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Romantic Getaways in Charleston Mar 27

Charleston, South Carolina is probably our favorite place for a romantic getaway. However, we are a little biased because Charleston is the place where we were married. We actually got married under a large Spanish oak tree and had our reception on the beach. The greatest thing about going to Charleston for a romantic getaway is that it is one of the few places where you can spend a day chasing after history going back hundreds of years and go to the beach and just relax the next day. There are many reasons why we think Charleston is a terrific place for a romantic getaway.

On our past trip to Charleston, we actually travelled in to Myrtle Beach and made the two hour drive to Charleston. One of the downsides for a romantic getaway to Charleston is that it can be expensive to travel there. However, if you fly in to Myrtle Beach and drive to Charleston, you can cut your travel costs by up to 50%! In this case we got great air fares on Spirit Airlines and used Dollar Rental Car. We figured that we saved ourselves about $500 flying into Myrtle Beach and driving. The Myrtle Beach airport has most of the major airlines and rental car agencies to choose from.
Although we have stayed in hotels near downtown and in vacation homes on Folly Beach, we actually stayed with relatives this past time. Charleston is so romantic, even though we didn’t stay by ourselves; we had a wonderful romantic getaway. We visited with family but also made time to share some romantic moments with each other. We took several walks through downtown Charleston where we are always amazed by the beauty of its architecture. We immersed ourselves in the history of the city and also enjoyed watching the sailboats leave the harbor. It is truly a wonderful place.
We also found time most every day to at least visit Folly Beach. We did spend the majority of a couple of days in a County Park on Folly Beach, just taking in the Sun and listening to the waves. We also enjoyed romantic walks along Folly Beach where we conjured up memories of our wedding reception on the beach. We just never get tired of it.

Charleston has a lot of great places for shopping and eating in the downtown area. My wife and I enjoy visiting the market area where local vendors sell everything from souvenirs to food items. The market area is also the place to catch a romantic carriage ride through the downtown area or various walking tours.

We really enjoy the food in the downtown area. On this visit, we had lunch at Hyman’s Seafood which has terrific crab cakes and great seafood. They also profess that attitude is everything and have a lot of neat t-shirts and souvenirs that talk about it. Our other lunch in downtown was a Jim and Nick’s on King Street which has great southern food. It is a local chain throughout the southwest and we somehow always seem to make it their on a trip to Charleston. On another day, we enjoyed a few beers and some great pizza at the Southend Brewery near the Market.

My wife set aside one night for a very special romantic dinner. We chose to have our dinner at the Peninsula Grill in the downtown market area. The inside dining area looked very well decorated and romantic but we reserved a table in the outside courtyard because we thought it was even more romantic. The courtyard is decorated beautifully with palm trees and white lights. The service is excellent. They don’t rush you and only seemed to be around whenever you needed them, which is perfect for a romantic evening. The food is fantastic. They have everything from steak to seafood to pork with unique and very tasty preparations. My wife and I really liked the Berkshire Pork Chop. If you like pork chops, you have to try Berkshire pork; it has a wonderful texture and taste. For dessert, the Peninsula Grill has many things but they have won awards for their coconut cake. It is a huge slice (easily big enough for two) and is like no coconut cake you have ever tasted. From the romantic atmosphere to the outstanding service to their unique and delicious menu, the Peninsula Grill is a great option for dinner on your romantic getaway in Charleston.

Charleston is truly a great city that has a lot to offer. The blend of history and the beach and wonderful food and shopping options make it a special place with a little for everyone. The next time you are looking for a great romantic getaway, we suggest that you take a look at Charleston.

Romantic Getaways in Myrtle Beach Mar 12

I wanted to take my wife for a weekend romantic getaway for her birthday.  I wanted to take her somewhere she could see the ocean.  After some research, I decided to take my wife to Myrtle Beach for a romantic getaway.

