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Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

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Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

(Also posted on the Siesta Key forum)We're planning a few days in Florida in late February or early March with our 4 year old. So far, we have it narrowed down to either Siesta Key or Lido Key. Here's what we're looking for:

- Ideally actually on the beach. We're willing to be across the street, but no further than that.

- Must have a suite. A 2 BR would be ideal, a 1 BR would be fine so long as the living room has a pull out couch and there's an actual, closable door between the BR and the living room. Our son won't go to sleep if we're in the room, so we need to be able to put him to sleep in the LR, turn out the lights, go in the BR and close the door. So long as we have a refrigerator, I don't care about other cooking facilities.

-We've been spoiled lately with hotels. Bellagio in Las Vegas in March and a v. nice boutique in (Kimpton's Hotel Monaco) in San Francisco in June, so we'd love a really, really nice place again, but the Ritz is no where near our price range, so I suspect we're settling for clean, well maintained and reasonably nice with great AC. It makes my husband crazy if the room is humid and he feels like his clothes and skin and bedding are slightly damp all the time, even inside, so high quality AC is important.

-It would be nice if Siesta Key Village or St. Armand's Circle or something similiar were walking distance for a 4 year old, but not required, since it looks like we're going to fly into Tampa and rent a car.

-Really nice beach. Really, really nice beach, with lifeguards, bathrooms and someplace to get some food.

-Nice pool.

We're thinking of either Siesta Key Suites or Palm Bay Club. Here are my questions:

-Is SKS walking distance to the village only in the mind of an optimistic copywriter or will my then 4 1/2 year old be able to do it?

-Any idea if the 1 BR suites at PBC have pull out sofas and real doors between the LR and the BR?

-PBC is more expensive than SKS. What am I getting for my money, given that we have no interest in tennis and golf? Is it worth it? Which one is better for us and why?

-Any thoughts on choosing between Siesta Key and Lido Key? Is the beach substantially better on Siesta Key? What are the beaches on Lido Key like?

If it helps, we've already rejected the following places for the following reasons; please let me know if we're mistaken about any of these reasons:

- Helmsley Sandcastle - doesn't seem to have suites

-Lido Beach Resort - much more expensive than either of our current 2 picks, and I'm pretty sure someone said the beach is crushed shell, not soft sand and there seem to be some questions about whether the new owners are maintaining standards.

-Holiday Inn Express - 2 mi from beach and, well a Holiday Inn and I'm not confident we'd be happy

-Holiday Inn Lido Beach - it's a Holiday Inn blah, blah

- Sarasota Surf & Racquet/Midnight Cove/several other condos - weekly only and we're only planning on 4 nights

So. . .should we be considering any other locations or hotels besides SKS and PBC? If we should stick with those, which should we choose?

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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1. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

We just got back from Siesta Key a few weeks ago. It is WONDERFUL! I've got to admit, we didn't stay "on" the beach. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. At Siesta Key, everyone goes to the public beach. This isn't your typical public beach, parking holds around 500 cars. So yes, being off the beach meant hopping in the car, but the HI was so nice, it really wasn't as bad as I had feared. We drove through the village and decided we were just as well off where we were.

Also, there's another beach that joins Siesta Key that you might want to look into - Crescent Beach. Literally walking from 1 end Siesta to Crescent there's not any difference. Now a couple of miles down, Turtle Beach was somewhat disappointing.

Also, go to www.virtualtourist.com there are several comments on Siesta Key there.

I hope you have as great a trip as we did!!

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Crescent Beach
Crescent Beach
849 Reviews
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Cairo, Egypt
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2. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

I've noticed on the Trip Advisor Webiste that there aren't many listings for the smaller beach places in this area. Have you looked at Bradenton Beach or Anna Maria? There are lots of real estate offices that can offer some help; try looking on the individual Chamber of Commerce websites for office names; then pick a local office to call or write. Unfortunately, you are taking your trip at the height of the season, and almost all apartment/condo/suite hotels will require a week long stay minimum, and are probably already booked up. There aren't many small resorts left; my family sold our 17 unit place on Longboat Key last summer, and it's now condos. Good luck!

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Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach
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Anna Maria Island, FL
Cairo, Egypt
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3. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

btw, forgot this part: The parking lot at Siesta is big, BUT in season even locals have a hard time finding a spot, unless you get there early in the morning. Trust me on this: You will probably have to wait in the lot to get a spot. And I mean, wait. Like 30 minutes. But the beach is worth it. White, sparkling sand, clean bathrooms, snack bar, nice shaded picnic area and a fun playground.

