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Remember Sandestin

The #1 Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast Beach to Bay Accommodations Four Championship Golf Courses • Year-Round Events Water Sports • Dozens of Shopping & Dining Options Endless Free Amenities • Tennis

844.822.8141 Sandestin.com/sunseeker


CONTENTS

16

AN AMAZING AQUATIC PLAYGROUND

Surround yourself with unspoiled beauty in lovely Lake County. Featuring more than 1,400 named lakes, this panoramic playground is home to some of the best bass fishing in Florida. Canoeists and kayakers will find paddle paradise on eight different Blueways. Take a seaplane ride or try out a cat boat. There are endless opportunities to experience Real Florida. Real Close in this ecotourism Eden, where water adventures await. Allegiant travelers will also discover picturesque and charming waterfront towns perfect for exploring. To begin planning your Lake County vacation, go to visitlakefl.com/sun.

FEATURES

8

Cover photo and lead table of contents photo courtesy of Lake County Tourism

FROSTY LIBATIONS

29

STELLAR BRUNCH SPOTS

4

CALENDAR OF EVENTS A Sampling of Florida Events

7

FLORIDA’S AWARD-WINNING BEACHES The Sunshine State Scores High

11 ROMANTIC RETREATS On the Emerald Coast 12 COASTAL PARKS EXTRAORDINAIRE Discovering Lee County’s Treasures 15 FUN FAMILY-FRIENDLY DINING On Fort Myers Beach 18 TEE TIME Fore! at Ocala/Marion County’s Golf Courses 20 SEAWORLD ORLANDO Celebrates Summer 22 DISNEY SPRINGS Some Magic for Adults 25 SAVORY SEAFOOD IN SANFORD Come Sample the Ocean’s Best

48

SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS

58

A TRIP BACK IN TIME

27 JACKSONVILLE’S FOOD TRUCK FRENZY Bon appétit!

44 HAPPY HOUR WITH A VIEW Sunsets are Front and Center at These Rooftop Bars

31 GO WILD In Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach

47 COOL OFF At These Super Snorkeling Spots

33 HANDCRAFTED CUBANOS Pressed to Perfection in Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach

51 COOL COFFEE CONCOCTIONS Breezy Coffeehouses in St. Pete/ Clearwater

34 SOMETHING FISHY Cortez, Fla. Preserves a Special Way of Life

52 ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS That Make a Difference

37 THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT! Choice Appetizers & Brews on Clearwater Beach 38 ROMANTIC DINING Amorous Ambience in Clearwater and Clearwater Beach 41 IN SEARCH OF KEY LIME PIE Enjoy Florida’s Beloved Dessert Clearwater Beach-style 42 TROPICAL BEACH BARS On Clearwater Beach

66-67 ROUTE MAP

55 MARVELOUS MUSEUMS Family-Friendly Museums In Tampa Bay 56 OUTDOOR FAMILY ADVENTURES In the North Carolina Mountains 59 BUY ONBOARD 60 ALLEGIANT VACATIONS 63 ALLEGIANT TEAM MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 65 MAKE-A-WISH

70-71 FOOD & DRINKS


15,000 Bonus Points Offer Equal to $150 off your next trip

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No blackout dates. No destination restrictions. No minimum points redemption. Earn 15,000 Bonus Points — equal to $150 off your next Allegiant trip, after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days Buy one, get one free airfare — anytime you use your card to purchase a vacation package from Allegiant with 4 or more hotel nights or 7 or more rental car days on the same itinerary Points won’t expire with at least one purchase on the card every 12 months Complimentary priority boarding every time you fly Allegiant when you show your Allegiant credit card One free beverage every time you fly Allegiant when you show your Allegiant credit card

Apply today! Ask your flight attendant how to apply now, or visit newcardonline.com. Please use Priority Code VACP5N. For more information about the rates, fees, other costs and benefits associated with the use of the card, refer to the disclosures accompanying the application. This credit card program is issued and administered by Bank of America, N.A. MasterCard and World MasterCard are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated, and are used by the issuer pursuant to license. ©2016 Bank of America Corporation ARWVFPLR-07052016 AD-04-16-1743


WELCOME ABOARD PUBLISHER

Allegiant Travel Company

CEO/CHAIRMAN

Welcome aboard, and thank you for choosing Allegiant.

PUBLICATION MANAGER

We work hard every day to offer you the best deals on travel that make you and your wallet happy. From the theme parks of Orlando to the beaches of Southwest Florida, flights to your favorite destinations have never been more affordable.

Maurice J. Gallagher Robyn Davies

EDITOR

Gabriele Walkow

ASSOCIATE EDITORS Connor ​McIIveen Justin Ralenkotter

WRITERS

Heather Turk, Nancy Foster, H. Wadowski, Gabriele Walkow, Judy Jauregui, Holly Morris, Brandon Myers, Marcia Biggs, Matt Seli, Joel Poiley, Chelle Koster Walton, Samantha Fairchild, Kerry McGee and Sandra Chambers

PRODUCTION/DESIGN 702West.com

PHOTO CREDITS

Lake County Tourism, visitstpeteclearwater.com, visitsarasota.com, Sandra Baker-Hinton/Amelia SanJon Gallery, Carol Rosegg, Tim Britt, Jennifer Huber, Court Nederveld, Bradenton Area CVB, Visit Sarasota County, Todd Rogers Photography, Greater Ft. Lauderdale CVB, Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill, Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s, The Beaches of Ft. Myers & Sanibel/fortmyers-sanibel. com, Henderson Park Inn 2017, The Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village, Courtyard by Marriott 2017, Franco Russo, Nervous Nellie’s, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, Nile Young, Brian Walters for Dave Richards Photography, Stone Creek Golf Club, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Chef/GM Keland McWilliams Sr., Jimotti’s Restaurant, FishBones, Nancy White, Sandra Chambers, Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill, pureflorida.com, Terry Covert, Andrea Calkins, Peace River Wildlife Center, Marie Laforge, Cubby’s Ice Cream Shop, Armando Diaz, Chelle Koster Walton, Wyndam Grand Clearwater Beach, Nancy Foster, Opal Sands Resort/opalsands. com, Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber, Salt n Pepper Bistro, Sheraton Sand Key, Palm Pavilion Bar & Grill, Baystar Restaurant Group, Wayne Cathel, thebirchwood.com, Marcia Biggs, Discover Crystal River Florida, ABIIIVisuals LLC, Tampa Bay Aviation, Tradewinds Island Resorts, Kahwa Coffee, Cappuccino’s Fine Wine and Espresso Bar, Sweet Brewnette, Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, Suncoast Primate Sanctuary, Glazer Children’s Museum, Museum of Science & Industry, Great Exploration Children’s Museum, Henderson County TDA, romanticasheville.com, Elijah Mountain Gem Mine, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau/by Cheryl Gerber, New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau/by Chris Granger, Holly Morris, Walt Disney World

FOR ADVERTISING SALES INFORMATION: Shaun McIlveen shaun@smmediasales.com 702.898.9239 or 702.897.9287 Allegiant Travel Company 1201 N. Town Center Drive Las Vegas, NV 89144 702.505.8888

The Sunseeker guide is owned and published by Allegiant Travel Company. Statements, opinions and points of view expressed by the writers and advertisers are their own and do not necessarily represent those of Allegiant. Allegiant is not responsible for incorrect pricing or information.

Summer is upon us, and it’s our busiest time of the year as we expand our routes to other cities like Destin and Myrtle Beach. To help make for a smoother travel experience, we recently launched our online version of Sunseeker, where you’ll find the latest travel tips and news about your favorite destinations. You can find it all at Sunseeker. allegiant.com. But even as we expand online, you can always expect to find the best coverage about the places we take you in our Sunseeker magazine. Read about Florida’s award-winning beaches on page 7. Discover spectacular romantic retreats on the Emerald Coast on page 11. Read up on the amazing line-up of new shows and attractions at SeaWorld on page 20. Finally, learn why visiting the quaint fishing village of Cortez, Florida is like stepping back in time on page 34. As always, we hope you take advantage of the convenience and great deals we offer on our nonstop flights, hotels, attraction tickets and more to make your vacation a great one. Thanks again for choosing Allegiant and have a great vacation.

Maurice J. Gallagher

CEO/Chairman Allegiant Travel Company


DESTINATION

FLORIDA

ST. PETE PRIDE

W

ith the soaring temperatures in Florida, the events scene is really heating up. From fun family festivals and dazzling 4th of July celebrations to colorful art walks and delectable culinary journeys, the whole family will be happy and busy this summer in the Sunshine State. It’s time to create unforgettable vacation memories!

JUNE Savor the spice of Sarasota County during Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week, June 1-14, with local restaurants offering special prix fixe menus. Taste your way around the world in a three-course lunch for just $16 per person and a threecourse dinner for only $32 per person. savorsarasota.com

SAVOR SARASOTA RESTAURANT WEEK

This year marks the 63rd annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival from June 2-5. Families can enjoy a weekend of frivolity with food, activities and a parade in downtown Fort Walton Beach. billybowlegsfestival.com The Baddest BBQ on the Bone Fishing Slam is three days of BBQ, fishing and fun for the entire family from June 8-10 on beautiful Madeira Beach. An adult and kids fishing tournament, BBQ festival, live music, marine and art vendors, a mini boat show and a Kids Zone are just some of the activities. Admission is free. oldsaltfishing.org/fishingtournaments/baddest-bbq-on-the-bone-fishing-slam Downtown Sanford transforms into Central Florida’s largest monthly street party with Alive After Five (AA5), featuring live music, artists, food and craft beers from 5-8 p.m. Themes are Blues, Brews and BBQ on June 8 and StarSpangled AA5 on July 13. sanfordinfo.com/alive-after-5.html

ARTRAGEOUS ARTWALK

Amelia Island’s Artrageous Artwalk takes place the second Saturday of each month from 5–8 pm. Photography, pottery, copper, stained glass, watercolors, acrylics, oils and batik are some of the varied media visitors will see on June 10 and July 8. ameliaisland.com/things-to-do/Culture-Tours/ Artrageous-Artwalk Don’t miss Fort Myers’ Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament on June 10. During this unique tournament, anglers will wrangle in 10 different species of fish for a chance to reel in big prizes! fortmyers-sanibel.com/event/5th-annual-offshorerodeo-fishing-tournament/58259

FINDING NEVERLAND

4

EVENTS

The whole family will enjoy Finding Neverland from June 13-25 at Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts. browardcenter.org/events/detail/findingneverland

St. Pete Pride courtesy of visitstpeteclearwater.com; Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week courtesy of visitsarasota.com; Artrageous Artwalk by Sandra Baker-Hinton/Amelia SanJon Gallery; Finding Neverland by Carol Rosegg

UPCOMING EVENTS


The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel invite everyone to shellebrate the joy of beachcombing during National Seashell Day on June 21. Take a shell tour, go for a shell scavenger hunt and take part in festivities at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island. fortmyers-sanibel.com/ national-sea-shell-day St. Pete Pride, June 23-25, Florida’s largest Pride event, takes place in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg and Vinoy Park. Last year, this three-day event drew 220,000 participants for a rainbow festival, including a benefit concert, colorful nighttime parade and vibrant street festival. visitstpeteclearwater.com/ st-pete-pride-events Need to feel the speed? Be sure to attend the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival from June 24-July 4, featuring 15 racing events, a festival and so much more. sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org

SARASOTA POWERBOAT GRAND PRIX FESTIVAL

JULY

Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival by Tim Britt; Freedom Swim by Jennifer Huber; Wheels and Wings by Court Nederveld; Snooty courtesy of Bradenton Area CVB

LEGOLAND Knight Lights runs July 1-2, 4, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30. When the sun goes down, the fun goes up during LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s signature summertime event! The Good Knight offers extended park hours, unique LEGO light displays and opportunities to build alongside Master Model Builders. legoland.com/florida/planning-yourvisit/special-events/legoland-knight-lights Destin Commons is home to Smoke on the Coast BBQ & Fireworks on July 3. Area restaurants and BBQ aficionados will fire up their grills to prepare their best dishes. Attendees can sample mouthwatering BBQ dishes and cast their votes for the coveted People’s Choice title. destincommons.com/ entertain/mall-events/event/130-smoke-on-the-coast JULY 4TH FREEDOM SWIM

The July 4th Celebration at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda includes the annual Freedom Swim across the Peace River. Festivities continue throughout the day with live music, dancing and family-friendly fun. Fireworks viewing over Charlotte Harbor will begin at 9 pm. fishville.com Central Florida’s skies will light up during Star Spangled Sanford on July 4 in Fort Mellon Park. The whole family can enjoy free activities from 4-10 p.m. The Peace River Riders, a Punta Gorda-based bicycle club, presents Wheels and Wings VIII on July 8 and 9, offering five of Florida’s most scenic and challenging rides. The 40-mile Gravel Grinder is back by popular demand! peaceriverridersbicycleclub.com The downtown Sanford Art Walk is held on the third Saturday of every month from 6-9 p.m. On July 15 the art walk is themed "Aperture" and is dedicated to shutterbugs! sanfordartwalk.com

WHEELS AND WINGS

It’s all about the mango at Pine Island’s MangoMania July 15 and 16. Pine Island’s mangoes and other tropical fruits are celebrated with specialty foods and beverages, art and craft vendors, kids activities, including carnival rides and games, and a Mango Queen. pineislandchamber.org/chamber-events/ mangomania July 21 marks the 69th birthday of Snooty, the “oldest living manatee in captivity,” who resides at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Snooty’s Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival features discounted admission, games and the opportunity to sing happy birthday to Snooty! southfloridamuseum.org

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SNOOTY!

