Tag Archives: Interstate 4

Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen – Various Locations Along I-4

We live up in the Northeast where Popeye’s are few and far between… so when we’re down south Popeye’s is a must stop. There are Popeye’s all along Interstate 4 and we’ve probably stopped at most of them in our twenty plus years traveling between New England and Florida.

Great spicy chicken and sides. I love the dirty rice. This is my favorite fast food by far! What’s more, if you go online to their website (www.popeyes.com) you will probably find a coupon or two.

2014 Spring Training – Florida’s Grapefruit League

Spring is in the air… and spring training has begun! Florida is the home of Major League Baseball’s Grapefruit League and spring training 2014.

Spring training typically lasts about six weeks, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day (and often right at the end of spring training, some teams will play spring training games on the same day other teams have opening day of the season), traditionally the first week of April. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period. A few days later, the position players arrive and team practice begins. Team members normally wear their batting practice uniforms for the duration of spring training and only wear their normal jerseys beginning on Opening Day.

Below you’ll find 2014 Spring Training park information, maps, and home game schedules for all the teams. Catch a game!

 

 

George M. Steinbrenner Field

3802 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33614
Spring Training Home of the New York Yankees

New York Yankees

New York Yankees 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Tuesday, February 251:05 PMFlorida State University Seminoles
Thursday, February 271:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Saturday, March 11:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Monday, March 31:05 PMWashington Nationals
Tuesday, March 47:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Friday, March 77:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Sunday, March 91:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Wednesday, March 121:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Thursday, March 131:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Friday, March 141:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Saturday, March 15TBDMiami Marlins
Sunday, March 16TBDMiami Marlins
Sunday, March 161:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Tuesday, March 181:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Friday, March 217:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Sunday, March 231:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Tuesday, March 257:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Friday, March 287:05 PMMiami Marlins
Saturday, March 291:05 PMMiami Marlins
 Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Florida Auto Exchange Stadium

373 Douglas Avenue, Dunedin, FL 34698
Spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Thursday, February 271:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Friday, February 281:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Sunday, March 21:05 PMNew York Yankees
Wednesday, March 51:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Friday, March 71:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Saturday, March 81:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Wednesday, March 121:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Thursday, March 131:05 PMHouston Astros
Friday, March 141:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Sunday, March 161:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Wednesday, March 191:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Saturday, March 221:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Monday, March 241:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Wednesday, March 261:05 PMNew York Yankees
Friday, March 287:05 PMNew York Mets
Saturday, March 291:05 PMNew York Mets
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Joker Marchant Stadium

2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33809
Spring training home of the Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Tuesday, February 251:05 PMFlorida Southern College
Thursday, February 271:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Friday, February 281:05 PMNew York Yankees
Saturday, March 11:05 PMHouston Astros
Monday, March 31:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Tuesday, March 41:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Thursday, March 61:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Saturday, March 81:05 PMNew York Mets
Tuesday, March 111:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Thursday, March 131:05 PMMiami Marlins
Friday, March 141:05 PMWashington Nationals
Saturday, March 151:05 PMHouston Astros
Monday, March 171:05 PMWashington Nationals
Tuesday, March 181:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Sunday, March 231:05 PMMiami Marlins
Tuesday, March 251:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Thursday, March 271:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Friday, March 281:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Space Coast Stadium

5800 Stadium Parkway, Melbourne, FL
Spring training home of the Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Saturday, March 11:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Sunday, March 21:05 PMMiami Marlins
Wednesday, March 51:05 PMNew York Mets
Friday, March 71:05 PMHouston Astros
Saturday, March 81:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Sunday, March 91:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Monday, March 106:05 PMHouston Astros
Tuesday, March 111:05 PMNew York Yankees
Thursday, March 131:05 PMNew York Mets
Sunday, March 161:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Wednesday, March 196:05 PMHouston Astros
Thursday, March 201:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Saturday, March 221:05 PMMiami Marlins
Tuesday, March 251:05 PMNew York Mets
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Champion Stadium

