Orlando’s Good Eats and Holiday Treats: 2017’s Must-See Events for Fall and Winter

Orlando’s Good Eats and Holiday Treats: 2017’s Must-See Events for Fall and Winter

This fall and winter, there is more to see and do in Orlando than any other time of year. With numerous food and wine feasts, unparalleled Halloween thrills and merry holiday theme park events, the excitement in Orlando is warming up even as the weather cools down. For a full schedule of fall happenings, year-round events, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.com.

Orlando’s Food & Wine Feasts
The destination’s growing reputation for superb dining meets a seasonal surge of events for a food-lover’s dream vacation in the fall. From a month-long affordable fine dining program to theme park and resort smorgasbords, there are flavors for all palates through November.

  • Guests can dine on haute cuisine without burning through their budget during the 12th year of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month (Aug. 25 – Oct. 1), when more than 100 of Central Florida’s top restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for $35. Joining the lineup of this year’s participating venues are six restaurants from Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
  • At the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Aug. 31 – Nov. 13), taking place at the Walt Disney World Resort, guests can sip, sample and savor treasures from some of the world’s most famous wineries and celebrated chefs as they circle World Showcase. New this year, guests can enjoy tastings from the Coastal Eats Booth and Cheese Studio, as well as delicacies from India, Thailand and Spain in the Global Marketplace.
  • Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek’s Food & Wine Weekends (Sept. 8 – Nov. 12) celebrate fine wine, spirits and the culinary arts. Now in its seventh year, the event takes place on a series of weekends throughout the fall and features a variety of distinct menus and pairings curated by the executive culinary team. Open to resort guests and the public, the program will include a macaron bar, traditional Royal Tea and Bar du Chocolat with Champagne tasting.
  • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (Oct. 27 – 28) features wines from around the world and a variety of culinary dishes prepared by award-winning chefs. Educational seminars range from wine-blending to pasta-making from scratch. A special Sunday Bubbles Brunch returns this year on Oct. 29, featuring a variety of cured meats, imported cheeses, an array of sushi and of course, Champagne.

Halloween Capital of the World
The Theme Park Capital of the World® transforms into the Halloween Capital of the World during the six weeks leading up to Oct. 31, where the celebrations are mild, wild and wonderfully themed to capture the fun and thrills of the Halloween season.

  • At Walt Disney World Resort during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Aug. 25 – Nov. 1), guests have an extra week to enjoy trick-or-treating 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 (Sept. 23 – Oct. 29) at SeaWorld Orlando invites youngsters to trick-or-treat among friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids and pumpkin fish in an underwater fantasia. Cookie decorating and candy galore make this a sweet Halloween event for families to splash into.
  • Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights (Sept. 15 – Nov. 4) at Universal Studios Florida allows guests to face their deepest fears in themed haunted houses, “scare zones” and mazes inspired by critically-acclaimed movies and television series. This year’s terrors are inspired by the hit television show American Horror Story, horror movie classic, The Shining, and much more.
  • Brick or Treat (Oct. 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, 31) at LEGOLAND Florida Resort promises the spookiest and kookiest Halloween event. Celebrate weekends in October with larger-than-life LEGO models, a costume parade, trick-or-treating, a Halloween-themed fireworks show and much more.

Holidays at Orlando’s Theme Parks
Orlando celebrates the most magical time of year with balmy weather, special events and spirited live entertainment, creating an unforgettable and festive setting for a winter getaway that trades snow for sunshine.

  • Walt Disney World Resort offers an array of holiday fun (Nov. 9 – Dec. 22), including the transformation of Cinderella Castle into a glistening ice palace at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party; the Candlelight Processional at Epcot features an exciting line-up of new celebrity narrators including Neil Patrick Harris, Pat Sajak, CCH Pounder and Trace Adkins; and a free-entry holiday wonderland at Disney Springs showcases carolers, performances and a meet-and-greet with Santa.
  • Universal Orlando Resort invites guests (Nov. 18 – Jan. 6) to the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios, where the streets are filled every evening with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in Macy’s famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Meanwhile, at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, families will light up with holiday cheer as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing. New to this year, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be transformed with wondrous, holiday spirit.
  • Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration (Nov. 24 – Dec. 31). In a wintery, watery wonderland, guests of all ages will enjoy stunning live shows inspired by the natural world, a glittering sea of lit Christmas trees and beloved Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends.
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort offers families one-of-a-kind photo opportunities with a life-sized LEGO Model Santa Claus and 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree during Christmas Bricktacular, taking place select dates in December.

The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, Theme Park Capital of the World®, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.

September is Shoptember in Sarasota Florida

September is Shoptember in Sarasota Florida

This September, visitors to Florida’s Sarasota County can enjoy deals and specials at area shopping locations during the “Shoptember” promotion. Visit Sarasota County (VSC) is joining with retailers, shopping districts and more throughout the region to promote deals and offerings.

