The Best Vacation Ideas for Pompano Beach

Situated ideally on the Atlantic coast, the seaside town of Pompano Beach is a popular tourist destination in every season of the year. With its close proximity to Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find a myriad of options for attractions and activities during your stay in Pompano Beach. Whether you choose to rent a vacation home or stay at a stylish hotel or resort, your vacation will be one to remember.

Pompano Dive Center

When your only goal is to explore the ocean, a stop at Pompano Dive Center will get you the equipment you need to rent. The team at Pompano Dive Center is excited about sharing the ocean with people, and they especially love helping you learn how to use their equipment and navigate the ocean safely. Even if you’ve never used SCUBA equipment before, you’ll get up to speed in no time thanks to the dive training offered by trained instructors.

Butterfly World

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Butterfly World in Pompano Beach features extensive botanical gardens and an expansive three acres of butterfly aviaries. Your visit to Butterfly World gives you a chance to experience and appreciate butterflies as you may never have done before. With admission, you are welcome to explore the grounds of the facility to watch how the butterflies interact with their surroundings.

Hillsboro Antique Mall

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The first of its kind in southern Florida and still on top, the Hillsboro Antique Mall is a must-see for anyone who loves antiques. The facility features 35,000 square feet of space with antiques displayed by 250 dealers. The mall is open every day of the week in its new location, and on-site parking is available.

THE Pompano Beach

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Visiting Pompano Beach without spending time on the sand is almost unheard of when visiting Florida. The beach sits conveniently in the middle of town, and you’ll love the walkways that give you easy access to the sand. A new parking garage recently built makes parking a breeze. Once on the sand, you’ll see why this beach consistently wins awards. It’s quiet and clean, and the views are simply breathtaking. Make some time to walk the Pompano Beach pier while you’re there too. Concessions are available, making your stroll that much more enjoyable.

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The character and close-knit feel of Pompano Beach make this little seaside town an idyllic spot to rest and relax. If the most you want to do is chill on the sand, you’re in luck. But, if you like to stay busy with different activities, Pompano Beach can provide this too. The size of the city makes just about everything easily accessible, including your vacation rental or hotel.

Top 5 Vacation Activities in Deep Creek Lake


Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake is an expansive body of water with miles of shoreline, home to abundant wildlife. With a nearby ski resort and many options for water sports in the area, a vacation to Deep Creek Lake promises to be exciting. Many vacation homes, resorts and hotels are available to accommodate tourists in comfort and luxury as well.

Skiing and Snowboarding around Deep Creek Lake

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One of the beautiful features of Deep Creek Lake in the winter is the vacation homes and resorts that offer ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes. You have direct access to the downhill slopes to give you as much time as possible skiing. Wisp Resort is popular with skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, both those with beginning and advanced skills. The resort features several trails with a variety of terrains, each maintained and groomed to perfection.

Out on the Water of Deep Creek

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With 3,900 acres of surface area on Deep Creek Lake, there’s plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the water. Rent a jet-ski or take out a pontoon boat for the day. You can also book a guided kayak tour of the area or schedule a whitewater rafting excursion. If fly fishing has always been something you wanted to try, you could purchase lessons with a seasoned fly-caster before trying your luck at landing a trout.

Rock Climbing and Hiking in Maryland

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Even if you’re a complete rock climbing novice, you can get out there and try it at around Deep Creek Lake. Sandstone cliffs surrounding the lake are the perfect place for beginners to try the sport. Experts can enjoy these cliffs as well. The local Adventure Sports Center provides rock climbing instruction. Hiking around Deep Creek Lake is a delightful excursion at any time of the year. Try the short Brant Mine Trail at Deep Creek State Park for an easy hike. For a little more challenge, hike the Lostland Run Trail at Potomac Garrett State Forest.

Exploring the Shops of Oakland Maryland

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Just a few miles away, downtown Oakland

offers a historic shopping experience. The downtown streets are full of local shops and eateries, all brimming over with old-fashioned charm. Stop in at an antique shop, a gift boutique or even the seasonal farmer’s market during the summer months. A community theater and historical museum are also nearby in Oakland.

