Sometimes our beautiful hometown of Kissimmee gets overshadowed by all that is wonderful about Orlando, especially as newer and bigger attractions are continually added to the big theme parks in the region. Today, however, we want to talk about the small-town friendliness and big-city shops that will make your stay in the Vacation Home Capital of the US one you will never forget! Because everybody knows that a vacation isn’t complete if you haven’t spent at least a few hours exploring the shops in Kissimmee, this guide will make it easy to find the best stores; spend your daylight hours giving your credit cards a workout and your nighttime minutes enjoying all the comforts of home in our Tropical Escapes Vacation Homes Kissimmee properties!
Lanier’s Historic Downtown Marketplace, 108 Broadway Avenue
There is just something special about stepping into a shop that sells the past and Lanier’s Historic Downtown Marketplace, while not the normal tourist shopping location, is one shop destined to become your newest obsession. On a rainy day, there is nothing better than slipping into your most comfortable walking shoes and spending a few hours exploring its aisles filled with treasures from the past. Maybe a carousel horse will catch your fancy or perhaps a Disney Collectible will make it in your bag; this shop is filled with all the things you never knew you needed and can now never live without!
The Loop Kissimmee, 3208 John Young Parkway
Although malls seem too exciting from the American landscape, the Loop, an expansive outdoor mall promises to be in it for the long haul! Offering a variety of chain stores that you already love and more than a few specialty shops that will be new to you, the Loop also provides a few restaurants at which you can relax, recharge, and set down all your packages for a good meal! There’s even a movie theater on site that airs all the latest releases, so if there’s a good movie you haven’t seen yet and you need more time off your feet, stop by!
CF Boutique, 217 Broadway
Offering a colorful selection of women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, CF Boutique is open every day except Sunday and seemingly specializes in finding the most beautiful wares! Reasonably priced, this sweet shop is the perfect place to pick up some new earrings or another pair of sunglasses to help protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Also offering a selection of accessories imported from Columbia, CF Boutique provides an international flair that every woman will appreciate!
FloridaGifts.Com, 2545 Old Vineland Road
Souvenir shopping is a traditional part of the vacation experience and FloridaGifts.com is quite happy to help you continue the tradition! Their brick-and-mortar star is filled with happy tourists buying something Disney, something kitschy, and something that will help them remember their favorite adventures in Orlando AND Kissimmee. Also featuring a strong online store, if you find something you love but are worried you don’t have the space in your suitcase to lug it all home, you can order it online and have it sent directly to your home! Right now we are simply obsessed with their Davidson of Dundee products, especially their Florida Sunset Jelly; go ahead and give it a try and let us know what you think!
IT’SUGAR, Promenade at Sunset Walk, 3251 Margaritaville Boulevard
Everyone needs a little sweetness in their lives and IT’SUGAR provides all you can handle! This sweet store that sells sweets is a favorite of our own kiddos and if we were to be perfectly honest, a favorite of ours as well! Offering all the classic favorites and a few new candies that we are actually on our way out to try right now; they also sell candy-related apparel allowing people to show off their favorite treats without actually having to share!
Promenade at Sunset Walk, 3251 Margaritaville Boulevard
Since you are already here satisfying your sweet tooth, you may as well take a walk around the Promenade and see all the shops and restaurants that make their home here! Serving as an entertainment mecca, Promenade at Sunset Walk also provides live entertainment and a big-screen theater called Studio Movie Grill, where guests can eat, drink, and watch the latest Marvel release in air-conditioned comfort and joy! Souvenir shoppers will fall in love with the offerings from US Gift Factory and when you are looking for a special gift to bring home to your pet sitter, plant waterer, or mail gatherer, Naples Soap Company has the perfect little something that will express your appreciation!
And then there is Tropical Escape Vacation Homes
Coming home to the comforts found in our beachfront escapes promises to be the highlight of a vacation filled with everything special! Reserve your favorite today!
Between its fantastic weather, plethora of thrilling theme parks, and bustling downtown atmosphere, Orlando, Florida is the place to be this Halloween! Here, you’ll find events ranging from elaborate parades hosted by amusement park giants like Disney and Universal Studios to local haunted houses and block parties. Read on to learn more about where to go for the best Halloween celebrations in Orlando!
Orlando Weather and Events for Halloween 2016
During this fun and horrifying holiday weekend, Orlando will experience mild temperatures of highs in the low-to-mid 80s and lows in the mid-to-high 60s, with only a few clouds to add some spookiness to the otherwise pleasant atmosphere. While you’re enjoying the weather, you can check out these local events and celebrate Halloween the Orlando way!
Halloween at the Theme Parks
Having won awards for their terrifying displays, Universal Orlando continues the tradition of Halloween Horror Nights, where the park becomes flooded with hordes of monsters, mutants, and more. There are haunted houses, scare zones, and live shows to complement the extreme thrills of the rides here.
Meanwhile Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is the ultimate trick-or-treating destination, with the entire World Magic Kingdom Park transforming into the best neighborhood ever! Guests can dress up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating, in addition to meeting Disney characters (who are also in their Halloween costumes, of course) and watching the Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade and the HallowWishes fireworks display.
