Posts Tagged With: Florida

Lovers Key State Park

If you are a regular reader of Stretchingittotravel you know we love activities that are low cost.  State parks are great places to visit due to their cheap cost and many activities.

We spent a few nights at Fort Myers Beach with the intention of visiting Lovers Key State Park.  We arrived around 9am Christmas morning to a rapidly filling parking lot.  Admission for the day is $8 a car and the park is open from 8am to sunset daily.

 

 

 

Lovers Key State Park

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

We waited a bit for a trolley to drop us near the waterfront.  There was some confusion as to if the trolley ran on Christmas so we ended up walking the short path to the beach.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everglades Airboat Tour

Over a few trips we have tossed around doing an airboat tour.  The family always thought it would be fun but generally I could not find one at a cost I was happy with. This is not the case in the Everglades.  Competition is fierce and prices are lower than any others we had seen to date.

I also could not chose between taking a grassland tour or mangrove tour.  Then I read about Captain Mitch’s tours.  They offer a tour that visits both on their property.

 

Captain Mitch’s Airboat Rides

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

I was able to secure a reservation online a couple of weeks in advance of our December trip for an afternoon tour.  This location is just outside of Naples.

Captain Mitch’s

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Captain Mitch’s

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Our tour was so much fun!  We started out in the mangroves and ended up in the grassslands.  We saw a few gators, a gator nest and many birds.

Captain Mitch’s in mangroves

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Flying through the mangrove channels is a very unique experience.

Captain Mitch’s grassland

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

The one hour tour is forty dollars for adults and twenty dollars per child.  There is also a coupon on the website for three dollars off per person.

After the airboat ride you can go inside the office and meet an alligator.  You can take pictures and hold it.  We had a great time and would love to ride again.

More information here: http://www.captainmitchs.com/

 

 

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River

After a change of plans to include manatees on this Florida trip we had some free time on Saturday in Crystal River. We had our amazing swim in the morning, and a little warm up time in the hotel hot tub afterwards.  I had heard that Three Sisters Springs was the place to see manatee so we drove five minutes up the road to the address online.

Parking is available at City Hall.  We had just missed the shuttle and had an almost 20 minute wait.  This gave us time to sit in the sunshine and to grab sweatshirts from the car.

Three Sisters Springs

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Crab Plant Restaurant

We have found the restaurants on the Gulf side of Florida to be unusually busy early in the evening.  Where we are from( and most of the places we travel to) if you want to eat at a particular restaurant you can show up at 5:30 and have no issue.  It is a little early for our family to eat dinner but it is usually our vacation plan to have no wait.

Except for on this trip. After running into jam packed restaurants at 5:30 we started to look as we drove around.  Some parking lots were plenty full at 3:30pm.  Back home that is happy hour times for a beer, not a full meal.  We needed to eat even earlier then!

Knowing we wanted to eat at the Crab Plant on a Friday we made sure we arrived horribly early.  The restaurant was really easy to find and maybe five minutes from the Best Western in Crystal River.

We took the last open parking spot and then open table at 5:10pm.  So early!  Families arrived after us and started queuing up for the next open tables.  By 5:45 people would enter, see the wait and leave.  This is not normal so early in the Midwest, oy!

The Crab Plant

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swim with Manatees in Florida

I am going to ramble on about the amazing thing our little family just got to do in Florida.  I want to go back and do it again as soon as possible, it was that incredible!

While fishing in Florida a couple of years ago we had a mother and calf swim past our boat and surface near us.  I was pretty excited.  They are enormous gentle creatures.

This winter we planned to go back to Florida and spend some time lower on the Gulf Coast.  Husband wanted to see the Everglades and Daughter wanted a nice beach.  I had the plans all set, hotels booked and a shell of an itinerary.  We would be in Fort Myers Beach, Naples and end around St. Petersburg.

I stumbled on a trip review that said  you could swim with the manatees.

Then I watched a video on Facebook and was determined to make this work three weeks before we traveled.  I read up a little more on the tours and knew I wanted a 6am tour for the best luck.  A little more shuffling and I had our vacation plans reworked and found a reservation that I was thrilled about.

We were able to use points to stay at the Best Western in Crystal River.  The hotel was two minutes drive from the Birds Underwater Dive Center.  They offer a noon check out and they have a large hot tub for guests in the pool area.

To make this work we had a long drive from Lido Key the day before.  No matter how I worked this trip we had to cover more miles than I usually want to deal with on vacation.  We set out with the intent to try to break it up into smaller chunks, that really did not pan out for us. We did spend the afternoon in Homosassa State Park and saw many manatees in the river there, so I was really hopeful.

Then “winter” hit Florida.  When we left the Sarasota area it was a nice sunny almost 80 degrees.  It was a cold, cloudy and barely 60 in Homosassa when I got out of the car.

Birds underwater

A post shared by Stretchingittotravel (@stretchingittotravel) on

Continue reading

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4/13/2017 Daily Getaways Busch Gardens and Sea World Tickets.

If you have never heard of Daily Getaways they are daily deals offered over a couple of weeks each year during the spring by the US Travel Association.  Some daily deals are great and some are not of any interest to me.  If you are planning on visiting Busch Gardens or Sea World you might be very interested in today’s deal.

IMG_7364

 

Busch Gardens:

  • Available: Today at 1:00 PM ET
  • Price: $45
  • Estimated Value: $103
  • 1393 Available

Description

What You Receive: One (1) single-day admission ticket via email.Dates of Travel: Anytime before May 19, 2018.Max. Quantity per Purchase: Six (6).


Families of all ages can connect with new experiences and each other at Busch Gardens. Experience a combination of thrilling coasters, naturally beautiful and immersive environments, and up-close animal encounters.

Each eTicket(s) purchased is valid for:

  • One (1) single-day admission for an adult or child to your choice of either Busch Gardens, Florida or Busch Gardens, Virginia.
  • Expires May 19, 2018.
  • Valid only during regular operating hours.
  • eTicket(s) will be sent via email within 5-7 business days of purchase. Print your eTicket(s) and proceed to the front gate entrance for admission.
  • Not valid for separate-ticketed events, such as Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town.

For further details, please refer to the “Redemption” and “Terms & Conditions” tabs.

Purchase here at 1pm Eastern time: https://dailygetaways.ustravel.org/OfferDetails.aspx?pid=20fa23e0-f5ab-4cbd-bf51-02593af3238b

 

Sea World:

  • Available: Today at 1:00 PM ET
  • Price: $50
  • Estimated Value: $100
  • 2362 Available
  • Description

What You Receive: One (1) single-day admission ticket via email. Dates of Travel: Anytime before May 19, 2018.Max. Quantity per Purchase: Six (6).


SeaWorld® offers unique and inspiring entertainment for families of all ages. Experience immersive animal interactions, awe-inspiring shows, and thrilling rides that let you feel the force and power of the sea.

Each eTicket purchased is valid for:

  • One (1) single-day admission for an adult or child to your choice of either:

SeaWorld® Orlando,
SeaWorld® San Diego or
SeaWorld® San Antonio.

  • Expires May 19, 2018.
  • eTicket(s) will be sent via email within 5-7 business days of purchase. Print your eTicket(s) and proceed to the front gate entrance for admission.

 

If you are interested here is the link to purchase Sea World tickets at 1pm Eastern: https://dailygetaways.ustravel.org/OfferDetails.aspx?pid=2342247b-1892-4881-ac3f-b2e213f15482

Categories: Discounts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Summer Offer

Awaken Summer and Relax with a Special Offer

20% Off

This summer, guests of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel can visit the Walt Disney World Resort and Awaken Summer with all new experiences across all four Disney Theme Parks and still relax with the hotel’s Awaken and Relax offer.

Through August 25, guests who book with rate code AWAKEN can receive room rates starting as low as $165 per night as well as 20 percent off services at the luxurious Mandara Spa, offering vacationers a getaway with both convenient access to visit all four of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks and the ultimate way to rejuvenate.

To book this offer, call 1-800-227-1500 and mention rate code AWAKEN.

More information here: http://www.swandolphin.com/offers

Categories: Discounts, Disney | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

IHG Waterpark Hotels

Many of us did the IHG mail in points promotion that was offered this winter.  Looking to burn up some of those 50,000+ points I went looking for IHG waterpark hotel options.

In Florida:

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando – Orange Lake Resort   35,000 points per night or $146 a night. Boasts a lazy river in the twelve acre waterpark and nine restaurants.  https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnclubvacations/hotels/us/en/kissimmee/discv/hoteldetail

In Minnesota:

Holiday Inn Express Brainerd/ Baxter has the connecting Three Bear Waterpark. $225 a night with access to the waterpark. https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/baxter/bwxbb/hoteldetail

Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tasty Disney Vacation Package

Enjoy a FREE meal at a quick-service location per person, per night when you buy a non-discounted 4-night/5-day room and theme park ticket package at a Disney Value Resort hotel.
Offer valid for arrivals most nights May 29 through June 30, 2016 and July 5 through August 13, 2016. Book now through February 29, 2016.
 

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. All Guests in the same room must be on the same package. Check availability for packages with other lengths of stay.

To book by phone, call (407) 939-7943† to speak with a vacation planning expert or call your travel agent.

Important Details

  • Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Offer excludes campsites and Disney’s Art of Animation – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.
  • Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities.
  • Children ages 3 to 9 must choose from the children’s menu, if available.
Categories: Disney | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Trip Recap

This is simply a rollup of our trip….

Two tickets on Southwest paid with cash and 1 ticket with points.  We booked these is early September to avoid high prices.

Two nights at the Radisson Resort at the Port free on points.

Three nights at the Radisson Oceanfront hotel, two on points and 1 on cash AAA discount.

The rental car was through the mousesavers discount and the lowest I could get was a little over $200.

Hands down our largest expense on the trip was dinner each night.  With two seafood lovers in the family the nightly bill usually topped $50+.  I need to increase my food budget for future trips now that Daughter is older and not stuck on Mac-n-cheese.

You cannot put a price on spending a week together in the warmth relaxing.  I think we did alright on expenses like paying for fishing, a Christmas light festival and mini golf during the week.  I would have liked more Groupons for dinner but I was unable to find any for local seafood restaurants.

We are tossing around where to go next winter.  Husband wants to go back to Texas, I want a new state and Daughter wants to eat rock shrimp.  Might not be lucky enough to go at Christmas again, that did not go over well with a few people. Husband wants to go over his birthday instead. Next time I guess I would do it in reverse and be in the very touristy area of Cocoa Beach on Christmas day.  Toss up between waking up on the ocean or having breakfast options outside the hotel.

 

 

Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.