Florida Suggestions for August

Trying to make vacation plans. Only available travel time is late August. We are considering several options…Puerto Rico or Florida. If FL, then either Destin area (actually Santa Rosa Beach) or Naples area. Any thoughts from the locals or those that travel to FL often? We have not been to any of these places. Traveling with H and kids 21-23 (and perhaps a kid friend or two).

We are looking for beach and pool relaxation for a few days, but I know we’ll be bored with a whole week of that. Wanting a day trip or two or some sort of activity; I’m already factoring in a day of kayaking or maybe renting a charter boat for a few hours. No one is really a shopper. As far as the beach vibe, we’d prefer quite over crowded, but not secluded.

Also curious about the weather. I know it will be August and Florida, so I am expecting hot and humid. Is rain typically a quick afternoon shower and then it passes, or are hours of rain typical for both the pan-handle region and the southern Gulf Coast?

Puerto Rico offers quite a bit of what we are looking for: beach, pool, San Juan to explore, rain forest nearby for adventure, but I’m not confident they’ve recovered enough from the 2017 hurricanes. And we’ll be traveling in hurricane season.

Any insight on the two Florida regions and potential things to do nearby? Traveling with young adults…and enticing them to want to come…is a challenge! Thanks!

Where ever you decide to visit, make sure that you have trip cancellation insurance that would also cover hurricanes.
Puerto Rico’s tourist areas are mostly open. Some of the rest of the hotels will be reopening this summer. The following is a link to the National Forest: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/elyunque/home/?cid=fseprd579158 The following is a travel report from a hiker through one trail in the forest in February: tapasandtravels.com The island could use the influx of tourist $.

Destin is a very laid back, family type of destination. I don’t think there are as many activities as Naples area has to offer. Naples is more upscale and close to the Everglades. I would suggest Naples, Sarasota/Anna Maria and St. Pete Beach. These offer lots of other things do see and do besides the beach.

It will be hot. I’d stay as close to the beach as possible as even a few blocks off the beach really increases the temperature.

Just curious - any reason you’re going to such a hot place that time of year? Maine is beautiful then! :slight_smile:

I would head to someplace that offers “extra” destinations.

Cocoa Beach is a fabulous beach. Wide expanses and easy to walk. Great sand. Take surfing lessons or para sailing lessons on the causeway if interested.
Then go visit Kennedy Space Center. Orlando is close if you want more.

St. Augustine is beautiful and it’s easy to mix beach with history. Go on a “ghost tour” at night.
St Aug. is very “walk friendly” so if your older kids want to “party” later and you don’t…it’s easy. Always a great place to party. No need for a car.

Naples is pretty but mostly known for upscale shopping. Not my first choice perhaps for what you want.

Marco Island is awesome - we go every year for July 4th. Check out the Marriott there - it is one of their best properties.

We really enjoyed the times we spent at a friend’s condo close to the beach at Vanderbilt Beach in North Naples. We were close enough to be able to bike to the beach and then come back to eat lunch at the condo.

Question–“Also curious about the weather. I know it will be August and Florida, so I am expecting hot and humid. Is rain typically a quick afternoon shower and then it passes, or are hours of rain typical for both the pan-handle region and the southern Gulf Coast?”

LOL–Ummm…both. Not usually hours of rain. Call it 2 hours max unless a big storm front.
The clouds build up around 2pm…hover and threaten. Sometimes it pours, other times not. Sometimes it rains in one section of town and still clear in another…
My best advice–it varies.

DON’T be on the beach in a storm–lightening is a real threat. If you’re on the beach and a storm threatens–leave.

Marco Island is “cough, cough” boring. Which might be GREAT if you really want to “lay back”.
Don’t drag your 20 somethings along unless they like totally like fishing excursions and sitting around-- that’s another story.

One person’s boring is another person’s relaxing. To each their own.

St Petersburg has some great spots. The beach, great restaurants.
An easy to navigate “minus car” downtown.
Chlhuly museum. Salvador Dali museum.
Not far from the Florida Aquarium or Siesta Key (one of best world-wide beaches).
Go experience an “escape room” with the kids.

I guess my fav is someplace on the Keys. We went to Key Largo often when son was little, cuz it is relaxing and lots of water sports and great food. With kids in their 20’s, I’d head to KeynWest. Again, water sports, food, interesting shopping, and great night spots.

Last weekend in August is the Brewfest in Key West

I second the Saint Augustine area (Cinnamon Beach is nice). Amelia Island is also nice. Also Orange Beach Al is gorgeous and has plenty to do. Personally we didn’t enjoy Puerto Rico but everyone has different tastes in vacation destinations.

August in SW Florida is far from ideal. I would go to Amelia Island. You have great beaches, not quite as brutal weather, and Jacksonville available for some other things to do. The areas east of Destin are popular with people from Nashville. Also wonderful beaches but maybe not as much else to do as Amelia.

Great suggestions, everyone. Thank you. I’ll definitely have to check out Amelia Island. We’ve never been to the Gulf Coast, which is why I was exploring either Destin or Naples areas (and where I found some great rentals with VRBO).

You’re used to that sort of hot and humid, @MIMomma?

Probably not used to that much of “hot and humid”. You think it will be absolutely miserable? One thing I learned in my research is that the Everglades are mosquito infested that time of year. I thought it would be fun to make a day-trip to the Everglades, but I guess August is not the time for that!

D is taking her MCAT this summer and so we have one week after the exam and before school starts. “Relax at the beach” was what she wanted. We’ve vacationed many years in Myrtle Beach and wanted something different.

Everglades was a real bucket list thing. But even Feb in Naples was hot for me. Not in the air conditioning, of course (and there’s lots of it.) But eg, on the beach. And that wasn’t even humid season.

Someone else needs to weigh in. I’m not a humidity person. For so many of us northeasterners, we just don’t go to FL at the height of summer. YMMV.

CMB625: Why didn’t you like Puerto Rico? Curious about your experiences.