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novice poster

Co. Down Northern...
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novice poster

hi, this is my first attempt at joining the forum, so I'm not sure where I'm supposed to do it.

I'm from N.Ireland and my family and friends are coming for a 2 week holiday to Sarasota in July.

We are 3 families and are renting villas beside each other and also cars. Our kids range in age from 5 to 16. Any suggestions on where to go, what to see and where to eat, all on a family budget, our family consists of 4 kids 5yr old girl and boys 11, 13 and 15.

sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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1. Re: novice poster

You will be coming at a time when prices are lower and there are less tourists. This will save money.

The first thing to do is enjoy the beach and the Gulf on Siesta Key. There are all types of water sports. Ther are many places to rent kayaks and canoes and other water toys.

There are many places to eat all over town.

There are also lots of parks etc.

Where in Sarasota will you be staying?

I would start doing some research by clicking on the "attractions" heading on the top of this page. This will give you some ideas.

Myakka State Park is a must do for families.

There are all types of restaurants in all price ranges all over town.

What do you enjoy? There are small family places, as well as expensive(for adults) and the usual chains you find throughout the U.S. (We even have Irish type pubs)

Let me know and I'll give you a list!

~SRQgirl

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2. Re: novice poster

Thankyou for your suggestions. I dont know exactly where we are staying, I know its about 15mins drive from Siesta Key Beach, 15mins drive to Sarasota, 10mins awayfrom n/s interstate, 1hr drive to Tampa and 5-10 mins drive to malls and shops. We are staying in 3 villas as we are 3 families and there are 6 in ours. It was hard to get accommodation for us all beside each other, so we jumped at the chance when this came up, they are in a quiet residential area, but we dont have the actual address yet.

My husbands idea of a great holiday mainly involves food! We enjoy eating out, we would like to try different things rather than sticking to the main chains. However with 4 kids we need places that would cater for their plainer tastes while we could experiment and all at reasonable prices of course, do you think this is possible? David really wants to try the seafood. The other families prefer more traditional options too, so we may eat together some nights and do our own things other times.

The kayaking and boat rides and things sounds exactly what we would like to try. Can a 5 yr old participate in any of it? Where are the best places to go for that sort of thing and is it expensive?

I think Im getting carried away now, Im excited and nervous, hoping everyone will enjoy themselves and that my 15yr old son who is going thru the its not too cool to be seen with your parents phase will have a good time.

Thank you SRQgirl, look forward to hearing from you.

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Tampa
Tampa
Florida
sarasota, FL
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for Sarasota, Venice, Siesta Key
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3. Re: novice poster

Ah yes, I remember the 15 year old phase. :-(

You will run out of time, before you run out of places to eat and things to do.

The kayak/boat rentals are on Siesta Key. I recommend a place called Mr. C.B.s on Old. Stickney Pt.. They are very knowledgeable and helpful. (They specialize in boat rentals/fishing guides and know everyone) Kayaks usually rent by the hour. The 5 year old might be a little young for this.

For seafood, my favorites are the Bonefish Grill, Barnacle Bill's (there are 4 in town), Philippi Creek Oyster Bar, Spanish Point Pub and Marina, Moore's Stone Crab, Mar Vista Restaurant and many others.

Sarasota has many different areas. The downtown, for example, has many good restaurants. Mattison's City Grill is outdoors and there are other different varieties of dining (Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese etc).

Siesta Key has a village with a breakfast place called the Broken Egg and mnay others.

St. Armand's Circle has unique shopping and a Cuban restaurant called Columbia. The 15 year old might enjoy Tommy Bahama's Grill.

I posted a long list a few months ago, I will try to find it and repost.

(It will be very hot here in July, so be prepared)

~SRQgirl

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4. Re: novice poster

Thanks for all the info, Im feeling a bit more relaxed now. We can think of other things to do with Shannon when the boys are out on the water, sounds like theres plenty to do. Its great to have someone to ask about stuff. When you are planning a trip its hard not to bore everyone rigid. I love thinking about it, it gets me thru the winter.

Are there any sights where you can see pictures of Sarasota and the beaches and the attractions etc?

Also, I think Shannon would love to see the dolphins and turtles and go shelling. Is it far to Venice and the places where you can hunt for shark teeth?

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Venice
Venice
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
sarasota, FL
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5. Re: novice poster

You must take everyone to the Mote Marine Aquarium.

Not only can Shannon see sharks etc. they have a wonderful boat ride (extra charge) that goes out and looks for dolphins and other critters. Very cool. Across the street is the Salty Dog restaurant which is very fun for kids and big kids.

Myakka State Park has a boat ride called the Gator Gal. It goes out for over an hour and looks for alligators and other wildlife.

I'll post a website of pictures of this area as soon as I find it....

You'll love it. (Don't tell too many people about us, it's getting too populated already!)

~SRQgirl

Cincinnati
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6. Re: novice poster

Question for SRQgirl: Interested in staying on Lido Beach in mid-March with two young children (ages 6 and 2). Will I have any trouble with noisy, college-age spring breakers?

Also, your thoughts on the Lido Beach Resort that is under new ownership since last summer?

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Lido Beach
Lido Beach
1,051 Reviews
Sarasota, FL
Lido Beach Resort
Lido Beach Resort
1,634 Reviews
Sarasota, FL
sarasota, FL
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7. Re: novice poster

ShoeManFu: (love this alias!)

I always recommedn the Lido Beach Resort. If you have not made reservations, I would get on it now. March is still high season in Sarasota. If you click on "Hotels" at the top of this TA page, you can read the reviews for the LBR. It will not disappoint.

The Lido Beach Resort is not the kind of place that will attract spring break types. They can't afford it and the management would not put up with any nonsense.

The location is great. You're not far from St. Armands Circle.

Your kids will love the beach etc.

~SRQgirl

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Lido Beach Resort
Lido Beach Resort
1,634 Reviews
Sarasota, FL
sarasota, FL
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8. Re: novice poster

ShoeManFu: (love this alias!)

I always recommend the Lido Beach Resort. If you have not made reservations, I would get on it now. March is still high season in Sarasota. If you click on "Hotels" at the top of this TA page, you can read the reviews for the LBR. It will not disappoint.

The Lido Beach Resort is not the kind of place that will attract spring break types. They can't afford it and the management would not put up with any nonsense.

The location is great. You're not far from St. Armands Circle.

Your kids will love the beach etc.

~SRQgirl

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Lido Beach Resort
Lido Beach Resort
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Sarasota, FL
sarasota, FL
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9. Re: novice poster

Debbie:

If you go to www.Sarasota.com you can see lots of photos.

If you go to www.google.com and type in Siesta Key or Sarasota you will get plenty of information. Enjoy!

~SRQgirl

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Sarasota, Florida
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for Sarasota, Longboat Key
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10. Re: novice poster

Another place to rent kayaks (or bikes) on Siesta Key is Siesta Sports Rentals; they drop you off at a great place to do kayaking. Alternatively you can get some kayaks out of Mote aquarium.

SRQgirl's recommendations are good (as usual!), though I take exception with her suggestion of Barnacle Bills and Moores Stone Crab. Over the years I've been to each 3 times and disappointed each time (I guess I'm a slow learner!).

One idea to do with the kids: GWiz science museum (downtown Sarasota). It's a great hands-on place for kids.

If you can find the address of your condos, please post it and that might open up more suggestions re activities and restaurants.

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