 6th), Griswold-style. I've been looking for the closest place we would be near-guaranteed that it will be warm enough to swim in late March, and Sanibel seems the best bet. Plus, I would rather my kids experience a raw beach ecosystem than a more commercialized beach-town, as long as there's no red tide and we don't get eaten by noseeums,,,lol

But on the other hand, I have friends who were in Destin last year during the same time and they said the weather was great, and going to Destin instead of Sanibel would cut five or six hours off my travel time and quite a bit off condo rental.

So my main question is:

Is there any way I could wait until a week or so before travel time and still get a good place in Sanibel if the weather isn't going to be warm enough in Destin?

I have recently found several condos in Sanibel that would work well for us, 2 bedroom, 2 bath with a close walk back and forth to the beach with the baby, clean, and within our $2,000 or so budget. If I wait until a week or so before I go to book a place, what is the likelihood that I will find such a place on Sanibel? On one hand I think with all the condos there, I could just drive there and find a nice one for a steal, but on the other, I have seen ones I was looking at in the last week drop off on vrbo.com and that makes me want to just go ahead and reserve one....

What do you all think?

And one other thing, if we do in fact go to Sanibel and book soon...what complex or accommodation would you recommend for us? In a perfect world we would want: in a condo--clean, near the beach with home-like amenities, somewhat low-key, with a raw, non-crowded beach with the most cool animals and shells and fish and stuff for my boys. Blind Pass and the beach near there sounded good, but I read somewhere here that the current isn't safe for kids near there. Plus it sounds like it would be more of a walk to the beach than what we're looking for and I know there's no view of the water there either and we kinda wanted that, but I am sure we are going to have to make a sacrifice somewhere. Anyway....any other general tips or advice would are also welcome. :)

Oh! And one last thing, if anybody knows of a particularly good fishing spot, I would very much appreciate that info. :D Feel free to send me a personal message if they have those here, or an email if you don't want to post your spot....and don't worry about me, I won't be there long and I won't tell anyone!!

Thanks!

Alan G.

Frankenmuth...
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1. Re: To wait or not to wait?

I can't speak to your first question about waiting to book, but can tell you that we had stayed several times at Sanibel Arms West and are very happy there. We rent through VRBO and have always been able to get a good deal. The complex is on a good section of beach and about a 20 minute walk to the lighthouse and fishing pier.

Sanibel Island...
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2. Re: To wait or not to wait?

Ok waiting a week before the most busy weeks of the year here to find a place to stay.....not a chance......do it now or pick another time to come and this is why.

There are so many repeat guests that were here last year that rebooked for this year then for those weeks... you will never be able to find a place.

As far as the weather and the water temps for swimming in March...no problem.

S.C.

Edited: 04 December 2012, 05:31
Indianapolis...
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3. Re: To wait or not to wait?

Ok. So I have been convinced to go ahead and book now. Thanks, SC. And thanks to eallen too.

I have a place in Sanibel Arms West in my booknarks, as well as a couple places at Loggerhead Cay, but only one seems close enough to the beach for what we are looking for. The unit in Sanibel Arms West appears to be across a courtyard or parking lot from the units that are beachfront.

What we are ideally after is beachfront and beach like described in my first post (which I have a feeling I will be told that any beach in Sanibel will meet that description), clean and laid back...not necessarily all new and swanky, just clean. And within $2k for the week...

And I guess the conclusions I made above about staying at Blind Pass Condos were correct?

Many thanks for all your help!

Edited: 04 December 2012, 12:25
Miami FL
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4. Re: To wait or not to wait?

You could also check out Sanddollar. We stayed there in one of the units that is a 3-bedroom. The 3rd 'bedroom' is a small den-turned-sleeping-room but quite adequate.

Sanddollar is a smaller complex and directly on the beach. Has a pool, grilling area and you walk right out onto the sand. You will be gulf front in the unit also, with a great view from the living room and the master bedroom.

Have fun-and you made the right choice. If a quieter more natural vacation is your goal Destin and Sanibel aren't on the same planet, to Sanibel's credit!

