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Best Florida Beach spots this time of year?
Old 12-14-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
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Best Florida Beach spots this time of year?

I want to go somewhere warm after Christmas for a week. I have been to the Clearwater area once this year but not vacationed much in Florida in my life. So looking for some advice on where to go.

What are some of the better beach towns this time of year? Looking for some place with lots of entertainment (bars, restaurants, music, etc..) not a quite out of the way place.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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I want to go somewhere warm after Christmas for a week. I have been to the Clearwater area once this year but not vacationed much in Florida in my life. So looking for some advice on where to go.

What are some of the better beach towns this time of year? Looking for some place with lots of entertainment (bars, restaurants, music, etc..) not a quite out of the way place.
Anywhere from Clearwater on down to Fort Desoto should do the trick. Pass-a-grill, Sunset, and St Pete Beach are my favorites for what you are seeking. The barrier islands near Sarasota, Anna Maria, Turtle Beach are also relaxing and beautiful.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by skyvue View Post
I want to go somewhere warm after Christmas for a week. I have been to the Clearwater area once this year but not vacationed much in Florida in my life. So looking for some advice on where to go.

What are some of the better beach towns this time of year? Looking for some place with lots of entertainment (bars, restaurants, music, etc..) not a quite out of the way place.

I would recommend Siesta Key . Tons of bars and restaurants all within walking distance . Beautiful beach and the town is definitely geared to night life .You could fly into either Tampa or Sarasota airport . Of course the ultimate party town is Key West but it is a long drive from the Miami airport . If you have never been to Key West put it on your must go list and stay in a funky bed and breakfast not a hotel . We've stayed at the Chelsa House (walking distance to everything and the longest happy hour on record ). After a week at Key West you'd probably need to go direct to rehab with a smile on your face .
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:19 PM   #4
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I would recommend Siesta Key . Tons of bars and restaurants all within walking distance . Beautiful beach and the town is definitely geared to night life .You could fly into either Tampa or Sarasota airport . Of course the ultimate party town is Key West but it is a long drive from the Miami airport . If you have never been to Key West put it on your must go list and stay in a funky bed and breakfast not a hotel . We've stayed at the Chelsa House (walking distance to everything and the longest happy hour on record ). After a week at Key West you'd probably need to go direct to rehab with a smile on your face .
I did visit the beach at Siesta Key one day on my Clearwater trip and it was beautiful. I didn't see much nightlife though within walking distance of the beach?

Key West actually sounds like an option I will look into. Flights are very expensive right now though.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Anna Marie Island is another option . It has great beaches and it is very beachy ,lay back with a lot of small restaurants and bars that people walk or bike too . The crowd it attracts is early 40's . Siesta key does have tons of nightlife in their main drag since I do not go to the beach there I am not sure where it is in relation to the beach .
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:33 PM   #6
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Anna Marie Island is another option . It has great beaches and it is very beachy ,lay back with a lot of small restaurants and bars that people walk or bike too . The crowd it attracts is early 40's . Siesta key does have tons of nightlife in their main drag since I do not go to the beach there I am not sure where it is in relation to the beach .
Moe, the place where we 4 met had a couple of bars and restaurants that were very energetic. It is at the south end, across from Turtle Beach if I recall.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:45 PM   #7
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I would recommend Siesta Key . Tons of bars and restaurants all within walking distance . Beautiful beach and the town is definitely geared to night life .You could fly into either Tampa or Sarasota airport . Of course the ultimate party town is Key West but it is a long drive from the Miami airport . If you have never been to Key West put it on your must go list and stay in a funky bed and breakfast not a hotel . We've stayed at the Chelsa House (walking distance to everything and the longest happy hour on record ). After a week at Key West you'd probably need to go direct to rehab with a smile on your face .

I second Siesta Key. Beautiful beach, plenty of nightlife activities!
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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Moe, the place where we 4 met had a couple of bars and restaurants that were very energetic. It is at the south end, across from Turtle Beach if I recall.

That 's true but in Siesta center where all the little shops are there are tons of bars with music that goes forever . We would occasionally go to the beach club for a loud music fix and cheap drinks . That's also where all those restaurants with the front porches are that attract a younger crowd than me not you of course .
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
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That 's true but in Siesta center where all the little shops are there are tons of bars with music that goes forever . We would occasionally go to the beach club for a loud music fix and cheap drinks . That's also where all those restaurants with the front porches are that attract a younger crowd than me not you of course .
Right - nothing makes you feel younger than going to a place with loud music and putting ear plugs in.