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Hit pause and recharge for a while at Deep Creek Lake. The wilderness feel and old-fashioned charm of the area will win you over every time. Reserve a room, cabin or home while you’re there to make sure that you’re comfortable, and then get ready for an unforgettable vacation.

Where to go for New Years Eve 2018

Top U.S. Destinations for New Year’s Eve

Watching the ball drop in Times Square isn’t the only way to celebrate a new calendar year. To uncover other gems, we surveyed over 1,000 people to find out where the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in the U.S. take place. Whether you want to attend a decadent masquerade ball or view fireworks from a cruise on the ocean, here are the top 4 destinations to bring in the new year outside of New York City.

  1. Honolulu, HawaiiFor a warm, oceanside New Year’s celebration, Honolulu is the perfect city. Head down to the neighborhood of Waikiki, known worldwide for its surfing and a gorgeous shore that’s lined with high-rise hotels. Begin the evening with Tiki’s New Year’s Eve Starlight Soiree Dinner & Party before you wander down to midnight fireworks on the beach, complete with a countdown firework every minute from 11:55pm to midnight.


    When the new year begins, that’s when the real show starts.

    If you’re looking for something a little different, attend a Masquerade Ball or a lavish party at an oceanfront poolside night club. You can even skip the land altogether with a dinner cruise that includes views of the fireworks from out on the water. During the day, check out the whale-watching in Oahu and catch a glimpse of over 10,000 humpback whales that migrate from Alaska to the warm Hawaiian waters for the winter. Or, you can jot down some resolutions after trying an attempt at surfing. Newcomers beware – it’s harder than it looks. Maybe mastery is one more resolution to add to this year’s list.  


  3. Buffalo, New York – Buffalo has been “dropping ball” (literally, of course) on New Year’s Eve for over 30 years, from its Electric Tower to the largest crowd in New York outside of Times Square. If you’re bold enough to brave the cold, you’ll get to see an impressive fireworks display once it hits the ground. On New Year’s Day, you can go cross-country skiing in one of Erie County’s gorgeous parks from 10 a.m. to dusk, or visit Niagara Falls for a snow-capped, ice-covered winter view that can literally take your breath away.


    For those with thinner coats, there are plenty of indoor options that will still make for a memorable night to start off the year right. You can dress to the nines and attend the Ice Ball at Statler City, complete with an excellent menu, a premium open bar, live music, and a champagne toast. Or you can spend New Year’s Eve at the Big Ditch Brewing Company with craft beer, a DJ, a full menu and a complete (indoor) view of the Electric Tower Ball drop and fireworks show.

  4. Atlanta, Georgia – Atlanta is one of football’s destination cities, and this year it plays host to the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day for college fans. On New Year’s Eve, dress to the nines, grab a mask, and head to the roof at Ponce City Market to say goodbye to 2018. Live music, food, and drink accompany views of the night sky for this ‘Mask of Midnight’ New Year’s Eve party.


    Forget to pack your finest? Attend Atlanta NY Electric 2018 for two ballrooms filled with live electronic music 73 stories above the ground. You won’t miss the fireworks with their special indoor ‘electric’ countdown. Or, for something different, flip the last page on the calendar at the Georgia Aquarium’s Black and White New Year’s Celebration, where you can support research and conservation efforts while enjoying an open bar, late night bites, and a midnight champagne toast in the Ocean Ballroom. For the family, head over to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta to participate in the New Year’s Bubble Bash, full of activities, dancing, and bubble-wrap fireworks. Don’t worry about keeping the kids up late – the ‘midnight’ countdowns happen at noon and 4 p.m. so you can share the fun and slip out later.


  6. Birmingham, Alabama – Looking to bring in the New Year like it’s the roaring 20’s? Last year’s Root & Revelry’s Annual New Year Event included a ballroom straight out of The Great Gatsby and a prohibition-era speakeasy (keep an eye on their Facebook page for an announcement of this year’s theme in December). For a modern evening of chance and fortune, try your luck at The Mill Two Eighty for New Year’s Eve Casino Night.


