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Paradise is found in Naples, Southwest Florida's premier vacation destination. The resort city boasts perhaps the most beautiful downtown in Florida and its fabulous beach is always just moments away.  

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Florida Travel Spotlight10

Mother's Day Weekend Adventures and Getaways

Wednesday April 23, 2014
Flower Child at Epcot International Flower and Garden FestivalMother's Day — May 11 — will be here sooner than you think. If you can't decide what to get Mom, there's nothing wrong with flowers and chocolate... but why not give her something a little different? Here are some suggestions for great Mother's day adventures and getaways that are sure to put a smile on her face.
  • Mom's get in FREE on Saturday or Sunday, May 10 & 11, to these great attractions. Be sure to read carefully — most offers require a purchase of a full-price ticket and some deals require printing a coupon.
  • Mom's are sure to have a good tine at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, and festival-goers can top off the day with a Flower Power concert featuring Chubby Checker & The Wildcats.
  • Book Mom on a Yacht StarShip Mother's Day Brunch Cruise sailing from Downtown Tampa on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 11 — the first 50 moms are FREE when you buy 3! Hurry on this one... the second cruise is already sold out, but the 11:00 a.m. cruise is still taking reservations. Call 813-223-7999 to receive this offer.
  • Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa is booking special Mother's Day Weekend getaway packages with deluxe rooms starting at just $130 and one- two- and three-bedroom suites at $150, $180 & $300 per night. Mothers will enjoy luxurious surroundings, pampering, recreation and special dining opportunities.
  • Biscayne Lady Yacht Charters will be sailing from Bayside Marketplace in Downtown Miami for a Mother's Day Brunch cruise on Sunday, May 11 at 11:00 a.m. Cost is $75 for adults and $43 for children — purchase online and save $10!
  • The Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay will be offering a Mother's Day Brunch Buffet in the Edinburgh Ballroom; a Mother's Day Dinner at Packard's Steakhouse; and, a Mother's Day a la Carte Brunch at the Market Salamander Grille. Reservations are suggested.
  • Enjoy a waterside Mother's Day Breakfast or Brunch at Lattitudes on the Beach located within the Marriott Hollywood Beach. This indoor/outdoor restaurant will fill up quickly, so call 954-924-2202 today for reservations!
  • Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek Resort is hosting a number of Mother's Day special events, including their 4th Annual Mother Daughter Tea and Ballet (price $22 per person, plus tax; $16 for ages 4-7; 3 and under free). A Mother's Day Brunch will be available from 11:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Cafe Osceola ($65.95 for adults; $29.95 for children 4-11). What about a "Make our Moms Smile" (MOMS) stay package? The offer includes deluxe accommodations — book one night and get a complimentary second night — a 25% discount on spa services AND the Mother's Day Brunch; complimentary WiFi and late checkout. The offer is based on availability May 10-11, 2014. Additional activities include kids crafts — decorating a card and flower pot, breakfast in bed for Mom, poolside spa service, and more (some requiring additional charges).
  • The upscale Cafe Nola at Jacksonville's Museum of Contemporary Art will be serving a Mother's Day Brunch from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. with a FREE mimosa for all moms ($25 for adults; $8 for children under 10).
  • Celebrate with a Mother's Day JAZZ BRUNCH at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pensacola featuring live entertainment. Cost is $25.95 for adults; $11.95 for children 10 and under; children ages 3 and under FREE. Call 850-479-8900 for reservations.

Of course, there are many restaurants and hotels throughout Florida offering Mother's Day specials. Check with your favorite getaway location for details and cost.

Photo © The Walt Disney Company

Moms' FREE Admissions on Mother's Day

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Mother's Day is less than a month away — May 11, 2014. Would you like to plan something special for your mom? Short on cash? Here are some ideas that will help the budget and give Mom a great day away:

