Category Archives: Side Trips

West Volusia’s Wildlife and Parks: The Best of Florida’s Great Outdoors

Ready for your next road trip? The winter doldrums are gone, replaced by the pleasant temperatures offered by Central Florida’s Great Outdoors. Each year, guests from all over the world flock to the West Volusia area, experiencing the area’s abundant wildlife, tropical plants, natural springs and unique eco-environments and habitats. To help you enjoy the new season, here are just a few of West Volusia’s top spots.

read the complete article…

New Connecticut Getaways for Spring and Summer

Connecticut invites visitors and residents alike to kick off the warm weather travel season with new and improved attractions for families and adults, a new centrally located luxury hotel and plenty of arts and foodie events. Whether planning a romantic weekend getaway or family fun vacation, a day of adventure or retreat, travelers can find all the information they need, including suggested trip itineraries and travel packages, at www.CTvisit.com.

This spring and summer, there are even more reasons to visit Connecticut. Here are just a few top seasonal highlights:

New this spring and summer:

  • Experience luxury at the Delamar West Hartford this June, Connecticut’s newest boutique hotel, offering a full-service spa, fine dining and even complimentary bicycle rentals. Other unique lodging experiences, including B&Bs, inns and campgrounds, are featured on www.CTvisit.com along with special travel deals.
  • Get up close and personal with wildlife at the Connecticut Science Center’s new exhibit, “Butterfly Encounter,” opening this June in Hartford; see an exotic array of species at Mystic Aquarium’s “Weird and Wonderful” exhibit, opening Memorial Day Weekend; explore the Maritime Aquarium’s expanded jellyfish exhibit in Norwalk, opening this summer; and, visit Changbai, a female Amur tiger on exhibit now at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
  • Reach new heights at Skydive Danielson thanks to its new airplane that allows skydivers to jump from 14,000 feet; visit Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, where youngsters can experience two new rides this spring; or, try the two new 75-foot-high zip lines at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park in Portland, opening Memorial Day Weekend.
  • Pick your own bouquet at Lavender Pond Farm in Killingworth on select dates this summer, to be announced; and, use the new “See & Sip Itineraries,” designed by the Connecticut Wine Trail and Connecticut Art Trail, to pick and pair wine tasting locations with local museums.
  • Learn something new at Mystic Seaport by visiting the Thompson Exhibition Building, currently showing its inaugural exhibit, “SeaChange;” and, learn all about minerals at Nature’s Art Village’s new state-of-the-art miniature golf course opening this summer, joining the 40 life-sized dinosaurs, pristine nature trails and indoor activity center.

Timeless favorites:

  • Explore 216 miles of Connecticut shoreline: soak in the rays at public beaches, including Hammonasset Beach State Park, home to the Meigs Point Nature Center; kayak around the Thimble Islands; take a lighthouse boat tour; and, devour a hot-buttered lobster roll at one of Connecticut’s legendary seafood shacks.
  • Hit the hiking and biking trails that crisscross Connecticut for hundreds of miles, including those in The Last Green Valley, a National Heritage Corridor that runs through 26 towns in Connecticut’s northeast corner.
  • Hunt for treasures along the Connecticut Antiques Trail. Make your first stop the town of Woodbury, the “Antiques Capital of Connecticut,” with more than two dozen shops to discover.
  • Play and stay at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville; enjoy gaming as well as renowned hotels, restaurants, spas, shopping, and live entertainment.

Don’t-miss events:

  • Enjoy the blooms at any one of Connecticut’s major flower festivals, including the Meriden Daffodil Festival (April 29-30) and Dogwood Festival in Fairfield (May 12-14).
  • Cheer on the pros at the Northeast’s only PGA tour event, Travelers Championship, in Cromwell (June 19-25) or the Connecticut Open in New Haven (August 1-4), featuring tennis great Martina Navratilova; and, music fans won’t want to miss the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz in Hartford (July 14-16), the largest free jazz event in New England, and the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Goshen (August 5-6).
  • Experience the arts at the Greenwich International Film Festival (June 1-4) and take in more than 60 events, screenings, premiers and educational panels; then, enjoy the work of more than 180 nationally recognized craft artists at the Guilford Art Center’s Craft Expo (July 14-16).
  • Indulge in seasonal delights at the Milford Oyster Festival (August 19), featuring the largest variety of oysters at any festival in the United States; and, don’t miss all the special events at breweries along the renowned Connecticut Beer Trail.
  • Try something new on Connecticut Open House Day (June 10), when Connecticut residents enjoy discounted or free admission, giveaways or special offers at 150+ attractions.

“Connecticut’s prime New England location makes it the perfect destination for visitors looking for a quick weekend escape from metro areas like New York and Boston, or an extended vacation,” said Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. “We welcome visitors to come and experience Connecticut for the first time, and encourage those who have visited before to discover what’s new.”

