Monthly Archives: May 2013

Washington D.C. Boasts History & Fun

A trip to Washington D.C. should be filled with history. Featuring iconic monuments, fascinating museums, and amazing history around every corner, Washington D.C. is filled to the brim. Check out some of our favorite stops in the historic city!

Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria Tour

On your vacation, see the city through the eyes of its most distinguished citizen – George Washington. The Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria Tour unveils Washington’s history as you’ve never seen in history books. First, make a stop at George Washington’s stately home – Mount Vernon. You’ll get the chance to see the beautifully kept main house, the outbuildings, slave quarters, kitchen, greenhouse, and gardens. Venture onto the Forest Trail for a breathtaking photo op of the city. Next stop is Christ Church at North Washington Street, which is the oldest Episcopal congregation in Alexandria. Built in 1773, the church is heralded for its intricate décor and breathtaking preservation. The church’s edifice was designed by James Wren and reflects the classic Colonial Georgian style that is prevalent in the area. The tour concludes with a bus ride throughout Old Town Alexandria and Fort Washington. You’ll love learning all about one of America’s Founding Fathers on this amazing tour. For more information about the tour, visit this link.

Monticello – Thomas Jefferson Country Tour

A quick bus trip to Charlottesville, Virginia takes visitors to the world of America’s third president – Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson began building the large plantation when he was 26 on 5,000 acres of land that he inherited from his father. He modeled the home after “modern” trends in French architecture that he discovered during his travels as the first U.S. Secretary of State. Even though the structure was completed by 1809, 41 years after construction began, Jefferson continued to work on the house until his death in 1826. Uriah P. Levy purchased the estate in 1834 and, being a huge admirer of Jefferson, chose to repair, restore, and preserve the home in Jefferson’s memory. Almost a century after Jefferson had passed, the estate was purchased by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation who continues to operate the home and its grounds as a museum and educational institution. Visitors are invited to see the home, which boasts a massive library, an ornate parlor, Jefferson’s bedroom and cabinet, and a breathtaking entrance hall, to name a few. The gorgeous house is a must-see stop in Virginia! For more information, visit our website.

Enjoy the Summer Sun in Orlando

Sunny skies are waiting in Orlando!

Aquatica

Due to mild winters, water parks in Orlando enjoy the luxury of being open year-round! Aquatica, a SeaWorld water park, immerses visitors in the mystery and wonder of the sea for a day of discovery, thrills, relaxation, adventure, and more! Start your day on the most popular ride in the park, Dolphin Plunge! Fly down two side-by-side enclosed tube slides in an underwater world of Commerson’s Dolphins. Known for their playful nature and out-of-this-world speed, these dolphins love racing park visitors around in the water. Next, hop on Omaka Rocka, a waterslide that speeds riders down flumes before dumping into massive funnels. Rock around in the funnel before shooting into the pool waiting at the bottom. Little ones will love Kata’s Kookaburra Cove! Featuring a beginner’s body slide, water spouts, and silly little rides, kids will adore this fun area. Hop on the park’s wackiest ride, Tassie’s Twisters! Riders are shot through a lightning fast tube into a giant bowl that spins, spins, spins riders before releasing them into the Loggerhead Lane Lazy River. These rides and many more await at Aquatica! Pick up a SeaWorld combo ticket for unlimited 14 day access to both parks! Visit our website for more information.

Orlando City Tour

So you’ve come all the way to Orlando and you’d love to see the beautiful city. However, you’re worried about getting lost, getting stuck in traffic, or perhaps you flew here and don’t want to rent a car. Never fear, the comprehensive Orlando City Tour will pick you up at your hotel to guide you through the gorgeous city! First stop is Lake Eola. Hop aboard a pontoon boat with a professional guide to see the diverse city of Orlando from the water. The massive city is dotted with lakes and swamps so this is a great way to see the landscape and wildlife. Next, head to Winter Park for another boat cruise. This one offers amazing views of Orlando’s architecture and interesting history stories from your guide. Move on to dry land to see Park Avenue, a fun shopping destination with yummy restaurants. Finally, stop at Celebration City to see the Disney community. This 7 hour tour is the perfect way to see the gorgeous city of Orlando! For more information about the tour, click on this link.

