Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has just named the Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017 – naming the best parks in the U.S., and sharing the year’s newest attractions and highlights for every age group.
“Amusement parks are one of the most quintessential summertime activities for families,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. “But for those traveling with family members of various ages – including kids-at-heart – finding a park that caters to thrill-seekers and the younger set isn’t always so easy. This list includes parks that successfully cater to both, and those that also have exciting new features for the 2017 season.”
As beachgoers hang up their sun hats, Pensacola readies to host the third annual Foo Foo Festival, presented by Art, Culture and Entertainment, Inc. (ACE), Nov. 3-14.
Foo Foo Festival is a 12-day celebration of culinary, musical, theatrical and creative events, with programming by 22 grant recipients, as well as already established events, throughout the city of Pensacola. The extensive entertainment roster positions the city as a must-visit vacation location for the fall.
Festival-goers will be challenged to vacation artfully, musically and aesthetically – before the holiday rush begins. Events include the Big Green Egg® Cook-off, the US Navy’s Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show at NAS Pensacola, Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, Great GulfCoast Arts Festival and the Pensacola Marathon, among other uniquely exciting events in the area. In addition, the 2016 ACE grant recipients will host individual experiences specific to their craft throughout the festival.
“We are thrilled to host the third annual Foo Foo Festival,” said David Bear, president of ACE. “Our grant recipients have created programming that will showcase Pensacola as one of the premier arts and cultural destinations in the southeast. We welcome locals and visitors alike to experience the talent and passion that is the hallmark of Foo Foo Festival.”
This year, spectators can watch closely as locally commissioned artists work to transform a downtown Pensacola parking garage into a permanent 3,000-square-foot outdoor mural that tells the story of Pensacola’s rich and iconic surroundings.
After a long winter, Spring Break couldn’t come soon enough for many of us. Google has determined the top Spring Break destinations based on searches related to Spring Break travel. Here are the top 5 destinations where US travelers may be headed this year.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach is a city in Bay County, Florida, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico coast. The city is often referred to under the umbrella term of “Panama City”, despite being a distinct municipality from the older and larger inland Panama City to the east, making Panama City and Panama City Beach two separate cities. Panama City Beach’s slogan is “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” due to the unique sugar-white sandy beaches of northwest Florida.
Panama City Beach has been a popular vacation destination, especially among people in the Southern United States. The city is also a very popular spring break destination, sometimes having been referred to as “The Spring Break Capital of the World,” due to about 100,000+ college and high school students who would arrive during the months of March and April.
South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island is a resort town in Cameron County, Texas. It is part of the Brownsville–Harlingen Metropolitan Area. The town is located on South Padre Island, a barrier island along the Texas Gulf Coast accessible via the Queen Isabella Causeway from the town of Port Isabel.
South Padre Island is home to many watersport activities, with personal water craft rental, kiteboarding and dolphin watches being the most popular. Other favorites are horseback riding adventures on the beach and ecological tours that explore Padre Island National Seashore.
In March, the island is a popular spring break destination for college students from around the world. The rest of the year it is a popular family resort destination, with July being the most crowded.
Disney World, Bay Lake, Florida
The granddaddy of all theme parks, and the number one vacation destination, Disney World is a perennial favorite for Spring Breakers. Disney World, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake, Florida, near Kissimmee and Orlando, and is the flagship of Disney’s worldwide corporate empire. The resort opened on October 1, 1971, and is the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an attendance of over 52 million annually.
Disney property covers 27,258 acres, housing 27 themed resort hotels, nine non–Disney hotels, four theme parks, two water parks, four golf courses, one nine-hole walking golf course for young golfers, two themed miniature golf courses, one camping resort, a downtown-like shopping district, and other entertainment venues. Magic Kingdom was the first and original theme park to open in the complex followed by Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which opened later throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida
Spring Breakers aren’t necessarily looking for an ocean view and sandy beaches. If you’re a theme park fan and yearn for state-of-the-art attractions and entertainment, this is the place. The Universal Orlando Resort, commonly known as Universal Orlando, is a theme park resort in Orlando, Florida. Universal Orlando is the largest property operated by Universal Parks & Resorts, is the largest resort in Orlando, Florida, and is the second-largest resort in Greater Orlando after Walt Disney World.
Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure), a night-time entertainment complex (Universal CityWalk Orlando), and four Loews Hotels (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort).
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Cocoa Beach is a city in Brevard County, Florida. It’s a destination year-round, and one of America’s favorite Spring Break locations. You’ll find 6 miles of ocean beaches with excellent beach access from one end of the city to the other, 3 oceanfront parks, a 27-hole public golf course on the Banana River, excellent hotel / motel accommodations , and a wide range of dining choices to fit the taste buds and budget of everyone.
Be awed – Watch a space launch from the Beach! Kennedy and Cape Canaveral Space Launch Centers are just a few miles to the north. Even the locals come out to watch the spectacular views of day and night launches. Or spend a day visiting the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – less than 30 minutes away.