We have traveled to South Carolina several times before and used the Myrtle Beach airport before because there are a few discount airlines that fly in and out of there which keeps prices down.  In this case, we used Spirit Airlines and got a really great deal.  Myrtle Beach has very reasonable airline prices and also has all of the major rental car companies next to the terminal.

There are several hotels and resorts along the ocean but I wanted to find one that had some good specials and was very nice.  We stayed at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes which was just 5 minutes from the beach.  The Marina Inn has a variety of accommodations from studio rooms to four bedroom suites with kitchens.  Our suite had a fireplace, king bed, full kitchen, and a patio with a view of the Intercoastal waterway and a golf course.  The furniture and the bed were very comfortable.  The Marina Inn has a beautiful outdoor pool for getting some sun and an indoor pool and fitness center if you want to stay in shape.   I thought that the hotel and grounds were very nice and the customer service was excellent.

One of the reasons that we came to Myrtle Beach was to spend some time on the beach.  The beach is just 5 minutes away and the hotel provides shuttles to the beach throughout most of the year or you can drive yourself.  The Marina Inn has beach access right next to the Marriott and provides everything you need to relax at the beach from chairs, umbrellas, hammocks, and a cabana which has casual dining and restrooms and changing rooms.  We went in the off season when there wasn’t shuttle service but the advantage was that we had the beach to ourselves.  We spent the better part of the weekend just relaxing at the beach.

Myrtle Beach does have a lot to do.  Of course, many people go to Myrtle Beach for the golf.  You can’t go too far in Myrtle Beach without finding a golf course.  This would include miniature golf courses, executive courses, and of course some signature golf courses as well.  Myrtle Beach does have a lot of other things to do from dinner shows to small amusement parks to aquariums.

If you like to shop, Myrtle Beach has a lot of options from outlet malls to traditional malls and unique entertainment / shopping areas.  We went to Broadway at the Beach which has a wide variety of shopping, dining, nightlife, and entertainment options.  The complex has themed architecture areas around a 23 acre lake which houses fireworks shows.  We enjoyed eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while walking through the different shops.

There are a lot of different dining options in Myrtle Beach.  While we were there, we enjoyed some terrific chicken tenders from Zaxby’s as well as some terrific steaks from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  We also had a terrific breakfast at the Waterscapes restaurant inside the Marina Inn.  We especially enjoyed their Banana’s Foster French Toast.  Since we were there for a long weekend we really didn’t get to experience all the dining options that Myrtle Beach had to offer but we did see a lot we would like to try the next time we are there.

My wife really liked her birthday romantic getaway to Myrtle Beach.  We were able to relax at the beach which was what she really wanted to do. However, the next time we go we may play some golf or do some of the great activities Myrtle Beach has to offer.  The next time you are looking for a romantic getaway along the ocean, don’t overlook Myrtle Beach!

Romantic Getaways in Amelia Island Mar 05

My wife and I are big fans of beaches.  There is something about the sand, the sun, and the waves that make for a great place for romantic getaway.  We are always looking for new places and my wife was looking through the internet for hotels close to the beach.  When she was looking, she noticed that there was a Ritz Carlton at Amelia Island near Jacksonville that was beachfront.  She also noticed that there were some great specials running for the Ritz Carlton including daily breakfast for the times we wanted to go.  I had never stayed at a Ritz Carlton before but always heard good things about them from my wife.  We decided that we were going to Amelia Island for our next romantic getaway.

We flew into Jacksonville which was a nice airport.  We were able to use some previous credit from a cancelled flight from Southwest Airlines and some good rates to get down to Jacksonville at a good price.  We rented a car at the airport and headed out toward Amelia Island.  A short 45 minute ride later, we were at the Ritz Carlton.

Right away, I saw what customer service at the Ritz Carlton was all about.  They really understand how to pamper their guests and make the vacation experience memorable.  Whether it is helping you with your bags, recommending places to go, bringing you a cocktail, or just walking by you down the hall, they really make you feel special.  Any request is granted with a smile and the phrase, “It’s my pleasure!” which has become the motto of the Ritz Carlton.  The interesting thing to me was that they really made me believe that it was their pleasure to serve us.  If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend trying a Ritz Carlton for a romantic getaway.

