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Sweetfudge

Want Your Votes: Sanibel, Destin, Or Key West

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Planning a trip to Florida in the spring, and we've got a few days open on our agenda. We've narrowed the list down to these three, but I'm looking for the place with the best accomodations for my dietary restrictions. And any pros/cons to what to do/where to go would be wonderful! Thanks!

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Key West has a lot of restaurants with "real chefs" who can accomodate you, so that would be my vote. :)

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I live in fort myers (40 min from sanibel) and here you have Outback, Chick fila, cheeseburguer in paradise, pf chang, and blue fish that offers foods gluten-free.

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We rent a house on Sanibel for a few weeks every winter. I love Sanibel! We don't eat out but both grocery stores on the island have a surprising amount of gluten-free foods (cererals, pastas, bars, etc.)

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We lived outside of Destin for a year after hurricane Katrina, so if you go there, I know quite a few places. My favorite restaurant is 331 which is on hwy 331 just north of Destin in Freeport. Their entire menu is written on a blackboard daily, plus they have a great sushi bar. It's right on the bay, so super fresh seafood is never a question. Spectacular place, eclectic atmosphere, and a nice bar/club downstairs that is jumpin' on the weekends.

There's a Bonefish Grill that has a Gluten-free menu, lots and lots of crab places (there was one we really liked, but I can't remember the name. They had all-you-can-eat dungeoness for less than $20.) Thai Orchid is also really good, and accommodating. I also can't remember the name of the Vietnamese restaurant which is in a strip mall just a bit west of the Destin Commons on 98.That place had the best pho I have ever eaten. Oh, and for breakfast or some good 'ol Southern home-style eating, you'll never find nicer more "happy to please you" kind of people at The Donut Hole also on 98. If you can resist the smell of all of their fresh baked goods (which the rest of my family misses immensely) they will make or modify anything on their great diner menu. Plus, they have the best milkshakes in the world!

The Publix supermarkets there also had a pretty good selection of Gluten-free items, and really great produce.

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We rent a house on Sanibel for a few weeks every winter.

Apologies for the off-topic response.

Since you are a Sanibel regular, can you tell me if it is good for bird photography?

I've never been there but bumped into someone who said it was a great birding destination.

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Apologies for the off-topic response.

Since you are a Sanibel regular, can you tell me if it is good for bird photography?

I've never been there but bumped into someone who said it was a great birding destination.

Either Destin or the neighboring San Destin had a fabulous Birding Festival in the spring. Right outside of San Destin is the most beautiful little place called Grayton Beach(Also Seaside, Watercolor, etc.) Awesome birding there. Lots and lots of trails and other birding sites around the area. The visitor's center on 98 at 331 has loads of info.

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Apologies for the off-topic response.

Since you are a Sanibel regular, can you tell me if it is good for bird photography?

I've never been there but bumped into someone who said it was a great birding destination.

Just wanted to chime in that we have gone to Sanibel many times. My husband's family has for 25+ years...my husband's brother is a nature photographer & loves to take shots of birds. There are great sanctuaries - Ding Darling comes to mind. You have egrets, ospreys & I even saw an eagle once there. Lots of birds & wildlife in general.

sorry to jump the thread, just wanted to let you know what i know codetalker!! :)

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Awesome guys! Thanks!

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Apologies for the off-topic response.

Since you are a Sanibel regular, can you tell me if it is good for bird photography?

I've never been there but bumped into someone who said it was a great birding destination.

Well I am not a birder and don't know that I can answer that question adequately but Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is there and I've heard people talk about the birds there. I do see a lot of birds but birds are birds to me :) . I usually spend my days shell hunting and riding on the bike paths.

http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/

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Key West has a lot of restaurants with "real chefs" who can accomodate you, so that would be my vote. :)

:D Yes!

My Husband and I got Married in Key West May 08, it was so wonderful!

Although I had not yet been dx with Celiac (that was a week after the honeymoon, fun!)

...So that was also my last most wonderful memory of travel without having to worry about gluten.

(mmm handmade pasta with grilled seafood and hollandaise sauce, deep fried calamari, & cuban subs! ok I will stop now sorry. gluten-free options seemed very doable)

Planning for group dinners I did find most restaurants have great chefs who will listen to special requests, and used pure good quality REAL ingredients. Lots of seafood, steak, tropical fruits, Cuban food...pork, rice, beans, plantains, more fruit. Lots of Salads

We drove home for our honeymoon, spent a day on Sanibel on the way. Did not eat there but saw mostly sandwich shops and delis, there was a nice restaurant area we did not make it there the ads showed Harbor House type dining.

2 very different atmospheres:

Key West was very upbeat and a little touristy. But lots of fun stuff to do and see there

(and the nearby keys all have their own personality)

Tropical Bahia Honda was beautiful! Snorkle if you can at Looe Key...downtown Key West was a little smelly come Monday morning ( weekends are basically a big 3 day party :lol: )

Sanibel felt very relaxed and peaceful, natural, we found so many beautiful shells there and nature walks...yes lots of birds, sea turtle nests, long sandy beaches.

.....Would have made it to Destin but we got a little lost :P and had to head straight for the 10 to New Orleans.

May was a great time of year for some reason in between season so nothing was packed/booked. Was not too terribly hot, but if camping prepare for noseeums at dusk.

We used http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/f...keys/lower-keys

although you usually get a much better deal if you can stay a week or a month than a few days.

Good Luck!

Have a blast!

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