Orlando’s Exotic Animal Experience: What to Know Before You Go

Have you ever wanted to pet a sloth, hang with a zebra, or jump with a kangaroo? At the Exotic Animal Experience in Orlando, Florida, you can. Orlando’s Exotic Animal Experience is a private-owned facility that stretches more than seven acres. While the popular destination may be classified as a zoo, it’s anything but. At Exotic Animal Experience, you don’t get to just look at the animals from behind glass and bars, you actually get to interact with them up-close. The unique Orlando zoo is home to a variety of exotic species indigenous to different countries around the world.

What to Expect

Founded in 2010 by Leslie-Ann Rush, the Exotic Animal Experience started as a small attraction with just a few species. Today, it has more than 40 exotic animals that are friendly, well-trained, and ready to enjoy one-on-one interactions with guests who visit the zoo. The animals are well cared for and the business is licensed with Florida Fish & Wildlife, as well as the USDA.

Orlando’s Exotic Animal Experience is open to the public Thursday through Sunday. However, appointments must be made in advanced. Private and group visits can also be scheduled to allow more alone time with the animals.

Exotic Animal Experience in Orlando welcomes visitors from all over the United States. You can find the attraction located just 15 minutes from the International Airport and approximately 35 minutes from other major area attractions.

Animals to See

The animals at Orlando’s Exotic Animal Experience come from countries across the globe that have grown up in the zoo as siblings. At the one-of-a-kind animal facility, you will have the chance to meet a wide range of exotic creatures, such as lemurs, fainting goats, sloths, zebras, wallabies, owl monkeys, kangaroos, kinkajous, dromedary camels, black nose sheep, African pygmy goats, muntjac deer, and other fun animals.

If you visit certain times of the year, you may even get the chance to meet some of the facility’s newest babies. While most of the animals are of an exotic species, you will also find some more recognizable animals, such as goats and even puppies.

The animal encounters at the Exotic Animal Experience are sure to be memorable. When you visit, you will have the opportunity to look at, pet, and even hold some of the animals you come in contact with. The animals have been highly socialized, making each as sweet and friendly as the next.

Schedule a Visit

Perfect for birthdays, kids’ parties, family outings, and any other occasion, the Exotic Animal Experience in Orlando, Florida offers family-friendly entertainment for children and adults of all ages. Animal lovers can enjoy seeing and learning about species that they may have never seen in person before. As the experience is also interactive, you will have the option to pet and play with these amazing creatures. Orlando’s Exotic Animal Experience books up fast so be sure to call and schedule your first visit today.

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Top 5 Places to Visit in Miami, Florida

Miami has remained one of South Florida’s premier vacation destinations for decades. With its beautiful weather, 35-mile stretch of beachfront, and epic entertainment options, there’s no reason to go anywhere else for your next vacation. While in Miami, Florida, here are just a few places you’ll want to go.

  1. Everglades

The Everglades in Miami is home to a unique ecosystem consisting of 1.5 million acres of swamps, sub-tropical jungles, and 14 endangered species. During a daytrip to the Everglades, you may have the chance to see a West Indian manatee, Florida panther, or an American crocodile. While some regions of the Everglades are only explored by experienced adventurists, others are available to the public. Take a walk, camp out, or even canoe through the park. Just don’t freak out if you spot a massive alligator during your travels.

  1. Zoo Miami

With its tropical, open-air exhibits and diverse range of animal species, Zoo Miami is a must-see attraction in Miami, Florida. Also known as The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, Zoo Miami is the oldest and largest zoological garden in the state, as well as the only sub-tropical zoo in the U.S. At Zoo Miami, you’ll discover animals from all over the world, including Australia, Asia, and Africa. From blue poison dart frogs and American flamingos to pygmy hippos and Komodo dragons, there is sure to be a critter that piques your interest.

  1. Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Spanning over 83 acres, the Fairchild Tropical Gardens is made up of a massive collection of rare tropical plants, including flowering trees, vines, cycads, and palms. The unique destination allows the public to walk garden paths and enjoy the beauty of nature. Guests can also talk to experts in conservation science and horticulture, see an interesting hummingbird and butterfly exhibit, and learn about tropical plants and landscape design. There is also plenty of opportunity for photography, and classes are available for those interested in learning even more.