  • Moms love flowers, so why not take her to Flamingo Gardens for the 9th Annual African Violet Show & Sale — Saturday & Sunday, May 10 & 11, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Best of all, mothers will be admitted FREE on Mother's Day (Sunday, May 11) with the purchase of any regular-priced admission; AND, click here for a general admission coupon that saves $2 off an adult ticket and $1 off a child's ticket. If you aren't too good in the kitchen and have a little money to spend, a Mother's Day Brunch is also available Sunday, May 11, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Flamingo Pond and price includes admission to Flamingo Gardens for the day — non-member prices $44.95 adult, $34.95 mother, or $29.95 child (ages 4-11) or members $34.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 4-11.
  • If you think Mom would enjoy a walk on the wild side, Mother's Day Weekend at Lowry Park Zoo is the place to be. Moms will be admitted FREE on either Saturday or Sunday, May 10 or 11, with the purchase of a son or daughter's full-priced ticket (adult or child). Lowry Park is open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day. This offer cannot be combined with other discounts and must be purchased on May 10 or 11, 2014.
  • Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is offering Moms FREE admission on Mother's Day with coupon. Also, the Jax Zoo is offering a Mother's Day Brunch, Sunday, May 11, from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon with special activities planned. Cost for adults is $24.95 for members, $28.95 for non-members; for children $9.95 for members and $12.95 for non-members. Reservations are required by May 8. Call 904-757-4463, ext. 200. Brunch prices do not include Zoo admission.
  • Visit the Florida Aquarium on Mother's Day Weekend — May 10 or 11 — and Mom will receive FREE admission with the purchase of a full-paid admission. Offer is only available at the box office on those dates only. Read More...

National Pie Festival Dishes Up Sweet Fun

Monday April 21, 2014
American Pie

For the 13th year, the Great American Pie Festival will dish up sweet fun for two flavor-filled days in Celebration this month — Saturday & Sunday, April 26 & 27.

The pie festival will be held in conjunction with the 19th Annual American Pie Council/Crisco National Pie Championships in Orlando, April 25-27. Amateur, professional and commercial bakers will be staying at an "upper crust" resort — Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center — where they will be busy preparing their best pies for the championships (the contest is closed to the public). Entries are expected to bake over 800 pies across all categories! That's a lot of pie... no matter how you slice it!

The family-friendly festival in Celebration is free. Either day, festival-goers can enjoy an afternoon of pie-eating contests, baking demonstrations, music, entertainment and craft vendors. Young pie lovers can make their own pies at the Comstock Creation Station, make pie tin art, make a "PieCasso" painting or play in inflatable bounce houses. While admission to the festival is free, there is a $10 charge for the children's activities and for the Never Ending Pie Buffet ($10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and seniors age 65 and older), featuring thousands of award-winning pie slices.

Celebration is located off I-4 between Disney World and Kissimmee. From eastbound I-4, take Exit 62 at Highway 417 (toll road) toward U.S. Hwy. 192. Turn right onto Celebration Avenue and left onto Sycamore Street. From westbound I-4, take Exit 64 to U.S. Hwy. 192 toward Kissimmee. Turn right onto Celebration Avenue and left onto Sycamore Street.

Photo Gary S. Chapman/Getty Images

Easter Weekend Events and Tips

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Flowers at Epcot Flower & Gardent Festival

While it looks like the weather for Easter Sunday in Florida will be quite good with temperatures in the high 70s or low- to mid-80s, we all might need an umbrella on Friday and Saturday. North Florida is forecast for a 60 percent chance of rain on Friday, while the rest of the state will have a 40 percent chance on Friday and 30 percent on Saturday. If you haven't already made plans, you might want to consider these things to do when it rains in Florida.

Easter may not be the best time to visit Disney World to avoid crowds, but these April tips will help make your spring vacation more pleasant. The best chances for rain are Friday and Saturday, so follow these things to do when it rains at Disney World for a wet but wonderful time.

Easter weekend events:

  • The Ford Winter Estate is celebrating 50 Years of Mustang on Saturday, April 19, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The admission price of $20 also includes the audio tour of the homes, gardens, lab and museum at the Estate.
  • Dress up those little ones and take along a camera to capture some memorable photos at these popular Meet the Bunny Opportunities!
  • Ron Jon's 50th Easter Surfing Festival will take place in Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach from Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20. There will be a Sunrise Service on Sunday morning.
  • The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival continues in full bloom this weekend with workshops and Flower Power concerts featuring The Grass Roots appearing on stage Friday through Sunday -- April 18-20. All can be enjoyed for just the price of regular Epcot admission.
  • Enjoy Easter Egg Hunts at Green Meadows Farm in Kissimmee Thursday, April 17 through Sunday, April 20, 2014.
  • Catch some beads at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras where Kool & the Gang will appear in concert Saturday evening.
  • Enjoy a spectacular Easter sunrise at Bok Tower Gardens and stay for the special afternoon Easter Carillon recitals.

Photo © Dawn Henthorn, licensed to About.com

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