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Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

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Middlesbrough...
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Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

Hi

Coming to Florida in May with husband and 12yr old and have decided to stay a week in Orlando so we can 'do' Kennedy, Seaworld & Epcot then want to kick back and spend a week relaxing on a fabulous beach but still would like to be able to entertain 12yr old by visiting nearby attractions. Can anyone tell me which of the above places would be best for this and also which place is best for restaurants on an evening. Also whats the water like for swimming/snorkelling is it fairly calm or are we better off near a pool? (reason I ask this is we have just spent 2 wks in Mauritius and couldn't swim in the sea because of strong currents)

Thanks for your valued opinions.

sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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1. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

I think everyone will agree you will truly enjoy the Sarasota area vs. St. Pete/Clearwater iwth a 12 year old. Rates will be lower in May when compared to Easter break.

The Gulf is calm and perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Just about every hotel/condo/motel has a pool.

You can read reviews and read about attractions on the Siesta Key website as well as Sarasota.

You won't be disappointed...lots to do and see.

~SRQgirl

Oxford, United...
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2. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

Depends what you want but I vote for Sarasota area every time - more laid back,particularly somewhere like Anna Maria Island ( "old Florida" ) where there are no high rise buildings or chain restaurants. Lots of locally owned places to eat good food at good prices; plenty of condos to rent ( no hotels or resorts ).

If want busier and more built up then go for Clearwater area.

Middlesbrough...
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3. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

Thanks for this - I was almost sure it was going to be Sarasota area, your advice has now made it an easier decision for me. Any advice on which area I should look at - I'm tempted by Siesta Keys (what a beach!!) but not sure how accessible restaurants are for an evening. We will have a car but husband doesn't want to have to drive every night. Are there plenty of places for breakfast/lunch without wandering too far from the beach? Or are we better sticking to Sarasota? Really glad about the swimming as I love being in the water especialy when its so hot.

Oxford, United...
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4. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

Not so familiar with Siesta Key as Anna Maria.

AMI has a free trolley which runs up and down the island (which is approx 7 miles long by max 1 mile wide)so you can leave the car. Because its so small nowhere is far from anywhere.

Have a lok at this link. If you want some info on accomodation then ask, outlining what sort of thing you are looking for on the Anna Maria Island forum where there are some knowledgeable local experts.

http://www.amichamber.com/

sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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5. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

There are places all over town for breakfast.

What type of accomodations are you looking for? condo or hotel/motel...# of bedrooms etc.

Budget?

There are condos/motels on Siesta Key.

www.siestakeychamber.com

There is the Lido Beach Resort on Lido Key which is full service with a free shuttle to St. Armands Circle for shopping/dining.

www.lidobeachresort.com

There are other places that are less expensive.

Sarasota does not have beachfront. The beaches are on the barrier islands.

As suggested you can also look at Anna Maria Island

and post on their forum.

~SRQgirl

Middlesbrough...
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6. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

Thanks for this - I'm starting to get to grips with the geography now - the brochures I have dont make it really clear that the Keys are away from the mainland.

We would like to stay on the beach preferably with access to a pool - (I've looked at the Lido resort but we aren't very keen on the high-rise block) We only need 1 bedroom with a pull-out or 2 doubles will do but dont mind 2 bedrooms either. I prefer to have a bit of my own space (and a fridge for beer and chocolate) so maybe a condo/villa would be ideal and as we'll have a car somewhere to park would be handy. Well thats my wish list if anyone can help.

sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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7. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

OK..There are many condo options..

You can look at the following in the Crescent Beach area:

Jamaica Royale

Midnight Cove- Gulfside

Sea Club V

Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club

Crescent www.crescentsiestakey.com

Sea Crest Apartments

www.siesta4rent.com

www.vrbo.com

www.vacationrentals.com

The last 3 websites are condo rentals.

If you see something you like, I can give you an opinion.

If you stay in the Siesta Beach area, you would be closer to Siesta Village.

You might also post on the Anna Maria Island forum.

~SRQgirl

Oxford, United...
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8. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

1 or 2 bedroom condo on the beach; have a look at these.

www.coconutsresort.com/annamariaisland.html

http://www.lacostacondo.com/

http://www.tortugainn.com/

if your budgets a bit higher then this next one is stunning:-

http://www.annamaria.com/default.asp?PID=398

Middlesbrough...
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593 posts
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9. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

Thanks for this SRQgirl & Steve - I'm going to spend some time looking at the various sites now - hopefully I'll be able to choose between them all - some of the places look fantastic - SRQgirl you are so lucky living in such a gorgeous place.

sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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151 reviews
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10. Re: Sarasota or Clearwater/St Petes?

MissMilly,

You have many beautiful places in the UK, as well!

Summers here have the 3 Hs:

Heat, humidity and hurricanes..;-)

However,today, the weather is picture perfect!

~SRQgirl