Last week we had the opportunity to get away as a family to Lido Beach in Sarasota. This was our first family vacation, not in Rhode Island (where my husband’s family lives). We loved the idea of going somewhere an hour from home because it didn’t cost much to get there, but it was far enough away to feel like a vacation. We have a very tight budget, but we were able to stay at a hotel because my day is a Holiday Inn Priority Club member. He earns points each time he stays at a Holiday Inn for his job and can redeem them for hotel stays, airline tickets, shopping certificates and more. If you travel a lot, I recommend you look into becoming a member. We had a lovely room on the sixth floor with a beautiful view of the gulf.

We weren’t directly on the beach, but we could just walk across the street to get to the soft sandy shores. We played in the water , jumping in and out of waves and hunted for pretty shells. We took a break for some Publix subs and a nap. Then we got some lunch at The Old Salty Dog on City Island, just 5 minute drive away from our hotel. There are several places to eat at within walking distance, but we wanted to go to the place where Adam Richman from the television Man vs. Food ate. We tried their signature dish, the salty dog, a quarter pound hotdog beer-battered and deep-fried. I topped mine off with grilled onions and pepper jack cheese. It was monstrous artery clogger and pretty tasty. Then we hustled back to the beach to watch the sunset.

The rooms were nice and the staff there was okay. We asked about a burger and hotdog place on the beach, but they didn’t know about it and didn’t offer to find it for us– a good concierge would. I was also disappointed with the internet speed; it was very hit or miss. Sometimes it was quick and sometimes it took 10 minutes to load a page. I was hoping they had a fridge in the room to help us save on food costs, but I guess it doesn’t come in every room. If we go again, I’ll make sure we bring a cooler for storing breakfast and snack items. All in all I give this hotel 3 stars.