For a full list of Orlando, Florida activities, attractions, and shows, visit our website.

Luxury Awaits in Las Vegas

Kick off your summer in Las Vegas! Check out some of our favorite spots in the city of lights!

Las Vegas Lights Night Tour

When the sun goes down in Vegas, the lights flare up! Las Vegas comes alive at night when the casino lights twinkle, the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign sparkles to invite visitors to the city, the beautiful dancing fountains at the Bellagio shine, and much more! There is no better time to explore the famous Las Vegas Strip than after dark. This 3.5 hour tour gives you the chance to see all the best spots on the Strip with a stop at each one. Starting at Bally’s, your guide will stop at the Sirens show at Treasure Island, the erupting volcano at the Mirage, the amazing Fremont Street Experience light show, the Manhattan skyline at New York-New York, and the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. See the beauty of Las Vegas aboard this awesome tour! For more information, visit this link.

Shows at the Rio Suite Hotel and Casino

No trip to Vegas would be complete without a fantastic show! On your trip, stop at the Rio Suite Hotel and Casino to see Penn and Teller or the Rat Pack is Back show. Can’t choose which to see? Check out both!

Penn and Teller are known for their outrageous blend of comedy and magic. Stretching beyond the bounds of traditional magic, Penn and Teller’s show is known to include knives, guns, fire-eating, and much more! They are known as the “Bad Boys of Magic” because they often reveal the secrets to their tricks. However, that does not manage to make them any less fascinating! Don’t miss your chance to see these two on your next Las Vegas vacation. For ticket information, visit this link.

Next, hear the crooners croon at the Rat Pack is Back show. This show will take you back to the 60’s as you listen to favorites such as “Luck Be a Lady,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “New York, New York,” “That’s Amore,” and many more! All the familiar faces will be there – Frank, Sammy, Dean, and Joey – and you might even catch a cameo from Marilyn Monroe! The show’s singers are all uncanny look-alikes to the original Rat Pack. You’ll love tapping your toes at this awesome Vegas show! For more information about the show, click here.

Enjoy a Sun-Filled San Diego Getaway

The gorgeous, fun-filled city of San Diego is perfect for a summer getaway! Check out some of our favorite spots in the California coast city.

Soak City Waterpark San Diego

Cool off during your vacation at Soak City Waterpark! Featuring a plethora of different slides, this park is perfect for thrill seekers looking to scream their way down massive slides. Start your day with a ride on Pacific Spin, a multi-person raft ride that drops riders 75 feet into a 6 story funnel. As expected, the funnel tosses the raft to and fro before culminating in a waterfall splash. Heading to the park with friends? Race down 6 multi-lane speed slides head first on a mat from a 41-foot high platform. The slides, called Banzai Falls, will leave you begging for more and more. Gremmie Lagoon is the perfect spot for little ones. The pint-sized playground features interactive octopuses, submarines, and slides that squirt, sprinkle, soak, and splash kids, and parents too! The tallest slide in the park, Old Man Falls, is 63 feet and gives the riders the chance to choose their slide. With three slide options, Pipeline, Point Break, and Riptide, Old Man Falls just might be the most fun slide in the park. You’ll have to pick up tickets to Soak City to decide for yourself! For more information, visit our website.

San Diego SEAL Amphibious Sightseeing Cruise

See the city by land and sea aboard the SEAL! The amphibious vehicle is actually a bus that functions as a boat once it speeds into the San Diego Bay. The SEAL is called a “Hydra Terra” and it is the perfect way to see the city in its entirety. Cruise along a 14 mile stretch of the San Diego Bay while spotting sea lions, massive Navy Ships, and more! Then ditch the water to see the city! Your captain will tour the city pointing out the Maritime Museum, San Diego’s Cruise Ship Terminal, and much more! The 90 minute tour concludes at Seaport Village. Kids and adults alike love this fun tour of land and sea! For more information about the tour, click on this link.

