Category Sanibel

10 Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA | U.S. News Travel

IMG_0884Taking the family to the beach can create lifelong memories, as long as every member of the family is satisfied. To help you choose your next family beach vacation, U.S. News considered factors like safe waters, kid-friendly attractions, dining options, spacious accommodations, multi-generational appeal and overall accessibility. The list below features destinations across the country that are most ideal for family getaways, according to travel experts and our readers. Weigh in by voting below, then use this list to plan your upcoming travels.

Source: 10 Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA | U.S. News Travel

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Marco Island is most expensive beach destination in Florida

TripAdvisor traveler photo

Marco Island Marriott. TripAdvisor traveler photo.

beach_maniac_blog_100pxMarco Island, located a few miles from the Florida Everglades and close to Naples, is the most expensive beach destination in Florida, according to the latest survey from

The survey specifically compared the hotel rates of 20 popular Floridian destinations for this year’s February and March time period, the high season for most beach destinations in the Sunshine State.

In Marco Island, travelers will have to spend an average of $302 per night for the most affordable double room. It bears pointing out that only hotels located close to the beach and with a positive average client rating were considered for the survey.

The following table lists the 10 most expensive beach destinations in Florida. The rates indicated reflect the average rate for the cheapest available double room (minimum: 3-star hotel) at each locale for the time period spanning February 1 through March 31, 2014. Although this survey comes from, I am linking out to TripAdvisor pages where you can compare prices from multiple sources for your specific vacation dates.

  1. Marco Island $302
  2. Sanibel Island $287
  3. Key West $254
  4. Delray Beach $253
  5. Fort Myers Beach $214
  6. Islamorada $198
  7. Anna Maria Island $197
  8. Key Largo $184
  9. Sarasota $183
  10. St. Pete Beach $181

For the full results of the survey, visit

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The 10 most expensive destinations in Florida (and how to find deals)


Delray Beach – Image by Mberjano via Flickr.

Delray Beach is Florida’s most expensive destination based on the cost of its lodging. That’s according to a new survey from The survey specifically compared the hotel rates of all Floridian destinations for this year’s February and March time period, the high season for most beach destinations in the state.

In Delray Beach, a coastal town located close to Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, travelers will have to spend an average of $298 per night for the most affordable double room. It bears pointing out that only hotels located close to the beach and with at least a 3-star rating were considered for the survey.

Sanibel Island and Siesta Key rank as the second and third most expensive destinations on the survey, with average overnight rates of $296 and $284, respectively. Meanwhile, the southernmost point in the United States, Key West, follows as the fourth most expensive locale in Florida. An average rate of $276 per night for the most affordable double room contributed to Key West securing that spot.

The following table lists the 10 most expensive destinations in Florida. The rates indicated reflect the average rate for the cheapest available double room (minimum: 3-star hotel) at each locale for the time period spanning February 1 through March 31, 2014. (We link to TripAdvisor, where you can compare prices.)

1. Delray Beach $298
2. Sanibel Island $296
3. Siesta Key $284
4. Key West $276
5. Longboat Key $269

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Best Florida Beaches: Gulf Coast

See on Scoop.itBeach Maniac

Check out our annual guide to the best beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Grab a towel, lounge chair and your sexiest swimsuit, and then dive in.


Beach Maniac‘s insight:

Among my favorites are Fort Myers Beach, Marco Island, Naples and Clearwater.

See on

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TripAdvisor unveils Travelers’ Choice Islands

Kauai, Hawaii. TripAdvisor traveler photo.

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has announced the winners of its inaugural Travelers’ Choice Islands awards. Based on millions of valuable traveler reviews and opinions on the site, the awards recognize more than 100 islands across the globe, including dedicated lists for Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, and the U.S.

“Whether you’re looking for idyllic palm-lined islands, or islands that offer a more cultural experience, you’ll find inspiration in these lists,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.  “From the world famous to the hidden gems, what unifies every award winner is the fantastic feedback from travelers across the globe.”

Top 10 Islands in the U.S.:

  1. San Juan Island, Washington
  2. Kauai, Hawaii
  3. Marco Island, Florida
  4. Anna Maria Island, Florida
  5. Maui, Hawaii
  6. Sanibel Island, Florida
  7. Chincoteague Island, Virginia
  8. Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
  9. Amelia Island, Florida
  10. Key West, Florida

Top 10 Islands in the World:

  1. Ambergris Caye, Belize
  2. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
  3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  4. San Juan Island, Washington
  5. Santorini, Greece
  6. Isla Mujeres, Mexico
  7. Moorea, French Polynesia
  8. Koh Tao, Thailand
  9. Easter Island, Chile
  10. Nosy Be, Madagascar

“We’re delighted that San Juan Island is honored as both the top island in the U.S...

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USA Today searches for the Best Beach in Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

What is the best beach in Florida? There is no shortage of beautiful beaches lining the shores of the Sunshine State, and they offer something for everyone, from quiet serene escapes to those packed with restaurants, resorts and plenty of tourists. Everyone has their own opinion of what makes a great beach, and USA Today is asking its readers to help identify Florida’s best beaches. So they first turned to Dr. Beach, the famous Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman, who is well known for visiting and analyzing beaches every year to determine which are the best. Leatherman provided USA Today with a list of 10 beaches to start with, based on his extensive research. Every one of these beaches is great in its own way, although I know I personally would like to add Fort Myers Beach and Daytona Beach to the list. Do you agree with this list (in alphabetical order below), and which beach – whether it’s on this list or not – would you say is the Best Beach in Florida?

  • Clearwater Beach
  • Cocoa Beach
  • Delray Beach
  • Key West
  • New Smyrna Beach
  • Pensacola Beach
  • Sanibel Island
  • Seaside
  • Siesta Key
  • South Beach

Vote on USA Today  or – if voting is completed – find out the results here.

Check out traveler reviews of the best beach hotels in Florida – and compare prices – on TripAdvisor.

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Bali tops U.S. New & World Report list of Best Beaches in the World

Sanur Beach, Bali. Photo by Eternal Vagabond on Flickr.

The Puri Sunia Resort is one of the top-rated hotels in Bali. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.

The Indonesian island of Bali has the best beaches in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report. The magazine says “the sun-drenched beaches extend into brilliant green hills peppered with ancient temples. Kuta and Seminyak’s white sands draw travelers far and wide. But Lovinya beach’s tranquil pebbly shores and calm waters are equally appealing for beachgoers seeking seclusion.”

Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali is renowned for its lush vegetation, sandy beaches and stunning landscape of rugged coastlines, volcanic hillsides, mountains and rice terraces. It boasts some of the best diving and surfing in the world and a offers a wide range of accommodations.

For TripAdvisor traveler reviews and more information on the paradise island of Bali, click these links:

The Best Beach Areas in Bali:

View Top Beaches of Bali in a larger map


The other top 10 beaches in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report, are listed below. We link to TripAdvisor, where you will find traveler reviews of hotels and unbiased descriptions of locations and activities:
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Fort Myers Beach sculptors create amazing art at Sand Bash

Dozens of sculptors turned sand into amazing pieces of art at the 2nd annual Sand Bash at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Beach, April 20-29, 2012. This year’s event had a movie theme, with sand sculptures featuring everything from the Wizard of Oz to the Alamo. Since this year’s Sand Bash was coordinated with the 6th Annual Fort Myers Beach Film Festival (, it also included an oversized inflatable movie screen set up at the Holiday Inn on Fridany night of the event to show films.

“Sand Bash has successfully brought so much attention to Fort Myers Beach, we are honored to partner with this fun event by bringing films to the beach,” said Mark List, Chairman of the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival Board.

A sister event is being held April 27 through May 6 at Tin City in nearby Naples. The Tin City event features a wine tasting festival component. Both are under large tents, a good thing because Fort Myers Beach event experienced quite a bit of rain. Nonetheless, the sculptures are out of this world and left visitors awe-struck.

The picture above and these were provided by the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Facebook page:

Helpful links:

Were you at the Sand Bash? Or do you have travel tips for visiting Fort Myers Beach? Share your story and photos below...

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Island hopping along the beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Photos of BEST WESTERN PLUS Beach Resort, Fort Myers Beach
The BEST WESTERN PLUS Beach Resort is one of the top-rated resorts on Fort Myers Beach. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

If a tropical vacation is calling out to you, leave all of your cares (and phone) at home and pack up your T-shirts and flip flops and head to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel on the Gulf of Mexico.  Take some time to unplug. Here visitors may explore the barrier islands of this southwest Florida island paradise by land or by boat.

In Jimmy Buffett style, you may spend days doing absolutely nothing or engaging in   serious exploring of these award-winning islands.

The Florida of days long past, with unspoiled white sand beaches, exotic wildlife and lush subtropical foliage, can still be found here and it is the perfect oasis where visitors can “get away from it all” and yet still be close to all of the modern amenities.  Many of the area’s 100 coastal islands are uninhabited mangrove clusters while others take visitors’ breath away with their beautiful beaches.

Island hopping by land!

Few destinations have such an abundance of sandy beach coastline, much of it undisturbed by modern intrusions.  With a subtropical climate, a 590-mile shoreline and the warm waters of the Gulf, this area has all the components for a fantasy island vacation.  Each island has a character of its own and makes for an island hopping vacation that includes sunsets, shelling, great dining and picnicking, water sports, boating, biking and exploring.

Best known are Sanibel and Captiv...

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Sanibel hopes Shellabration 2012 sets new record for the ‘Sanibel Stoop’

The record-setting 2012 Sanibel Stoop? Photo Credit: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel via Facebook.

Was a new record set for the Sanibel Stoop on February 17, 2012? The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel posted the photo above to its Facebook page, along with this message: “Thank you to everyone who came out yesterday to help us break the Guinness Book Of Records number for people doing the Sanibel Stoop! The paperwork has been filed and we will let you know the official outcome as soon as we hear it!” Read more about the Sanibel Stoop and the 2012 Shellabration below (with updated information coming as soon as we can get it).

Thanks to the Ocean’s Reach Resort on Sanibel Island for recording this video of the event:


The 'Sanibel Stoop'

Shellabration! 2012, from February 26 to March 4, not only “shellabrates” the 75th anniversary of the Sanibel Shell Show & Fair, but also the islands’ shell-bent predilection.

They have a name for it on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida, that shell-bent thing. They call it the “Sanibel Stoop.” So intertwined have the island and its shells become, that Sanibel’s identity is totally invested in seashells — known as one of the top shelling destinations in the world.

Beginning in the early 1900s, the procession of shellers up and down the island’s beaches sparked a friendly competition between guests at two early local hotels – Casa Ybel and The Matthews.

Hallie “Granny” Matthews hosted the Shell Show & Fair in her hotel lobby sta...

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