    For the live music aficionados, Birmingham offers an evening of indie and rock bands to wrap up the year at the Nick, featuring The Burning Peppermints, Captain Kudzu, and Dree Leer. Or, for the family, check out the ZooLight Safari which features over one million lights and a meet and greet with the characters from the Disney classic Frozen.


Wherever you decide to celebrate, make sure you start off the year right with an experience you won’t forget. VacationRenter can help you book your stay and plan the best trip possible.

Weekend Getaway from Denver: Ski Cabin Rentals in Keystone

Chilly winter days in Denver definitely make it a great idea to take a little vacation. Weekend getaways from Denver begin with Denver cabin rentals or ski trips to Keystone. Check out five tips to help you find a ski cabin in Keystone, Colorado.

Do Your Homework on Keystone Vacation Rentals

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Although the Keystone area is a mecca for those who love the snow, getting a great ski cabin in Keystone, Colorado, means putting in some effort. Make a list of the amenities that you can’t live without and get an idea of your budget. From ultra-modern resorts to bare minimum cabins, Keystone offers a large variety of accommodations designed to suit your needs. Prepare to pay a little extra if you are looking for a private rental with a hot tub or sauna to warm you up after a day on the slopes.

Check Out the Weather in the Mountains

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Weekend getaways from Denver to Keystone mean that you’ll spend almost two hours driving between the areas, if not more if it is a crowded weekend. Choose a Keystone cabin rental to stay close to home and still enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Head over to Keystone for skiing from December through April but prepare to battle the crowds on 70. Peak skiing season is generally mid-January to March, so the busy resorts make it tougher to find a ski cabin that isn’t booked. Make your reservations early and be prepared to work around rough weather if necessary. Read more of our tips on Colorado Ski Planning

Choose an Area for you and the family in Keystone

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Your weekend getaway is easier to manage if you know where you’re heading. There are a variety of areas and villages near Keystone, Colorado, making each visit a separate experience. Pick out River Run Village for kid-friendly vacation options, including shops, restaurants, mini golf and play areas. Head to Keystone’s Lakeside Village for off-season activities like paddle boats and kayak adventures on Keystone Pond. In the winter months, this area becomes the largest outdoor skating rink in North America, making it a blast for anyone who loves the ice. Cabin rentals and condos are available throughout the year.

Opt for Luxury


With all-inclusive deals that include ski rental, trip tickets, and even shuttle service to ski destinations, the resorts in Keystone are another choice for visitors. Keystone resorts offer a variety of housing styles, including rustic cabins, condos with views of the mountains and townhouses that offer plenty of space for large groups or families. These resorts are open throughout the year, and they offer hiking and camping excursions in the summer.

Enjoy the Continental Divide Views

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Even if skiing isn’t your thing, the views you have access to can still make every moment magical. From Loveland Pass to the Snake River, the areas surrounding Keystone are known for their picturesque views of the mountains. Pick a ski cabin and use the off-season months for hiking the mountain trails and enjoying endless views of the Rockies.

Winter Breaks: Visiting Orlando in January

When you need a break from freezing temperatures and gray, dreary winter days, start planning an Orlando trip. Known for its theme parks, shopping and pleasant weather, the City Beautiful may be the escape you need to make it through the rest of winter. Here’s what you need to know about January in Orlando.

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Where to Stay when visiting Orlando in Winter

Finding a place to stay in Orlando can be more difficult in January since so many winter residents are in town. Consider Orlando vacation rentals that aren’t on the theme park properties but are conveniently located near the most popular tourist attractions. Kissimmee has an assortment of residential and resort areas, some just minutes away from Walt Disney World. The Hunter’s Creek neighborhood in south Orange County blends residential and commercial areas, complete with shopping and dining areas. Southwest of Orlando along Interstate 4, you find Celebration, a town with a distinct small-town feel, and Four Corners, a region specifically designed for visitors.