  1. Jungle Island

Jungle Island in Miami is the area’s premier entertainment destination. The eco-adventure theme park features a wide range of attractions and animal encounters, ensuring there is something for everyone to enjoy. Kids can push their endurance at Adventure Bay with rock climbing, scale obstacles, and zip-lining. They can also fly like a bird with the Exhilaration of Flight attraction. You can also meet and interact with amazing animals from around the globe, such as rare twin orangutans and more than 300 vibrant birds.

  1. Coral Castle

Visitors from around the world go to Miami to see the enchanting Coral Castle Museum. The oolite limestone structure was created around 1923, originally named “Ed’s Place.” Coral Castle is essentially a sculpture garden constructed of massive coral rock that has a fascinating love story behind it. Stop by to explore the amazing sculptures and go up the stone steps to the coral turret where you can look through the windows at the castle grounds below.

Miami offers more than just an amazing coastline. Be sure to visit some of the area’s other fantastic attractions during your visit.

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Top 7 Outdoor Adventures in Key West, FL

Key West is one of the most popular island cities in the Florida Keys archipelago. Situated about 90 miles north of Cuba, it’s also a popular cruise ship stop, as well as accessible from the mainland. As the weather in Key West, FL is warm year-round, it’s the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities. If you’re planning a trip to beautiful Key West, consider some of the following best outdoor activities.

  1. Bike Tour

Begin your adventures in Key West with a bike tour. Set off on two wheels through Old Town Key West and see some of the area’s most important historical landmarks. Many local tours will bring you to the city’s top attractions, such as White Street Pier, Mallory Square and the Key West Cemetery.

  1. Sunset Cruise

There’s nothing more beautiful the Key West at sunset. Consider booking a sunset cruise and enjoy both the land and water at the same time. An experienced captain will navigate your group offshore where you can watch the sunset from the comfort of your own private boat.

  1. Dolphin Watch

There are few places in the U.S. where you can see dolphins up close and Key West is one of them. See these amazing creatures closer than you ever thought possible. There are even places you can go to interact and touch the dolphins with assistance from an experienced trainer.

  1. Sportfishing

If you enjoy fishing, then you’ll love spending a day out on the water sportfishing. Hop onboard with a seasoned charter fishing captain and learn the best ways to catch trophy-worthy fish. There is nothing more satisfying then hooking a 100 lb. Key West Tarpon. Even if you don’t catch anything, the experience will still be memorable.

  1. Kayak Rental

Book a kayak tour and explore the clear, calm waters of Key West with a group or rent a kayak and go at your own pace. The warm, shallow waters around the island are perfect for kayaking while taking in the beautiful scenery in every direction you turn.

  1. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is a unique experience that everyone should try at least once. Start by practicing in a safe dive training facility and then move to the Key West marina where you can experience the real thing. You’ll be brought out to deeper water in a boat which has all of the amenities you’ll need between dives.

  1. ATV Riding

Want to get out of the busy city and enjoy the quieter parts of the island? Grab an ATV and go off-road. Riding an ATV will get your adrenaline pumping, making it the ride of a lifetime. You’ll also have plenty of time to take in the magnificent views.

Traveling to Key West, FL

There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Key West. However, you’ll want to be prepared before your arrival to ensure that you don’t waste time scheduling activities once you’re already there. Outdoor activities are the best way to experience the many attractions that Key West has to offer travelers.

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Visiting St. Augustine – America’s Oldest City

Situated on Florida’s northeast coast, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. St. Augustine is known as ‘The Ancient City’ for a good reason. The quaint city with its sandy beaches has more than 450 years of interesting history dating back to when it was founded in 1565. The historic city is home to approximately 14,000 people but draws in many more each year. Whether you’re simply a history buff or are interested in learning about America’s oldest city, a trip to St. Augustine, Florida is sure to bring lasting memories.