EVENTS

5


DESTINATION

FLORIDA

Siesta Beach, #1 beach in the U.S.

FLORIDA’S AWARD-WINNING BEACHES THE SUNSHINE STATE SCORES HIGH By Nancy Foster

P

ristine and picture-perfect, Florida is home to 10 of the top 20 Best U.S. Beaches, as rated by the 2017 TripAdvisor Reader’s Choice Awards. With vibrant sunrises on the Atlantic Ocean and glorious sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico, your choices for blissful sun-kissed getaways are many. Here are a few of Sunseeker's favorite Florida beaches.

Photo of Siesta Beach courtesy of Visit Sarasota County; Clearwater Beach courtesy of Todd Rogers Photography; Fort Lauderdale Beach courtesy of Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB

SIESTA BEACH

Ranked as the #1 beach in the U.S. and #5 in the world, beautiful Siesta Beach is found on Siesta Key, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Sarasota. Famed for brilliant quartz sand, calm Gulf waters and a year-round climate ideal for lazing in the sun and playing in the waters, this beach has it all. Wander a wide pedestrian esplanade and take a short stroll to Siesta Village for shops, food and bars. You’ve found your vacation paradise! visitsarasota.org/ beaches-places/siesta-key

ST. PETE BEACH

resorts, a three-mile long golden playground of sand and ultra-chic dining, beach bars and live entertainment. sunny.org

HENDERSON BEACH STATE PARK

This picturesque, unspoiled Florida State Park in the Panhandle’s famed Emerald Coast came in at #17. Explore 6,000 feet of scenic shoreline, natural dunes and numerous nature trails that lead to perfect swimming and picnicking spots. Lodging, restaurants and entertainment are minutes away in nearby Destin and Fort Walton Beach. floridastateparks.org/park/Henderson-Beach Other award-winning Florida beaches featured on TripAdvisor’s list include #5 Panama City Beach, #6 Hollywood Beach, #7 Pensacola Beach, #8 St. Augustine Beach and #12 Miami’s South Beach. Allegiant offers direct flights and vacation packages to many of these beach destinations, visit Allegiant.com.

Ranking #3, generations of beachgoers have been flocking to this West Coast barrier island community just 30 minutes from the St. PeteClearwater International Airport. Many resorts here are directly on the beach, providing easy access to powder-soft sands and stellar sunset views. With dining, shopping and water activities nearby, this beach is a true winner. stpetebeach.org

CLEARWATER BEACH

Think beautiful beachfront resorts, a nightly sunset celebration and sugar-soft sand perfect for sunning and swimming and you have #4 on the list. Dolphin and sunset cruises, restaurants offering freshly caught seafood and amazing attractions make Clearwater Beach an ideal destination for families, couples or singles. beachchamber.com

The award-winning sands of Clearwater Beach

FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH

Head for the special vibe and hip attitude of this East Coast hotspot, ranked #11. Fort Lauderdale lures with charming boutique inns and glitzy

Beautiful Fort Lauderdale Beach FLORIDA

7


DESTINATION

EMERALD COAST

Fudpucker’s colorful and cooling signature Fudpuckerita

FROSTY LIBATIONS ON THE EMERALD COAST COOL OFF WITH THESE FAB FROZEN COCKTAILS By Gabriele Walkow

W

ith endless days of sunshine, warm turquoise waters and soft sandy beaches, the Emerald Coast is an unsurpassed summer destination for Allegiant travelers. Of course, with the soaring temperatures visitors will need to quench their thirst, and the frosty cocktails served at these popular restaurants promise to cool you off in no time. Cheers!

FUDPUCKER’S RESTAURANTS

LUCY BUFFETT’S LULU’S

With a special waterfront ambience, Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s offers a great family environment with fabulous food, live music, a beach for the kids and more, including an enticing adult beverage menu. The Jet Ski Killer, made with Margaritaville Spiced Rum, Margaritaville Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, banana puree and pina colada mix, will definitely sneak up on you! Or sample Lulu’s World Famous Bushwacker, a special blend of vanilla ice cream, coffee liqueur and Margaritaville Coconut Rum. Lulu’s also has its own beer—the Crazy Sista Honey Ale. lulubuffett.com/destin

HARRY T’S

LuLu’s World Famous Bushwacker 8

FLORIDA

Harry T’s sits in the heart of beautiful Destin Harbor at picturesque HarborWalk Village. Named in honor of the famous trapeze artist Harrison Baben, Harry T’s offers a playful circus-themed ambience with breathtaking views. Cool off with the Bushwacker, discovered by Harry T while living in the Panhandle. This delightful concoction is made with ice cream, Kahlua and dark rum. Or try the Purple Dragon with peach schnapps, vodka, Blue Curacao, cranberry juice, a splash of sprite and sour mix. Perennial favorites such as pina coladas, strawberry daiquiris and Miami Vice cocktails will also quench your thirst. harryts.com

Photo of Fudpuckerita courtesy of Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill; Bushwacker courtesy of Lucy Buffett's LuLu's

Dedicated to food, fun and friends, Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill has two unique locations, one in Destin and the other in Fort Walton Beach on Okaloosa Island. At the Fudpucker’s in Destin, enjoy a cold drink

outside on the deck that overlooks Gator Beach (home to 100 live alligators). While at Fudpucker’s in Fort Walton Beach, icecold beverages beckon in a colorful, casual waterfront setting overlooking Fud’s Bayside Marina. Both places offer a fantastic frozen drinks menu, including the Fudpuckerita. This signature frozen margarita features frozen lime juice infused with mango, strawberry and passion fruit. fudpucker.com


Luxury redefined.

D E S T I N ,

F L O R I D A

It was created as a getaway. It will quickly become a tradition. Reminiscent of a grand seaside manor of yesteryear, a visit to The Henderson will be rewarded with panoramic Gulf views, an expansive nature-inspired spa, the freshest Gulf-to-table cuisine and an array of outdoor amenities and activities all wrapped in attentive and gracious hospitality. Visit HendersonBeachResort.com or call 844.211.4533


DESTINATION

EMERALD COAST

Romance is in the air at Henderson Park Inn

ROMANTIC RETREATS ON THE EMERALD COAST By Gabriele Walkow

H

ome to spectacular sunsets, award-winning beaches and luxurious accommodations with exceptional amenities, the Emerald Coast is the perfect place for couples to reconnect and rejuvenate all year long. These romantic retreats promise to pamper and provide the ultimate romantic beach vacation experience.

HENDERSON PARK INN

Photos of outdoor seating and ocean view room courtesy of the Henderson Park Inn, 2017; chocolate covered strawberries courtesy of the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village; The Courtyard courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott, 2017

Romance is definitely in the air at Destin’s Henderson Park Inn, named #1 Most Romantic Hotel in North America and #2 Most Romantic Hotel in the World by About.com Reader’s Choice contest. This adults-only New England-style

Henderson Park Inn is a lavish destination

boutique hotel, overlooking more than a mile of pristine sandy beach on the sparkling shores of the Emerald Coast, is an exceptional blend of charm and grace. The 36 lavish rooms and suites include a gourmet breakfast, picnic boxed lunch, sunset cocktails at the tiki hut and more. Guests are welcomed with a complimentary bottle of wine, fresh grapes and chocolates upon arrival. Now that sets the tone for romance! This oceanfront jewel is also a popular destination for weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. hendersonparkinn.com

EMERALD GRANDE AT HARBORWALK VILLAGE

Overlooking panoramic, turquoise waters and dazzling sunsets, the deluxe vacation rentals at the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village provide a stellar setting for romance. All units feature private balconies, spacious floor plans, large plush beds, rich finishings and a full service concierge. Amenities include a European spa, fitness center, indoor and outdoor heated pools and jacuzzis, free beach chair service and a boat shuttle to your own secluded beach. Add a private in-room chef and you have the recipe for a truly romantic experience! This Destin resort is surrounded by picturesque HarborWalk Village, home to a variety of lively restaurants, activities and entertainment. emeraldgrande.com

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT FORT WALTON BEACH-WEST DESTIN

The Emerald Grande’s chocolate covered strawberries add a romantic touch!

The Courtyard by Marriott is paradise perfected

Put your toes in the sand, relax under a beach umbrella or stroll for miles along the coastline at this beautiful beachfront hotel on Okaloosa Island. The Skywalk is a romantic transition from the sparkling outdoor pool area to the warm, soft sands and emerald green waters of the beach. The luxurious Ocean View, Bay View and Partial View Beachfront guest rooms offer panoramas of endless sand, sea and sky. Enjoy exotic drinks and nosh on delicious food at the Island Pool Bar or, should the temperatures dip, savor a bottle of fine wine by the warmth of the fire pit. This is the perfect destination for making romantic memories. marriott.com/vpscf FLORIDA

11


DESTINATION

LEE COUNTY

Explore miles of bike trails at Lovers Key State Park

COASTAL PARKS EXTRAORDINAIRE DISCOVERING LEE COUNTY’S TREASURES By Holly B. Morris

A

t the southern end of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Lee County’s coastlines and barrier islands have beckoned to visitors for years. Visit these coastal parks and discover Lee County’s true treasures.

LOVERS KEY STATE PARK

Beach-goers visiting Lovers Key State Park begin their adventure riding in a tram over a wooden boardwalk banked by mangrove forests. It's not long before the view opens to a brilliant beach and sparkling emerald waters. The pristine beach at Lovers Key is a must-do, but there are other reasons to visit. Walk beside tranquil waterways on Black Island Trail as kayakers and paddleboarders silently slide by. Stop to watch lazy manatees and playful dolphins. Listen for osprey and eagles. Explore miles of bicycle trails. Go saltwater fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, shelling, bird watching, swimming, or just have a picnic. Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are available for rent. floridastateparks.org/park/Lovers-Key

Wildlife Drive is the main thoroughfare, where visitors can hike, bike, drive or take a tram tour. Be on the lookout for manatees, alligators and over 245 bird species. Stop at Mangrove Overlook, a boardwalk leading to an expansive inland waterway where the only sound is jumping mullet. It’s easy to see why birds like it here: the fishing is good and the living is easy, with over 6,400 acres of protected land. Return to the Education Center to learn about the work of Jay “Ding” Darling, the migratory flyways and more. The interactive exhibits and hands-on stations teach visitors about the wildlife that call this slice of paradise home. fws.gov/refuge/jn_ding_darling/

CAYO COSTA STATE PARK

Tranquil waters at "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge

The shifting sands of Cayo Costa State Park

J.N. “DING” DARLING WILDLIFE REFUGE

12

FLORIDA

Photos courtesy of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel/fortmyers-sanibel.com

There’s plenty to see and do at the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island—a world-renowned mecca for bird watchers.

Cayo Costa State Park is the place to go for outdoor adventure. This barrier island is only accessible by boat, but Captiva Cruises offers ferry service to the park from various locations in Fort Myers and Punta Gorda. Go for the day or camp overnight. There are miles of secluded beach, and forests of oak, pine, palm and mangrove. Rent bikes, or hike to explore six miles of trails. Fishing is big in the waters off Cayo Costa—especially Boca Grande Pass, where tarpon fishing draws anglers from around the world. floridastateparks.org/park/Cayo-Costa


NO 01

The best souvenirs are priceless and also free.

CAPTIVA ISLAND, FL

Islandology is our way of life. It’s knowing sand dollars, giant whelks and more than 400 kinds of seashells roll onto our shores. To some, it’s about the thrill of the hunt. To us, it’s a memory to hold on to. Plan your trip at FortMyers-Sanibel.com


DESTINATION

FORT MYERS BEACH

The whole family will have fun at Junkanoo!

FUN FAMILY-FRIENDLY DINING ON FORT MYERS BEACH By Gabriele Walkow

H

ome to sun kissed beaches, warm tropical waters and amazing activities, Fort Myers Beach is paradise found for families. Busy families get hungry and with their flavorful and fun menus these Fort Myers Beach restaurants will make everyone in your group happy.

