Domestic Releases

FYI: 50 More Days of Winter

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Domestic Releases | Comments Off on FYI: 50 More Days of Winter

~ Here’s 50 ways to get relief ~ TALLHASSEE, Fla. – As of Monday, January 30,  there are 50 days left of winter. Spring will officially arrive on Monday, March 20 at 6:28 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. That means plenty of time for another Nor’easter or a few more snowstorms. It also means 50 more days and nights with limited sunshine, when much of the country gets its light from the buzz of fluorescent office lighting or the glow from TV and smartphone screens while millions of winter shut-ins partake in movie binge-streaming. Florida has a better way to push through the next eight weeks. Start with VISIT FLORIDA’s Instagram page, where fans of Florida share their moments in the sun and why they #LoveFL.     Thinking about Florida is the first step to getting warmer. Next, click and explore the following 50 ways to enjoy winter in the Sunshine State: 1. From Pensacola to Key West, have a beach day at one of the 825 miles of Florida’s beaches. Try out the Florida Beach Finder to find your perfect beach. 2. Therapies at the Evangeline at the Epicurean Hotel at Tampa Bay are a treat for the senses, incorporating freshly grown herbs and recommendations from a spa sommelier to create customized spa products. 3. Enjoy ocean inspired and customized spa treatments at The Spa at The Breakers in Palm Beach. 4. New Smyrna Beach boasts several low-key attractions for visitors who are in need of some peace and quiet, including the New Smyrna Museum of History and the Smyrna Dunes Park. 5. Ease some stress at the ocean-front Diplomat Beach Resort and Spa. 6. Plan a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day. 7. And speaking of Valentine’s Day, plan a stay in the heart of St. Augustine’s Historic District at the Saragrossa Inn Bed and Breakfast. 8. The Fantasy World Resort in Orlando features a lazy river, two water slides, bingo and a floating driving range.  9. Visit the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra for Mozart Madness on February 4, 2017. 10. Get some much-needed retail therapy on the Top 5 Streets for Shoppers in Florida. 11. Test your sense of adventure on the Florida Forever EcoSafaris Zipline Rollercoaster in St. Cloud. 12. Storm Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the country and a view into the early colonial era in America. 13. Venture out into the headwaters of the Florida Everglades aboard an airboat tour in Kissimmee. 14. Acquaint yourself with the works of Salvador Dali at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. The museum is home to 96 Dali oil paintings, plus drawings, prints, sculptures, photos and written works. 15. Explore rollercoasters, museums, lighthouses and more than 130 other attractions with the Florida Attractions Finder. 16. Spend a day in Gainesville and see a butterfly rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History.  17. Spend a day tubing on the Ichetucknee River at Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Gainesville.  18. Go camping at Dry Tortugas National Park. 19. Fly a kite across Florida’s islands, state parks and beaches. 20. Take your bike or car down North Florida’s A1A Ocean Islands Trail, which runs from Fernandina Beach all the way down to Jacksonville Beach. 21. You might as well go snorkeling right by the shore while you’re at one of Florida’s beautiful beaches. 22. Stroll through Washington Oaks State Park to see some beautiful native and exotic plant species. 23. While you’re in Sarasota, visit The Ringling Museum of Art and the Ca’d’Zan, or “The Residence of Mable Ringling”. 24. Catch some fish over John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk. 25. Fakahatchee...