“This is the second annual Shoptember program,” says Virginia J. Haley, CDME, President of Visit Sarasota County. “September is historically a slower period for many of our tourism partners including shopping districts. Similar to our other successful promotions such as Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week and Sarasota Summer Stage that drive business during needed time periods, we aim to bring awareness of shopping districts and their offerings and ultimately drive visitation to these shopping amenities during this need period.”

Shopping districts in the area include St. Armands Circle, Lakewood Ranch, the Mall at University Town Center, Venice Main Street, Historic Palm Avenue and the Shoppes at Sarasota Row in downtown. Shopping for major brands is possible at places like Westfield’s Sarasota Square and the Ellenton Outlet Mall and visitors can peruse local shops along Dearborn Street in Englewood and in the Gulf Gate neighborhood.

Deals range from passport savings to various retailers to Florida resident rates and deals at area hotels. A full list of deals and information can be found at www.SarasotaShoptember.com

Shoptember in Sarasota County lasts the entire month of September 2017.

For more information on Sarasota County visit www.visitsarasota.org.

Oregon Designates Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway in John Day River Territory

Oregon Designates Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway in John Day River Territory

Oregon’s newest Scenic Bikeway traverses the strikingly scenic high desert canyon of north central Oregon, known as the River Canyon Country. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission formally approved the designation of the Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway during its June 14 meeting in Salem, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and Travel Oregon announced today.

This 33-mile loop winds along the Deschutes River en route to the Bikeway’s namesake, Sherar’s Falls, where the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs fish for salmon, as they have for thousands of years: from wooden scaffolds using traditional dipnets and setnets. Riders will follow a section of the White River and pass White River Falls State Park, one of Oregon’s secret hideaways, where a short walk leads to views of the river’s 90-foot plunge over a basalt shelf.

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Why Wait for the Weekend to Visit a Quaint Fishing Village?

Why Wait for the Weekend to Visit a Quaint Fishing Village?

The quaint seaside town of Morro Bay, California invites travelers to enjoy the many benefits of visiting mid-week this May and June! Avoid the crowds, enjoy the food and wine in over 80 restaurants and take your time shopping at all the unique boutiques.

Life in this small beach town is reminiscent of how California beach towns used to be: charming, relaxed, fun, quirky, yet filled with surfing, sailing, fishing, golfing, and kayaking. There’s so much to see and do in this bustling seaside village including ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, whale watching, biking, bird watching, or kite flying. Morro Bay offers activities for all ages to enjoy in an unspoiled slice of California located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County.

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The Sweet Return of Philipsburg

The Sweet Return of Philipsburg

“Montana reaches into your soul,” said Shirley Beck. “It’s just an absolutely fantastic place.”

In Small Town Gem, the newest installment in the Discover Your #MontanaMoment video series from the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development, local business owners Dale Siegford and Shirley Beck are leading a revival of the historic town of Philipsburg. The town, which was founded as a prosperous mining community, nearly became vacant following the silver crash of 1892. The residents have since reinvented Philipsburg into an international tourist destination, bringing a second life to this Montana town.

Small Town Gem is the 16th episode in the Discover Your #MontanaMoment video series and can be viewed on VISITMT.COM.

http://www.visitmt.com/campaign/montana-tv/episode-16.html

“When we first started here it was practically a ghost town,” said Dale Siegford, “and it’s developing into a shining little city.”

Dale and Shirley are the owners of the Sweet Palace and The Sapphire Gallery, two local businesses that have sparked a renovation of downtown Philipsburg. Nicknamed “Montana’s Candy Store,” The Sweet Palace offers a delicious taste of the state with a variety of homemade candies, chocolates, and sweets. Located next door is the Sapphire Gallery, which allows visitors to pan for their own sapphires and create customized jewelry with their discovered treasures. Together, Dale and Shirley are leading the sweet return of Philipsburg.

Looking to take a trip to Montana? Check out the cities and towns page for a full list of travel destinations.

http://www.visitmt.com/places-to-go/cities-and-towns.html

Celebrate This Summer Along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route

Celebrate This Summer Along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route

Celebrate a healthy and vibrant lifestyle at music, food, wine, and outdoor events this summer along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. Featuring 10 artisan towns within 101 miles of famous Highway 1 in Coastal San Luis Obispo County, the Highway 1 Discovery Route offers everything you need to have a memorable summer vacation especially if you like community events, spectacular sunsets or just plain relaxing. We are happy to report the Big Sur mudslide did not affect this breathtaking stretch of Highway 1 and we are open for business all along Highway 1 from Ragged Point and San Simeon to Oceano and Nipomo.

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