vacation ideas (florida?)

Thread starter #1
hey all, I was hoping to get some good thoughts from you about a vacation - it'll be my 10-yr anniversary with my wife this year, and she's hoping for "someplace warm". due to kids in school, and it being probably too late to schedule something for this spring break, we are probably looking at something during the summer. I realize this might be the hot season, and maybe not as ideal, but I don't think that's too big of a concern - I think she just wants a place warmer than Michigan, and to be able to lay on the beach, etc. we wouldn't specifically have any sightseeing planned that the heat would be annoying for... just a few days to get away together.

my criteria, and ideas so far:

  • short, direct flight from Detroit (or another local airport - Lansing, Flint)
  • probably a 3 to 5 night stay
  • possibly an all-inclusive style place?
  • option to use and/or rent a sailboat (preferably a Sunfish)
  • probably not Cancun
  • I'm leaning towards the gulf side of Florida (Naples, Siesta Key)
so, any thoughts/idea/recommendations? specifically, how to go about renting a Sunfish if I can't find a resort that already has them, and any places you're fond of that might be of interest to us? any ideas on how to get good deals on the all-inclusive style places?

I looked around a bit on "trip advisor" for Siesta Key tonight, and it seems like every hotel calls itself a "resort", and shows gorgeous pics of the beach, even though it's just a converted old Best Western motel several blocks from the actual beach... so its a little deceiving trying to find something.

thanks for your help!


We live on Siesta Key, and love this place, the summer is a bit hot but it feels great.

Every year we see a lot of people from Michigan here, this year more than ever, must have been very cold for you.

We sail out of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron; there are quite a number of Sunfish there, we counted them the other day, 53, unfortunately many are just stored. Not sure if you could rent someone’s fish, but if not, there was a guy renting Hobbies on the beach, the hotel people might be able to tell you if he is still around.

Since you are coming during the low season (summer), shop around for apartments on or close to the beach, you may find a decent deal.

The Best Western is about 1 block to the beach access @ the north end of the village.
2 suggestions
1 Bokeelia, just west of Ft Myers on Pine Island, Charlotte harbor is beautiful, great fishing and even better sailing. Last year we sailed out of Ben Halls place and there are a number of nice rental houses around that area. Very low key, not any 5 star resteraunts, but good food, nice local people, and a beautiful setting

2 The upper keys are my favorite. If youre into diving, then stay at Amy Slates dive resort, dive boat in your front yard. many nice houses and upscale condo/Hotels around Key Largo. If you go there, eat at Num Thai(Best Sushi anywhere) and Tower Pizza, bunch of yankeed up New Yorkers making great pizza..
The islander in Islamorada is a favorite, and they cater to sailors. The A Cat Fleeet sails out of there as does the Tybee 500 start. Much to do and see around that area. You can fly into Miami and be there in a little more than anhour. Stop At Gilberts Tiki Bar on the way down and have some rum drinks and some of there good german food.

Granted niether of these options are "all inclusive", but fro a a sailor and and a man that has traveled with his wife, she likes to go to these places
Thread starter #5
joeleitz - I had thought about the panhandle/gulf shores area, but can't seem to find much in the way of direct flights.

srqsunfish - thanks for the thoughts on Siesta Key. my only drawback for heading there is having to drive further from Ft Myers or Tampa airport to get there.

powergroove - I'll look into Bokeelia, but probably pass on the keys. I've never snorkeled, so that's not a huge draw for me. glad to hear that your wife doesn't mind tagging along, though. that does mean a lot.

a couple more thoughts:

  • I'm wondering if I can stay in Ft Myers at a hotel on the beach, and just get a taxi from the hotel and avoid having to rent a car (to save some cash).
  • my wife is gluten-intolerant (can eat wheat, barley, etc), so that will potentially limit our eating choices. So, I'd want to make sure the hotel/resort has decent places to eat either in the restaurant, or maybe with short walking distance.
I think I'm really shooting for direct flight, preferably at a hotel/rental/whatever really close to the beach, with minimal overall driving, or better yet, no need to rent a car, so taxi from the airport, and then just walking around the hotel area to sightsee (minimal) and eat (more important :))

thanks for your thoughts!

I went to Sandals Royal Bahamian in January (2010). That place was a ripoff! Poor service, they nickel and dimed us for everything, the hobie cats were literally falling apart and the place was run down. I went to Aventura Spa Palace in 2005 (my only other all inclusive resort trip), and Sandals really let me down. Sandals was more expensive too!

A guy from work found some all inclusive resorts in Cancun for under $800, travel included also. He had a great time. Shop around, you might be suprised with Cancun.
Hi Tag,

I am in the process of modifing my trailer (performane L14) to fit a 2nd fish.
I checked this and other sites for trailer mods, but I can see that you have 2 on a trailer and like the way you have the spars mounted. If it is not much trouble, could you send me some pictures of your rig so that I can see how it was built and how things, this will really help to get this goings.

We were looking for a place to go and that included Mexico, but a friend in the Military advised against it, saying the airports are the risk
Thread starter #11
gameplan has changed slightly: wife is apparently not interested in Florida! she's hoping for something more exotic, which leads me to the Caribbean islands. I too, am not really too interested in Cancun right now, and Hawaii, etc is too far to travel.

Dominican Republic, Bahamas, etc - any thoughts?



Upside down?
Staff member
Re: vacation ideas

Sunsail Club Colonna on the North shore of Antigua will reopen shortly:

The Club was closed mid 2009. It's a great place to sail and windsurf. Expect strong winds in winter and spring. Plenty of Lasers when I last visited in 2008. The Sunfish left from the 2001 World Championship were not maintained and have gone to pot :eek:
i live near detroit to and this summer im planning to go to a laser training program to improve your laser skills. i know it is loacated somewhere in the carribean.
back from a great time in Costa Rica. we were on the Pacific side. Not a lot of sail boats, and I didnt see one sunfish or laser. Snorkeling you see more in the Carribean, the the water was nice, weather was great. Its the dry season for that area until May, but a bus ride gets you to the rainforest.
We just booked our vacation for gulf shores Alabama. I think it would meet all your criteria. Fun Place, great fishing. We booked through a company called or you could check out another site called although they won't have anything all inclusive. And if you go in the summer you'll miss all the spring break craziness!

Good luck! whatever you decide!!
gameplan has changed slightly: wife is apparently not interested in Florida! she's hoping for something more exotic, which leads me to the Caribbean islands. I too, am not really too interested in Cancun right now, and Hawaii, etc is too far to travel.

Dominican Republic, Bahamas, etc - any thoughts?

It depends on what you and your wife enjoy of course - quiet evenings/night life, sailing/watersports, lots of places to eat/site seeing etc.

Personally, I recommend Barbados for the variety. It's got everything, but explore. Hire a car and see the whole island.

Antigua is good too.
I'd highly recommend taking a trip down to the Cayman Islands. They are just a little bit south of Florida, so the flight is very quick and can usually be found cheaply. There are sailboat rentals galore, lots of shops (including one specializing in items from shipwrecks), submarine trips, and you can go snorkling with the sting rays. While the latter may not be a top choice for many since Steve Irwin, I can attest that to me, they seemed like swimming with puppy dogs!

At first glance, food in the Caymans is expensive but if you search around a little bit, you can find some cheaper options. There are plenty of areas for hiking, if that's your thing, including one area where you can see remnants of a very old shipwreck. Best of all, no taxes!

(most of the above specifically reffered to "Grand Cayman," I've never been to the other islands in the chain).