The Ritz Carlton at Amelia Island is really a nice property.  The rooms are clean and comfortable and many have views of the ocean.  They have a really nice pool adjacent to the ocean.  The pool lounge chairs are set up with tiered views of the pool and the ocean.  They even had a variety of live bands playing music by the pool.  There is a bar and grill at the pool that serves cocktails, soft drinks, and sandwiches.  It is really nice to be lying by the pool, looking at the ocean, while the wait staff brings you cocktails with a smile.

The Ritz also had some excellent dining options.  Salt is a high end gourmet restaurant with expansive ocean views that looked really good and got great reviews.  As part of our hotel package, we had a couple of outstanding breakfasts at Café 4750 including a fabulous breakfast buffet complete with an omelet station and fresh cinnamon rolls.  The restaurant also serves delicious burgers and other lunch fare on the patio overlooking the pool.  We also had a great burger and appetizers at the Eight Burger Bar & Sports Lounge and even got to play a little pool.  The Ritz has live music and dancing every night in the lobby lounge. Finally, they have a fire pit just outside of the lobby lounge with comfortable chairs and great service.  There aren’t many things more romantic than sharing a couple of glasses of wine or cocktails while cuddling next to you sweetie in front of a roaring fire.

We came to Amelia Island for the beach and we weren’t disappointed.  We did spend quite a few hours on the beach right in front of the Ritz laying out on their comfortable lounge chairs, reading a book, and looking at the ocean.  We also enjoyed some long romantic walks along the beach.  We picked up a few sea shells and even saw a few baby sea turtles that were about the size of a silver dollar.  We also enjoyed bodysurfing and just playing in the water to help cool off from the August sun.  We probably spent more time by the ocean than anywhere else which is kind of the norm for us on our romantic getaways.

We primarily stayed on the property at the Ritz but did venture out a few times.  We did go to downtown Fernandina Beach which was about 15 minutes from the hotel.  It is a nice downtown with a variety of shops and restaurants.  We had a fabulous dinner at Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro.  The food was excellent (especially the Seafood Risotto), the atmosphere was pleasant (we sat next to a fireplace), and the service was excellent.

We also spent another afternoon having a lunch / dinner at a really neat bar called Sliders Seaside Bar and Grill.  They had very good live music at the outside tiki bar which was just steps away from the beach.  We really enjoyed our crab burger sandwiches while soaking in the sun and the live music.

Although it isn’t as well know as some other beach towns, Amelia Island has a lot to offer.  They have some very nice resorts with excellent service, good restaurants, and most importantly really nice beaches.  We had a wonderful time and will certainly look to Amelia Island for a future romantic getaway!

Romantic Getaways in Maui Feb 28

Maui is a great place for a romantic getaway.  This year my wife celebrated a milestone birthday.  Her number one item on her “Bucket List” was going on a trip to Hawaii.  I did some research about Hawaii and decided to make Maui the island to take my wife on a romantic getaway for her birthday.

In investigating Hawaii, I did research on the different islands.  They all have great beaches.  Oahu is the most cosmopolitan, Kauai is the most green, Big Island has live volcanoes, but Maui has a little of everything.  Maui has great beaches for anything from snorkeling to surfing, a volcano, and just a wide variety of things to do.

The downside of Hawaii is that the flights are really long, especially if you don’t live on the west coast.  I think you want to plan to stay for a week at minimum to allow for the jet lag to subside and so that you can immerse yourself in the Hawaiian culture.  When you land in Maui, you immediately see that things will be a little different.  The airport has open air areas where you can see some of the mountains in the area.  You really need a car to get around and since this was intended to be a special vacation, we decided to rent a convertible to feel the Hawaiian air.  There are a lot of rental companies from nationally known ones to locally owned ones but we chose to rent a Mustang convertible from Budget rental car.

