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Old 04-08-2010, 02:19 PM
 
64 posts, read 209,793 times
Reputation: 18

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I want to plan a vacation down to Sarasota (I'm from NJ) to scope out the area to possibly move to.

Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should stay? Both hotel accomodations and town? I should mention I'm traveling with a 2 year old.

Should I stay in downtown Sarasota or go somewhere more tropical like Siesta Key and just drive into downtown?

Is it easy to get around, or do you suggest renting a car?

When is the best time to visit the area? I have vacation time coming up in August/September (maybe early October). After that, I won't be able to visit until the following Spring or I could also do either Fall or Winter.

Thanks for your help!!! Love you guys!
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,331,466 times
Reputation: 2846
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennkarma View Post
I want to plan a vacation down to Sarasota (I'm from NJ) to scope out the area to possibly move to.

Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should stay? Both hotel accomodations and town? I should mention I'm traveling with a 2 year old.

Should I stay in downtown Sarasota or go somewhere more tropical like Siesta Key and just drive into downtown?

Is it easy to get around, or do you suggest renting a car?

When is the best time to visit the area? I have vacation time coming up in August/September (maybe early October). After that, I won't be able to visit until the following Spring or I could also do either Fall or Winter.

Thanks for your help!!! Love you guys!
I think you should try to stay on or close to one of the beaches. That's one of the main reasons why people visit here. I usually use tripadvisor.com to see what people have to say about the various hotels and to check pricing.

Sarasota has a pretty good bus system but if it were me I'd probably rent a car. Really, downtown is one of the only walkable areas. Everything else you would need transportation to get to.

If you have a little one I would suggest visiting The Children's Garden in downtown Sarasota. You might also enjoy Sarasota Jungle Gardens, GWIZ or Mote Marine.

Well, it's hard to actually recommend the "best time" to visit. I'll throw out a few pros and cons. In July and August it's VERY hot. If you're not use to it it might be a problem. One good thing is that there will be minimal tourists in the area and it's easier to get around, etc. In the summer it rains in the afternoon nearly everyday so you would need to plan accordingly. Then you have the hurricane factor if you are visiting in the summer. They say it's going to be a busy season but as I recall for the past, oh 37 years they say that each year and then usually back off from their prediction as the months click on.

The winters are nice, well except this winter. This winter it was down right cold and in some cases it was colder than different parts up north. Often it gets too cold to visit the beach and be comfortable.

So that leaves us with spring and fall. That's when I would visit if you can. In the spring the weather is still nice and most of the tourists are going home. And just the opposite in the fall. The weather isn't quite as hot and the tourists haven't made their way down quite yet.

There you have it from a FL native

Last edited by SoFLGal; 04-08-2010 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:56 PM
 
16,247 posts, read 34,813,709 times
Reputation: 21051
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennkarma View Post
I want to plan a vacation down to Sarasota (I'm from NJ) to scope out the area to possibly move to.

Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should stay? Both hotel accomodations and town? I should mention I'm traveling with a 2 year old.

Should I stay in downtown Sarasota or go somewhere more tropical like Siesta Key and just drive into downtown?

Is it easy to get around, or do you suggest renting a car?

When is the best time to visit the area? I have vacation time coming up in August/September (maybe early October). After that, I won't be able to visit until the following Spring or I could also do either Fall or Winter.

Thanks for your help!!! Love you guys!
The problem with August or September is, it is not only the hottest months here, but storm season. I would wait until October. Downtown is centrally located to get to everything, but most people like the beaches, and October is a good time for that.
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
453 posts, read 1,637,627 times
Reputation: 230
NJ here also. We wanted to scope it out not to move there, but possibly to spend some future winters or vacations. We split our week between Venice and Anna Maria Island and spend a day or two around Sarasota, Siesta Key, and Longboat Key. By all means rent a car - there are a lot of areas to see, and a lot of ground to cover. It's a shame Continental no longer flies direct to Sarasota; it's a great small airport and very convenient.

Venice was quite nice, and Anna Maria Island was VERY nice. I'm looking forward to going back there soon.

Rhys
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:49 PM
 
385 posts, read 1,075,221 times
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Jet Blue flies straight threw via to SRQ via JFK... I don't know how deep into Jersey you are though. I would definitely stay on or around the beach, either Siesta or Lido. We do get rain those months, but it is generally like clockwork in the afternoon. Usually occurs around the time your ready to wrap up your time at the beach or pool if you have been out there all day, but who know this year with all this crazy weather! Your two year old would probably not enjoy GWIZ much and if you go to Jungle Gardens/Children's Garden make it an early morning outing because it will get very hot for him. I think he/she would enjoy the Mote the best! Here is a link to Mommy Magazine, maybe some things to do you are interested in Mommy Magazine : A Sarasota Area Survival Guide Also The Official Website for Sarasota and Her Islands + Your Beach Destination they have a nice calender of events and information for tourists.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:44 AM
 
64 posts, read 209,793 times
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Wonderful feedback from ALL of you! Thank you sooooo much! I'm going to look into all the advice you gave me
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:07 AM
 
25 posts, read 76,599 times
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I've been going to Siesta Key for years and would highly recommend it. I've been to Anna Maria as well, but Siesta Key is definitely my favorite place in Florida. In the past, my family has stayed at a few different condo complexes: Siesta Dunes on Siesta Key off the coast of Sarasota Florida on the Gulf of Mexico., The Anchorage - Yacht and Tennis Club Condominium of Siesta Key Florida, Excelsior Beach to Bay rental condominiums on Siesta Key

These places are right on Midnight Pass and are either on, or right across the street from the beach. I have never had a bad experience at any of these locations. Hope it helps! Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:19 AM
 
64 posts, read 209,793 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. red View Post
I've been going to Siesta Key for years and would highly recommend it. I've been to Anna Maria as well, but Siesta Key is definitely my favorite place in Florida. In the past, my family has stayed at a few different condo complexes: Siesta Dunes on Siesta Key off the coast of Sarasota Florida on the Gulf of Mexico., The Anchorage - Yacht and Tennis Club Condominium of Siesta Key Florida, Excelsior Beach to Bay rental condominiums on Siesta Key

These places are right on Midnight Pass and are either on, or right across the street from the beach. I have never had a bad experience at any of these locations. Hope it helps! Good luck!
Thank you so much for the recommendations. I will DEFINITELY look into them and I appreciate the feedback
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