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Connecticut, visit www.CTvisit.com.


For more I-95 construction info, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Maine Expects Incredible Whitewater Rafting Season This Spring

Looking for something a little different as you plan your spring road trip? How about whitewater rafting in Maine?

After a winter that brought heavy snowfall to the state, Maine is expecting an incredible spring rafting season. The Penobscot, Kennebec and Dead rivers all offer challenging and thrilling whitewater.

Outfitters like Northern Outdoors, Northeast Whitewater, North Country Rivers and Penobscot Adventures offer a variety of river trips, day long and multi day. Given the great snowpack that Maine has received, you can expect the whitewater season to run from early May all the way through October.

Go to Visit Maine for more info.


For more I-95 road trip info, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

TIGERS Myrtle Beach Season Opens With A Roar

TIGERS Myrtle Beach Safari welcomed March in like a tiger, with the grand opening of its 34th season March 4, 2017.

Founded in 1983 by wildlife conservation expert Doc Antle, TIGERS (The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) is a wildlife education organization that promotes global conservation through its interactive Myrtle Beach Safari Wild Encounters Tour and Preservation Station.

TIGERS has been a hidden treasure in Myrtle Beach, but once discovered, the experience is life-changing for our guests. Here at TIGERS, you can reach out and touch, hold and feed from the more than 130 wild animals, including 60 tigers and their cubs, that live on the grounds of this 50-acre wildlife preserve. In the three-hour Wild Encounters Tour, you will meet the rare liger, the world’s largest cat; Bubbles the African elephant; our resident orangutan; apes; wolves; leopards; chimps and tigers as they swim, run and play in their natural habitat.


Find your perfect hotel room in Myrtle Beach!


Not only will you be forever fulfilled from this experience, but you will also be contributing to the future of this wildlife through TIGERS’ international conservation programs, including the RARE Species Fund (RSF). Over the last decade, TIGERS has donated more than $1 million and countless hours of professional expertise to grassroots conservation programs in Asia and Africa. All thanks to each Wild Encounters Tour you book.

Take a walk on the wild side. Visit www.myrtlebeachsafari.com.

About TIGERS:

The TIGERS Myrtle Beach Safari is home to more than 130 wild animals, including 60 big cats. The animals here are center stage in this fully interactive, hands-on experience, where you can cuddle up to tiger cubs, join the wolf pack, share a laugh with our apes, witness adult tigers running at full speed, and feed Bubbles, our African elephant. Plus, this is the only place in the world where you can meet the liger, the world’s largest big cat weighing in at more than 900 pounds. Go ahead, reach out and touch the jungle and create a lifetime of memories.


For more I-95 road trip info, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Spring 2017 Travel Inspiration for a Road Trip to Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has released 5 Things: Spring in Massachusetts, an inspiring collection of activities, experiences, and events taking place during springtime in the Commonwealth.

From nature’s warming welcome to the re-opening of the Bay State’s most beloved attractions, the spring story in Massachusetts is all about regeneration. Features include gardens in bloom, trails for fitness buffs, and outside-the-box ways to celebrate moms and dads.

Visitors are encouraged to try out blossom chasing – a spring alternative to the ever-popular leaf peeping – with a vibrant garden tour or stroll through a flower show. And with longer stretches of daylight, active travelers can spend more time outdoors with scenic hikes for all levels of fitness and challenging road races to kick things up a notch.

Mother’s Day treats go beyond basic brunch with innovative arts and culture outings and shopping excursions. For honoring the patriarchs, classic favorites like auto shows, deep sea fishing, and craft brew tastings are highlighted. Patriot’s Day and Memorial Day take center stage on the holiday roster with a variety of festivities and events across the state.

Other special happenings this spring include Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday, the 121st Boston Marathon, JFK’s 100th Birthday, the Boston Pride Parade, the 73rd New England Folk Festival, and the 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.

For more on the light and bright offerings of spring in Massachusetts, visit massvacation.com/spring.


For more I-95 construction info, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Free Family-Friendly Festivals in New Jersey This Spring

Planning your next I-95 Road Trip? Make the most of springtime’s pleasant weather with these kid-friendly events, street festivals and special holiday happenings throughout New Jersey—oh, and did we mention: they’re all FREE! Find even more events for your upcoming trip.

Easter Egg Hunts
April 15, 2017
Multiple Locations
At Elks Annual Easter Egg Hunt in North Wildwood, kids ages 11 and younger can pick-up eggs and collect prizes, while the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt in Cape May has two categories: preschoolers to kindergarteners and first to second graders.

Annual Earth Day Festival
April 23, 2017
Egg Harbor Township
At this Earth Day Festival, watch live entertainment and music, browse the eco-friendly vendor booths, and bring the kids for the interactive games and exhibits.