What to Pack for a Winter Orlando Trip

Orlando’s weather in January is unpredictable. It’s the middle of the dry season, but it may rain when a cold front comes through. Temperatures typically reach the low to mid 70s during the day and drop to the 50s at night, but warmer and colder temperatures are possible. Pack a combination of shorts, capris and long pants as well as short- and long-sleeve shirts so that you have clothing to wear in any type of weather. At the very least, you also need a lightweight jacket or sweatshirt. You may feel colder than you expect in Florida thanks to the high humidity levels, so feel free to throw a scarf or hat into the suitcase.


How to Dress for Winter in Florida

Layered clothing is your best option during the Florida winter. Choose pieces made from lightweight fabrics that dry quickly if they get wet on water rides or in the rain. Put on a pair of comfortable walking shoes that support your feet, especially if you’re spending the day in the theme parks or a shopping mall. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat with a brim and sunglasses to shield your eyes from the strong Florida sun.

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What to Do In Orlando in January

The mild temperatures and sunny skies make January a good time of year to check out outdoor attractions in Central Florida. Crowds at the major parks start to thin as the holiday season ends and students go back to school. You can easily spend your entire vacation in just one section of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios or Sea World. Head over to Old Town in Kissimmee to stroll the main street lined with shops and restaurants and ride vintage-style carnival rides. Wander through the exhibits of ice sculptures and slides at Gaylord Palms. Enjoy cultural events scattered around the greater Orlando area. You can even spend some time in one of the water parks.

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Traveling during the off-season offers visitors a few important advantages. The crowds tend to be smaller, so wait times should be shorter and traffic should be less congested. Second, the smaller crowds lead to overall lower rates. If you’re considering a trip to Orlando during the off-season, it helps to understand what to expect while you’re there.

What to keep in mind for Orlando in the off-season

  1. The Off-Season Is Short
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    It’s difficult to pinpoint the off-season in the Orlando area, but the crowds tend to dwindle when the kids go back to school. The parks and attractions usually have the smallest crowds immediately after holidays, such as September after Labor Day, January and February after New Year’s Day and April through May after spring break. Major events in the area, such as the Daytona 500 in February, bring visitors into Orlando, and along with them come peak season crowds and prices.

  2. The Weather Can Be Unpredictable
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    Florida’s weather in September is still warm and humid, with high temperatures still reaching the upper 80s during the day. You can also expect afternoon thunderstorms that move inland with the sea breeze, so bring some rain gear or have plans to stay indoors. Fortunately, the storms don’t last long.

  3. It Does Get Chilly

    If you visit Orlando during January and February, you’ll likely experience the coldest weather of the year. Average daily temperatures reach the low 70s and dip into the 40s at night. Although this is warmer than most of the country, it’s still chilly enough to warrant a jacket.

  4. Hurricane Season Happens During the Off-Season

    Orlando crowds in September tend to be smaller for several reasons, and one of them is hurricane season. September is when the tropics tend to be most active. Although there is an increased chance of tropical weather during this period, it doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed.

  5. Tropical Weather Is Not a Severe Threat

    In fact, many tropical systems stay out over water, and they can make landfall anywhere along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Even if a tropical storm or hurricane nears the Florida coast, Orlando is far enough inland that it usually sees little more than wind and rain that’s typical of summer thunderstorms.

  6. Expect Crowds at the Parks

    There are still plenty of people at the Orlando area attractions even during the off-season, especially during long holiday weekends. You’ll find local residents as well as guests who want to take advantage of the smaller crowds and shorter wait times. Orlando also attracts international guests who may have different travel schedules than Americans.

  7. You Can Avoid Crowds
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    Just like during peak season, the theme parks tend to be slowest early in the morning. Head over to the parks immediately after they open for the best chance of riding the most popular rides without having to wait for an extended period of time. If you’re not an early riser, you can go right after the afternoon thunderstorms before everyone else has a chance to get back outside.

  8. The Water Parks Are Open During the Winter Months
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    One advantage of Florida’s semi-tropical climate is the mild winter weather, so the water parks in the area stay open year-round. There are some scheduled closures for routine maintenance, but at least one park is always open.

