You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Tourism’ category.

Look which city made it into the top 20 places to visit this year in the USA according to TripAdvisor!! St Petersburg, Florida!! Yippee! For the last 13 years, I have called St Pete my home. It is surrounded by beautiful water, has gorgeous weather-especially at this time of year, tons of great restaurants representing food from around the world, farmers market, food trucks, unique shops, brew pubs, world famous museums, top-notch galleries, creative murals, waterfront parks, dog parks, boating, sports to watch or partake in, music venues, music festivals, Ribfest, Honda Grand Prix race running through the downtown along the waterfront and so much more. With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, St Pete has the Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days). Hmmm, maybe that is why it is nicknamed “The Sunshine City” in the Sunshine State.

I love it here. Come for a visit or to buy a home, I’ll be waiting for you.

St-Petersburg-Florida-Summer-Southern-Cities-(2)

Nicknamed the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg is a warm and pleasant beach town on Florida’s Gulf Coast with much to see and do. Springtime visitors won’t want to miss the St. Petersburg Mainsail Arts Festival, a joyful celebration with artists, food, live music, and entertainment. There’s a lot to do out on the water in St. Petersburg, like this Mangrove Kayak Tour, or a Stand up Pedalboard Tour where you’re likely to spot dolphins and manatees. On a St. Petersburg Speedboat Adventure, you’ll take the wheel of your very own speedboat, exploring the coastline in style.

To see the other 19 cities, including BALTIMORE and BEND, Oregon, please go to https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalsBlog/2019/01/28/top-places-visit-usa-best-destinations/?fbclid=IwAR28G8o-j1FkD7sN5KIHbNvS_yBgD8wyshC9rWqL538tOaLrV0oCX_6EW1Y

By Veronica Brezina-Smith  – Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal

A bright yellow vest clings onto my blazer and a group of plane spotters and the airport staff stand out on the runway awaiting Copa Airlines’ arrival from Panama City with one of the most modern aircrafts in the market.

“Get ready,” the airport media relations team members say, as onlookers prepare cameras to snap the moment the blue and white plane lands during a hot Thursday afternoon.

Veronica Brezina@TBBJVeroni

@CopaAirlines new Max9 airplane coming in @FlyTPA @TBBJnewsroom

Sept 2018

The plane was rolling in as if it was a celebrity strutting down the red carpet. The airport conducted a water arch salute, where water cannons spray at the same time, creating an arch the plane passes under. The celebratory arch is done rarely at the airport, as the airport staff said it has to be a major inaugural flight or for a long-term pilot who is retiring for one of the airport’s big carriers.

“It’s the beginning of a new era, introducing the first Boeing (NYSE: BA) 737 MAX9. It’s a symbol of pride for the airline, Panama and the Copa team members,” Fernando Fondevila Leyton, Copa’s regional manager for North America, told Tampa Bay Business Journal during the celebration of the plane landing in Tampa.

Copa Airlines (NYSE: CPA) has been offering service to the Tampa airport since 2013 and recently the airline started increasing its service from Tampa to Panama.

“Tampa is a key market for Copa,” Leyton said. “It’s been a successful destination for Copa Airlines. It allows us to operate the only nonstop service from Tampa International to Panama City, our Hub of the Americas, and from Panama beyond with more than 55 destinations, connecting Central America and the Caribbean with the Tampa community.”

However, the new MAX9, 166-seat plane elevates the airline’s existing fleet with spacious and luxurious seats and technology.

The business class cabin, dubbed the Business Class Dream, has lie-flat seats, 16-inch touch screens, remotes, USB ports and more space for storage.

Copa also introduced a new section for the economy class that has 24 seats that offer more legroom, touch screens and USB ports as well.

Additionally, its engineering is even more superb as it has a new LEAP-18 engine, which makes it 40 percent quieter and one of the most advanced in the world.

This MAX9 represents a big change for the airline, which will be used on the longest routes of Copa’s network of its 80 destinations.

“It actually allows us to reach other corners of the continent and continue to promote Panama as the top destination,” Leyton said.

Copa will add four more MAX9 planes between October and December, eight more in 2019 and an additional nine in 2020. The total number will grow to 71 in the coming years.

He said aircraft is going to also fly to San Francisco in early 2019.

