New Orleans Weekend Getaway Complete Itinerary

When planning a New Orleans weekend getaway, it can be hard to know where to start. Check out these places to begin your itinerary.

  1. French Quarter
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    The French Quarter has restaurants, bars, more bars, street musicians playing jazz and entertainers of all kinds. Tourists can take in the lively atmosphere that almost never stops. Be sure to grab a signature Hurricane drink in one of the pubs. Pat O’Brien’s on Bourbon Street is known for its Hurricane cocktails, but you’ll find them in other restaurants and bars too.

  2. The Garden District
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    Take a walking tour at your own pace through The Garden District in the uptown area of New Orleans. Stroll through the manicured gardens with many tropical flowers in bloom, giant oak trees, brick-lined streets and 19th-century mansions. A rental vacation home near this area would allow you to start each day with refined beauty from a bygone era.

  3. Bayou Country
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    Tour the bayou swampland by boat, kayak or canoe for an up-close look at ecology thriving in this part of the world. The Bayou Country is a mix of fresh and saltwater, so you’re likely to see crawfish, snakes and crocodiles. You might also get to see a bald eagle flying overhead. Cypress trees grow lazily out of the water with Spanish moss dangling. Have a waterproof camera on hand to capture some of the native wildlife.

  4. Cemetery Tours
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    Walk through a few of the historical cemeteries with intricately detailed tombs above ground to gain some local history with a hint of eeriness. Many are so old they’ve crumbled and cracked, which gives them character. Guided tours are usually recommended for safety reasons and to get information on some of the famous tombstones. Former musicians, pirates and iconic New Orleans residents are buried in the cemeteries.

  5. Backstreet Cultural Museum
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    Venture off the grid to Backstreet Cultural Museum. This family-run museum is a non-profit organization located in the Tremé District. It’s overflowing with photos, colorful costumes, movies and memorabilia of the African American culture and heritage in the area, and lots of parades pass by the location. Sylvester Francis, a local photographer and historian who founded the museum in 1999, leads guided tours of it often.

    New Orleans is known for outstanding food, plenty of fun and jazz music. Be sure to sample some of the fresh seafood, a beignet and chicory coffee at one of the Cafe Du Monde locations and a Hurricane cocktail in a bar in the French Quarter. Shop, dance, listen to the magical tunes and experience the culture of a city that continues to attract visitors each year.

What to Look for in Fabulous Family Florida Vacation Rentals

Florida family vacation rentals are always in demand with so many varieties of rentals available. From Orlando theme park Florida vacation home rentals to beachfront mansions with private pools, check out these tips to choose fabulous family Florida vacation rentals.

Select Your Budget

Florida vacation rentals vary greatly in pricing, and not every high-priced home is worth the money that you may spend. Setting up a budget prior to choosing your favorite vacation rental gives you an idea of where to search, what to spend and how much you can afford outside of the rental itself. Your vacation rental might be the most expensive portion of that vacation budget, so taking your time and understanding your finances makes it easier to plan the rest of the vacation.

Determine Your Dreams

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Some families visit Florida to dip their toes into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, spend a day celebrating the beauty of the clear rivers and springs or to take in the excitement of the multitude of theme parks. If you’re dreaming of days spent at Disney World or lazy summer afternoons collecting seashells along the Atlantic coastline, determining what is most important to you helps you to decide which Florida vacation rentals suit your style. Skip the barrier islands and stay on the mainland to save quick bucks on beachfront vacation homes.

Select the Amenities That Make Your List

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Swimming pools, hot tubs, water slides and lazy rivers are all available in a multitude of Florida vacation rentals, especially the resorts and the condos. If these types of amenities are important to you, then selecting a resort or a condo is a simple choice. Private homes also offer excellent amenities like private pools, large yards for furry friends or proximity to private parks and beaches. Hotels and resorts sometimes include theme park tickets or restaurant vouchers to entice visitors, so choosing your favorite amenities makes it less confusing when you try to select a great vacation spot.

Look for Great Feedback

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It may be true that many reviews are left only if the vacation stay was disappointing, so reviews are an excellent way to discover what others didn’t like about a particular Florida vacation rental. Lack of laundry facilities, damaged furnishings and homes that need a little cleaning might be the deciding factors when you avoid a particular vacation rental. Feedback is often left on the website of the rental agency and even scrolling through the listed photos might help you make a great decision.

