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Florida where best to stay if not going to Disney?

(14 Posts)
Radiator1234 Mon 29-Apr-13 22:48:53

TIA for any replies.

Doing some planning for a last minute trip to Florida in the next few weeks. We have a 3 year old and a 2 month old. Settled on Florida as we wanted to go somewhere warm, we love the US, flights are cheap, weather meant to be OK in May etc.

I can get cheap flights to Sanford, and we are planning on going for 10 days. We will rent a car then I was thinking of spending a night in or around Orlando, then a week in a villa somewhere with our own pool..I have no idea where in Florida would be best though for me to target my villa search. Ideally near a beach, happy to travel for few hours. Can anyone share any wisdom about where is nice/ safe/ good for kids (if possible) etc? I don't really have a view as to whether East coast or West is preferable. I've been to Miami and the Keys before years ago - keen to try somewhere else really and it also seems quite a trek.

Any suggestions appreciated!

Also vis a vis Disney (or other parks) - not really researched this but I was assuming that at just under 3 (3 at end of May), and with a 2 month old (without a double buggy!) it's probably not worth going to Disney. Someone did suggest Seaworld. Good idea? Bad idea?

Thanks !

MOSagain Tue 30-Apr-13 12:21:22

lovely time to go, should be fabulous weather and nice and quiet (if not school hols).

Maybe a villa near the parks so you could do Seaworld which is nice for kids and maybe a water park, the Aquatica one (seaworlds) is good.

If you were in the Orlando/kissimmee area it would give you the option of going East to Cocoa beach/Kennedy or west to Clearwater/Tampa/St Pete's. Around 1 1/2 hours max each way from Kissimmee.

Have a look at They are a company based in Kissimmee owned and managed by an english lady who only rents luxury properties within 4 miles of Disney (so around 20 mins to Seaworld) most of which have pools. Loads of space for kids and the pools will be screened and the doors out to pool alarmed which is a MUST. Many of their homes have games rooms too which would be good for your little one to run around in.
This is one of the homes they manage which is in a nice residential area and which has a communal play area with climbing frame, slides and swings 2 mins walk from the house.
if you make an enquiry and mention Mumsnet you'll get a good discount at short notice.
It also has a baby crib and highchair for your little one.

Radiator1234 Wed 01-May-13 09:59:28

Thanks v much have checked out that site and that villa v helpful think will definitely target search for Orlando area. Thank you!

Groovee Wed 01-May-13 22:06:42

Check out sarasota and clearwater too. It may be worth flying into Tampa instead.

MOSagain Thu 02-May-13 07:57:24

If you find any nice villas in or near Clearwater can you let me know?
We are going to Orlando in August then wanted 5 or 6 days in Clearwater but despite sending enquiries to a number of villa owners on owners direct none of them seem to be bothered responding. sad

triplets Wed 08-May-13 22:28:53

For unspoilt Florida I love Anna Maria Island fabulous beachs all around, a swee trolley that runs around the island day and night for free so no worries about having a beer! Lovely restaurants and shop and lovely local people, one lady I met on the trolley invited me home for tea!

whoneedstosleep Sun 02-Jun-13 10:55:32

Can I jump on this thread?

We stayed in Naples last year which was gorgeous. We drove to Orlando and spent 3 nights at Disney.

We are now looking at next October.

We would be happy to go back to Naples but also looking at other options nearer Disney to spend a few days there.

I've looked at Venice and Clearwater.

Would Tampa be best airport for Venice & Clearwater?

alemci Sun 02-Jun-13 11:13:17

I like Naples Staybridge or Best Western but more of a stop off to Miami. Also St Pete's Beach is nice. Clearwater is a bit busy for me. We may go to Treasure Island this year.

have also stayed in Tampa. Orlando too much now unless in a Villa. Theme parks are so expensive

alemci Sun 02-Jun-13 11:14:30

Also American Homes in Orlando are a good company to rent a Villa from. very flexible. Run by a British couple.

whoneedstosleep Sun 02-Jun-13 11:22:47

We would be hiring a villa for 2 weeks with family then DH and I would take DS's to Disney for a few days.

FIL won't like busy so will maybe reconsider Clearwater.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 02-Jun-13 11:29:45

Universal would still be worth visiting imo.

We stayed at Grand Palms hotel on Idrive. It cost $13 for a return taxi to Universal from there and is across the road from a waterpark and is a really nice hotel and there was lots of kids.

ihatethecold Sun 02-Jun-13 15:28:29

ooohh, treasure island is lovely, we flew to tampa, stayed at sunset vistas on the beach. had an amazing view of the beach and sunset.

st johns pass is great too.

prefer treasure island to clearwater.

have a look at the airbnb website for accomodation. its much cheaper than hotels

Annebronte Sun 02-Jun-13 15:35:46

Sanibel is absolutely beautiful.

alemci Sun 02-Jun-13 16:09:38

second that Annebronte and Fort Myers beach is ok as a stop off but the beach at the holiday Inn End is amazing.

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