Somewhere warm for the winter
May 29, 2015 8:11 AM   Subscribe

My parents are embracing retirement and planning to escape Minnesota for January and February. They're not too picky about where they stay, as long as it's on the beach and the weather is warm. Complication: they're bringing the cat.

They've been looking on VRBO, Air B&B, HomeAway, and are leaning towards the Gulf coast of Florida, Alabama, Galveston, South Padre Island, or San Diego. They're also considering Puerto Rico or Cayman Brac, although they'd prefer to be able to drive to keep costs down.

must allow a cat
at least one actual bedroom with a door
highs in the high 60s/low 70s
within a five minute walk from the beach
a couple of touristy things to do and one or two decent restaurants, but for this trip they don't need a lot of history or culture
budget is about $1,500 per month all-in, although I think that's somewhat flexible.

The hardest part seems to be finding places that specifically allow cats -- "pet friendly" often means only small dogs.

So: Where should they be looking for ocean + January and February warm weather? Are there web sites that make searching for "cats allowed" easier? Recommendations for specific rentals welcome!

The tiny furball in question.
posted by mgar to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine has a small (3 rooms) rental place on St. Petersburg Beach. A studio, and 2 - two bedrooms.
I think it fits all your above requirements, except the weather might be a wee bit hotter than low 70's.
Like mid-70's.
You walk across the street and you are on the beach.
You walk out the back door and you're at the waterway, and can see boats cruising back and forth.
Firepit. Nice big shared deck and patio area with grill.
Gated and secure.
If you'd like his contact information, please private message me here on MeFi and I'll put you in touch, no worries.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 8:27 AM on May 29, 2015

Response by poster: I think mid 70s would be fine :) I'll message you.

Mid 80s would probably be too hot, now that you mention it.
posted by mgar at 8:48 AM on May 29, 2015

A few years ago, I stayed in a condominium on Mustang Island that would satisfy your requirements. January/February temperatures there are the same as in Galveston, which is low- to mid-60s. We stayed within walking distance of the beach, but you're also allowed to drive onto the beach (as far as I know, this is still the case).

There are some good restaurants in Port Aransas (on the north end of the island): The Crazy Cajun, Taqueria San Juan (great breakfast tacos), Port Aransas Brewing Company, and Virginia's on the Bay (good shrimp po' boys). They can also drive over to Corpus Christi and visit the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington.

Unfortunately, I didn't make the reservation so I don't know where we stayed, but it was done through a local company. There are quite a few located in Port Aransas.
posted by neushoorn at 9:35 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

The panhandle of Florida is generally 60s - 70s in the winter, Panama City, Destin, Ft. Walton, etc.
posted by COD at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2015

SW Florida has very erratic temperatures in the winter. It can be 88F one day, and 33F the next. There is a chart of daily highs and lows for Punta Gorda here:

I think that anywhere between Sarasota and Naples would be fine weatherwise.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:10 AM on May 29, 2015

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