SeaWorld and LEGOLAND also have wonderful Halloween celebrations to offer. SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular allows guests to trick-or-treat in the park and find hidden and spooky sea treasures throughout, while LEGOLAND Florida’s Brick or Treat has a fun scavenger hunt, trick-or-treating, costume contests, and the largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world.
Other Halloween Events in Downtown Orlando and Beyond
The outdoor trails of scares, live music, and more known as A Petrified Forest immerses guests in the dark world of twisted fairytales, with its final day on Saturday, October 29th.
On Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th, there will also be dozens of nightclub dance parties and pub crawls, such as Eden Bar’s Halloween Party on Saturday, making it easy to leave off on planning and just roll with the moment when you head to downtown Orlando!
The Haunted Sanford Historical Ghost Walk brings the mysterious history of downtown Sanford to life on the 28th in a tour that’s fun for the whole family, while Make-A-Wish is hosting the family-friendly GUTS Pumpkin Carving Competition on the 29th where there will be ample activities, trick-or-treating, live music, a raffle, a silent auction, and live pumpkin carving in the Milk District.
Invest in Your Best Vacation Yet with Tropical Escape Vacation Homes
Our vast selection of high-quality vacation homes will fit your every vacation need. Private, spacious, and immaculately maintained, our vacation rental homes are the epitome of luxury and comfort. We also pride ourselves on standing out from our competition by offering not only gorgeous homes for your use, but a dedication to customer service. Our friendly reservation specialists are more than happy to answer your questions regarding the homes we have available, how our vacation rental process works, general information on the Orlando area, or anything else that might come to mind.
Contact Tropical Escape Vacation Homes today to reserve your very own private oasis in the beauty and excitement of Orlando!
The last bell for the school year has rung, your vacation is coming up in a few weeks, and your family members are wondering: what spectacular trip do you have planned for summer break? The pressure is on and it’s going to be really difficult to top last year’s trip to Paris with all the history, art, and culture. This year, you have been thinking you want to stay stateside and visit somewhere sunny and warm. It’s been months since you’ve seen the sun – we know, we’ve been there – and if you don’t mind, we’d like to make a suggestion. Have you considered Orlando?
Our summers are warm enough to take the chill out of bones that have spent the last six months in subzero temperatures, beautiful white sand beaches are just a car ride away, and everybody’s mouse friend Mickey calls Orlando home; everyone needs to go to Disney World at least once in their lifetime! But we understand man cannot live on Disney alone, so we have compiled a list of events, activities, and other exciting adventures that will convince you summer in Orlando is the only way to go!
Festivals and Other Fun Events
- Alive After Five – You get three chances to participate in what is considered the longest recurring street festival in Central Florida. On June 12, July 10, & August 7, the streets of nearby Sanford will be alive with the sounds of live music. Featuring tasty food booths with food and drink samples, an art fair, and other miscellaneous vendors hawking their wares, Alive After Five is a fun way to spend a not-so-quiet Sunday.
- Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration in Kissimmee – Experience an old-fashioned Independence Day reminiscent of the ones of your childhood with a fireworks display over Lake Toho that will make you ooh and ahh uncontrollably. Or check out any of the local celebrations, including Disney’s, Sea World’s, and even Legoland offers a big bang for your buck!
- Gulf Coast Jam – Central Florida’s largest outdoor live music festival occurs the last weekend of August. Party with your favorite country crooners over three days. Live music, cold drinks, tasty food – summer might be ending but the memories will last forever!
With over 10 theme parks in the area, adventure is always on the agenda, especially when zip lining over live alligators and other reptiles while visiting Gatorland. Other equally fun and adventurous theme parks include, but aren’t limited to:
- Universal Studios
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal
A family could spend a week in Orlando, going to a new theme park every day, and still not be able to see them all! How great is that?
Put the Fun Back in Your Vacation in Summer in Orlando!
Obviously, the above-listed activities are just a small portion of the fun that’s available to you when you spend your summer vacation in beautiful Orlando. We’d have to write a novel to get it all in! Fortunately for you, Tropical Escape Vacation Homes is a full-service property management company; just book your vacation rental through us and we can provide you with even more information on all the exciting events and activities that make summer in Orlando the most magical place on earth!
The Top Free Activities in Orlando, Florida
Vacations are expensive enough with just travel and lodging; nobody wants to pay excessively high activity fees in addition. For that reason, we at Tropical Escape Vacation Homes have prepared a list of the best free activities in Orlando. These are great options to get to know the Florida area without breaking the bank, and don’t worry, these are quality activities.
Grand Bohemian Gallery
Described as eclectic and visually stimulating, this gallery inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel is quite the treat. Featured here are a variety of local and international artists displaying oil paintings, glass work, jewelry, and more! The exhibits cycle each month, so there’s always something new to see – and it’s free!
Disney World has a large ticket price, but Downtown Disney is free. Here you get a taste of Disney culture with a great variety of shops and restaurants. Depending on the time of year, there may be festivals taking place as well. Keep an eye on the Downtown Disney calendar and you may make some incredible memories.
