OT - Florida beach help

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by disneystar65, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. disneystar65

    disneystar65 Earning My Ears

    Mar 13, 2002
    Planning a visit to FL in August, oldest daughter is tired of disney!:confused:She wants a few days at a beach in FL. Problem is she has a serious fear of sharks and will not step into any water that isn't crystal clear like in the caribbean (cruises have spoiled her) - Are there any parts of FL that have that crystal clear water?? Thinking about clearwater,but is it really clear water??;) Heard about Destin, but we aren't looking to go that far up, any where from Orlando down would be perfect, as we are flying into Tampa and out of Ft lauderdale. Do any of the keys have clear water? Looking for a resort wih great pools also.Any suggestions you offer are very much appreciated!! Thank you.
  2. kadesha

    kadesha DIS Veteran

    Jun 7, 2008
    I don't think you'll find water that clear in FL. Avoid Daytona and the beaches in that area. The water there is very brown and murky. Panama City has pretty blue/emerald water. It's clear when it settles but it doesn't last long before another wave comes in and fogs it up again. If I were worried about sharks I'd go to Panama, or at least the panhandle. Volusia County (where Daytona is located) is #1 worldwide for shark attacks, specifically New Smyrna Beach.
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  4. LKHomemail

    LKHomemail Mouseketeer

    Jun 26, 2007
    Key West is the clearest but not as clear as the carib. Most Florida water is murky. A beach is still beautiful , but, for swimming and snorkeling nothing is better than the carribean waters.

    Why don't you look into fares to Bahamas (100 or less rountrip) or take a mini cruise for 2 to 3 days ? In Paradise Island at Comfort Suite hotel you can get a good rate and have the facilities use of Atlantis. There are some really cheap cruises out there. some just dock one night and go back next day.
  5. taylor3297

    taylor3297 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2009
    The panhandle of Florida and the coast of Alabama are my favorites. White sand beaches, and clear water. In Florida, I like Panaman City Beach, Destin and Seaside. Alabama, I like Gulf Shores area.
  6. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2002
    The clearest water that I have seen in the area relatively near WDW has been in Siesta Key. Most days you can clearly see the bottom if you are in no more than 3 feet of water. However, there can be a lot of flotsam about depending on the tide. Shark encounters (notice that I did NOT say attacks?) on the West coast of Florida are fairly rare; sharks are much more common on the East Coast.

    In Key West you can usually see down to 6-7 feet, but Key West really doesn't have any beaches to speak of.

    There are some freshwater springs in Florida that have perfectly clear water, but they are cold for swimming, and personally I don't do fresh water in Florida -- alligators are much harder to predict than sharks.

    The deal is that sharks DO live in the oceans and Gulf, and the important thing is to be where they are not. Don't go into the water at feeding time, and avoid known feeding grounds such as the Ponce Inlet in New Smyrna.

    Any time you go snorkeling to look at fish (even in the Caribbean), you risk an encounter, because they are looking for those fish, too. It's the circle of life. Learning as much as you can about their feeding behavior will help you be sure to avoid them.
  7. singnring

    singnring DIS Veteran

    May 20, 2009
    Gulf coast has the clear water. East coast has all the ocean junk rolling in so the water is not clear and pretty.

    I spent the first 18 years of my life in New Smyrna, and parents live there still.
    Never got bitten by a shark.
    Yes, there are shark attacks, but you're in their environment!

    Visited family in Panama City, where the pretty water is, and got a bunch of jelly fish wrapped around my legs!
    So, color of the water has nothing to do with anything.
    Sealife exists in the oceans waters, and they are in the murky water as well as the clear water!

