Tag - FL

Rolling Hills – luxurious estates in Central Florida

    Rolling Hill

Rolling Hill

by Grace Bailey,

Rolling Hills is a resort community located just outside the city of Kissimmee, Florida. Located within the region of the famous city of Orlando, this resort is in fact a very popular place to visit. The resort offers you access to all of the remarkable attractions which the city has to offer, including the world-famous theme parks. There are also a number of attractions which you will find in the city of Kissimmee as well.

There are many cultural and historic sites which you can visit there. The number of remarkable natural attractions is also quite large. There are lakes, forested areas and other beautiful spots to explore near the resort. Rolling Hills will offer you luxurious estates where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city; enjoy a relaxing vacation at a peaceful ambiance and still have access to many exciting places. This is a perfect combination in which you can explore all of the offerings of Central Florida. The luxurious villas which are located within the resort will provide you with numerous amenities. There are fully furnished estates which have all the needed facilities for your up-most comfort. You will not be disappointed by this beautiful and luxurious resort.

The community of Rolling Hills is famous for its beautiful estates and for the calm and tranquil ambiance as well. The luxurious estates which are available for rent are located amid a beautiful and peaceful ambiance. This is a community with clean sidewalks, palm trees lined along the streets and many green areas. It is a place where peace and quiet are cherished. You will also find swimming pools, spa centers and other facilities and amenities to enjoy during your vacation there. These are among the main reasons why the community is such a popular tourist destination.

Another great thing about Rolling Hills is that the community is surrounded by a beautiful countryside. There are lush green forested areas where you can hike along scenic trails and there are also remarkably beautiful lakes in the region which you can also visit. The countryside around this resort is very appealing for the vacationers there, because of its outstanding beauty and recreational offerings. Along this beautiful countryside you will also find several golf courses to enjoy. The local courses are known for their excellent conditions and you should definitely visit them.

In only a mile away from Rolling Hills, you will find the Farmosa Gardens. This is a very popular shopping village, where you will find a number of trendy shops and boutiques. There are even non-stop supermarkets at this diverse village. You will also find plenty of fine restaurants to visit at this place. You will be able to sample local delicacies and international cuisine as well. A lot of trendy and popular bars are also located at the village, so you will find plenty of entertainment options there as well. A lot of attractions will be right next door when you are staying at this resort.

There are plenty of other attractions which are just a few miles away from Rolling Hills as well. The theme parks of Orlando for instance are quite close. You will be able to visit the Universal Studios and the Disney World, which are both famous amusement parks with wonderful attractions. There are also water theme parks and many other attractions in the area. And if you want to visit the famous beaches at the coast of Florida, there are a couple of great spots within an hour drive from the beautiful and luxurious resort.

Pensacola, Florida – The Home of the Blue Angels

Pensacola, Florida – The Home of the Blue Angels

Pensacola, Florida

by Grace Bailey

Pensacola is a city, situated in the state of Florida, USA. It is one of the main towns in the so-called district of north Florida, which is also known as Florida Panhandle. This part of the state is almost two hundred meters long and the width varies from fifty to hundred miles. Pensacola is the seat and the capital city of the county of Escambia, of which it is part. The place is also part of the nearest metropolitan area and has almost half a million people population.

The history of the foundation of the town goes back to the 16th century. The story says that the first person to discover the place was a Spanish explorer. His name is reported to be Arellano. The fact that the place was founded so long ago makes it the oldest settlement in the USA.

The order in Pensacola was changed when in the end of the 18th century the Spanish ruling was replaces by a French one. Not long after that, it became British possession and even called the capital of the new British colony in the new lands. During the years of the Civil War in the states, the area fought on the side of the Confederacy. Since 1862 it is official American possession.

Pensacola is also the biggest seaport in the Pensacola Bay. That port is very important because of its connection with the Gulf of Mexico.

