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Old 09-20-2020, 08:02 AM   #241
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I'm trying to decide if I feel comfortable taking the train or not; so far I'm trying to avoid more than a few minutes in shared indoor spaces, even if we're all masked. It seems like a risk I can avoid. The problem is, two of my closest friends are turning 50 in the next 3 months, and I have special bottles of single malt scotch reserved for each of them. I could drive up to see them and back in one day, but it's about 4-5 hours each way, so taking the train would be preferable. (It was preferable even when I used to stay for a few days, as I can relax and read or watch movies on the train.)

Anyone been on the NE Corridor in the last month or two? I'm wondering how crowded it was, and if anyone on the train was being a maskhole.
I have not but they seem to be allowing some distance. Like seat next to you unsold (i.e..you can take 2 seats).

Sleeper car on auto train was part of the attraction for me.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:03 AM   #242
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Love to have walkable amenities. Otherwise priorities are nice sand and clearest, most beautiful water.

I would expect to hit multiple beaches unless I find a spot I can't bear to leave. This would be over a couple of week period.

Usually stay in non-chain older motels with kitchenette, but could also do airbnb or similar. Thanks in advance for ideas.

That's why I've been researching retirement locations on WalkScore. I would like to live someplace where I can walk or take public transportation to a lot of things; I grew up either taking the bus or the train or walking everywhere in NYC, and I like to take the time to read, familiarize myself with a neighborhood, or just people-watch.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:25 AM   #243
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Love to have walkable amenities. Otherwise priorities are nice sand and clearest, most beautiful water.

I would expect to hit multiple beaches unless I find a spot I can't bear to leave. This would be over a couple of week period.

Usually stay in non-chain older motels with kitchenette, but could also do airbnb or similar. Thanks in advance for ideas.
We went to the beach yesterday, usually go once a week.

Here in SE Florida the beaches are nice, but I imagine the cost of hotels is higher that other parts of Florida. My son in lawís father has a place in northern Broward county (Ft Lauderdale) and he (the son) prefers the beaches here in southern Palm Beach. This area is most convenient to drive down to the Keys.

Sanibel and Ft Meyers have some really nice beaches. I wouldnít want to get stuck on Sanibel if thereís a hurricane warning, but other than that, itís a good option. Not sure what the night life or non-beach activity is like.

DW spent a week in Tampa / St Pete and loved the beach. Plenty of non-beach stuff to do, lots of options a short drive away.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:33 AM   #244
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I have not but they seem to be allowing some distance. Like seat next to you unsold (i.e..you can take 2 seats).

Sleeper car on auto train was part of the attraction for me.
Thanks, although the NE Corridor doesn't have assigned seats, it sounds like maybe they're underselling the trains so that every other seat can be empty? Even so, I'd feel better with a mostly empty car, breathing the same air as strangers for ~4 hours even with masks on isn't ideal to me. Hm. I may just have to show my friends the bottles over video chat on or around their birthdays.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:37 AM   #245
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I live on the west coast of Florida . I would recommend Anna Marie Island . The beaches are beautiful ,lots of air B&B options . A very beachy area . They also have a trolley which takes you around the Island .
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:28 AM   #246
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I am planning a train/car trip to Florida. Planning to take the auto train from here in Northern Va to Florida, then drive to check out some nice beaches. It looks like Key West (a fun location but not great beaches) is 6-7 hours from Sanford, FL where the train ride ends. So everything else is closer including Siesta Key, From Myers/Sanibel, Florida panhandle (yes I know they had a hurricane but most beaches probably fine, etc.), St.. Augustine, Jacksonville, etc.

I would welcome any ideas on beach selection. This would be in the next few weeks.
Looks like Sanford is close to Daytona beach, certainly worth visiting if you never have. You can still drive your car and park it on sections of Daytona beach.

We go there every year, it's a very long beach, and the water is warmer than on the Gulf side (which surprised me how cold Gulf side is). We do have a timeshare there, and we had one on the Gulf side, but sold it as 2 in FL were too much.

The beaches on the East side are more like sand beaches. The Gulf side are more white, powdered shells, of the two I like the Gulf side beaches as they are prettier and nicer to walk barefoot upon (IMHO).
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:09 PM   #247
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Maybe drive to Banff-Lake Louise and/or Jasper for a few days IF the weather holds.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:56 PM   #248
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I am heading to 30% capacity Disney next month with my kids and grandkids. Staying in an Airbnb house. Flying on Delta with empty middle seat. I was not planning to travel again this year, but I am excited to go!
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:27 PM   #249
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#1 on Anna Marie Island. Itís the closest you can get to the Caribbean without leaving the country, IMHO. Iím not a beach fan but if Iím forced to go by hubby that is where I would choose.

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I live on the west coast of Florida . I would recommend Anna Marie Island . The beaches are beautiful ,lots of air B&B options . A very beachy area . They also have a trolley which takes you around the Island .
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:20 PM   #250
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I do have Anna Maria island on my short list, thanks Moemg and Gremlin.

Also I will add Daytona at Sunset's suggestion and look at SE Florida, thanks MichaelB.

Not sure I will get as far as the Keys but who knows? Had a nice spring break trip there probably 3 years ago. But I will remain flexible.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:54 PM   #251
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After extensive travel while working, including 5 weeks in Florida a year, there are really not many places we care to visit in the U.S. We travel to Europe yearly, however our trip this April was cancelled for obvious reasons.

