Send us somewhere sunny and fun in Easter Standard Time
November 2, 2010 5:48 AM   Subscribe

My family needs a sunny, warm, winter vacation without traveling through time zones of more than an hour (we're in Toronto, and jet lag affects our daughter in a horrific way). Challenge: quaint, walkable (would be GREAT if we didn't need to rent a car for the week), interesting, dare I say funky? Guide us, Metafilter.
posted by lizifer to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have any distance limitation? Because we're in the middle of spring here in Chile (lots of sun!) and it's only one hour behind EST.
posted by Memo at 5:54 AM on November 2, 2010

Key West? It's in the same time zone, definitely walkable and quaint (in parts), warm and sunny. It very much has its own personality. Also, there are a lot of cats.
posted by troika at 5:56 AM on November 2, 2010

Does Key West sound like your kind of vacation?
posted by pracowity at 5:57 AM on November 2, 2010

Key West. It's about a 6 hour flight from Toronto in the same time zone. Stay in the Old Town and rent bikes. Other options might be New Orleans, LA, and Austin, TX.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:00 AM on November 2, 2010

When are you planning to go? A couple months can make a huge difference -- in Austin the past few weeks, we've had 80 degree F temps and sunny skies nearly every day, but come February it's much grayer and less appealing. Of course, it's still sunnier and warmer than the far north, but you could definitely do better.
posted by katemonster at 6:04 AM on November 2, 2010

Came here to say Key West. Seems to fit the bill.
posted by n'muakolo at 6:05 AM on November 2, 2010

Havana was my first thought - I have yet to hear a bad review.
posted by saucysault at 6:12 AM on November 2, 2010

Another vote for Key West, fits sunny/warm/quaint/walkable/interesting/funky very well.
posted by Perplexity at 6:15 AM on November 2, 2010

Merida, Mexico. So cute and pretty affordable.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:49 AM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Key West is SO tourist-y. Full of tacky shops and lots and lots of cruise ship passengers filling the streets. That said, it IS quaint and funky in some parts.

What about St. Augustine, Florida? This time of year the weather is gorgeous, lots of artist's shops and lots of history. There are several walking tours and always the option of a horse drawn carriage to tour the old city. Quaint little B&Bs too! It's one of my favorite places because it's tourist friendly, easy to get around and has beautiful windswept beaches.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:19 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I had a great time in Key West. While it is true that that trip was where I found the absolute most horrifyingly tacky (seriously, tacky is not even the WORD) tourist trinket known to humankind there, and that every damn thing proclaims itself the Southernmost Such-and-Such, if you get away from Duval St. in the evenings it's just wonderful.

We came down from Wisconsin in early December, and it was pretty close to magical. Sitting outside at 10 PM with the warm breezes around you, floating in a private backyard pool, walking along the beach (not great for swimming, but perfect for walking or reading)... I highly recommend that you look into a private house or condo rental, as they're very homey and help you settle in and relax. Also, we had a great trip out in the Schooner Appledore.

I woke up one morning and wondered why I felt so strange. Then I realized that this was what an actual relaxing vacation felt like. I've never felt it since.
posted by Madamina at 7:35 AM on November 2, 2010

anywhere in the Caribbean. am Puerto Rican, so am partial to my island, but if you are NOT an american citizen, i hear CUBA is FTMFW ... and cheap.
posted by liza at 7:48 AM on November 2, 2010

Seconding St. Augustine, very walkable, interesting, and friendly. I'm not sure about getting to the beach without a car.
posted by mareli at 7:57 AM on November 2, 2010

Bermuda. 2.5 hour flight from T.O. WestJet and Air Canada both fly there. Very quaint. Very friendly and safe but rather expensive. Stay in a guest house or B&B. You can't rent a car and the (pink and blue) buses and taxis are great!
posted by HarrysDad at 8:11 AM on November 2, 2010

Key West and Merida, Yucatan are both great suggestions. I have done Merida with and without a car rental. It's just as pleasurable either way. Upside - you can rent a home on the beach (in Progreso - 30 minutes north of Merida) for you and your family for a week for less than a grand. Some for as little as $500US.

Merida proper is very walkable and taxis are cheap so long as you agree on a fee before getting in. When I went we hired a man to drive us about for an entire day and watch out belongings while we swam in cenotes and at the beach. $135US Yes, the car rental would have been cheaper, but this was a nice treat.

Merida is downright cheap compared to Key West. FYI
posted by FlamingBore at 11:05 AM on November 2, 2010

I love Key West. And Puerto Rico. And Grenada. And Curacao.

Bermuda is also lovely, but not as warm as the above-mentioned places.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:39 AM on November 2, 2010

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