De Soto beach in Florida

Florida and beyond for a lasting experience

De Soto beach in  Florida

Florida, the ‘Sunshine State’, is a popular city with tourists because of its huge range of attractions. Visitors young and young at heart can immerse themselves in some of the world’s top theme parks. Visit what is uniquely Orlando by taking advantage of amazing experiences like flying through a swamp on an airboat or getting up close with wildlife at Gatorland or SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove and your trip will be one to remember. Some say make it to Florida and you’ve made it to heaven. Why not find out for yourself?

Disney Resort, Orlando

Disney is the world’s most visited entertainment resort where fairy tales take life through exciting entertainment, classic attractions and of course beloved Disney characters. Travel through these lands and see how fantasy becomes reality when you learn how to be a pirate and match wits with funny monsters.

Universal Studios

What’s Florida without Universal Studios? Based in Orlando, this is perhaps the most visited attraction after Disney, and perhaps the number one among adults! Go behind the scenes and jump right into the action of your favourite movies on this film studios. The world’s premier movie and TV based theme park within your reach!

Sea World

There is more to the sea than just lying on the beach, although you can find plenty of beach along the coasts of Florida. But if you fancy peeking under the surface, Sea World will show you how life is bustling in the sea with thrilling activities such as the Sky Tower or Dining with the sharks at the shark’s underwater grill… SeaWorld gives you a life opportunity to explore the blue horizon, wild marine life and journey to Atlantis.

Cruise and Stay Holidays

After feeling the high spirits of Florida’s parks and attractions, why not try the laid-back atmosphere of the Caribbean?
Book yourself on one of the world’s top cruise ships such as Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas or Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Dream for an extra splash of luxury. Experience the powder sand beaches, sparkling turquoise water and palm trees that seem to sway to reggae beats of the Carribbean that you will discover on cruise and stay holidays.
All is not dull on board a cruise ship. Entertainment options are all over the place, from the heart-racing waterslide to the soul-soothing pools. You can do as little as you want or as much as you require.

These are just a few ways that you can plan a holiday that will not be boring or the same the entire way through. Most travel companies will allow you to custom design these types of holidays so that you can add in exactly the types of experiences you want to have. That’s one way to make your holiday a once-in-a-lifetime experience tailored specifically to your needs for an ultimate adventure.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

Top 5 Places To Visit in America

There is a lot to America that its citizens take for granted: the amber countryside of Iowa, the rugged landscape of Montana. Too many Americans are unaware of the natural beauty that surrounds them and seek it out elsewhere in the world.
Choosing five locations from the endless bounty of the American terrain is a tall order, like being asked which five items from your life you’d want to keep while sending the rest spinning into a volcano. The opinion of every tour guide will be different. If you are in the mood for a real adventure and can spare the time, you may want to engage in America’s oldest tradition, a rite of passage, as it were: the road trip. It will show you the majestic purple mountains and fruited plains they are always singing about. But if you don’t have a month to yin-yang Route 66, Interstate 95 or the Pacific Coast Highway, then the best way to experience America is to visit its cities.

Boston

This small, compact city in New England is the birthplace of the American Revolution. Boston is home to Federal and Renaissance Revival styled buildings, as well as numerous Ivy League universities including MIT and Harvard; this distinction has earned Boston the nickname The Athens of America. If you want to understand America and its Sons of Liberty, then take a walk down the Freedom Trail. From Faneuil Hall and the Old North Church to the Battle of Bunker Hill, this modern city is bursting with a sense of palpable history. Also, they talk funny.

New York City

Statue of Liberty, New York

Located just four hours from Boston, there’s no city that represents the American Dream more than the five boroughs of New York. It’s like a small scale-model of the globe. New York is a melting pot of cultures, nations and ethnicities, and for that reason it can be overwhelming and disorientating. You need weeks, if not months, to explore all of the neighborhoods, attractions, museums and monuments in New York. Highlights like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and shopping on Fifth Avenue are good places to start.

Chicago

Heading northwest, the Windy City boasts some impressive stats. It is not only the third largest city in the U.S., but it has the tallest skyscraper in America as well. There is more public art in Chicago than any other American city, which makes for a nice background to aimless walks. One of Chicago’s baseball teams, the Cubs, has not won a World Series since 1908, a stat all fans would like to forget but has since become part of the team’s appeal. If you like to cheer for winners, there are always the White Sox.

Las Vegas

Love it or hate it, Las Vegas is an essential stop on any American tour. An adult playground in the blistering hot desert, Vegas is devoted to artificiality, grandeur and luck. Sure, it’s like Disney World on steroids, but it’s fun. At least for a few days.

San Francisco

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in America, San Francisco is the end of the line. Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge are the most famous highlights, but looking out at the Pacific Ocean keeps you aware of just how far you’ve traveled. Forget about what you’ve heard about earthquakes and head down to Fisherman’s Wharf for a San Francisco specialty: Dungeness crab and prawns. It’s America’s answer to fish and chips.

