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Tag: ‘Daytona 500’

February . . . It’s All About Fenders and Foodies!

Posted: February 1st, 2013 by

I had meant for the title of this blog to be “February . . . it’s all about Feathers, Fenders and Foodies,” but alas, one of the two teams going to the Superbowl this year are not birds of a feather so to speak. Although honorable mention will be given to the Superbowl’s venue in the big easy – a touristy site if ever there was one, at the end of this blog.

Daytona 500 practice run

Daytona 500 practice run – Image from Wikimedia Commons

I’ve always thought of February as being a ho hum month, except for Valentines Day of course. If you’re one of those outdoorsy types; you know, snow bunny, skier, skater, angel wings maker, and are fortunate enough to live where snow flakes abound then you probably favor the month of February. For many others though this is the time of year when most days are dreary, some cold, possibly some snow and ice, but for the most part just blah! There are exceptions though, like sunny Florida, where tourism seems to shine even on a cloudy day.

Snowbirds have flocked to this coastal state for eons, escaping frigid temperatures in the northern climes, and automotive race fans, ever faithful to their sport, have been heading southward, since 1959, when the much anticipated DAYTONA-500, a major sports and tourist event has grown by leaps and bounds every year with more venues added pre and post race; so much so that you can virtually go from one event to another for the entire month.

A typical scene around South Beach - flickr image by Phillip Pessar

A typical scene around South Beach – flickr image by Phillip Pessar

It’s not just about roaring engines and sand and sea though; for instance, if you’re a “foodie” then the don’t-miss event is in South Florida (which precedes the Daytona 500 this year). The SOBEWFF (South Beach Wine & Food Festival) isn’t nearly as old as Daytona’s premier event, but with the presence of Food Network’s royalty; i.e., Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, and many other well known celebrity chefs, its’ ever-growing audience of foodies and Food Network coverage has made this a must attend tourist ‘food’ event.

By the way, while you are traveling along the highways and by-ways in the sunshine state, why not take a detour and visit some of these touristy sites:

Dolphin flickr image by Just Taken Pics

Dolphin flickr image by Just Taken Pics

• Fort Lauderdale – In the pink at Flamingo Gardens or Swim with the dolphins at Dolphin World
• Fort Myers – Take me out to the ball game at Boston Red Sox Spring Training
• Orlando – Mind blowing WonderWorks Orlando or Universal CityWalk
• St. Augustine – The original Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum or Black Raven a Pirate ship

. . . or try one of these two scenic routes. For more ideas, go to http://www.visitflorida.com/insiders/Off-the-Beaten-Path

• Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway and Tamiami Trail
Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway

Black bearFor those of you who won’t be taking a virtual tour of Florida, you may want to visit Florida’s lost tourist attractions to see what you may have missed long before foodies and fenders were the big thing in the sunshine state.

That is, unless your destination is the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, located at 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive in New Orleans. Here fans will be treated to a football blow out ala 49’rs versus the Ravens, cool jazz, and all the Po-Boys, Gumbo, Craw Fish Etoufee, Jambalaya, Muffulettas and Beignets they can wash down with those famous Hurricane drinks from Pat O’Briens and other French Quarter eateries and establishments along “Rue Bourbon.”

We all know the month of February is a short month, so let’s make the most of it . . .

The greatest resource for travel to Florida is www.visitflorida.com and if you’re heading to the big easy,visit New Orleans tourism site.

No Matter Where Your Travels Take You . . . .

Posted: February 8th, 2012 by

Who would have thought that February, which many do not consider the ideal month to travel in to also be one of the most popular months of the year for tourism.

Certainly you have to list the sunny shores of Florida and the Daytona 500, which happens to be February 26th this year, as one of the key reasons to travel south, especially if you live in the frigid northern climes.  Just being able to shed all those extra layers of clothing and drink in the sea air is enough reason to trek down I-75 or I-95.

If Florida is not on your mind, then head to New York?  Sure, the weather may not be ideal, but if a little romance is on your agenda, then Niagara Falls, the honeymoon capital of the world (or at least in the U.S. of A) or New York City with its bright lights, Broadway shows and mega shopping opportunities would be a perfect alternative.

Why not Pennsylvania, you ask?  Well, why not?  Even where the grass has been greener can be serene, when heading to the Amish countryside as you travel along the back roads and by-ways.  

A little further south, there is always Virginia, the state which touts “Virginia is for Lovers”  . . . where you can watch the sun rise over the ocean near the seaside and heading further east see the shadows fall over the lush (verdant green in the spring, summer and fall months) rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley as the sun goes down.  Now if that isn’t romantic, I’m just not sure what is.

Romance it seems has no season, just a reason for traveling to that special place.  And if you’re unsure where to stop for a good night’s sleep, click here for some suggestions.

By the way, we haven’t forgotten New Orleans; after all, one of the most popular tourism events of the year happens in the big easy . . . Mardi Gras will kick off before Lent, which occurs on the 22nd of February this year, so if watching colorful parades and being involved in all the gala is something you enjoy, then head to Louisiana!

500 Miles of Excitement and More

Posted: February 11th, 2010 by

Since 1959, fans have gone along on the wild 500 mile ride during The Daytona 500!  No matter if you are sitting in the stands, in the middle of the infield, or glued to your TV set, if you are a NASCAR fan, the month of February signals kick off for a year of car racing competition.

For many, The Daytona 500 is considered the most important and prestigious race of the NASCAR calendar, and unlike most sports, the best is not saved for last.  The Super Bowl of stock car racing is usually held the second or third Sunday in February, the culmination of numerous activities and events held during ‘Speedweek’.

This is one of the busiest weekends for Daytona Beach.  If you are unable to find lodging near the Daytona International Speedway, you might consider nearby Ormond Beach where you can tour the Harley Davidson Showroom, or a short drive north is the oldest city in America, St. Augustine, with numerous family-type attractions, like Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.  Many attractions are located within walking distance of one another in St. Augustine.

For more information on activities and events in the Daytona Beach area, You may want to visit the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce and view their calendar of events.