Take a Tour

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If you’re able to visit the Florida vacation rentals before booking, this is the very best way to ensure that you are getting everything you pay for and more. Touring a vacation home means getting an idea of how much room is available, which amenities are most important and how far you’ll have to drive or walk before you get to the activities you enjoy most. If you’re not able to visit the vacation rental, take the time to check out websites and to get feedback from local realtors or travel agents regarding the particular property that interests you.

Tips for Fun Family Day Trips From Sacramento

With so much to do and see, you might never run out of fun activities in Sacramento, CA. But the area around this city deserves some attention as well, as there are many things to do near Sacramento.

Tahoe City

Take the short drive two hours northeast of Sacramento and you’ll reach Tahoe City. The drive will be worth it once you see the natural beauty that abounds in this area. The city has extensive mountain biking trails that are ideal for almost all levels. You could easily spend the day at Tahoe City Commons Beach, which is an expansive park inside the city. Have a picnic, go for a swim, let the kids play on the playground, go fishing and more. This park is open from sunrise to sunset.

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Folsom City

Folsom City is a quick half-hour northeast of Sacramento, making this a fast jaunt. Situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, you can imagine the beauty that awaits you in this area. The Folsom City Zoo is one option for your day trip and has an impressive number of animals to see. You might also schedule a tour led by a docent if you really want to explore. When you’re looking for a spot to enjoy the beautiful California countryside, try Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. Activities abound, such as fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating and more.

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Calistoga

Even if you’re not a wine drinker, you’ll love exploring Calistoga in California’s wine country. Nestled on the edge of Napa Valley, you can reach Calistoga in about two hours by car. Once there, you have a bountiful array of wineries to visit and tour. The Chateau Montelena Winery has a reputation for being one of the most beautiful in Napa Valley. Visiting is easy, as reservations are not required for a drop-in tasting. Don’t miss Castello di Amorosa on your trip to Calistoga. Touring and tastings at the Castle Winery are unforgettable.

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El Dorado National Forest

A quick one-hour drive to the east of Sacramento takes you to El Dorado National Forest. Visitors typically immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of this landscape, enjoying plentiful options for hiking, fishing and camping. If you visit during the winter, you can even enjoy cross-country or downhill skiing in the area.

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As you can see, you have much to choose from as you plan family day trips from Sacramento. You can easily fill your calendar with these and more short drives that keep everyone entertained.

Hawaii Guide | Making the Most Out of Your Oahu Trip

Step out of your front door and hike the Stairway to Heaven to watch the sun rise over the ocean. Getting the most from your Hawaii vacation rentals means celebrating what makes Oahu special, so check out these tips to visit Oahu and enjoy a spectacular family vacation.

Pick a Spot That Suits Your Style

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From mountain vistas to ocean views, Oahu offers a huge variety of locations for your incredible vacation rental. Picking a spot that suits your style means getting to know this Hawaiian island and checking out which areas make you happy. Take a look at areas like Waikiki, which has spectacular seafood restaurants, the Honolulu Zoo and historic resorts, to determine if this busy tourist town offers all of the excitement that you’re looking for on Oahu. Browse the shops on the leeward side and take a gander at historic Pearl Harbor, or explore the beautiful and quiet coasts in Waianae.

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Choose mountain views or beaches, or even a combination of the two when you select a vacation rental. Oahu offers views of the untouched Hawaiian jungles, towering volcanoes and glittering white sand beaches. Check out vacation rental homes along the coast to step off of your porch and walk a few steps into the warm Pacific. Select mountain-view vacation rental homes with two, three or even five bedrooms to accommodate your entire family, or to make a great location for a family reunion or wedding.

Celebrate Each Season

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Beachfront vacation homes are a favorite for travelers heading to Oahu, so remember to book early, or skip the busy summer season and enjoy late spring or early fall days on the water. Keep tabs on local events like the Hawaii International Film Festival to ensure that you’re not trying to grab a great vacation rental during a busy festival season. Look for off-season vacation rental bargains by booking with flexibility to catch those Oahu condos or vacation home rentals that have last-minute openings.