    My advise would be to get a condo rental on the beach that has a nice pool, and stay out of the water if it's that big a fear.
    Salt water makes you feel all sticky and gross anyway.
  8. goofydebi

    goofydebi Mouseketeer

    Feb 20, 2008
    just got home from pensacola beach...beautiful!! i have to admit though that it's the first time i've been in years and i live here. but our beaches from orange beach to destin has to be the prettiest beaches and sand. wish you could come this far north. i think your dd would love orange beach area.
  9. cristbaby

    cristbaby DIS Cast Member<br><font color=green>I'll be going

    Feb 10, 2005
    I have to agree with Siesta Key. One of the prettiest and clearest water I have seen any where in florida and I have been all over.
  10. lillygator

    lillygator DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2003
    there are still TONS of sharks on the west coast (Gulf) Venice beach is the best beach in the state for sharks teeth....
  11. ilovejack02

    ilovejack02 <font color=peach>what do you all think?<br><font

    Aug 8, 2006
    Siesta Key , Destin or Panama City. The latter too pretty touristy but pretty pretty beaches. , Siesta Key.. Just amazing!

    Ive also read Anna Marie Island is great.
  12. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2005
    I can't say about shark attacks for the beaches we've been to but we have been to, and would go again to, Anna Marie Island, Sanibel, Siesta Key, and just last year Honeymoon Island off of Tampa. They've all been nice for one reason or another. I think I liked the water at Sanibel the most (and they have tons of shells) but it is the farthest of the 4 I mentioned. We've always gone in Sept. and most of the time it's almost like having the beaches to ourselves. We go to WDW for 10 nights usually and my DM insists we don't do WDW all the time so we have checked out many different part of Florida.

    Last year we also visited Rainbow Springs which was nice. The water is super clear but cold. And you can't touch the bottom so you need some kind of floating things (they sell noodles) to stay in it for very long. We stayed in the roped off swim area and didn't see any gators, just signs. Oh, and we were there just days after a huge storm (Hanna) had come through and the skeeters we're horrible once you got into the more wooded areas (we tried to hike to a waterfall but the skeeters drove us back-and I normally don't get bit) :scared1:

    I would skip the East Coast for sure. The times we have gone there there's been too much wave action to swim. We've also been to Key Largo but I don't like all the stuff that grows on the bottom. :scared1: And the horseshoe crabs are kinda scary to me. Especially when they are mating. :laughing:

    If your daughter would be happy playing on the sand and not going too deep I would say the 4 I mentioned would be good. Sanibel, because of the shells, would be my first pick but it is a drive. We did Anna Marie Island and stayed 2 nights in Sarosota. Went to Sanibel the next day. And then drove back to WDW on the third day.
  13. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2002
    You're right, Venice DOES have a lot of sharks -- I should have remembered that. I guess I was thinking that Casperson Beach (by the fishing pier where they are so often caught) isn't much of a swimmer's beach; the shoreline is too steep.

    Point of Rocks might not be the best choice, either; as I said, anyplace where there is decent snorkeling there is a fair chance that there will also be predators.

    Still, I think that comparatively, the west coast is a better bet for the OP, particularly if she sticks with the broader beaches that have less of an inshore drop-off.
  14. lucigo

    lucigo DIS Veteran

    Jan 18, 2008
    Isn't it terrible to live so close and never go? LOL I admit I'm a 20 minutes drive and haven't seen the beach since the last time famiily came to visit from up north...but my vote is for the panhandle also, we have beautiful white sandy beaches. Check out Orange Beach, AL to Navarre Beach, FL.
  15. Kay1

    Kay1 <font color=red>Check out Ricki's hidden Mickey!<b

    Aug 30, 1999
    For the most part, you can't predict whether the water will be clear or not, unless you can predict the weather. The water can be clear and calm one day then churned up the next.

    I think anywhere in the Keys would be your best bet. Have a wonderful time.
  16. Leajess99

    Leajess99 DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2009
    OMGosh Destin is absolutely wonderful. We were there last week and so did not want to come back home. I so am planning future non-Disney Florida trips to Destin. We did drive down to Panama City Beach as well but I am not as impressed with that as I was with Destin.
  17. toledo13

    toledo13 A dream is a wish your heart makes.

    May 16, 2007
    I just never go in deeper than my waist... :lmao: and even that is a stretch!! I'll stick to swimming in the pool....

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