No family trip to the area is complete without a visit to Busch Wildlife.
Admission is free, but donations are completely deserved for the incredible education, preservation, and inspiration you'll receive being so up close and personal with countless species of wildlife you'll encounter face-to-face.
If you have the opportunity to take a guided tour, it's highly recommended.
While much of the wildlife changes as animals are rehabilitated and released back into the wild, many are there for education because they can no longer survive on their own after being injured or raised in captivity.
On your self-guided tour, you're sure to encounter incredible birds including a bald eagle, falcons, owls, and many water fowl including pelicans and herons.
Among others, you'll see otter, alligator and crocodiles, opossum, snakes and lizards, skunks, foxes, tortoise, panthers and even a black bear, all within close view.
Bring along your mosquito repellant as you are in a natural Florida setting, and that means bugs! If you can tour on an overcast day or in the morning, you'll save yourself crowds and some heat.
Be sure an visit the gift shop for a cool drink or unique souvenirs that support the center.
We are blessed that the Loggerhead MarineLife center is practically in our backyard. It is honestly one of the most incredible wildlife exhibits you will visit anywhere!
Admission is FREE, but donations are gladly accepted and certainly go to a worthy cause. When you enter, the children can get a hand stamp from the info booth which they love.
Enjoy the aquariums with a glimpse at our local and exotic undersea life. Make sure you look up to see the giant prehistoric turtle skeleton replica.
Try your knowledge in the hidden touch drawers, fun for children of all ages.
Walk outside and be amazed and face-to-face with sea turtles and the rehabilitation work on multiple species, all here at the center because they have been injured in the wild. If you're lucky and here in hatchling season, join a night-time organized turtle walk on the beach, or you may catch a glimpse of the cutest ever baby sea turtles waiting for release in their shallow pool.
Enjoy the Guy Harvey mural, and the support the fantastic gift shop, with trinkets starting at one dollar.
Plan to spend at least an hour, and when you are done, enjoy the kid-friendly pirate-ship park and the ocean view right behind the center.
Visit their website to learn about possible turtle-releases, educational classes, and awesome educational camps.
Before you leave, you'll be talking like Crush the sea turtle from Finding Nemo. For Sure, man.
Via con Dios- Jen
We love traveling, experiencing new things, and helping others learn tips along the way. I am not a fan of writing or leaving "bad" reviews. In fact, I usually keep not-so-fab experiences to myself. However, in my desire to inform other families, I need to share this one.
We are frequent family bowlers. It's an awesome fun, family event and part of our regular lives. So when we visited Vail, naturally, we wanted to check out Bol, especially after reading on multiple blogs that BOL was a fabulous family activity. We were sorely disappointed.
The reflection of the giant screens made it difficult to actually enjoy the sport, but we were just there for fun, so no big deal. The food was fair, and delivered to us lane-side. The service was sloppy and disrespectful when we asked for help and even just some water.
But the real disappointment was when we were presented with our bill. NOwhere in the establishment or on the website are prices posted. We weren't expecting a bargain, and we knew the food was pricey so we expected to pay much more than normal for a single game. However, we were SHOCKED to be charged $100 for the lane for less than an hour, and another $20 per pair for rental shoes. This was ON TOP of the crazy food prices.
When we asked to speak to a manager, he snidely remarked, "what do you expect, it's Vail." I guess we expected at least common courtesy. Be warned, and if you go, be prepared to break the bank.
When we get to travel with daddy for business, we are never quite sure what to expect.
From the moment we entered the Lodge at Vail, our expectations were far surpassed!
We were upgraded to an incredible suite which overlooked the brand new Lift #1 in Vail and enjoyed the view of the slopes and snow from the comfort of our suite by the fireplace.
Every afternoon, the boys enjoyed cocoa and warm cookies. We were provided with fresh glass-bottled spring water daily which supplied the need for altitude hydration.
We were walking distance to the heart of the Village with shops and restaurants and an easy location to catch the tram into Lionshead.
Having the suite allowed for us to stock our room with breakfast supplies and a microwave and be able to use the table for card games and take-out! (Must go to Yellowbellies!) Not to mention, the bathroom felt like a spa!
The service staff went above and beyond and when we return, The Lodge is our home away from home.
This is a downhome, no frills family run outfit located in a beautiful valley just a 15 minute drive from the four season resort town of Leavenworth. The drive out was a pleasant discovery, through the picturesque Eagle River Valley to the end of the road. The trails wind around the portion the Wenatchee National Forest that borders Eagle Creek Valley and during our 1 hour, 3 mile ride we wound up the side of the mountain and was able to look down while on the ride at beautiful views of the valley below.
The horses are in great shape and well-kept. They are very gentle and my two boys (10 and 13) for whom this was their first trail ride, had no problems being on the horses and enjoyed their time. It was a good experience and the climbing up and down the mountain allowed us to experience two rather different gaits on the horses which kept things interesting.
The pricing is also very reasonable. I think they were the best value compared to 2 other outfitters I checked out in the Leavenworth area. Overall, the prices for horse-back riding in the area are very reasonable especially when compared to Western Washington, so because of that, I think its a great relatively affordable first experience for families in an activity that is not inexpensive.
In addition to horse back rides, the ranch also offers sleigh rides in the winter when the snow is deep on the ground.