Cocoa Beach is just minutes from Florida’s fastest growing port – Port Canaveral. Embark from the world class cruise terminals aboard affordable cruises to exotic Caribbean destinations or take a day cruise aboard a casino ship. Deep-sea fishing boats and day sails are also available at the Port.
Source: Google Trends, Jan. 2011–Jan. 2015, Travel, United States. Source: Google Data, Feb. 2015, United States.
For more I-10 information, visit www.i10exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 10. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from California to Florida!
Every year spring break offers college students a much-needed respite from their late-night study sessions and an excuse to take a spontaneous getaway with friends. In fact, 73 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 say they are likely to take a last-minute getaway in 2015, according to a recent survey commissioned by the brand. In March, students are reserving more hotel rooms in Las Vegas, the most popular 2015 spring break destination, than anywhere else. Runner-up destinations include Orlando, New York City, Phoenix, and Orange County, according to actual hotel reservations made by college students on priceline.com.
Those juggling college debt can still get the full spring break experience on a budget with Priceline’s best bargain destinations for 2015, including both Myrtle and Virginia Beach that have average daily hotel rates below $90. The hottest spring break destination, Las Vegas, also made the top deals list with an average daily rate of $106.
Sixty-seven percent of Americans between the ages of 18 to 24 regretted not taking a last-minute trip in 2014, according to a recent survey from priceline.com, so those on the fence about traveling should not let the opportunity of an unforgettable vacation pass them by. For students with some flexibility in their budget, hotels in tropical destinations can be scored for less than $300 per night in the Florida Keys and Oahu, HI, with average daily rates of $275 and $199, respectively.
“After a particularly brutal winter and knowing how easy it is to find a deal on our app, students will be on the lookout for an adventure through last-minute travel deals – we call this seizing the Travel App-ortunity,” said John Caine, Priceline’s Chief Product Officer. “We’ve got options for the student who saved for 12 months and for the student who has just decided to go. Express Deals offer exclusive deals with savings of up to 55 percent off published room rates.”
Priceline.com’s Top 50 Most Popular Destinations for Spring Break 2015 Based on advance hotel reservations for March made by students on priceline.com.
Spring Break Destinations: Most of the time when you think of “Spring Break” you imagine hoards of 20-something hell-raisers as far as the eye can see. Everyone deserves a spring break, especially families. We’ve rated the 5 best “family-friendly” destinations for 2014.
1. Orlando, Florida
Now, be honest. Can you really list family friendly destinations without including Orlando. More specifically, we’ve selected the International Drive area. Situated in the heart of tourist country, “I-Drive” has literally hundreds of family-friendly lodging, dining and attraction options, with more on the way.
You’re a short drive from Disney, Universal Studios and Seaworld, not to mention dozen of minor attractions within walking distance. Wet and Wild, Dave and Busters, Titanic – The Experience, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, helicopter rides, the list goes on and on.
Recommended Family-Friendly lodging in Orlando, Florida:
If you’re looking for a day at the beach, San Diego is the place. With more than 70 miles of beach, the kids will have a ball. But San Diego is so much more than just beaches. Balboa Park offers a collection of museums you’ll not soon forget. The whole family will love a visit to the San Diego Zoo or Seaworld. San Diego is a city small enough to feel manageable jet large enough to offer plenty of entertainment and lodging.
While Myrtle Beach has the college spring breakers, families head further south down the coast to Hilton Head, a 12-mile-long, five-mile-wide island with 14 miles of sandy beaches, world-class golf courses, and more than 100 miles of bike paths. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, Hilton Head is just for you.
There are plenty of accommodation options here, from renting a private home to family-friendly hotels to beachside resorts. Hilton Head is a great base for exploring the area… a day trip to Savannah or Charleston will give you a taste of the Old South.
Recommended Family-Friendly lodging in Hilton Head:
Who says Spring Break needs to warm weather and sandy beaches? Why not visit the city that never sleeps and show the kids a great time. There is not another place on the face of the earth that has as much to see and do as the Big Apple. Museums, landmarks, entertainment, restaurants, parks, shopping and sports… do you really think you’ll be bored?
Must do’s include the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art. The kids will get a bit of education without even knowing it.
Recommended Family-Friendly lodging in New York City:
Washington in the spring is an excellent spring destination. The weather is great for exploring this city and all it has to offer. Take the kids and discover the history and culture of downtown DC. From the Smithsonian museums to national monuments and memorials, everything is relatively close. Just hop on a bus and take a tour of the city’s sites for an American history adventure.
Be sure to take a walk through Georgetown, a historic waterfront location that’s always fun and exciting. Each spring the very popular Cherry Blossom Festival takes place. The blossoms are simply breathtaking and definitely worth a view.
Recommended Family-Friendly lodging in Washington, DC: