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Old 18-04-2015, 04:52   #1
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Florida Tour.... suggestions?

Hey all! My wife and I are starting to scout out areas we would like to live. We are land locked in Texas and are ready for a change. We want to be either on a lake, bay or ocean if possible. We're planning a trip to Florida in a couple months. We will be there about a week and want to visit areas that are conducive to sailing. We welcome any suggestions. Here's our criteria...

Waterfront or water views if it close to a nice marina.

Commutable to a large town or city for work

Price range tops out at around 400K

We are flying into Tampa and driving from there. So what are the best sailing communities? East coast or west coast? We're also looking forward to our next trip somewhere other than Florida so suggestions there are welcome too! Thanks in advance.
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Old 18-04-2015, 06:09   #2
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

Stop off in FAIRHOPE, AL on the way through! Nice yacht club and plenty of weekly racing and cruising. Perhaps cheaper than 95% of Florida. Great small town with an abundance of arts and restaurants.


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Old 18-04-2015, 06:26   #3
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

Hi,

My vote is for St. Petersburg. My wife and I were able to find an inexpensive condo with a water view on an island on the ICW with a large sailboat friendy dock. We are one draw bridge and a few minutes away from sailing on Boca Ciega Bay and about a 40 minute sail from the Gulf. We are also right across the bridge and a short bike ride away from St. Pete Beach with some of the best beaches in Florida. Downtown St. Petersburg is only a 15 minute drive away from the beaches with several large marinas on Tampa Bay. I have friends who live aboard there and love it.

If you can't find a job in St. Pete, (population 250,000), the big city of Tampa is about a 30 minute drive from downtown St. Pete or 40 minutes from where we live on the beaches.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:00   #4
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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............. Commutable to a large town or city for work ..
I think you should figure out that "work" thing first and go from there. You don't say what kind of work you are looking for, but if it's anything specialize, you might to better in certain areas than others.

If you are a chiropractor of funeral director, you might do well in south Florida. Other careers might do better in Jacksonville or other northern cities.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:10   #5
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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I think you should figure out that "work" thing first and go from there. You don't say what kind of work you are looking for, but if it's anything specialize, you might to better in certain areas than others.

If you are a chiropractor of funeral director, you might do well in south Florida. Other careers might do better in Jacksonville or other northern cities.
I'm in the IT field, I usually don't have trouble finding work in large cities, but options and salaries dwindle with a lower population from what I've seen.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:15   #6
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor is a good option. Burnt Store Marina is very large and you can be sailing in the harbor in ten minutes time from the slip. Fort Myers is 40 minutes away, Sarasota is 60 minutes away. Tampa/St. Petersburg are good too.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:22   #7
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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Hi,

My vote is for St. Petersburg. My wife and I were able to find an inexpensive condo with a water view on an island on the ICW with a large sailboat friendy dock. We are one draw bridge and a few minutes away from sailing on Boca Ciega Bay and about a 40 minute sail from the Gulf. We are also right across the bridge and a short bike ride away from St. Pete Beach with some of the best beaches in Florida. Downtown St. Petersburg is only a 15 minute drive away from the beaches with several large marinas on Tampa Bay. I have friends who live aboard there and love it.

If you can't find a job in St. Pete, (population 250,000), the big city of Tampa is about a 30 minute drive from downtown St. Pete or 40 minutes from where we live on the beaches.
Great info, thanks! We plan on staying in that area the first day or two to check it out. Then probably south toward the Port Charlotte / Fort Myers area. But not sure after that.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:34   #8
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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Hi,



My vote is for St. Petersburg. My wife and I were able to find an inexpensive condo with a water view on an island on the ICW with a large sailboat friendy dock. s.

Sounds idyllic. What's the name of the island your on?
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:43   #9
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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Stop off in FAIRHOPE, AL on the way through! Nice yacht club and plenty of weekly racing and cruising. Perhaps cheaper than 95% of Florida. Great small town with an abundance of arts and restaurants.

Fairhope is that. But for the OPs investment figure, there are a large number of places to choose from on the longest stretch of continuous US coastline. Fifty miles east of Fairhope are barrier island communities of Gulf Breeze, Destin, and even into Panama City beach. The large expanse of protected waters is fantastic.

Go south from Appalachicola jumping off towards Tampa and wrap around the Keys back up the Atlantic coast. There are as many different types of FL coastal life cultures as there are sailboat designs. Hard to choose if you don't take the time to articulate specifics around your need.
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Old 18-04-2015, 08:09   #10
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

I don't live there but Sarasota is among the best in my opinion. Easy access,beautiful city with an abundance of cultural attractions,restaurants, business opportunities, great sailing venues and much less crowded thanSt Pete and Tampa. Very active sailing community and if you like beaches,it has the best.
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Old 18-04-2015, 09:01   #11
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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I don't live there but Sarasota is among the best in my opinion. Easy access,beautiful city with an abundance of cultural attractions,restaurants, business opportunities, great sailing venues and much less crowded thanSt Pete and Tampa. Very active sailing community and if you like beaches,it has the best.
I like Sarasota as well and that would be my choice.
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Old 18-04-2015, 18:18   #12
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

Sarasota! Five years there and we sailed like crazy.


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Old 21-04-2015, 05:18   #13
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Florida Tour.... suggestions?

Not sailed Sarasota but have sailed Biscayne Bay 15 years ago. Maybe the difference between the two is that Biscayne Bay is governed to a large extent by regulations of a protected national park (e.g., PWC ban in most park areas). Some CF postings suggest that Sarasota is crowded and that's definitely the case with Miami bays but I am hoping it's possible to still carve out a satisfying experience of sailing paradise in both areas today.
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Old 21-04-2015, 05:59   #14
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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...the big city of Tampa is about a 30 minute drive from downtown St. Pete
Not during rush hour it's not!
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Old 21-04-2015, 06:47   #15
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Re: Florida Tour.... suggestions?

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Not sailed Sarasota but have sailed Biscayne Bay 15 years ago. Maybe the difference between the two is that Biscayne Bay is governed to a large extent by regulations of a protected national park (e.g., PWC ban in most park areas). Some CF postings suggest that Sarasota is crowded and that's definitely the case with Miami bays but I am hoping it's possible to still carve out a satisfying experience of sailing paradise in both areas today.
Sarasota is a nice small city, with great arts and culture, and great sailing. It's a very wealthy city, but there are plenty of affordable condos.

Anywhere on the west coast will be less crowded than the east coast, but if you're really looking to get away from crowds, try Charlotte Harbor. Great sailing and very few people. Just 24 hours to sail to Key West; you can hit Little Shark River and Dry Tortugas too. And head a little south, you've got Naples and Marco Island; go north to Sarasota Bay and Tampa Bay.

Best of luck in your decision!
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