6 Reasons Your Family Should Visit Gulf County Florida & Giveaway

This post brought to you by Visit Gulf County. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Everyday Savvy.

6 Reasons Your Family should Visit Gulf County Florida for a Nature Filled Outdoor Vacation Adventure

Looking for a trip for your adventurous and outdoor loving family?  You should consider Gulf County, Florida which is full of lots of outdoor activities and adventure.  You can escape the traffic, cold weather and snow and simply follow the sunshine to beautiful Gulf County. Our family loves to try new things and my girls love animals so many of these activities would be perfect for us. I am adding Gulf County to our list of possible destinations for upcoming trips.   Here are my top 6 reasons my family would love to visit but be sure to check out the Gulf County Adventure Guide  to learn even more!


1. Watch the Dolphin Parade – Getting to see dolphins is always a huge treat.  A family happened to be up early one day in Gulf County and they saw a pod of dolphins playing and chasing a school of fish. They were so close to shore, they could see them from the deck that day. After that, they got up early so they could walk down and see them from the beach. They loved the “dolphin parade” and watched them swim by every day. My girls would LOVE that!


kayak adventures in florida gulf county

2. Kayak in the Great Outdoors Through the Dead Lakes –  There are guided tours available and you can kayak 100 times during the summer and always see something different.  The Dead Lakes get their name from the Cypress and Tupelo trees that stand in the water. When the water is low, you can see the stumps rising out of the swamp. It’s like nothing you’ve seen before. People don’t know what you’re talking about and then they have an “aha” moment when they paddle around the shallows in the South Flats. The stumps are so concentrated; it’s like being on another planet. If you go out early in the morning in April, the birds are all coming into nest and other critters are just showing up. The fog comes off the water. It’s very still, where you feel like you’re in the wilderness.



3. Horseback Riding on the Beach – This is a fun adventure you can’t have just anywhere. It is a beautiful adventure for kids and adults alike. Early evening is the best time to go because you see the sunset over the Cape. I think this could be a highlight of any family trip.



gulf county florida bike trails


4. Take a Ride or Walk on the Loggerhead Run Bike Path – This is an eight mile trail on Cape San Blas that runs the length of the Cape from St. Joseph Peninsula State Park to Salinas Park along Hwy 30E/Cape San Blas Road, and is great for walking, jogging or biking. Who can resist a little bit of exercise when the backdrop is St. Joseph Bay? I always love family bike rides especially in such a beautiful locale.




5. Try your Hand at Scalloping  – This is a fun activity the entire family can enjoy. It’s easy for beginners and doesn’t require much more than a saltwater fishing license and a mandatory dive flag. A mask and snorkel, gliding over the grass beds in 2-3 foot deep water is the preferred method.  If it isn’t scalloping season you can snorkel.  Scallop and snorkeling group trips are available at Port St. Joe Marina, and many small charter operators take private trips.



ecotour boat gulf county florida

6 – Go on an Ecotour with Captain Charlene from About Fun Charters. – You will  tour St. Joseph Bay at sunset and see birds, fish, sea life and the resident dolphin – Danny. Or is it Dolly? They aren’t sure. These Ecotours are not structured. Each day is a different day on the Bay so she doesn’t force a structured program. It’s an adventure that is helped by Captain Charlene’s Master’s degree in Marine Biology and her Green Guide certification. This sound like a great time plus everyone learns a bit along the way which is my favorite type of vacation.


Gulf County has a great giveaway going on right now that can help you save on any of these adventures. They are giving away a $50 gift card to 10 lucky winners per week and the contest runs from 3/16/15-4/13/15. That is a bunch of winners and one could be you!  All you have to do to try your luck is enter below by clicking $50 tell me more. Good luck! 

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Castaway Bay Indoor Water Park Day Pass Giveaway – $100 Value

castaway bay review trip report

Did you read my  8 Reasons to Book a Trip Castaway Bay Today and  Castaway Bay Indoor Water Park review?  We had such a great time when we visited recently. It was especially nice considering the horrible winter. We left the polar vortex behind and were in 82 degree warmth. [Read more…]

8 Reasons to Book a Trip To Castaway Bay Today!

8 Reasons to Book a  Trip to Castaway Bay Today Plus and Exclusive Discount Code

Looking for a fun and affordable family getaway? Here are 8 Reasons to Book a Trip to Castaway Bay Today.

1 – 82 Degree Island Get Away – With its tropical theme, guests at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay feel like they have just landed on an island paradise upon entering this lush indoor waterpark resort. It is wonderful to get that island feel without spending the big bucks to actually go to the islands.  With the cold weather we have been having, a warm getaway can really brighten the whole families mood! [Read more…]

Great Wolf Lodge Discounts on Family Vacations

great wolf lodge discount

 Great Wolf Lodge Discounts

Thinking of heading to a Great Wolf Lodge in the upcoming months and looking for Great Wolf Lodge discount codes? Then you want to check out this great discount at Great Wolf Lodge from Groupon. We have been to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City and Sandusky  a bunch of times and always had a bunch of fun.

