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Beach locations

rachel1998

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I am new to the Atlanta Area. We want to get an exchange to a beach area next summer. We went to Myrtle Beach last summer. I didn't really care for it. Where can you Tuggers suggest for this coming summer. Is it too hot to go to Florida beaches? What about Hilton Head?
Thanks
 

Egret1986

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What are you looking for in a beach area?

Give some specifics of the type of vacation and activities that you're looking for and I'm sure you will get a lot of responses. I haven't been to Myrtle Beach in many years, but that's not the type of beach vacation that I would be interested in. Hilton Head, on the other hand, is a wonderful beach vacation that my family always enjoys due to the type of atmosphere, the beaches, and the biking.
 

rachel1998

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I would like someplace that is not a long distance drive from Atlanta. It took us many hours to drive there. The kids liked it a lot but to me it was Las Vegas with the ocean. A zoo. Are there beaches that are nice south of Atlanta in Alabama and the Panhandle that are popular in the summer, but not as popular as Myrtle Beach.
 

vacationhopeful

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I think the Jersey shore is a ZOO in the summer ... beach tags just helps with the atmosphere.

Fort Lauderdale has wonderful, uncrowded beaches in the summer. Just a tad hot and humid :hysterical: .... Flying is an option?
 

tombo

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I would like someplace that is not a long distance drive from Atlanta. It took us many hours to drive there. The kids liked it a lot but to me it was Las Vegas with the ocean. A zoo. Are there beaches that are nice south of Atlanta in Alabama and the Panhandle that are popular in the summer, but not as popular as Myrtle Beach.

The beaches on the panhandle are the best in the US IMO. The sand is powdery and sugar white. Any beach from Panama City to Gulf Shores has that beautiful sand. The whole area has a lot to do with golf, Putt-Putt, outlet malls, great restaurants,water parks, and of course days spent on the beach doing nothing. The drive from Atlanta is easy. The beaches are so great that people do flock there in the summer, so there can be heavy traffic and waits for good restaurants. I spend at least 2 weeks a year on the panhandle every year and myself and my family have few beach locations in the world we would rather visit.

Destin is the highest dollar location in the panhandle area(IMO)(timeshares holiday beach resort, wyndham), and the Sandestin resort is a great place with condos, golf, bike trails,and reastaurants. Sandestin resort has ocean front, golf front, and bay front accomodations and timeshares (Bay club of sandestin and club intrawest, both on the bay) and the Sandestin Hilton. The perdido key area has the least touristy things around but there are no timeshares here. Panama City west end is not very crowded and a place I love to stay (timeshares are Landmark, the brand new Wyndham, the almost new Escapes to Tropical Breezes, and panama city beach resort all on the west end). If you get on the main strip in PC, teenagers are everwhere. Most resorts on the west end require at least one person checking in to be 25 or older. Orange Beach is new, nice, but has a lot of high rises (timeshares escapes to orange beach which has timeshare sales tours in the new high rise available online booking). Gulf Shores away from Dowtown is older but less crowded with few high rises (timeshares are Shoreline Towers on the ocean, and Village by the gulf and a few others across the street from the ocean).

If you take your family to this area once I would bet that it becomes an annual trip.
 

bogey21

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I agree with the Destin/Sandestin recommendation. For a different experience with an historical twist, I' also look at St Augustine Beach

George
 

sfwilshire

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I haven't been able to visit it yet, but I own a week at Tybrisa on Tybee Island. I've heard it's in a very nice location. I was going to rent a couple of days for my daughter there last summer, but even owners rates were above her budget.

I've always deposited my early June week. Hope to actually go visit in 2010.

Sheila
 

rachel1998

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The Destin area, is it as hot and humid and it was in Myrtle Beach? I have heard really good things about this area. Also, people have told me about Tybee Island. Is it hard to get an exchange to either one of these places?
 

tombo

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The Destin area, is it as hot and humid and it was in Myrtle Beach? I have heard really good things about this area. Also, people have told me about Tybee Island. Is it hard to get an exchange to either one of these places?


Yes, Yes, and Yes.

It is in the south so it is hot and humid, but it is far less miserable than Atlanta in the summer (IMO) because there is usually a breeze coming off of the ocean.

Tybee island summer, hard to get.

Destin summer, hard to get.

If you find a Destin week jump on it. If you can't exchange for a week there are usually reasonable rentals from timeshare owners on redweek.com, myresortnetwork.com, and of course here on TUG. If you ever do make the trip to Destin you will see why it is so hard to trade for, the people who have been before are trying to go back.
 
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AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
How Hot Is It ?

The Destin area, is it as hot and humid and it was in Myrtle Beach?
We're hoping it won't be all that hot & humid when we're there Jan. 11-18, 2009 -- our 1st Panhandle vacation.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

tombo

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We're hoping it won't be all that hot & humid when we're there Jan. 11-18, 2009 -- our 1st Panhandle vacation.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​


It won't be hot in January, in fact there is a chance it could be cold. Watch the weather channel and don't go without some warm clothes just in case.