Essex County Cherry Blossom Bloomfest
April 23, 2017
Newark
Enjoy cherry trees in full bloom at the Cherry Blossom Bloomfest, with Japanese cultural demonstrations, live music and children’s activities will keep little ones entertained.

New Jersey Folk Festival
April 29, 2017
New Brunswick
Introduce kids to cultures from around the world at this student-run Folk Festival at Eagleton Institute.

Rutgers Day
April 29, 2017
Camden, New Brunswick and Newark
Everyone is invited to the annual Rutgers Day, where families can learn about the sciences, arts and humanities with hands-on activities, performances and more.

Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival
May 7, 2017
Hoboken
More than 300 artists, photographers, crafters and sculptors come together for the annual Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival to sell their wares, and kid activities including rides, face painting and performances.

Point Pleasant Beach Offshore Grand Prix
May 19 – 21, 2017
Point Pleasant Beach
Watch with excitement as speed racers zoom down the waterways during the Offshore Grand Prix. The race begins at Noon on Sunday.

Bordentown Street Fair
May 20 – 21, 2017
Bordentown
Farnsworth Avenue bustles with people coming to enjoy craft booths, boutique shop merchants, local food vendors, live music and kids’ entertainment at the Bordentown Street Fair.

Wildwoods International Kite Festival
May 26 – 29, 2017
Wildwoods Beach
The kiddos will love the Wildwoods International Kite Festival — the largest kite festival in North America — with exhibits, workshops and demonstrations — see the most colorful creations to take flight.


For more I-95 road trip info, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Start Planning for an Outdoor Adventure Road Trip on Florida’s Space Coast

With winter having kept most of us cooped up indoors, the idea of getting away to somewhere warm and sunny is coming more into focus for many.

Luckily, the current downtime does provide families an opportunity to start planning their upcoming vacations – trips to more-hospitable locales offering plenty of energizing fun and a much-needed change in the weather.

“Planning your vacation now is a great way to find budget-friendly deals. It also helps you beat the winter blues by giving you something to look forward to,” said Eric Garvey, Director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism. “For families, couples and adventurers who love to have fun outdoors – from sports and recreation to exploring nature – the Space Coast is an out-of-this-world destination.”

The Space Coast’s plentiful beaches are a magnet for surfers and other water sports enthusiasts from parts far and wide. Many of them stop first in Cocoa Beach (known as the surfing capital of the East Coast) to visit the flagship Ron Jon Surf Shop – a 52,000-square-foot store featuring an eye-popping selection of surf boards, swimming attire and other surf-brand apparel. And at the nearby Ron Jon Surf School, anyone can arrange a surfing lesson or rent a stand-up paddleboard.

For nature lovers, the options are as broad as the horizon. The 140,000-acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to at least 1,500 species of plants and animals, including alligators, manatees and a wide variety of birds. If the time of year is right, guests can take guided nighttime walks to observe sea turtles as they lay their eggs. In addition, both Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach offer nighttime “bioluminescence” kayak tours, allowing you to get close to some of the glowing creatures inhabiting the region’s myriad waterways.

A paradise for birds, the area hosts the annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival in January each year, which combines some serious birding activities with entertainment, unique dining experiences, special events and more.

Coming soon, Titusville will be the starting point for a Coast-to-Coast Bike Trail that pedals through the region’s vibrant wildlife areas and historic sites. This Coast-to-Coast Trail will connect Canaveral National Seashore on the Space Coast with St. Petersburg on the Gulf Coast, a distance of about 250 miles.

To really get your adrenaline pumping, Brevard Zoo’s Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. You can zip line, climb, crawl and careen your way through the courses, which accommodate various skill levels and provide a bird’s-eye perspective of the facility’s wild animals. On certain dates, nighttime zip lining also is available.

Renowned for its ties to the U.S. space program, the Space Coast is one of the few places one can personally witness a breathtaking rocket launch. Come see, hear and feel one of the most dramatic events on earth. Rockets carrying satellites into orbit or transporting cargo to the International Space Station blast off periodically throughout the year. A launch schedule is available at www.SpaceCoastLaunches.com.

To learn more about Florida’s Space Coast and plan a spring or summer getaway, head to www.visitspacecoast.com.


For more I-95 travel information, visit www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Connecticut Road Trip: The Beasts of I-95

Sometimes simpler is better. Take this road trip, for instance, which never strays very far from Connecticut’s I-95 corridor but delivers big thrills for one and all. A couple of world-class aquariums and a zoo – what more do kids need to be entertained and educated?

