United Kingdom Releases

Valentine’s Day in Florida

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in United Kingdom Releases | Comments Off on Valentine’s Day in Florida

London, UK. (16 January, 2017) – Love is in the air, and there is no better place for romantics both young and old to get away from it all than the beautiful Sunshine State. Whether you are thrill seeking adrenaline adventurers or old school romantics who like to watch the sun set, there is something for every couple looking for a Valentine’s getaway in Florida. Gulf Coast:  Florida’s Gulf Coast might be best known for its unforgettable vistas of sun-drenched white sand and the sparkling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but lovebirds who flock to the Pensacola Bay Area discover an intriguing mix of old-world charm; mile after mile of pristine, secluded beaches; and a vibrant culinary and cultural scene that sets the area apart from other Gulf Coast cities. Whether its sunset drinks at the Lighthouse or a downtown Segway tour there’s something for every romantic here. With its sugar white sand and emerald green waters, Panama City Beach is a little piece of paradise for couples seeking a romantic getaway. Enjoy time in one of the area’s luxury spas or cruise on a catamaran and watch dolphins frolic in the crystal clear waters. The more adventurous could try walking on water as they paddle stand up paddleboards along the inland waterways. St. Pete/Clearwater is the ultimate couple’s get away. Stroll together along the sparkling coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Experience a tandem parasail adventure over blue waters while dolphins frolic below. When you want a break from topping up your tan, head to St. Pete and take in a world-class art museum, or have your worries massaged away at a luxurious spa. There is so much to do and see in Sarasota you will find yourself spoilt for choice.  Beaches is what it’s all about with beautiful resort hotels to renew your vows or just enjoy time together. Enjoy fine dining, beach clubs, museums and art galleries and you can even join thousands of couples who gather annually on Siesta beach on Valentine’s Day for a mass vow renewal. Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach lies in a secluded coastal hideaway, tucked halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest marine estuary, Charlotte Harbor. The area offers breath-taking beaches, charming accommodations, natural attractions and an unspoiled beauty that inspires romance. Hire a kayak and cruise around Charlotte Harbor or venture further afield and visit Don Pedro or Little Gasparilla Islands. And as Charlotte Harbor has been named as one of the top 10 US sailing destinations there are plenty of opportunities to take to the water and explore this beautiful coastal resort. Visit Sanibel, Florida’s unspoiled island sanctuary and take a cruise out to one of the many islands and watch the sun set or mingle with the Vanderbilts in picture perfect Boca Grande. Renew your wedding vows at Lovers Key State Park on Valentine’s Day – what could be more romantic? From Everglades’ adventurers to Fifth Avenue fine diners, Florida’s Paradise Coast creates moments to last a lifetime. Book a luxury break at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples or La Playa Beach Club. Get away from it all on romantic Marco Island or tour the famous Everglades by motor assisted kayak. Ocala/Marion County:  A short drive from Tampa, Ocala/Marion County is a picture perfect destination for your romantic getaway.  Plan a weekend minibreak enjoying dinner and a visit to Corkscrew Winery to customize your very own batch of wine. Thrill seekers should check out the zip line at Canyon’s Zip Line and Canopy Tours, it’s the nation’s longest...

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Looking Ahead to 2017 in the Sunshine State

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in United Kingdom Releases | Comments Off on Looking Ahead to 2017 in the Sunshine State