In southeast direction from Pensacola the tourists will see the Naval Air Station of U.S. It is a very important place for the American army. The station is the home of the Blue Angels, which are an American squadron, especially created for air demonstrations. There is another interesting point in the area as well and this is the National Naval Aviation Museum. The building of the museum was opened for the first time in the middle of the 20th century in 1962. It is as one can guess dedicated to the history and glory of the naval aviation of the USA. The collection of the place is very impressive for both people that are interested in aviation and those who know absolutely nothing about airplanes. Among the exhibits there are more than one hundred and fifty space and aircrafts. Some of the exhibits are still property of the navy and are kind of loaned to the museum. The exhibition is even more interesting and modern for the visitors, as it is supplied with an IMAX theater, museum store, where tourists can buy very interesting items to remind them about the visit in the place, and, of course, a café where they can talk about the exhibit and rest a little. In a special day of the week between March and November some of the tourists will be lucky to watch the practice of the Blue Angels.

Along with all the historic monuments and sightseeing in Pensacola, you can find some of the most beautiful and finest beaches in the world. Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key are very popular spots for an unforgettable vacation in Florida.

    Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

The city of the Blue Angels is also an amazing place for anyone who has a passion for outdoor adventures. So, you can ditch your heavy clothes and start exploring the National Seashore in the Gulf Islands. There is a great variety of aquatic activities you may choose from, among which are surfing, fishing, scuba diving or even collecting beautiful seashells on the shore. Visitors can find so much more to do in the area of Pensacola Bay though, as the Mother Nature has been so generous to that sunny place. If you want to discover the unique native fauna and flora, you can take advantage of the many nature excursions available or just enjoy the emerald- waters and breathtaking scenery while canoeing, kayaking or sailing. You can even go aboard a fishing charter and experience what is like to reel your own dinner. Escambia River is offering the richest diversity of freshwater fishing. Biking and golfing are the other activities facilitated in Pensacola Bay.

Though it is a big city, a look at the architecture of the place will tell that the usual view with the skyscrapers cannot be seen here. There are few tall buildings, but most of them are not more than ten floors.

The Pensacola City Center downtown is the place where the visitors can buy tickets for some of themost interesting performances in the area. The city is very attractive with its numerous events and festivals, like the Seafood festival, the Craw-fish Festival and the one, dedicated to art, called Great Gulf-coast.

Those of the visitors who are keen on history will really enjoy taking part in one of the tours round the restored neighborhoods, dated back from the 18th century.

At least once, you should start your day with a beach walk and end it contemplating the sun going down the horizon when you visit Pensacola.

Article provided by Grace Bailey, Visit her website: http://www.vacation-rentals.com/blog/

Naples, Florida

Florida

Florida

One of Florida’s more prominent cities, Naples enjoys a geographic position that any travel enthusiast can appreciate. Within close proximity, one can enjoy the gorgeous beach front of the Gulf of Mexico, the thick and sultry swamps of the Everglades, and even the beautiful Florida Keys islands. Though located in the deep south, the feel of Naples is anything but rustic. But, if its nostalgia one is looking for, Naples can be as ‘Southern’ an experience as just about anywhere in the U.S.

History
Naples was founded in the 1880’s by business partners John Stuart Williams and Walter N. Haldeman. Because of similarities to the Italian region of the same name, promoters chose the name ‘Naples’. In 1911, Wealthy businessman Barron G. Collier came to the region and bought over a million acres of land, most of it in the Naples area. As he promised to build important roads and railroads, the state legislature created Collier county, of which Naples is the county seat.

Popular Attractions

In 2005, Naples was voted the ‘Best Beach in America’ by the Travel Channel. It’s beaches are noted for crystal clear water and very white sands. Cleanliness is also a feature most onlookers take notice of. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, located north of Naples, is extremely popular among visitors. With tours readily available, tourists can view wildlife such as Alligators, Cottonmouth snakes, and many exotic species of birds and owls. The Naples area is also home to many other wildlife preserves such as the Everglades National Park and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Golf is very popular among residents, with more than 80 championship courses in the Naples area. Numerous museums are also located in Naples, including Palm Cottage which gives visitors a reflection of life in the early 1900’s. Much of Naples’ activities are centered on the water, with year long sailing, boating, and jet-skiing. Visitors will immediately notice a very nautical feel in all of the area.