Photo of Junkanoo by Franco Russo; Nervous Nellie's courtesy of Nervous Nellie's; Fish Tacos and Doc's Ford's courtesy of Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille

NERVOUS NELLIE’S

Full of character, this casual, colorful restaurant boasts an extensive selection of appetizers, fresh seafood, over-stuffed sandwiches and entrees. Dine in air-conditioned comfort or outside on Nellie’s expansive waterfront patio. Fuel hungry young appetites with the tender and tasty Oh! Chicken Fingers, which come with crispy plank fries; the Golden Macaroni and Cheese, with bacon and grilled chicken; or the half-pound Dreamful Cheeseburger. The frozen smoothies, with flavors like Mighty Chocolate, are sure to cool off the kids, and the whole family will enjoy the best Key lime pie north of Key West! nervousnellies.net

JUNKANOO

Offering everything you will need for a fab family day, this breezy waterfront hangout has beach chair, wave runner and kayak rentals, and beach games like cornhole. With a menu featuring pizza, burgers and seafood, Junkanoo is home to great meals for the whole gang! The kids will love the hand tossed cheese pizza and the grilled chicken flat bread pizza. Made from a recipe handed down from generation to generation, Papa’s Meatball Sub with melted mozzarella cheese is another favorite of the younger set, as is the half-pound Junkanoo Burger served with a choice of fries, sweet potato fries, potato salad or coleslaw. With indoor and open air dining overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, this is an unforgettable family dining destination. junkanooonthebeach.com

sauce, and the Chicken Tenders, which are lightly fried and served with buttermilk ranch and honey mustard dressing. They can also choose from a hamburger, hot dog, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, pepperoni pizza, mac and cheese or pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese. If you are on Sanibel or Captiva Islands, you can enjoy Doc Ford’s there as well. Each Doc Ford location offers its own unique atmosphere! docfords.com/ft-myers-beach

Nervous Nellie’s is a casual, colorful waterfront eatery

The delectable Fish Tacos at Doc Ford’s

DOC FORD’S RUM BAR & GRILLE

With a scenic vista of Estero Bay, this local favorite offers fab food, live music and waterfront seating. After a busy day on the beach, the kids can dig into Doc Ford’s Famous Fish Fingers, fried golden brown and served with Doc’s tartar

Welcome to Doc Ford’s Fort Myers Beach! FLORIDA

15


DESTINATION DESTINATION LAKE LEE COUNTY COUNTY

Paddle spectacular Dora Canal

EXPERIENCE LAKE COUNTY A PLAYGROUND FOR WATER ENTHUSIASTS By Gabriele Walkow

B

ordered by Ocala National Forest to the north and the hills of Clermont to the south, Lake County is a year-round Central Florida playground for water enthusiasts. Just a 35-minute drive from Orlando and easily accessible via I-75 to the west and I-4 to the east, visitors will discover more than 1,000 idyllic lakes and rivers waiting to be explored and enjoyed from 14 municipalities. These municipalities, each with its own charming small town personality and historic downtown district, offer unique water ecotourism adventures for Allegiant travelers.

right from your dock or beach. Jones Brothers & Co. also offers seaplane tours from Lake Dora. Their popular Lake Dora: Air, Land and Sea Package is an unforgettable way to experience the Harris Chain of Lakes. Enjoy a 1.5 hour boat cruise through the unspoiled Dora Canal with Premier Boat Cruises, disembark at the Tavares Seaplane Base to enjoy a 15 minute seaplane flight, followed by a lunch hour, where you are free to explore Wooton Park. The excursion ends with a trolley tour back to Mount Dora along beautiful Lakeshore Drive.

“Lake County is known for its picturesque lakefront downtowns and natural resources,” said Robert Chandler, Lake County’s Economic Growth Director. “It’s the perfect destination for kayaking, fishing Florida’s top bass lakes or a thrilling seaplane ride.”

Mount Dora is also home to Cat Boat Tours, offering a unique way to explore the area on high performance boats. See the sights of the Lake Dora shoreline and then cruise at high speed across Lake Dora to the spectacular Dora Canal, also known as the Dora Jungle Canal, during a fully narrated and guided tour. The experts at Cat Boat Tours will ensure you have a fun-filled adventure.

Tavares, the county seat of Lake County, is known as America’s Seaplane City. Visitors can enjoy a memorable Jones Brothers & Co. air and seaplane adventure with an exciting Flightseeing Tour of Lake County. In addition to scheduled tours and itineraries, routes can be customized for specific destinations, and exclusive rides can be arranged

Try out a cat boat in Lake County 16

COVER STORY

Canoeists and kayakers seeking paddle paradise can glide down eight different Blueways—state designated trails on the water—thanks to the Lake County Community Blueway Project. Physical and geo-positioned markers guide all travelers through the waterways, which range from easy, for casual or novice users, to wilderness trails. Wilderness Blueways are located in more remote, undeveloped areas and offer paddlers hiking and camping opportunities. Regardless of skill level, those who wander on water will be very happy to take in picturesque views of wading birds, alligators, otters, eagles and much more, as the abundance of wildlife is everywhere. Don’t forget your camera! Be sure to visit Get Wet Water Sports, perfectly situated on the Harris Chain of Lakes where the cities of Tavares, Leesburg, Eustis and Mount Dora


intersect. A one-stop destination for all of your water sports needs, your “Premier Family Recreation Specialists” offer a large and affordable selection of rentals from paddleboards and kayaks to jet skis and fishing boards for a truly personalized day on the water. No lifejacket or beach towel? Not to worry, Get Wet Water Sports stocks it all.

Photos courtesy of Lake County Tourism

For those looking to get hooked, Lake County is home to seven of the top 11 lakes for bass in Florida. Featuring more than 1,400 named lakes, this is the place to catch a trophy fish! Of course, you may also reel in catfish, crappie, shellcrackers, sunshine bass, bluegill and gar. Choose from several fishing and charter boats, including Bill Van Tassell Fishing Guide Services, Fishing Unlimited, Bass N Gal Guide Service and Gdawgbass Guide Service. Fishing enthusiasts visiting Lake County can visit lakebigbass.com/sun to get information about the county’s top fishing lakes, including size and variety of fish, water depth, a directory of boat ramps, marinas and bait and tackle shops; charter boat rental information, fishing guide services, tournament listings, testimonials from top anglers and competitive fishermen, and a searchable, interactive map to explore fishing-related locales, as well as places to stay, play and dine within Lake County. For more action on the water, consider world renowned Swiss Waterski Resort (formerly Swiss Ski School) located in Clermont, the largest city in the county. Founded in 1979, Swiss Waterski Resort is comprised of custom-made ski lakes with waterfront Mediterranean villas. Skiers of all levels can share the dock and their experiences on the water. Family members will enjoy their stay in the lakefront villas with pool, jacuzzi and full amenities, which include an 18-hole golf course, private tennis court and lakeside restaurant and bar. Combine pleasure and performance at Swiss Waterski Resort! For more on this outdoor, ecotourism paradise, go to visitlakefl.com/sun or call 352-742-3918 to begin planning your Lake County adventure, where you can experience Real Florida. Real Close.

Take an exciting seaplane tour

Catch a trophy fish

Swiss Waterski Resort is home to action on the water COVER STORY

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DESTINATION

OCALA/MARION COUNTY

The par-3 5th hole at Ocala National Golf Club

TEE TIME! OCALA/MARION COUNTY GOLF COURSES ARE ON PAR WITH FLORIDA’S BEST By Heather Turk

O

cala/Marion County always scores a hole in one with visitors looking for a classic Florida golf experience. Home to more than 30 diverse golf courses—many open for public play—golfers will have no problem finding a course to tee off on that challenges players of every skill level.

JULIETTE FALLS

This par-72, Terry Doss-designed championship golf course comprises 187 acres of Ocala’s lush green countryside and rolling hills. Totaling 7,143 yards (although it can be played as short as 4,853 yards), guests will find strategically placed water on 11 of the 18 holes. There are also seven sets of tees to allow multiple levels of golfers to play the course and enjoy themselves. Premium tee time pricing throughout the year ranges from $36 to $50, with twilight rates as low as $18; public players can book tee times up to 14 days in advance. There’s also a driving range, practice putting green, practice chipping green, golf shop and grille on premise. stonecreekgolfocala.com

OCALA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB

Host to many professional, state and national amateur events over the years, this tranquil, Rees Jones-redesigned course in Ocala is set among rolling hills and thoroughbred horse farms. Stretching to 7,364 yards from the black tees (4,754 yards from the red tees), the par-72, championship layout features various elevation changes that create different lies, which golfers who typically play flat courses have to adjust to. Players are guided through dramatic slopes and challenging bunkers, resulting in even the most experienced golfer having to raise his or her game. Green fees range from $29.95 to $59.95, depending on the time of day and year. ocalanational.com 18

FLORIDA

The Falls, the par-3 13th hole at Juliette FallsFalls

The par-5 11th hole at Stone Creek Golf Club

Photo of Ocala National Golf Club by Nile Young; Juliette Falls by Brian Walters for Dave Richards Photography; Stone Creek Golf Club courtesy of Stone Creek Golf Club

Named the fourth best under-publicized golf course in Florida by worldgolf.com in 2016, this John Sanford-designed, par-72 course in Dunnellon is a true hidden gem. Offering five sets of tees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels, guests can play anywhere from 7,236 to 5,071 yards. The striking 18-hole course features a collection of man-made ponds and four waterfalls around its greens, making for one of Central Florida’s more enjoyable upscale courses near Ocala. Challenging holes include the par-5 6th, which plays over a small lake before doglegging left to an elevated green, and the par-4 9th, which plays downhill and is drivable from the tee with a distance of 300 to 355 yards. Golf rates vary but start as low as $36.95. juliettefalls.com

STONE CREEK GOLF CLUB


Take a Vacation

from Your Vacation Experience ‘Real Florida. Real Close.’

www. R eal F lorida R eal C lose.com/sunseeker Lake County is known for its picturesque lakefront downtowns and unique, exciting attractions. Discover the “Real Florida,” just 30 minutes from metro Orlando.


DESTINATION

ORLANDO

Hang on tight for Kraken Unleashed, SeaWorld’s new virtual reality experience

SEAWORLD ORLANDO CELEBRATES SUMMER WITH DAZZLING NEW SHOWS AND ATTRACTIONS By Gabriele Walkow

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llegiant travelers heading to Orlando this summer will be wowed by SeaWorld Orlando’s amazing line up of new shows and attractions. From brilliant bubble artistry and an electrifying summer nighttime celebration to an unleashed virtual reality roller coaster experience, prepare for even greater family fun at SeaWorld this summer!

“POP” – BUBBLE SHOW BEGINS MAY 28, 2017

Celebrate another side of the sea, as SeaWorld and Bubble Legendary present “Pop.” World-renowned bubble master Fan Yang combines the wonder of the natural world with his amazing bubble artistry. Guests can watch him recreate colorful sea vents and other ocean brilliance at the “Pop”- Bubble Show. Prepare to be blown away!

KRAKEN® UNLEASHED VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) EXPERIENCE – OPENING JUNE 16, 2017

ELECTRIC OCEAN – BEGINNING JUNE 17, 2017

When the sun goes down, dive into Electric Ocean, SeaWorld’s all-new summer nighttime spectacular offering guests a different kind of family-friendly fun after dark. An outrageous, 20

FLORIDA

With awe-inspiring lasers and nightly fireworks, Electric Ocean will rock SeaWorld Orlando

exotic celebration of light and music, this festival is as vibrant as the sea itself. Guests will be immersed in a glowing ocean of wonder with brilliant energy, electrifying dance music and dazzling light as world-class DJ’s transform the night into an all-ages club beneath the waves. With awe-inspiring lasers and nightly fireworks, Electric Ocean brings a dazzling line-up of family fun to SeaWorld Orlando. Summer nights at SeaWorld have never been brighter! For more information on these vibrant new shows and exciting attractions, visit seaworld.com/orlando.

Photos courtesy of 2017© SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld Orlando will debut its first digitally enhanced ride experience when the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster experience. On the Kraken Unleashed: Virtual Reality-Roller Coaster guests will embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken. A custom digital overlay with uniquely designed VR headsets delivers a new one-of-akind adventure to this 150-foot tall, 65 mph fanfavorite. The addition of VR to this popular ride brings a new level of excitement and interest in Kraken, giving guests the opportunity to experience the coaster in a completely new way.


EXPERIENCES THAT MATTER There’s no better place to feel a connection with nature than at our parks. Where fun and l a u g h t e r are as common as the stunning sights at SeaWorld ®. W h e r e t h r i l l i n g r o l l e r c o a s t e r s s o a r t h r o u g h t h e e x o t i c l a n d s o f B u s c h G a r d e n s ®. And where underwater adventures give way to w o n d e r a n d e x c i t e m e n t a t A q u a t i c a ®. E x p l o r e t h e w o r l d a r o u n d y o u b y making memorable connections at all of our parks.

ADVANCED PURCHASE SAVE

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$

BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE AND SAVE! VISIT ALLEGIANT.COM ©2017 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.


DESTINATION

ORLANDO

The Coca Cola store and rooftop bar

DISNEY SPRINGS SOME MAGIC FOR ADULTS

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one-of-a-kind Disney destination offers visitors a sophisticated mix of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment in a setting inspired by waterfront towns from Florida’s 1900s. This multi-year, multi-phase project that transformed Downtown Disney into Disney Springs is now complete with the May 2016 opening of its fourth neighborhood, Town Center. Featuring Spanish-revival style architecture, Town Center offers upscale shops and a promenade where guests can relax and enjoy breathtaking vistas overlooking The Spring, the heart and soul of the property. In total, the 120-acre Disney Springs is comprised of four neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. Discover fun all day at Disney Springs with more than 150 different venues. Shopping ranges from unique boutiques to high-end brand name retailers such as Lilly Pulitzer, Lacoste, Kate Spade New York, Sephora, Tommy Bahama and many more. Guests can enjoy a variety of tantalizing fare at more than 50 food and beverage locations throughout Disney Springs. From grab-andgo kiosks such as The Daily Poutine or B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Company to casually themed restaurants like Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, visitors are sure to find something to satisfy their

By Sandra Chambers

taste buds. And for those seeking upscale dining options, Disney Springs offers several restaurants with James Beard Award-winning chefs, including Morimoto Asia, Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Kitchen and Southern Shine, Frontera Cocina, Portobello Country Italian Trattoria and Wolfgang Puck Café. When the sun sets, Disney Springs comes alive with more than 25 different nightly entertainment acts, ranging from street musicians and concerts to various clubs and stage shows, including Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues. A few not-to-be missed venues include Sprinkles with its handcrafted cupcakes that can be enjoyed 24/7 thanks to their innovative ATM cupcake machine! The Coca Cola store, only one of three retail locations in the country, features unique merchandise and a rooftop bar offering over 100 Coca Cola drinks. Try the International Tray—a sampling of 16 Coca Cola beverages from around the world. At the Marketplace, marvel at the world’s largest Disney merchandise store. Then, drive right into the lake in a vintage American Amphicar at The BOATHOUSE restaurant or take in a bird’s-eye view of Disney Springs and Walt Disney World from 400 feet up aboard the world’s largest tethered helium balloon. For more info see disneysprings.com.

