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pls help with my itinerary

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pls help with my itinerary

Hello,

We're a couple in our early 30s , no kids. Have one week in Florida (last week in March). Are landing in Orlando. Will have rental car. We are on a budget.

We want:

- good beaches for swimming and relaxing

- lots of water sports (jet ski, water skiing, etc)

- relaxing vacation

- snorkelling by the shore (don't want to go diving or deep sea snorkelling b/c of my fear of sharks)

- NOT into the Miami club scene, but would like to go to a nice spanish bar or two

What do you think of my general itinerary?

Days 1, 2, 3: Tampa Bay, St Petes, Clearwater beach

Hotel base: Tampa

Days 4 and 5: Florida Keys, Key West

Hotel base: Islamorada

Days 6 and 7: Miami, South Beach, West Palm Beach

Hotel base: Miami area

Day 7: back to Orlando

Thanks everyone!

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Florida
Florida
United States
Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Tampa
Tampa
Florida
Key West
Key West
Florida Keys, FL
Islamorada
Islamorada
Florida Keys, FL
Liverpool, England
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1. Re: pls help with my itinerary

Nancy

I don't think you will have a relaxing vacation, you will be spending an awfully long time in the car if you are only going for one week!

The Keys is quite a long drive from Orlando.

Why not do a 2 centre holiday, e.g St Pete/Clearwater and Miami for this trip?

You could visit Spanish Bars in Ybor City in Tampa and Hispaniola Way in Miami.

There are plenty of watersports in both places and it will be more relaxing than trying to do everything.

Good luck!

GP

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Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Tampa
Tampa
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voxFlorida
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2. Re: pls help with my itinerary

Like she said, that's a LOT of driving, and US1 to Key West is pretty and all, but it gets old. If you go to Key West, you MUST trek out to the Dry Tortugas National Park. It's the only reason to visit the Keys.

If you want laid-back water activities, you may want to pass on Atlantic beaches (too much surf, bad sand) and consider tubing a river (the Ichetucknee is a personal favorite, but the Rainbow is fun too) if it's warm enough. More of a "real Florida" experience.

South Beach is hard to do on a budget, and not all that fun in person, unless you like gawking at Europeans.

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Key West
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St. Petersburg...
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3. Re: pls help with my itinerary

Wow, that's a bit much for one week, especially during Spring Break and the last few weeks of snowbird season. I would recommend you split your time between Orlando and the Tampa Bay area. You'll get plenty of shopping, nightlife, beaches, driving, traffic, spanish-themed resturants and time to relax. The Keys are a solid day's drive from St Pete (eight hours with no accidents on the bridge) and extremely boring. The Keys are also the most expensive portion of your trip next to South Beach, but I think the Keys still win on over pricing the tourist. However, it's a beautiful island with a ton of water sports.

I suggest you do three in Orlando and three in Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater. But do be advised, it is spring break time and the theme parks and beaches will be crowded. You should decide on something now and try to snag a hotel room. Crowds start leaving after Easter and anything between Thanksgiving and then can be packed.

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Orlando
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Tampa
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4. Re: pls help with my itinerary

i love driving in north america where the roads are so empty and the scenry is great but to be honest there is not that much to see in florida apart from the coast line and the roads are not as empty as elsewher in the us and canada

so i agree withthose who say move around less and relax more

beach haven is a good place to stay in st petes and not at all expensive

id plan on spending half the time there just lazing around (but go for hurricanes for dinner and sunset)

the rest of the time go somewhere with more activity but perhaps a little dearer

Washington DC...
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5. Re: pls help with my itinerary

For the west coast activities, Tampa is NOT the place to stay if you are into the beaches. It is on Tampa Bay, not the Gulf of Mexico.

Try St. Pete Beach for a home base. Go to Ft. DeSoto Park to see lots more of beach, Johns Pass for shops and restaurants. Clearwater is not that different, beachwise.

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Tampa
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Florida
Clearwater, Florida
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6. Re: pls help with my itinerary

I agree with the above post. Everything you mention you want to do is on the beach. Why stay in Tampa if you will just be driving back and forth to the beaches. Stay on Clearwater Beach, or St. Pete Beach, or any other of the small communities along the Pinellas County Gulfcoast.

Tampa does have alot to see, and alot to offer, but the things you mention (beaches) are not there.

Have you looked into flying into TPA, or PIE? That will save you 4 hours as you won't have to drive out of, and back to Orlando.

Your itenerary is very busy. 3 days on the beach is nice, but day 4 won't be in Key West, as it will be a 8-9 hour day getting TO Key West.

I love both the Gulf Coast and Key West. I'd skip the Miami trip and relax more with the time at the beaches and Key West. Of course this is just me, maybe Miami is more important to you than Key West. It just seems with your itenerary, there is alot of moving around. Enjoy.

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Tampa
Tampa
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Orlando
Orlando
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Key West
Key West
Florida Keys, FL
Washington DC...
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7. Re: pls help with my itinerary

Particularly if you are definitely flying in and out of Orlando, I'd suggest picking either the east side (Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Miami, the Keys) or the west side (Pinellas as home base) and then going back for a day/night in Orlando before you depart.

If you stay in St.Pete Beach or the like, you can make day trips north and south (Sarasota area is nice) easily. And have time to enjoy the sun and beaches. Pick a hotel with a heated pool since the Gulf will still be chilly.

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Orlando
Orlando
Central Florida, FL
Sarasota
Sarasota
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8. Re: pls help with my itinerary

Hi Nancy

We love St Pete beach and leave to go down again this week. We love the Plaza Beach Resort. Small, reasonable, right on the beach, heated pool, no resort or parking fees, grocery store and shopping plaza right across the street and full kitchenettes, free wifi...check it out. Newly renovated www.plazabeach.com. Best kept secret. Straight ride down gulf blvd. to Clearwater, Fort Desoto...all the beaches, restaurants and shopping. Just 30 minutes up the highway to Tampa but once in St Pete there really isn't much in Tampa that's not on Gulf Blvd or Clearwater except Busch Gardens.

Great Trolley system if you don't want to drive and cheap.

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Tampa
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9. Re: pls help with my itinerary

Thanks to everyone for their advice so far.

I think you are right, I have too much driving in this trip. I will limit the number of places we go to.

I have one concern though: is the Clearwater/St Pete area going to be warm enough to swim in the water? If not, where in Florida will have waters with a warm enough temparature for swimming?

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Washington DC...
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10. Re: pls help with my itinerary

I used to live there so I am biased toward warmer water (we were not "allowed" to go in until it was 80 degrees F!).

SPB was too cold for me in November. Minimum temps are around 63 degrees and you will be around that. It will be warmer in Miami waters.