Food

Naples has a wide range of culinary influences that comes directly from its location. Being so close to Miami, a Cuban impression is easy to see and locals regularly enjoy Cuban dishes such as Cuban sandwiches, black beans, rice, and fried plantains.

With fishing being a major industry, a wide variety of seafood is available with Grouper being a definite local favorite. No one can visit the south period without enjoying staple southern cuisine such as Black-eyed peas, Fried Catfish, and Grits. Some of the favorites enjoyed by Naples’ locals.

Climate

With a savannah type of climate, Naples is a tropical paradise. Warm temperatures, breezes, sunny skies with the occasional downpour are the norm. The Gulf water is usually lukewarm from winter to spring and as high as the mid-80’s in the summer and fall.

Facts About The Florida Everglades

The Florida Everglades offer a very unique environment for a variety of  wildlife as it spans about 13,000 square miles of many different habitats.

Florida everglades, Image via Wikipedia

Everglades, Image via Wikipedia

The Florida Everglades is home to a wide variety of wildlife. This is where  the alligator makes its home. The Everglades offer a subtropical environment  with only two distinct seasons. The wet season is one of them that brings very  heavy rainfall with a warm and humid climate. Hurricanes often sweep through the  area causing extensive damage. Winter is the dry season where the is no rain and  the water levels are shallow. With the growing population in Florida, much of  the water in the Everglades is diverted to the population. This has been known  to cause great danger to the wildlife living in the Everglades.

It was in  the year 1947 when the Everglades National Park originated.  This park
spans an area of about 2,020 square miles and it is located in the  southern part of the Everglades. Some of the endangered species of the  Everglades include the Florida Panther, the Manatee, the Cape Sable Sparrow, the  Peregrine Falcon and the green Sea Turtle.

Sea turtle ,Image via Wikipedia

It is where the Everglades meet the Florida Bay that creates the mangrove  swamp. It is a group of tiny islands that are surrounded by mangrove trees. This  area plays a very important role in protecting the coast from powerful storms.  The mangrovbe swamp is rich with mullet, snapper, stone crans, spiny lobsters,  and a variety of large birds. One of these birds that make their home in the  Everglades is the official Louisiana state bird called the Brown Pelican. The  Brown Pelican was once on the endangered species list in the 70s, but that is  not the case now as the Brown Pelican is no longer endangered.

Everglades, Image via Wikipedia

The pine forests of the Everglades contain about 30 species of native plants.  White-tailed deer and the raccoon make their home here. Tall saw grasses grow  to about 12 feet high. There is a river that is about 50 miles wide during the  summer season. This river flows south straight to the sea and travels right  through this tall saw grass.

Walt Disney World- Polynesian Resort

The lush grounds at The Polynesian Resort- Photo by Sara A Broers

The lush grounds at The Polynesian Resort- Photo by Sara A Broers

Booking a vacation at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort just adds to the excitement of a vacation at Walt Disney World. The lush, tropical vegetation is sure to take you to the South Pacific. The scenery is not only breath taking, but also relaxing. While at this resort, you will literally be swept away into a tropical paradise, unlike anywhere else. The Polynesian Resort continues to remain one of Disney’s most popular resorts. It is one of the original resorts, dating back to 1971, when Walt Disney World opened.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is home to 847 stunning rooms, which are all themed with rich tropical colors. The South Pacific touches of bamboo and rattan are sure to be found, as well. The Great Ceremonial House can be seen from a ways away in the parking area as you approach this resort. Upon your arrival at Disney’s Polynesian Resort you will be greeted in traditional South Pacific fashion, as each person in your party will receive their very own lei. You will also be greeted with a beautiful water fall and the sounds that accompany flowing water. Once you are all checked in your options as this resort are plentiful.

LOBBY

The lobby area is where you will check in and complete any business you need to take care of. Several couches, chairs, and other South Pacific themed pieces of furniture await you here. This is also the perfect place to ask a Disney Cast Member any questions you may have, as they are usually close by. Shopping and Dining are also located in The Great Ceremonial House.

