I think I need a vacation ;)
5 beaches - 4 Disney World Parks - 8 days.... I think we did a pretty darn good job.
The first beach we sat upon was Siesta Key - It claims number one beach in the USA. They are still completing their $21 million dollar renovation of the entire beach.
There was a lot of free parking, brand new bathrooms, 2 awesome play areas for the kids, food stand, beach umbrella/chair rentals and the list goes on. We understood why this was the number one beach. It was very clean and the sand was the softest sand out of all the beaches we went to. It was a lot like the Riviera Maya. Solomon crawled all over the sand and loved it. He was crawling, stopped to look at the sand and put his face straight down in it! Haha, he sat up very quickly spitting the sand out of his mount. The only negative we had about this amazing sand was it was very difficult to get off your skin but we were told a very helpful tip.... Baby powder - just dust it on your arms/legs/face/body and brush the sand right off. We had some with us so we used it for all the other sand encounters we had. We would highly recommend Siesta Key for a great day at the beach.
St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach we saw on the same day. St. Pete was fine but there's not much to do and the small amount of parking there was you had to pay for. The beach was skinny with a good amount of brush. The little community there seemed spread out and not very up to date, but this was our opinion of St. Pete. We did not stay very long. Clearwater is an hour north and wow wee that's a nice place :) Clearwater has also had a lot of work done lately, there are fresh palm trees planted, plenty of places to eat and a lot of shops all right there by the beach. Clearwater would be a great beach to go to if you don't want to rent a car. You could easily fly into Tampa have transfers to and from your hotel and easily get around the beach and city. The beach was very nice and had a wide beach with nice light colored sand.
Venice Beach is an excellent choice if you like going to more of an adventure beach. Personally I am not a lay on the sand, sweat and get burned at the beach kind of girl but one day here and there's not bad. Beaches like the ones is Washington or Maine I could spend the entire day at. Venice Beach was nice in that way that you could either lay on the beach or you could play in the water collecting really cool shells, coral, shark teeth etc. It was a little more interesting with Solomon because the sand had stuff, like shells, in it so as long as the pacifier was in the mouth we were good to go. The pacifier did however take a swim in the gulf for a minute and land in plenty of sand, which Solomon then ate :/ Oh well. What would you expect.... YOU'RE AT THE BEACH :) Venice beach is a little over an hour south from Tampa.
Cocoa Beach - Well it was the last beach we went to and it was also sandy with waves :) Some say that Cocoa beach has gone down the tubes and while it doesn't compare to Siesta Key, we thought it was a perfectly good beach to go to. People were actually getting some pretty decent waves for a nice surf ride back to shore and the sand was really nice sand. Not a lot of stuff in it so I would feel just fine letting Solomon crawl around in it. There's not a lot to do at the Pier and it was $15.00 for parking but that allowed you to be able to go to the end of the pier. If you ate at the restaurant there you could also go to the end of the pier for free. Why would you have to pay to go to the end of a pier you might ask? Well I'm not sure but it was $2 if you wanted to go look and more if you were fishing so there were different prices for different things. I would not pay to go out there because it's not a long pier but it was nice that we got to go out there for free. There were these massive pelicans that sat there as if no humans were around and you could take selfies with them and everything! Solomon loved all the birds everywhere and just stared with his mouth open.
We had a good time at all of our beaches and applied a great deal of sunscreen! No burns or shark encounters for any of us so I'd say they all went pretty well :)
I will cover the 4 Disney parks in my next post so check back in a few days for that.