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Clearwater Florida???

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by twistertail, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. I have read some stuff about Clearwater from some of you guys and was wondering what its like down there. Looking for a nice beach vacation to go with the wife and baby, probably not till next spring, but dont want to drive with an 18 month old and dont really care about all the tourist stuff, just looking for a beach to play on and a beach house to rent. I have heard the Clearwater area is nice. Anyone got any other ideas that is a pretty short flight from Columbus and a short drive to get to the beach.
     
  2. 2 years ago we took our 18 month old daughter with us down to the outer banks in North Carolina. We drove and she did great (about a 10 hour drive from Columbus). We've been down twice with her since then. We always rent a house just off the "peak" period so that rates are a little lower (very reasonable for a very nice place). If you want a quiet, beautiful beach, it is such a good choice. We've stayed in Kill Devil Hills, Kittyhawk, and Nags Head. The latter was my favorite. If your schedule is a little flexible, I'd recommend going during the first part of September. The rates are low, there is little traffic, the weather is still very nice, and the water is still warm.
     

  3. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    TT- Clearwater is a nice place, nice beach. IMHO it is a little touristy though. I was just there in Feb with my wife for a weekend.

    I lived in Sarasota (about 70 miles south of CW) for 8 years, and it sports a great beach and is a little less touristy. I agree with Jitterbug- OBX is a great place to consider as well, though the surf is always a concern when children are involved.
     
  4. Roger is correct. You have to pay attention to the surf. They do monitor it pretty well. We were there for 7 days last summer/fall, and 2 of the days they had the ocean off limits because of the surf. It was clearly marked and patrolled heavily. The beach was still great to enjoy. I've been to Sarasota as well, and it would suit your family nicely as well. I like the less touristy feel of OBX and Sarasota, but they both have many things to enjoy. Your daughter would probably love the sand dunes that are on the Outer Banks (and you would too!). They are probably the most enjoyable aspect for us. Time spent with your family will be enjoyed anywhere.
     
  5. Schedule is wide open, anytime of year. Was thinking of late spring like May since that seems to kinda be the off season for Florida. I would like to do he Outer Banks but just not sure about the drive with the little one, I know lots of people do it so maybe its not as bad as I'm thinking. Hey Roger how about the areas a little south of Clearwater, I think Indian Shores was one and I dont remember the rest but are some of those a little less touristy?
     
  6. If you decide on the Outer Banks, you may want to consider going in late August - early September. The water is still pretty cool in May, but not unbearable (possibly). We were fearing the drive as well, but it all went very well. One possible scenario that works is driving through the night with the little one. We did this one as well, and it worked nicely. Just trade off drivers or rest up before you go. Bring some food and activities for your daugter. We saved a bunch of money by being able to drive and rent during the off season. You can probably do the house rental and gas for $1,000 - $1,500.
     
  7. Thanks for the tips, might look into the Outer Banks. Any info on a rental company? Looking for beach house instead of hotel or condo. Thats not too bad a price for a place to stay and the cost of getting there.
     
  8. Try some of these. I would definitely recommend going with a rent house and not a hotel. You can get a quaint little house right on the ocean. It is actually fun to peruse the different sites, look at the different houses (some are incredible!...others are more reasonable), and look for a good price for the time you will be there. You are pretty much in the driver's seat if you don't have a set week. You typically rent by the week. I've used both Sun Realty and Village Realty. I was happy with both. If I can help with anything else let me know. This is a great place to take a family!


    http://www.southernshores.com/

    http://nagsheadrealty.com/

    http://www.sunrealtync.com/?ref=VOB

    http://www.outerbanksrentals.com/

    http://www.villagerealtyobx.com/?ref=VOB

    http://www.visitob.com/outerbanks/realestate/rentals.htm
     
  9. Thanks for all the info, I will be checking out those sites. The one problem I've been having is finding a beach house that is small, most are really big with 4 or more bedrooms. I just need something small for the 3 of us.
     
  10. You are right, most are big. #3 or 4 bedroom is about as small as you'll find. When just the 3 of us went the first time, we stayed in a 4 bedroom the slept something like 10 people. Alot of extra room, but it was fine. I'd just recommend you keep searching. You may just have a large house for the 3 or you. Off season, you should get a pretty good deal. It might not hurt to call the rental agencies and tell them of your situation and see if they have any recommendations. Might save you a lot of time!

    What you'll discover after you go is that you'll want to invite several families to go with you next time. You'll get a plush house at a very reasonable price after splitting the rent.
     
  11. Check out a place called Royal Mansions in Cocoa Beach / Cape Canaveral. My aunt and uncle came down over christmas and rented a place there. It was VERY reasonable if you book online. They have been going there with my cousins for the past 4 years or so. They had a 2 bed/2 bath with balcony that overlooked the ocean.

