Hi! My family and I are new to the area and I’m looking for some advice. To give you a little background…For many years we have traveled to Florida on vacation. We are true water and nature lovers! We fell in love with this area and thanks to a fortunate opportunity my husband is now able to work from home, wherever we want to call “home”. We have talked about moving to FL for years but the timing never seemed right. However, things begin to fall into place where moving to FL and following our dreams could actually become reality. It was a tough decision to make due to our children, most people don’t just up and move because they WANT to, it’s usually due to a job relocation, etc… But with our children being at the age they are (8 and 10) we felt it was now or never (or when we retire). It’s been a difficult journey, leaving friends and family but as of Jan. 6[SUP]th[/SUP], our dreams came true. I get tears in my eyes every time I drive down hwy 393 to 30A and can see the ocean. I can’t believe we are finally HERE! With all that being said, even though we have vacationed here, we don’t yet know the local in’s and out’s. I know it will take time however we are currently trying to find a perm or long term rental to call home (we are not ready to buy or build). I have been watching the forums and have witnessed some extremely helpful people on SoWal. So I thought I would throw my first post out here to see if anyone could provide us with some insight to some questions we have… Here goes… We are looking for suggestions/advice/warnings, etc… on finding the right location for us to call home. We need advice on a family/kid friendly residential area close to the gulf or bay that offers long term rentals. We are looking to rent a home vs. condo/apt, etc… Our budget is around $2500/mo. We also have 1 dog who, I’m sure everyone says this but, is very well behaved. The kids attend Bay Elementary currently but my son will move to middle school next year. Thoughts on a good location that won’t get too crowded during peak times that offers what we are looking for? We would also love advice on the best local places for stone crab claws, fresh seafood markets, meat markets, etc. And if there are any must do’s with the kids, please let me know. Looking for more than the typical tourist type activities. We have been to pier park, The Track, etc…just looking for ideas that might be off the beaten path. Thanks in advance to everyone reading this and for any input you may provide! P.S. Girls, do you have any advice on hair stylists!? This humidity is not a girl's best friend who has hair that tends to “fro”.