There are a great many places to stay on Maui from high end hotels and resorts to condominiums.  There a lot of good websites but we found ours on VRBO.com.  We chose to stay near Kaanapali area because there are great beaches nearby and town of Lahaina with excellent restaurants, shopping, and nightlife nearby.  Our condominium was a two bedroom in a sixteen unit resort called Hoyochi Nikko only 50 feet from the ocean.  We were able sit on the balcony and watch the sea turtles swim and the whales breaching.  We also had access to the ocean where we could snorkel with a variety of fish and sea turtles from the back of the condo.  The condo was clean, had a full kitchen with modern amenities, and was very comfortable.  There are a great many resorts in the Kaanapali area for all tastes that you could find on VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, and through local websites.

There are a wide variety of restaurants in the area that are very good.  We spent several mornings at The Gazebo restaurant in the Napili Shores resort.  It had a great view of the water where you could see whales breaching while you eat.  The served really good omelets and macadamia nut pancakes that were outstanding and very reasonably priced.  They do serve lunch but we only ate there for breakfast.  We also ate at the Pineapple Grill at the Kapalua Resort which has great views of the golf course and the sunsets.  The food was outstanding and provided a nice variety of foods from gourmet meat and seafood dishes for dinners to burgers and salads for lunches.  Make sure you leave room for the best pineapple upside down cake my wife and I have ever tasted.  We went into Lahaina to eat one night and had an outstanding meal at David Paul’s Lahaina Grill.  They have outstanding service and feature a lot of dishes from both land and sea prepared in unique and delicious ways.  As we have mentioned in previous posts, we love Melting Pot Restaurants and they have a very nice new one in Lahaina right next to an Outback.  In other words, there are tons of choices for every taste not too far away.

Lahaina also has some nice shopping options through downtown.  There are a lot of art galleries, boutiques, and places to buy souvenirs.  Just off the main street, there is a shop called Hilo Hatties which is a great place to buy Hawaiian clothes and souvenirs. 

The area also has a lot of unique nightlife options.  There are a variety of Luaus in the area of which the Old Lahaina Luau appears to be the most well-liked.  We went to a magic show called Warren & Annabelle’s.  The night starts out with some appetizers and piano playing from a ghost.  The show is intimate and is every bit as much of a comedy show as it is a magic show.   The magic show is in the slight of hand variety instead of some of the grand dramatic tricks you would see in a Vegas show.  However, my wife and I were still trying to figure out some of his tricks all the way home.  This is definitely a must do if you are staying in the Lahaina area. 

Maui also has a wide variety of outdoor things to do.  We got up at 4 am one morning and drove up a 10,000 ft high volcano at Haleakala National Park to watch the sunrise.  It was a tremendous view and definitely a memorable experience.  You can take zip line tours either near Haleakala or in the West Maui mountains.  If you like scenic drives, you can take the Road to Hana which is a very, very windy road with a variety of waterfalls and beaches to see along the way.  If you are interested in windsurfing or surfing either from beginner to expert or participant to viewer, Maui has some great options.

My wife and I really like beaches and that is why we were most looking forward to going to Hawaii.  We went to Kapalua Bay which had great snorkeling and a nice walk along the ocean.  We also spent a day at Kaanapali beach which was great for people watching and some good snorkeling.  These are just a few of the many beaches in Maui.  As you can see, my wife and I we really like snorkeling.  There are a great many snorkeling shops where you can rent equipment or arrange for snorkeling tours.  My wife and I took a snorkeling tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation that went to Molokini Crater with its beautiful, clear water, and abundant fish.  We then went to another snorkeling area to swim with the sea turtles.  The nice part about of snorkeling tours with the Pacific Whale Foundation is that while you are traveling to the snorkeling spots, you get a great education about whales and other ocean life.

Our romantic getaway to Maui was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  We really can’t wait to go back to Hawaii.  The real dilemma is that we enjoyed Maui immensely.  We think that we want to try a different island but don’t know if we can withstand the urge to not go back to Maui.  When you are looking to put a trip on your “Bucket List”, we strongly suggest adding a romantic getaway to Maui on it.

