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2 centre holiday or 1?

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Oxford, United...
posts: 19
reviews: 3
2 centre holiday or 1?

Hi we are heading to Florida at the beginning of February. Is it worth doing a week in Orlando and a week at the coast, or will the coast be too cold in February? If not what's the best area to go? We are looking for villa accommodation. Also ideas for the best Park tickets, we are thinking about the flexi-ticket? Thanks

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
posts: 3,997
reviews: 79
1. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

For me a week at Orlando would be too long and a week on the coast would be too short, but that's a personal opinion! A lot depends on your age(s) and what you and others in your party enjoy doing. Please share a little more about that. Also what kind of budget you have in mind and the amount of space you'll need if you spend a week on the coast. There are villas (houses) to rent, also condos, also cottages, hotels/motels, etc., and the 4 islands off of Sarasota offer an excellent variety from which to choose.

As for February, this is starting to get into our busiest time of year so space will begin to be limited before too long. The water in the Gulf will be too cold for swimming by locals, though some hardy tourists will be in the water. The weather should be consistently sunny, some days warm (not hot) and pleasant for shopping or strolling on the beach, though some days cold for a day or two as a cold front dips down our way.

Oxford, United...
posts: 19
reviews: 3
2. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

Ages range from 10 to 70! Granny can relax at the villa if it's too much but she's very active and probably won't! If it's not warm enough to sit and relax on the beach I guess we would be better in Orlando and do day trips between parks? We will definitely want our own villa rather than a hotel. I'm hoping the parks won't be too busy in early feb?

Berkshire, England
posts: 6,758
reviews: 62
3. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

IMHO, having visited the Keys and Orlando in early March, I think a week on the beach in Feb would be a bit long. The weather could be cold and there is more to do in Orlando if a cold front settles. When we were in Orlando one March a shuttle launch was almost cancelled due to the risk of frost!

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
posts: 38,862
reviews: 22
4. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

It all depends on what Kind of winter we have. Last winter was warm, 3 years ago we had a blisteringly cold one.

To be safe, Miami and the keys are the best places to go in Feb for warmth- but it is hiugh season there, and Villas with pools are scarce and pricy. Condos abound though.

For the best selection of private pool villas at a reasonable price you leed to look in mainland areas abt 15 mins or less to Island beaches. Many of these will be rented by the month in Feb though- would you consider a condo instead? Look for Villas in Bradenton, Englewood, Rotonda, Fy Myers beach, Bonita springs, Marco island. Naoples has some too, but some are quite a bit east so check driving times to beaches.

If looking at condos near/on the beach add to the above, Sanibel, Captiva, Siesta Key, Anna Maria island. These places have houses too but they are very Pricy!

Edited: 1:40 pm, September 21, 2012
Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
posts: 3,997
reviews: 79
5. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

OK, based on your comments on this forum and on the Orlando one, we have an active Granny plus 5 other folks. Maybe Granny loves the rides and glitz of Orlando, but I suspect that she and the rest of you might want a respite from the busy-ness of Orlando after a week there. It sounds as if a 3-bedroom place might be right. True? The budget will be important on this at that time of year; how about some hints? Granny is "active" as, I suspect are others in your group. Does that mean museums, plays, gardens, or instead other things such as kayaking, biking, fishing, etc.? The Gulf Coast has an amazing variety of options which will be totally different from what you would find in Orlando, but which could make your trip a wonderful experience.

Oxford, United...
posts: 19
reviews: 3
6. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

Granny NEEDS shops, which I guess she will find plenty of in Orlando! We are quite prepared to split up though. Boat trips, fishing, biking etc would be great for the rest of us. Budget wise, I guess we are looking for a max of £1500 pp for accommodation, which would indeed need to be 3 bedrooms. I thought Busch Gardens was the best park when I went so we could go there, book a motel for the night and go to the coast early the next morning....is that feasible?

The coast near there looks beautiful. Where is the nicest place to head for from there? Thanks for all your help by the way, much appreciated.

sarasota, florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota
posts: 1,492
reviews: 84
7. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

orlando is fun and has pretty stuff, but there is a lot of boating (and kayaking!), museums, shopping, and other stuff to see on the west coast as well. it won't be hot, but people still swim in winter, and the beaches are still beautiful.

you are asking the sarasota board where the nicest place on the west coast is….we think its sarasota! lol.

busch gardens is an hour away from sarasota. spending the night in tampa, then driving to sarasota sounds nice, especially after a long day at busch gardens.

clearwater beach (the coast near tampa) is also nice, but different. sarasota is quieter, and maybe a bit more….upscale or sophisticated? more small town-ish too….

hope this helps….

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
posts: 3,997
reviews: 79
8. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

I am partial to Longboat Key (off of Sarasota), having spent many wonderful years vacationing there before we moved to Sarasota. On Longboat, within your price range for a 3-bedroom unit in February, is Little Gull Cottages (www.floridarent.com). It would be quiet and charming, but within easy striking distance of shopping. On the beach, excellent restaurants nearby, 10+ miles of bike paths, And perhaps 1 1/4 hours to Busch Gardens,... though you might not want to leave this area. Incidentally, Granny (and others) might well enjoy Ringling Museum and Selby Botanical Gardens, plus other things implied in Lemstar's post.

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
posts: 3,997
reviews: 79
9. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

Two additional points to add, Louise. When you look at posted prices, in this area they do not include local taxes; those taxes typically amount to approximately 11%. Also, especially at that time of year, rentals run from Saturday to Saturday. There are a few places -- but very, very few -- that have daily rentals, and some others that might vary from the Saturday-Saturday rule, but those are very few indeed in that time of year.

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
posts: 3,997
reviews: 79
10. Re: 2 centre holiday or 1?

And yet another comment, Louise! Granny will love browsing the upmarket shops of St. Armands Circle which is on the way to downtown Sarasota from Longboat Key. Of course she may have already made you stop for awhile to buy things at the Ellenton Discount Shops halfway between Orlando and Sarasota!