Things To Do

From beaches and luaus to historic monuments and thrilling adventures, the Hawaiian island of Oahu has a host of attractions and activities to offer. With so many things to choose from, here are the best places to visit in Oahu for an exciting and memorable trip.

  1. Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial


    One of the most memorable places to visit is Pearl Harbor. Tour the USS Bowfin, a submarine from WWII, and see artifacts from it in the museum. At Ford Island, tour the impressive anchored USS Missouri battleship, which is known as Mighty Mo.

    Feel somber at the touching USS Arizona Memorial where 1,177 people tragically died. Stand on the viewing platform above the sunken ship as you pay your respects to their memories.

  2. Polynesian Cultural Center


    Understand the Polynesian culture at this premier Hawaii attraction. At North Shore’s gateway, explore seven featured islands set among 42 acres of landscaping. Meet Polynesians as they show you their arts and crafts.

    Watch a show at the only IMAX Theater in Hawaii. Be mesmerized by the Rainbows of Paradise Canoe Pageant, which is performed on the lagoon. Stick around in the evening for their incredible Ali’i Luau and another show afterward.

  3. North Shore


    For thrills during your vacation, you can’t beat North Shore. Renowned for the legendary big waves that hit the beaches there, it’s a must for surfers and surfing fans. Head for Sunset Beach or Waimea to watch exciting surf contests.

    If surfing’s not for you, other fabulous places to visit in North Shore, Oahu, are its waterfalls found along pretty trails. Enjoy a pleasurable hike through Waimea Falls Park, passing through tropical gardens while watching demonstrations and Hawaiian performances along the botanical garden walk. After weaving through the tropical jungle, be in awe of the cascading Waimea Falls and take a dip in the cool water.

  4. Kualoa Ranch


    Exciting things to do in Oahu await you at Kualoa Ranch. Set between two valleys and covering 4,000 acres, you won’t be short of activities to choose from. Go horseback riding along the trails, take a bike tour, go zip lining or enjoy an ATV adventure. Take a kayak out onto the waters and discover the Secret Island Beach.

    As the filming location for over 80 movies, take a seat on the open-air trolley to tour the ranch grounds. Recognize iconic locations and see props from your favorite movies, such as dinosaur bones and gigantic footprints.

  5. Oahu Submarine Ride


    You can’t visit anywhere more unusual than the bottom of the ocean. The Atlantis Submarine Ride takes you 100 meters down, past the outer reefs of Waikiki, to see the incredible underwater seascape. Marvel at the crashed planes and sunken boats around you. Encounter marine life ranging from green sea turtles to reef sharks and dolphins to colorful fish.

  6. Learn How to Surf at White Plains Beach


    Because surfing and Hawaii go hand in hand, it may be the first activity you want to try. For beginning surfers, Oahu’s White Plains Beach makes an ideal spot to hit the waves. The surf break here is slow and gentle, and the vibe is fun and friendly. Amenities include picnic tables, grills and outdoor showers, and visitors can rent surfboards and take surfing lessons if desired. The beach is located on the southwest coast of Oahu.

  7. Snorkel in Hanauma Bay


    Just 10 miles east of Waikiki on Oahu’s southeast coast, Hanauma Bay is a popular place for snorkeling. Once a volcanic crater, the bay is now a protected nature preserve that plays home to more than 400 species of fish, including the reef triggerfish (humuhumunukunukuapua‘a), the state fish of Hawaii. On your visit to Hanauma Bay, enjoy amenities like equipment rentals, lifeguards, showers, changing rooms, restrooms and concessions.

  8. Hike to Manoa Falls


    If you’re hoping to see one of Hawaii’s beautiful waterfalls, make the easy trek to Manoa Falls. After driving just six miles from Honolulu to the northeast, a hike of only 1.6 miles round-trip offers lush vegetation, beautiful views of the Manoa Valley and a waterfall that flows straight down a 100-foot rock face. If the surroundings look familiar, you may have seen some of the actual terrain in the TV series “Lost” or the “Jurassic Park” movie series.