TRANSPORTATION

While staying on the property at Walt Disney World be sure to utilize the complimentary transportation. Here’s a rundown of how to get where from the Polynesian Resort. Once you are on Disney property, enjoy the magic and remember to be patient. The Magic Kingdom is literally just a hop, skip, and jump from Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

Orlando International Airport– Use Disney’s Magical Express.
Magic Kingdom Theme Park– Monorail or Boat.
EPCOT Theme Park – Monorail to TTC (Transportation and Ticket Center, transfer to EPCOT Theme Park Monorail Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park, Downtown Disney Area, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney’s Winter Summerland  Miniature Golf Course- Bus.
Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course– Bus to Downtown Disney Area, transfer to Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Bus, walk from Walt Disney World Swan Hotel.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex- Travel to Downtown Disney area or closest theme park. Transfer to an All-Star, Caribbean Beach or Pop Century Bus. From these resorts, board the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Bus. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa- Monorail or Walkway Other WAlt Disney World Resort Hotels- Bus to Downtown Disney Area, transfer to Resort Hotel Bus

ACTIVITIES

Two swimming pools are located throughout the property. The volcano themed pool is very popular for families as it features a water slide and a 40 foot volcano with a stunning water fall. The Poly East Pool, other wise known as the “Quiet Pool” offers deeper waters, perfect for those looking for a more peaceful pool. Boating, Fishing, Water Skiing, and Para-Sailing are also very popular on Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon.

The sandy white beach is available for sandcastle building for the kids, and the hammocks are welcoming to parents. Bicycles are also available for rent. These can be rented down at the marina. Disney’s Polynesian Resort is also a great place to watch the nights electrical water pageant that sails through Seven Seas Lagoon on a nightly basis. Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Show features an all-you- care-to-eat family style luau, which feature hula dancers; as well as a stunning fire- knife performer. The setting of the theater is outdoors, with a covered, comfortable dining area. By the end of the evening you will feel as though you are a part of the show and are in your own tropical paradise. A children’s menu is also provided for those picky eaters.

DINING

The Kona Cafe offers American Cuisine such as slow roasted prime rib, macadamia-crusted mahi mahi and other traditional American fare with a touch of the South Pacific. Ohana is another topically themed restaurant that offers a family style dinner. Here you will find meats grilled over an oak fire. Both restaurants are within the $15.00- $35.99 price range. The Tambu Lounge is located in The Great Ceremonial House and offers appetizers and wine, beer, espresso and the like all under $14.99. Captain Cook’s also features American Cuisine, all priced under $14.99. Here you will find pizza, hamburgers, and the like. Kona Island features coffee, volcano rolls, as well as wine priced below $14.99. A nice selection of food is available within Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

PRICING

Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a top of the line resort. During peak times, rooms run from $535.00-$2880.00 per night. Depending on your needs and what time of year you visit, will ultimately determine the price of your room. Standard Rooms come with 2 queen sized beds, small table, chair, cable TV, hair dryer, alarm clock, coffeemaker, refrigerator, and many other amenities. High Speed Internet is available for an additional fee.

Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort has become the resort of choice for many families for 40 years! The property is lush and the green all around is as inviting as the fine, white sand that surrounds the bay front. When you book a vacation at Walt Disney World and choose the Polynesian Resort, you will have memories of a vacation that took you to a slower place in time; and your family will thank you!

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes in Orlando, Florida

Disneyland, Cr-blogs.disney.com

Disneyland, Cr-blogs.disney.com

Best known for being home to Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida has plenty to offer visitors from all over the world. This article describes five not-to-be-missed destinations.  Orlando is one of America’s prime tourist sites, home to Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. Its variety of theme parks, educational and retail exhibits are sure to satisfy the whole family.

