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where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

NY
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where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

Hello, everyone-

I am due in december and will have 3 year old as well. Because my husband works from home (and is therefore mobile), I'm planning a ~3 week trip to the south florida gulf during February as a maternity leave escape. I really need to some advice regarding where to stay.

What we are looking for is probably different than most posters, given the newborn traveling with us, but here is my "wish list":

1. Rent a home (not a condo or apartment)- my husband works from home and we just need the room

2. Outdoor place to play- either a yard or a walkable park

3. within 20 minute drive to the beach. Although being walkable to the beach would be ideal, I would rank this as a lower priority to get the other things. And I know we can meet our other requriements being directly on the beach!

4. Access to fun things for a 3 year old to do, i.e. aquarium, children's museum. I would say with 45 minutes would be okay. I just know I'm going to need more than the beach and pool to keep him happy for 3 weeks and don't to be isolated out on a key where it will take 45 minutes just to get back to the mainland!

5. In the ideal world, there would be stuff to walk to (restaurants, etc) but I'm not sure how much we would use that with a newborn anyway!

6. Not crazy expensive (we will be on a new baby budget).

So that is my wishlist! I appreciate any advice people have. I'm struggling a bit to find the right balance...

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

Heather:

Based on your nicely detailed list, I would suggest you post on the Marco Island forum. I think the location would meet most or all of your criteria and there are some great "destination experts" over there who could help you identify an accommodation / location that would work well for you and your little ones. That would also put you within a reasonable drive to Naples where there is a small zoo. There are some nice parks on Marco, too, where the busy 3 year old would be able to play, run and use up some of that good energy.

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Naples
Naples
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Chicago, Illinois
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2,191 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

I am having a lazy night so just did a little surfing on VRBO. Here is an example of a nice, reasonably priced Marco rental...more reasonable than many because it is not directly on the water, but you did not say that was a priority for this trip. This one happens to be available during the dates you would like to get away.

http://www.vrbo.com/447825

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
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49,151 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

AS well as Marco, look at the Venice and Bradenton areas. they are zoned for short term rentals, and are either side of Sarasota which has good attractions incl Mote Aquarium for kids. Plus most housing developments will have a play park in or nearby and those areas will guarantee you are 15 mins or even less to a beach.

Sarasota itself will have some, but many rentals there are 1 month minimum so have a look.

IU like Naples near to Marco too, but find a lot of home rentals are further to the beach than that.

Get moving because Feb is the most popular month so rentals are booked up.

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Venice
Venice
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Bradenton
Bradenton
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sarasota
Sarasota
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Naples
Naples
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
The Bakery
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9,526 posts
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4. Re: where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

The southwest area of Cape Coral would be good. There are lots of homes for rent weekly there at reasonable rates and you can easily reach the beaches of Sanibel from there if you stay south of Cape Coral Parkway and east of Chiquita Blvd. A few blocks North would be OK too. Ft Myers has an Imaginarioum, Sanibel has a shell museum and touch tank, you have access to various cruises, like Sealife Encounter from Adventures in Paradise in Punta Rass.

123cape.com/ferien/…

Just to give you and idea. I've rented in both the Yacht Club and Rosegarden areas and was very happy with the location, but I just prefer staying on Sanibel.

Edited: 29 August 2013, 23:31
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Cape Coral
Cape Coral
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Wisconsin
Destination Expert
for Marco Island
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5. Re: where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

Marco Island would be a GREAT choice for you. There are many homes available for rent that are within walking distance to the beach. Marco is VERY family friendly. The Naples Zoo is close. There is a really nice spray park on the island for little tikes along wit some nice playgrounds. Almost every restaurant on the island is family friendly. There is really nice baby gear that can be rented from Little Tykes. The beach is lovely and long and wide. Hard to beat.

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Marco Island
Marco Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
6. Re: where to go for an escape during maternity leave?

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