Things to Do in Orlando, Florida Besides Disney

When most people think about Orlando, Florida, they envision Disney World and its four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. While these resorts are undeniably some of the best in the world, there is much more to Orlando than Disney. If you’re planning a trip to Orlando, here are some other fun things you may want to do.

Fun Spot America

Fun Spot America is the only family-owned theme park in Central Florida. The popular park features a wide range of attractions, such as roller coasters, bumper cars, kiddie rides, go karts, and arcade games. You’ll also find a funhouse, splash pad, Ferris wheel, and rides designed for thrill seekers like the Hurricane, White Lightning, and Mine Blower. If you’re looking for a theme park not affiliated with the Disney brand, try Fun Spot America.

ICON Park

With over 40 incredible restaurants, countless bars and boutiques, and major attractions like the 400-foot observation wheel, ICON Park on International Drive in Orlando is one of the city’s most popular destinations. The 20-acre, walkable entertainment park offers everything you need for a full-fledge day of fun. In addition to the theme park and array of shops and eateries, ICON Park also offers a must-see aquarium and wax museum.

Kennedy Space Center

Explore all things outer space at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando. The massive visitor complex provides visitors with in-depth information about rocket launches, the country’s historic moments in space, and so much more. Go behind the gates and gain access to historic launch sites, as well as working spaceflight facilities, all available on the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tours. There are also many interactive components that allow you to plan a mission to space and create your own space adventure.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

While visiting Orlando, take some time to step away from the theme parks and other major attractions and enjoy the beauty of nature. At the Harry P. Leu Gardens, you’ll discover an incredible array of gardens featuring semi-tropical and tropical plants, as well as 50 acres of landscaped grounds and lakes. The property also features stunning 200-year-old oaks and forests filled with camellias. The Harry P. Leu Gardens is open to the public.

Balloon Rides

There’s no better way to experience the beauty and allure of Orlando than while soaring above the city. Orlando balloon rides offer visitors the chance to spend up to 60 minutes in the air with up to 16 passengers. Orlando hot air balloon rides deliver an experience like no other. As the weather in Orlando is nice most of the year, you can schedule a balloon ride nearly any day, weather permitting. Inflation takes about 20 minutes and then you are airborne.

Visiting Orlando, Florida

Trying to fill your itinerary for your trip to Orlando, Florida? That shouldn’t be too difficult. There are countless things to do in Orlando, even if you’re not up to a trip to Disney.

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What to visit in Washington D.C.

Washington, DC, the United States capital, is a compact city on the Potomac River that borders the states of Maryland and Virginia. It is defined by imposing neoclassical buildings and monuments, including the iconic one housing the federal government’s three branches, which is the Capitol, White House, and Supreme Court. I started my first roof installation business in this city before expanding to neighboring states.

Washington attracts millions of tourists each year, and those looking for true adventure can trek across the entire state via the Pacific Crest Trail. This article looks at fun things to do and exciting places to visit in Washington.

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial is one of the District’s monuments.  The memorial is worth checking at any time of the day, although many tourists agree that the most captivating time to visit is after dark when the attraction is lit and less crowded. The Lincoln Memorial is Free and can be visited at any time of the day from 9:30 am to 10 p.m.

National Archives Museum

The National Archives Museum is a treasure trove of the United States founding documents. It is a place high on the traveler’s list and always has long entrance lines. Once you get inside, you will see the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. There are also surviving copies of the Magna Carta and the Emancipation Proclamation. It will be a very good place to visit for lovers of history.

The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Many tourists recommend visiting The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts build and names for America’s most beloved president. This center houses National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and Suzanne Farrell Ballet. There will be both free and paid tickets for visitors.

The White House and the Washington Monument

Even if you are in the city for just a short trip, visiting the White House and Washington Monument would be a noble idea. These two marbleized symbols of the free world would be a must for any first-tome D.C visitor. At its completion in 1884, the Washington Monument, standing at 555 feet and 5 inches was the tallest structure in the world. You can ride on the monument’s glass-encased elevators to the top observation deck and enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. The monument is open to visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Olympic National Park

A visit to this park will leave you satiated with an appreciation of its beauty. From amazing ocean beaches to striking glaciated mountaintops, this park overflows with incomparable scenery. At this park, the hiking trails traverse many different landscapes including a Hall of Mosses and Marymere Falls. Campgrounds at the park put visitors close to awe-inspiring scenery.

