Find My Solitude
June 27, 2007 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Solitude on the Atlantic Coast or Gulf of Mexico? I am looking to get away for about 4 days sometime this month for some R&R by myself. I would prefer to be by the water, away from crowds, maybe in a hammock or sitting by a pool. I will spend most of my time reading, writing, napping, and maybe walking. I wouldn't mind some healthy food. A massage would be a bonus. It could be at a hidden away resort, a cabin, or a spa. Price isn't really an issue. I would prefer to be within a few hours drive to a major airport. I am just looking for somewhere to chill out and find some much needed solitude. Where should I go?
posted by jasondigitized to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Cabbage Key, on the West Coast of Florida, will get you all these. It's an island, no cars, no paved roads, no shopping, just an old-timey inn/restaurant from the 1920s. You can easily rent a small outboard craft to take you to any of the surrounding uninhabited islands, which feature expansive, empty beaches. Fort Myers is about an hour away, Tampa about 2 hrs.

Please let's keep this between me & you.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:43 AM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

I hear great things about Little Tybee Island, off the coast of Savannah, GA.

(And, just to piggyback, let's say that price was a huge issue--what are the best cheap ocean destinations?)
posted by box at 10:26 AM on June 27, 2007

Go to the Holiday Inn on Sanibel Island, Florida. Hammocks, a pool, private little covered beach chairs or cabanas, less than an hour from Fort Myers airport. You can rent bikes, play golf, visit shops or spas, etc. Nice little vacationy restaurants on the island, which costs $6 to get onto so you don't have riff raff hanging around. It's the off season down here right now so despite the heat, the prices are great and the traffic isn't bad getting to the island. (I'm in Fort Myers.) The first time we took a family vacation we stayed here and loved it.

The next 10 years we rented at the Surfrider Beach Club-- one bedroom condos with kitchens and porches, if you'd rather cook for yourself. I think they only rent by the week, but see if you can get the first floor condo closest to the beach you'll relax quickly on your private, beach-facing porch to the sound of the ocean lapping. They also have a great pool and hot tub, and grills to use as well. And free bikes to borrow. Tell them the Horgans sent you.

Or research cabins on Sanibel or Captiva. Another good option.
posted by orangemiles at 10:50 AM on June 27, 2007

Depends on how outdoorsy you want to get, but consider Cumberland Island just north of Amelia Island, itself just north of Jacksonville. Wild horses, incredible beaches, no tourists in site. Bring your own hammack (BYOH?). I've never been, despite it's proximity to my hometown, but it's reputed to have only one family living on it that was there before it was established as a park. Google says there's a guest lodge.

Amelia Island, nearby, is a quiet little place with some very nice barrier island parks just to the south. The northernmost island, either Little Talbot or Big Talbot (i forget), has a great trail leading to a beautiful, slowly eroding black and white beach (soil + sand) with gracefully bleached tree trunks with their giant (20+ ft high) roots peppered along the coast. I've never found another soul there. On the other side are the estuaries of the St. Johns River, what out-of-towners would just call marsh.

All of this is within easy striking distance of Jacksonville, Florida.
posted by trinarian at 10:52 AM on June 27, 2007

... if price isn't an issue, and you're looking for secluded luxury, why not find some island in the Bahamas with a small resort?
posted by trinarian at 10:57 AM on June 27, 2007

I've never been there, but a friend retired to Utila, one of Honduras' Bay Islands. Roatan is the "Tourist Destination" out of the Bay Islands, while Utila is not heavily populated and there are several islands with cabins of varying levels of civilization that you can rent out ... and be completely. and. totally. alone. As in, the owner of the cabin drops you off, you can phone for "room service" or a ride into the island on a radio, and he comes back a week later to pick you up.

If you end up going, tell Chris at the movie theater that Karl said hello.
posted by SpecialK at 12:17 PM on June 27, 2007

Most of these places are in the sunbelt which will be ungodly hot and humid, seashore or not, this time of year. Disabuse yourself of any notion of lolling about in a hammock.

You don't specify *where* on the east coast, or whether it has to be officially Atlantic ocean or Gulf coast, but assuming not, I was very pleasantly surprised by some of the small towns on the New York side of lake Ontario. The cities may be industrial hell-holes, but there are great places which are still uncrowded, quiet, and not condo-ed. An hour east of Rochester right on the lake I found rolling glacial drumlins and interesting hikes, a nice stretch of beach, apple orchards and very few crowds. Utterly unpretentious. You won't get surf like the ocean, true, but a great lake is nothing to sneeze at, and you can actually laze outside without getting heatstroke.
posted by xetere at 12:26 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

if you don't mind a bit of traveling, there's a wonderful town in the state of jalisco in mexico called barra de navidad. it's about an hour south of puerto vallarta.

there are about, oh, five restaurants and two bars, and a nice little street market. lots of cheap, nice hotels on the beach. it caters more to mexicans than americans, so it doesn't have that horrific spring-break atmosphere.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:03 PM on June 27, 2007

Tulum. Great 2 hour bus ride in sweet buses from horrible horrible cancun.

Rustic- but incredible beach and it's all about good food and hammocks.

Try Azulik or Jade. A walk on the beach for dinners. If you feel ambitious you can go to the village and get dinners too.
posted by beccaj at 8:16 AM on June 28, 2007

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