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Old 19 Jan 20, 06:57 PM  
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#11
Keirasean
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Hi
Maybe look at Cape Coral? We have done ami etc before, Cape Coral seems to have more options for activities as you mention.
I found an amazing villa in Cape Coral with a pool and 2 tiki bars on canal that stole my heart ❤️
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Old 19 Jan 20, 07:45 PM  
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I have now been to virtually every major place on the Gulf in Florida- I had never been to Anna Maria Island until Christmas, but went and it is highly recommended.
My favourite places aside from the Panhandle are Anna Maria Island (now), Indian Shores (good location in that not far from Orlando and good base for Busch), and then heading south Naples. I have been everywhere (stayed in all of these): from Clearwater, Tampa, Cape Coral (nice but no real beach) to Sarasota, to Venice, Rotonda (my least favourite) to Sanibel, Marco, Fort Myers and Lovers Key and the panhandle. Naples is my favourite of the lot, after the 30A South Walton area on the Panhandle, where I am heading next summer (Seagrove/ Seaside- where they filmed the Trueman Show). The Red Bar at Grayton Beach burnt down, but they'll have the new one open when I go back I hope.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 07:52 PM  
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
I have now been to virtually every major place on the Gulf in Florida- I had never been to Anna Maria Island until Christmas, but went and it is highly recommended.
My favourite places aside from the Panhandle are Anna Maria Island (now), Indian Shores (good location in that not far from Orlando and good base for Busch), and then heading south Naples. I have been everywhere (stayed in all of these): from Clearwater, Tampa, Cape Coral (nice but no real beach) to Sarasota, to Venice, Rotonda (my least favourite) to Sanibel, Marco, Fort Myers and Lovers Key and the panhandle. Naples is my favourite of the lot, after the 30A South Walton area on the Panhandle, where I am heading next summer (Seagrove/ Seaside- where they filmed the Trueman Show).
Isn’t AMI amazing? I have a lump in my throat each time we cross over the bridge.
We are heading to the Panhandle this summer, the South Walton area is that Fort Walton Beach?
I have been looking at Destin but haven’t booked anywhere yet so open to suggestions!
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Old 19 Jan 20, 07:59 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Isn’t AMI amazing? I have a lump in my throat each time we cross over the bridge.
We are heading to the Panhandle this summer, the South Walton area is that Fort Walton Beach?
I have been looking at Destin but haven’t booked anywhere yet so open to suggestions!
I have rented a house in Seagrove- I am driving across from New Orleans on my cross country trip and having 4 nights there, before heading to Copper Creek. It is wonderful there, these are the areas that comprise South Walton- visitsouthwalton
You get lots of stars going on holiday in this area. I stayed at San Destin last time.
Rent a condo off Homeaway- it is not cheap to stay there but worth it. Seaside and these places are really lovely, and there is a good Boardwalk area and lots of restaurants at San Destin, and restaurants etc along the scenic 30A.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 08:05 PM  
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
I have rented a house in Seagrove- I am driving across from New Orleans on my cross country trip and having 4 nights there, before heading to Copper Creek. It is wonderful there, these are the areas that comprise South Walton- visitsouthwalton
You get lots of stars going on holiday in this area. I stayed at San Destin last time.
Rent a condo off Homeaway- it is not cheap to stay there but worth it. Seaside and these places are really lovely, and there is a good Boardwalk area and lots of restaurants at San Destin, and restaurants etc along the scenic 30A.
Thank you, just looking on AirBNB and HomeAway now. Have found some stunning condos for around the £200 per night mark which is what we have budgeted.
Would you say Seaside is much nicer than Destin? We want to be able to snorkel and maybe do some water sports for the teens. It will be our chill out time for the end of the holiday though so I like the idea of it being completely chilled (apart from driving to NOLA for one night doing a whistle stop tour). As AMI is my idea of paradise I suppose I would like something similar?
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Old 19 Jan 20, 08:08 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Thank you, just looking on AirBNB and HomeAway now. Have found some stunning condos for around the £200 per night mark which is what we have budgeted.
Would you say Seaside is much nicer than Destin? We want to be able to snorkel and maybe do some water sports for the teens. It will be our chill out time for the end of the holiday though so I like the idea of it being completely chilled (apart from driving to NOLA for one night doing a whistle stop tour). As AMI is my idea of paradise I suppose I would like something similar?
Destin I am not interested in, very busy big resort.