Other noble places worth a visit include; the U.S Capitol and Library of Congress, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the U.S National Arboretum, among others. One trip to Washington can never be enough. With each visit to this compact city, you will know more about what makes the Evergreen State one of the best to visit in the nation.

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Top Sights to See While in Rome, Italy

Italy is known for its amazing landscapes, delicious fare, and impressive architecture. It is also the capital city and the country’s most popular comune. If you are planning a trip to beautiful Rome, you will want to ensure that you see the area’s top sights. Check out the following landmarks and attractions in Rome, Italy.

Colosseum

Located in the center of Rome, the Colosseum is an oval amphitheater built of tuff, brick-faced concrete and travertine limestone. It was built in 70-80 AD and was the biggest amphitheater ever built at the time. At full capacity, the building could hold 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. Today, you can tour the iconic structure which once held exotic animals, gladiators and other forms of entertainment.

St. Peter’s Basilica

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter, or Saint Peter’s Basilica, has been called “the greatest church in Christendom.” The Renaissance church in the Vatican is thought to be where Saint Peter who was one of twelve apostles of Jesus was buried. It is also believed that Saint Peter was Rome’s first bishop. While in Rome, visit the church in Vatican City. Inside St Peter’s is many pieces of Renaissance and Baroque art, including Michelangelo’s Pieta and the statue of St. Longinus in the crossing.

Pantheon

Once a Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a Catholic church built in 113-125 AD. The Pantheon is the best preserved and influential structure in ancient Rome. When it was built thousands of years ago, it was dedicated to the gods of pagan Rome. Inside, you will discover amazing architecture and monumental tombs set into the walls. As this is a religious place, there is a strict request for silence at all times. However, you are allowed to take photos.

Trevi Fountain

Situated in the Trevi district, the Trevi Fountain is a massive structure standing 85 feet tall and nearly 65 feet wide. The fountain was designed by architect from Italy named Nicola Salvi and was completed by several individuals, including Giuseppe Pannini. The Trevi Fountain is the biggest Baroque fountain in the region and is widely known around the world. Go on a walking tour around the Trevi Fountain and admire its beauty.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, also known as the Forum Romanum in Latin, is a rectangular-shaped forum that is surrounded by the ruins of ancient government buildings.  You can find the Roman Forum in the center of Rome. When you purchase a ticket to see the Roman Forum, you will also receive one to see the Colosseum next door.

Vatican Museums

See one of the most impressive collections of art in the Vatican Museums. The public art and sculpture museums can be found in the Vatican City and contain more than 70,000 works in which only 20,000 are on display. The museums were founded in the early 16th century by Pop Julius II and are a must-see while in Rome.

Traveling to Rome, Italy

If you are taking a trip to Rome, Italy, be sure to see the top sights in the city. From ancient churches to museums chocked full of amazing artwork and artifacts, the history in Rome is immense.

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5 Reasons to Visit Boston, Massachusetts This Year

Boston offers unique shopping options, world-class dining, a track record of success in the sports sector, and so much more. If you’re considering a trip to Boston, Massachusetts, you may be wondering exactly why you should visit. Here are just a few reasons to spend time in Boston this year.

  1. Shopping and Dining

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, Boston is where you want to be. Boston offers a range of shopping destinations, from Copley Place which offers 75 well-known stores like Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus, to countless malls, outlets, and markets featuring hundreds of shops and galleries.  In between your shopping escapades, you’ll want to dine in some of the area’s best restaurants. Boston Magazine listed some of the top eateries in Boston in a recent edition. Some of their picks included Tasting Counter, Asta, Uni, SRV, O Ya, Sarma, Field & Vine, and Bar Lyon.

  1. Theaters and Venues

Another reason to visit Boston is to enjoy the array of theaters and venues available. There are numerous destinations available where visitors can go and watch films, concerts, and plays. From the iconic Cats to the modern Dancing with the Stars, you can find these performances and more in venues like the Citizens Bank Opera House, Emerson Colonial Theatre, Wang Theatre, Center Theatre, and the Boston Center for the Arts.