Grand Ole Opry Shows May 28, May 31, and June 1

It is amazing to see someone achieve their dreams on the Grand Ole Opry stage, especially when they deserve to be there. Enter Kalisa Ewing, a Nashville native who has had her sights set on the Grand Ole Opry stage since childhood. She credits her love of music to her grandfather, Owen McCarty, who was a blind musician that moved to Nashville to fulfill his country music dreams. She picked up a guitar because she loved music but she says she pursued her country music dreams because of him. After spending years trying to make it, Kalisa met industry veteran, Todd Wilkes, who recognized her talent and sought to publish her independently. The 25 year old is overjoyed to debut her original songs on the Grand Ole Opry stage on Friday, May 31. Aaron Lewis will also make his Grand Ole Opry debut tonight at 7pm.

Who else will be donning the Grand Ole Opry stage this week?

Tuesday, May 28: Dustin Lynch, Diamond Rio, Aoife O’Donovan, Craig Campbell, Josh Turner, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Palladio, Aaron Lewis, and Bill Anderson. Craig Campbell will sign copies of his new CD Never Regret in the Opry Shop after the show.

Friday, May 31: Kalisa Ewing, Jeanne Robertson, Exile, Amy Grant, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Poco, and more to be added. Jeanne Robertson will sign copies of CDs and DVDs Flat Out Funny and Looking For Humor in the Opry Shop after the show.

Saturday, June 1: Jeanne Robertson, Darryl Worley, Ricky Skaggs, Poco, Elizabeth Cook, and more to be added. Jeanne Robertson will sign copies of CDs and DVDs Flat Out Funny and Looking For Humor in the Opry Shop after the show.

Pick up your tickets to the show on our website!

Grand Attractions at the Grand Canyon

Visited by nearly five million people each year, the Grand Canyon is one of those absolutely, definitely, have-to-see stops in North America. Many gaze at the 1 mile deep canyon from the car along the South Rim. Several make the long trek to the less accessible but no less beautiful North Rim. Many stop at the West Rim to stand 4,000 feet above the Colorado River on the Skywalk. Some are lucky enough to see the gorgeous canyon from the skies on a helicopter tour. No matter how you see it, the consensus is always the same – it’s gorgeous. Check out these awesome ways to see one of the Natural Wonders of the World.

Grand Canyon Rafting Trip from Las Vegas

Discover the heart of the Grand Canyon as you careen down the mighty Colorado River. Your journey starts in Peach Springs, Arizona, a small town on Hualapai land. Your native guide will lead you through the rapids on a 40 mile journey through the canyon. You will only encounter class 3 to class 6 rapids on this rafting adventure. Not too rough but not too calm either. Discover hidden canyons and falls during your journey including the Tavertine Waterfall. Enjoy an included boxed lunch during one of many stops on the trip. At the end of the rafting adventure, you’ll hop aboard a helicopter to transfer you to the South Rim. You’ll have a breathtaking view as you rise out of the canyon! Return to the lights of Las Vegas by air conditioned van. This fun adventure lasts all day. For more information, visit this link.

Grand Canyon West Rim Helicopter Wedding

Celebrate your nuptials in the sky with the Grand Canyon West Rim Helicopter Wedding! With this awesome package, you can say “I do” in the Grand Canyon with two friends. A luxury limousine will pick everyone up in Vegas to meet a waiting wedding helicopter. The special couple, two friends, the minister, and the photographer will be whisked away by the pilot to create the wedding of your dreams. Fly over Las Vegas, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam before journeying to the canyon. The pilot will land on a breathtaking Grand Canyon bluff that is only accessible by helicopter for a secluded ceremony with your closest friends. Exchange your vows, enjoy a champagne picnic, and take photos amid the breathtaking landscape. Fly back to Las Vegas as a wedded couple and hop back aboard your waiting limousine to take photos throughout the city. This beautiful ceremony would also be perfect for renewing vows. To begin planning your magical wedding day, visit our website.

To view the rest of our tours at the Grand Canyon, visit the Las Vegas page of our website.

Start your Summer in Nashville, TN

Temperatures are rising, school is out, and fun is waiting around every corner. This can only mean one thing – it’s summertime! Start your summer off with a family fun trip to Nashville. Check out these attractions for your next Nashville vacation!

