Monthly Archives: February 2013

Get Your Thrills in Williamsburg

Busch Gardens WilliamsburgSpring is finally on its way after a long winter! We don’t know about you, but we are ready to spend a little bit of time outdoors. So, why not to head to Williamsburg for a bit of outdoor fun?

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

If you haven’t been to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, then this is definitely the year to go! The European-themed adventure park was founded in 1975 with the goal to provide cultural and charm mixed with 21st century technology. This culture and charm is depicted through 6 different countries in the park: England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and France. Each area is meticulously designed to match the architecture, culture, and landscaping of each country. Because of this dedication, the gorgeous park has received The National Amusement Park Historical Association’s “Most Beautiful Park” for the last 22 years!

The first hamlet, England, which sits at the park’s entrance, welcomes guests in a royal fashion. Unique shops, a small bakery, and a Globe Theater replica line the streets in this area. Little ones will love a stop at the Sesame Street Forest of Fun situated in England. The area has fantastic rides for young kids and all kinds of photo opportunities with Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, and many more! Next, Scotland is the home of the world’s first steel roller coast with interlocking loops, The Loch Ness Monster, which is also the oldest roller coaster in the park. Over the years, more than 50 million guests have hopped aboard this epic coaster. Scotland also features native animals in their Highland Stables. Ireland boasts gorgeous authentic architecture, quaint shops, and Irish shows. Stop in at the Celtic Fyre show to celebrate Irish culture through song and dance. Grab a snack at a street café in France before hopping on the Griffon, one of the world’s tallest and first floorless dive coasters. On second thought, it might be best to stop for lunch after taking a dive on Griffon. Then, head to Oktoberfest in Germany, which features a unique 17th century replica of a Glockenspiel. Pick up a hand-painted beer stein or carved wooden cuckoo clock at the fine German gift shops before climbing aboard Verbolten, the park’s newest roller coaster. Verbolten is a multi-launch roller coaster based upon the German Autobahn. The coaster takes riders through the Black Forest and reaches speeds of 53 mph before ending with a terrifying 88-foot plunge toward the Rhine River. Thrill seekers, this ride is for you! Once your feet are back on dry land, head over to Italy! The charming Italian village features authentic cuisine, lush gardens, and beautiful dancers. Hop on Escape for Pompeii, a water ride, in order to cool down then take a ride on Apollo’s Chariot, a high-speed hyper coaster that reaches speeds of 73 mph. All this and more awaits at Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

New in 2013 is the Busch Gardens Food Festival. The festival will showcase what Busch Gardens does best, offer guests an immersive experience with delicious food from all over Europe for guests to sample. Stay tuned for more information about this Food Festival! Busch Gardens Williamsburg will be opening on March 17. For more information about the park, visit our website.

Grand Ole Opry Shows March 1, 2, 5, 8, and 9

diamond rio at the grand ole opryMarch marks the return of Tuesday Grand Ole Opry shows! Three shows each week means three times the country stars in Nashville! Check out who’s going to be there this weekend and next week:

Friday, March 1: Steve Wariner, Mike Snider, Parmalee, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, Montgomery Gentry, Jeannie Seely, George Hamilton IV, Josh Turner, Riders in the Sky, Jesse McReynolds, and Blake Shelton.

Saturday, March 2: Jeannie Seely, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, Mike Snider, Morgan Frazier, Connie Smith, Jim Ed Brown, BJ Thomas, Richard Marx, Bill Anderson, and Blake Shelton. There will also be a special appearance of the Opry Square Dancers. BJ Thomas will be signing advance copies of his new CD, “The Living Room Sessions,” after the show.

Tuesday, March 5: Darryl Worley, Jean Shepard, Florida Georgia Line, Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, Riders in the Sky, Terri Clark, John Conlee, and Mandy Barnett. Terri Clark will be signing copies of her new CD, “Classic,” after the show.

Friday, March 8: Jimmy Wayne, Mel Tillis, Del McCoury Band, Ralph Stanley, John Driskell Hopkins & Balsam Range, and more to be added.