This is a great segue out of Downtown Disney. Lake Eola Park is nearby downtown and has a mile-long trail offering a view of the cityscape and gorgeous waters. You can feed the swans here and find some food for yourself nearby. Offering a great view without requiring a trip out of the city, this is a great option.
Live music is in abundance across Florida. There are many free beach concerts that appears with the dawn of each season, and some very talented locals play music in both Downtown Disney and local restaurants and bars. If you’re craving some groovy tunes, a quick search online will provide details on where to go on, whatever night of the week.
You can’t put a price on nature, and luckily many parks don’t. Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical oasis with several gardens designed to inspire visitors to learn about and appreciate plants. There are 30 minute tours throughout the day, so you don’t need to worry about feeling lost. This place is open 9am-5pm and isn’t far from downtown, allowing easy access. While you’re here, take a tour of the historic Leu House Museum to experience another Florida landmark.
The List Goes On
There’s many free events across Orlando that are worth checking out, and these five are a great way to get started!
Springtime For Orlando
Some people will say that winter is their favorite time of year, others might say fall or summer, but we have always felt that spring is the most magical time of year in Orlando.
The scent of newly blooming flowers float through the soft summer air, the sun is bright and cheerful, but not too hot, and the gentle spring rainfall cleans and refreshes the entire town, leaving it looking shiny and new. The weather is perfect this time of year, making everyone want to spend as much time as possible outdoors and away from the cares and troubles of real life! Fortunately for all of us, Orlando has plenty of activities and events to keep us all happy and entertained during this most magical time of year! Here’s a sampling of some of Orlando’s best activities.
- Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – What says spring better than an international flower festival? Starting March 2 and lasting through May 15, Epcot brings you a festival that celebrates the blooms and foods at their Outdoor Kitchens Around the World Showcase.
- Spring Fiesta in the Park – this will be the 27th celebration of spring held in Lake Eola Park on April 2 & 3 with crafts, artist booths, music, delicious food, and fun entertainment for your children! A spring day spent at a lake – what could be better?
- James Beard Food & Wine – Featuring a food and wine walk around the lake, the James Beard Food & Wine Festival might just be one of our favorite spring activities, especially as the monies raised will go to the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program. April 9 from 7-10PM.
- Florida Music Festival – This free festival claims to have discovered Taylor Swift and has featured musical headliners such as Flogging Molly, Buckcherry, and Third Eye Blind in the past. We’re all wondering which of this year’s 50 artists are capable of becoming the next international superstar, aren’t you? Held in downtown Orlando April 21st & 22nd, this party is one not to be missed!
- Theme-Park-Palooza! – While not a festival, the Orlando area is home to more than 10 theme parks, all unique and different from the others. Why not plan an Orlando spring vacation visiting all the area theme parks? Zip line over live gator at Gator Land on day one, get an autograph from Mickey and all his friends at Walt Disney on days two and three (it’s a big park – you will need more than one day!) and ride the Hogwarts Express at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on day four and so on and so on!
Tropical Escape Vacation Homes has the scoop
On all these and so many more spring oriented activities in our beautiful Central Florida city. Spring has sprung and good times await; all you need to do is go to www.tropicalescapesvacationhomes.com and book your Orlando vacation rental today for your sensational Orlando spring vacation tomorrow!
Booking your vacation accommodations does not have to be stressful! The biggest obstacle families run into is deciding whether to stay in a hotel or an Orlando luxury vacation home. It may be a difficult decision to choose a vacation rental over a hotel IF you’ve never stayed in one before, but here are a few major factors on why vacation homes are a better choice for your next summer vacation to Orlando.
Orlando Luxury Vacation Homes are very spacious.
Vacation rentals are larger and much more open when compared to a hotel room. Vacation homes are capable of easily fitting an entire family–or sometimes even two! With the same number of vacationers, you would have to reserve multiple hotel rooms to comfortably accommodate everyone. Staying in a vacation rental allows the whole family to stay in one home together.
Rental properties are better for extended stays.
If you are going on a long-term vacation, then a vacation rental home is going to be most accommodating for you. Vacation rentals often come with a full-sized kitchen, multiple bathrooms, and a laundry room; this allows home cooked meals, warm showers, and clean laundry in the comfort of your own home.
There’s much more peace and privacy in your vacation rental.
Vacation rental homes also give visitors more privacy. Oftentimes, one of the biggest drawbacks to hotels are constant interruptions by room cleaning services, the family above you or beside you. Vacation rentals are self serve, but if you do need anything, a concierge service is just a phone call away.
Vacation rentals provide a comfortable and personalized experience.
Vacation rental homes, unlike hotels, are often set up like a home away from home. They allow guests to feel more comfortable, and less like every other Florida tourist. They offer the comforts of a home that hotels often lack, which makes them an ideal choice, especially if you are planning on a long-term vacation.
Hotel amenities can not compare to a vacation rental.
Vacation rentals have amazing amenities such as a private pool or personal home movie theater, which will be perfect for you and your family if you’re looking for quiet time. Most even have resort amenities, so you get the best of both worlds.
When planning your next vacation home say goodbye to the tiny hotel room and book you and your family in a Orlando luxury vacation home.