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Old 03-07-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
lukenick1
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Florida Beach Vacations

Seems like Panama City Beach is the best choice for family beach vacations but we cannot get a direct flight there. I really only can handle 1 take-off and landing. Is there any other beaches in Florida that would have lots to do for a family? We have 2 boys ages 10 & 12.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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Lots of other choices, unfortunately most of my experience is at PCB. If you do wind up there, we really like the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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You could head east to Cocoa Beach. The beaches are beautiful and there's lots to do that your boys might like. Cape Canveral is in the area and you could tour the museum there. Ron Jon Surf shop is there and they do offer surfing lessons. I also just read recently that the Brevard Zoo offers zip lining and it's right in the area too. The drive from Orlando is about 45 min-an hour if you take 528. Have fun!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:14 PM   #4
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I second Cocoa Beach. We stayed in Port Canaveral (5 minutes from Cocoa Beach) and it was fun watching the cruise ships come and go. We took a fishing trip one day, toured a airplane museum and ds loved the surfing lesson. They also have a week-long surf camp. We stayed there when we went to the nascar race in daytona beach. It's a little drive, but not too bad, so that might be a nice day trip for the boys. We rented a condo and it was sooo nice.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:01 PM   #5
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What about St Pete Beach on the Gulf coast? You can fly in to Tampa - lots of nonstops and there is lots of stuff to do. We like Tradewinds Island Grand Resort. It is family friendly and perfect for young boys - even has a resident pirate! Very kitchy old Florida in our opinion and plenty to keep the boys entertained!
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:47 AM   #6
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What about St Pete Beach on the Gulf coast? You can fly in to Tampa - lots of nonstops and there is lots of stuff to do. We like Tradewinds Island Grand Resort. It is family friendly and perfect for young boys - even has a resident pirate! Very kitchy old Florida in our opinion and plenty to keep the boys entertained!
This beach would be pretty close for a day trip to Busch Gardens. We had a really good time there.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:54 AM   #7
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The beaches on the gulf side by Tampa are awesome from Longboat Key to Clearwater Beach.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:58 AM   #8
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Our favorite beach is Destin, Florida (and Fort Walton is also nice, but not as touristy). It's wonderful white sand along the Gulf Coast like Panama City, but not as overrun with tourists and high rises. However, there are still plenty of fun activities - there is a waterpark (Big Kahuna's), adventure park with go-cart racing, mini golf, and more (The Track), and a great shopping center, as well as a wonderful outlet mall. And of course, beach and water activities are plentiful - many parasailing companies, jet ski and boat rentals, kayak rentals, water trampolines, etc. There are also so many good restaurants to choose from, whether you like touristy eateries (like Bubba Gump's, Fudpucker's, and The Back Porch) or good local diners.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:17 AM   #9
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Clearwater Beach is just west of Tampa on the Gulf of Mexico. Its about a thirty minute drive from Tampa International Airport. The beach has everything you need for your children. The beach is amazing with it's white powder sand and clear waters. There is a Pirate Ship Cruise, fishing cruises, and a miniature golf course if they need a break from the beach. There are shops, plenty of restaurants right on the beach, hotels on the beach and all have pools for a nice swim. Pier 60 has free outdoor movies on the weekend that are kid friendly, what's better than watching a movie outdoors on the beach at night?

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www.clearwater-beach-vacation.com
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:32 AM   #10
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Clearwater is a great area with lots to do. Others would be Daytona, Fort Meyers, Destin, West Palm Beach, or Fort Lauderdale. My favorite with children would be St Augustine. It is educational and fun with loads to do!
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:08 AM   #11
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Spent a day at Clearwater Beach last year while down for Phillies Spring Training & loved it!
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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Clearwater was my go-to beach growing up in Florida! I love it, and all the beaches around it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:50 AM   #13
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Love those gorgeous beaches on the Panhandle!!!! (Destin area)

Where would the nearest more major non-stop airport be?
It might be worth considering driving that last leg... You'll be renting a car anyhow, right.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:43 AM   #14
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Tell us, where are your direct flight options?

Ft. Myers, Daytona, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Talahassee...do tell. There's always the option of renting a car and driving from another airport. It's fun to see what there is to see! OR, you could drive to another airport at home for a direct flight. Get creative!
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Tell us, where are your direct flight options?

Ft. Myers, Daytona, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Talahassee...do tell. There's always the option of renting a car and driving from another airport. It's fun to see what there is to see! OR, you could drive to another airport at home for a direct flight. Get creative!
Believe me I checked out all airports surrounding me (BOS, JFK,LGA). None go straight to Panama City (ECP). I have the option of Jacksonville but that is 4 hours away from what google tells me. Not fun in the car that long with my boys. lol I have considered Ft Lauderdale, Orlando or even Tampa.
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