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Florida - Miami or Tampa with children?

(7 Posts)
Woolfie2013 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:39:27

We are planning a 2 week trip to Florida next May. The first week we will spend in Orlando and we would like to spend the second week in a great hotel on the beach. Our children will be 2 and 4 so we are looking for a hotel that is child friendly. I'd love to go to Miami but can anyone suggest if it is a bit of a crazy place to go to with young children and would we be better off going to the west coast of Florida?

naffedoff Fri 28-Jun-13 21:59:49

We recently did the same trip in a different order. Flew into Miami, spent 3 days there; travelled to Fort Myers on the west coast (Sanibel Island etc) for 3 days; then travelled to Orlando for a week, flying back from Miami.

Our Dcs are 12 and 9, so maybe older than yours. Miami was 'interesting'. We stayed in the Downtown area overlooking Biscayne Bay - could see Miami Heat stadium and Bayside Marketplace and cruise terminal from our hotel room. Travelled over to South Beach one day - it's very cosmopolitan, but plenty of children and families as well as more bohemian types!
Downtown Miami was much more urban - the free transport system was great but there were dodgy characters on each one we got on. Not a problem if you're used to cities and their varied inhabitants, but maybe a bit of an eye opener otherwise.
It was great to have a varied holiday though - city then beach then theme park. Kids will like Miami, especially South Beach area - and I liked the shops on Lincoln Road!

EleanorFarjeon Fri 28-Jun-13 22:03:32

I love Miami and we have been there with our kids many times. I wouldn't stay there for more than a couple of days though.

I'd drive across to the Gulf coast and stay there - much nicer.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 01-Jul-13 09:19:53

Have stayed in Miami also with our teenage son.

Miami Beach is not an area I would stay in with very young children. Its very noisy particularly at night. I would look into instead the St Petes/Clearwater area if you want a nice beach.

Also Miami airport is a right dump of a place and arrivals can be particularly trying. After a very long walk from the plane to reach the arrivals hall, a two hour plus wait time to clear immigration is pretty much standard.

ihatethecold Mon 01-Jul-13 13:29:58

clearwater and treasure island are really lovely.
have a look at sunset vistas in treasure island.
great location right on the beach. you will see dolphins going past and st johns pass is great for food, entertainment.

we flew to Tampa. had 2 nights in clearwater, then 9 in orlando then back to treasure island for 4 nights

Claudiecat Mon 01-Jul-13 13:34:42

Not been to Miami but love West Coast Florida. St. Pete Beach is very good. Lots of family friendly hotels. A bit quieter than Clearwater but just as nice.

Groovee Wed 31-Jul-13 15:01:14

Sarasota which is a short drive from Tampa is lovely. Siesta Keys is beautiful too.

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