700 Victory Way, Orlando, FL
Spring training home of the Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Wednesday, February 261:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Friday, February 286:05 PMHouston Astros
Sunday, March 21:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Monday, March 31:05 PMNew York Mets
Tuesday, March 41:05 PMWashington Nationals
Thursday, March 66:05 PMWashington Nationals
Saturday, March 81:05 PMMiami Marlins
Tuesday, March 111:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Wednesday, March 121:05 PMWashington Nationals
Friday, March 141:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Saturday, March 151:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Wednesday, March 191:05 PMNew York Yankees
Friday, March 211:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Saturday, March 221:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Sunday, March 231:05 PMNew York Mets
Monday, March 246:05 PMHouston Astros
Wednesday, March 261:05 PMMiami Marlins
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Osceola County Stadium

631 Heritage Park Way, Kissimmee, FL 34744
Spring training home of the Houston Astros

Houston Astros

Houston Astros 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Sunday, March 212:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Wednesday, March 512:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Thursday, March 612:05 PMNew York Mets
Saturday, March 812:05 PMNew York Yankees
Sunday, March 912:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Wednesday, March 1212:05 PMWashington Nationals
Friday, March 1412:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Sunday, March 1612:05 PMWashington Nationals
Monday, March 1712:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Thursday, March 2012:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Friday, March 2112:05 PMMiami Marlins
Saturday, March 2212:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Wednesday, March 265:05 PMNew York Mets
Saturday, March 296:10 PMVeracrux, MX (at Minute Maid Park)
Sunday, March 301:10 PMVeracrux, MX (at Minute Maid Park)
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Bright House Field

601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater, FL 33765
Spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Wednesday, February 261:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Friday, February 281:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Sunday, March 21:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Tuesday, March 46:35 PMToronto Blue Jays
Wednesday, March 51:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Thursday, March 61:05 PMNew York Yankees
Saturday, March 81:05 PMHouston Astros
Monday, March 101:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Thursday, March 131:05 PMNew York Yankees
Sunday, March 161:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Monday, March 171:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Thursday, March 201:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Friday, March 211:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Sunday, March 231:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Wednesday, March 261:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Thursday, March 271:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Friday, March 287:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Saturday, March 291:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

McKechnie Field

1611 9th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34205
Spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponents
Tuesday, February 2512:00 PMBlack and Gold Exhibition Game
Wednesday, February 261:05 PMNew York Yankees
Saturday, March 11:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Monday, March 31:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Thursday, March 61:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Friday, March 71:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Sunday, March 91:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Monday, March 101:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Friday, March 141:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Saturday, March 151:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Monday, March 171:05 PMNew York Yankees
Thursday, March 207:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Saturday, March 221:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Monday, March 241:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Tuesday, March 251:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Thursday, March 271:05 PMNew York Yankees
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Hammond Stadium

14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Spring training home of the Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Saturday, March 11:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Monday, March 31:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Wednesday, March 57:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Thursday, March 61:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Sunday, March 91:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Wednesday, March 121:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Thursday, March 131:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Friday, March 141:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Sunday, March 161:05 PMMiami Marlins
Tuesday, March 187:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Friday, March 211:05 PMNew York Mets
Saturday, March 221:05 PMNew York Yankees
Monday, March 241:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Tuesday, March 251:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Wednesday, March 261:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Friday, March 281:05 PMBoston Red Sox
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Tradition Field

525 NW Peacock Blvd, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
Spring training home of the New York Mets

New York Mets

New York Mets 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Friday, February 281:10 PMWashington Nationals
Saturday, March 11:10 PMMiami Marlins
Tuesday, March 41:10 PMHouston Astros
Wednesday, March 51:10 PMMiami Marlins
Friday, March 71:10 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Sunday, March 91:10 PMAtlanta Braves
Monday, March 101:10 PMMiami Marlins
Wednesday, March 121:10 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Saturday, March 151:10 PMMinnesota Twins
Tuesday, March 181:10 PMDetroit Tigers
Thursday, March 201:10 PMAtlanta Braves
Sunday, March 231:10 PMWashington Nationals
Monday, March 241:10 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Thursday, March 2712:10 PMWashington Nationals
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

