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Old 18 Jan 20, 11:53 PM  
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HermioneFuzzle
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Gulf Coast destination suggestions

I'm a bit overwhelmed by the choices, have been reading through advice on here, but it obviously varies depending on needs/age.

I'm looking for a nice beach resort with the beach, cafés, restaurants and shops in short distance- preferably a hotel/appartment/suite/condo within a complex and a decent-sized pool. Not even sure where to begin- have looked at Clearwater, Bradenton, AMI... and genuinely don't mind where we go...we just want a beach-holiday end to our break.

I would love somewhere like Captiva, but there needs to be restaurants/cafés within a reasonable distance.

My children don't do posh restaurant-wise (ASD son who is very vocal when his chicken nuggets touch the chips on his plate ). So laid back and unstuffy would be great!

Thanks as always for the advice Dibbers!
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Old 19 Jan 20, 10:57 AM  
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smithlane
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I can wholeheartedly recommend Anna Maria Island, it’s just paradise to me. I’ve visited Clearwater for the day and whilst it was fun I wouldn’t want to spend any longer there, too commercialised but I know many others will disagree with me. It’s personal opinion at the end of the day.
Although AMI does offer fine dining there are also plenty of restaurants to choose from that will cater nuggets and chips, I have a particular fussy child myself 😂
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Old 19 Jan 20, 11:27 AM  
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I've heard great things about AMI, my American family absolutely love it. We really enjoyed Naples, a bit further south, we picked it because we wanted to go into the Everglades, had a lovely week there, good restaurants, family friendly, lovely beach. You can fish off the pier, but when w were there a dolphin was eating everyone's bait. We hired a house through Airbnb.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 11:51 AM  
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The gulf coast has several resorts which would suit your needs, make a list of your requirements and just do your research.

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Busy Boca Grande Beach, South West Florida, Paradise.

www.pinevalleycreek.com

4 Bed / 3 Bath in Rotonda West in South West Florida near this fantastic beach. See the real Florida.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 05:02 PM  
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Susan Coleman
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I would recommend AMI
We go every year..and a take condo with a beach view
The beach is amazing with soft white quartz sand..from the condo terrace you can view dolphins and pelicans..and see amazing sunsets early evening, since beach side faces west..bay side is east facing..there are many restaurants mostly not chains..The rod and reel pier is on the east side, top end of the long island and does a great fish supper
there is a Publix..and everything is on hand...free island trolley travels up and down
the whole island has a lovely laid back feel
If you prefer a villa with pool holiday , I would think somewhere like Hanks might suit you
Beautiful location , but you do have to drive to the beach and restaurants, Ok if you do not mid a short drive
We have been also to Sanibel , several times, and beach there is amazing...shell strewn because it takes 2 tides and from the south...not sure if it is still good since it has suffered really badly with red tide..several good restaurants, but you really need to come off the island for a good shop..quite expensive to rent...Captiva is all even higher end and more remote for facilities
As suggested do your research and check out choices
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Old 19 Jan 20, 05:17 PM  
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paultall90
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we stay at Indian rocks beach just a short cheap bus ride into clearwater or johns pass plenty of bars and eateries within walking distance and a beautiful beach.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 05:25 PM  
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Cloverlady
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Another who thinks Anna Maria Island would suit you, also maybe Fort Myers Beach. Lots to do/eat etc in Clearwater but it's not our favourite place to go, our favourite would be Marco Island but I think Anna Maria Island would be perfect for you
As has been said above, there are loads of places going down the Gulf Coast and half the fun is researching them All have stunning sunsets and the sugar soft white sands.
Start with a few of the places suggested on this thread so far, watch a few videos and lose yourself ...ahhhhh.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 06:31 PM  
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HermioneFuzzle
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Originally Posted by Cloverlady View Post
Another who thinks Anna Maria Island would suit you, also maybe Fort Myers Beach. Lots to do/eat etc in Clearwater but it's not our favourite place to go, our favourite would be Marco Island but I think Anna Maria Island would be perfect for you
As has been said above, there are loads of places going down the Gulf Coast and half the fun is researching them All have stunning sunsets and the sugar soft white sands.
Start with a few of the places suggested on this thread so far, watch a few videos and lose yourself ...ahhhhh.
I love the look of Marco island, is there a reason you favour it the most? I’m guessing it may not be busy enough to be convenient for us.
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Old 19 Jan 20, 06:44 PM  
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Cloverlady
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Originally Posted by HermioneFuzzle View Post
I love the look of Marco island, is there a reason you favour it the most? I’m guessing it may not be busy enough to be convenient for us.
We like it because it's so laid back and quiet , oh and the beach itself!
It's just one of our favourite places
We stay at Marco Island Ocean Resort and tend to just stay at the hotel itself and do a supermarket shop and eat there, in between zipping up and down to Naples area for other food and a wander.
Going back there later this year and can't wait

There are loads of lovely lovely places on the Gulf, I'm sure you will enjoy wherever you go!
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Old 19 Jan 20, 06:29 PM  
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HermioneFuzzle
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Thank you all for the input. I will research, sounds like fun. I appreciate the opinions though. Booking a holiday with an ASD child is like Russian roulette- it can look amazing. But one slight issue tips the balance very quickly, which can lead to a week of pure hell!
My main worry is that a beach town could be too noisy, or so high-end that DS doesn’t eat.
I’ll look into the options you have all kindly suggested. Thank you!
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