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family beach vaca in feb?

chicago, IL
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family beach vaca in feb?

hi, we and our 2 year old, 7 mos old baby and grandma want to go to florida in feb for a beach vacation (we're from chicago). any suggestions for a relaxing vaca? we have heard of marco island, ft lauderdale, ft myers.

thanks!

UK
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1. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

It depends on what you want from your vacation. Feb can be the coldest month in Winter. If you want warm seawater, you aren't going to find it, but you will find pools are heated. You will find sunny warm days, but cool cloudy ones too on occasion.

Usually locals are cold, but you should feel warm enough if you stick to areas south of Sarasota/Palm Beach perhaps.

So you need to decide sunrises and surf? Or sunsets and White sand (in some places) or great shelling (in others). Then low rise low key without loads of people and lots of nature, or high rise high life with lots of fun activities around. Then car or no car? Also, I find at the very least Suite hotels with 2 bedrooms or rentals would be the best situation for a muligenerational family with babies in tow. Certainly over several standard hotel/motel rooms.

Answering these to yourself, then to us, will help you find the right FL beach town for you.

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

February is also one of the most crowded ones for most of the south Florida towns. Tons of others also wanting to be in a warm place.

Sacramento...
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3. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

I'm very biased here, but I take my little ones every-other winter to Ft. Myers beach to visit with grandma and grandpa. Look for Estero Island hotels/rentals/condos. Here you will be close to everything; most every hotel is beachfront. Like Amanx said, the seawater will be colder (most still swim), but with a 2 year-old and infant you won't be swimming in the ocean much anyway.

chicago, IL
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4. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

thanks so much! anywhere with sandy beaches, shells optional and nearby kids things (museums, aquariums, anything fun for a toddler). good point on vaca rentals. do most FL people use VRBO? we'll probably rent a car. yeah the water will prob not be warm but we can't do anything with little kids anyway. :)

thank you!

UK
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5. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

VRBO, Homeaway, and for gulf Coast, gulfcoastrentals.com

Sanibel has the shells (some on Marco too) gasparilla island to Venice has the shark's teeth, and Siesta Key up to Anna Maria has the lovely pure white sands. Pools will be heated and fun for the kids. Sarasota area has some great things incl Mote Aquarium. They had a great kids museum there, but it is closed for a refurb i think.

I find water play and sand play tops for that age range anyway.

Condos are great for kids, you can fix them what they need, go out to the beach every day, maybe lunch out and then dinner in with a glass of wine while they sleep.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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6. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

January and February are usually the coldest months of the year in Florida, so for warmer water and ambient temperatures, go as far south as you can. But as others have said, there will be some crowds, and rates will be at their peak.

In the Cocoa Beach area (the closest beach to Disney, about an hour away), some people will go into the water, but it will be chilly compared to the bathwater-like water we are enjoying now. Around Naples and Fort Meyers on the Gulf of Mexico, the temperatures will be a few degrees warmer, but traffic is usually heavy. The air temperatures will be also be slightly warmer around Broward (Fort Lauderdale area) and Dade (Miami area) counties over on the Atlantic, but the water will be even warmer than the Gulf because of the ocean currents. The temperatures in the Keys will be the warmest of all, although cold fronts can still come through.

In addition to condos, which often rent by the week or longer, there are extended stay hotels with kitchenettes, and apartment/timeshare hotels with living rooms, kitchens and 1-3 BR, that both rent by the day. Examples in the Cocoa Beach area can be found at www.ronjonresort.com and www.discoverybeachresort.com , but similar lodging can be found all over Florida.

chicago, IL
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7. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

thank you, folks! has anyone ever been to clear water? thanks for the rental tips.

jamesville ny
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for Fort Myers
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8. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

I have to agree with the above posts as to the weather. As you can see I like Fort Myers Beach. The Pink Shell Beach resort is a great family resort because it had a separate pool for children and isn't far from Time Sq, where you will find restaurants and shops and street entertainers. There are many gulf front condos along Estero Bld. from the north to the mid-island and south ends. www.vrbo.com and www.homeaway.com can be a great help searching for a condo.

UK
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9. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

Clearwater is a city, with a city beach (CWB) which is big built up and busy. If that is what you like (and would include Ft L, Miami beach and Fort Myers beach), you will be fine. Some like this esp if they on't want to drive a car.

BUT, it would be the coldest of the ones you mentioned. You could be on the west coast further south if you want warmer but not as busy.

You really need to either choose what you want already (ie clearwater) or say what is most important to you. Be it warmth, atmosphere, size of resort etc. As there will be a big difference between say Clearwater and Miami in january. whereas there isn't in August.

Calgary, Canada
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10. Re: family beach vaca in feb?

You asked about Clearwater Beach. Clearwater is a beautiful beach with soft, white sand and wide beaches. It's a small area - only two blocks wide and three miles long - and a busy beach town with beautiful, new, full service hotels, as well as mom and pop motels. If you want a busy place with lots to do - then Clearwater is a beautiful place to visit. If you are looking for a quiet beach, then look at the beaches between Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach - or the beaches suggested by others. The soft white beaches start at Clearwater and run south. Clearwater won the award for best Florida Beach Town in 2013. If you are interested in Clearwater, the further north you are on the beach, the quieter it is. The northern end of Clearwater Beach is residential with very quiet beaches - if you wanted to rent a house. If you want to rent a house or condo - start looking as they book up very quickly. The Gulf coast is very popular with snowbirds who spend their entire winter in the warmer climate. If you want suggestions on where to stay, post on our forum and we'll be happy to help you.