All photos courtesy of Walt Disney World

Enjoy handcrafted cupcakes at Sprinkles 22

FLORIDA

Town Center features unique boutiques and high-end brands


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DESTINATION

SANFORD

The delectable Surf & Turf Kabob at St. Johns River Steak & Seafood

SAVORY SEAFOOD IN SANFORD COME SAMPLE THE OCEAN’S BEST! By Gabriele Walkow

H

ome to a wide variety of restaurants, Florida’s Sanford area also boasts several seafood gems. Come nosh and sample in the sun and leave seafood satisfied!

Photo of Surf & Turf Kabob by Chef/GM Keland McWilliams Sr; Scallop Jalapeno and Spicy Tuna Roll courtesy of Jimotti’s Restaurant; FishBones courtesy of FishBones

ST. JOHNS RIVER STEAK & SEAFOOD Sanford’s #1 waterfront dining experience is located on beautiful Marina Island and offers unsurpassed views, delectable lunch and dinner options, and superb service. The extensive fresh seafood selection includes appetizers like traditional island-style Conch Fritters and the zesty Buffalo Shrimp. Chef’s Homemade Crab Cake (homemade crab cake with crab claw meat, green peppers, onions and a hint of Ole Bay, and served sautéed or fried with jalapeno tartar sauce) is offered as an appetizer and a Seafood Dinner, where additional delectable crab cakes fill your plate. The Surf & Turf Kabob, featuring shrimp and steak, combines the best of both sea and land! stjrss.com

popular sushi bar presenting unique creations, such as the Lobster Makimono Roll with fried lobster, eel sauce, lemon butter, masago and toasted almonds. Starters include the Bahamian Smoked Fish Dip, which is lightly smoked and island spiced with a hint of lemon. Fish options include Atlantic King Salmon and Chilean Sea Bass. The Szechwan “Ahi” Atlantic Tuna Mignon, seared rare and toasted with a sesame seed peppercorn crust, is cutting edge. Succulent steaks and prime rib round out an extraordinary menu. fishbonesrestaurants.com

JIMOTTI’S RESTAURANT

Open for lunch and dinner, this Japanese-style tapas restaurant is a tribute to Chef Junichi’s love for fresh, organic ingredients and imported Japanese fish with phenomenal flavors. With a menu reflecting traditional Japanese fare such as sushi, sashimi, rolls, ramen, platters and combination dinners, Chef Junichi has many additional creative offerings. Take A Chance tempts with 3-pieces of spicy tuna stuffed jalapenos lightly fried with sweet sauce. The Heartwarming Pork Belly offers a non-seafood option with simmered, smoked and grilled pork belly accompanied by citrus carrot sauce. A Kid’s Menu with Mac’n Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Japanese Fried Chicken will keep everyone in the family happy. jimotti.com

The Scallop Jalapeno at Jimotti's Restaurant

The delicious Spicy Tuna Roll at Jimotti’s Restaurant

FISHBONES

This upscale Key West-inspired destination for seafood, steak and raw bar selections is located nearby in Lake Mary. With two award-winning locations, the second in Orlando, these local favorites are a must-try for fresh seafood flown in daily. The Lake Mary location also offers a

FishBones is an upscale Key West-inspired destination FLORIDA

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Scenic Riding Incredible Hiking Do More

Springs Tubing

Sky-High Ziplining Kayaking Adventures Do more of what you love in Ocala/Marion County, where you can get away from it all and get closer to the most important things. Whether it’s a thrilling zipline tour of the forest’s wild beauty, or charting your own course as you kayak through nature on crystal clear springs, the adventures you’ll find here are truly one-in-a-million. Explore and do more at OcalaMarion.com ocalamarion

17_OMC_0033_Sunseeker_Tubing_HalfPg_5.125x5.125.indd 1

@ocalamarion

@ocalamarion

4/18/17 10:39 AM


DESTINATION

JACKSONVILLE

Food Truck Fridays are a growing family-friendly trend in many of Jacksonville’s neighborhoods

JACKSONVILLE'S FOOD TRUCK FRENZY ICONIC EATERIES OFFER CROWD-PLEASING TASTES By Sandra Chambers

J

acksonville, Florida, has garnered quite a reputation for its food truck culture. More than 100 trucks, many of which are owned by professional chefs, offer up a wide variety of gourmet and ethnic fare at various locations throughout the Jacksonville area.

Photos of Food Truck Friday's, Funkadelic and Banana Lumpia by Nancy White; Latin Soul Grille by Sandra Chambers

With food truck options like On The Fly’s Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimp Tacos; Funkadelic's Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich; Fusion’s classic Indian, Thai and Mediterranean specials; and desserts like Danilo’s Banana Lumpia, there's something to please all taste buds.

Funkadelic food truck draws crowds at a local Jacksonville event

Latin Soul Grille serves lunch at Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville

Satisfy your sweet tooth with Danilo’s famous Banana Lumpia

Every weekend food trucks can be found at local festivals, farmer's markets, and cultural and sporting events as well as at many local breweries. "Food trucks fit perfectly into our diverse, evolving social structure," said local author Nancy White, who has written a book about this foodie phenomenon (Jacksonville Food Truck/ Stories & Recipes From the Road, The History Press © 2015). Much of the success of the city's food truck industry can be attributed to the JAX Truckies, a collaborative organization of food truck vendors, patrons, bloggers and other entrepreneurs that began in 2012 as a passion-driven hobby of Mike Field and his girlfriend, Caron Steibich. With a current membership of 73 food trucks and 35,000 Facebook followers, the JAX Truckies work with city officials, assist new truckie entrepreneurs and provide a central booking service for events. They also participate in several local charity events. Chef Chris Brown, current director for JAX Truckies, reports that the organization has given back more than $30,000 to the local community. The annual JAX Truckies Food Truck Championship draws crowds from across Northeast Florida. The 2017 sixth annual championship will take place the first weekend in October. A panel of judges will award trophies, fondly known as Truckies, for the Best Taco, Best BBQ, Best Sandwich, Best Global Cuisine, Most Innovative, Best Sweet Tooth and a People's Choice Award. The JAX food truck scene continues to grow with the recent opening of The Court Urban Food Park, the city's first permanent food truck court. A few trucks have also morphed into brick and mortar restaurants, including Corner Taco, Super Food & Brew and the Happy Grilled Cheese. When visiting Jacksonville, the best way to discover food truck locations and events is on their Facebook page, facebook.com/jaxtruckies or go to jaxtruckies.org. FLORIDA

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WATERFRONT RESTAURANTS, BOUTIQUES, RESORT & MARINA

There's always something happening at Fishermen's Village

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DESTINATION

PUNTA GORDA

The Sunday brunch buffet at Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill

STELLAR BRUNCH SPOTS START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT IN PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH By Heather Turk

Photo of brunch buffet courtesy of Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill; Tina’s Cafe & Bakery Vienna by Jennifer Huber; The Turtle Club courtesy of pureflorida.com

T

here’s no better way to celebrate the weekend than enjoying a leisurely brunch with friends or family. Punta Gorda/ Englewood Beach has several restaurants in the area that offer this increasingly popular midmorning meal.

HURRICANE CHARLEY’S RAW BAR & GRILL

Winner of the 2016 Charlotte Sun Reader’s Choice Award for Best Sunday Brunch, this waterfront restaurant in Punta Gorda serves Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Priced at just $12.50, the bountiful brunch buffet features a smorgasbord of breakfast and lunch favorites, including eggs prepared several different ways, as well as a carving station with selections that change weekly and a full salad bar. Guests can also indulge in a Bloody Mary bar for just $5 more. Starting at 11 a.m., guests can order selections off the restaurant’s lunch menu, too, which includes such delectable dishes as the Lobster Overdose: succulent lobster on a buttery split-top roll served with a cup of lobster bisque and a side of coleslaw. hurricanecharleys.com

TINA’S CAFE & BAKERY VIENNA

Located in downtown Punta Gorda, this authentic Austrian eatery serves one of the area’s most memorable Sunday brunches. Available by reservation only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,

Charming Tina’s Cafe & Bakery Vienna

guests will be treated to a five-course feast for just $40. Each meal includes an Austrian entrée like roast pork with sauerkraut and potato dumplings, as well as your choice of French onion soup, goulash soup or potato mushroom soup. There’s also a buffet-type spread with seasonal fruits, homemade granola and several other dishes for guests to enjoy, and each meal comes with smoked salmon, toast and various Viennese cakes. Guests can savor a selection of European wines and Austrian beers during brunch, too, for an additional fee. facebook. com/tinascafevienna

THE TURTLE CLUB

This coastal tavern in Punta Gorda recently began serving Saturday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to a selection of brunch classics, like custom-made omelets and buttermilk pancakes with flavors that change weekly, the à la carte menu features a variety of sumptuous starters, such as the Crispy Fried Oysters served with a sweet pepper remoulade. Other delightful dishes include the Banana French Toast topped with a cream cheese mousse and bananas foster’s rum sauce, and the Lump Crab Eggs Benedict made with poached eggs, a toasted English muffin, spinach and béarnaise. Live blues music on the patio completes this casually elegant brunch experience. turtleclubpg.com

Enjoy The Turtle Club’s patio during its new Saturday brunch FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

PUNTA GORDA

See alligators and an assortment of other wildlife during a Babcock Ranch Eco-Tour

GO WILD IN PUNTA GORDA/ ENGLEWOOD BEACH GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH NATURE! By Heather Turk

G

iven its pristine location along Florida’s southwest Gulf coast, the Punta Gorda/ Englewood Beach area affords visitors plenty of ways to get in touch with nature. Next time you want to get up close to some native (and not-so-native) wildlife, take a walk or ride on the wild side and visit one of these area attractions.

BABCOCK RANCH ECO-TOURS

This 90-minute tour through the Babcock Ranch Preserve in Punta Gorda introduces guests to the historic Crescent B Ranch. Ride a

tour buggy past alligators, migratory birds and a herd of Florida Cracker cattle, descended from the first cattle brought to the state in the 1500s. During the informative excursion, passengers will also have the chance to see a rescued red-tailed hawk and stroll on a boardwalk through a swamp to the ranch’s resident Florida panthers enclosure, where Osceola the panther often comes right up to guests to say hello! Other attractions on site include a museum and a memorial to Lulu the three-horned cow. babcockranchecotours.com

Photo of alligator by Terry Covert; Pete the tiger by Andrea Calkins; Luna courtesy of Peace River Wildlife Center

OCTAGON WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Pete, one of the Bengal tigers at the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary

Luna is one of Peace River Wildlife Center’s most popular residents

Dubbed the city’s “wildest retirement center,” visitors can get up close to dozens of rescued animals at this Punta Gorda attraction. Home to a variety of discarded and mistreated animals that were born in captivity and therefore can’t be released into the wild, guests will get within approximately five feet from such exotic animals as cougars, primates, lions and even a hyena. Several species of smaller animals call the sanctuary their forever home, too, including land tortoises, goats and macaws. Be sure to visit the tigers and bears and watch them play in their swimming pools—they love splashing around! octagonwildlife.org

PEACE RIVER WILDLIFE CENTER

Tucked into the mangroves overlooking Charlotte Harbor at Ponce de Leon Park, this Punta Gorda wildlife facility takes in more than 2,000 injured or displaced animals every year. Although its goal is to rescue and rehabilitate native Florida wildlife, it houses more than 100 non-releasable animals—most of them birds— to educate visitors on living in harmony with nature. Among the permanent residents that guests will see in spacious aviaries and habitats are eagles, hawks, crows and vultures, as well as an all-white screech owl named Luna. Visitors can also watch pelicans and other large sea birds being fed every afternoon at 2:30 p.m. peaceriverwildlifecenter.org FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

PUNTA GORDA

Mango Bistro’s unique Cuban sandwich

HANDCRAFTED CUBANOS IN PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH By Gabriele Walkow

Photo of Mango Bistro's Cuban sandwhiches by Marie Laforge; Cubby's Cubano courtesy of Cubby’s Ice Cream Shop; Cuban Taste's Cubano by Armando Diaz

W

arm and crunchy on the outside with a delicious combination of fillings on the inside and pressed to perfection, the popular Cuban sandwich—sometimes called a Cuban mix, a mixto, a Cuban pressed sandwich or a Cubano—has deep roots in Florida. Allegiant travelers exploring Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach will discover both traditional and unique Cubanos on menus in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Englewood. Either way, your taste buds will tingle over the divine Cuban sandwiches served up by these restaurants.

pickles with a house-made mango chipotle sauce on marble rye and served with organic blue corn chips, this is not your usual Cuban sandwich but a Mango Bistro version of the traditional recipe. Pair this unique Cubano with specialty coffees and teas, pure fruit smoothies or handpicked wines and beers. Their menu also includes grilled paninis, gourmet wraps, authentic French crêpes, heartwarming soups, garden fresh salads, mouthwatering desserts and baked goods, healthy breakfasts and delightful dinners. mangobistro.com

CUBBY’S ICE CREAM SHOP

At this popular Punta Gorda mainstay, the Cubano sandwich is their number one seller in a large and varied menu. Mustard, pickles, pork loin roasted and sliced on-site, ham and Swiss cheese are pressed to perfection to create a mouthwatering Cuban sandwich. For dessert, choose from a delightful ice cream menu sure to cool you off. At Cubby’s all 23 flavors are homemade and include such popular options as mint chocolate chip, butter pecan and red raspberry chocolate chip. Hot fudge sundaes, banana splits, malts and root beer floats will also tempt you! 941.637.9600