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Seas and Greetings from Sunny Florida this Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Domestic Releases | Comments Off on Seas and Greetings from Sunny Florida this Holiday Season

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (November 17, 2016) – In 2015, Florida had a total of 22,399 million domestic visitors from the months of October to December. As the holiday season approaches, so does the potential for cold weather. Escape the wind chill and come chill in sunny Florida this year. Come enjoy our tropical winter wonderland with a different kind of white canvas. Complete with holiday fun for the whole family, there’s a beach chair in Florida with your name on it. Gone To the Beach: Panama City Beach is America’s Beach Home for the Holidays this year. This holiday celebration, spanning from November through December, will feature live musical performances, bonfires complete with s’mores and hot chocolate, and even Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance. For those in favor of a very beachy Christmas, the fun does not stop there. West Palm Beach’s annual Sandi Land: Holiday in Paradise, features Sandi, the world’s only giant holiday tree sculpted from 600 tons of sand, presenting a dazzling musical light show with over 5,000 lights. Long Time No Sea: Ever wondered where Santa Claus goes on his last day before flying out to deliver toys all over the world? A deserted island in the waters surrounding Fort Myers and Sanibel is where. Take Santa’s Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise to visit him before he takes off and celebrate Christmas island-style. Not ready to hit dry land yet? Punta Gorda has the perfect Christmas Light Canal Cruise for the whole family to embark on. One-hour cruises view the illuminated residential canals filled with Christmas lights, displays and decorations on homes, boats, sea walls and docks. For those who don’t have the sea legs, St. Pete Beach has its annual Boat Parade & Winter Festival. The parade features boats decorated with holiday décor and lights to create a holiday celebration like no other. Parades in Paradise: Pensacola is the perfect place to start when looking for a parade of good cheer. Their annual Elf Parade features hundreds of children all dressed as elves and holiday characters parading downtown to meet Santa at the Escambia Court House for the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. This parade comes fit with a Christmas song battle, southern-made snow and a guarantee of holiday fun. Also parading through the town of Key West is the Annual Key West Dachshund Walk. Turning this island into a “wiener wonderland”, about 200 dachshunds and their owners take a New Year’s Eve stroll through Key West’s scenic downtown. Many canine participants even wear festive costumes or accessories as they strut for the whole town to see. Holiday Fun for the Whole Family: Experience Christmas traditions from around the world at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Christmas Town 2016. This year’s spectacle is bigger and better than ever with more than 8 million lights adorning the amusement park’s grounds for all to enjoy. Even Mickey Mouse is excited to celebrate the holidays in Florida with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World Orlando Resort. Cinderella’s Castle transforms into a sparkling ice palace, your favorite attractions take on a holiday theme, and Magic Kingdom lights up with excitement for this year’s holiday celebration. Mickey isn’t the only one wanting to celebrate the holidays with you, Shamu at SeaWorld Orlando is putting on a Christmas Celebration of his own. Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during their live holiday shows and you can even take a journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express Experience. Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Santa is planning to drop in on the city of Pensacola...

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RV There Yet?

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Domestic Releases | Comments Off on RV There Yet?

