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Thread: Southwest Florida Coast

  1. #1
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    We're finally heading to Florida in September for our fact-finding mission. We wanted to get this done last year but never got there. Looking for some suggestions on the following...

    (1) We are staying on Sanibel at the Song of the Sea hotel. Any comments on this property?
    (2) We will be traveling south from there, along the coast scouting out possible condo units for a future trip in January or February 2013. We hope to get out of NH for at least two weeks in 2013, and if we find the right property, add on to that time frame for future trips. Suggestions/comments on rental properties? Realtors? NOTE: We're taking our cocker spaniel with us...must be pet friendly.
    (3) Naples looks appealing and we have received some info on that city already...any other cities we shouldn't miss?

    We're going in blind as neither of us have ever been to this part of Florida. Any and all suggestions helpful...restaurants, beaches, whatever.

    Thanks!
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  2. #2
    SteveP is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jan 2012 Naples, FL Posts: 53
    You should enjoy Sanibel. Unfortunately, not familiar with your hotel. Check out Captiva as well.

    As far as rentals go "season" (Jan. through April) may be difficult finding a place for just 2 weeks especially with a pet but a realtor could help. John R Wood, Premier Properties or Downing Frye are all reputable.

    If you elect not to stay on Sanibel/Capitiva in Jan/Feb then I think Naples is the spot. Naples offers much more in terms of restaurants, the arts, night spots, shopping etc. I boils down to what you are looking for. Sanibel/Capitiva is more low key than Naples. Let me know if you heading down to Naples in Sept and I can suggest several very good restaurants.

  3. #3
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Thanks so much Steve. We're not totally locked into Naples but we thought it would be a good starting point. We do feel that Sanibel isn't where we would want to rent during the winter months.
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  4. #4
    DAL is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Apr 2003 Easton, Ct Posts: 197
    I have bee doing research on the same thing, including dog(s). What I have found is VRBO
    which allows you to check "pet friendly". I came up with several interesting choices. I found a very cute "cottage" on Captiva which allows pets and you can walk to the beach. There were quite a few condos in Sanibel that also would allow pets. There is also a place on Sanibel http://www.thecastaways.com/index.html that is pet friendly. I am leaning more towards Sanibel/Captiva rather than Naples, I think the casual/beach bar atmosphere is what we are looking for. Good luck with your search and let me know how you make out.
    Diane

  5. #5
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Hey Diane - I'm very familiar with VRBO and continue to rent through them for a week with my sis in May. I've had exceptional luck with them. And, once we decide on the area/city we want to be in, I might begin my search there. I have a feeling I'm going to love Sanibel but again, we'll have to see. I appreciate your suggestions..good luck with your search too!
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  6. #6
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,935
    I rent my ski condos through VRBO and I think its a very well run organization...

    I got deployed to run a booze cruise boat one winter many years ago out of Ft Myers and just fell in love with Captiva...cannot say enough good about it..Sanibel is nice too..but Captiva is something special
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  7. #7
    sbhlvr is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2009 Dunes of Cape Cod Posts: 1,761
    we love Captiva also, was just there (instead of SBH) this past May.
    There's no dumb a$$ vaccine

  8. #8
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Guess we'll have to check it out during our week of exploration. Thanks
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  9. #9
    BBT is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2008 Posts: 11,049
    You will be fine they are only expecting 1-3 at most and my bet is they won't get that.
    "St. Bart's is Crack for Vacations." Credit given to EDW

  10. #10
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Hope you're right....
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  11. #11
    BBT is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2008 Posts: 11,049
    By this Thursday they will be saying Issac who.
    "St. Bart's is Crack for Vacations." Credit given to EDW

  12. #12
    RichBouker is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jun 2008 Ocala Florida Posts: 66
    Here is a beach cam from one of My favorite restaurants in the panhandle.http://www.blueparrotsgi.com/multimedia/livecam.htm.

  13. #13
    RichBouker is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jun 2008 Ocala Florida Posts: 66
    You may also want to check up on the ferry that goes from Naples to Key West. I have never been, but know folks that have and They say its a really fun trip. Rhum drinks and steel drums. Spend a day or two in the Conch Republic.

  14. #14
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,935
    very good friend of mine owns and operates that boat....
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  15. #15
    MotherOcean is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2009 Illinois Posts: 495
    Have a great time!