Romantic Getaways in Grand Bahamas Feb 20

It was winter in Michigan and my wife and I were looking for a romantic getaway where we could be immersed in sunshine and much warmer temperatures.  We immediately thought of going to the Caribbean where we could see white sand beaches, beautiful clear water, and abundant sunshine.  However, trips to the Caribbean can be expensive so we undertook an extensive search to find something that would be in our price range. 

We went through a variety of websites looking for vacation specials in the Caribbean.  After some extensive research, we found a great deal in the Bahamas at the Radisson Our Lucaya Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahamas.  We booked a 5 day trip including hotel and airfare including transfers.  It was really easy to book and everything went as planned.

We got a room with an ocean view which gave us a beautiful view of the crystal clear waters and white sand beaches.  The view from the balcony was so good that we were able to see manta rays swimming in the water from our room.  We also had a great view of the pool which looked like a winding river from the resort to the ocean.  The “river” ended at an infinity pool that had a poolside bar that overlooked the ocean.  The resort offered a variety of water sports including jet skis and boats as well as fishing and snorkeling trips.  They also have a good sized casino if you feel like gambling and a full service spa and fitness center if you want to get into shape or be pampered. 

Our room was very clean and comfortable.  The service was excellent and the bell staff was very accommodating from the moment we stepped onto the resort.  They also have very good restaurants right on the resort for all tastes.  We ate several times at China Beach which was an excellent Asian style restaurant.  They also have a gourmet steak restaurant and a Caribbean style restaurant.  We also had a very good lunch at the Prop Club which overlooks the beach and the water.  Overall, we were very pleased with the food choices and quality.

Some people may be very content to stay on the resort enjoying the pool, the beach, and the great food.  However, there are entertainment, shopping, and dining options across the street from the resort in the Port Lucaya Marketplace.  The have plenty of shops with everything from jewelry to clothing to trinkets and souvenirs.  There are a variety of bars and restaurants for all types of cuisine and entertainment options.  We really liked Zorba’s restaurant which served Greek food and had a good breakfast.

The marketplace is connected to a marina which has a variety of boat tours and even has a world class dive shop called UNEXSO adjacent to it.  If you are interested in snorkeling or scuba diving, UNEXSO has a wide variety of snorkeling and diving trips and a wide range of classes for all levels of expertise.

My wife and I really enjoy snorkeling.  We were able to snorkel right from the beach of the resort.  We saw a variety of coral, fish, and almost a couple of manta rays.  We decided that we wanted to see a wider variety of coral and fish so we took a snorkel / sailing tour with Reef Tours which left from the Port Lucaya Marketplace.  The tour took place from a catamaran and allowed for an hour of snorkeling followed by an hour of sailing.  The snorkeling was amazing.  The water was crystal clear, the coral reef was beautiful, and fish were plentiful.  We did the tour on the last day of the trip and it was a great way to end our wonderful vacation.

Although Grand Bahama Island is not as pricey as some of the other popular Caribbean destinations, it is truly a great place to relax, get some sun, and find an adventure or two.  Don’t overlook Freeport and the Radisson Our Lucaya resort when you are looking for your next romantic getaway.

Romantic Getaways at Disney’s Hollywood Studios May 25

If you are a couple who loves the movies, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great place for a romantic getaway.

Once you walk in the park, you think you are inside a movie studio. The streets are designed to look like a movie set and there are actors riding up and down the streets putting on vaudeville type acts.

For those of you who enjoy old movies, you will enjoy the Great Movie Ride. If you are interested in movie making and how special effects are done there are several choices. The Studio Back lot tour starts with a moviemaking show where the audience gets to be the actors and then you hop on a tram to see how special effects are made. The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular is a great show to see how stunts are done and the audience gets a chance to get in this one as well. There are movie sets that you can walk through that change with the current movies. If you are interested, there are spectacular sound effects and car stunt shows for your enjoyment.