CUBAN TASTE RESTAURANT

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner this busy Port Charlotte restaurant serves homemade Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American fare. Claiming to be home to the best authentic Cuban sandwich in town, the Cubano here includes pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on Cuban bread. Accompany this savory sandwich with a Café con Leche, Café Cubano or Cuban Expresso. Always remember to check the special of the day, which can include Chicken Stew, Fried Pork, Shredded Beef and Oxtail, depending on the day. 941.883.2233

The delicious Cubano at Cubby’s Ice Cream Shop

MANGO BISTRO

Englewood’s Mango Bistro offers a variety of freshly made specialty foods in a fun atmosphere, surrounded by colorful décor. Available during lunch, prepare for a Cubano with a twist here. Featuring seasoned pulled pork, Swiss cheese and

Cuban Taste Restaurant’s authentic Cuban sandwich FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

CORTEZ

The view toward Bradenton Beach from Cortez

SOMETHING FISHY IN CORTEZ, FLA. BRADENTON BEACH’S SALTY, TIME-TRIPPING NEIGHBOR By Chelle Koster Walton

T

Most visitors make the trip for a watersport charter adventure, and to relish the freshest of seafood at its source just offloaded in the harbor. Star Fish Company is one of the oldest and most hailed of the seafood markets and dockside restaurants in Cortez. You must try the fried or blackened mullet, the local catch, as you overlook the boats in port and the photogenic, stilted net camp house used in the filming of Denzel Washington’s movie Out of Time. Immediately behind Star Fish, the history lessons begin with murals and a sculpture alluding to another Cortez-Hollywood connection. It honors local people lost to the elements, including the disastrous tempest portrayed by the movie A Perfect Storm. Get a walking tour map of the village, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, from the Florida Maritime Museum or the Cortez Village Cultural Center. Vintage homes ranging from humble to grand, net camps, docks, fish houses and restaurants dot the 20-block district with more than 90 points of interest. Don’t miss the 1912 Cortez Rural Graded Schoolhouse, now home to the Florida Maritime Museum of Cortez. Exhibits include artwork, vignettes of early fishing and Cuban fishing ranchos, models of boats that were once built in Cortez, a 1932 pole skiff, and artifacts and photographs from past to present. The museum hosts Folk School classes to teach skills in canning, net mending and more. The Pillsbury Boat Shop is one of three historic buildings on the museum grounds, hosting boat 34

FLORIDA

building and maritime skills classes offered by the museum. The 4-acre complex abuts a 95acre nature preserve where the Cortez Village Cultural Center displays photos and artifacts in an historic home. No visit to Cortez is complete without a stop at the Sea Hagg, across Cortez Road from the village. In keeping with Cortez’s salty nature, this enchanting chandlery is filled with fishing and other nautical antiques, memorabilia and maritime treasures that make the perfect souvenir from your trip back in time. For more information on the area, visit bradentongulfislands.com.

Star Fish Company is a rustic dockside restaurant

The working waterfront docks of Cortez

Photos of Bradenton Beach from Cortez and the working waterfront docks courtesy of Bradenton Area CVB; Star Fish Company by Chelle Koster Walton

he trip across the bridge from Bradenton Beach to the village of Cortez takes only minutes. Yet it time-travels decades back to the days when fishing was a livelihood for coastal Florida residents. One of the state’s few remaining working waterfronts, Cortez freezes, under near-tropical sun, a way-of-life that ebbs with time.


Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach Visitor Center • • • • • •

Attractions Lodging Shopping Restaurants Lifestyle Rentals

727-447-7600 www.BeachChamber.com 429 Poinsettia Avenue • Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 311 S. Gulfview Blvd. • Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 (Inside Surf Style)


DESTINATION

CLEARWATER BEACH

The flavorful Chinese Meatballs at Ocean Hai

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT! CHOICE APPETIZERS AND BREWS ON CLEARWATER BEACH By Nancy Foster

T Photo of Chinese Meatballs at Ocean Hai courtesy of Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach; The Spotted Donkey and Evy’s Terrace Bar & Bistro by Nancy Foster

hey’re called tapas on some menus and starters or appetizers on others. Some diners order them as a prelude to a fabulous dinner, while for others, they are a small meal or late night snack. Inventive Clearwater Beach chefs rock the culinary scene with their flavorful bites, so indulge and enjoy to your heart’s content.

WYNDHAM GRAND CLEARWATER BEACH

If you’re looking for atmosphere, you’ll find it at this spectacular new resort overlooking Clearwater Beach. Choose to linger over starters and drinks at the beautifully appointed Asian-fusion restaurant, Ocean Hai. Select from a bevy of delicious appetizers, including the Poke Flight, Thai Steamed Mussels in a delightful coconut broth and the oh-so-good Chinese Meatballs with crispy onions, hoisin and serrano. An extensive wine list, craft beers and spirits will keep you happily engaged for hours. Or, make a stop at eSKPades, the more casual, welcoming lobby bar, for Ahi Tuna Tataki and Kobe Beef Sliders, as well as seasonal cocktails and wine by the glass. wyndhamgrandclearwater.com

only a few months, it’s a favorite for beachgoers and locals alike, who enjoy the colorful decor and South of the Border vibe, inside or patio dining and consistently good dishes. For munchies, order up some Mexican Shrimp Rolls or request the fresh Haas Avocado Guacamole, prepared tableside. For drinks, a selection of Herradura Tequilas, including a double barrel reposado blended exclusively for Spotted Donkey Cantina, are a perfect accompaniment as a single or flight. www3.hilton.com

Pretty views from Evy’s Terrace Bar & Bistro

EVY’S TERRACE BAR & BISTRO

Head up to the 6th floor of the recently opened Hampton Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach and be prepared to indulge. This chic beach bar dazzles with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico, openair seating and friendly staff eager to make your visit memorable. Evy’s features a full bar menu (try the refreshing frosty mojito), tasty light fare (go for the authentic Cuban sandwich) and live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights. Plan your visit around dusk when the flickering flames from the fire tables compete with the sun as it slips slowly into the sea. hamptoninn3.hilton.com

Inside or outside dining at the Spotted Donkey Cantina

SPOTTED DONKEY CANTINA

Taste your way though an assortment of Antojitos at this contemporary Mexican-themed eatery located on the exterior lower level of the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa. Open

The Mexican Spring Rolls at the Spotted Donkey Cantina FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

CLEARWATER/CLEARWATER BEACH

Sea-Guini offers spectacular views

ROMANTIC DINING AMOROUS AMBIENCE IN CLEARWATER AND CLEARWATER BEACH By Heather Turk

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ith its turquoise waters and stunning sunsets, setting the mood for romance in Clearwater, Florida, isn’t very hard. This picturesque area is perfect for a grown-up getaway and boasts several romantic restaurants ideal for a delectable dinner with the one you love.

BOB HEILMAN’S BEACHCOMBER

SEA-GUINI

The perfect place for a “date night,” this familyowned restaurant in Clearwater lets guests feast upon fabulous French cuisine while dining in a quaint atmosphere. The chef and his family (who run the restaurant) are all from France

This Clearwater Beach restaurant inside Opal Sands Resort offers spectacular views of the property’s pool and the Gulf of Mexico. Serving a menu of fresh local seafood, Italian handmade pastas and Neapolitan pizzas, couples can dine inside the contemporary restaurant and enjoy the views through floor-to-ceiling windows, or eat on an outdoor terrace that allows guests to fully revel in the vistas and warm, tropical breezes. Must-try dinner dishes include the Pan Seared Hogfish, served with roasted Florida corn broth, sweet Gulf shrimp, smokehouse bacon and potato hash and roasted cauliflower, and the Penne alla Vodka. For dessert, the house-made Budino is a chocolate lover’s dream! seaguini.com

Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber has been the site of countless weddings and anniversary celebrations

Salt n Pepper Bistro’s sinful Chocolate Strawberry Banana dessert crepe

SALT N PEPPER BISTRO

38

FLORIDA

Photo of Sea-Guini courtesy of Opal Sands Resort; Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber courtesy of Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber; Strawberry Banana dessert crepe courtesy of Salt n Pepper Bistro

Known for its Prime beef and fresh seafood, this family-owned Clearwater Beach restaurant has been the site of countless weddings and anniversary celebrations. Couples can either dine in a dimly lit, secluded booth tucked away inside the restaurant, or soak up the sights on the romantic outdoor patio while sipping a selection from the award-winning wine list. Menu options include such sharable starter dishes as Escargot and Oysters Florentine, while dinner entrées range from Fresh Florida Everglades Frog Legs to Char-Broiled Genuine American Loin Lamb Chops. A lunch menu, featuring an assortment of salads and sandwiches, is available as well. heilmansbeachcomber.com

and it’s not uncommon to see chef Jean Claude outside of the kitchen speaking with guests. Savory dinner selections include the Duck Breast à l’Orange—pan-roasted duck breast served with a fresh orange and honey sauce—and the fresh-made De la Mer pasta: shrimp, mussels and scallops in a paprika, white wine and shallot cream sauce. When it comes time for dessert, be sure to split one of the tasty dessert crepes with your sweet. The Apple Bistro—fresh apples sautéed in butter and sugar topped with a dark chocolate sauce and flambéed with rum—is delightful. saltnpepperbistro.com


401 Second Street Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785 401 Second Street Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785 www.hiharbourside.com 800-726-0865 www.hiharbourside.com 800-726-0865

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Splash Harbour Water Park packages available at www.hiharbourside.com/packages.html Splash Harbour Water Park packages available at www.hiharbourside.com/packages.html

into Have a splashtacular day!

Second Street Street 399 Second Indian Rocks Beach, Beach, FL FL 33785 33785 727-754-6492 727-754-6492 www.SplashHarbourWaterPark.com www.SplashHarbourWaterPark.com


Clearwater Beach esort #1 Entertainment R • Luxury Gulfside Rooms & Suites • Water-side dining at Tiki Beach Grill • Ocean Flame Interactive Seafood 2-Level Wave Nightclub with Hip • Buffet & Sunday Brunch DJs and Ultimate VIP Bottle Service • SALT Tequila Bar & Tap Room • Exclusive SOAK Poolside Bar • White Sandy Beach and 800.237.8477 www.shephards.com • Famous Tiki Beach Bar with Live Watersports 619 So. Gulfview Blvd. • Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 Local and National Bands and DJs


DESTINATION

CLEARWATER BEACH

Light-as-a-feather Key Lime Pie at Rusty’s Bistro

IN SEARCH OF KEY LIME PIE ENJOY FLORIDA’S BELOVED DESSERT CLEARWATER BEACH-STYLE By Nancy Foster

Photo of Key Lime Pie at Rusty’s Bistro courtesy of Sheraton Sand Key; Key Lime Pie at Palm Pavilion courtesy of Palm Pavilion Bar & Grill; Key Lime Pie Island Way Grill courtesy of Baystar Restaurant Group

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zure skies, sandy beaches and magical theme parks may be the Sunshine State’s most well known attributes, but there’s a Florida dessert that has also made this state famous. Key Lime Pie is so iconic that in July of 2006, it was proclaimed the official pie of the State of Florida.

ham cracker crust with a meringue topping. The ingredients are basic enough, but most chefs add their own creative twist, and diners can’t seem to get enough of this perfect pie. Here are a few places to get your pie fix in Clearwater Beach.

The delicious sweet/tart dessert actually reaches back to seafaring days when limes were frequently used aboard ships to prevent scurvy. Today’s traditional Key Lime Pie is made from key lime juice, egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk served in a gra-

This popular beachside restaurant has been serving up fabulous fare and drinks since 1926. Opt for inside dining or on the deck fronting beautiful Clearwater Beach. Fill up on fresh Gulf of Mexico seafood and enjoy a tropical drink or two, but save room for a slice of the Palm’s Key Lime Pie. Their version is served up with whipped cream, raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries. Smooth and creamy with a delectable tangy taste, it’s the perfect ending to a perfect meal. palmpavilion.com

PALM PAVILION BAR AND GRILL

ISLAND WAY GRILL

Palm Pavilion’s decadent Key Lime Pie

Travel just a mile from Clearwater Beach to this trendy resort-casual restaurant, legendary for good food. With marina views and an extensive menu highlighted by freshly caught seafood, it’s no wonder locals and visitors keep returning. And their heavenly Key Lime Pie is especially sought-after. The light and airy filling is mounded high on a sweet crumb crust and garnished with a sliver of fresh lime. Fork into sheer decadence and enjoy every morsel. islandwaygrill.com

RUSTY’S BISTRO

Discover this award-winning restaurant inside the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. Best known for its “Caribbean Meets Southwest” culinary creations, excellent wine pairings and impeccable service, expect a superb dining experience. Cap the meal with a slab of light-as-a-feather Key Lime Pie embellished with a creamy topping and fresh berry sauce. It will be love at first bite! sheratonsandkey.com

A slice of deliciousness at Island Way Grill

You can find Clearwater Beach vacation packages at Allegiant.com. FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

CLEARWATER BEACH

Gulf-front fun at Jimmy’s Fish House and Iguana Bar

TROPICAL BEACH BARS ON CLEARWATER BEACH CHILL OUT AT THESE VISITOR FAVORITES By Nancy Foster

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llegiant passengers will find no shortage of places to kick back and recharge on Clearwater Beach. From casual beach bar walkups to high-end resort lounges, dozens of spots tempt with local atmosphere, great food and thirst-quenching drinks. Here are a few tried-and-true favorites.

