What's the mid Florida coast like for winter rentals?
February 28, 2013 3:28 PM   Subscribe

We are looking for a way to get out of the cold for at least two months during the northeast winter and have been trying to figure out if its possible to rent a small ( one bedroom) place in the coast of Florida. But not near the hustle and bustle of Miami or Boca. We are looking for a laid back sleepy and affordable spot to be and stay warm during Feb/March, any ideas?
posted by privatechef to Travel & Transportation around Jacksonville, FL (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Will the Gulf Coast work? You might like Sanibel or Captiva. Pretty darn quiet in both spots, and some of the best shelling in the world.
posted by jquinby at 3:35 PM on February 28, 2013

I grew up in Dunedin, FL. Was just in FL for a trip to Miami with friends and decided to make the trip back to Dunedin for a day. I hadn't been in almost 20 years and I can't wait to go back. The beaches are stunning, there's great food/shops/restaurants/brewery that are all walkable in downtown Dunedin and it's VERY affordable. It's not the Atlantic mid-coast but it's still beautiful and I think would give you all you're looking for.

Oh - and the Toronto Blue Jays have their spring training there so it can be fun to catch a game or two.
posted by jasbet07 at 3:36 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, Dunedin is awesome, too! There's a great hiking trail on nearby Honeymoon Island. I was there in early spring last year and the ospreys were nesting all over the place. Very much an old-Florida landscape.
posted by jquinby at 3:38 PM on February 28, 2013

Take a look at St. George Island. It is off the panhandle, but it fits what you're looking for perfectly, and is excellent in the winter. Not to mention affordable.
posted by spilon at 3:46 PM on February 28, 2013

Pensacola Beach (my home town), Ft Walton, Destin, Port St Joe
posted by syncope at 3:57 PM on February 28, 2013

Appalachicola is nice, too. Sleepy little town with good restaurants. Tourists come through to buy oysters and tupelo honey, but it's hardly a hoppin' vacation spot. Good snorkeling and diving opportunities, too, if you're into that.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:25 PM on February 28, 2013

Seconding Ft Walton. My parents are in love with it (and we're all going as a family this year) and even in the busy summer months, they spend less on their 7 day vacation (including gas to drive from Missouri to there!) than I do on a 5 day trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, 30 minutes from me.

They rented a beach house there last year and watched dolphins off their porch ever night. I don't remember exactly where it was but feel free to memail me and I can find out for you.
posted by youandiandaflame at 6:45 PM on February 28, 2013

IME, if you're looking to get away from the cold, you've really got to be in South Florida. Orlando, for example, rarely gets truly cold in the winter, but it's usually not really warm, either. That said, I'm from the south, so what I find not-warm may actually feel warm to you. For me, on the east coast, it's south of about Port St. Lucie that I find pleasant in the depths of winter.
posted by wierdo at 7:59 PM on February 28, 2013

A lot of Florida north of Tampa bounces between 50 degree days and 80 degree days in winter. It's not consistently cold and it's definitely not consistently warm. I'd recommend something between Sarasota and Naples, for laidback, cheap and warm. For consistently warm, check out the keys. Avoid Key West if you don't want the cost or the bustle there are several less popular keys like Marathon and Islamadora and Key Largo that remain quite warm in February and with minimal tourist drama.
posted by caveatz at 12:26 PM on March 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you. We lived in Miami for years and don't need that kind of warmth and don't particularly like the Keys. So we will check out Sarasota area and possibly Ft. Walton. The issue is not cold as much as being stuck inside with the heat on all day and not being able to have some humid air. The dryness associated with heat and being inside is what's getting to us and the lack of outdoor time.
I think we will take a road trip!
posted by privatechef at 4:58 AM on March 4, 2013

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