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Which airport are you aiming for?
Maybe check out VRBOs in Matlacha and Pine Island.
ETA oops, sorry, I see that I answered this elsewhere.
Not fla relevant- but we just did a rental house in surprise ( outside of phoenix) through a local realtor- ended up doing a 12 month lease which was less expensive than short term and had more options -so maybe do a search on zillow or realtor.com for rentals
Can't find the name of the place we stayed in Sanibel a few years ago. Price was fair...not inexpensive though. Florida Gulf Coast is not cheap. Sanibel is low key and has the Ding Darling nature preserve. Anna Maria Island was beautiful. Don't know anything about staying there.
Edit: the name of the place was West Wind. Not the fanciest. But right on the water. Decent pool. I think there were studios. My impression that there were quite a few European guests. I am not sure what kind of availability you can find this late. Maybe call and ask. You might even ask if they could recommend any place else if there is no availability.
Sanibel and Captiva are going to trend more expensive. Head a little north to Clearwater and the barrier islands west of St. Petersburg (Indian Rocks Beach, Madeira Beach, Redington Beach, St. Pete Beach, etc.) you will find many places that would meet your criteria. Lots of condos on or near the water with full kitchens, multiple bedrooms and easy access. We rented a single family home one Christmas on Anna Maria Island, which was lovely. Had our own private pool and everything was on one level.
Marco Island is another option but I think that it tends to attract more families with younger kids and it is a longer drive from Tampa airport, although she could fly into Ft Meyers. Personally, I think your best bet is the Clearwater to St. Pete Beach area. If she's up for small day trips, there's Tarpon Springs just north of Clearwater - historic area with a strong Greek heritage and excellent food. St. John's Pass is a cute little village and boardwalk in Madeira Beach. Awesome seafood joints all up and down the barriers.
try Treasure island, St Pete, Madiera Beach. I don't have specific recommendations for this type of situation but those areas tend to price well (compared to others mentioned)
Thank you for sharing your experiences/ideas! This will help a lot. b.
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I have to get my Ma out of Minnesota for a break from brutal cold this winter. Thinking last 2 weeks of Feb. (Feb is the cruelest month for Minnesotans, way crueler than April.)
Do you have ideas for a rental that would accommodate not-so-mobile mom with shot short-term memory, noble brother escorting her down and staying, and possibly round robin visits from other brothers and a sister. There will always be at least 3 persons in the lodging.
Have you done anything like this with the elder in your life? I would appreciate your suggestions, if so. Not a place for young lovelies or for trust fund people. A kind of medium place?