With this Great Wolf Offer at Groupon , you buy a voucher for the Great Wolf Lodge  location of your choice. You get a voucher for a  one or two  night stay in varying room types from the Wolf Den to a Family Suite. This varies by location. All packages include water-park passes they also include resort credit!!!  The prices and packages vary by the location you choose.  Many of the packages are over 40% off!

The travel window varies by package but  if you can travel during this time this is an amazing deal. You will love this Great Wolf Lodge discount.


The locations for Great Wolf Lodge included are:

  • Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City
  • Great Wolf Lodge Cincinnati/Mason in Mason, OH
  • Great Wolf Lodge Charlotte/Concord in Greater Charlotte, NC
  • Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains in the Poconos
  • Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg
  • Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound in Centralia, WA
  •  Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City
  • Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine in Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells
  • Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky
  • Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls


Check out all these great discounts at Great Wolf Lodge



Disney Tip – Make Your Own Personalized Disney World Maps

Free Personalized Disney World Maps - Great for Planning or a Keepsake


Is a trip to Disney World one of your gifts for your family this holiday season? You could wrap up free personalized maps and a free planning DVD to open! This would be a fun way to surprise your family.


One of my favorite planning Disney  World tips is to determine which attractions at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom are most important for your family.  When you have a plan, you can be sure to see your most important attractions.  Not sure how to decide, here is the perfect easy way to make personalized Disney World maps with your favorite attractions.


These maps are great for planning your trip,  as a souvenir from previous trips or even if you are just dreaming of taking a trip to Disney World. I loved checking out the new FantasyLand attractions at Magic Kingdom.

How does it work?

First you get to pick which Disney park you want to make a map for. Then  you will get to choose the age of the people in your group. For example,  preschool, teen, family and so on.  This helps you pick the top attractions for your individual group!   It will show you appropriate rides and help you by making suggestions if you needed.

If you need help deciding which  attractions to highlight, simply select an age category using the blue tabs  and they will  show you the top Favorites for that park based on age category. You then place a check in the box next to any attraction you’d like to add to your map.


Once you have completed your customized Disney World maps, you can either have your map mailed to you, or you can print off as many copies as you like! They are beautiful maps and really fun for the kids.  You can even have your take a pretend trip and make up maps as if they were in the parks.


Click the moving image at the top or bottom of this post to get started making personalized Disney World maps with your favorite attractions.




In addition to the maps you can also grab a FREE Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD. This would be great to wrap up as well. You can request it by clicking the image below.


Cedar Point Halloweekends – 4 Ticket Flash Giveaway

cedar point ticket giveaway


About a month ago, my sister and I had a girl’s weekend at Cedar Point Halloweekends. We had a great time riding roller coasters and checking out all the fun a Halloween attractions.  I was surprised how much there is to do with kids.  Of course, if scary is your thing, than you will want to check out the many Haunted Houses and  outdoor scare zones.


I am having a FLASH GIVEAWAY four-pack of tickets!  That’s almost $200 in prize value. The giveaway is only open for 24 hours and you could use the tickets as early as Friday night 10/17/14.



Here are just a few of the fun items for younger kids.

Howl-O-Palooza returns, but it’s bigger and better than ever!

Enjoy an expanded area filled with activities just for the little ones. Open Saturdays & Sundays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Pony CarouselJust like the Cedar Point classic – but with live ponies!
Trick-or-TreatGo “door to door” and receive treats in our own little town.
Cornstalk MazeCan you find your way out of this mini maize maze?
Pedal TractorsClimb aboard and pedal around the track!
Haybale MazeThe bales are stacked just high enough for a mini challenge.
Pumpkin PatchOur patch is filled with pumpkins and ready for exploration.
Mask MakingMake your own silly, crazy or spooky mask!
Foam PitIt’s sudsy and bubbly!
RidesEnjoy the rides of Planet Spooky and Kiddy Kingdom




Please note that the tickets are only valid this year, and the lucky winner only has three (3) more weekends to use them. Cedar Point is open on Friday nights (after 6 p.m.), Saturdays and Sundays now through Nov. 2, 2014.

The giveaway ends on Friday  (10/17/14) at 11:00  AM EST.  The entry form will only allow me to end it at midnight but I will manually close the giveaway at 11:00 am on Friday. That way the winner will be notified in time to take advantage of these tickets.

Just click the button below to enter. I made this one super easy plus you get a bonus entry if  you like the facebook page.


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Tour Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – 14 Can’t Miss Attractions

Find 14 can't miss attractions in this tour of the  Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. Plus tips and tricks to have your best vacation!