    I can't even imagine all the seashells that will be washed up. I am just slightly addicted to them, well it's more than that actually. lol

    It was my first look, baby that's all it took

  16. #16
    RichBouker is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Jun 2008 Ocala Florida Posts: 66
    Really? Let's go! The meeting of the minds is in November....

  17. #17
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,935
    no chance...far too much going on that month

    but his name is Joe Miller..ask for him..he can talk a dog off a meat wagon
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  18. #18
    sbhlvr is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2009 Dunes of Cape Cod Posts: 1,761
    Quote Originally Posted by RichBouker
    Really? Let's go! The meeting of the minds is in November....

    We are typically there for that. Not this year though. I can't see Mike there for that. Too many peeps.
    There's no dumb a$$ vaccine

  19. #19
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 51,935
    even if I wanted to...I couldnt...ski season start up...hoops start up...and Thanksgiving

    my dance card is full
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  20. #20
    PIRATE40 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2005 Sarasota, Florida Posts: 1,791
    Hi....I lived down the road from Song of the Sea 15 years ago, helped remodel it back then...so it might be showing its age by now. Small intimate property right on the beach, not many amenities besides the pool. Lots of good restaurant choices. Close by are: The Jacaranda, McT's, The Timbers, Randy Wayne White's bar Doc Ford's....The Lazy Flamingo has the best mesquite
    grilled grouper ceaser ever...and the hottest "dead parott wings" in the world....I prefer Sanibel and Captiva over Naples....We also love the Keys...Lots of great B&B's and condos..Our favorite is Pier House at the end of Duvall....you can get a great beach front home on North Captiva and really get away from it all--no cars--no bridge, just peace and quiet.....Also worked on the Castaway's property..a bit rougher shape, but..right on the best shelling part of the Island...The Mad Hatter rest. is next door as well as the original Lazy Flamingo....
    "Yes I am a Pirate"

  21. #21
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Thanks to everyone for the additional info. We leave this Saturday and I'm excited about seeing the area. A little concerned that the beach might not be up to par with Isaac but we won't be sitting there all day, every day. I will definitely be picking up some shells, however, and I'm betting that the storm will bring in many! We thought we might actually check out Sarasota, Port Charlotte, etc. a bit further north than originally planned. Thanks for the restro suggestions and comment on Song of the Sea. We figured the property wasn't real posh but don't need that at least this trip. Please feel free to chime in with any and all comments and suggestions. Key West isn't on our radar this time.
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  22. #22
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 53,689
    Stop by here any night, early afternoon or lunch to have a drink Martin :)

    http://www.corkscigarbar.com
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  23. #23
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Just double checked and the Song of the Sea has been recently renovated so I'm feeling pretty good about that!
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  24. #24
    sbhlvr is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2009 Dunes of Cape Cod Posts: 1,761
    Hi Diane, we have spent a lot of time in the Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda area since my in-laws are there. If you have the chance, drive over to Boca Grande. I think the toll is $5 now but it's old style Fla. and some good beaches.Not crowded at all. There is a resto right on the beach, towrds the enhd, called South Beach. If you go up to Sarasota, check out Siesta Key Beach. It's free, the sand is unbelieveably white and soft. We base ourselves out of Punta Gorda and go north and south all the time. have a great time and do a report when you return. Looking forward to it.
    Carol
    There's no dumb a$$ vaccine

  25. #25
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Thanks so much Carol. Appreciate the suggestions - we'll be on the lookout for rental opportunities, as well as the atmosphere of many of the areas we will be driving through. We definitely would prefer a more laid back, quieter spot, close to a beach and not a larger, traffic-packed area.
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  26. #26
    Peter NJ is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2002 Highlands NJ Posts: 6,807
    Have a great trip NHD!
    The last of the famous international playboys

  27. #27
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    Thanks Pete..not even close to a week in SBH but right now, I'll take it!
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  28. #28
    MotherOcean is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2009 Illinois Posts: 495
    Diane if you are going all the way up to Sarasota check St Armands Circle. Lovely shops and restaurants.

    We also love Anna Marie Island. Probably a bit much to swing all of this in for a day but just map it for maybe a future trip.
    It was my first look, baby that's all it took

  29. #29
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,928
    I have heard/read where there are some good shopping areas in Sarasota. We will have to investigate! Thanks
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

  30. #30
    PIRATE40 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2005 Sarasota, Florida Posts: 1,791
    St. Armands has the best shopping/dining on the West coast....If you happen to make it there, stop in my store, Garden Argosy.....would love to meet you....Ron or Kathie.....
    "Yes I am a Pirate"

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