  9. Visit Historic Iolani Palace


    For lovers of history, Iolani Palace makes an exciting stop. Located in downtown Honolulu, the palace was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua and features elegant architectural details, plush furnishings and ultramodern luxuries of the day like flushing toilets, hot running water and in-house telephones. Because the king was a world traveler, you’ll see the memorabilia he collected along the way. The only official royal residence in the country and a National Historic Landmark, Iolani Palace is a favorite attraction for many travelers to Oahu.

  10. Experience the Polynesian Cultural Center


    To learn more about Polynesian peoples, travel slightly more than 30 miles north of Honolulu to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Find eight themed “villages” that offer a glimpse into the cultures of the Hawaiian, Rapa Nui, Samoan, Aotearoan, Fijian, Tahitian and Tongan peoples. Fun activities include traditional dancing and games, spear throwing and fire making. You can also enjoy the lush, tropical landscape, a boat parade, theater shows and an evening luau.

  11. Tour the Dole Plantation


    Families visiting Oahu always enjoy a trip to the Dole Plantation located 25 miles northwest of Waikiki. This popular site offers a variety of enjoyable activities, including the Plantation Garden Tour that lets you get a hands-on look at the diverse crops growing in eight miniature gardens.

    For even more fun, take a 20-minute train ride throughout the property and have a go at the Pineapple Garden Maze, a large and challenging outdoor labyrinth. Don’t forget to stop by the country store for mementos, gifts, food and refreshments.

  12. Laniakea Beach


    There is no shortage of free beaches to visit in Hawaii. However, one of the top free things to do in Oahu is to visit Laniakea Beach, also known as Turtle Beach. This beach on the North Shore is one of the best places to see sea turtles in their natural habitat. You can snap photos and marvel at these beautiful creatures. Just remember that they are protected creatures and you shouldn’t touch them or interfere with their routines.

  13. Punchbowl National Cemetery


    The Punchbowl National Cemetery is at the heart of a volcano named Puowaina, which translates to “hill of sacrifice.” The volcano is extinct, and the crater was created between 75,000 and 100,000 years ago. What’s left is a beautiful hill with green grass, flowers and trees. Take in amazing views of Honolulu and the ocean. It’s the final resting place for many members of the armed forces and a one-of-a-kind place to visit for free in Oahu.

Find Fun Places to Visit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale sits on the southeastern coast of Florida and is a favorite destination for its sands and surf. As you’re looking for exciting excursions and activities, fun in the sun is a major theme in this area. You’ll also find breathtaking scenery, stunning beaches, kid-friendly attractions, a wide array of water activities and other fun places to visit in Fort Lauderdale.

Beaches

Any list of things to do in Fort Lauderdale has to start with the beaches. A sprawling 23 miles of shoreline greets you when you arrive in the city. Here you will find gorgeous white sand, pristine blue waters and a pleasing assortment of water sports from which to choose. Don’t miss Deerfield Beach for a family excursion, Hillsboro Beach for a quieter escape and Pompano Beach for exciting water sports and festivals. Just off Deerfield Beach, you can also explore the Beachfront Promenade, which is a popular thoroughfare through the city. Spanning two miles, you’ll come upon hotels, shopping outlets and restaurants as you stroll.

River Boats

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Several companies run river boats on the New River in Fort Lauderdale. There’s something truly captivating about seeing the sights of the area aboard an old-fashioned river boat with multiple decks. Choose a simple sightseeing package, or you could also opt for a dinner and show package that includes an evening meal and some enjoyable entertainment.

Las Olas Boulevard

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When you want to experience the heart and soul of Fort Lauderdale, head to Las Olas Boulevard. This is the place where all the fun shops and upscale boutiques coexist in charming retail harmony. You can also wander in and out of a pleasing assortment of art galleries as you explore the area. Many restaurants and bars are also positioned strategically along the way, offering delectable options for meals, snacks and fun nightlife.

Flamingo Gardens

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Flamingo Gardens is a beautiful combination of botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuary where you can explore to your heart’s content. The botanical gardens are home to more than 3,000 different plant species. The wildlife sanctuary is where birds and animals reside when permanently injured or unable to live in the wild. You might also explore the Wray Home Museum on the premises, which was built in 1933 and helps visitors experience what life was like in Fort Lauderdale during this time period.