  1. Museums and Galleries

Boston is known for its wealth of museums and galleries which not only present an entertainment option, but also delivers interesting information and history. The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is based in Boston and is one of the most comprehensive art museums on the planet with more than 450,000 pieces of art. Other must-visit museums and galleries include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Athenaum, Harvard Art Museums, and Otis House.

  1. Sports

Boston’s professional sports teams have recently seen great success, giving you more of a reason to visit. While the Boston Red Sox are the most known due to their widely known success of winning nine world series, there are also other teams to recognize. In the major leagues, you have the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, New England Revolution, and New England Free Jacks. If you’re a sports fan, be sure to grab tickets for a game while in Boston.

  1. Walking Tours

There’s no better way to explore Boston than on foot. Fortunately, there are a number of agencies in Boston that offer free walking tours and access to walking trails. On the self-guided Freedom Trail walk, you’ll discover 16 historical sites in Boston. There is also the JFK trail which spotlights places that former President John F. Kennedy frequented. The Walk to the Sea tour provides guests with a look at historical landmarks and the city’s most prominent skyscrapers.

Visiting Boston, MA

More than 19 million people visit Boston each year and for good reason. The area is beautiful, rich in culture, and offers much to do and see, making it a must-visit destination.

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The Essential Chicago, Illinois Travel Guide

Famed for its remarkable architecture and skyline scattered with skyscrapers, Chicago is one of the most visited places in the U.S. If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, Illinois, you may be excited about the jazz music, the engaging museums, or even chowing down on a slice of authentic Chicago-style pizza. However, there’s much more to the Windy City. Here are just a few things you should know before arriving to Chicago, IL.

When to Visit

While Chicago is beautiful year-round, fluctuating temperatures can be harsh certain times of the year which can make it difficult to enjoy the outdoors. January is typically the coolest month with an average temperature of 31 degrees Fahrenheit. July tends to be the hottest month with an average temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, you should try to plan your visit in April, May, September, or October as the weather is most comfortable and the crowds are manageable.

Where to Stay

There is no shortage of great places to stay in Chicago. Depending on your budget, you can find hotels, motels, and Air BNBs that fit your budget and style preference. Some of the most popular places to stay in Chicago include Hyatt Regency Chicago, Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile, Royal Sonesta Chicago Riverfront, and Staypineapple, an Iconic Hotel.

What to Eat

Chicago provides plenty of opportunities to sample the local cuisine. The city is home to a number of widely-known chefs, such as Grant Achatz, Stephanie Izard, and Beverly Kim. You will also find some unique dining experiences in Chicago, such as the Superdawg Drive-In where customers can remain in their vehicle and get their food delivered to them by a carhop. Other notable restaurants in Chicago include Smoque BBQ, Parachute, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate.

Things to Do

No matter what your personal interests are, you are sure to find something to do in Chicago. Interested in learning some history? Spend the day at some of Chicago’s best museums. In need of some entertainment? Head to Cloud Gate and enjoy free concerts and movie screenings on the lawn. If architecture is up your alley, hop aboard the First Lady for an exciting architecture tour.

What to See

When you’re not partaking in local activities, roam around Chicago and see the sights. There is much to see in Chicago, from the iconic Wrigley Field on Chicago’s North Side to Millennium Park which sits on more than 24 acres in downtown Chicago. There are also great sights for the entire family to enjoy, such as the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo or the 32,000 marine creatures at John G. Shedd Aquarium.

Visiting Chicago

Chicago offers everything you need for an incredible trip or vacation. Whether you’re interested in just exploring the city or want to engage in the various activities and events available, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest. However, as the large city can be a tad overwhelming, you’ll want to take time to plan your trip.

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8 Things to Do While in San Francisco, California

Located on the West Coast, San Francisco is the 15th-most populous city in the U.S. and the fourth most populated city in California. Commonly referred to as SF or San Fran, the Northern California destination is well known for its upscale restaurants, abundance of shops and galleries, and array of exciting annual events. If you’re planning a visit to San Francisco, California, here are a few things you’ll want to do.

  1. Drive Across the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge has made an appearance in numerous tv shows and films, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 psychological thriller “Vertigo” and the 1985 James Bond film “A View to a Kill.” The bridge opened in 1937 and spans 1.7 miles long and carries six lanes of traffic. Don’t miss out on a chance to drive across it.