Saturday, March 9: Ashley Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Diamond Rio, Brett Eldredge, Annie Moses Band, and more to be added. Ashley Monroe will be signing copies of her new CD, “Like A Rose,” after the show.

All shows begin at 7pm and last approximately 2.5 hours. All artists are subject to change. For more information about each individual artist, visit our website.

Hurry up and book your tickets! These awesome shows sell out fast.

Spring Break in New Orleans

Audubon Aquarium of the AmericasThis year is already flying by! We can’t believe that it is already March, which means it’s time to take a break from school or work for a Spring Break Getaway! Whether you only have a couple days or a whole week’s worth of vacation, New Orleans should be your destination. The beautiful city is lively with activities and adventures that will make any trip simply unforgettable. Why not leave the planning to us by booking one of our New Orleans Vacation Packages? Check out some of our favorites!

New Orleans Tour Vacation Package

Wanting to see it all? Well, look no further than this tour package which includes 6 nights’ accommodations, the Grand Tour of Cajun Country, the Swamp and Bayou Tour, the Oak Alley Plantation Tour, a Small-Group Bayou Tour of Cajun Country, and the Cemetery and Gris Gris Walking Tour. Phew, that is a lot of tours to pack in which is why this package is perfect for history connoisseurs and sightseeing lovers! Start with the Grand Tour for a comprehensive look at the real New Orleans. Next, both the Oak Alley Plantation Tour and the Swamp and Bayou Tour offer an extremely in-depth look at the history and geography of the area. Then, climb aboard an airboat with a fur trapper and alligator hunter to see the lesser known hot spots in Cajun Country on the Cajun Bayou Tour. Finally, head back to the city for a look at the spookier side of the city known for voodoo and ghost stories. The Cemetery and Gris Gris Walking Tour will take you to all the bone-chilling spots in the city for some excellent scary stories. To book this package, all you have to do is choose your dates and your hotel. We’ll take care of all the rest! For more information about each tour, follow this link.

New Orleans Weekend Getaway Package

Do you only have time for a weekend vacation? The New Orleans Weekend Getaway Package includes 2 nights’ accommodations, the Audubon Experience, and the Garden District Walking Tour. This package is perfect for families with little ones who love to learn and explore. The Audubon Experience includes admission to the Audubon Insectarium, the Entergy IMAX Theatre, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and the Audubon Zoo. You’ll be able to visit each of these attractions at your own pace with this ticket. Spend the morning at the zoo, head to the Insectarium for an afternoon of bugs, stop in at the Aquarium of the Americas for a look at the native animals of North and South America, and, finally, stick around the aquarium to view an educational movie at the Entergy IMAX Theatre. Schedule your stops whenever you like because you have five days to use the pass. Finish off your weekend with a trip to New Orleans’ Garden District. The tour lasts approximately an hour and it includes stops at the Lafayette Cemetery and Toby’s Corner. For more information about this package and several others in New Orleans, head to our website.

Custom Packages

Can’t find the exact trip that you’re looking for? Build your own using our Custom Package creator. You’ll simply have to choose your dates, add your activities, and choose your lodging. Our custom packages are a great way to build a vacation that you’ll love within your budget!

Take Your Spring Break in Memphis

Elvis Presley’s Graceland ExperienceWarm weather is on its way and what better way to celebrate than with a trip to Memphis? Take the hassle out of planning your getaway by selecting one of our Vacation Packages which include lodging and activities. Check out some of our very favorites!

Elvis Presley’s Graceland Memphis Package

No trip to Memphis would be complete without a stop at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Even if you’ve been before, there is always something new to see and experience at the Rock legend’s massive estate. This package includes a Platinum Tour of the mansion, the Sun Studio Guided Tour, and 4 nights’ lodging at the hotel of your choice. The Graceland Platinum Tour is the perfect way to see it all! It includes a guided tour of the mansion, a special look at both of Elvis’s custom planes, admission to the Presley Automobile Museum, and admission to the Sincerely Elvis Memorabilia Museum. After seeing the history and memorabilia of the King, head to the Sun Studio to take a peek into the lives of Memphis’ many other music legends including Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, and, of course, Mr. Elvis Presley. The final step to booking any of our packages is choosing your hotel. With more than 50 hotels in the area to choose from, you should have no problems finding a hotel with the amenities that you want at the price you desire. Follow this link to begin planning your vacation today!