  9. Off Season Is a Great Time to Explore Orlando
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    There’s more to do in Orlando than hang out at the theme parks, and the off season is an opportunity for you to check these attractions out. Spend some time in downtown Orlando where you can walk along the brick-paved streets and relax in Lake Eola Park. Head over to the East Coast to explore Kennedy Space Center or watch the sun rise over Cocoa Beach.

  10. Enjoy Your Visit
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    Off-season in central Florida is a wise time to make the most of your vacation schedule and budget. Smaller crowds mean you’ll spend more time enjoying the attractions and less time waiting in line. You’ll also find plenty of vacation houses for rent in Orlando, so you’re close to the action.

Booking Pigeon Forge Cabin Rentals on Short Notice

While planning a vacation in advance is often the way to go, sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to turn down the last-minute opportunity to take an amazing trip to Pigeon Forge. If you’re looking to book a cabin last minute, these tips may make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Where to Look Before You Book Pigeon Forge

Booking last minute, especially during peak season, may leave you with fewer options close to Pigeon Forge and its neighboring major city, Gatlinburg. The peak season in this part of the Smoky Mountains runs from May through October, with July and October generally being the busiest months. May and September are generally the least-crowded months during this period. You can assume that you won’t have many options to choose from in Pigeon Forge itself during the most crowded times of the peak season.

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However, you can look a little farther out to improve your chances of finding exactly what you’re looking for on short notice. Neighboring areas like Dupont, Wears Valley and Cherokee Hills are all potential options. You may even want to start your search in these areas rather than going immediately to vacation rentals in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg themselves.

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If you’re looking for a late fall, winter or early spring getaway, you may not need to cast this wide of a net to find a good place last minute. No matter what time of year you’re wanting to visit, though, it helps to be flexible with your dates if you can. A last-minute vacation often requires some flexibility.

Thinking About Your Activities in Pigeon Forge or Dollywood

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Looking for rental cabins outside Pigeon Forge means that you will be farther away from major attractions like Dollywood. This might be okay, especially if you just want a mountain getaway or if you don’t mind extra time in the car. However, if you want to be as close to the action as possible, it’s helpful to think about which activities are the most important before you leave and try to find a rental cabin that’s nearby. At the very least, finding a cabin that has good access to some of the major roadways in the area, including State Highways 321, 441 and 449, can make it easier to get around without too much travel time.

Cancellation and Other Details for your Tennesee trip

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One potential drawback to be aware of is that booking a trip super close to your departure date may mean that you have less flexibility with cancellations for various reservations. When you book your cabin, pay attention to the cancellation policy, and be aware that you may already be outside of the allowed time limit for a full refund. That’s one benefit of booking close to your departure date, though — if you’re leaving this weekend, you probably already know that everything’s going to be smooth sailing for your vacation.

Ocean Beach San Diego Vacation – Where to Go

San Diego has no shortage of beautiful oceanfront beaches and quaint neighborhoods, but Ocean Beach stands alone as one of the most laid-back and uncommercialized of them. Visitors can enjoy their vacation and avoid jostling elbow to elbow with other beachgoers or witnessing a swarm of vendors and salespeople at every corner. While some people enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities, Ocean Beach is a great choice if you prefer a bit more space. Besides the main attraction of going to the beach, here’s what not to miss when visiting.

  1. Food and Drink
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    If you thought you’d just grab some hotel buffet breakfast and order pizza when you return, think again. Ocean Beach has some of the best dining in San Diego, from BBQ meats and California seafood to all types of vegan food. Pair your meal with an excellent California wine or craft beer for a truly unforgettable dining experience. This is definitely a place where you won’t go hungry.

  2. Ocean Beach Pier
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  3. Take a leisurely walk down one of the West Coast’s longest ocean piers, the ideal spot for selfies and mandatory vacation photos. If you want, you can do some fishing from along the nearly 2,000-foot structure. For the best spot, head to the end of the pier where water depths are about 25 feet. Calico bass, white sea bass and yellowtail frequent the kelp forest at the end of the pier, while mackerel, bass and halibut are more common along the middle. Towards the shore, you’ll find perch and croakers.