We recently returned from a magical trip to Universal Studios Orlando as part of the Family Forward Conference. There is so much to do and see at Universal Orlando but our favorite area by far was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Once we booked the trip, I had both girls finish reading the Harry Potter series. The books give some much depth to your experience once you are in the park. [Read more…]

Almost 50% Off Discount at Great Wolf Lodge & Kalahari Water Parks

great wolf lodge kalahari water park coupon sale discount


Thinking of heading to a Great Wolf Lodge or Kalahari in the upcoming months? Then you want to check out this  almost  50% Discount at Great Wolf Lodge and at Kalahari! We have been to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City a bunch of times and always had a bunch of fun. My oldest daughter recently went to Kalahari in Sandusky and was raving about it too!

This is a Groupon deal and when you buy you get a voucher for the Great Wolf Lodge or Kalahari location of your choice. Be sure to check out the details and prices. They vary for each location. Some include lunch as well!

They do all have restrictions on the dates these vouchers must be used by.  If the dates work for you though, you can grab an amazing deal!

The locations and packages for Great Wolf Lodge included are:

  • Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City
  • Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky
  • Great Wolf Lodge Cincinnati/Mason in Mason, OH
  • Great Wolf Lodge Charlotte/Concord in Greater Charlotte, NC
  • Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains in the Poconos
  • Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg
  • Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City
  • Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine in Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Great Wolf Lodge Washington
  • Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls
  • Great Wolf Lodge New England (outside of Boston)
  • Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells



All Great Wolf Lodge Deals


If you would rather head Kalahari, here are the locations included.

  • One- or Two-Night Stay at Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells
  • One- or Two-Night Stay and Water-Park Admission at Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, OH




All Kalahari Deals

Share Your Summer Travel Pictures with Onstar #whereintheUSA

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and the OnStar blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

I am sure not ready for summer to be over. We have had a great time this summer traveling and enjoying family time. We just got back from an amazing trip to Orlando where we were immersed in Harry Potter’s world at Universal Orlando. My girls didn’t want to leave and go back to Muggle school. They would have much rather stayed at Hogwarts.



We also enjoyed some road trips to Northern Michigan this summer and had fun boating and fishing. My daughter and niece were so excited to catch these big trout. They are about half the length of these girls! We are always glad to have OnStar in our car because with OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, you’re only 3 steps away from your destination. Read more about this great OnStar feature here.




It is about a 4 hour drive for us to Northern Michigan so it would be great to have OnStar with 4G LTE to stay connected. It offers built in Wi-Fi hotspot in your vehicle. Next year we want to take a trip to the Upper Peninsula and visit the state parks and Pictured Rocks. Hopefully, my next car will have OnStar with 4G LTE so I can share memories from the road. Views as beautiful as this need to be shared.


Even though summer is over, YOU can still share your pictures with your friends and more. I am sure you all have some great pictures of your summer travels. OnStar launched a campaign in July called #whereintheUSA where users can share photos of their summer journeys to help inspire others to get out there and see this great, beautiful country of ours. Here’s how you can participate:

1. Instagram your favorite travel photos (you can share one or a bunch!)

2. Use the hashtag #whereintheUSA and tag @OnStarUSA in the description of your photo.

3. Be sure to include the location of where your photo was taken

The top pictures may be featured on OnStarConnections.com, or on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. You can find out all the details about this fun campaign here.

I will be checking out the hashtag and can’t wait to see your adventures!

Tips for Planning a Family Universal Orlando Vacation



Here are a few easy tips to help you plan a family Universal Orlando vacation.

Strongly consider staying at a Universal on-site  hotel. You will get some great benefits that will help you enjoy your vacation

  • Guests of all four hotels get early entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This includes Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.  Only one area is open earlier each day.  This is a HUGE benefit since these attractions get extremely busy.  Wait times can easily be over 2 hours or more later in the day.
  •  Guests of the deluxe hotels  including Loews Portofino Bay Hotel receive Universal Express Ride Access.  This allows you to skip the regular lines and use the Express entrance. This means you can  see and do more in less time! Who wants to spend their day waiting line?  Unfortunately, the Harry Potter attractions are excluded from the Express Ride Access. That is why the early entry is such a great benefit. 
  • Priority seating at select restaurants throughout both theme parks and enjoy first available seating at select Universal Orlando® and CityWalk® restaurants. This is a great perk.


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Watch movies and read books highlighted in the attractions before you arrive.  This helps increase your enjoyment and anticipation of the trip. We are heading to Universal Orlando soon  with Mom It Forward and had family movie marathons. It has been great to spend quality family time together even before our trip.  We watched all of the Harry Potter, Despicable Me, and Shrek movies. If you have little ones, you will want to be reading Dr. Suess so you can fully enjoy Suess Landing.


Check out the ride height restrictions before you arrive and prep your kids for what they can and can not ride.


More  Orlando vacation tips coming soon!


Cedar Point Reviews – Roller Coasters & Dinosaurs



Looking for Cedar Point Reviews? Check out this review of our day at Cedar Point with roller coasters and dinosaurs.

Right now there are some great Cedar Point ticket specials, you will want to check out. [Read more…]

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