Many friends have Gulf Coast condos at some of the world's best beaches. But my wife and I never go to the beach since we have a house on the lake an hour from home.

We have recently been to the Smoky Mountains twice and are going again for Thanksgiving with the daughter, grandkids and great grandkid. We've had no problems traveling while distancing, and we're going to be in a rented house up on the mountain. We've yet to see any COROVID obtained from a bear.
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Old 09-21-2020, 12:11 PM   #252
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Usually stay in non-chain older motels with kitchenette, but could also do airbnb or similar. Thanks in advance for ideas.


I don't think you will find too many motels on or near the beach in South East Florida. All those motels along the beach from North Miami Beach have been torn down and replaced by luxury high rise condominiums. The transformation has been astonishing from what it was like in the 70's to now. I would avoid motels in South Florida since most are inland and not particularly in safe areas.

If you want nice secluded beaches, you need to visit places like Jenson Beach or even Palm Beach. As far as crystal clear water, you have to find reefs offshore or take the shuttle boat to the Bahamas. The Florida Keys really don't have any nice beaches but there are a lot of sand bars offshore that you can access with a Kayak around Duck and Marathon Keys.

The best place we have found to stay in the Keys is Hawks Cay in Duck Key.

https://www.hawkscay.com/

It's not inexpensive but their rates now are 40-50% less than what they were before the Pandemic. It is by far one of the nicest place to stay in the Florida Keys.
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Old 09-21-2020, 12:52 PM   #253
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I don't think you will find too many motels on or near the beach in South East Florida. All those motels along the beach from North Miami Beach have been torn down and replaced by luxury high rise condominiums. The transformation has been astonishing from what it was like in the 70's to now. I would avoid motels in South Florida since most are inland and not particularly in safe areas.

If you want nice secluded beaches, you need to visit places like Jenson Beach or even Palm Beach. As far as crystal clear water, you have to find reefs offshore or take the shuttle boat to the Bahamas. The Florida Keys really don't have any nice beaches but there are a lot of sand bars offshore that you can access with a Kayak around Duck and Marathon Keys.

The best place we have found to stay in the Keys is Hawks Cay in Duck Key.

https://www.hawkscay.com/

It's not inexpensive but their rates now are 40-50% less than what they were before the Pandemic. It is by far one of the nicest place to stay in the Florida Keys.
Thanks for the ideas. Will check out. Agree Key West is not a beach destination, but a fun and interesting spot.

Hawks Cay looks interesting.
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Old 09-23-2020, 12:34 PM   #254
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Just got back from a three week, 3500 mile road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP. Mostly stayed in cabins and motels with outside entrances, ate take out, minimized my time inside public places and was careful to socially distance, etc. Some of the activities that I enjoy were off limits due to the virus. No ranger programs, many historic lodges and homesteads were closed, NP museums and visitor centers closed, etc. Tourists within the parks were generally good about social distancing but not so much in the nearby tourist towns. It was more crowded than I expected for after Labor Day and views were often hazy due to western wildfires. But it was great to get out of the house for a few weeks and enjoy nature. I plan to go to Glacier next September and may consider flying as it is a long drive.
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Old 09-23-2020, 12:58 PM   #255
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Just got back from a three week, 3500 mile road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP. Mostly stayed in cabins and motels with outside entrances, ate take out, minimized my time inside public places and was careful to socially distance, etc. Some of the activities that I enjoy were off limits due to the virus. No ranger programs, many historic lodges and homesteads were closed, NP museums and visitor centers closed, etc. Tourists within the parks were generally good about social distancing but not so much in the nearby tourist towns. It was more crowded than I expected for after Labor Day and views were often hazy due to western wildfires. But it was great to get out of the house for a few weeks and enjoy nature. I plan to go to Glacier next September and may consider flying as it is a long drive.

Thanks for the update. Iíve been reading just how crazy crowded our NPís have been this year. Glacier is a great place. Maybe our favorite NP. Seems like a train trip into glacier is the way to go. I havenít done it. But it looks like a great idea.
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Old 09-23-2020, 01:43 PM   #256
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Thanks for the ideas. Will check out. Agree Key West is not a beach destination, but a fun and interesting spot.

Hawks Cay looks interesting.
We have always stayed at the Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada when we're in the Keys. It is pricey, but very nice.
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:44 PM   #257
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I do have Anna Maria island on my short list, thanks Moemg and Gremlin.

Also I will add Daytona at Sunset's suggestion and look at SE Florida, thanks MichaelB.

Not sure I will get as far as the Keys but who knows? Had a nice spring break trip there probably 3 years ago. But I will remain flexible.
You can always take the ferry from Fort Meters to Key West .
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:36 PM   #258
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We have re-arranged our bucket list. Top of of the return to list is Greece (always), Cyprus, Italy (always on the list) Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Portugal, Scotland, and South Africa.

Top of the bucket list is Kenya, Tanzania, Northern Cyprus, Azores, Morocco, Isreal/Jordan.

Once we can travel we will mix and match as the appropriate seasons cross with the travel offers.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:36 PM   #259
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Domestic business class fares continue to plunge. A direct flight from LAX to FLL is now as low as $596 return. The only risk is that the booking is over 30 days in advance and there is no guarantee that the airline won't cancel the flight.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:36 PM   #260
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Ms G and I did a 9 mile 3000' elevation gain in the cool mountains behind our casa. Beautiful day started at 70 degrees, and stayed there until 1 mile from the trailhead. Back in training for our Dolomites trip rescheduled for fall of 2021. My whole body hurts.
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