San Destin is very nice, this is a totally different place in Fort Walton. SD has quite a bit to do, there are a lot of shops and the fancy boardwalk area. Houses there often come with a golf cart you can ride around on the roads. This is quite a good place with teens- this in itself is not really like AMI as it is a development, but a very very nice one and a short drive and you are in the Fort Walton village communities. The boardwalk area there is Baytowne Wharf and there are things like high ropes.

baytownewharf

Also it has the Grand Boulevard area:

grandboulevard

Yes it gets a bit similar to AMI down the 30A- but smaller villages make up the area. Having stayed in San Destin last time, and visited the quieter areas along the 30 A down to Seaside, we thought we would stay there this time for a change. But I would go back to San Destin any time and we will be visiting it this time.

As you will gather this is an 'upmarket' area, a bit similar to a Naples.

Seaside is pretty stunning- quite quiet and very expensive - a 1 bed condo is about a million there.

Some photos I took last time I was in Seaside:



Note the food truck- they were all around the Seaside Town Square.

This below is the house I have rented, in Seagrove this summer, opposite the beach - no idea what it will be like but it gets good reviews, off Homeaway - I am very sceptical of Air B N B- too many scammers on there.

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Old 19 Jan 20, 09:05 PM  
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
Destin I am not interested in, very busy big resort.

San Destin is very nice, this is a totally different place in Fort Walton. SD has quite a bit to do, there are a lot of shops and the fancy boardwalk area. Houses there often come with a golf cart you can ride around on the roads. This is quite a good place with teens- this in itself is not really like AMI as it is a development, but a very very nice one and a short drive and you are in the Fort Walton village communities. The boardwalk area there is Baytowne Wharf and there are things like high ropes.

baytownewharf

Also it has the Grand Boulevard area:

grandboulevard

Yes it gets a bit similar to AMI down the 30A- but smaller villages make up the area. Having stayed in San Destin last time, and visited the quieter areas along the 30 A down to Seaside, we thought we would stay there this time for a change. But I would go back to San Destin any time and we will be visiting it this time.

As you will gather this is an 'upmarket' area, a bit similar to a Naples.

Seaside is pretty stunning- quite quiet and very expensive - a 1 bed condo is about a million there.

Some photos I took last time I was in Seaside:



Note the food truck- they were all around the Seaside Town Square.

This below is the house I have rented, in Seagrove this summer, opposite the beach - no idea what it will be like but it gets good reviews, off Homeaway - I am very sceptical of Air B N B- too many scammers on there.

Thanks so much for this info YT, you’ve given me a lot to look into.
Apologies for hijacking the thread OP!
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Old 19 Jan 20, 09:13 PM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Thanks so much for this info YT, you’ve given me a lot to look into.
Apologies for hijacking the thread OP!
No probs- it is still a Gulf Coast destination so OP may be interested.
Op Indian Shores is nice- there's now a load of chain restaurants 10 mins away from there in Seminole- they built a lot of new retail buildings and restaurants back on the mainland. There is a Milers, Outback etc within a short drive from the beach. We love it there and are going back at Xmas.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 09:25 PM  
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
No probs- it is still a Gulf Coast destination so OP may be interested.
Op Indian Shores is nice- there's now a load of chain restaurants 10 mins away from there in Seminole- they built a lot of new retail buildings and restaurants back on the mainland. There is a Milers, Outback etc within a short drive from the beach. We love it there and are going back at Xmas.
Sounds like you’ve got a great road trip planned, what’s your itinerary?
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Old 19 Jan 20, 09:54 PM  
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I've found this so good to read, it's food for thought for future trips. This year is Orlando-centred whilst the kids are still fairly young. We've done a bit of Miami and the keys on previous trips, I've never felt like we know much about the Gulf coast to go and visit.

My hit list is: AMI
Naples
Indian shores- (we stayed here donkeys years ago on a package combined with Orlando!)
Looking at AMI accommodation and it's hard to find apartments for less than 7 nights (we want to do 5). I've looked at the recommendations upthread and am going to risk a stupid question: is Holmes Beach/Bradenton within the area posters are recommending, or should i look solely at AMI?
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