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When you’re wondering where to visit in Fort Lauderdale, you won’t have to wonder for long. Visitors enjoy exploring the city and seeing the natural beauty that is alive and well in south Florida.

Bring the Family to Fabulous Vacation Rentals: Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Long stretches of white sandy beaches, warm gulf waters and tons of exciting outdoor activities make Fort Myers Beach a family favorite when it comes to beach vacations. Check out these fabulous Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals, and enjoy that famous Florida sunshine with the whole family.

Condos and Apartments Aim to Please

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Towering condos and apartments are a staple when it comes to fabulous lodging for big families in the Fort Myers Beach area. Located on Estero Island in Lee County, Fort Myers Beach stretches along the southwestern coast of Florida. There are tons of exciting condos and apartments to choose from, even during the busy months of June, July and August. Two bedrooms, three bedrooms and more are available to sleep large families, and most condos are just steps from the powdery white sands of the beaches.

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Covered and screened private lanais, incredible views of the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, community pools with hot tubs and restaurants right on the properties make it easy to skip cooking and enjoy some vacation relaxation. Amenities include paddleboard and kayak rentals, pool decks with private cabanas and deck chairs along with game rooms to keep the kids entertained. Collect shells on the beach, and walk back to your apartment or condo for a relaxing Fort Myers Beach vacation.

Vacation Houses

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Fabulous vacations begin with fabulous Fort Myers Beach vacation houses designed to bring you all of the comforts of home without any of the work. Fort Myers Beach vacation homes are available in a variety of sizes and styles, with gorgeous tile roofs, screened patios and pools and hot tubs for everyone to enjoy. Choose a three-, four- or five-bedroom home to host large families comfortably and step right out of the back door onto the sparkling white sand beaches. Private beach access is a perk that comes with many Fort Myers Beach vacation homes.

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Pick a home close to the water to enjoy the most beautiful views on the barrier island, or select a vacation home near Times Square to get the most out of Fort Myers Beach nightlife, museums and sports events. The area provides visitors with plenty to do regardless of the weather.

Shelling is a favorite pastime along the Gulf coast, but big families also love spending time checking out the local boutiques and catching a boat to deep water for amazing fishing adventures.

Most Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals require a minimum stay during the busy summer season, meaning that off-season travels save you money and allow more flexibility when it comes to booking a top vacation rental.

Vacation Like a Pro: A Hawaii Travel Guide in 10 Easy Steps

Visiting the Hawaiian Islands is a dream vacation for many people, providing relaxation and adventure. However, with eight islands in the archipelago, it’s useful to know a few tips and tricks for traveling like a pro to ensure the reality of your stay lives up to the dream.

    1. Get a GuidebookIf you want to travel like a pro, you need pro knowledge, so invest in a guidebook. The “Revealed” books by Andrew Doughty are well-regarded for revealing many secrets that many tourists don’t know.
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    1. Know Which Islands You Want to VisitThere are eight islands in the archipelago, but only six are accessible to tourists, and only four are regular tourist hotspots. Trying to see all four of the major islands in a single vacation is exhausting and potentially expensive, with inter-island flights costing a decent amount each way, so you might want to focus on visiting just one or two.
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    1. Choose the Right IslandEach island has its own character and attractions. Take the time to research all of them carefully, and then select the island that best suits your needs. For example, Oahu is home of the capital city of Honolulu and, as the major hub of the archipelago, it’s the best place to stay if you intend to travel between islands.
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    1. Rent a CondoRenting a vacation condo is a more private alternative to staying in a hotel, and it often works out to be more cost effective. Additionally, access to useful amenities like a kitchen and washing machine means you get all the benefits of a staycation on your vacation, making it possible to create a little home away from home for a more comfortable and relaxed experience.
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    1. Check the TemperatureIt’s almost always hot in Hawaii. During the summer months, temperatures soar to the high 80s while in the winter temperatures are still usually in the low 80s.
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    1. Consider Visiting in WinterThe location of the Hawaiian islands means temperatures don’t vary greatly. Going for a winter vacation means you have the chance to save some money and avoid the crowds while still enjoying sunny days and beautiful beaches.
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    1. Set Your BudgetThere’s plenty to do, so make sure you’ve got a budget in mind. Take into account the costs of inter-island flights, car rentals, accommodation, drinks and dining out.
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    1. Rent a CarDepending on where you’re staying, you may need a car. For example, Maui is the second-largest island and boasts some stunning mountain roads, so a car is useful for your sightseeing adventures. It’s easy to get around the Waikiki area using public transportation, on the other hand.
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    1. Take a Helicopter RideThere’s no better way to see the islands than from the sky. A helicopter tour is ideal for getting a good look at the waterfalls and mountains on Kauai.
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  1. RelaxYou’ll be tempted to do as much as possible, but don’t spend your whole vacation dashing between islands or struggling to check off every attraction. Take time to lie on the beach and sip a cocktail. You deserve it.