Memphis Tours Vacation Package

Looking to see a lot on your vacation? Pick up this Memphis Tours Package to see all the hottest spots in town. This package doesn’t include the Graceland tour but it does include the Hound Dog Tour, a tour that showcases all of Elvis’ hometown hang outs aboard a 1950’s vintage bus. Guitar lovers hit the jackpot with a Gibson Guitar Factory Tour where you’ll view the careful step-by-step process of how every Gibson Guitar is made. Finally, for something a little bit spooky, head out on the Memphis Ghost Walking Tour to hear chilling stories of Memphis’ scary past. This package also includes three nights’ accommodations at the hotel of your choosing. For more details, visit this link.

Custom Packages

Visit our site for a full list of Memphis, Tennessee Vacation Packages. Can’t find the exact trip that you’re looking for? Build your own using our Custom Package creator. You’ll simply have to choose your dates, add your activities, and choose your lodging. Our custom packages are a great way to build a vacation that you’ll love within your budget! Need any help building a package? Just give us a call. Our customer service representatives are available 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time every single day. Give us a call at 1-800-987-9852.

Grand Ole Opry Upcoming Performers

Grand Ole Opry Maggie RoseAs you know, the Grand Ole Opry is not only one of Tennessee’s top destinations, but one of the most sought after destinations in the nation! The well-worn, six-foot circle where performers showcase their talents was cut from the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, which is where Patsy Cline made hearts skip with “Crazy,” and Hank Williams defined “Jambalaya” for us all.

When you visit the Opry you will be treated to legends like Ricky Skaggs, Mel Tillis, Blake Shelton, and up and coming stars like Old Crow Medicine, and Lauren Alaina. Of course, you never know when superstars like Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, and Dierks Bentley will show up. Come check out the show and experience an event you aren’t likely to forget.

Confirmed upcoming performers at the Opry include:

Fri, Feb 22, 2013: Edens Edge, Jimmy C Newman, Joe Diffie, Lauren Alaina, Old Crow Medicine Show, Riders In The Sky, The Steeldrivers, and more to be added as confirmed

Sat, Feb 23, 2013: Aaron Tippin, Jonathan Jackson, Maggie Rose, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs, Riders In The Sky, and more to be added as confirmed

Fri, Mar 1, 2013: Blake Shelton, Josh Turner, Montgomery Gentry, Steve Wariner, and more to be added as confirmed

Sat, Mar 2, 2013: B. J. Thomas, Blake Shelton, Morgan Frazier, Scotty McCreery, and more to be added as confirmed

Keep an eye on confirmed performers, check out extra information, and buy tickets by visiting us at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/NashvilleTN/activity/GrandOleOpryTicket.cfm

Enjoy the show!

Spring Break is Approaching, Visit Orlando to Make it a Memorable One!

Disney The year is flying by and spring break is fast approaching. It’s never too early to begin booking your trip, and Orlando is a top destination. So take a look at the available properties in this top Florida destination and get started on your trip today!

Quality Inn International Hotel, a Rosen Hotel

If you are looking for an inexpensive but clean and nice property located near exciting attractions, then the Quality Inn International Hotel is the choice for you. Less than a mile from exquisite activities like Titanic – The Experience, Treasure Tavern Burlesque, Comedy, and Magical Dinner Show, and Wet ‘n Wild Orlando, you won’t have to travel far to enjoy your stay, all the while keeping a few extra dollars in your wallet. The hotel includes an outdoor heated pool, two on-site restaurants, and all rooms include a microwave and refrigerator. For reservations and to see more information, visit us at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/OrlandoFL/lodging/QualityInnInternationalHotelaRosenHotel.cfm