Historical Sites

St. Augustine is home to a number of must-see historical sites. One the most noticeable landmarks is the Castillo de San Marcos. This national park monument was built by the Spanish between 1672 and 1692 to protect the city from pirates and British invaders. From the Castillo, wander down the streets of St. Augustine and you’ll discover more than 30 buildings of colonial origin. The Gonzalez-Alvarez House, also referred to as the ‘Oldest House’ marks one of the first homes built in the 1600s. Also make your way to the Spanish Military Hospital Museum to learn even more about the city’s beginnings.

The Colonial Quarter of St. Augustine combines the heritage of both the Spanish and British. Here you’ll find interactive exhibits, such as an 18th-century Spanish home, blacksmith, leatherworking shop, and a 35-foot watch tower that overlooks the grounds. The local Pirate & Treasure Museum provides guests with a close-up look at the world’s largest collection of genuine pirate artifacts. Travelers can also enjoy a re-enactment of the pirate raid that occurred in St. Augustine in 1668 when pirates ransacked and burned down the city. The city puts on this re-enactment every March and offers various other activities for a full-fledge day of fun.

Popular Events

Besides the annual re-enactment, there are plenty of other popular events that occur in St. Augustine. Nights of Lights is one of the most recognizable. This holiday event starts when the holiday lights are turned on for the season and they don’t go off until early February. This event marks a tradition established by the Spanish centuries ago when they would place a single white candle in a window of their homes to start the Christmas holiday. Today, this tradition has become a city-wide celebration enjoyed by adults and children throughout St. Augustine.

Throughout the year, St. Augustine hosts a number of celebrations, such as holiday concerts, circuses, festivals, theatre, farmers markets, and holiday hayrides. There is also more to explore in the city, such as its extensive beaches, distilleries, golf, and art walks. There is even an Alligator Farm located near the city’s lighthouse where thousands of alligators roam the grounds. If you have the courage, you can actually zip line over the swampy habitat and see these creatures up close. However, no matter what you decide to do while in St. Augustine, you are sure to make great memories.

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Things to do in the Cape Canaveral, FL area.

Summer is fast approaching and when everything normalizes, it time to explore the beautiful Unites States cities, and in particular; Florida. Personally. I shall be taking a week off my roof repair tasks and embark on an excursion unique to Florida’s Space Coast at Cape Canaveral.

If you are planning a vacation in the near future, Cape Canaveral is an ideal option. Home to Kennedy Space Center, a well-known hub of the nation’s human space program, there are beautiful beaches and an array of fun things to do. A visit to this place will give you the chance to enjoy the view from the Exploration Tower, walk through Manatee Sanctuary Park, visit the Air Force Space, Missile Museum and much more.

 

Top Activities to Explore at Cape Canaveral

There are many activities to choose from including mini golf, surfing lessons, cruises, segway, dolphin, brewery tours and much more. Let’s look at some of the top areas to explore.

 

Kennedy Space Center

No visit to Cape Canaveral would ever be fulfilled and complete without visiting the famous Kennedy Space Center. The biggest attraction is that guests can experience spectacular views of an actual live launch of space rocket at the center. Additionally, they will be able to visit the museum that features everything including astronaut suits and some pieces of real moon rock.

Exploration Tower

A very key landmark in Cape Canaveral is the Exploration Tower that invites visitors to learn all about history, culture and the region in whole. It is spread over seven floors with the tower having several observation decks for visitors to enjoy spectacular views. There are film areas and photographic galleries. If you want, you can even pilot a virtual boat or even witness space rocket launch from the nearby Kennedy Space Center.

 

Missile Museum

For those looking forward to learn about the history of rocket and space flight, then you need no further place than the Air Force Space and Missile Museum. It was opened in 1960s and the museum is fully packed with exhibits dating from the early days of space flight, including rockets, satellites, missiles and historic display of space explorations.

 

Jetty Park

Jetty park gives visitors a chance to explore more than 35 acres of lush parklands. There is a stunning beach that spreads over four acres and has all the necessary amenities to enjoy some fun from the sun. There is a playground for little ones to enjoy as well as pavilions for rent for those coming in large gatherings.