Nashville Zoo

It is always fun to go to the zoo. No matter what age you are, discovering the different animals is always a blast. Home to animals from all over the world, the Nashville Zoo is a must-see stop in Nashville. Not only will visitors see animals, they’ll also have the chance to see animal shows, ride the Wilderness Express Train, play on the 66,000 square foot Jungle Gym playground, and much more! Whether you are interested in amphibians, arthropods, birds, fish, mammals, or reptiles, the Nashville Zoo has all kinds of animals for you to discover. Visit the Unseen New World to see 75 species of reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds who have the unique ability to hide from their predators in fascinating ways. Check out Bamboo Trail to see the zoo’s animals that are found in bamboo forests around the globe including clouded leopards and ring-tailed lemurs. Stop at Flamingo Lagoon, a beautiful oasis of waterways that is home to a flock of 30 Caribbean flamingos. These bright pink birds are truly a gorgeous sight to behold. Of course, like most zoos, the Nashville Zoo has elephants, giraffes, alligators, tigers, zebras, and much more! You’ll love learning about all the animals of the world at the Nashville Zoo! For more information, visit this link.

Europa Go-Karts & Golf

After a fun afternoon at the zoo, challenge your family members to a round of mini-golf and a go-kart race! The 3 acre Europa course challenges guests to 18 holes of mini golf throughout the vast, challenging course. Sail your ball over a bridge avoiding the bubbling stream below. Send your ball through dark caves for a coveted hole-in-one. The fun obstacles will keep you playing round after round to master the intricate course. Once you’re finished, cool down with a ride on the 1,000 yard go-kart track. Up to a dozen carts can don the track at once giving visitors the chance to challenge the entire family! An indoor arcade and batting cages complete this fun destination that the whole family will love! Visit the following link for more information.

Stimulate your Mind in Williamsburg, VA

Kick off your summer with a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia! Stimulate your mind during summer vacation with a trip to these two attractions!

Virginia Living Museum

Learn all about Virginia’s natural heritage with a trip to the Virginia Living Museum. Living exhibits teach visitors all about this state’s diverse regions from animals that live in the mountains to sea creatures who call Virginia’s coastline home. Through hands-on exhibits, children and adults alike are able to learn and explore at this museum. First, go underground to discover Virginia’s ancient past by exploring fossil remains. Learn all about geology and marvel at the layers of rock that have formed across this state for thousands of years. Gaze at Virginia’s underwater world in the 30,000 gallon Noland Chesapeake Bay Aquarium where you’ll see sea turtles, sharks, and fish. Head to the mountains to see a variety of flying, crawling, swimming, and climbing creatures including red squirrels, spotted turtles, and more. See all of Virginia’s fascinating wildlife in just one building at the Virginia Living Museum! After seeing all of the exhibits inside, hop outside to see the aviary, butterfly garden, and greenhouse. All outdoor exhibits are accessed by the museum’s 3/4 mile boardwalk through Virginia’s woods and wetlands. Along your walk, you’ll see beavers, river otters, deer, wild turkeys, bald eagles, and much more! You’ll have a blast exploring Virginia’s diverse wildlife at the Virginia Living Museum! For more information about the museum’s exhibits, ticket prices, and hours, visit our website.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

Where in the world can you find a 500 pound gorilla made entirely of nails, a 1,000 pound Millennium Falcon, and genuine shrunken heads all under one roof?! Ripley’s Believe It or Not Williamsburg! With museums all over the world, Ripley’s has become very infamous for its one-of-a-kind exhibits and amazing oddities. The quirky museum has fascinating oddities around every corner! Robert Leroy Ripley was a cartoonist, explorer, reporter, adventurer, and seeker of the odd. Born in 1890, he spent much of his life searching for fascinating stories and artifacts in order to ask his fans and readers, “Believe it or not?” Now, his artifacts can be seen in Ripley’s museums located all over the world. At Ripley’s in Williamsburg, visitors not only have the chance to see more than 350 exhibits in 11 galleries in a 9,000 square foot museum. Visitors will also have the chance to immerse themselves in a 4D movie in Ripley’s 4D Theater or test their flexibility in Virginia’s only Impossible Laser Race. For more information about the museum, click this link.