JetBlue Park

11581 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33913
Spring training home of the Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Thursday, February 271:05 PMNU/BC Doubleheader
Friday, February 281:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Sunday, March 21:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Tuesday, March 41:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Friday, March 71:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Saturday, March 87:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Monday, March 101:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Tuesday, March 111:05 PMMiami Marlins
Saturday, March 157:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Monday, March 171:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Wednesday, March 197:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Thursday, March 207:05 PMNew York Yankees
Sunday, March 231:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Wednesday, March 261:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Thursday, March 277:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Saturday, March 291:05 PMMinnesota Twins
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Charlotte Sports Park

2300 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Friday, February 281:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Sunday, March 21:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Monday, March 31:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Wednesday, March 51:05 PMNew York Yankees
Saturday, March 81:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Tuesday, March 111:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Thursday, March 131:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Saturday, March 151:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Sunday, March 161:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Thursday, March 207:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Friday, March 211:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Saturday, March 221:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
Tuesday, March 251:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Wednesday, March 267:05 PMBaltimore Orioles
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Ed Smith Stadium

2700 12th St, Sarasota, FL 34237
Spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Saturday, March 11:05 PMToronto Blue Jays
Monday, March 31:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Thursday, March 61:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
Friday, March 71:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Saturday, March 81:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Sunday, March 91:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Tuesday, March 111:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Wednesday, March 121:05 PMPhiladelphia Phillies
Saturday, March 151:05 PMNew York Yankees
Monday, March 177:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Wednesday, March 191:05 PMTampa bay Rays
Friday, March 211:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Sunday, March 231:05 PMPittsburgh Pirates
Monday, March 241:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Thursday, March 277:05 PMTampa Bay Rays
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

Roger Dean Stadium

4751 Main Street, Jupiter, FL 33458

Spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals

Miami MarlinsSt. Louis Cardinals

Miami Marlins 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Wednesday, February 261:05 PMUniversity of Miami
Thursday, February 271:05 PMFlorida International
Saturday, March 11:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Monday, March 31:05 PMHouston Astros
Tuesday, March 41:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Thursday, March 61:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Sunday, March 91:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Wednesday, March 121:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Friday, March 147:05 PMNew York Mets
Saturday, March 151:05 PMWashington Nationals
Monday, March 171:05 PMNew York Mets
Tuesday, March 181:05 PMHouston Astros
Thursday, March 201:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
Saturday, March 221:05 PMNew York Mets
Monday, March 241:05 PMWashington Nationals
Tuesday, March 251:05 PMSt. Louis Cardinals
 Book a Room Near the Park!

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 2014 Spring Training Home Schedule
DateTimeOpponent
Friday, February 281:05 PMMiami Marlins
Sunday, March 21:05 PMNew York Mets
Wednesday, March 51:05 PMBoston Red Sox
Friday, March 71:05 PMMiami Marlins
Saturday, March 81:05 PMWashington Nationals
Monday, March 101:05 PMDetroit Tigers
Tuesday, March 111:05 PMNew York Mets
Thursday, March 131:05 PMAtlanta Braves
Sunday, March 161:05 PMNew York Mets
Wednesday, March 191:05 PMMinnesota Twins
Friday, March 211:05 PMWashington Nationals
Sunday, March 231:05 PMHouston Astros
Wednesday, March 261:05 PMWashington Nationals
Thursday, March 271:05 PMMiami Marlins
  Book a Room Near the Park!

 

Dates, times and teams subject to change. All times ET.

 

Hoagie Heaven – Tampa, Florida

Great subs and salads. Hoagie Heaven is a little tough to find… Head eastbound on I-4 and get off at exit 7 (US 92 East) about a mile.