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4. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

Hello. Last October we stayed on Lido Key at the Coquina-on-the-beach. Not exactly the Ritz, but it's right on the beach(they provide chaises on the beach). The rooms were nice- we stayed in the pool building, so named because when you come out on the balcony you're overlooking the pool. Not really a beachfront, since large palm trees obsure the view of the beach. The place was clean and comfortable- good a/c and ceiling fans in all the rooms. We had a king bed in the bathroom and there was a sleeper sofa in the living area. The place is a 5-minute ride to St Armands Circle, but probably not walkable for a small child. You will need to cross a bridge to enter Sarasota and then travel about 15 minutes to reach the Siesta Key public beach area. The beach is FANTASTIC. Compares to the best Caribbean beach- soft, white flour-like sand. Lido beach sand is darker and coarser, but still nice.

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5. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

Please try the Tradewinds resort on Anna Maria Island. They have individual cottages in the Key West style. Very colorful. It is across the street from the beach & is in a great location. They also have a pool.We stayed there for a few days prior to closing on our house in Sarasota. This is in Manatee County.

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Sarasota
Sarasota
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Vienna, Virginia
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6. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

I lived in Sarasota for 4 years and went to the public beach on Siesta Key, the best beach in the world. BUT, if you don't get there by 10:00 in season, there is no parking. Period.

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Sarasota
Sarasota
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
cqt
Southern California
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7. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

We're going to Siesta Key this Friday - my family owns a condo at the Excelsior, which we love. We've been going there for years - it is a truly excellent set up because there are two pools, tennis courts and bbq. The best part is the access to the beach by key where the lounge chairs are made available to you - it's near the stretch of the beach that isn't publicly accessible by car because there's no place to park. It's such a gorgeous beach - we've been to Hawaii, Greece and Tahiti, but this has got to be best beach in the world. It's not full and the sand is INCREDIBLY soft and fine. Sunsets on the lounge chairs are the best!

My husband and I travel all over the world and currently live in London. After staying in all the luxury hotels in our travels, it's so nice to go back to Sarasota and the condo. I doubt that it's available when you're going, but if you're interested, look up Excelsior Condos on the web and unit 105 is the condo. It's two-bedrooms and two bathrooms. The other condos in the complex are probably nice as well, but all individually-owned and furnished so I can't really vouch for their furnishings or standards (as people can have pretty funky tastes, sometimes).

The condos are separated into two complexes separated by a two-lane street. One side is the bay side where you can access the bay and the other is the beach side. The bay side are more spacious condos and generally quieter. The beach side is a high-rise that is on the beach. You can access facilities from both sides but need keys. Also, it has a full-size kitchen so it's great for cooking your own breakfast or coffee in the morning and packing lunch for the beach.

If you do a lot of traveling, I think that you may be disappointed in the restaurants in Sarasota despite what the reviews say. I wouldn't bother splurging for nice restaurants because they can't really compare to nicer restaurants in other cities. What is billed as excellent may be above-average in other cities. The best restaurant that we've found is the Ritz's dining room, but even then, it's not that great. There is a good Thai restaurant that's a little hidden - it is on a street that runs parallel to Timiami (sp?). If needed, I can try to look it up.

Anyway, good luck.

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London
London
Ontario, Canada
Sarasota
Sarasota
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sarasota, Florida
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8. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

Hi cgt,

Hope you have a great trip to srq. I have to agree with you on the restaurant situation here(i'm local). Food ok, but nothing to write home about! It's not Miami or DC or NYC! Just ok. And that's too bad,can go to Tampa for better food.

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Tampa
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9. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

We have been to Siesta Key for 3 years. One recommendation is at the Midnight Cove resort and the Midnight Cove II resort. Cove II has condos/villas both 1 and 2 bedrooms on the bay which is beautiful and Midnight Cove has units on the bay and the beach. It is well-kept and no too pricey. Parking is easy and you can either cross the street to the beach from the bay side or stay on the beach side. We like to eat at Turtles on Siesta Key and at the Crow's Nest in Venice. Both are on the water. Also Moore's on Anna Marie Island is good and fun for kids to play with the seagulls. There are peacocks on the Island which are usually out on the streets.

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Venice
Venice
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Winchester, TN
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5 posts
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10. Re: Lido Key or Siesta Key? And where to stay?

We have been to Siesta Key for 3 years. One recommendation is at the Midnight Cove resort and the Midnight Cove II resort. Cove II has condos/villas both 1 and 2 bedrooms on the bay which is beautiful and Midnight Cove has units on the bay and the beach. It is well-kept and no too pricey. Parking is easy and you can either cross the street to the beach from the bay side or stay on the beach side. We like to eat at Turtles on Siesta Key and at the Crow's Nest in Venice. Both are on the water. Also Moore's on Anna Marie Island is good and fun for kids to play with the seagulls. There are peacocks on the Island which are usually out on the streets.

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Venice
Venice
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL