View Full Version : Best Beach and Where to Stay?? Help Please.

07-02-2003, 01:17 AM
We are arriving 2 days early (really 1 1/2 since our flights arrive in the evening) prior to going to Universal and Disney. We've never been to any of the beaches and were thinking of staying the first 2 nights on the beach. We have no idea where to stay. With 3 kids we want something family friendly that would be fun for the kids. We'd love to stay on the water if there's something not too expensive. Any suggestions?

07-02-2003, 09:25 AM
We usally stay at Madeira beach on the Gulf side. The have a great shopping/ fishing area called John's pass. There are plenty of condos and hotel rooms to rent. You always can spot dolphins on the beach and the water is usally warm and calm. It's also a great area to look for shells.

I'ts about an hour south west of disney and easy to get to.

John's Pass (http://www.johnspass.com/)

07-02-2003, 12:55 PM
Thank you Jeffrey! This place looks great. We can stay at the Holiday Inn for $70 a night (entertainment) and it's right on the water.

07-02-2003, 01:27 PM
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Madeira Beach for a week one year and had a blast. I think they just remodeld the rooms last year.
The hotel has a great pool with a nice Tiki bar by the pool. The staff was very friendly and helpful.

The best part is the kids eat free at the Holiday Inn. You can order meals at the Tiki bar and eat them by the ocean or take them back to your room.

If you need some links for resturants that have great food and are fun for the kids let me know! I know of a few.

Were heading down there for 2 weeks this August and then stopping at disney for 3 days on the way home...:bounce: :bounce:

07-02-2003, 01:32 PM
There is also a wonderful Holiday Inn on Longboat Key a bit south of Tampa. I know we spent the whole day at Busch Gardens then drove down there. Indoor and outdoor pools, right on the beach etc... The restaurant was great when we were there and the kids ate free, of course.

07-02-2003, 02:41 PM
Has anyone gone on the Pirate Cruise at Madeira Beach? I think our 4 yr old ds would love it. Is it worth the $$--I couldn't find out how long the cruise is?

Also, I called the HI and they said it's about 1 1/2 hr drive from Disney. Does anyone know how far a drive from MCO?

Any restraunt suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

By the way, the entertainment rate at HI does not get you beach front. We're considering the King room w/pull out sofa. Our teen girls said they'd sleep on the pull out for 2 nights. This room is $150--DH doesn't want to go to the beach w/o being able to look out the room and see it. Is this a good price for beach view compared to other hotels?


07-03-2003, 07:58 AM
Tazz: We wanted to try the pirate cruise on our last trip but ran out of time. But we drove by the dock to check out the boat and it looked great.

We usually rent a condo on the beach anymore. The rates are as cheap as hotel rooms and the usally have 2-3 bedrooms and bathrooms.

Here is a link to a site called VRBO.com that lists numerous condo rentals around the world. I've punched in Madeira Beach for you. You deal directly with the owners and most of the condos have pictures and reviews from guests that have stayed there. Some of the condos also have calendars that show which dates are open or booked.

VRBO Condo Rentals/ Madeira Beach (http://www.vrbo.com/vrbo/flngulfcoast.htm#MadeiraBeach)

We've stayed at Maderia Norte condominium and will be there in August. The Sandcastle is also Nice.

Here are a few resturants to visit.

Sea Critters (http://www.seacritterscafe.com/)
This place will give the kids bread scraps to feed the fish of the docks in back.

Crabby Bills (http://www.crabbybills.com/)

Friendly Fisherman (http://www.hubbardsmarina.com/)

Johnny Leverock's Seafood House
565 150th Avenue
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Shells St Petes Beach (http://www.shellsseafood.com/process.cfm?PageID=1)
On certain days they have an entertainer that makes hundreds of tropical Balloon hats and animals for the kids.

And of course, with kids you'll have to visit the Candy Kitchen.
The Candy Kitchen (http://www.candykitchen.net/)

These are just a few that we have visited and enjoyed. Of course, there are hundreds more.

Here is a more comprehensive list with reviews from one of the condo's we've rented.
Resturants (http://www.caplestone.com/condoeats.html)

Hope you have a great trip.

07-03-2003, 09:52 AM
Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach.

Any of the waterfront hotels in Clearwater, Clearwater Beaach and surrounding areas.

We really liked the town of Indian Rocks Beach when we were there a short time ago. You could do a search for hotels there.

The Hampton Inn in Cocoa Beach is nice.

Flagler Beach is great and not crowded.

Try flausa.com for a lot of info on Florida hotels. You can pick your price range and type of place.

Sorry if I wasn't allowed to post that website.