London, UK. November 2016. Florida is the number one long haul destination for the British and Irish holidaymaker with over 1.7 million visitors travelling to the Sunshine State every year. With its theme parks, beaches and year-round sunshine, it’s no wonder but there’s so much more to the Sunshine State than sandy shores and high-octane thrills. From chic, urban centres to National Parks via shopping, dining and the thrill of the open road, Florida offers experiences to suit everybody. 2017 is expected to be another bumper year for the Sunshine State, here’s a brief overview of what is in store in Florida as we move into the new year.   Adventure Coast A TreeUmph! Adventure Course spanning fifty acres of wooded landscape is due to open in February, 2017. Winding waterways, scenic salt marshes and the open Gulf of Mexico highlight a newly-mapped Adventure Coast Blueway paddling trail. Mapped and signed, the 1.57 mile trail will officially open on February 1, 2017.   Bradenton Zota Beach Resort, formerly the “Hilton Longboat Key”, is set to open in early 2017. The $24 million property offers 187 guest rooms and suites in a secluded beach front setting with a stylish pool area, restaurant and chic wine bar. For the first time in over twenty years, the World Rowing Championships will return to the United States and, more specifically, to the Bradenton Area’s own Nathan Benderson Park from September 23 through October 1, 2017. The World Rowing Championship regatta is the biggest annual World Rowing event and the most important of the season, held over the course of eight days from September 23 to October 1, 2017.   Brightline Due to open in summer 2017, Brightline trains will provide a new express intercity passenger rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach initially, with the service being extended to Orlando in 2018. The trains will come equipped with all the expected mod-cons like Wi-Fi and power outlets for each seat, a food and beverage selection and bike and luggage storage. The 235-mile trip between Miami and Orlando will take approximately three hours, traveling at 125 miles per hour. It will take less than 30 minutes to get to Fort Lauderdale from Miami and under 60 minutes to get to West Palm Beach from Miami.   Busch Gardens Tampa Bay A live version of the great stories from the Emmy nominated weekly show, The Wildlife Docs™, will take to the stage in May 2017, featuring live animals, video production, live ambassador presenters and performers in the park’s Stanleyville Theatre. The show is directed by acclaimed Broadway director and choreographer Jeff Whiting.   Columbia County Halpatter Brewing Company will be opening its doors in downtown Lake City in spring/summer of 2017, as Columbia County’s first craft brewery. The Brewery will include a tap room and beer garden. A digital trail map of the Alligator Lake Recreational Park has been released and is available on the SpringsRUs mobile app as well as Google My Maps. The map highlights the variety of nature trails, hiking and biking trails and recreational opportunities at Alligator Lake.   The Florida Keys & Key West On Stock Island, the 20-acre Oceans Edge Key West Hotel & Marina is due to open in December with 175 spacious suites and rooms and six pools. In Key West, the new 22room boutique H2O Suites Hotel is also due to open in December with luxury one bedroom suites, a rooftop deck and pool, and 11 plunge pools. The 14-acre, 144-roomPlaya Largo Resort & Spa at mile marker 97.5 in Key Largo has opened as the first new-build resort in the Upper Keys in...

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Halloween in the Sunshine State

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in United Kingdom Releases | Comments Off on Halloween in the Sunshine State

~ Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble With Halloween in Florida ~ London, UK. (September 27, 2016) – Autumn has arrived and that means October half-term and Halloween are looming! There’s plenty to do for everyone over the half-term break and if spooky happenings are not your thing, Florida still has a feast of autumnal offerings for all the family. Tallahassee Ghost walking tours take place during the evening on October 22 and 23, departing from Andrew’s Capital Grille and Bar downtown. Tours leave every half hour between 6.30 and 9.30pm. Meet characters from the past who tell their tales of woe. The event is based on actual ghost lore. Quincy PorchFest takes place on the October 22 and features musicians performing on the porches of homes in Quincy’s historic district. Audiences camp out on front lawns to watch the performances before moving onto the next home to see another band. Porchfest is a family-friendly festival and a great way to discover some new music while you are in town. Built in 1914, Bellamy Bridge is the oldest structure of its type in Florida. It is also the centerpiece of what one recent film has proclaimed as the “most haunted spot in Florida.”  Several ghost legends revolve around the bridge and trail including the story of an early 19th century moonshiner murder and the tale of a wagon driven by a headless driver. The story that brings most visitors to the bridge, however, is the fabulous tale of Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, the “Ghost of Bellamy Bridge.” After Dark Bellamy Bridge Ghost Walks will take place on October 28 and 29. St. Augustine St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., is the perfect place for all manner of spooky stories. Throughout October, the origins of Halloween and all things that go bump in the night are explored in historic St. Augustine. Haunted walking tours and Haunted pub crawls divulge the history of Halloween. On October 29, visitors can partake in the ancient Spanish tradition of El Dia de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased) when families and friends celebrate and joyfully honour the memory of their loved ones who have died. The Marcha de la Santa Compaña (March of the Holy Company), is a torch-lit procession through downtown St. Augustine from the Plaza  along St. George Street to the City Gate area, with historical re-enactors representing the souls of “the Noble and Loyal City’s” citizens. Ripley’s Ghost Train Adventuretakes guests where no other tour in St. Augustine goes. This all new adventure is an 80 minute fully interactive paranormal investigation into two properties never before explored in the dark of night, each with rich haunted histories. Orlando Halloween celebrations in Orlando are like nowhere else in the world, with more than 80 individual events during the six weeks leading up to October 31. Just 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa, Legoland Florida Resort has a host of activities for younger visitor this year. Brick or Treat, presented by Shutterfly, will be back with more spooky, kooky Halloween fun for kids. Expanded in 2016, the friendly-not-frightening event features trick-or-treating along the Brick or Treat Trail, larger-than-life LEGO® models, LEGO build activities, the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, a scavenger hunt with prizes and an exclusive, Halloween-themed fireworks show in Pirates’ Cove. At Walt Disney World Resort during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (September 2 – October 31), guests can trick-or-treat throughout the Magic Kingdom, catch the “Boo-to-You” Halloween parade or Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular and stay for the bewitching “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks. SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular (October 1 – 31) at SeaWorld Orlando invites youngsters to trick-or-treat...