A Road Map to your Next Florida RV Vacation TALLAHASSEE , FLA (Aug. 24, 2016) – “Oh the places you’ll go” when you drive an RV, you’ll see beaches and lakes, and springs and trees. Dr. Seuss taught us at a young age to explore the world in different ways, and what better way than a vacation on the open road in Florida? Every day in the Sunshine State invites a new RV adventure of different scenery, towns and attractions. Not only do visitors have the flexibility to travel the state, RVing also allows individuals, couples and families alike to enjoy the comfort of staying in their own mobile “hotel room.” Read on to learn more about planning your next Florida RV Vacation. As Dr. Seuss advised, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” As you drive to Florida, make your first stop at the top of Florida in the off-the-beaten-path Santa Rosa County. Park your RV and enjoy the pristine white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. Start your vacation by hiking to Coldwater Creek, where you can spend the night on a private sandbar. Explore unique and natural formations during your next stop at the Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna. Camp in your RV inside the state park and enjoy exclusive tours of the caverns. You can also picnic, fish, hike, canoe and boat in the nearby Chipola River and Blue Hole spring. Next, head south to the coast of the Apalachicola Bay and enjoy five-star amenities at the Coastline RV Resort. Take day trips to local towns such as Carrabelle and Apalachicola. Definitely make it a priority to spend a day at the beach on St. George Island, which is routinely ranked Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches in America. Follow the Gulf of Mexico coastline south to the island of Cedar Key. Park your RV at the Sunset Isle RV Park and Motel and spend a couple of days exploring the 200-year-old fishing and clamming village. Feed your appetite at the local Ada Blue Café with slow-cooked BBQ for dinner and 16 flavors of homemade butter cream fudge for dessert. For a change of scenery, head inland to Ocala and Juniper Springs Campground, one of Florida’s oldest campgrounds, dating to the 1930’s. With a forested canopy providing shade to the campsites and some of Florida’s most popular natural springs, this campground provides the perfect atmosphere to unwind and relax. Put down the smartphones, iPads and disconnect for picnicking, canoeing, snorkeling, hiking, birding, and tremendous wildlife viewing. Take a dip in one of the cool springs that hide beneath the natural flora and fauna of the area. With beaches, caverns, nature and springs, you may think you have seen it all. But visit the Westgate River Ranch Resort as your next stop to add cattle lands and wetlands to your list. Unleash your inner cowboy on the same land where Florida’s first cowboys roamed. Enjoy a championship rodeo, street party, dance hall, roasting marshmallows, a petting farm, horseback riding and dinnertime hay rides. Take a break from your RV and “glamp” for a few days at this resort. Westgate River Ranch is unlike most as it offers Glamping tents set on raised platforms and include deluxe interiors, screened-in porches with rocking chairs and access to private bathroom facilities. Step it up a notch and stay in one of the all-inclusive Luxe Teepees to enjoy a personal Luxe Concierge, all resort activities, VIP rodeo tickets and seating at the Saturday night Rodeo, a resort...

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3 Florida Beaches Dominate Dr. Beach’s Top 10 List in 2016

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Domestic Releases, Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Florida Beaches Dominate Dr. Beach’s Top 10 List in 2016

The news is out! And it’s all good if you’re headed to the Sunshine State. TALLHASSEE, Fla. (May 26 2016) – Every year, visitors await Dr. Steve Leatherman’s annual Top 10 Beaches list, eager to discover the beaches with the softest sands and clearest waters. After all, Leatherman, better known as Dr. Beach, is renowned as America’s foremost beach expert. For more than 25 years he’s evaluated and ranked beaches all over the globe, using 50 criteria that include the color of the sand, the clarity of the water, the slope of the shore and much more. And he loves Florida beaches, always including them and sometimes naming them as the best in the nation. Once again the Sunshine State dominated, snagging three of the coveted spots on the list. #2: Siesta Key Beach  Dr. Beach declared this beautiful shoreline the best beach in the United States in 2011. Previously, if a beach got the #1 ranking, it was retired for future consideration. But starting this year, he’s giving extra credit for beaches that prohibit smoking. And now the list of best beaches begins anew so that all beaches have a shot at making his annual list. Clearly, he hasn’t forgotten his old favorite. And who could blame him? That’s because Siesta Key boasts everything that makes a beach desirable. It’s thick with soft, white sand that practically begs you to take off your shoes.  The glass-clear water tends to be calm, making it safe for swimmers of all ages. It has concessions, changing rooms, showers and rentals. And the village of Siesta is the perfect place to recharge your batteries. It’s brimming with mom-and-pop stores and eateries, with a trolley that services the area. You’ll find Siesta Key snuggled against the Gulf of Mexico in Sarasota.  #6: Grayton Beach State Park Stunning and pristine, this nearly 2,000-acre park encompasses a sugar-sand beach that’s ideal for swimming, sunbathing and surf fishing.  The water is a dreamy shade of turquoise, bordered by a generous sweep of sand. Located in northwest Florida in South Walton, the Park also boasts a boat ramp, a rare dune lake, canoeing, and hiking and biking trails. Options for overnight stays include modern cabins and a full-facility campground.  #9 Caladesi Island State Park Accessible only by boat or ferry, Caladesi´s beach provides an escape into a quiet, untouched world. Situated on one of the few completely natural islands along Florida´s Gulf Coast by Dunedin/Clearwater, the beach features emerald waters and brilliant white sand. Picnic tables and shelters are located near the beach, and you can reserve a picnic pavilion for a fee. Besides swimming, sunbathing and beachcombing, the Park offers fishing, a three-mile nature trail, and a kayaking trail. Its marina offers electric and water hookups, plus a snack bar. Ferry service is provided by the Caladesi Island Ferry (727) 734-1501 and departs from Honeymoon Island State Park. Read about all of Dr. Beach’s 2016 top ten beaches.  Florida boasts plenty more gorgeous beaches. Check out these Florida Beaches that have won Dr. Beach’s top honors in the nation in past years: Bahia Honda State Recreation Area (1992 second year of the list) now a state park in the Florida Keys. Grayton Beach State Recreation Area (1994) now a state park in Walton County. St. Andrew’s State Recreation Area (1995) now a state park in Bay County Panama City Beach. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park (2002) in Gulf County near Port St. Joe. Fort De Soto Park North Beach (2005) in Pinellas County St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Caladesi Island State Park (2008) in Pinellas County St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Siesta Key Beach (2011) near Sarasota This story was originally written by Lauren Tjaden for VISITFLORIDA.com. Use...