Magnificient landscape of Canada

Why I love Canada so much

Magnificient landscape of Canada

From a young age I travelled a lot with my parents, mainly to the usual family places like Spain, Italy, Austria and various other places within Europe but reaching 17 was a turning point in my travels.

Over the next 3 years I travelled to the Maldives, Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa and Brazil for the summer holidays but it was the winter of 2009 when I discovered Canada. Banff was my home for 3 weeks in January; Banff Springs Castle is possibly the most monumental hotel I have ever seen, not to mention the views, immediate access to the ski slopes and a great town full of evening entertainment.

Carp fishing in Canada

I loved Canada, the food, the culture, the people, the hiking opportunities and the country as a whole and for that reason I decided to take my love of carp fishing and see how Canada’s reputation for having huge shoals of carps patrolling the river stood up to my expectations. Needless to say it was again an amazing experience, I document a lot of what happened on the trip on my carp fishing blog but in brief, the carps were huge, the scenery was amazing, the experience was out of this world and I was again totally enchanted by Canada.Carp fish

So here I sit, counting down the days until I return to Canada and then I am heading back to my ‘neverland’ for 3 months come September, to once again sample the glorious outdoors that Canada has to offer. Firstly I will be based on the St Lawrence River in Ontario, a small town called Peterborough to be exact, for 6 weeks again carp fishing and sampling the autumn air for the first time.

Banff and the Rockies

For the second stage of my trip I am heading over to the Rocky Mountains, unfortunately not to Banff this time but I’ll be not too far away. Skiing is on the agenda; the Rockies offer an amazing ski environment, and deep snow falls for several months of the year, amazing scenery and wildlife and above all some great ham and cheese Panini’s available all over the mountain!

I can only speak highly of Canada as a country; the spring, summer, autumn and winter offer completely different experiences that cater for the whole family. The balance of a new, huge world to discover but the home comforts of English Speaking residents and recognizable menus is just perfect for me.

2 tips

A couple of tips when heading over to Canada:

  1. Be sure to take some spare cash, the Ralph Lauren shops offer top quality merchandise for the equivalent of Matalan prices here.
  2. Take some trousers a waist size bigger than your current; the food is enormous and cheap!

So anyway, there you have it, why I love Canada so much. I can’t recommend Banff enough for skiers, the slopes and variety of runs available are second to none in my experience and far eclipse the quality of their European equivalents.

De Soto beach in Florida

The top things to do in Florida

De Soto, Florida

Walt Disney Resort

There are many must-sees and must-dos on your Florida holidays checklist, and perhaps the best place to start is the home of the world’s most famous mouse, Walt Disney World® Resort, and its four main parks: the iconic Magic Kingdom®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom®, and Epcot®. As well as these unique attractions, Disney World holidays also offer two fantastic water parks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. As there are no beaches in Orlando, these are refreshing escapes from the sometimes-crowded parks and provide a chance to enjoy Florida’s balmy sunshine.

Universal Studios, Orlando

More adventurous teens and adults will maybe prefer the two main parks at Universal Orlando Resort®: Universal Studios® and Universal’s Island’s of Adventure®. Packed with thrilling roller coasters and nods to your favourite Hollywood movies, comic-book characters and superheroes, featuring many world-firsts for technological innovation – a visit to Universal Orlando Resort® has to be at the top of every thrill-seeker’s agenda.

Shopping & golf

Orlando holidays aren’t all rides and chutes, for those who adore shopping, visit one of its premium outlet malls to grab some top-quality branded clothing for an absolute bargain. Golf-lovers will enjoy the many challenging and world-renowned golf courses in Orlando, and the whole family will delight in sampling the food in one of the hundreds of restaurants dotted along International Drive.

The longest coastline in any US state

Holidays to Florida aren’t limited to Orlando, however, Florida is home to many of the best beaches in the United States; with the longest coastline of any other US State. Thanks to its location, being surrounded by turquoise waters and within such close proximity to the Caribbean, there is a distinct Cajun feel to its fare and an obvious love of delicious seafood. The Florida Keys embody this laid-back, beachside feel and offer a relaxing hotspot with unparalleled diving opportunities.

For those in search of a balanced mix of nightlife and daytime relaxation, Miami is an energetic city like no other and a must-see destination. Its stylish bars and hip restaurants complement its beautiful beaches, architecture and oh-so-cool atmosphere.

Cheap Florida holidays are easy to come by, with a great range of independent tour operators constantly in search of excellent flight and accommodation deals, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for at a fantastic price.

Miami

Winter Holiday in Miami

Miami

Tropical winter break

There’s no need to spend winter vacation stuck indoors or pushing through crowds of people in the rain and snow. Leave the dreary winter weather behind and take a flight to Miami, Florida for a brilliant, tropical winter break. There is no nicer place to be in those winter months than in sunny Miami, where the beach and boardwalk are inviting all year long and the relaxing pace never gets boring.