They have the best pizza in the Tampa area. Quality ingredients. Awesome sauce and the crust is excellent. You can’t go wrong. Choose anything on the menu, it’s all delicious. We’ve stopped here several times and have yet to be disappointed.

What’s more… servings are large and the prices are more than fair and each meal comes with a salad and garlic bread. I recommend it!

Rolex 24 at Daytona – January 25-26, 2014

The 52nd anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona will be the first race for TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. America’s most prestigious endurance race starts at 2:10 p.m. Saturday.

Rolex 24 at Daytona – January 25-26, 2014 (I-4, exit 132 then I-95 Exit 261)

http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Tickets-Events/Events/2014/Rolex-24-At-Daytona/Rolex-24-At-Daytona.aspx

Celebration, Florida

Founded in 1994, Celebration is a planned community created by a real estate division of The Walt Disney Company. Disney commissioned famous architects to create the master plan and to design the streets and buildings.

Celebration has the flavor of a southern American village from the 1930s. Residential neighborhoods are clustered around a small, pedestrian-friendly downtown area. Market Street has a storybook atmosphere with a Caribbean flavor. Sided in brightly-colored stucco, the downtown buildings have wide overhangs, shutters, verandas, and arcades.

Places to Stay

Nestled lakeside in downtown Celebration is the “Bohemian Hotel Celebration” offering a charming blend of Old Florida elegance and contemporary luxury. The “Mona Lisa” is a an all suite hotel is located near the entrance to Celebration and easily accessible from I-4 and US 192. Just outside of the “bubble” is US Route 192, a 10 mile strip of commercial development that has just about every chain hotel you can think of.

Places to Eat

There are variety of dining options in Downtown Celebration with world-class restaurants and specialty food stores offering a variety of international cuisines perfect for any occasion. Cafe D’Antonio features items representative of many of Italy’s varied regions. The Celebration Tavern is a New England style restaurant and tavern that has become the town’s social hub and place to be seen since opening. The Columbia Restaurant overlooks Celebration’s picturesque lake and offers classic elegance in a Mediterranean style setting where diners can enjoy fine Spanish/Cuban cuisine in our old-world-style dining rooms, an outdoor cafe, or courtyard. Imperium Wine Room is a 100 seat, class-service, food and wine bar offering the highest quality food and wines with a 50 seat patio. Enjoy the delights of the Confectionery Chocolates and Ice Cream from Kilwin’s. The Market Street Cafe makes over 60 items from scratch every day. Savor quality authentic Japanese food and sushi at Seito Sushi. Shannon’s of Celebration is an authentic Irish restaurant in a perfect lakeside setting. Discover the authentic taste of Thai food at Thai Thani. Upper Crust Pizza and Starbucks round out the downtown Celebration food choices.

This is, of course the heart of tourist country, so venturing out of the confines of Celebration will prove to be a restaurant and fast food wonderland.

Places to Go

Downtown Celebration has the finest selection of shops and boutiques with something for everyone in the family. Enjoy walking the brick-lined streets of Celebration Town Center and spend time with family and friends.

The town of Celebration also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. Whether you prefer to stroll down Market Street perusing fine art, dance to family friendly music in front of the lake, or watch snow falling during the holiday months, there’s always something to do in Celebration!

Just two blocks from Market Street is the Celebration Golf Club, a daily fee golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Getting Around

Celebration is located approximately 20 miles southwest of Orlando just off Interstate 4, exits 65, 64 or 62. US Route 192 runs east-west. Once in the Celebration “bubble” it’s not unusual to see electric vehicles, Segway human transporters and bicycles in your travels. Celebration has miles of wide, paved and wooden trails and paths. It is a very walkable community so park your car and explore!

Fantasy of Flight – Polk City, FL

Update March 4, 2014: Fantasy of Flight, an aviation-themed attraction in Polk County, will close to the public April 6, 2014 and will concentrate on its private-event business, owner Kermit Weeks told employees on Tuesday.