If you are a big fan of Disney movies, there are some good options for you as well. There is a nice tribute to Walt Disney and also a show on how to do Disney animation. I thought one of the neat things in the animation exhibit is the booth where you get to match your personality with a famous Disney character. Another cool thing is that Hollywood Studios is filled with your favorite animated characters. Meeting and taking a picture with these characters will make you feel like a kid again which is something that my wife and I really look forward to when we plan our romantic getaways.

If you like amusement parks as well as the movies, there are a bunch of movie themed rides to choose from. Star Tours is a fun motion ride for Star Wars fans. Muppet Vision 3-D is a funny show put on by your favorite Muppets. Toy Story Mania is a fun ride for those who like the old style carnival games. For roller coaster fans, the Rock N Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith is an incredibly fast roller coaster with tremendous acceleration and inversions to the driving beat of your Aerosmith favorites. Finally, the Tower of Terror is a fun an exciting ride for fans of the old Twilight Zone TV show and who like experiencing the sensation of free falling.

Finally, you should plan to visit a couple of the shows to complete your romantic getaway. If you enjoy American Idol, there is a show that allows you to experience what it would be like to be at an Idol show. If possible, you should go to the last show of the day so that you can see the best contestants of the day. The Beauty and the Beast show is an abbreviated version of the movie or Broadway show that occurs several times a day and is very entertaining. You should definitely plan to see Fantasmic during your visit. This is a spectacular fireworks and water show featuring your favorite Disney characters. The show is filled with music from your favorite Disney movies and amazing laser light and hydrotechnic effects. The show occurs only at night and is not shown every night, so make sure that you check the show schedule so that you can plan to visit the park on a night when Fantasmic plays.

If you are a fan of movies, Disney animation, and amusement park rides, you should look to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios for your next romantic getaway.

Romantic Restaurant – Emeril’s Orlando May 18

My wife and I enjoy going to romantic restaurants when we go on vacation. We were recently vacationing in Orlando and decided to return to one of our favorite romantic restaurants, Emeril’s Orlando.

The restaurant is located in City Walk which is on the site of Universal Studios Orlando. City Walk is the area between the Islands of Adventure and the Universal Studios Theme Parks. There are several restaurants, live entertainment venues and a little bit of shopping. We actually parked in the valet parking area and Emeril’s validated for two hours of parking.

My wife and I had previously been to Emeril’s about 5 years ago. We then had sat at the chef’s bar where we watched the chefs cook the food. It was really entertaining and an experience that we haven’t forgotten. It is really interesting to watch world class chefs prepare food and they do talk to you while they are cooking. The food was excellent as well.

We elected this time to have a little bit more of a romantic restaurant experience. Emeril’s is a well decorated white tablecloth restaurant with a very nice ambiance. We went for lunch this time and actually got seated with a view of City Walk. It was a nice day and it was kind of fun to people watch the kids walking into the theme parks.

The cuisine is described as Creole-based and we both love Cajun food so we were looking forward to our meal. If you want the experience of Emeril with a little bit less menu options at a reduced price, you can go for lunch, which is what we did. The service at Emeril’s is outstanding. The wait staff works in teams and they seamlessly picked up the service for one another like they were one person.

Our food was outstanding. They had a nice range of food with definite Creole influences. The gumbo was outstanding and they had a nice variety of salads and appetizers for all tastes. The wait staff did an excellent job of helping us with our selections. The entrees were very tasty, unique, and good sized portions. The dessert menu looked really good but we unfortunately were too full from our two courses to have dessert (maybe next time). We definitely enjoyed our romantic restaurant experience at Emeril’s Orlando.

After you leave Emeril’s you have a few choices within City Walk if you want to continue on your romantic experience. If you are a couple who likes to go to dinner and a movie, they have a state of the art theater. If you like live music, they have several different options as well. If you like to dance, they have a dance club. Basically, the advantage of eating at City Walk is that you have a lot of entertainment options after visiting your favorite romantic restaurants. City Walk does have a variety of other restaurants (most of which are themed) but we thought that Emeril’s was the most romantic restaurant of them.