Coco Key Hotel and Water Resort-Orlando

With an on-site waterpark, five restaurants and bars, outdoor pool, and hot tub, you’ll never have to leave the resort! The Coco Key Hotel and Water Resort does happen to be conveniently located close to multiple attractions and also offers a complimentary shuttle which will take you to and from such exciting destinations as Aquatica, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios. Guests will enjoy the refrigerators located in every room and the on-site fitness center. Reserve your room or check for more information at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/OrlandoFL/lodging/CocoKeyHotelandWaterResort.cfm

Disney Parks and Adventures

Of course people of all ages can enjoy going to Walt Disney World! And with over 20 themed resorts, you’ll be able to find the perfect something for your vacation. Some of the most popular resorts include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, where guests can witness wildlife grazing outside of their rooms on the Animal Kingdom grounds, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, where the property contains Disney movie motifs, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, where you will find yourself in a tropical Caribbean theme. These are just a few of the many properties that Disney World has to offer, so check us out for more details and to get started on your vacation at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/OrlandoFL/activity/iWaltDisneyWorldregiThemeParks.cfm

We also offer gift certificates that are available for use on any activity or hotel on our website, so it’s the perfect gift for the student in your family. So get started on your spring break trip today, and make it simple with Vacations Made Easy!

Favorite Nashville Attractions

Nashville ZooNashville is one of our most popular destinations in the country. How it could not be? Nashville has the Grand Ole Opry that attracts millions of people each year, the General Jackson Showboat that cruises down the Cumberland River, the Country Music Hall of Fame complete with 40,000 square feet of country music memorabilia, and the Discover Nashville Inclusive Tour that gives a comprehensive look at all the country sites in the city. Of course, that only names a few of the fantastic stops in town. Check out the rest of our favorites!

Nashville Zoo

Animals from all over the world call the Nashville Zoo their home. Whether you’re interested in seeing mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, or fish, the Nashville Zoo has many species in each category to fascinate and entertain visitors. One of the zoo’s most-visited habitats is the Flamingo Lagoon, a beautiful oasis of waterways that features a flock of 30 Caribbean flamingos. These gorgeous birds are truly a sight to behold. The zoo’s Caribbean flock features the largest and most brightly colored flamingos of the species. This spectacular zoo is a must-see attraction in Nashville. For ticket information, click this link.

Belle Meade Plantation Tour

John Harding founded the Belle Meade plantation in 1807 after purchasing 250 acres of land. Soon after, he commissioned a modest brick home on the property and officially named the estate “Belle Meade.” Harding purchased the land to try his hand at raising his own thoroughbreds. After years of hard work, he became the most successful man in the country at breeding thoroughbreds and was hailed throughout his life for his accomplishments. After Harding died in 1886, the plantation passed through several hands until finally being purchased by the State of Tennessee in 1953. The state entrusted it with the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, a nonprofit historic preservation organization that has preserved the plantation as a monument to the Old South. On the tour, visitors will have the chance to see all seven original outbuildings on the property lead by a knowledgeable tour guide dressed in period clothing. For more information about the plantation and ticket prices, please visit this link.

Visit our website for a complete list of all Nashville attractions and shows!

Grand Ole Opry Shows Jan 15 & 16

Grand ole opry JESSE-MCREYNOLDSThe country music show that dances in the dreams of aspiring country musicians will celebrate its 88th anniversary this year! The Grand Ole Opry’s first broadcast was November 28, 1925. The first radio broadcast took place under the name WSM Barn Dance featuring 77-year-old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson as the first performer. It didn’t take long for people to fall in love with the show. Hordes of fans tuned in and sat in on the radio show until the space became just too small. After staging the show all over Nashville, the Opry moved into the Ryman Auditorium, now known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” in 1943.

Now, millions tune in to the Grand Ole Opry performances every year. New country stars catch their big break every year under the watchful eyes of the many devoted veteran members of the Opry. Check out whose dreams are coming true at the Opry this weekend!

Friday, February 15, 2013: Craig Morgan, Jimmy Dickens, John Conlee, Josh Turner, Ricky Skaggs, The Black Lillies, and more to be added up until showtime!