Tours & More in San Antonio

The best way to see this big Texas city is on one of these fabulous tours!

Alamo Reflections Tour

No trip to San Antonio would be complete without a stop at the famous Alamo. As the lasting symbol of Texas independence from Mexico, the Alamo showcases the story of the Battle of the Alamo. After a self-guided tour of the famous monument, tour guests will hop on a bus to visit the Mission San Jose, featuring the beautiful Rose Window and detailed stone façade; the Mission Concepcion, the oldest stone church in the U.S.; and El Mercado, a traditional Mexican marketplace where you can purchase authentic Mexican imports and traditional ethnic cuisine. Pick up your tickets for this informative tour on our website.

San Antonio Wine Tour

Visit the nearby German town of Fredericksburg to sip on some wine and gaze at the gorgeous Texas landscape on the San Antonio Wine Tour! While in town, you’ll have time to stroll through Main Street, grab some lunch, and pick up a few souvenirs before hopping on the luxurious mini-bus with the Hill Country Wineries as your final destination. Sample wine at the area’s wineries and relax the afternoon away. This fun tour is perfect for a romantic getaway, a girl’s day out, or simply a fun day out! For more information, visit this link.

San Antonio Hill Country Tour

Continue your getaway in San Antonio’s outskirts with the Hill Country Tour! Beginning in the aforementioned German town of Fredericksburg, the tour gives you the chance to really see the German culture that is alive in this Texas town. You’ll stop at the Historic Center, the Admiral Nimitz Museum, the History Walk of the Pacific War, and the Japanese Garden of Peace on this awesome tour. Whew, that’s lots of places. After sufficiently viewing the small German town, hop back on the bus for a scenic drive to Stonewall, where you’ll stop at former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Ranch. After touring the house and exquisitely landscaped grounds, you’ll head back to San Antonio. You’ll love the history, scenery, and culture presented on this fun tour of the area. Find out more about this tour on our website.

Creole History in New Orleans

Laura Plantation TourThe fantastic city of New Orleans features a fascinating culture, exciting outdoor destinations, delicious food, and much more. With so much to do, it’s hard to fit everything into one trip. Well, here’s one attraction that should not be missed.

Laura Plantation Tour

Take a look at Louisiana’s varied history on your vacation with an in-depth tour of the Laura Plantation. Made famous because of its former owner’s memoirs and the plantation’s fantastic preservation, the Laura Plantation is a unique stop in New Orleans. The home was built by Creole Frenchman Guillaume Duparc who was a naval veteran in the American Revolution. He petitioned then President Thomas Jefferson for the land because of his loyalty to the United States during the Revolutionary War. Duparc received a decent piece of land along the Mississippi River for his plantation and construction began in 1804. As soon as the main house was built, the Duparc family began operating a sugarcane plantation on the surrounding 12,000 acres of land. The plantation is named after Guillaume Duparc’s granddaughter, Laura Locoul Gore, who was born in the house in 1861 and ran the sugar business until 1891 when she sold the plantation.

The guided tour gives visitors a 70 minute tour of the plantation. The professional guides have based the tour upon more than 5,000 pages of archive documents and Laura Locoul’s Memories of the Old Plantation Home, which gives an insider’s perspective of the Creole household and the reasons why she rejected the traditional confines of Louisiana’s Creole world to become a modern American in the 20th century. The tour starts with a look at the Maison Principale, which is the large main house that was built in 1804. The house is furnished by family heirlooms and Creole furniture that immediately takes visitors back to the 19th century. Move on to the fields and slave quarters where you’ll hear heartbreaking stories of the events of human slavery. During its peak operation, the plantation boasted 69 slave cabins, each a duplex fit for two families. Of those 69, six original cabins are still standing, which adds to the historical significance of this plantation. The plantation was saved because of these existing slave cabins and their historical significance in the Br’er Rabbit tales that were told by the slaves to their children. Visitors will also have the chance to see the Maison de Reprise, sugarcane plants, family cottages, and much more. A look into the lifestyle of traditional Creole sugarcane farmers can’t be achieved anywhere else. So be sure to catch this informative historical tour on your next trip to New Orleans!

For more information about the tour, visit this link.