JIMMY’S FISH HOUSE AND IGUANA BAR

Claim a bar stool with views of the Gulf of Mexico at this beach favorite and plan your next move over casual food and drink selections. You’ve found the home of the 32-ounce Tropix Rum Runner, so chill out, enjoy live entertainment nightly from 3 to 7 p.m. and stay long enough to see the sun go down. A full beverage menu is available as is light fare, including mouthwatering nachos, wings, burgers and wraps. Tropix Island Tiki Bar is located at the rear of the Quality Beach Resort on the south end of Clearwater Beach. qualitybeachresort.com

Traditional Shrimp Cocktails at Toucan’s Bar & Grill

TOUCAN’S BAR & GRILL

This pub conveniently sits across the street from Pier 60 Park. Choose to people watch at a street side table or venture inside to watch the game on wide-screen TVs. Quench your thirst with handcrafted cocktails, spirits and craft beers and choose delectable jumbo wings, burgers, po’boys and steaks from the large menu. Seafood favorites include the signature Gulf Grouper, which is grilled and served with champagne sauce. The Grouper Sandwich comes blackened, grilled or fried and is served with fries and coleslaw. Bring your appetite! At night, prepare for a dance party with the inhouse DJ. facebook.com/ToucansBarAndGrill/ 42

FLORIDA

The colorful Tropix Island Tiki Bar

Photo of Jimmy’s Fish House and Iguana Bar courtesy of Wayne Cathel; Toucan’s Bar & Grill and Tropix Island Tiki Bar by Nancy Foster

Combine stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico from an expansive deck, colorful umbrella tables and evening musical entertainment and you have a recipe for fun. With an extensive selection of beer and tropical cocktail choices, and a menu offering seafood, burgers and sandwiches, everyone in your group will be happy here. True seafood mavens might dare to order the Seafood Martini, assembled in an oversized martini glass filled with jumbo gulf shrimp, snow crab legs, oysters and sesame seared rare ahi tuna— this starter is definitely big enough for two. Complement it with Jimmy’s Famous Bloody Mary served with a jumbo shrimp and vegetable skewer. Tip: join the camaraderie at their nightly sunset ceremony. Jimmy’s Fish House and Iguana Bar is located inside the Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach Resort and Suites. jimmysfishhouse.net

TROPIX ISLAND TIKI BAR


DESTINATION

ST. PETE/CLEARWATER

A pastel sunset over Tampa Bay from The Canopy

HAPPY HOUR WITH A VIEW SUNSETS ARE FRONT AND CENTER AT THESE ROOFTOP BARS By Marcia Biggs

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othing beats a spectacular view to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day. For those in search of the perfect happy hour complemented by a stellar sunset, plan to end your day at one of these popular rooftop bars!

THE CANOPY, ST. PETERSBURG

A tiki hut vibe greets guests at the Sand Bar at Opal Sands Resort

SAND BAR, OPAL SANDS RESORT, CLEARWATER BEACH

Settle in at the beachfront tiki bar, the Sand Bar at Opal Sands Resort on the south end of Clearwater Beach and let the Caribbean vibe surround you. The Sand Bar is uniquely situated on the water’s edge just above a rocky outcrop for a bird’s-eye view of the turquoise Gulf of Mexico and the wide, sandy beach to the north. The flipflop crowd is welcome to hang at the shady bar, relax in a rocking chair or grab a bite at a table on the sand floor. The menu features lighter, casual fare with appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, seafood and a full menu of tropical cocktails and craft beers. Happy hour lasts all day and there’s live music on the weekends. opalsands.com/sandbar

A spectacular Clearwater Beach sunset

THE HURRICANE, PASS-A-GRILLE BEACH

For more than 30 years, the Hurricane Restaurant in Pass-a-Grille has attracted both locals and visitors who come to the rooftop twin bars in search 44

FLORIDA

The Hurricane is a popular gathering spot

Photo of The Canopy courtesy of thebirchwood.com; Sand Bar courtesy of opalsands.com; Clearwater Beach sunset and The Hurricane by Marcia Biggs

Visitors to downtown St. Petersburg should put The Canopy at the Birchwood Hotel on top of their list for sunset views, great food and a vibrant social scene. This boutique hotel on upscale Beach Drive is ideally situated on a trolley stop and within walking distance of many downtown bars and restaurants. Ride the elevator to the top floor, where the rooftop lounge offers a sweeping view of Tampa Bay, the waterfront and downtown high-rises. Sip on a Birchwood Old Fashioned and mingle at the bar, or relax on comfy couches as twilight turns the sky to pastel pink. Happy hour is 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday with $3 drink specials; a full menu is available. thebirchwood.com

of the famous “green flash” as the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico. Downstairs, casual indoor/ outdoor dining offers one of the best grouper sandwiches around, but the real attraction is on the third floor where a nightly crowd gathers to toast the world-class sunsets (no food service). Stroll the beach, complete with balmy breezes and soaring shorebirds, for a romantic walk at dusk. thehurricane.com


Customer

HIGH QUALITY BEST PRICES

Satisfaction

Since 1955, Ward’s Seafood Market has been providing locals and visitors with the freshest fish in town. Our specialty is fresh Florida seafood that is caught and delivered daily by local fisherman we have known for years. We also receive daily shipments of your favorite seafoods from around the world. Our experienced staff will custom cut any whole fish to your specifications. They will gladly prepare, explain how to store and provide cooking suggestions for any seafood selection. Ward’s Seafood Market Takeout Eatery has a set menu or will prepare your seafood selection while you wait.

FAMIL Y OW SERV NED ING AN

CLEA

D

RWAOTPERATED ER, F L V

60 YR FOR O

ER

S.

COOKED SEAFOOD Take-Out Eatery • You Pick It, We Cook It Heat & Serve • Specialty Salads Gourmet Hot Soups • Custom Catering

1001 BELLEAIR ROAD | CLEARWATER, FLORIDA 33756 (800) 556-3761 | (727) 581-2640 | FAX (727) 518-8731 Visit www.WardsSeafood.com m RETAIL STORE HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm • TAKEOUT EATERY HOURS: Tues-Sat 10am-7pm • NATIONWIDE SHIPPING


DESTINATION

WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA

Crystal River’s warm Gulf waters are perfect for snorkeling

COOL OFF AT THESE SUPER SNORKELING SPOTS EXPLORE THE MARINE WORLD WITH A DIP DOWN UNDER

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parkling white beaches, crystal blue water and balmy evening sea breezes—it’s summertime in Florida, when spending playtime on the water is a must. So, why not explore beneath the surface? A number of snorkeling spots in West Central Florida offer a fun and refreshing way to spend the day.

Photo of snorkeling and Egmont Key courtesy of visitstpeteclearwater.com; snorkeling group and snorkel up-close courtesy of Discover Crystal River Florida

EGMONT KEY STATE PARK, ST. PETERSBURG

Egmont Key, at the mouth of Tampa Bay, is a 400-acre natural barrier island known for its lighthouse, remnants of an old fort and secluded beaches. The Egmont Key Ferry transports visitors from Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde and Hubbard’s Marina in Madeira Beach to Egmont Key several times daily. The ride is about 25 minutes and offers wonderful opportunities to spot dolphins. The submerged ruins of the fort are a haven for small fish, crabs and other sea life. Snorkel trips range from $20 to $40; snorkel gear can be rented for $5. Reservations are highly recommended during the summer months. hubbardsmarina.com/egmont-key-ferry-cruise

By Marcia Biggs

manatees. The gentle sea cows gather at Three Sisters Springs during the cold winter months, but are scattered throughout the river during the summer. Guided snorkel tours are easy to find in town; prices range from $30 to $80 and include gear. From July 1–September 24 it’s scalloping season and visitors can snorkel off the mouth of the river in the Gulf and take home their hardearned booty! discovercrystalriverfl.com

Egmont Key offers snorkeling and more

THE REGINA, BRADENTON BEACH

Submerged some 75 yards off beautiful Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island, the shipwreck Regina awaits adventurous snorkelers. A historic Florida Underwater Archeological Preserve, the site contains scattered sections of the 247-foot Regina located15 to 20 feet below the surface. Across the street from the wreck site, Sea Kat Dive Shop rents snorkel gear for $30. Go on a sunny, calm morning, and then explore picturesque Anna Maria Island for the perfect day. museumsinthesea.com/_docs/Regina_brochure.pdf

Snorkel and scallop this summer at Crystal River

CRYSTAL RIVER, CITRUS COUNTY

World-famous for being a protected sanctuary harboring hundreds of manatees each winter, beautiful Crystal River is also a great place to snorkel in summer. A 1.5-hour drive north of Clearwater, Crystal River is the only place in Florida where you can legally swim and snorkel with

Snorkel up-close to a manatee at Crystal River FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

ST. PETE BEACH

Parasailing fun on St. Pete Beach with Suncoast Watersports

SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS ON ST. PETE BEACH IT’S UP, UP AND AWAY ON FLORIDA’S WEST COAST By Nancy Foster

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lorida’s Gulf of Mexico lures millions of visitors each year with sugar-soft sands, tropical breezes and warm waters. While beaches may be the main draw, numerous attractions add to the fun, including these high-flying adventures that will raise the bar for vacation memories. Reservations are recommended at all. If the thought of soaring 350 feet in the air and basking in the spectacular vistas of the Gulf of Mexico appeals to you, then Suncoast Watersports is your perfect choice. Co-owner Captain Dave Winkler and his licensed crew, in business since 1978, service St. Pete Beach with three convenient locations. A colorful banana boat will shuttle you to the parasail boat, where instruction will be provided prior to the 10 to 15 minute ride. Go solo or bring a friend or two and choose the tandem and triple rides for more fun. If you dare, kick it up a notch and upgrade to the Adrenaline Junky Ride, which includes multiple dips, a maximum altitude “skydive simulation” drop toward the water and five extra minutes of thrills. Parental permission is required for those under 18. funstpete.com

Surpass your need for speed when you visit the JetLev Flight Center at Tradewinds Island Grand Resort. Built to propel you to heights nearing 30 feet with speeds of up to 30 mph, this flight experience requires 45 minutes to complete—15 minutes of training and 30 minutes of airtime. Flight instructors are on hand to guide and assist, preparing you to experience weightlessness and levitation as you control your own direction, height and speed. Must be 18 years old and a good swimmer. tradewindsresort.com/resort-activities

Take a thrilling helicopter ride over St. Pete Beach with Tampa Bay Aviation

HELICOPTER TOURS

For an exhilarating way to experience the beautiful coastline, sign up for a helicopter tour with Tampa Bay Aviation. Among the many area tours available is the Treasure Tour, which departs daily from downtown St. Pete’s corporate Albert Whitted Airport. Licensed pilots route their helicopters over scenic Tampa Bay waters as they climb high in the sky and head westward to Treasure Island. Gaze down on popular landmarks, including John’s Pass, pristine St. Pete Beach and the iconic Don CeSar Resort before following the Pinellas Bayway back to the airport. Tours are priced to accommodate two to three passengers. Sunset tours can be arranged for an additional $15 fee. tampabayaviation.com 48

FLORIDA

Up, up and away on JetLev at Tradewinds Island Grand Resort

Photo of parasailing courtesy of ABIIIVisuals LLC; helicopter ride courtesy of Tampa Bay Aviation; JetLev courtesy of Tradewinds Island Resorts

PARASAILING

JETLEV


VISIT WINTER THE DOLPHIN, STAR OF DOLPHIN TALE MOVIES BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS WORKING ANIMAL HOSPITAL AT CLEARWATER BEACH

INTERACTIVE BOAT TOURS BUY TICKETS AT SEEWINTER.COM

SOLD HERE

249 WINDWARD PASSAGE | CLEARWATER, FL 33767 | 727.441.1790


DESTINATION

ST. PETE/CLEARWATER

Cool off with an iced brew at Kahwa Coffee

COOL COFFEE CONCOCTIONS BREEZY COFFEEHOUSES IN ST. PETE/CLEARWATER By Gabriele Walkow

CAPPUCCINO’S FINE WINE AND ESPRESSO BAR

This eclectic European-style Dunedin coffeehouse is a favorite for those seeking a quiet place to sip specialty coffees and enjoy delicious sandwiches, savory soups and fresh-baked desserts. All food offerings are made from scratch and prepared on the premises. The Espresso Granita Latte, a sweet and creamy frozen espresso, is guaranteed to cool you off on a hot summer day! A wine bar, specializing in boutique wines, will also beckon with fine wines at affordable prices. cappuccinosfinewineandespressobar.com

drinks and authentic French pastries, as well as coffee by the pound. All of their 100 percent Arabica coffee can be served iced. Try the Iced Cappuccino, Iced Caffe Latte, Iced Caffe Mocha or the Iced Americano. Toasted Breakfast Sandwiches are also offered. If you are heading south, be sure to visit Kahwa Lakewood Ranch, near Bradenton, and Kahwa Sarasota Downtown. kahwacoffee.com

Photo of Kahwa Coffee courtesy of Kahwa Coffee; Espresso Granita Latte courtesy of Cappuccino’s Fine Wine and Espresso Bar; chocolate & caramel Ice Queen courtesy of Sweet Brewnette

BASIMO BEACH CAFÉ

Serving a variety of Non-GMO organic menu items, this Clearwater Beach gem was voted #8 of the Top 100 Restaurants in Tampa Bay by Yelp. Gluten-free options are available and dietary restrictions are easily accommodated at this charming farm-to-table-style café. The Island Espresso is a tribute to their grassroots originality. Made with a double shot of espresso, a frozen banana, cacao, organic medjool dates and ice cubes, this smoothie is sure to cool you off and boost your system! Regular iced coffee is also available. basimobeachcafe.com

The sweet and creamy Espresso Granita Latte from Cappuccino’s Fine Wine and Espresso Bar

SWEET BREWNETTE

This organic, fair trade beachfront coffeehouse in Madeira Beach resonates a retro vibe. Located in the center of beach heaven, great coffee, organic teas, fresh baked pastries and decadent desserts draw people from all over! The Ice Queen, a cold blended espresso drink with your choice of chocolate, caramel or vanilla syrup, will definitely cool you off while you admire the stellar view and check out their daily pastry offerings. Delectable comfort food includes This Chick’s Chicken and Waffles and a Steak, Egg and Cheese Panini. sweetbrewnettecafe.com

KAHWA COFFEE

Kahwa Coffee has two locations in downtown St. Pete, a drive-thru location at 38th Ave. & 4th Street N. St. Pete and a shop in Belleair Bluffs, just south of Clearwater Beach. Order coffee

Sweet Brewnette’s delectable chocolate & caramel Ice Queen FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

TAMPA BAY

The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is home to fine feathered friends

ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE VISIT THESE INTERESTING ANIMAL SANCTUARIES IN TAMPA BAY By Joel Poiley

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ions and tigers and bears. Oh my! If your family loves seeing animals, check out these cool attractions to learn more about big cats, birds and primates.