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Florida Attractions Finder Puts Travelers in Front-Row Seat

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Domestic Releases, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Florida Attractions Finder Puts Travelers in Front-Row Seat

~ Interactive matchmaker pairs users with POV adventures ~ Tallahassee, Fla. (May 2, 2016) – VISIT FLORIDA today unveiled the Florida Attractions Finder, an interactive vacation planning tool that allows travelers to virtually experience their Florida thrills from a front-row seat. Point-of-view videos send users careening and diving on the newest roller coasters, zip-lining over alligators (look down if you dare), and skimming the Everglades aboard an airboat. Whether visitors are looking for a first-time Florida experience or wishing to repeat their favorite Florida vacation moment, the Florida Attractions Finder puts the power of discovery in the user’s hands. “I am pleased to announce the launch of the Florida Attractions Finder, showcasing the state’s diverse attractions to visitors from around the world,” said Paul Phipps, chief marketing officer at VISIT FLORIDA. “The ability to try out different attractions and imagine yourself in the middle of the excitement is part of the fun we all have when anticipating a Florida vacation.” Built on the TripTuner platform used to construct VISIT FLORIDA’s successful Beach Finder in 2014, the Florida Attractions Finder aggregates images of different attractions based on changes made to the dial settings. Four separate settings can be adjusted depending on the user’s vacation preferences: from thrill to chill, popular to hidden gem, high-tech to natural, and days to hours. The interface then matches the user with an attraction, which could be an internationally recognized theme park or an off-the-beaten path experience. Where the Beach Finder payoff was the Street View images that have attracted 260 million views on Google and VISITFLORIDA.com, the user’s reward on the Attractions Finder is an exhilarating POV YouTube video rehearsal. Clicking “MORE” will take the viewer to the attraction’s official website. “TripTuner is honored to collaborate with VISIT FLORIDA and the Florida Attractions Association to provide travelers with an innovative way to discover attractions in tune with their interests,” says Tedd Evers, TripTuner Founder and CEO.  “Whether it’s a popular theme park or lesser-known hidden gem, visitors to the Sunshine State can now find ideal options that will create lasting memories.” The Florida Attractions Association partnered with VISIT FLORIDA on this project by providing the initial vetting criteria for the beta version and acted as a consulting resource for the 130 attractions featured. “Florida has an enormous amount of diverse experiences to consider. We wanted to see the Florida Attractions Finder become a reality because it has the power to make planning and finding vacation experiences easier and fun,” said Bill Lupfer, president and CEO of the Florida Attractions Association. This summer, another 50 attractions will be added to the Finder and future plans will allow users to submit videos and compete for viewers’ choice awards.   The Florida Attractions Finder can be accessed here: VISITFLORIDA.com/attractionsfinder Click for available images   Media Contact: Kenneth Morgan-Schleuning Public Relations Manager, North America PHONE: 850-345-9762 EMAIL: kmorgan@VISITFLORIDA.org ### About VISIT FLORIDA As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 105 million visitors in 2015 who spent $89.1 billion and employing 1.2 million Floridians. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA – the official tourism marketing corporation for the state of Florida – $3.20 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 11,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and...

