Just for future readers info I have now gone to many of the places suggested by the posters on this thread. For what it is worth here is what I found and some thoughts on based on my needs as laid out in the original post.
Daytona - I was surprised by this maina, really large, seem well kept, the town which as I recall
used to be fairly dumpy has been shown a much needed face lift
right across from the marina. This only extends so far, but there were a lot of places to eat and drink right there. Art show was going on on one side of the street, across the street a nice park held a volkswagon rally, live music
seemed like a good crowd. This could be a suitable place.
New Smyrna - The town itself seemed OK, but the marina situation just didn't look all that viable, tiny place, fixed docks, simply not many spots available to begin with. I wasn't sure we could even get a spot there after talking to the dockmaster.
coco beach - another town that has possibilities, the marina is large and the one thing I don't like is that it sits under the shadow and gaze of a huge condo unit. Then you must cross a very busy road to get to town, the little village area is nice enough, a bit small though in terms of what it can offer.
Fort pierce - Although most of Ft pierce appears to be a tragic example of the worst florida
has to offer, the downtown area right next to the marina has had a lot of work done to it, along with a nice water
front park. The marina is also nice, ther are two restaurants right at the docks, the town still looks like it is struggling a bit, but I thought this area might be a good place to spend the winter. Seems like the marina is the real focal point of everything good going on in town. Lots of events
right in the park next door.
Vero beach - we loved the marina nice setting. looked like a good place to hang with other cruisers, I didn't really like the town, to far away, to upscale.
Stuart - I'd have to say this would be the winner if I were to pick someplace out of this list of towns to stay. There is a good size marina, with a restaurant on site. The town which is on the other side of RT1 can be reached by a walkway under the bridge. Stuart seems to have everything within walking distance, nice park, nice town. restaurants, pubs, shopping
, it is all there. I guess my only negative thought was that it is simply very busy down in Stuart as opposed to here in Fernandina. The traffic is ridiculous, of coarse the whole point of the search is to find a place where you do not need a car so we will not be in traffic. I'd like to here any opinion on Stuart pro and con from those who actually spent a lot of time there.
Anyway thanks for all the suggestions if anyone has any other places to consider please post.