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Embrace the Great Outdoors and Celebrate 100 Years of Florida’s Conservation

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in United Kingdom Releases | Comments Off on Embrace the Great Outdoors and Celebrate 100 Years of Florida’s Conservation

Naturally Florida Road Trips In 2016 the U.S National Parks Service celebrates its centenary, marking 100 years of conservation and preservation. Florida, home to a diverse collection of three National Parks, hundreds of State Parks, preserves and seashores, offers the perfect combination of inspiring outdoors experiences, wide choice of beaches, waterways and wildlife as well as unique cultural events. These are the top five road trips incorporating the natural side of the Sunshine State and events in 2016: Pensacola – Panama City Beach – Jackson County – Franklin County – Tallahassee Pensacola – Home to the National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola, isthe western most city on the Florida panhandle. With its rich colonial heritage ruled by the British, Spanish, French, Confederacy and the United State it is also known as the City of the Five Flags. Try the NEW FREE Stargazing program from Gulf Islands National Seashore. Panama City Beach– known as the ‘real fun beach’ destination, Panama City Beach is famed for its world-class events and festivals, including: NEW for 2016 Spring Jam (7-9 April), Seabreeze Jazz Festival (20-24 April) and Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam (2-4 September). Panama City Beach takes claim to two state parks, including St Andrews State Park, named by Trip Advisor as the No 2 beach in the U.S., thanks to its wide range of activities and nature trails along the coast. Jackson County– Discover Florida Caverns State Park, the only park in the state to offer tours of its caves with dazzling formations of limestone. The scenic Chipola River runs through the state park, providing great fishing, canoeing and boating opportunities. Franklin County– with coastal marshes, pine flatwoods and oak thickets, Bald Point State Park, located on Alligator Point, offer some of the most scenic wide open spaces on Florida’s North Gulf Coast. Along to nearby Apalachicola, the charming, old world feel, fishing village with miles of pristine beaches and endless protected shallow bays, excellent fishing and acres of forests to explore. Don’t miss the Florida Seafood Festival (5-6 November) – dubbed Florida’s oldest maritime event, Seafood Festival draws tens of thousands of visitors every year. The festival includes highly competitive oyster eating and oyster shucking competitions. Tallahassee – Finish this trip in Florida’s State capital of Tallahassee, with is rich in history arts and culture. Only in Tallahassee can you find a fully restored 17th century Spanish colonial mission, a speakeasy, a collection of Batmobiles, a historic landmark famous for its smoked sausage and grits, a venue on the National Blues Trail and a restaurant that prepares hot dogs 10,230 ways. Jacksonville – Baker County – Gainsville – St. Augustine – Amelia Island – Jacksonville Jacksonville – from a vibrant nightlife, with unique bars, pubs and live music venues, to exploring unspoiled wetlands, marshes and woods, this diverse city offers something for every visitor. Whether you’re an NFL fan or not, nothing compares to the excitement on game day, when the Jacksonville Jaguars take the field at one of the largest sports complexes in the NFL (dates for 2016 TBC). Baker County– visit the Osceola National Forest, where nearly 200,000 acres are waiting to be explored. These forested woodlands and swamps provide opportunities for camping, hiking, swimming, fishing and wildlife spotting. Gainsville – an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination, with world-class fishing, snorkelling, canoeing, diving and kayaking, there’s always plenty to do in its state parks and nature trails. St. Augustine– Florida’s Historic Coast, celebrated its 450th anniversary in September 2015. As the nation’s oldest continuously occupied European settlement, St. Augustine blends historic sites and breath-taking nature. Amelia Island– with 13 miles of beautiful beaches,...