    The place is group of condos right on the beach. They have a nice in ground pool and hot tub. You can watch the cruise ships going out. The view at night is amesome. The beach is semi private and doesn't get too busy.

    There is a fishing pier close by 5 minutes.

    Very nice two thumbs up!
     
  12. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

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    Hi Jason!!!!

    Good to see you post and know your still around.

    Wes gave me some details on his trip down with you, wish I could have made it.

    take care,
    Kim
     
  13. We had a good time and even managed to catch some fish...

    I'm leaving here thursday after work with the boat in tow... Staying until the following weekend, driving home sunday, back to work on monday....

    Maybe we can get together for some erie perching!

    Sorry to derail your thread! Check out Royal Mansions! I think they paid 900 for 13 days on the interenet. If you are interested IM me and I'll get the info from my uncle
     
  14. Sounds like a great price for the Royal Mansions place. Where would I fly into and how far from the airport would it be? I really dont want to drive any more than an hour or so from the airport to the beach. I like the fishing peer!!
     
  15. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    TT - I'm really not that familiar with the Tampa/St. Pete area. That was my first trip to Clearwater believe it or not, and while we had fun, I doubt that I'd take my family there for vacation. I don't know what it was, it just wasn't somewhere I'd take the kids. My wife and i enjoyed it though, and it is a pretty place.

    Good luck in your search. I'm still not real sure what you are looking for other than a good rate and a beach, both of which can be had off-season. If you are looking at FL I do recommend going no earlier than May if you want to spend much time in the water, and to avoid July-Aug as it's waaaaay too hot.

    OBX is nice. Fly into Richmond and rent a car!
     
  16. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

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    Well, I was in Hudson, about 25 miles north but same difference.

    The area is decent with everything you need for a vacation close-by and handy. The accomodations in the area range from basic to over-the-top. I liked the water- clean and very calm. I never saw any surf over about 6" the entire time we were there. I took my boat with me and spent quite a bit of time in the Gulf cruising around. Great place that I would like to go back to.

    We ate dinner one evening at the Palm Pavillion restaurant in north Clearwater. Right on the beach, very cool and the food was awesome. I loved sitting back drinking a Pina Colada and watching the bikini-clad babes stroll by. It was brutal. :D

    However, and this is major, you have to be aware that SW Florida can be a nasty place if red tide occurs while you are there. There is one down there now that has made the area south of Clearwater pretty nasty. I missed it by a week or two. It usually happens in winter down there but it has been bad this year. You can find some sites on the web that tell yu about it. Other than that, it's a great spot.

    UFM82
     
  17. Thanks for all the info guys, keep it coming.
    All I'm looking for is a nice beach and a beach house. I would much rather have a house than a condo or motel and really want to be right on the beach, walk off the back patio into the sand! Been to Myrtle and Virgina beach and dont care to back to those places or anything like, too much tourism stuff like the putt putt and shops and all that stuff. I guess my wife and I got spoiled in St John on our honeymoon, the beaches there were just awsome. I dont expect to find anything like that in the states but just a quiet beach and nice house to stay in. I was just looking at Florida because I know people who have been there and of course there are lots of beaches down there. I'm pretty much wide open for any time of the year and any part of the east coast or Florida. Dont want a long flight and dont want a long drive after the flight. Am I asking too much;) We would love to go back to St John but think that would be a little too long a flight for an 18 month old so probably wont go back there till she is a little older.
     
  18. Twistertail,

    You would fly into orlando. There is also a small airport in sanford. Either one is roughly an hour ot hour and half to the place. The only reason I suggest Royal Mansions is that it was really nice for the money. I was pretty impressed to find something that close to the water with the amenities for the price.

    Ron Jons surfshop is right up the street, there are also a ton of stores and stuff around. The beach infront of the condo's was really nice and seemed pretty quite.

    If it was me, I would try to plan your trip around a rocket or shuttle launch at canaveral. When I was there a rocket went up and it was awesome. You can see the launch and hear/feel it!!!! My Aunt/Uncle got to see the shuttle launch when they were there a few years ago. Uncle said it was 10 times better than the rocket!

    Good luck in your decision...

    J
     
  19. Can you see the shuttle right from the resort?? That would be pretty cool. I will certainly check this place out and put it on the list. I'm in the very early stages of planning, actually just talking about right now, but with so many places to go its hard to narrow down the search. Its nice to talk to people who have been to some of these places and get some real info instead of what they say on their own web sites. You can make any place look nice with a few photos from just the right angles. My wife and I are really looking forward to taking our little girl to the beach.
     
  20. Twistertail,

    You can view the shuttle from the place. In the pool, hot tub, or on the beach, excellent views. The part that sealed the deal for me was 2 hour happy hour every evening right at the resort.. Free beer and wine!!! You would think I worked there the way I talk about the place! LOL

    Good luck, I know what you are saying about making a place look nicer than it is on the net. Having the same problem trying to find a place in the keys!

    Good luck
    Jason