Saturday, February 16, 2013: Bill Anderson, Collin Raye, Connie Smith, Greg Bates, Jenn Bostic, Jesse McReynolds, Jimmy C Newman, John Conlee, Ricky Skaggs, Riders in the Sky, The Grascals, The Whites, and more to be added up until showtime!

As always, check our website to see an updated list of performers!

Mount Rushmore Has More in Store!

The Journey MuseumDid you know that completion of the monument occurred in late 1941? Or that the initial design was to include the four presidents from head to waist? These are just some facts about one of our country’s famous landmarks.

As the calendar moves past winter, the temperatures are beginning to rise and more of the over 3 million annual visitors will begin making the trek to the Black Hills region. Visitors are often surprised to find out that there is more to the area than just visiting the monument. Local attractions include tours, a gold mine adventure, and mini-golf. Keep reading for a few exciting events in the city, or visit us for a complete list of things to do, hotels, and more at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/GreaterMountRushmoreAreaSD/

The Journey Museum

Located in nearby Rapid City, The Journey Museum tells the history of the area, as well as the story of the people who first came to the area and the scientists who study them. Some different collections and museums include the Museum of Geology, where you can touch a dinosaur bone and observe geologists at work, or the Sioux Indian Museum, which includes interactive stories and activities while you learn the history of the Lakota Nation. These collections are just a few of the amazing artifacts, stories, and arts that The Journey Museum has to offer. For more information, take a look at our page at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/GreaterMountRushmoreAreaSD/activity/TheJourneyMuseum.cfm

National Presidential Wax Museum

Keystone, South Dakota is home to this exciting and patriotic museum. Your one-hour tour (approximately) is full of accurately detailed surroundings and authentic costumes which allow you to actually feel like you are right there with President Reagan while the Berlin wall falls, or standing next to President Nixon as he welcomes home the astronauts of the Apollo 11. The amazing wax statues are extremely lifelike and sure to be hit for people of all ages. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop to pick up some museum quality souvenirs of everything presidential, like collectibles, fine porcelain, sculptures, and presidential china. For tickets and more information, visit us at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/GreaterMountRushmoreAreaSD/activity/NationalPresidentialWaxMuseum1.cfm

Available to visit year round, the monument is beautiful to see in all four seasons. In addition to Mount Rushmore, there are excellent attractions to visit and great hotels to stay at. For vacation ideas be sure and visit our Vacation Package page for pre-made packages, or use our package generator to create your own custom vacation ideas!

Take to the Skies in San Diego

Top Dog Air CombatThis weekend, head to San Diego to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year! The San Diego Tết Festival is the most important holiday in Vietnam, which is celebrated with traditional Vietnamese food and cleaning the house. On the holiday, which typically falls at the beginning of February, Vietnamese people visit their families and temples to prepare for a positive upcoming year. The point is to forget about the bad from the past year to plan for the upcoming year. The festival, which is February 15-17, is a unique celebration of the Vietnamese culture. There will be carnival rides and games, authentic Vietnamese food, lion dancing, fireworks, and plenty of entertainment programs. So immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture in San Diego this weekend!

Top Dog Air Combat

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to fly a plane? Not only to fly a plane but to fly a fighter plane in combat? Well experience the exhilaration in San Diego! The Top Dog Air Combat Flight Experience allows you to take on a series of dog fights while staying in a very safe environment. After some hands-on training, you’ll be able to hop right in a Varga VG-21 fighter plane to duke it out in the skies. An experienced pilot will accompany you and they’ll be ready to take over in the event of danger but you’re the pilot and you’re calling the shots in the air during this experience. Pick up tickets for you and a friend to battle it out in the air or you can clash with a stranger in the air.

Want to know the best part? No experience is needed! Whether you’ve dreamed of being a pilot since childhood or are simply searching for an out-of-this world adventure, Top Dog Air Combat Experience is the perfect way to live out your dreams! For more information about the flight experience, visit this link.

After an exhilarating ride through the skies, you’ll want to find an excellent place to rest your head. San Diego has a plethora of options in every price range with all types of amenities included. Browse through our listings to find the best hotel to complete your San Diego vacation!