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Old 09-27-2011, 10:30 AM
 
6,034 posts, read 13,128,384 times
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BlueWillowPlate - We will have to agree to disagree - relatives live in Fort Meyers and my brother spent several years there. There are definitely much nicer beaches. I called the Florida beaches we visited in that area cigarette butt beach. The problem with the gulf regardless of what state you're in IMO are all the off-shore oil refineries (tar), all the people, and all the trash. Not to mention development. You don't really notice it though if that's what you're used to. Like I said - that's what I used to be used to, so it never bothered me. But once I saw some other beaches in the world and even in the US, I just can't recommend the gulf coast any longer. And I got the impression that the OP didn't want a touristy beach - and Florida is touristy, especially compared to several other gorgeous coastal areas we have in the states. I'm glad you are happy there, though - and your puppy looks happy, too.

FUZZ - WOW! Thank you for sharing those pics! Where did you stay? What airport did you fly into? What time of year is best to go? I'm off to google Anguilla!!
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
BlueWillowPlate - We will have to agree to disagree -relatives live in Fort Meyers ... and Florida is touristy, especially compared to several other gorgeous coastal areas we have in the states. I'm glad you are happy there, though - and your puppy looks happy, too.
Haggard, you and I are speaking about two different geographical areas.
The Gulf coast I am talking about is *not* the southern part of the state.

Ft Meyers is almost 8 hours away from Port St Joe.

I am talking about northwest Florida.
The Forgotten Coast is just plain NOT TOURISTY.
It can be rustic, but its unspoiled beauty is amazing--I saw my first green flash there. You saw the picture of my dog--there were no houses in that photo, let alone condos. There are no oil refineries up there.

I don't live on the northwest side anymore--the economy fizzled, along with my husband's job.

I am now on the northeast coast of Florida, which is not as beautiful, but has its own spanish moss oak tree charm, with a quaint little town and 400 years of history.

Cumberland Island (where JFK Jr got married) is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever seen, but the OP would have to either camp there or stay at a pricey inn.

I spent over 30 years in Colorado, always missed the ocean and have taken many, many beach vacations in various parts of the world, but one of my favorite spots, right here in the USA, seems to be destined to remain unknown--so be it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:16 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,787,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
FUZZ - WOW! Thank you for sharing those pics! Where did you stay? What airport did you fly into? What time of year is best to go? I'm off to google Anguilla!!
Thanks. We went in early April, stayed at Shoal Bay Villas, a small collection of villas/apartments/townhomes right on the beach. Water was a bit on the cool side, but still easily "swimmable". It's on the north side of the island; the area is not very developed at all, which was fine for us. But if you're looking for something more, some of the other areas with bigger hotels/resorts might be more to your liking. Or get a rental car (which we did not either).

We flew into St. Maarten and took a boat over.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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I'm sorry - I meant Fort Walton Beach. I always get the forts backwards! I am definitely talking about the nw part of florida towards the Alabama/Florida border. I've actually never been to Fort Meyers. My bad. And another thing I didn't like about that area were all the military bases. Or perhaps there's just one or two? I dunno... but in areas where there are military bases it usually feels kinda depressed. Just not a place I'd choose to go on vacation, that's all.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:25 PM
 
6,034 posts, read 13,128,384 times
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Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
Thanks. We went in early April, stayed at Shoal Bay Villas, a small collection of villas/apartments/townhomes right on the beach. Water was a bit on the cool side, but still easily "swimmable". It's on the north side of the island; the area is not very developed at all, which was fine for us. But if you're looking for something more, some of the other areas with bigger hotels/resorts might be more to your liking. Or get a rental car (which we did not either).

We flew into St. Maarten and took a boat over.
Thank you!! Sounds awesome.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:36 PM
 
51,901 posts, read 41,774,553 times
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I sent the OP a private note but just in case they can't see it or know to look for it....this place meets all your criteria and I've personally stayed there many times over the last 10+ years.

Siesta Key Florida Vacation Beachfront Rental Condos Directly on the Beach. - Home

The beach there is frequently rated amongst the best in the US.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,801,772 times
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What about North Carolina or Hilton Head? Too touristy for what I'm looking for?
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:24 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,911,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
I'm sorry - I meant Fort Walton Beach. I always get the forts backwards! I am definitely talking about the nw part of florida towards the Alabama/Florida border. I've actually never been to Fort Meyers. My bad. And another thing I didn't like about that area were all the military bases. Or perhaps there's just one or two? I dunno... but in areas where there are military bases it usually feels kinda depressed. Just not a place I'd choose to go on vacation, that's all.
Okay--thing is, I was still a good 2 and a half to 3 hours west of Ft Walton.

There is more than one airbase, but the only one we went to (for an air show, which was awesome, we saw the Blue Angels) was Tyndall, which was about an hour east of us.

There were no oil refineries near us, and never any gunk on the beach by Port St Joe. There are a couple upscale places, but mostly this is off-the-beaten path Old Florida, with few amenities, rough edges, and abundant wildlife and natural beauty. The white dunes are like snow banks.

At the Indian Pass Raw Bar, the bar is honor system and the oysters were harvested that very day. Apalachicola is quaint and cute, and St George Island lovely.
St Joseph State Park is a national treasure.

Chilali, I found the atmosphere at Hilton Head to be kind of stuffy and old-school--but maybe that's just me. You might enjoy the N Carolina beaches, they are definitely touristed but maybe low key enough for you.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:58 AM
 
Location: Land of ice and snow
81 posts, read 211,937 times
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Too many rosy red pictures of those Florida beaches being painted. Have been to all of them that have been mentioned, and they are definitely not the greatest beaches. Florida beaches usually have litter, lots of bugs, and may be located not that far from areas loaded with high crime, druggies, bums, and runaways.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:10 AM
 
Location: Land of ice and snow
81 posts, read 211,937 times
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Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
What about North Carolina or Hilton Head? Too touristy for what I'm looking for?
North Carolina Outer Banks is your best bet. The beaches are clean, lots of undeveloped stretches. They have a Ferry that goes over to Okrakroke Island, where it seems like you have the beach all to yourself.
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