How to Find the Perfect Mexico Beach Rentals for Your Vacation

Finding the perfect Mexico Beach rentals for your Florida vacation doesn’t have to be a chore. Check out these tips to get a great vacation rental and spend more time enjoying “The Unforgettable Coast.”

Get to Know the Area

Getting to know the area means understanding exactly what Mexico Beach has to offer when it comes to a great vacation. Spend a little time with your local travel agent, a real estate agent or online to grab an overview of this tiny town on Florida’s northwestern coast. From the long stretches of white sand beaches to the incredible wildlife, Mexico Beach has plenty of outdoor fun for the whole family.

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Grab a map of Mexico Beach online to get an idea of exactly where you want to stay. Is the sunset view of the beach a priority? Then beachfront vacation rentals are going to be number one on your vacation list. Mexico Beach, FL, is also known for its quiet streets, delicious seafood restaurants and locally owned boutiques and shops. This means that staying off of the waterfront puts you in a quiet town with plenty of laid-back activities to enjoy regardless of the season.

Determine Your Needs

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With so many beautiful beaches up and down the coast of Florida, Mexico Beach stands out with its pure white sands and incredible reefs for anyone who loves the Gulf of Mexico. Before you select a Mexico Beach, FL, vacation rental, make a list of the things that interest you about this unforgettable coast town. If the beaches are your main interest, or if you’re bringing your boat to spend time snorkeling the extensive artificial reef system, a beachfront vacation home with a boat dock is an awesome choice for your vacation.

Stay Near the Sites You Want to See

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Explore the shops and restaurants, or head just down the beach to the Mexico Beach Public Pier for some incredible fishing. Charter a boat and head out to deeper water for the catch of the day or take a quiet cruise at sunset to check out the dolphins. Vacation rental homes located off of the beaches or just a few blocks from the gulf tend to be less expensive than beachfront options while offering access to tons of great Mexico Beach, FL, adventures. Explore Frost’s Pottery Garden, take a day trip in a kayak rental, or step right out of your beachfront condo for a walk down the sparkling white sands to collect your own shells.

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Condos and beach cottages are available throughout the year, but getting the best deals means skipping the summer season if possible. Between June and August, the beaches tend to be pretty busy, so check out late spring or early fall to capture a large selection of fun vacation rentals and condos without fighting the crowds.

Visit Florida | Explore Activities In Destin

Planning a family-friendly vacation to the Florida panhandle that starts with a great place to stay, like Destin, Florida condo rentals on the beach. Then, choose a few favorite activities and everything just falls into place for a getaway that delivers both fun and relaxation. Destin started as a fishing village turned tourist destination. It’s even called “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” by some and “The Emerald Coast” by others. There’s much more here to enjoy than just fishing, though, including outdoor activities, nightlife, shopping and the arts.

  1. Fishing – Destin’s rich history as a fishing village is celebrated in many spots around town, such as the Destin History & Fishing Museum and the various fishing boats you can charter along the boardwalk. You can explore the fishing artifacts and check out the mounted trophies. Tours are your choice of guided or self-guided to give you the chance to meander through at your own pace.
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  3. Outdoor Recreation – Outdoor recreation enthusiasts may want to choose Destin rentals that are close to favorite venues, like one of the area’s three golf courses. All three courses are located just off of U.S. Highway 98 near Henderson Beach State Park. There are also 13 beach access points along Destin’s Emerald Coast, where guests can soak up the sun, splash in the water and enjoy sports like snorkeling and diving.
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  5. Nightlife – Destin’s peaceful, easy pace becomes energized at night with bright lights and places to enjoy the nightlife scene. Enjoy a late dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants or hit some clubs to dance the night away. For a more sedate evening out, you can visit the theater or take in a live show. Dinner cruises and piano bars are also fun ways for adults to enjoy an evening in Destin.