Madison, Indiana
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272 posts
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5. Re: To wait or not to wait?

Loggerhead is literally 100 steps to the beach. Nice pool, nice units, beautiful landscaping. However, I didn't find it was the most "exciting" beach as far as shelling etc. We usually stay on W Gulf and the shelling is much better and the beaches less crowded because the accomodations are here and there among residences. You might want to look at SeaShells, which is across the road from the beach. Then again, you can take a short drive to any of the other beaches, such as Bowman's or Turner.

Don't wait--as mentioned, most planning to return re-book before leaving because they are given that courtesy before it opens up for booking by new people. And spring break will be booked!

Fishing--some swear by fishing from the pier at the Lighthouse; some prefer fishing on the Causeway at the newly created park; some prefer the jetty at Turner Beach. You will also see the occasional fisherman here and there along the gulf depending on where they are staying. You might consider a 1/2 day trip with your boys with a fishing charter--they have the gear and bait and are prepared to make sure your family has a good time. Jensen's marina on Captiva and Castaways marina on Sanibel both offer.

Indianapolis...
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6. Re: To wait or not to wait?

Thanks again. I saw on a condo description Sea Shells that it was a short "seven minute walk" to the beach. It looks nice and affordable, but I don't think my wife would go for a seven minute walk.

Thanks for the tips on fishing too!

I looked at SandDollar--nice, but they may be a touch out of the price range.

Loggerhead seems the best choice, although it doen't look as laid-back, low key as we wanted. I am only searching on vrbo.com. Should I search somewhere else or does anyone else have any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Madison, Indiana
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272 posts
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7. Re: To wait or not to wait?

There's always so much discussion on here about condos that I always feel funny repeating suggestions for our favorite places, which have individual cottages. They are definitely more laid back, low key places but are clean, comfortable, and right on the beach. if that sounds interesting, check out Mitchell's Sandcastles, Beachview, and Castaways. I've stayed in condos but for our family ( with serious fishing on their minds) the casual style of the cottages are perfect.

The Bakery
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8. Re: To wait or not to wait?

Loggerhead Cay is the second largest complex on the island after Sundial. Larger even than Pointe Santo. The units at the far back can be a walk for the little ones. You'd be much better off at Sanibel ARms West.

I also check Sanibel Siesta and found a few at $2045-2140 for that week. Good shelling location.

Unfortunately, the 'quiet' end of the island is West Gulf. After Tarpon Bay Rd, the complexes get smaller and quieter - unfortunately, they also get more expensive, considerably so in many cases.

Mitchell's Sandcastles is an excellent suggestion. Breakers West condos would be a great location, quiet area, and they have availability for $2114 for the week. They are an excellent buy on West Gulf.

Seashells Of Sanibel is directly across from the beach, but you have to get to a public beach access path to get there, so it's a walk, and with kids can be a hassle.

Blind Pass Condos are a great buy, but you have a longish walk over Clam Bayou to the beach. Again, a VERY quiet area, but since the beach has no bathroom facilities, not ideal with small kids.

I checked a few other 'best buy' options and none were open given the number in your group, at least none in your price range. You will be limited in choices peak season at that budget. 2 weeks later and you'd have a ton of choices.

Good luck! Sanibel Arms West or Sanibel Siesta might be the two best choices, unless you can swing Breakers West, It has exactly the kind of location you want and can't get on the east end.

Indianapolis...
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9. Re: To wait or not to wait?

Man you guys are great. Checked out the cottages and there's nothing available in my price range that would meet the other criteria. Thanks though--maybe next time when I have more time to book ahead.

Tourmaline- do you have a link to the condo at Breakers West you are referring to? I could only find one and it was $2,250 with a bad review on vrbo. com. I talked to the owner and he had a rebuttal for the complaint, but who knows?

Edited: 04 December 2012, 21:56
The Bakery
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10. Re: To wait or not to wait?

Click on Availability at the bottom of the page and you'll see the pricing

http://www.breakerswestsanibel.com/