  4. Galleries and Art Lessons
  5. Ocean Beach has a very artistic, hippy vibe that helps define the neighborhood. Check out one or two art galleries along Santa Monica or Newport Avenue for an idea of what the local art scene is producing. Find an awesome souvenir or admire the art while enjoying a cup of coffee and a pastry. If you start to feel inspired, sign up for some art lessons, and take the opportunity to get to know some Ocean Beach locals as you work.

  6. Antiques and Hippy Shops
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  7. Ocean Beach has a nice collection of antique stores along Newport Avenue, where you can find everything from chairs and lamps to garden statues. Many other little clothing and creative shops have a distinct 1960s and 1970s feel, as they feature glass beads, handmade clothing, woven items, records and smoking paraphernalia.

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Stay in a Smoky Mountain Cabin | Explore Tennessee Nature

Whether you’re planning an extended vacation or a short getaway, heading for the Smoky Mountains is always a smart choice. Staying near Great Smoky Mountains National Park gives you convenient access to a wide array of activities to explore nature like hiking, boating and swimming. Cabins are a popular overnight accommodation in this area.

Spreading Out in a Cabin

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If you travel with many items, a cabin is an ideal rental. This can be especially true for people traveling with children, which typically involves a lot of gear. You’ll have access to closets where you can unpack and put your extra clothes and things away. If you bring food and snacks with you, your full kitchen will have ample cupboard space where you can put your items away. If you like to bring movies, games and electronic entertainment, you’ll have plenty of spots for stowing these items. You should also have a private parking spot for your vehicle instead of having to park in a hotel parking lot.

Bringing Your Pets to a Gatlinburg Cabin

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If you travel with pets, reserving a cabin is an excellent idea. Many cabins are pet-friendly, allowing guests to bring cats and dogs with them. If you do bring your pet, take care when allowing your pet to be outdoors around the cabin. With the prevalence of bears and other wild animals, your pet may not be safe without supervision.

Remote Cabins in the Great Smoky Mountains

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Although many cabins are in the most populated areas of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you can also rent remote cabins that are not on the main thoroughfare through the cities. The peace and quiet you will have from renting one of these cabins will be worth any extra drive you have to get there. There’s even a lodging facility inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park with mountain cabins accessible only by a steep hiking trail.

Smoky Mountain Cabin Amenities

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Forget about the typical rustic cabin when you imagine a Smoky Mountain cabin. The log cabins built in this area are far from primitive in most cases. In fact, many of them are luxurious and extremely comfortable. You’ll find spas and hot tubs, expansive decks, fireplaces, gourmet kitchens stocked with every utensil or gadget you might need, posh bathrooms and upscale bedrooms and seating areas.

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Rentals of Smoky Mountain cabins promises to surround you in comfortable luxury as you tour and play in this wilderness area. Whether you’re shopping, hiking or swimming, you’ll have accommodations that will be conveniently located and full of amenities that will make your vacation unforgettable.

Beachfront Views in Panama City Beach Vacation Rentals

Long stretches of sparkling white beaches and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico make Panama City Beach a favorite for visitors searching for summer sunshine. Skip the hotels and check out beachfront Panama City Beach vacation rentals to make your Florida vacation unforgettable.

Where to stay in Panama City Beach, Florida

Vacation Condos in Panama City

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Capture the views of the quartz sand beaches of Panama City Beach from the private balconies of condos for rent in Panama City Beach, FL. A huge selection of privately owned and resort condos for rent make it easy for visitors to choose the right location for a family va

cation or a romantic weekend away from home. Condos are found in large buildings rising many stories over the ocean, and many offer private beach access along with amenities like pools, on-site restaurants and spas for complete relaxation while you vacation.

Private Panama City Beach Houses ON the beach


Whether privately owned or belonging to a resort management company, private beach houses are great when it comes to vacationing with the whole family in Panama City Beach. Panama City Beach vacation rentals large enough to accommodate big families or special events like reunions or weddings are generally private homes. Houses overlooking the beach offer on-site parking, great views of the sparkling waters of the gulf, full kitchens and access to yards for outdoor events or barbecues with the family.