SEASIDE SEABIRD SANCTUARY

BIG CAT RESCUE

Come to Tampa, where the big cats roam, to see some of the world’s most powerful and intriguing animals. Opened in 1992, Big Cat Rescue is home to more than 80 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species, most of whom have been abandoned, abused or orphaned. It’s one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world, according to Public Relations Director Susan Bass, with a goal of ending the abuse of big cats in America. Walking tours are held every day except Thursday, starting at 3 p.m. Prices are $36 for adults and $19 for children under 10. Reservations and pre-payment are required for all events. bigcatrescue.org/tickets

The intense gaze of a cheetah at Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue

SUNCOAST PRIMATE SANCTUARY

For the past 50 years, the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation and its predecessor organizations have provided a safe haven for animals 52

FLORIDA

Meet Bobby the chimpanzee at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary

Photo of flamingo courtesy of Seaside Seabird Sanctuary; cheetah courtesy of Big Cat Rescue; Bobby courtesy of Suncoast Primate Sanctuary

The next time you see an injured or struggling bird, think of this attraction on Gulf Boulevard in Pinellas County’s Indian Shores. “Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and eventually release injured, orphaned or sick birds back into the wild,” Operations Manager Eddie Gayton told Sunseeker. Operating since 1972, the sanctuary was given a facelift last year with improvements such as several new accommodations for its feathered friends. In addition to the sanctuary's display birds, the grounds are home to countless wild birds that roam freely and nest in the trees, making it perfectly suited for bird watchers and wildlife photographers. The sanctuary is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. seabirdsanctuary.com/home.html

in need of a loving home. That also includes educating the public regarding zoological and environmental issues and serving as a regional referral center for wildlife conservation and rehabilitation. Located in Palm Harbor in Pinellas County, the Primate Sanctuary is home to more than 100 animals, including chimpanzees, orangutans, monkeys, reptiles, tropical birds and more. Open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 10. Children under 3 are free. suncoastprimate.org


Massages • Facials • Full Salon Vichy Body Treatments • Nails & More

Experience the New Spa on the Beach

727.461.3222

400 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Please visit our Clear Sky Draught Haus at 680 Main Street in Dunedin clearskydraughthaus.com • (727) 286-6266


THE ORIGINAL

PIRATE CRUISE GREAT FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

• Music • Games • • Dolphin Watching • • Friendly Pirates • 10:00 a.m. + 2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. + 7:00 p.m. (call for seasonal schedule)

Save $2.00 when you reserve your cruise online!

The Simple Things in Life...Are Often the Best Stay at the newly renovated Palm Pavilion Inn just 25 steps from the white sands of award-winning Clearwater Beach. • 100% non-smoking property • Free Wi-Fi • Great rates • Swimming pool • Beach umbrella/chair rentals • Superior Small Lodging® approved for quality and service • Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar with live music on the deck

Palm Pavilion Inn

18 Bay Esplanade • Clearwater Beach, FL 800-433-7256 • www.PalmPavilionInn.com TripAdvisor - Certificate of Excellence

& Tues All-You-Can-Eat Snow Crab!! Mon

Th e l a O r ig in ★ All-You-Can-Eat Fish & Chips – Wednesdays

★ Super Grouper Thursdays ★ Sizzling Steaks & Fresh Catch Specials – Fri, Sat & Sun

Adjoining Sports Bar with all the games!


DESTINATION

TAMPA BAY

Making an impression at Glazer Children’s Museum

MARVELOUS MUSEUMS IN TAMPA BAY INTERACTIVE LEARNING AND FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY By Matt Seli

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ampa and St. Petersburg, Fla. are synonymous with sunshine, sand castles and playing in the sea, but there’s so much more to explore in these Bay cities. During your next Florida getaway be sure to visit these family-friendly museums in the Tampa Bay area. Everyone will be entertained for hours on end!

MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY (MOSI)

Photo of Glazer Children’s Museum courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum; Hurricane Simulator courtesy of Museum of Science & Industry; learning playground courtesy of Great Explorations Children’s Museum

The first stop on our introduction to interactive museums in the Tampa/St. Pete area is the Museum of Science & Industry, or as they like to be called, MOSI. Located in Tampa, MOSI brings

science to life for guests of all ages. Be a part of science and see how it works at this scientific playground! Boasting more than 450 hand-on activities in exhibits such as Mission: Moonbase, The Amazing You and the Gulf Coast Hurricane Simulator, your family can easily spend a whole day here exploring and learning. You can also surround yourself with 10,500 square feet of screen in Florida’s most immersive movie experience at the Florida Hospital IMAX® Dome Theatre. mosi.org

GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Glazer Children’s Museum, located in downtown Tampa, has 53,000 square feet of space, hosting 170 interactive permanent and travelling exhibits targeted towards youngsters up to 10 years of age. Some featured permanent can’tmiss exhibits include Cruiseship, where young guests can play in the sand or on the deck of the docked play ship; Pizza Place, where they can create, serve and enjoy a play meal; and Art Smart, where kids can make a movie, create their own kaleidoscope, paint with light or just dance the day away. glazermuseum.org

GREAT EXPLORATIONS HOUGHTON-WAGMAN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Gulf Coast Hurricane Simulator at MOSI

Great Explorations Children’s Museum is a “learning playground”

Just a quick drive over the Howard Frankland Bridge, which connects Tampa to St. Petersburg, and you’re on your way to Great Explorations Children’s Museum, located next to St. Pete’s historic Sunken Gardens. Specifically designed for children ages 10 and under, Great Explorations spans over 24,000 square feet chockfull of exhibits and activities that are sure to stimulate even the most preoccupied of minds. Guests to Great Explorations will learn about fire safety at the Engine Company 15 Fire House, discover health sciences at My Checkup, learn about the importance of caring for pets at Pet Vet, and act as on-air talent at Live and on the Air: Great News! greatex.org

FLORIDA

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DESTINATION

NORTH CAROLINA

The Gorge zipline is America's fastest and steepest treetop canopy tour

OUTDOOR FAMILY ADVENTURES IN THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS By Sandra Chambers

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Forest. If hiking is your pleasure, go for the threemile hike from Hooker Falls to Triple Falls (where scenes from The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans were filmed) and end at High Falls, the largest of the three waterfalls. exploreasheville.com/outdoor-adventures/waterfalls

WATERFALL ADVENTURES

MOUNTAIN GEM MINES

Sliding Rock waterfall in Pisgah National Forest offers visitors the unique experience of sliding down a waterfall! Its gentle 60-foot long slope ends in a deep pool of water, and even family members too young to slide alone can slide in the lap of a parent. Another option is to take a cool dip in the popular swimming hole located at the base of Hooker Falls in DuPont State Recreational

Become a prospector from the 1800s, and go gem mining for more than 40 different precious and semiprecious gemstones, such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds or gold. Pisgah Forest Gem Mine (two locations) also has a fun black light gem room where visitors will discover fluorescent minerals that glow in the dark. Elijah Mountain Gem Mine, located near Hendersonville, offers covered flumes for rain or shine mining, an antique shop and a place to picnic by the stream. pisgahforestgemmining.com / elijahmountain.com/home.html

TALKING TREES

Sliding Rock waterfall in Pisgah National Forest

At Holmes Educational State Forest, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visitors can listen to trees that tell a story. The Talking Tree Trail features "talking trees," each with a recorded message about itself, its site and the forest history. The Forestry Center houses audiovisual exhibits describing the managed forest. It's also a great place for a family picnic with tables, shelters and grills. ncesf.org/holmes.html

THE GORGE ZIPLINE

Elijah Mountain Gem Mine near Hendersonville 56

NORTH CAROLINA

Experience America's fastest and steepest treetop canopy tour over 14,000 acres of protected forest. Zip from treetop to treetop while taking in spectacular views and dropping 1,100 feet into the Green River Gorge. During the 3 to 3.5 hour journey, participants experience 6,500 feet of zip lines, a suspension sky bridge and three free fall rappels. The program is designed for intergenerational participants and begins with a ground school orientation session to ensure everyone feels comfortable. Children over 10 years of age and at least 70 lbs. can participate. thegorgezipline.com

Photo of zipline courtesy of the Henderson County TDA; Sliding Rock waterfall courtesy of romanticasheville.com; mine courtesy of Elijah Mountain Gem Mine

lide down a waterfall, mine for gem stones, zip across mountain forests or visit talking trees in North Carolina's national parks and forests. These fun-filled outdoor adventures are within easy driving distance from Asheville and Hendersonville, N.C.


DESTINATION

NEW ORLEANS

The venerable St. Charles Streetcar

A TRIP BACK IN TIME ON THE NEW ORLEANS ST. CHARLES STREETCAR By Holly B. Morris

S

quealing hot brakes, grinding metal and a bumpy ride—in New Orleans this means one thing, a ride on an authentic streetcar. Not far from the crowded sidewalks of the French Quarter, visitors can escape more than 150 years back in time on the St. Charles Streetcar. Beginning where Bourbon Street meets Canal Street, the trip through New Orleans starts as soon as you board. The lacquered mahogany seats with brass fittings will take you back to the early days of Louisiana luxury.

Lee Circle is an ideal stop for art and history, with the National World War II Museum and Louisiana’s Civil War Museum close by. The Arts District, home to more than 25 galleries, is also near. Julia Street features an impressive array of artists, so be sure to stop by, and for families the Children’s Museum is right around the corner. Step off at Washington Street into the elegant Garden District. Originally a sugar plantation, the district was divided into large garden parcels in the 1830s. Soon, wealthy cotton, sugar and shipping tycoons, wishing to distance themselves from the French Quarter, built opulent homes there. In nearby Lafayette Cemetery, visitors can walk and view hundreds of aboveground tombs and statuary. Or, hire a local guide for fascinating stories about the cemetery and Garden District residences. Commander’s Palace, home of New Orleans’ finest Sunday jazz brunch, is also found here, nestled in the Garden District across from the cemetery. The St. Charles Streetcar is also the perfect mode of transportation for those wanting to visit Tulane or Loyola University. If campus strolls aren’t your fancy, you can stop at Audubon Park, home to the Audubon Zoo. Offering up-close animal encounters and award-winning exhibits, the Audubon Zoo is a New Orleans’ treasure. With colorful restaurants, elegant mansions, family-friendly fun, and a chance to see the city at it’s own pace, the St. Charles Streetcar is a ride worth taking. For more information on the St. Charles Streetcar, visit exploreneworleans. info/html/stCharlesStCar.php.

An aboveground plot in Lafayette Cemetery 58

LOUISIANA

A magnificent Garden District home

For New Orleans visitor information, go to neworleanscvb.com.

Photo of St. Charles Streetcar courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau/by Cheryl Gerber; Lafayette Cemetery by Holly Morris; Garden District home courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau/by Chris Granger

Soon you’ll be rambling by pristine homes with breezy wrap-around verandas, or much grander three and four story ante-bellum masterpieces

with Greek revival columns, fountains and gardens bursting with azaleas, hydrangeas and confederate jasmine.


Allegiant offers you the best deals to our top destinations! Purchase food, drinks, show tickets, excursions and more from the comfort of your seat. Ask your flight attendant for details! ROUTE MAP - 66

FEATURED COMBO - 69

FOOD & DRINKS - 70-71

SUNSEEKER

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ALLEGIANT

VACATIONS

SeaWorld serves up adventure for both kids and adults

SEAWORLD ORLANDO & BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY HOME TO FLAVORFUL FUN By Judy Jauregui

F

reedom is appetizing at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Both parks now offer an All-Day Dining pass, which you can purchase in addition to Single Day Gate admission! With the AllDay Dining pass, you can have a flavorful adventure at an excellent value. Explore these incredible parks in a whole new way, and without a worr y. It isn’t hard to see the benefit of the All-Day Dining Plan. Both dining plans feature one entrée, one side or dessert and one drink each time through the line, as often as once ever y hour. Bottled waters are also included. Delectable dining selections offered throughout the parks include ribs, fajitas, pizzas, salads and so much more. And if you are in the mood for something on the go, quick service booths are sprinkled around the parks for extra convenience. To tempt your taste buds, we have chosen our top restaurants at both parks:

SEAWORLD ORLANDO The skillful grill masters at this eater y slow smoke their meats over genuine hickor y wood to create savor y fall-off-the-bone ribs. Enjoy the barbecue, but stay for the fun, laid-back atmosphere. Conveniently sitting between the Manta, the Sky Tower and the Antarctica exhibit, Voyager's is the perfect place to grab some grub in the middle of your day at SeaWorld.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY Dragon Fire™ Grill

Nestled inside the new land of Pantopia, a stop at the Dragon Fire Grill for a mid-day meal after riding Falcon’s Fur y, a frightening 335-foot vertical drop attraction, is a must. This new eater y reimagines the traditional culinar y experience with market-style dining, featuring Italian, American, Southwestern and Asian cuisines. Fan favorites include the Cheddar Bacon Biscuits and Southwest Tortilla Bowl.