By   – Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal

For more photos  please see https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2018/09/21/copa-airlines-lands-first-international-flight.

 

Recent updates for the new St. Pete Pier! We have been without our iconic pier since May 2013. The St. Petersburg Pier was a 5 story inverted pyramid and a destination for both tourists & locals since it was constructed in 1973. It stretched from downtown St. Petersburg out into the the Tampa Bay. We had restaurants, local shops, fishing, pelican feeding, dolphin boat tours, pirate boat rides, boat rentals, the Pier Aquarium, a floating wedding chapel & a fantastic view from the glass elevators & the fifth floor of downtown & the Tampa Bay. It was always a nice walk with lots of activities going on. I miss it & I miss being able to take friends & family to THE PIER when they visited.

The original pier was built in 1889 by the Orange Belt Railway. It was extremely popular immediately. In 1906 the Electric Pier was a place for the trolley & steamships. So HOPEFULLY, we will soon have a pier here in St Pete again.

Here’s the latest video: ‘St. Pete In Progress’, featuring Mayor Rick Kriseman and author and city expert Peter Kageyama, is a monthly look at exciting projects and plans that are in-progress.

There is always a special kind of excitement in the weeks leading up to the race. Our city’s streets are turned into a 1.8 mile racetrack along the waterfront. The track has 14 turns and goes past the Dali Museum, Mahaffey Theatre, around Pioneer Park, along the waterfront past the St Petersburg Harbor & Marina and onto the runways of Albert Whitted Airport. The races include Verizon IndyCar Series, Pirelli World Challenge, Speed Energy Stadium Super Trucks, Indy Lights & Pro Mazda. It has been fun to walk down the middle of the downtown city streets with partial track walls closing in on both streets. I have lived here for 11 years now & I still find all of this so cool.

People come from all over the world to see this race. Some watch from the track stands, others watch from their boats, and some watch from their condos balconies. Of course, it will also be shown on national TV. I will go into the grounds on Friday where one can see the cars up close & sometimes even meet the drivers before or after their practice & qualifying runs.  On Sunday, I will be on the top floor of my parents’ condo building watching with great glee as the race speeds past the building on 2 sides with 2 hairpin turns. Yes, it IS noisy but oh, so awesome!

You can purchase tickets & get more info at  http://gpstpete.com/  in advance or at the gate.

 

IMG_1467

Le Louvre photo by Annalisa Weller, 2009

 

The following museums were found on several lists as the most visited in 2015 around the world. I was quite surprised to find out that I have visited 7 of the 10. My travels have not brought me to Asia yet so that removes Numbers 2, 8 & 10 for me. Better get to work on that! My daughter just returned from China so “we” could use the familial visits to check off  another one on the list-not really.

IMG_3212

National Gallery of Art, photo by Annalisa Weller, 2015

 

I would, however, like to add the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which opened in 1937. As I a child I was lucky to live close to DC & so we visited it quite often. Last year while in Washington, DC for business, I spent the afternoon in the National Gallery of Art with my family. As I turned the corners, I would get a glimpse of some of my favorite works of art & felt like I was seeing dear old friends-Renoir, Monet, Manet, Degas, Cassatt, Cezanne, Picasso, Van Gogh, Fragonard, da Vinci and more. They make me so happy & speak to my soul. Another wonderful museum is the Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida which houses the largest collection of Dali’s works outside of Spain. Not only are the paintings & sculptures fascinating but so is the building. Stanford University in Palo Alto, California has a wonderful collection of Rodin sculptures in a garden setting that is definitely worth checking out.

So get out there and appreciate the beautiful things in life! Tell me which are your favorites.

1. The Louvre in Paris

8.7 million visitors in 2015.

2. The National Museum of China in Beijing

7.3 million visitors in 2015.

3. National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

6.9 million visitors in 2015.

4. National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

6.9 million visitors in 2015.

5. British Museum in London

6.8 million visitors in 2015.

6. Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

6.3 million visitors in 2015.

7. Vatican Museum

6 million visitors in 2015.

8. Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

5.9 million visitors in 2015.

9. National Gallery in London

5.9 million visitors in 2015.

10. National Palace Museum in Taiwan

5.3 million visitors in 2015.

