Mood

Unprepossessing factory-block appearance hides 410 acres of family holiday goodies.

Accommodation

Lavish condos with space-age gadgetry - you'll still be discovering American- style Ideal Home mod cons when it the time comes to leave. Suites are self-catering, with restaurants and room service available.

Beach

Nine miles of silver sands with a wide selection of watersports. Perfect for shelling and pelican watching.

Activities

Twelve miles of jogging- and cycle-tracks, a fitness centre, 38 tennis courts with tuition, 45 championship golf holes, a kids club for five- to 12-year-olds providing field trips, games and watersports.

Refuelling

Five restaurants, but stick to junk food, self-catering or room service - whatever you do, avoid anything labelled gourmant. As a rule of thumb, the more expensive the restaurant, the worse the value.

The resort

Few Brits: more upmarket than St Petersburg or Clearwater with orchestra, theatre, the Ringling Museum of Art, and the Mote Marine Laboratory.

Sample price

Total cost for a family of four with two children under 11: one week for pounds 3,058; two weeks for pounds 4,369, including flights, car rental, insurance and a two-bedroom Gulf view suite. Available from: Special Places (01992 509500).

Longboat Key Club, 301 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, Florida 34228 United States. Tel: 001 941 3838821

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