Zambia Smokehouse

After a thrilling ride on Sheikra, Busch Garden’s floorless dive coaster, follow the enticing aromas from the open barbeque pit. Zambia Smokehouse is the park’s most popular restaurant, offering both indoor and outdoor seating. Delight your inner foodie with platters of BBQ Chicken and Ribs, Smoked Beef Brisket, Smokehouse Baked Beans, yummy Macaroni and Cheese and Hot Apple Cobbler.

Seafire Grill

Seafire Grill is ‘Home of the Famous Fajitas.’ The Steak and Chicken Fajitas are served sizzling and come with rice, black beans and 60

VACATIONS

Delicious dining options abound at Seaworld and Busch Gardens

All photos courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Voyager's Smokehouse

a side of warm tortillas. Another notable item on the menu is the Cuban sandwich, which is freshly pressed with a side of fries.


THANK YOU ALLEGIANT

I just wanted to give a big compliment to one of your employees. I had to cancel a reservation and called in to do that. Joy was such a… joy to speak with! I love Allegiant and fly with you all the time. Thanks for all the great service to Montana, especially Bozeman!

– Jeff, Montana

I had the pleasure of making my reservation with Roni. She was professional, helpful and beyond insightful about our travel arrangements! She literally made everything easy!

– Lisa, Arkansas

I want to thank you for the fantastic customer service you gave me yesterday. I retired two years ago as a CIO for a large accounting firm, and we had a large call center for in-house technical support. Cindy’s helpful demeanor on the phone with me yesterday reminded me of what I would have been proud of if my employees were as helpful and friendly as she was.

– Rich, Michigan


Could Allegiant Be Your Career Destination? We know you love to GO on vacation... Now, make vacations possible for others by joining the Allegiant Team!

Many jobs available, including Flight Attendants! To apply & view other career opportunities go to:


ALLEGIANT

SPOTLIGHT

HAROLD “TIM” WRIGHT

Brooke Nimz, LAX Flight Attendant

ALLEGIANT TEAM MEMBER SPOTLIGHT BROOKE NIMZ, LAX FLIGHT ATTENDANT By Samantha Fairchild and Kerry McGee

Sunseeker: How long have you been working for Allegiant? Brooke: I have worked here for just over 3 ½ years. Sunseeker: What do you do at Allegiant? Brooke: I am an LAX-based flight attendant. Sunseeker: What about your job gets you excited to go to work? Brooke: The passengers! I am always wondering about the travelers on my flight. Where are they going? Will I recognize any of our regulars? We fly the same routes each week; we tend to have people that travel with us on a monthly, or even weekly basis. Seeing familiar faces each week has allowed me to develop great friendships with our travelers. Additionally, great things have come from simply having conversations with them. I had a conversation with someone traveling home for the holidays a couple of years ago and she is now an Allegiant flight attendant! Sunseeker: Have you been able to use your flight benefits to go on vacation? Brooke: I have a lot of family and friends in the Midwest (near Chicago), and my flight benefits allow me to visit them often. I have also visited Hawaii, New Zealand and parts of Europe! My most recent vacation was to visit my daughter after she finished her semester abroad in Ireland. We met in London and spent two

weeks traveling through England, France, Germany and Austria. Sunseeker: In your opinion, what three words describe working at Allegiant? Brooke: Flexibility, equality and family! Sunseeker: If you could travel anywhere in the United States where would you go and why? Brooke: The number one item on my U.S. bucket list is to go hiking at Denali National Park in Alaska. I love being outdoors, hiking and wildlife. I’ve heard Denali is absolutely breathtaking! Sunseeker: Do you have a local’s tip for our travelers visiting the LAX area? Brooke: I would encourage all LAX travelers to visit a south-facing beach to watch an amazing California sunset!

Brooke and daughter enjoying their travels SPOTLIGHT

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MAKE-A-WISH ®

A wall of wish stories

ALLEGIANT’S COMMITMENT TO MAKE-A-WISH® GROWS WITH OPENING OF THE WISHING PLACE By Brandon Meyers

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ucked away in a quiet business park on the west side of Las Vegas is The Wishing Place, the new headquarters for Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada. Inside its newly renovated walls, the smell of new carpet and fresh paint still linger, even months after its February 2017 opening. It’s a large open space that is a part of Allegiant’s campus and was donated by the airline a year ago. In the center, employees busily work at their desks to make wishes come true. Along the outer edges are the rooms and walls that tell a story—the story of how children stricken with a life-threating medical condition search for a way forward. There’s the Family Room with its comfy couch and fluffy grey bean bag chair. It’s a place where the child may meet their Wish Granter for the first time, and together, they will begin the journey of discovering their wish.

“That’s what the wish experience is. We come in and tell them to dream about anything they want, and it really gives the emotional medicine they need,” said Caroline Ciocca, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish® Southern Nevada. “Now that we have The Wishing Place, we tell the story of granting wishes and how important and life-changing that is not only for the child, but for the family and volunteers who are involved—that’s priceless,” Caroline said. Since 2012, Allegiant has been a proud supporter of Make-A-Wish® and has donated over 800 wish flights to families nationwide and over $1.5 million in the renovation of The Wishing Place. Additionally, Allegiant donates $1 per sale of each “Wingz Pack” aboard its flights directly to Make-A-Wish®. To find out how you can help make wishes come true, visit wish.org.

Along the side is Linda’s Wishing Counter. It’s a common area and candy shop modeled after a 1950s diner counter adorned in Allegiant blue. Next to it is the Allegiant Hangar Room dedicated to training volunteers. On its walls are over 150 words of inspiration provided by Allegiant’s team members. And on the wall near the rear of the building is The Journey of a Wish. It’s where 22 children tell the story of how their wish was granted. It’s 22 journeys of hope.

Words of inspiration chosen by Allegiant team members MAKE-A-WISH®

65


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FOR MORE DELICIOUS SNACKS AND BEVERAGES, TAKE A LOOK AT OUR FULL MENU ON PAGES 62-63 70-71


$

5

DELI SNACK PACK Wheat Thins, White Cheddar Cheese Dip, Madi K’s Whole Natural Almonds, Slim Jim Meat Stick, Biscoff Cookie 2-pack (Includes all items shown)

$

5

WINGZ KIDS SNACK PACK Allegiant Wings, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, Oreo 2-pack, Welch’s Fruit Snacks (Includes all items shown)

$1 from every Wingz pack purchase will benefit Make-A-Wish®. For more info, visit wish.org.

$

$

10

3

70

FEATURED COMBO

• Choice of Mixed Drink • Choice of Selected Snacks • See page 69 for more details

INDIVIDUAL SNACKS • M&M's Peanut, 3.1 oz. • Pringles, 2.38 oz.

SUNSEEKER

$

$

4

4

HUMMUS SNACK PACK

Dipin Classic Hummus accompanied by Baked in Brooklyn Pita Chips (Includes all items shown)

INDIVIDUAL SNACKS

• Traditional Chex Mix, 3.75 oz. • King's Fresh & Delicious Nut Medley, 4 oz.


$

7

$

WINE

BEER

Pinot Grigio Merlot

Bud Light Michelob ULTRA

$

6

3

Sales of Trinity Oaks wine help plant trees. Over 80 million trees planted since 1989.

SPECIALTY illy™ Iced Coffee

$

7

MIXED DRINKS (includes one mixer)

Bacardi Rum Tanqueray Gin Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Smirnoff Vodka

$

2 BEVERAGES

Coke Diet Coke Sprite Dasani Bottled Water Minute Maid Apple Juice Minute Maid Cranapple Juice

Minute Maid Orange Juice Mr. & Mrs. T Bloody Mary Mix Seagram’s Ginger Ale Seagram’s Sparkling Seltzer Water Seagram’s Tonic Water

Allegiant gladly accepts most major credit and debit cards. Allegiant does not accept cash, check or money orders in-flight or at any airport location. We are pleased to serve alcoholic beverages to customers over the age of 21 and encourage responsible consumption. Only alcohol provided by flight attendants may be consumed onboard. Brand selection and products may vary based upon availability.

SUNSEEKER

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AIRCRAFT BOEING 757 Number of Aircraft: 2 Cruising Speed: 565 mph Range: 4,000 miles Maximum Take-Off Weight: 255,000 pounds Maximum Passengers: 215 Total Length: 155 feet Wingspan: 124 feet Pilots: 2 Flight Attendants: 5

AIRBUS A319/320

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS MD-80

Number of Aircraft: 36 Cruising Speed: 511 mph Range: 3,682 miles Maximum Take-Off Weight: 162,000 pounds Maximum Passengers: 177 Total Length: 123 feet Wingspan: 111 feet Pilots: 2 Flight Attendants: 4

Number of Aircraft: 47 Cruising Speed: 540 mph Range: 3,200 miles Maximum Take-Off Weight: 160,000 pounds Maximum Passengers: 166 Total Length: 147 feet Wingspan: 107 feet Pilots: 2 Flight Attendants: 4

TRAVELER INFORMATION SAFETY FIRST Customer safety is Allegiant ®’s first concern. Please be advised that interference with the duties of crew members, including flight attendants, is a violation of federal laws. Our crews are thoroughly trained in all safety procedures. To ensure your own safety, we hope you take a moment to review the safety information card located in the seat pocket in front of you. Be aware of the following: • Location of the nearest emergency exit • Location of your emergency oxygen mask, if needed • Correct procedure for exiting the cabin in an emergency SEAT BELTS Seat belts must be fastened ANY TIME the seat belt sign is on, during taxi, takeoff and landing. Once the seat belt sign is turned off, you may walk around the cabin. Due to unexpected turbulence, it is strongly recommended that you keep your seat belt fastened any time while in your seat. Allegiant’s exit seating policy does not allow the use of seat belt extensions in the exit seats due to tripping hazards. CHILD RESTRAINT SEATS Federal Aviation Administration requires that all child restraint seats used on planes meet federal safety standards. Acceptable seats bear proper labeling “THIS RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR

VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT” from the manufacturer. Unlabeled seats or seats manufactured before Jan. 1, 1981, are not acceptable. Child restraint seats are to be placed into a window seat and secured with an aircraft seat belt. PHOTOS & VIDEOS ONBOARD The use of small cameras or mobile devices for photography and video is permitted onboard provided you keep the purpose of your photography and video to capturing personal events. Photographing or recording other customers or airline personnel without their express consent is prohibited. Airline personnel reserve the right to prohibit photos and videos onboard the aircraft if it becomes a disturbance to them or other passengers. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES Allegiant is forbidden to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone who appears to be intoxicated or who has not yet reached the age of 21. It is a violation of federal regulations to drink alcoholic beverages during a flight unless they have been served by Allegiant personnel. SMOKING Smoking, the use of other tobacco products, e-cigarettes and other similar smoking devices are not permitted on any Allegiant flight. Federal law imposes fines of $1,000 for smoking and up to $2,000 for any attempt to disable an aircraft smoke detector.

PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES ALWAYS PERMITTED*

Pacemaker

Camera (digital/film/video)

Hearing Aid

Tablet

Handheld Game

E-reader

Wireless Mouse, Keyboard or Other Accessory

Smartphone

CD Player

(in Airplane Mode)

Media Player

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

*Restrictions may apply when operating outside of U.S. Airspace. NOTE: Portable electronic device use on the ground, during takeoff and during landing should be limited to small, lightweight devices less than 2 lbs. These devices should be able to be easily secured in a seat back and not impede emergency access to the aisle.

PERMITTED AT GATE & IN FLIGHT

Laptop/Tablet

DVD Player

NEVER PERMITTED

Personal Air Purifiers

Remote Control Toys

TV

Two-Way Radios or Transmitters

Using cellular network services (voice or data) to make or receive calls during the flight is not permitted by U.S. and International regulatory authorities. If you have other questions about the use of other portable electronic devices not shown here, ask your flight attendant.

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SUNSEEKER


5500 Greenville Hwy~Brevard, NC 28712 828-885-2015

Connestee Falls a 4,000 acre gated Residential Community situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains about seven miles south of Brevard on the Greenville Hwy 276S Over 1350 Homes, Clubhouse & Wellness Center, Four Lakes, Four Tennis & Pickleball Courts, Heated Pool, Bocce, 14+ Miles of Hiking Trails, 18-Hole Championship George Cobb Golf Course Homes from $100K’s up to $900K’s Attractive Building Sites Still Available

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David Brandon 828-713-2221


Join the Journey Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex℠is the only destination in the universe where you can touch a moon rock, walk under space shuttle Atlantis, meet an astronaut and glimpse the future of space exploration. It’s where rockets launch and inspirational journeys begin!

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Profile for SUNSEEKER

Allegiant Sunseeker East Coast Edition - June-July 2017  

Experience Lake County, Florida - A Playground for Water Enthusiasts

Allegiant Sunseeker East Coast Edition - June-July 2017  

Experience Lake County, Florida - A Playground for Water Enthusiasts

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