Maritime Aquarium

Maritime Aquarium | I-95 Exit Guide

The exhibits and big tanks at the Maritime Aquarium in South Norwalk house sharks, sea turtles, harbor seals, river otters and jellyfish. There’s a shark and ray touch tank and even a family of lovable meerkats. The IMAX Theatre (the real thing, not a mall wannabe) features striking nature-themed movies of all kinds.

Visit the Maritime Aquarium website…

Area Lodging:
Click here for a list of area lodging


Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Beardsley Zoo | I-95 Exit Guide
Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport Connecticut

Just a handful of exits up I-95, you’ll find hundreds of animals at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport. Among them are Siberian tigers, bison, monkeys, wolves, alligators, bears and snakes – lots of snakes. There’s a walk-through aviary, a New England farmyard and a rainforest building, among other features.

Visit the Beardsley Zoo website…

Area Lodging:
Click here for a list of area lodging


Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic Connecticut
Mystic Aquarium in Mystic Connecticut

Back on I-95 for the run up to Mystic (as a slower but possibly more interesting alternative, you can take U.S. Route 1) where Mystic Aquarium is your destination. Here you’ll find sharks in the big tanks, enormously endearing African penguins, beluga whales and a 4-D Theater. And then there’s Exploration Wild, a stirring, newly opened tour of the world’s most captivating habitats – Rainforest, Arctic, Wetlands, Desert and Open Ocean.

Visit the Mystic Aquarium website…

Area Lodging:
Click here for a list of area lodging


For more I-95 construction info, visit  www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to I-95, America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida! Plus I-95 construction, real-time traffic and road news.

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide,  I-10 Exit Guide , and I-75 Exit Guide.

Going To Spring Training In The Palm Beaches? Catch Some Culture!

Palm Beach County, Florida is now the Spring Training home of four major league baseball teams, and the county is bursting with cultural activities for visiting fans.

The brand-new Ballpark of The Palm Beaches opens this month in West Palm Beach. The 6,500-seat facility will be the Spring Training home to the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Baseball and culture will come together when Palm Beach Opera performs the stadium’s first national anthem on opening day, February 28. Further north in Jupiter, Roger Dean Stadium is home to the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.

2017 Spring Training Schedule – Florida’s Grapefruit League

Both venues are located near hundreds of cultural institutions where fans can catch musical performances, dance, art, nature trails, glass-blowing, and even one of the world’s most important giant sea turtle rescue centers.

Among the experiences that await baseball fans:

  • “Baseball in The Palm Beaches” at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, through July 1 in Downtown West Palm Beach
  • Midtown Peace, Love and Wellness Festival (music festival), March 18 in Midtown on PGA Boulevard
  • 3rd Annual Bacon and Bourbon Festival, March 24-26 in Downtown Delray Beach
  • Festival of the Arts BOCA, March 2-12 in Boca Raton
  • 4th Annual Plein Air Festival (artists painting for 4 days and nights, March 8-12 at various sites
  • Art Boca Raton Contemporary Art Fair, March 16-19 at International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
  • The Historical Society of Palm Beach County’s “Evening on Antique Row,” March 4 in the West Palm Beach antiques district
  • “The Sugar Bean Sisters,” Lake Worth Playhouse, March 2-19 in Lake Worth
  • The Jive Aces at Kravis Center, March 14, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in West Palm Beach
  • Sir James Galway, Society of the Four Arts, March 15 in Palm Beach
  • “The Lost Bird Project: Memorials to Extinct Birds” by Todd McGrain, through June 20 at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach
  • Glass-blowing at Benzaiten Center for the Creative Arts in Lake Worth
  • Loggerhead Marinelife Center sea turtle rehabilitation facility in Juno Beach
  • Gumbo Limbo sea turtle rehabilitation facility and nature walk in Boca Raton
  • Guided kayak birdwatching, underwater photography, nature walks and kayaking and surfing lessons at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach
  • The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum historic Beaux-Arts mansion tours, in Palm Beach

For more information on these and other outstanding cultural events in The Palm Beaches, visit palmbeachculture.com for a complete calendar of cultural experiences.


For more I-95 roadtrip info, visit  www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to I-95, America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida! Plus I-95 construction, real-time traffic and road news.

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide,  I-10 Exit Guide , and I-75 Exit Guide.

2017 NASCAR Schedule, Track Links and Area Lodging

With the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Series is about to begin, The I-95 Exit Guide has just published it’s annual NASCAR schedule feature.

The new section lists the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy (formerly Sprint Cup) schedule with links to the individual track websites. The feature also includes information on lodging near each track as well as in the immediate area.

You can find the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy schedule feature at www.i95exitguide.com/nascar-weekends/.


For more I-95 travel info, visit  www.i95exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to I-95, America’s Interstate Main Street. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Maine to Florida! Plus I-95 construction, real-time traffic and road news.

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide,  I-10 Exit Guide , and I-75 Exit Guide.