If you are in the Orlando area, we would strongly recommend going to City Walk and Emeril’s for a romantic restaurant experience with some great entertainment options to continue your evening.

Category: Florida, Restaurants  | Tags: ,  | 3 Comments
Romantic Getaways in the Animal Kingdom May 11

Disney World has always been one of our favorite places for a romantic getaway. We like how it makes us feel young and keeps our love fresh. Since we always like to travel to zoos for a romantic getaway we were really excited when Disney created Animal Kingdom because it is a combination of the two.

When you first walk into the park, you walk through an area filled with birds and smaller animals. Then you come upon the tree of life which is a site unto itself due to its size and craftsmanship. It is a great place to take pictures in front of. In the base of the tree of life, there is a great little show called It’s Tough to Be a Bug. It is pretty funny and entertaining.

Our favorite ride in the park is the Kilamanjaro Safari which is located in the Africa section of the park. This is a great ride that is a combination of a ride and a zoo. You get in a jeep and travel throughout the African Savannah where you see Giraffes, Antelopes, Rhinos, Hippos, Elephants, and Lions among other things. At the end of the ride, you can take a walk along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail which is a lot more like a zoo and features animals typically found in Africa.

In the Asia section of the park, you can find the Maharajah Jungle Trek which is a lot like the Pangani trail except it features animals found in Asia. Also in Asia, you will find Expedition Everest which is great for you roller coaster lovers. It seems innocuous to start, like you are going on a train ride up the mountain but then it goes a little haywire but it’s a whole lot of fun.

In the DinoLand U.S.A. section of the park, we enjoy the Dinosaur ride which is based on the movie. It is not really a roller coaster in the normal sense but it does have some twists, turns, and drops while you are surrounded by animated dinosaurs.

We also enjoy the shows at Animal Kingdom. There is a Flights of Wonder show near Asia which is a showcase for birds of prey if you like birds. There is a Finding Nemo stage show that is located between Asia and Dinoland. If you are a fan of the movie, you will probably enjoy the show. Our favorite show is the Festival of the Lion King which is located in Camp Minnie Mickey. We have seen the show numerous times and have even seen The Lion King on Broadway and we still truly enjoy this show. It truly is not to be missed.

There aren’t many great places to eat in the park, but a short trip to the Animal Kingdom Lodge gives you some dining options. The lodge itself is decorated beautifully and is complete with its own version of the African Savannah complete with Giraffes, Zebras, and Antelope. We have always wanted to stay here but I will tell you that it is not cheap. As far as food goes, they have a decent cafeteria type restaurant for lunch and the Jiko and Boma restaurants inside the lodge feature African themed cuisine.

Disney World is a great place for a romantic getaway and the Animal Kingdom is a park that you shouldn’t miss spending with that special someone.

Romantic Getaways in Frankenmuth Apr 27

Romantic getaways can sometimes be found in unexpected places, the latest being in central Michigan. My wife and I have visited Frankenmuth several times and really enjoy it. Frankenmuth has some very touristy aspects about it but it also has some elements that make it a great place for a romantic getaway.

Frankenmuth is known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria due to the history of it’s formation as a town over 150 years ago. The architecture looks like something you would see if you were to visit Germany. The Cass River runs through town and even has a riverboat that gives historical tours of Frankenmuth while you enjoy your river cruise. There are carriage rides offered by a couple of different carriage companies that give you tours of the town while riding in a horse drawn carriage. If you enjoy history, there are a couple of options that allow you to learn about the town in a very romantic atmosphere.

If you enjoy shopping, there are several unique options. There are a variety of small shops located downtown which are fun to walk around with together. Frankenmuth is also the home for Bronner’s which is the World’s Largest Christmas Store. If you enjoy Christmas, Bronner’s is a place you shouldn’t miss. My wife and I like to buy ornaments every year and you can even get personalized ones in Bronner’s. If you are looking for some real bargains, there is a great outlet mall in Birch Run about 10 minutes away.

