We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am not a huge fan of Florida (I like going to places with more interesting history, and preferably less heat), but with our deep chill so early this year, I have been thinking about it a little.
I am not really a Hobe Sound or Jupiter type, and definitely not a Palm Beach sort. And Vero Beach never sounds very interesting to me. Your editor is averse to "relaxation," and also does not want to waste time by playing that game where you hit the little ball with the little stick.
Islamorada, for the fishing etc. I am also attracted to Gasparilla and Useppa. When we did a week in Captiva a few years ago, we'd rent a boat and tool around the waters between Captiva and Port Charlotte. We had to boat to have lunch in that wacky place on Cabbage Key, and we anchored right off Useppa for a swim and for some exploring.
Cabbage Key has no roads, and there is an insane drunk directing the boat traffic. Gasparilla and Useppa have no cars. They are both clubs. I am told that Gasparilla is for stuffy blue-bloods (it's rustic and simple), and Useppa more for the nouveaus - more luxurious. Tiny Useppa looks to have been having a building boom since we were down there.
April, 1989 - I caught (and released) one its largest tarpon,
thanks to Capt. Gary Register.
Coming back in the dark, both the Southern Cross
and the Big Dipper were clearly visible.
It depends on how much heat you want. I like the large trees and spanish moss of northern Florida. If you can tolerate 60 Hi/40 low, with the probability of the climate being both warmer and colder than that, it is for you. Cedar Key is nice, if you like the ocean.
But as a longtime sunbelt resident born and raised in NE, I much prefer the 60/40 winter to the 100/78 summer. No prob with some occasional freezes. Not that I mind winter days in the 70s, mind you.
I find Islamorada a little crowded. Big Pine Key is a little less touristy, little bit out of the way. Close enough to KW if you want a little weird, close enough to the charter fleets for a little offshore fun, & some nice skinny water right outside your door.
Not a big Florida person, but this looks great. Reminds me on one of our favorites, Bald Head Island, NC, just south of Wilmington. No cars, and the beaches are very uncrowded. You get there by ferry, and every house comes with a golf cart or two.
Gasparilla/BocaGrande has certainly changed in the past twenty years or so (the huge tank farm was sold off and the southeastern part of the island cleared of mangrove and developed with luxury housing, but the island remains a special universe unto itself.
A stay at the Inn is indeed a quality experience that the blue bloods will appreciate for the dining, golf and nearby spa arrangements. I regret that I hurried through what was probably the most beautiful round of golf in my life. Staying at a rental on the beach will be a more casual experience. Neither option will be bargain-priced!
In any case, the pace of Gasparilla/Boca Grande will lower your blood pressure. If you want "vacationland stimulation", "activities" and are easily bored, don't bother. A comment overhead on a nearly deserted beach (maybe 15 yrs ago), made by a young gal to her girlfriend, "I'm sure glad I went dancing last weekend!"
The island is connected by a toll bridge and there is not much vehicle traffic, but there is some. Don't miss the Banyan trees or the shell collection (DuPont?) at the Fust Library. One can beachcomb or fish from the beach, charter a boat or amphibious plane (Mark Futz) to visit nearby islands. The nights are quiet. Your satisfaction will be determined by what you are seeking.
I have some somewhat dated, but "grande" photos, if there is interest.