  1. Hike the Lands End Trail

The Lands End Trail is more of a walk than a hike, perfect for travelers who want to see the sights without being forced to hike treacherous terrain. The trail offers incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as hidden gems like Mile Rock Lighthouse.

  1. Experience Chinse Culture in Chinatown

While some major cities have a Chinatown, San Francisco has a whopping four. In addition, they also have the biggest Chinatown outside of Asia. This Chinatown is so large that it consists of two hospitals and several parks. If you’re in the mood for authentic Chinese food, this is where you’ll find it. You also don’t want to miss one of the area’s biggest Chinese festivals, the Autumn Moon Festival.

  1. Watch Fortune Cookies Being Made

In addition to dining in Chinatown, consider stopping by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. This is where you can get a free tour of the factory and see how fortune cookies are made. You’ll also have the chance to eat fresh fortune cookies.

  1. Ride the SF Cable Car System

San Francisco’s cable car system is the last manually-operated cable car system in the world. While there was once more than 20 of these systems in SF, today you will find just three. Be sure to grab a ride on the cable car before they’re gone for good.

  1. Visit the Exploratorium After Dark

Even if you are not into museums, you’re sure to love the Exploratorium, especially if you go at night. The interactive museum is open to adults, offers cocktails, and provides access to more than 650 exhibits.

  1. Watch the San Francisco Giants

Stop by the stadium in SF to see the famous San Francisco Giants. The team has won the World Series eight times and has since become a household name.

  1. See Sea Lions at the Docks

Spend an hour or two hanging out at Fisherman’s Wharf. Not only is this a great place to relax, you’ll also get the chance to see some cute sea lions longing on K-Dock. Be sure to grab a sourdough bread bowl and some clam chowder while you’re there.

San Francisco is a world-renowned city with hundreds of popular attractions, events, and must-see sights. If you’re planning a trip to San Fran, be sure to do some of the fun activities mentioned above.

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Visiting New York City for the First Time? Here’s What You Should Know

It goes by many names – “The Big Apple,” Gotham,” “City that Never Sleeps,” and even the “Center of the Universe.” However, no matter what you call it there is no denying that grandeur and whimsy of New York City. The streets are always bustling with people and excitement. There are famous sites in every direction you turn, and the plethora of shops, museums, theaters, galleries, and restaurants will keep you busy from dawn until dusk. With so much to do, see, and discover, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you’re planning an upcoming visit to New York City, here are a few things you should consider.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Get Around

With a population of more than 8.5 million, and an additional 60 million visitors annually, getting around the populous city can be tough. If you have scheduled activities or events, be sure to give yourself plenty of travel time. Subway issues and traffic can result in delays. If you travel around the Time Square area, expect an even longer wait. The good news is that there are many Uber cars, yellow cabs, and subway options to choose from.

Save Money While Seeing the Sights

Want to visit all of New York City’s greatest sights without spending a bundle on taxi fees and admission prices? Get yourself a New York CITYPass. With a New York CITYPass, you can see major sights like the Empire State Building, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and various other must-see attractions. The Pass can be used for nine consecutive days and offers other perks like line-skipping privileges.

Eat at Local Restaurants, Not Chain Eateries

New York City is home to some of the most accomplished chefs and award-winning restaurants in the world. Don’t waste your first time in NYC dining at Olive Garden or The Cheesecake Factory. Instead, delight your taste buds at one of the many amazing local restaurants. While there are plenty to choose from, some of the most popular include The Capital Grille in the Theater District, Angeletto Restaurant in Midtown East, 1803 in TriBeCa, and Ipanema Restaurant in Midtown West.

Visit all Five Boroughs of the City

As the 24th-largest city in the U.S. spanning over 302 square miles, it can take a long time to really explore New York City. However, during your visit try to visit all five boroughs. These include the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Each of these boroughs offers something fresh and exciting, from the Botanical Garden in the Bronx to Joe & Pats Pizzeria in Staten Island.

Make the Most of Your Visit to New York City

New York City is a mecca for all types of people, from artists and politicians to professionals and entrepreneurs. Not only is it an excellent place to live, it’s also an incredible place to visit, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth.

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