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  6. Shopping – The boardwalk is a part of Destin where you can enjoy a variety of activities. You could charter a boat and watch dolphins playing in the warm water, you could strap yourself in for parasailing and see the beach from new heights or you could put on some comfortable shoes and go shopping in the boutiques for souvenirs from your trip. If you prefer mall shopping, you head to the Crystal Beach Plaza or the Destin Commons.

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  7. The Arts – Choose a vacation rental near a venue like the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation to make it easier to celebrate your appreciation of the arts. The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation hosts events throughout the year featuring the creations of local artists and performances by local musicians.

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Fill Out the Bracket for Your Next Vacation | March Madness

 March Madness is here, and you’ve probably been coaxed into filling out a bracket by a friend or a coworker. So, you know what it feels like to live vicariously through teams you would otherwise have no reason to root for. And you know what it’s like to feel the rush when you guessed a major upset, or the crushing defeat when your front runner goes out in the first round. This year, you can escape the stress of the office pool to go and see the action up close.

Here are the Final Five places you can experience March Madness:

    1. Anaheim, CA ­– Located in the heart of Orange County, Anaheim will host the Western Regional Finals in the Honda Arena, home to the Anaheim Ducks. The stadium has capacity for 17,000 and it’s hard to find a bad seat in the house. And since you’ve travelled this far, you might as well go to the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland Park. Originally just called Disneyland, Disneyland Park now has eight themed lands bringing together Disney classics new and old. You’re going to need more than just one day to explore it all, so save up that PTO and maybe throw in a sick day or two. We won’t tell.honda-arena-anaheim-march-madness

      If you’re bringing the kids (and if you’re not, believe us, an adult trip to Disneyland is nothing to be ashamed of), head over to the massive 20,000+ square foot Vans Skatepark for a unique experience they won’t forget. Fun for youngsters who’ve spent time on the board and beginners alike, the Vans Skatepark offers lessons with designated areas for different skill levels. If you’re looking for an even more extreme athletic experience, head to SwingIt Trapeze for aerial gymnastics lessons.

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      When the kids get hungry, find the Anaheim Packing House for a foodie heaven, complete with artisan tacos, warm, comfort-filled Indian plates and, for dessert, huge glops of gelato on a stick, dipped in chocolate, rolled in toppings, and handed to you with a smile. If that’s not experiential enough for you, Anaheim also is the home of Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, where you can witness glory in the middle ages over a four course meal.

    2. Washington D.C. – America’s capital will host the Eastern Regional Finals in the Capital One Arena, home to the Washington Capitals. It’s located in a place full of vibrant lights and a non-stop energy: D.C.’s Penn Quarter & Chinatown neighborhood. If you take the Metro to the game, you’ll immediately be faced with a 60-foot high Chinese archway adorned with bright neon lights outside the station. And while D.C.’s National Mall gets all the travel headlines, Penn Quarter’s historic attractions are well worth the trip. The Newseum is an interactive museum that chronicles and celebrates the history of the news. The National Portrait Gallery carries the most complete set of U.S. Presidential portraits outside of the White House. The legendary Madame Tussauds is full of famous celebrities in the form of wax figurines. And for the game winning shot, the National Building Museum celebrates the greatest stories in architecture, engineering and design.united-states-capitol-building

      After the fourth quarter of your museum experience, check out Reren for some delectable dim sum, homemade noodles or succulent roasted duck. Or for some bites from a celebrity chef, try one of José Andres’ restaurants which include the Greek and Turkish Zaytinya and Oyamel, a must-taste mix of ancient and modern Mexican cuisine. For some window shopping, head over to CityCenterDC and experience a walkway full of high-end boutiques in a cultured outdoor courtyard.