There are so many great things to do including golf (several courses at the Sandestin resort), sightseeing (besides the pristine beaches of Destin, don't miss Grayton Beach state park for secluded beach walking, and the towns of Seaside and Watercolour), shopping (local outlet mall), and so many great restaurants. AJ's fresh seafood, the Back Porch, Hooter's (threw that one in their for you since food is good but waitresses are better), and many more great local places that the resort can steer you to. In addition there are some pretty good chains like Fudpuckers, Hogs Breath Saloon, and Joe's crab shack.

Have a great trip and let us know how you liked it.
 

rachel1998

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It was hot and humid when we were in Myrtle Beach this past July. I think one day it was over 100. Coming from California you get spoiled. When you go to the beach it is cooler not hotter and humid.
 

clsmit

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Another FL option is the Pinellas County area. That's St Pete/Clearwater/Dunedin/Tarpon Springs. The beaches are also sandy white, good breezes, and not nearly as crazy crowded as Destin. That's near Tampa, so the drive is a little longer. Go down I 75 to Tampa, turn right and go until you hit the ocean. :) There's putt putt and similar stuff to do, but also baseball games (majors and minors) shopping, and other activities. Might not be as hard to trade into, either, if you're flexible with where in the area you want to go.
 

javabean

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Would love to know more...

We would love to know more about the panhandle. We've never been there. And now that we are Marriott TS owners it is an option. St Pete as a child, Punta Gorda, and Orlando are the only places we have traveled to in Florida. If we could keep this thread going I would appreciate it. If not, any reference to another thread would be great.
Happy Holidays-Merry Christmas-Safe Travels.

Deb
 

Happytravels

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We are down to three!!
FL panhandle

We visited last year in March. It was very cold for about two days. We stayed at the Holiday Beach Resort Soundside in Pensacola FL. Nice place. It did warm up enough for us to swim in the heated pool for about a day or two.

We are going back in Sept. 2009. Staying one week in Panama City (The Landmark) first week then to Pensecola the second week:cheer: :banana:

Check out the pictures on webshots. They are in the link below.
 

tombo

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I love the Landmark. It is an older resort but has been updated recently. My best friend owns a week at Marriott Legends edge and he came to visit me at the Landmark a couple of years ago. After having drinks on the balcony watching the sun set over the gulf he said why am I staying miles from the beach on my beach vacation? He said even though the rooms were nicer at the Marriott he would rather spend a week at the Landmark with it's great views and location. He now owns and stays at the Landmark every year and he trades his Marriott for other locations.

September is a great time of year unless there is a hurricane. The weather is great, the Gulf water is very warm, and the crowds are diminished if non-existent. If a hurricane does churn in the gulf and not hit PC Beach (as it did Labor Day Weekend 2008) the waves are spectacular to watch and you can find shells on the beach like no other time. There were 2 very rough days where you couldn't swim in the ocean Labor Day weekend this year, so we shelled, but after the storm passed the rest of the week was great.
 

tombo

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Right now using a poor RCI trader (I have used up my good traders for 2009) I can see a studio at the Holiday Beach Resort in Destin (small room but nice for 2 adults or a family of 4) oceanfront for Labor Day week, and the week after Labor Day week, and the week after that. With 3 traders you could stay 3 weeeks in a row. This resort is older but has the best location of any resort in Destin.

I also see Pensacola Beach Soundside (supposed to be nice but I have never stayed there) available for a couple of weeks in August and the week after Labor Day in September.

Anywhere from Gulf Shores to Panama City on the Panhandle has the same wonderful sugar white sand beaches, but Destin and PC seems to have the clearest water IMO. It is about a 45 minute drive from Panama City Beach to Destin, and about an hour more to Pensacola. From Pensacola to Mobile is about an hour's drive. No matter where you stay the Pensacola Naval Air Museum is worth a trip, and the USS Alabama in Mobile is also a great thing to do too.

http://www.ussalabama.com/

http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/

If you have a better trader you might find some more choices than I can get with the traders I have left. Good luck and feel free to ask me if you have any questions.
 
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grest

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we just booked the Wyndham on Panama City Beach for the beginning of August...can't wait.
Connie
 

wcfr1

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Another FL option is the Pinellas County area. That's St Pete/Clearwater/Dunedin/Tarpon Springs. The beaches are also sandy white, good breezes, and not nearly as crazy crowded as Destin. That's near Tampa, so the drive is a little longer. Go down I 75 to Tampa, turn right and go until you hit the ocean. :) There's putt putt and similar stuff to do, but also baseball games (majors and minors) shopping, and other activities. Might not be as hard to trade into, either, if you're flexible with where in the area you want to go.


This is home. Destin beaches are nice but not as many timeshares to exchange into.

Pinellas County is home to two of Dr. Beaches Best Beach of the Year. Ft. Desoto and Honeymoon Island. Come on down!
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
We've Had Better Luck On The Panhandle.

Destin beaches are nice but not as many timeshares to exchange into.
We've tried for a long time to snag exchanges into timeshares from St. Pete Beach up to Clearwater Beach -- with zero luck.

This year we decided to try the Panhandle. For January 2009 we snagged Club Intra-West Sandestin using as trade bait a standard-grade timeshare in a far-off foreign land overseas.

Go figure.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 
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