Walt Disney World

With its four theme parks, The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World is the place to go in Orlando.Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are the resort’s water parks. If you are looking for a hotel, you’re likely to find any of the 23 themed hotels will suit your needs.  From the beautiful Grand Floridian to Camp Disney there’s something special for everyone. The Walt Disney World Resort offers a wide variety of entertainment, sports and recreational activities. In addition to its core attractions, there is also Downtown Disney, ESPN Wide World of Sports and Disney’s BoardWalk. Apart from checking out iconic structures such as Cinderella’s Castle, Spaceship Earth, the Sorcerer’s Hat and the Tree of Life, make sure to set aside time to meet your favorite Disney characters.

Hours of operation for The Magic Kingdom vary seasonally Summer hours are 9 am until 10 pm. Be sure to ask at your hotel for information on “Extra Magic Hours”

Buying tickets is a bit complicated so it pays to do  your homework on special promotions. This is an example of ticket prices and options: For a 1 day, 1 park pass it costs $85 USD for ages 10 and up. Children aged 3-9 tickets are $79 USD and children under 3 are free. OK, this is where it starts getting complicated; a 1 day Park Hopper Pass (meaning you can go to any of the 4 parks as many times as you want for 1 day) is $90.53 for ages 10 and up and $84.14 for children 3-9. For a 2 day Park Hopper Pass add $35.00 to the base price for children and adults. For the 4 day Park Hopper Pass add $13.75 per day to the base price. The longer your Park Hopper Pass, the less you pay. For example, a 10 day Park Hopper Pass costs $ 5.50 USD per day to the base price. There will be a test at the end, so I hope you took notes.

Universal Orlando Resort

The Universal Orlando Resort consists of two theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Being the second largest resort in the Orlando region after the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Florida provides a range of attractions inspired by popular films and television shows. Universal’s Islands of Adventure’s crowd-puller is the newest ‘island’, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on the worldwide Harry Potter franchise. Featuring seven roller coasters and six water 3rides, the Universal Orlando Resort is a popular tourist destination for older members of the family.

Hours of operation for the Universal Parks vary with the season but normally they open at 8 am and close at 9 or 10 pm.

Prices for Unival Studios and Islands of Adventure 1 Day 2 park pass is $120 USD for ages 9 and up and $114 USD for children aged  3-9. Children under 3 years of age are free. For a 2 day 2 park pass for 9 and up the price is $ 135.99 and children 3-9 are $125.99 USD. For a 4 day 2 park pass ages 9 and up the price is $155.99 USD and children 3-9 $142.99 USD

Gatorland

To enjoy the flora and fauna that Orlando has to offer, a visit to wildlife preserve Gatorland is a must. Gatorland features an array of reptiles, including alligators, crocodiles, pythons and lizards. Its main attractions include a petting zoo, and reptile shows such as the popular alligator wrestling exhibit. Branded the “Alligator Capital of the World”, Gatorland is an essential destination for reptile fanatics.

Hours of operation are 9 am until 6 pm daily.

The Adult 13 and up “Grunt” package is $29.99 USD and for the Child 3-12 “Grunt” package is $14.99 USD. Included in the Grunt package is admission to the park, an all day pass for the Gatorland Express train and a package of “Gator Chow.”

Kennedy Space Center

To enjoy some down time from the sometimes exhausting theme parks in Orlando, pay a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. Serving as a base location for America’s space shuttles, the Kennedy Space Center also features a range of exhibits, artifacts and displays on the history of spaceflight. Take a bus tour through areas used by NASA for the Space Shuttle launches. Be entertained as well as educated by the variety of IMAX film presentations and experience what it is like to be an astronaut aboard the simulator training rides. Visitors also have the chance to enjoy lunch with an astronaut.

Hours of operation are 9 am until 8 pm. Tours start at 10 am and depart every 15 minutes.

Admission for adults (10 and up) is $43 USD and children (3-10) $33 USD and does not include tax. Admission price includes IMAX space movies, all exhibits and shows, US Astronaut Hall of Fame and interactive flight simulators.

Florida Mall

Offering over 250 stores, including Macy’s, Sears and Saks Fifth Avenue, Florida Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in the United States. It is also home to one of the largest M&M stores in the world. Located close to Orlando International Airport, the Florida Mall provides the ultimate shopping experience for visitors.

Hours of operation are 10 am until 9 pm daily.