    3. Louisville, KY – Louisville will host the Southern Regional Finals at the KFC Yum! Center, an ode to the home state of Kentucky Fried Chicken (also sponsored by KFC), and home to the Louisville Cardinals men’s and women’s basketball teams. With 22,090 seats, it’s the second largest college arena in the country, only out-seated by University of Kansas’ Rupp Arena.KFC-yum-center-louisville-kentucky

      If you come to Louisville for the hoops, you’ll want to stay for the food. Named one of the Top 5 Foodiest Small Cities in America by Bon Appétit Magazine, Louisville repeatedly sinks shots for its great Kentucky ham, local food traditions and proximity to bourbon country. Head from the stadium down to Main Street and grab a table at Atlantic No. 5 for fresh food and daily baked goods that will leave you ready for game time or ready to recover afterwards. To top off the night with a cold Louisville beer, try Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse – a self-professed brewery owned-brewery and the product of dissatisfaction with the status quo. Their brew-masters and gastropub-ians are ready to help you find the right beer to match your mood and the right food to pair with it.

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      In the morning, check out Louisville at See Level for a cruise through history on the Ohio River, where you can find out how Louisville came to be and the cultures that shaped it from the top deck of a cruise ship. Or, to round out a sports-filled weekend, visit the iconic racetrack Churchill Downs, which has been hosting the Kentucky Derby every year since it opened in 1875. For a taste of that legendary Kentucky bourbon, head over to the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse where you can learn about the history of the American whiskey and even bottle your own.

    4. Kansas City, MO – Kansas City is hosting the Midwestern Regional Finals at the Sprint Center, a colosseum of college basketball which includes the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the even bigger College Basketball Experience. Get into the game and meet the legends who played it in this 41,500 square-foot interactive facility. The experience is chalk-full of skills challenges to test your jump shot and dribbling, and unique moments like performing your own call of a historic game at the ESPN-U Broadcast desk.kansas-city-sprint-center

      Once you hear the final buzzer, head to the Kansas City Streetcar nearby to get a free ride through the city. The 2.2-mile route along Main Street connects to 16 locations so you can see different sides of downtown. Hop off at the Crossroads Art District and head over to Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue for a few bites of the classic BBQ that’s historically and enthusiastically defined the city’s culinary culture. Or for some lighter fare, Café Gratitude offers 100% organic and vegan food, juice and free education on how to run a restaurant sustainably. For some after-dinner drinks, try Cleaver & Cork in the Power & Light District, which features farm-to-table craft cocktails or Border Brewing Company in the Crossroads Art District for a wide variety of beers perfect for both amateurs and hops aficionados.

    5. Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota is hosting the Final Four and the National Championship for the 4th time at U.S. Bank Stadium, located in the heart of the twin cities and home to the Minnesota Vikings. The stadium is enclosed to keep fans and players alike protected from the Midwest winter cold and has a full-sized Viking ship out front to intimidate travelling fans and teams.
      us-bank-stadium-viking-shipFortunately for anyone making the trek to Minneapolis, actual Vikings are long gone, and the city is full of family-friendly and adult-friendly fun. To get in touch with your inner Viking, head to the Erik the Red Bar for smokey wings, hearty burgers and a menu full of barbeque just a few steps away from the stadium. McKinny Roe offers a slightly-more-upscale-but-still-jeans-friendly dining experience nearby, with a two-level bar and an excellent selection of country mussels and east town wings. Or you can grab some food and libations at Day Block Brewing Company with a beer flight and a warm Midwest pizza two blocks away from the stadium.

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      After the game, head downtown and wander along the Minneapolis Riverwalk for a scenic look at the city. Stop by Pryes Brewing Company for a quick drink, snap some photos of the Mississippi River by visiting the Hennepin Island Hydro Generating Station (despite it’s intimidating name, it provides an amazing view), then stop at the Mill City Museum to learn about the ruins of an old mill that burned down from an explosion years ago. You can also wander through the Guthrie Theater for a show and some of the most amazing architecture and views in the city. Their outdoor deck that stretches over the water is proposal-worthy.

 

Wherever you decide to travel to, make sure you do it right with an experience you won’t forget. VacationRenter can help you book a stay and plan the best trip possible.