Vacation Townhomes

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A cute townhouse off of the beach gives you the option to skip the Panama City beachfront hotels and opt for something different on your vacation. Townhouses come in a selection of sizes with two to five or more bedrooms, full kitchens and private parking areas. Pick a townhouse just a few blocks away from the beach and you can save big bucks when it comes to paying for that vacation rental. Most townhouse rentals are within walking distance of public beach access, making it easy to spend a day on the beach soaking up the sunshine.

Beach Cottages

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Just a single bedroom or two bedrooms, a full kitchen and perfect views of the beach make beach cottages a great choice for romantic weekends away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Pick out a cottage in the northern section of Panama City Beach, which offers a glimpse of the tranquility of the Florida panhandle that isn’t available in more populated areas of the city. Take a trolley to St. Andrews State Park or spend a day in the fashion boutiques and restaurants in the city and return to the cottage for a peaceful sunset on the water.


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Then at the end of the list, while we started this by saying “skip the hotels” we do find that hotels can be the best option for certain families and groups of friends hoping to have everything prepared for them.  Panama City beachfront hotels are an option for visitors spending a week on the waterfront. Large resort hotels offer fun amenities like swimming pools, on-site restaurants, spas and even playgrounds for the kids. Be aware that condos for rent in Panama City Beach, FL, allow access to those same amenities while letting you avoid the standard hotel expenses like parking fees, tips for the hotel staff and resort fees that can really add up.

6 Things to Do in St. Petersburg for the Whole Family

Located to the west of Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, is a family-friendly area that draws visitors from around the country. From the beach to the ball field, there are plenty of things to do in St. Petersburg, FL, that the entire family will enjoy. As you plan your next vacation, consider these popular spots, and look for vacation rentals that are close by so you’re never too far from the action.

RumFish Grill

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RumFish Grill is one of the newest St. Petersburg restaurants, a spot where diners also get to enjoy a natural show with their meal. A massive aquarium filled with fish native to Tampa Bay makes up one wall of the dining room. After dinner, you can stop by the underwater viewing area to get a better look and learn more about the sea creatures.

Fort De Soto Park

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The entire family can find something to enjoy at Fort De Soto Park just south of St. Petersburg. Covering more than 1,000 acres, the park has seven miles of waterfront property with fishing piers and playgrounds. The gentle water of the Gulf of Mexico is perfect for swimming, and the gradual slope of the shoreline makes it easy for even the little ones to play in the water. When you need a break from the sand, you can explore the historic fort that’s on the grounds.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum

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Open since 1986, the Great Explorations Children’s Museum is more than a play lab. It’s also a preschool where children of all ages learn while having fun. The hands-on exhibits include an obstacle course where children climb and crawl over various inclines and textures and an interactive garden. Kids also get to learn about fire safety, navigate a grocery store and practice veterinary skills on stuffed animals. The museum features a TV studio, building room and model doctor’s office.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium just north of St. Petersburg is the home of Winter and Hope, dolphins featured in the Dolphin Tale movies. At this rehabilitation facility, you can see an assortment of animals, including otters, turtles, birds and sharks. Some of the animals live at the aquarium permanently because they cannot live in the wild. Others stay until they complete rehabilitation.

Dali Museum

St. Petersburg is home to an impressive collection of works by the surrealist artist Salvador Dali. The Dali museum is a fun way to beat the heat in the summer months. Dali’s surrealist works appeal to children and adults alike, but that’s not the only reason to visit. Children have an opportunity to participate in craft sessions and take part in treasure hunts around the facility. It’s a great introduction to the world of fine art and one of the top things to do in St. Petersburg.

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Tropicana Field

If you’re in town during baseball season, you can take the whole family to a professional baseball game. The Tampa Bay Rays play in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field, and you can see them take on other American League teams from around the country. For an insider view of the field, sign up for a public or private tour of the facilities.