Fantasy of Flight is an aviation-related attraction in Polk City, Florida  that takes visitors back to the pioneering days of early flight, World War I, World War II and beyond. Fantasy of Flight houses the world’s largest private aircraft collection on display. Fantasy of Flight is the only attraction in the world to offer daily aerial demonstrations (weather permitting) of aircraft in its collection. The attraction showcases an aircraft each day.

Themed “immersion experiences” showcase memorable moments in aviation history, and a self-guided audio tour gives visitors information about aircraft in the collection as well as insider details about featured aviators. Guided tours go behind the scenes to show how craftsmen restore vintage planes.

The Facility

The facility features a main building consisting of two large hangars (called “North” and “South”) for the aircraft on display, restoration shops, the immersion environments, a gift shop and the Art Deco themed Compass Rose Diner. Just outside the main building across from the entrance is the facilitiy’s new ropes course and zip line attraction known as “Wing Walk Air.” Outside the hangars there is an adjoining tarmac and two grass runways. On the north side of the runways are a maintenance hangar and conference facility. A “back lot” to the south of the main complex contains warehouses, storage and restoration facilities.

Immersion Environments

Visitors walk through several immersion environments as they enter the attraction. From the lobby, guests walk into the interior of a WWII-era Douglas C-47 Skytrain complete with lighting and sound effects as if the aircraft were conducting paratrooper operations. Guests pass a seated paratrooper in full kit and move forward toward the Jumpmaster figure standing at the open side hatch. Over the hatch blinks a red “Ready” light which switches to a green “Jump” light as the guest approaches the hatch. Through the hatch is the entry to the attraction.

Other immersion environments include a “sensation of flight” simulator, followed by a celebration of the early days of flight. Then, a passage covered by heavy shrapnel-resistant curtains leads visitors into a full-scale representation of the trench warfare of WWI, complete with aircraft overhead. It was, in part, due to the development of aerial warfare that trench fighting became obsolete.

The final immersion display includes the collection’s Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress housed in a large darkened room staged to appear as a winter evening at RAF Horham, home of the 95th Bombardment Group during WWII. The full-scale diorama, complete with ground vehicles, outbuildings and landscaping, represents a maintenance area and one of the B-17’s engine cowlings and propellers are removed to maintenance stands in front of the aircraft. Guests can enter the plane via a side hatch in the tail, walk through the bomb bay, visit the cockpit, and exit near the nose of the aircraft.

The Compass Rose Diner

Adjacent to the attraction’s lobby is an Art Deco themed restaurant called “The Compass Rose Diner” which features the characteristics of diners associated with airports during the 1930s and early 1940’s. The restaurant features tall windows, multi-hued terrazzo floors and the curved architectural lines associated with the Art Deco period. The diner is open to the public and serves a short-order menu similar to that of lunch counters popularized during the pre-WWII era.

Visit the Fantasy of Flight website

 

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Fantasy of Flight, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Dinosaur World – Plant City, FL

Perhaps you’ve seen them on your travels along I-4. Dinosaur World is an outdoor dinosaur theme parks located just of I-4, exit 17 in Plant City.

The park features over 150 life-size dinosaur sculptures created by Christer Svensson. Opened in 1998, Dinosaur World is family friendly, including many activities for small children, playgrounds and picnic areas (food is not served on the property so guests are encouraged to picnic).

Life-size dinosaur statues are placed among native vegetation or water features to simulate animals in a wild environment. Plant species that date from the time of the dinosaurs can be found on the grounds and identified with small signs as appropriate.

There are frequent break and shade areas around the park and several picnic and play areas. One popular attraction is the “Fossil Dig” where kids can dig for real fossils and may take home their favorite three in a small plastic bag.

Visitors tour Dinosaur World on a boardwalk that takes them past stegosaurus, brontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex and other popular dinosaurs set among natural marshes with cypress and gum trees.

