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Villa location for young family

Peterborough, UK
Level Contributor
44 posts
9 reviews
Villa location for young family

Coming over in mid feb for a week with wife and young children (2 and 4).

Obviously we’d like to be able to walk to a beach as that’s where the majority of our time will be spent . However I like getting out and about a little and going to restaurants, shopping outlets and maybe up to Legoland.

Looking at villas in the local area all we can find with availability are Cape Coral, one on don Pedro island and one in south of fort Myers beach.

Don Pedro island would be amazing for the beach but worried about getting out and about in the car. Fort Myers same again but villa little dated and worried the beach there is overdeveloped and crowded.

Therefore wondered if Cape Coral would be best location. ? We whouldn’t mind travelling 45 mins each day to a beach

Thanks in advance

13 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Florida
Level Contributor
50,016 posts
22 reviews
11. Re: Villa location for young family

Loads of villas up in the Engelwood/Rotonda area and very affordable- but you cant walk to the beach. The drive is 5-15 mins depending on location.

Venice has pool villas you can walk to the beach from. And look at Manasota key.

St. Pete Beach...
Level Contributor
2,050 posts
50 reviews
12. Re: Villa location for young family

Look at VBRO for St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, Indian Rocks Beach. There are beachfront locations available with easy access to St. Petersburg, Tampa and Legoland. These are the areas with lots of options for sightseeing, dining and kid friendly activities.

Below is a copy of my post for a family that asked about the St. Pete Beach area:

Pete Beach will be a good base. Also, check the website: visitstpeteclearwater.com

I think they will enjoy the mini golf (Madeira Beach, not the one on St. Pete Beach) and I think the pirate ship will be fun. (Pirate ship is John's Pass), I listed Boyd Hill in St. Petersburg as an option. They can see raptures in captivity and alligators in a natural setting, they also offer a tram ride. I am not a fan of the alligator attraction at John's Pass, farm raised alligators, not a true sense of florida wild life.

Seaside Bird Sanctuary is fun, donation only, close by.

You can rent a pontoon boat and navigate the inlet waterways, and even dock at a McDonalds by the causeway. Several other options: Water Taxi from Merry Pier in Pass a Grille to Shell Island, or take a nice sunset pontoon boat ride with Island Ferry: islandferry.biz

Follow http://paradisenewsfl.info/ for lists of events.

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary, check for groupon discounts.

Seaside Bird Sanctuary: www.seabirdsanctuary.com

Dolphin Racer: starlitecruises.com/fleet/dolphin-racer.html

Boyd Hill Nature Preserve: There is a nature room, walking trails, alligators, raptors and they offer some special afternoon or evening programs. Scroll down on the link: http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/boyd-hill.html

There is a bowling alley in south Pasadena, 5 minutes from the beach. They sometimes offer duck pin bowling for kids: http://littlecenters.com/

There is a kids playground behind a water facility on 45th Ave. off Gulf Blvd. and another one on Vina del Mar and Lazarillo Park on E. Debazan: http://www.spbrec.com/parks-locations/

They may like to watch the fishermen down by the Merry Pier: http://merrypier.com/

Further away is the Clearwater Aquarium, (home of dolphins Winter and Hope)www.seewinter.com.

Lowry Park Zoo, http://www.lowryparkzoo.org/ and Imaginarium in Tampa: http://www.i-sci.org/

There are lots of beach stores as well as Publix Supermarket, CVS and Walgreens Pharmacy and Dollar Tree stores: www.dollartree.com, along Gulf Blvd. to buy sand toys, beach umbrellas and chairs that will be less expensive than rentals.

Many restaurants have early bird specials. Some kid friendly places: Buona Italian Restaurant, Woodies- inexpensive, on a waterway for kids to watch boats, birds and fishermen, (cash only), Sea Critters, you can eat dockside and feed the fish.


Hull, Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Palm - Eagle Beach
Level Contributor
2,305 posts
67 reviews
13. Re: Villa location for young family

We’ve stayed in various places on the gulf coast in February. We really like Bonita Springs and will be returning there this winter. We’ve had pretty good luck with VRBO for our rentals.

We did Cape Coral one year and while we loved the house and neighborhood, there’s no beach and you’re so removed from everything. I agree with the poster who suggested SW portion in February gives you the better chance of beach weather.

Besides Bonita Springs, we also like the Lover’s Key area which is just past Bonita Beach in Estero (I believe).

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