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Old 06-12-2012, 10:51 PM
 
Location: http://www.johnscreekrealtypartners.com
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1. Florida Panhandle? : Panama City, Santa Rosa, Pensacola Beach etc.
2. Savannah, GA
3. Golden Isles - Brunswick, GA - the southeastern tip of Georgia.
4. Jacksonville, FL
5. Other - Where??

Which area has the most natural beauty? I left out Southeast and southwest Florida as it is too far to drive to.

- GregLakeSearch... you there?
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:20 PM
 
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My Vote goes for #1 Panama City, Pensacola, Destin FL

one word: Beach
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:33 PM
 
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I think those areas are fine if you're only interested in natural beauty. The panhandle would be awesome because you would be able to enjoy things without all the redneck crowds. The trouble is, it can get pretty cold there. I don't know if this is still the case, but it used to be many years ago that a lot of the busineses closed for the winter, which limited what you could do. That might have changed, I doubt Pier Park boards up for the winter.

Jacksonville is a neat idea because there is a city there. If someone was looking for a place to spend 3 or 4 months in the winter, it wouldn't be a bad idea because if you get sick of the beach, it has all the amenities of a medium sized city. Trouble is, like the panhandle, it can get cold in the winter.

Are you talking about a place to go for weekends, in the winter, or are you talking about a place to go spend the winter as a "snow bird?" And are you mostly interested in natural beauty, or escaping the cold?

If you want to rather reliably escape the cold, I would say you would have to go at least down to Orlando's latitude to a place like Cocoa Beach. That will be much more reliably warm in the winter, but even it may not be warm enough to actually go swimming all year round. For that, you pretty much have to go to Miami. Even there it isn't 100% guaranteed that it will be warm enough to swim in January, but you can pretty much be sure you'll never need a heavy jacket.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Orlando
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Orlando... Close to the beach, great lakes, parks and weather.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:45 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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I would vote the Florida panhandle, but also say that because of the experience that people I know who have done this have had, you should consider whether you want to buy or just visit regularly in nice accommodations.

Explained: I have known several people through the years who have purchased vacation homes (or condos). Their original intent was to stay in the homes maybe 2 months or up to 8 weeks or so out of each year, and then rent the homes out during the rest of the time. In every case, they at some point wound up selling these properties, because things tend to come up that caused them to not spend as much time as they thought they would down there, and, they found the process of renting (even through an agency) to be tedious, and a certain amount of damage was done to the properties over time as well. It also occurred to them that with strangers staying in their home several months of the year, what made it any different than their staying in a hotel room? After doing the calculations of mortgage, insurance, agency payouts, repairs, etc etc... they found that they could stay in a very very nice condo resort for several weeks per year in Florida, and pay much less than owning a property. Since the Gulf spill, while things have picked up a bit, they're not normal yet, and from what I hear, there are plenty of empty rentals now in that area except for the most busy of holiday weekends.

I realize that's not your question - but since I have known people who have gone this route I thought it was fair to share their opinions with you about it. That being said, I'll repeat that the greater Panama City beach area was where the ones that did that area seemed to enjoy the most regardless of what you decide to do.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:16 AM
 
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The problem with the panhandle is it's just on the wrong side of the travel sweet spot.

What I mean is, if you're having a time when you are teetering on whether to go down there or not, the length and hassle of the drive are usually enough to tip you on the side of not going. You do have to be pretty movitaved to make the journey. It gets old fast, and after 2 or 3 times in a year, you're probably just not going to want to put up with it anymore.

When I lived in Birmingham, it was just on the right side of the sweet spot. Still a pain, most people could stomach spending 4 or 4.5 hours in the car to get down there, especially because they have slightly more interstate time than we do on the journey. 5 or 5.5 hours just often seems like too much of a hassle, and the time change compounds it.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:25 AM
 
Location: atlanta
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probably the golden isles or brunswick because my family goes way back there and i always feel a cane pulling me down the golden isles highway whenever i get near macon.

of course, heck, i might live in asheville, nc during the winter. i enjoy snow and i really enjoyed the winter trip i made a few years ago there. asheville is really beautiful in the wintertime.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:29 AM
 
Location: atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maturola View Post
My Vote goes for #1 Panama City, Pensacola, Destin FL

one word: Beach
redneck rivera is more like it. that's where everyone from rural and suburban north georgia goes to vacation, and i mean everyone... it's like travelling 500 miles to get away from it all with all the people you thought you left at home.

pensacola and santa rosa island of course is an exception— they seem to get a lot less traffic and if you like the panhandle it's a place to go, there are other spots along there as well. but destin and panama city? hell, i'll go to lake lanier if i want to see white trash beaches.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:56 AM
 
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Because there certainly aren't any rednecks in Pensacola! Not at all.

If you travel 500 miles to get to the panhandle, you really need to consult with Google maps before you go next time.

Are you going to take the advice of a guy who doesn't even know how far away the Gulf coast is and thinks that only poeple from rural and suburban north Georgia visit there?
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:25 AM
 
Location: atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Because there certainly aren't any rednecks in Pensacola! Not at all.

If you travel 500 miles to get to the panhandle, you really need to consult with Google maps before you go next time.

Are you going to take the advice of a guy who doesn't even know how far away the Gulf coast is and thinks that only poeple from rural and suburban north Georgia visit there?
it's an exaggeration. but if you don't believe me take a survey at your local suburban school or workplace to see how many folks frequent panama city or destin in particular. they're not the only people that go there but for gosh sakes when i take a vacation i'd like to not take it with the entire county.
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