Attractions in the park include:

  • Dinosaur Walk – an outdoor trail with life-size dinosaurs and explanatory signs
  • Boneyard Playground and picnic area
  • Fossil Dig – where children find fossils in the dirt and may take home their favorite three.
  • Movie Cave –  showing a selection of dinosaur videos also available in the gift shop.
  • Museum – with reproduction fossils and animatronic dinosaurs
  • Gift Shop – selling a selection of dino and prehistoric toys and gifts.

Website: http://www.dinosaurworld.com/

 

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Dinosaur World, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Bok Tower Gardens – Lake Wales, FL

Bok Tower Gardens is a botanical garden and bird sanctuary, located north of Lake Wales, Florida. It consists of a 250-acre garden, the 205-foot tall Singing Tower with its carillon bells, Pine Ridge Trail, Pinewood Estate, and a visitor center. The tower was built upon Iron Mountain, one of the highest points of peninsular Florida, estimated to be 295 feet above sea level. It is a National Historic Landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bok Tower Gardens is open daily and an admission fee is charged.

History

The gardens began in 1921 when a Dutch immigrant, Edward W. Bok, editor of the popular women’s magazine Ladies Home Journal and his wife, Mary Louise Curtis Bok, were spending the winter beside Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge and decided to create a bird sanctuary on its highest hill. Bok commissioned noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to transform what then was an arid sand hill into “a spot of beauty second to none in the country”.

The Gardens

Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. designed the meandering gardens of Bok Tower Gardens to feature acres of ferns, palms, oaks, pines, and wetland plants. The plantings also include camellias, tree ferns, creeping fig, yaupon and dahoon holly, Asiatic jasmine, justicia, crinum and spider lily, monstera, wax myrtle, date and sabal palm, papyrus, philodendron, blue plumbago, and horsetail rush. The site is a refuge for more than a hundred bird species. Wild turkey and groups of sandhill cranes are also often seen wandering the grounds.

The Singing Tower

The Singing Tower is the centerpiece of the gardens. The tower was built at the highest elevation of the site, south of a reflection pool that allows the water to reflect its full image. A 60-bell carillon set within the 205-foot tall, Gothic Revival and Art Deco tower that was designed by architect Milton B. Medary. The tower is 51 feet square at its base, changing form at 150 feet high to an octagon with 37 feet sides that include sculptures designed by Lee Lawrie. The tower is surrounded by a 15-foot moat that serves as a Koi pond. It is built of pink Etowah marble and gray Creole marble, mined in Tate, Georgia, and Florida native coquina stone, from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Although the tower’s interior is not open to the public, it contains the Anton Brees Carillon Library, said to be the largest carillon library in the world. Inside the bell chamber is a playing room that houses a clavier that is used for playing the carillon bells. Recitals are given daily from the 60-bell carillon set.

Pine Ridge Trail

The Pine Ridge Nature Preserve and Trail is an ecosystem typified by an over-story of Longleaf Pine and a dense groundcover of perennial grasses that includes a nature trail that extends for three-quarters of a mile, a bog garden, an open glade, and a sandhill forest community.

Pinewood Estate

8 acres of the Gardens include the Pinewood Estate, which features a twenty-room Mediterranean Revival mansion. This mansion was built between 1930-1932 by C. Austin Buck, vice-president of Bethlehem Steel Co. in Pennsylvania, as a winter residence. Its original name was “El Retiro”, and it has been restored to its 1930s appearance. The sanctuary features several events at this mansion during the year. Guided tours of the 20 room Mediterranean-style mansion are given daily.

Events

Throughout the year, there are numerous events designed to draw visitors to the Gardens. These events include various concerts featuring jazz, orchestras, and the carillon bells of the Tower. The most popular are the semi-annual symphony concerts, given in the evening once in the Fall and once in the Spring. These events draw thousands of visitors to the large field in front of the Tower for an outdoor picnic; and feature music from both the symphony orchestra and carillon bells.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Bok Tower Gardens, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Busch Gardens – Tampa Bay, FL

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a 335-acre, 19th century African-themed animal theme park located in the city of Tampa, Florida. It opened on March 31, 1959 as an admission-free hospitality facility for Tampa Anheuser-Busch; in addition to various beer tastings they had, a bird garden and the Stairway to the Stars which was an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is divided into themed areas. The Serengeti Express (a replica steam train) runs along the back end of the park and makes stops at the Nairobi, Congo and Stanleyville themed areas. The Skyride transports guests between Crown Colony and Stanleyville.