The warm weather and lack of rain during the winter months is what tends to draw vacationers from all over the world to this lovely city. Not only is it an escape from the normal weather, but this is past the usual months for hurricanes, so nothing should interfere with a lovely Miami holiday. The obliging weather leads many visitors to the beach and to the boardwalk. Spend the afternoon bicycling or skating along the Miami Beach Boardwalk to take in the amazing atmosphere of the place. Make sure to also visit the popular Homestead Bayfront Park and South Beach, where there is so much to see, taste and experience.

Miami entertainment

Art lovers should not miss Miami in the winter months because its during this season that the city holds its Art Basel Miami Beach as well as the Miami art fair. There is also the Miami International Art Fair, the Miami Beach Festival of the Arts and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Winter and art go hand in hand in this city, so its the perfect time of year for artists and art lovers to come and enjoy the displays of culture and creativity.

Another treat in the winter months is Santa’s Enchanted Forest, which is home to the largest and most amazing decorated Christmas tree in the world. There are also many rides, delicious snacks and activities for the whole family. The family will also enjoy visiting the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and learning all about the historical artifacts that tell so much of the rich history of the area. The Miami Seaquarium is another attraction the kids won’t want to miss. This is a magical and wonderful place where people can enjoy the beautiful sea creatures as they swim and delight themselves in harmony and comfort.

New Year in Miami

Miami is a great place to usher in the New Year. The City puts on its very own New Year’s Eve Party that would rival even the festivities in Times Square—at least the weather is better in Miami! South Beach is the location of the party and fireworks light up the night sky overhead while bands bring fantastic tunes. The beach party lasts through the night into the early morning hours and its an experience not soon forgotten.

Aside from the attractions, the city has much to offer winter guests in terms of shopping and dining out. Leading up to Christmas the shopping becomes even more exciting. The Bayside Marketplace is one of the most popular places to spend the day shopping and eating to the heart’s delight. There are many brand shops as well as some of the smaller stores that make the experience so much fun. Purchase souvenirs or finish up the Christmas shopping, but make sure to stop for some hot chocolate or a tasty lunch as well.

Miami in the winter is an escape from the overcast, the snow and the rain. People in this city tend to be a happy crowd and the weather has much to do with it, but there is so much to experience in Miami. In the winter months it is the place to be.

Tigers in the zoo

Top Destinations for a 4-day trip in North Carolina

Tigers in the zoo

When you think of the US, you often think of famous cities such as New York and Hollywood. But the US is vast. Here are the five awesome day trips worth driving for while venturing around North Carolina.

Mount Airy & Pilot Mountain, Mount Airy, NC

If you’ve ever heard of the Andy Griffith show, then chances are you’ve heard of Mayberry and Mount Airy. Mount Airy is the town that Mayberry was fashioned after. The town is also where Andy Griffith grew up, and it contains perhaps the largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia. It is also home to more than 24 wineries. Nearby, you will also find Pilot Mountain, which is a remnant of the ancient Sauratown Mountains. Admission to Pilot Mountain is free, with an elevation of nearly 2,500 feet. Other fun things to do in Mount Airy include: squad car tours, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, fishing, Mayberry Mules & Wagon rides, Mount Airy bike Rentals, ziplines and canopy tours, motorcycle rides and history museums.

Asheboro Zoo, Asheboro, NC

With around 500 acres of zoo exhibits, Asheboro Zoo is North Carolina’s premier zoo where children and adults can come face to face with animals, learn about wildlife from different continents and also take in the picturesque scenery of the Uwharrie Mountains nearby. Children under 2 years of age are admitted for free, while other admission prices range up to $14. The zoo can be a good place to visit on a date.

North Carolina Aviation Museum, Asheboro, NC

Located in Asheboro, you could make this day trip part of the zoo trip, listed above. Initially opened in 1994 by local Asheboro businessman and aviation enthusiast, Jim Peddycord, the North Carolina Aviation Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of aviation awareness. Guided and non-guided tours are available throughout the year to people of all ages. Admission ranges up to $8 for adults, while kids under the age of 5 are admitted for free.

Tobacco Farm Life Museum, Kenly, NC and Country Doctor Museum, Bailey, NC

Founded in 1983 by a group of local families who took pride in their past and wanted to preserve part of Eastern North Carolina’s rich history, the Tobacco Farm Life Museum features a turn-of-the-century homestead, including a restored house and detached kitchen, smokehouse, log tobacco barn and outhouse. Admission ranges up to $8 for adults, while kids under the age of 2 can get in for free. This day trip out to the Tobacco Farm Life Museum wouldn’t be complete without stopping in at the Country Doctor Museum, located in Bailey, NC and established in 1967. There, the 45-60 minute guided tours run every hour, on the hour. Visitors can expect to learn about the history of rural health care in the United States. It should be noted that the Country Doctor Museum is the oldest museum in the United States, dedicated to the history of America’s rural health care. Admission ranges up to $5 for adults.