There are some great dining options as well. My wife and I really like Zehnder’s which offers family style dining that is exceptional and will make sure that you won’t leave hungry. They have a great all you can eat fried chicken dinner which also has a wide variety of appetizers and sides. The décor of the restaurant maintains the town’s German theme and the wait staff uniforms are representative of the 1800s. I would highly recommend making a stop at their Marketplace where you can buy some of the items that you sampled during your dinner and check out their wonderful bakery. Although we haven’t experienced it first hand, Zehnder’s also has a hotel with a waterpark and an 18-hole championship golf course.

If you enjoy live entertainment, Frankenmuth is home to several music festivals including country music and a flashback to the 80s among others. They also have beer tasting festivals, a Renaissance festival and a speedway for car racing if you enjoy that. Check the Frankenmuth events website for more details.

As a reflection of the town’s effort to maintain a romantic theme, they even have a wedding chapel for those couples who are really feeling the romance. I hope you consider Frankenmuth as a great place in Michigan for a romantic getaway.

Romantic Getaways in South Haven Apr 20

 

My wife and I can always find romance by the water. Since we live in Michigan now, we are quite far from the ocean. Luckily, Lake Michigan isn’t too far away and one of our favorite towns along Lake Michigan is South Haven.

The beach in South Haven is a great place to share a romantic moment and a great place to relax. Many people are surprised by the beach and size of Lake Michigan. The sand on the beaches along Lake Michigan is beautiful in appearance, is soft to the touch, and is really nice to walk on. The lake water is definitely colder than the Atlantic or Pacific water but it is quite clear for the most part. It can be amazing to stand on the beach and look out into the horizon because you cannot see land anywhere you look and you start to get a feel for the size of Lake Michigan. Sometimes, if the weather is right, you can get waves that are high enough to make you think you are sitting oceanside. It is really peaceful to sit and read a book or people watch while looking over the lake. If you are looking for romance, it is really nice to take a walk through the beautiful sand holding the hand of your sweetheart.

The beach in South Haven is close to downtown and is split into two parts. We prefer the North beach because it is larger and a little quieter. There is a concession stand with snack food and hot dogs and also restrooms within walking distance. My wife always finds lighthouses to be very romantic because they are kind of a window to the past. You can see South Haven’s lighthouse while you sit on the beach which just adds to the scenery. Also, there is a pretty good sized marina with a channel separating the two beaches so you can also watch the boats leave for the lake.

If you are a couple that finds romance on the water, then South Haven marina is the starting point for a variety of cruises of Lake Michigan. The South Haven marina is also the home of the Michigan Maritime Museum for people who enjoy history.

The town in South Haven is a great one for walking around in. There are a lot of little shops and boutiques that are fun to walk in and offering anything from home décor to clothing to antiques. There are also a variety of pretty good restaurants to visit. Our favorite is Clementine’s which has great food and service in a nice atmosphere. We really like the atmosphere in the bar area and we really enjoy the onion rings for an appetizer. They have a lot of variety in their menu and have daily specials. The downside is that they don’t take reservations so it can take a long time to sit down and eat. The good thing is that you can put your name in and if the wait is long, you can walk round the shops and boutiques surrounding the restaurant.

If you want a break from the beach, you can take a walk along the scenic Kal Haven Trail or visit Van Buren State Park. There are several golf courses in the area including HawksHead Links which has been rated 4-1/2 stars by Golf Digest and even includes an Inn to stay at on the Golf Course. Speaking of places to stay, South Haven has a great deal of Bed & Breakfasts and Vacation Rentals many of which are within walking distance of town or the beach.

If you find sitting and walking on the beach with your special someone and are in the Midwest, you should consider South Haven as a place to stop. You can enjoy beautiful sand, scenic views of the lighthouse and Lake Michigan, and an enjoyable town to walk around in when you aren’t sitting on the beach.