Morocco

The park’s main entrance is home to the Mystic Sheiks of Morocco brass and percussion ensemble. Treats can be purchased at the Sultan’s Sweets and the Zagora Cafe. The Moroccan Palace, a 1,200 seat indoor theatre is located here, as well as the outdoor Marrakesh Theater. Gwazi is the major ride in this area. Gwazi, a 105-foot , 50 mph dueling wooden roller coaster named after a mythological creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a lion opened. The dueling sides consist of a lion side and a tiger side, which cross paths seven times.

Bird Gardens

This area is mostly gardens and animal exhibits and shows. “Walkabout Way” is themed as an Australian outpost.  This area which is the Bird Gardens give guests the chance to see and hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies. In addition this area is home a kookaburra, magpie geese and Australian black swans. This experience is open to all guests 5 years of age or older.

Stanleyville

This section of the park is home to the park’s water rides and SheiKra, a Dive Coaster. The Stanley Falls Flume and Tanganyika Tidal Wave is also located in Stanleyville.

Congo

This section contains two of the park’s more popular rides. Kumba, meaning roar in Swahili, is a 143-foot steel sit-down roller coaster with seven inversions. It still remains a popular ride today. Other rides in the Congo include The Congo River Rapids, a water ride that simulates raging whitewater rapids, and Ubanga Banga Bumper Cars, a bumper cars ride.

Jungala

Jungala is a 4-acrefamily attraction featuring up-close animal encounters, rope bridges to explore three stories of jungle life, and a water-play area for children. Also located in this area are two family attractions: Jungle Flyers, a zip line that offers three different flight patterns above the treetops of the new area, and Wild Surge, a shot tower that launches guests above a waterfall. Another attraction is Tiger Trail, which is a walkthrough with tigers where there is also a glass turret where you can look out right in the middle of the tiger enclosure. Stiltwalkers perform and interact with guests in the heart of Jungala during several parts of the day.

Timbuktu

Timbuktu is a section themed after the malls and bazaars of Africa. Attractions here include Timbuktu Theater, The Desert Grill, and the park’s family-friendly Sand Serpent wild mouse roller coaster. Rides include the Scorpion, a sit-down roller coaster with one vertical loop, Sand Serpent, a steel wild mouse roller coaster, Phoenix, a looping starship themed as an Egyptian cargo vessel. Other attractions include Sesame Street Film Festival, and Caravan Carousel, a carousel with horses, camels, and chariots

Nairobi

Alligators and crocodiles can be observed here up close. In Curiosity Cavern, guests can view mammal and reptile exhibits. Visitors to Nairobi can view injured or abandoned newborns at the Nairobi Field Station Animal Nursery. The area also contains Myombe Reserve, a tropical rainforest that is home to Western Lowland Gorillas and Common Chimpanzees. The major ride here is Rhino Rally, an unpredictable off-road safari. Rhino Rally, a River Adventure ride, where riders board inside modified Land Rovers through the park’s Serengeti Plain habitat, interacting with animals.

Crown Colony Plaza

Crown Colony is the smallest section of the park. It features a restaurant, the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster, and the Skyride station.

Egypt

Bedouin tents and authentic handicrafts and art create an Egyptian marketplace feel. Guests can visit a replica of King Tutankhamen’s tomb with the excavation in progress. The primary attraction of the Egypt themed area is Montu, an inverted steel coaster. Montu, named after the Egyptian Falcon God of War, is a 150-foot steel inverted roller coaster with seven inversions.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0