Manatee Sanctuary Park

Located on the quaintly names Banana River, the Manatee Sanctuary Park spans across ten acres and boasts a whole host of activities that visitors will be sure to enjoy. There are many paved trails and different exercise activities available for those looking forward to stay fit. There are picnic and grill facilities at the park for those who want to bring along some refreshments.

Other top attractions include Victory Casino Cruise, Space coast Segway tours, Orlando princess & Canaveral princess deep sea fishing, time and tide tours, among others.

Ultimate Guide to Shopping in Naples, Florida

In the mood for some retail therapy? Then head to Naples, Florida and shop till you drop. The active shopping destination offers a wide variety of high-scale boutiques, chic shops, and sophisticated malls that offer luxurious fashions, accessories, décor, and much more. In Naples, FL, there are five main shopping areas within minutes of one another that really stand out.

 

Best Places to Shop in Naples

  1. Third Street South

Just blocks from the Gulf beaches and Naples Pier is Third Street South, a popular shopping district that has been around since the 1930s. The shopping destination has all types of retailers, such as art, antiques, fashion, gifts, jewelry, interiors, garden, pet services, and even spas and salons. From Cleopatra’s Barge jewelry to Eileen Fisher fashions, there is something for everyone.

  1. 5th Avenue South

The open-air concept shopping area offers dozens of boutiques and restaurants, as well as some national retailers like White House Black Market. The one-stop shopping destination offers a laidback ambiance with pedestrian-friendly promenades and gorgeous storefronts that will instantly draw you in. In addition to upscale fashion and jewelry, you will find artwork, unique gifts, fine dining, home décor, entertainment, and so much more.

  1. Waterside Shops

While Waterside Shops may seem like your run-of-the-mill mall, it’s anything but. Of course, you will find some recognizable retailers like Loft and Nordstrom. However, the beautiful outdoor shopping area offers things you won’t find at your average mall. The shopping area is set amid more than 30,000 tropical plants and shrubs, as well as a 550-foot-long rock wall with cascading flowers and incredible lighting effects. You will also find 60-plus retail stores and restaurants. Waterside Shops is even pet-friendly.

  1. Mercato

Mercato is a modern shopping and dining complex with a supermarket, 12-screen cinema, and office space. It is also home to some hard-to-find retailers, such as Z. Gallerie and Charming Charlie. Throughout the area, you’ll discover an array of hip and sophisticated clothing stores and boutiques. Mercato also hosts events year-round with most being free and open to the public.

  1. Coastland Center

If you want to shop but funds are limited, head to Coastland Center for some budget-friendly shopping. The mall in Naples first opened in 1976 and has since grown to become one of the area’s most popular shopping destinations. The food court is a main attraction with its carousel. The mall also has a number of specialty stores, along with anchors like JCPenney, Macy’s, and Dillard’s.

Shopping in Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida offers one of the best shopping experiences in the country. With so many shopping areas and stores to choose from, there is never a dull moment. Due to the number of shops available, you are sure to find the exact item you need, as well as one-of-a-kind items from specialty retailers. As these shopping centers are located within minutes of each other, you can go from one to the next, stopping only to eat at one of the area’s best restaurants.

Plan a Beach Getaway to St. Petersburg, Florida

Home to the world-famous Salvador Dali Museum, beautiful Fort De Soto Park, and a number of top-rated restaurants, St. Petersburg, Florida is one of the state’s most popular travel destinations. St. Petersburg holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine, earning it the nickname “The Sunshine City.” With so much sun and consistent warm temperatures, it’s no secret why so many people flock to the local beaches year after year. If you’re planning a beach getaway to St. Petersburg, FL, here are a few tips to help ensure that your vacation goes smoothly.

Best Beaches in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg has some of the best beaches in the country. With miles of white sand and crystal-clear waters, there’s no better way to spend a day. Ft. DeSoto Beach is one of the most popular vacation picks. Located just off the southern tip of St. Petersburg, this beach destination has been named the number one beach in the U.S. Ft. DeSoto Beach was named after the historic fort situated on the 900-acre county park. In addition to the beach, the attraction offers a campground, boat launch, nature and canoe trails, fishing piers, and a concession stand with shower and restroom facilities.