We'll have to check the downtown area next trip to Turtle Beach.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:29 PM   #10
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That 's true but in Siesta center where all the little shops are there are tons of bars with music that goes forever . We would occasionally go to the beach club for a loud music fix and cheap drinks . That's also where all those restaurants with the front porches are that attract a younger crowd than me not you of course .
Beach club is our favorite place to dance in Siesta Key!
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:07 PM   #11
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I liked Pensacola and Sannibel Island.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:32 PM   #12
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Beach club is our favorite place to dance in Siesta Key!
Been there many times.......a few I actually remember........
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:38 AM   #13
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Ok, so I made the reservations and will be in Clearwater for 3 days and Siesta Beach for 3 days. Now looking for restaurant and bar recommendations? Also looking for neat things to see and do during the day.

Thanks
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:35 PM   #14
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Hope this helps !
Siesta Key Florida Night Life - Clubs, Bars, Bands, Music venues. Siesta Key Vacation & Accommodations Guide - Travel and Tourist information for Sarasota Florida
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:49 PM   #15
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While the beaches of Destin and northern Florida are IMHO some of the prettiest in the country, not in the winter! One winter, while we lived there, it snowed. If the weather is forecast warm, go there, but be prepared if a cold front blows buy.

We also lived in the Cape Canaveral area. While we found the water temp cold in the winter, the folks from the North and Canada thought the water was fine. However, if you are really looking for warm weather, I would go south.

I see several recommendations for the gulf side. While I have visisted that area, I don't know it well enough to make a recommendation. I would still say the further south the warmer.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:41 PM   #16
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Ok, so I made the reservations and will be in Clearwater for 3 days and Siesta Beach for 3 days. Now looking for restaurant and bar recommendations? Also looking for neat things to see and do during the day.

Thanks
I contacted my friend who lives near Siesta Key - here is what she had to say about bars and restaurants:

"Bars... The two that we go to the most are the Beach Club (live music on most nights of the week) and Gilligan's (live music until 10:00 or so when a DJ comes on)."

Note - I've been to both and enjoyed each. Fun dancing and hanging out places. Gilligan's has a mechanical shark on Friday nights which makes for good entertainment.

"Restaurants... In the village, there's Blase Cafe (GREAT bisque and some really awesome deals for very good food), Daiquiri Deck for sandwiches, The Hub for Tex-Mex, Solorzono's for pizza. For breakfast, people love the Broken Egg, but I prefer Sun Garden Cafe. I don't think I've actually had a bad meal in Siesta Key Village, but these are the places we go most frequently. Beyond the village, Turtle's has a great outdoor patio and decent food, and Ophelia's on the Bay is known as one of the more romantic restaurants in town. To be honest, we ate at Ophelia's only once and the food was just so-so, but everyone else we know raves about it, so we think we just ordered wrong. Also, part of the appeal is the atmosphere on their deck and it was too cold the night we went to sit out there."

Note also that I remember her taking us to a bar that was actually on the beach which was fun for atmosphere - I can find out the name if you want to know more.

Regarding daytime activities, we usually just hung out at the beach or went shopping. There are other things to do, I'm sure, but this fit our desire for total relaxation perfectly.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:56 PM   #17
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skyvue, sounds like you're all set up for this trip. Hope it's great for you. Sometime in the future, you might try Ft. Myers Beach. Stay closer to the downtown area for night spots. It's about 150 miles south of Tampa and about 10 degrees warmer in winter. Great beaches there also, but you're in geezerville so the night life may not be up to your expections.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:42 AM   #18
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Florida is one of my favorite holdiay destinations in the US. I've already been to Clearwater and the Tampa region and it's just lovely - the weather, the beaches and the sights and attractions. I want to visit Biscayne National Park this summer and really looking forward to it. I heard a lot of great things about the place, should be a diving and snorkeling paradise. For me Florida is a place where you can really relax and let your spirits flow.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:13 PM   #19
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I have asked about Orlando in another thread "Orlando: ...", but since I will have 4 extra days after visiting Universal/Islands of Adventure and shopping (outlet malls), I will also visit the Tampa area.

I would like to know what and where I can visit to make the most out of my 1 day trip to Tampa ? Please be specific and details so that I can enter the addresses into my GPS.

Ideally places where I must see in the Tampa/Clearwater/St Pete area. I will be travelling with my wife and my daughters.

Thank you !
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:39 PM   #20
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I have asked about Orlando in another thread "Orlando: ...", but since I will have 4 extra days after visiting Universal/Islands of Adventure and shopping (outlet malls), I will also visit the Tampa area.

I would like to know what and where I can visit to make the most out of my 1 day trip to Tampa ? Please be specific and details so that I can enter the addresses into my GPS.

Ideally places where I must see in the Tampa/Clearwater/St Pete area. I will be travelling with my wife and my daughters.

Thank you !
In Orlando you are closer to the east coast where Cape Canaveral is and that trip is much less congested .
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