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Discover Romance This Valentine’s Day in the Sunshine State

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Domestic Releases, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Discover Romance This Valentine’s Day in the Sunshine State

From intimate beach weddings, to honeymoons and island escapes, Florida has something for the romantic in all of us Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and love is in the air. It’s not just snowbirds flying to Florida! Lovebirds also flock to the region every year to spend quality time with their loved one, host destination weddings on Florida’s pristine beaches and bask in honeymoon bliss. With plenty of sugar-white beaches, private island getaways, luxurious accommodations and amorous candlelight dinners, a romantic trip to Florida is a great way to show that special someone just how much you care. Here are a few romantic destinations to visit during your escape to the Sunshine State. Island Romance Few places on earth are better suited to lovebirds than Amelia Island. Amelia’s shores, soft sea breezes and breathtaking scenery provide the ultimate backdrop for romances old and new.  Couples can enjoy a romantic cruise through Fernandina Beach’s historic downtown district while snuggled up together in a horse-drawn carriage. Take in the sights of moss-draped oaks and Victorian Era architecture while listening to a historical narrative of Fernandina’s past and the people and places that shaped Amelia Island’s colorful history. Couples can saddle up in Amelia Island State Park for a fun and romantic way to experience the coastline. Observe dolphins, shorebirds and other wildlife while horseback riding on the beautiful white-sand beaches of the Island. Both Kelly Seahorse Ranch and Stay‘N Country Ranch offering horseback riding along the ocean, complete with well-trained horses and professional guides. Eat, Drink and Be Married on the Emerald Coast The diamond isn’t the only gem associated with exchanging vows. The Emerald Coast is the perfect destination to host a wedding and have relaxing honeymoon in paradise. Say “I do” on a white sand beach with emerald green waters at Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village, located on the historic Destin Harbor. Every room at the Emerald Grande has a panoramic view of the Destin Harbour and Choctawhatchee Bay. Your wedding guests will never get bored; the village has plenty of shopping, restaurants and nightlife to keep everyone moving. Delight your wedding party with a charted fishing or party boat for a bachelor or bachelorette party they won’t forget. The Henderson Park Inn Bed and Breakfast is a longtime favourite among visitors looking for a little romance. This adults-only property has been voted “Most Romantic Hotel” on numerous occasions. With an intimate beachfront, honeymoon suites with private balconies and in-room fireplaces, The Henderson is the perfect place for newlyweds to honeymoon and celebrate their new life together. Be one of the first couples to exchange nuptials or honeymoon at the Henderson Park Inn’s sister property, Henderson Beach Resort. Opening in summer 2016, this gorgeous new property features breathtaking views of the Gulf and the adjacent Henderson Beach Nature Preserve, topped off with stunning event spaces, including a snow-white beach and a beautiful ballroom. Hello Romance Sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale has plenty to offer couples wanting to escape into a romantic, tropical paradise. Treat your Amore to a cruise in true Venetian style – on a gondola! Sit back, relax and see some of the most luxurious homes and gardens of South Florida from a perspective you can only appreciate from the water at the cozy speed of a gondola. A tour with Las Olas Gondola is the perfect way to pop the question or amp up the romance for Valentine’s Day. The sun isn’t the only thing sizzling in Florida. Heat things up with a romantic escape to Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach. The I Heart Sonesta package is...

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