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New Hotel Openings in Florida for Summer 2016

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in United Kingdom Releases | Comments Off on New Hotel Openings in Florida for Summer 2016

London, UK. (April 16, 2016) -Following yet another record-breaking year in visitation, Florida continues to expand and invest in new hotels and renovations, to meet growing tourism demands. “It is very encouraging seeing so many new and refurbished properties across Florida. It is a testament to the ever growing demand for quality accommodation in the state and gives visitors an even wider choice of accommodations to choose from.” says Colin Brodie, Director, VISIT FLORIDA, UK & Ireland. Visitors this summer can now book and enjoy some of Florida’s newest developments: St. Pete / Clearwater Opal Sands Resort (February 2016)-  the only hotel on Clearwater Beach that offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Pete’s spectacular sunsets from every room. Each of the 230 rooms, curving along the white sandy coastline, has floor-to-ceiling windows and large balconies offering dramatic views. Treasure Island Beach Resort (March 2016) – boasting 77 rooms and combining beachfront luxury with the charming ambience of Treasure Island, it’s the first property to be built on Treasure Island beach for almost a decade, it has an outdoor beachfront pool and sundeck overlooking the three-mile beach. Sarasota Aloft (February 2016) – offering 139 stylish rooms set within an urban design, the Aloft perfectly complements Sarasota’s cultural attractions located in the heart of downtown Sarasota and is the first 100+ room hotel to be located directly in the heart of Sarasota. Naples Hyatt House Naples/Fifth Avenue (March 2016) – The contemporary, 183-room hotel sits along the Gordon River near downtown Naples and caters to tourists and extended-stay business travellers. Gainsville HOME2 Suites (March 2016) – designed for travellers looking for a fresh experience, the hotel will have 95 suites and continues the expansion of one of Hilton Worldwide’s fastest growing brands in its portfolio...

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Florida Twin-Centre Holidays and Cruise & Stay Packages are a Popular Choice for Irish Visitors

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in United Kingdom Releases | Comments Off on Florida Twin-Centre Holidays and Cruise & Stay Packages are a Popular Choice for Irish Visitors

London, UK. (April 1, 2016) – Florida is the number one long-haul destination for Irish visitors. While Orlando is often the initial attraction, many holidaymakers are looking to explore beyond the theme parks and combine with a range of experiences, and events, enjoying the state’s nature, beaches, culture, music and culinary scenes. “With direct flights to Orlando with Aer Lingus during summer months, Orlando is the perfect starting point for a twin-centre holiday.  Its convenient central location means you are never more than a couple of hours from other major Florida centres and the beautiful beaches” says Colin Brodie, Director, VISIT FLORIDA UK & Ireland. The growing trend in twin-centre holidays in Florida is recognised in bookings by Tour America. “Twin-centre holidays with a beach destination have always performed well for us and our twin-centre bookings have continued to grow. Popular destinations include St. Pete and Clearwater, but we have also seen an increase in bookings to Fort Myers and Sanibel, as well as Daytona Beach, since introducing it to our programme.” says Veronica Flood, Marketing Manager, Tour America. Tour America has also seen a significant increase in Orlando Cruise & Stay packages from Cape Canaveral. Florida boasts the longest coastline in mainland USA and with an incredible five cruise ports, welcoming a number of world famous cruise liners to its shores each year. Arriving by sea into Cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami or Tampa makes an alternative way to start your Florida experience, en-route to Orlando. With such a variety of destinations and experiences waiting to be discovered and explored, the Sunshine State of Florida provides the perfect playground for a twin-centre stay, suited to all...

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