Families are also drawn to the St. Petersburg Municipal Beach, located on Treasure Island. The beach has 500 feet of white sand shores and is accompanied by a parking area and concession stand. In addition, the beach offers volleyball courts, a snack bar, changing facilities, and wheelchair-friendly accommodations. Maximo Beach & Park in St. Petersburg is another excellent beach destination option. This popular beach offers plenty of shade, a nature boardwalk, miles of nature and biking trails, two playgrounds, and breathtaking views from the 10-foot observation tower located onsite.

St. Petersburg also has two other public beaches on its waterfront. North Shore Beach and Spa Beach both offer white sand beaches at the base of the pier. North Shore Beach offers a swimming pool that’s open year-round, a playground, tennis courts, and a palm arboretum for picnicking. At Spa Beach, beach-goers can enjoy lounging in the sun or getting active by renting jet skis, paddleboats, and other watercrafts. For even more fun in the sun, head to Egmont Key. The island offers miles of amazing beaches, as well as incredible views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Planning Your Beach Vacation

When you’re not soaking in sunrays at the beach, be sure to enjoy some of the city’s other popular attractions. Each year, St. Petersburg hosts more than 1,000 events throughout the area. From touring bands to St. Anthony’s Triathlon, there is sure to be some type of event happening during your stay. You will also want to visit the Dali Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts when visiting to receive an extensive cultural experience. With so much to do and see, your itinerary is sure to fill up fast. Grab the family and head to St. Petersburg, Florida for the ultimate beach getaway.

Daytona Beach, Florida Travel Guide

If the 20-plus miles of beautiful beachfront doesn’t instantly draw you in, the nearby thrill rides, waterparks, and Boardwalk amusement area will. Daytona Beach in Central Florida has earned a much-deserved reputation as one of the safest and most sought-after vacation destinations in the United States. It’s an entertainment playground that attracts both children and adults looking to have some serious fun. While Daytona Beach is best known for its sand and sun, you’ll soon discover that the area is chock-full of family-friendly activities and attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Daytona Beach, FL in the near future, here’s a few things you’ll want to know.

Best Time to Visit Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach has fairly nice weather year-round. However, the activities you plan on doing will dictate when you should visit. The local climate is fairly stable and predictable. Summers last from April until November which is the perfect time to plan a beach vacation.

If you are skipping the beach and want to enjoy the cool air while exploring other attractions, plan your trip for the winter when the weather is a little chillier. Temperatures in Daytona Beach tend to range between 59 degrees Fahrenheit on the cooler end to 90 degrees on the warmer end.

Besides the weather, you may want to consider what special events will be occurring when you visit. Of course, Daytona Beach can get a little wild during spring break so you may want to avoid the area if you have young children. Traffic can also be heavy during certain events, such as Biketoberfest and Bike Week.

Top Attractions in Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach, Florida offers a wide range of tours, attractions, and sightseeing opportunities. Rent a bicycle and ride by the coastline, go for a scenic drive, explore a historic site, or tour the Daytona International Speedway. From sailing to wind tasting, there is something for everyone.

There are also countless places to shop and eat, from the Aberrant Art Gallery to Joe’s Crab Shack located right on the pier. If you’re interested in other fun entertainment options, head to Aloha Falls Golf, Blue Heron River Tours, Bob’s Balloon Charters, Equestrian Adventures of Florida, or Heli-Hogs Helicopter Rides.

While there are plenty of adult-themed attractions, the kids can also get in on the action. Daytona Beach is a family-friendly destination that offers amazing attractions for kids of all ages, such as miniature golf, go-karting, extreme air sports, and nature adventures. There is also great indoor entertainment like bowling, museums, and movie theaters.

Plan Your Daytona Beach Vacation

Whether you prefer to spend your days lounging on the sandy beach or paddle boarding in the Atlantic, Daytona Beach offers an incredible variety of things to do, see, and discover. Known as the Festival Capital of Florida, the popular city hosts more than 50 diverse festivals and events each year. Whether you’re new to the area or are returning, take the time to enjoy the people and local happenings in Daytona Beach, Florida.