 

Check this out-St Petersburg made it in the top 10 & Tampa is NUMBER ONE for coastal cities!! -Annalisa

Florida is the best place in America for tying the knot, according to personal finance website WalletHub, which just released (in time for Valentine’s Day!) its 2016 ranking of Best and Worst Cities to Get Married.

Heart shaped glasses on the beach

By Tracey Minkin in Coastal Living

The Sunshine State is home to 3 of the top 10 cities in WalletHub’s brand-new ranking: Orlando (which topped the list at #1), followed by Florida’s coastal cities of Tampa, which came in at #4, and Miami, which came in at #8.

To arrive at its nuptials numbers, WalletHub researchers compared the 150 largest cities in America in search of the cheapest and most convenient wedding destinations that also promised what WalletHub called “a memorable occasion.”  Researchers used 18 key indicators to judge each city, including number of venues, flower, and bridal shops per capita, hotel availability, and average cost of a wedding in that city.

While many of the cities were inland, we collected the coastal winners for getting the best bang for your bridal buck . . . at the beach. Because really: who would want it any other way?

Here’s how the top coastal cities fared:

#1 Coastal/#4 Overall: TAMPA, FLORIDA

Tampa, Florida, skyline

Bridal 411: One of Tampa’s greatest strengths overall was its diversity of attractions and activities, according to WalletHub.

(See which coastal cities were named the best places to retire in America, right here.)

 

#2 Coastal/#8 Overall: MIAMI, FLORIDA

Miami, Florida's Collins Avenue

Bridal 411: Miami, the city where every event is a party, scored in the top 5 overall as having the most bridal shops per capita and scored #1 for the most flower shops per capita. (See why Miami made our 2016 list of top luxury beach destinations, here.)

 

#3 Coastal/#18 Overall: NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Riverboat in New Orleans, Louisiana

Bridal 411: Like Tampa, this romantic Delta city (hey, that’s coastal in our books) scored big in activities and attractions. (Check out how a trip to New Orleans can change your life, here.)

 

#4 Coastal/#18 Overall: FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Bridal 411: This true beach town scored highest on its overall wedding facilities and services ranking–20th among 150 cities. (Find out what more there is to love about Fort Lauderdale, here.)

 

#5 Coastal/#27 Overall: MOBILE, ALABAMA

Waterfront of Mobile, Alabama

Bridal 411: Talk about bang for your buck… this lively port city on the Gulf of Mexico was #5 out of 150 in most affordable wedding cost ranking. (You’ll never believe what this creative city drops from one of its highest buildings on New Year’s Eve!)

 

The other top coastal cities in WalletHub’s ranking were:

#6 Coastal/#32 Overall: Portland, Oregon

***#7 Coastal/#39 Overall: St. Petersburg, Florida ***

#8 Coastal/#46 Overall: San Diego, California

#9 Coastal/#53 Overall: Los Angeles, California

#10 Coastal/#73 Overall: Corpus Christi, Texas

– See more at: http://dailycatch.coastalliving.com/2016/02/09/best-wedding-cities-florida/?xid=socialflow_facebook#sthash.vynsS6MU.dpuf

By Tracey Minkin in Coastal Living

 

 

 

Whether you can attend in person or by Internet, this is a really cool event that you don’t want to miss.

Marvels of Illusion at the waterfront Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida, presents a sensational optical and intellectual experience while delving into the world of double images and illusions. This special exhibition showcases a variety of Dali paintings, prints and sculpture. It includes a very special work from the 16th Century from the School of Arcimboldo, on loan from the Ringling Museum. To help you experience this one of a kind exhibit, there is a great deal of explanatory material as well. A centerpiece of the Marvels of Illusion exhibit is an interactive installation titled “Gala Contemplating You” which places visitors inside one of Dali’s most famous paintings. The installation is inspired by Dali’s 1976 painting “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko),” which proved that 121 pixels could identify a particular human face. A corresponding web application allows virtual visitors from around the globe to submit their photos and become part of the experience as well. The exhibit promises to entertain and fascinate people of all ages – visitors will not only come to the Museum, they will become part of it. I just love the Dali Museum!

Video:  http://youtu.be/2FP2hwOYIvM

At the Dali Museum, One Dali Blvd, downtown St Petersburg, Florida

– See more at: http://thedali.org/exhibit/marvels-illusion-2/#sthash.Zch4sGkb.pEJAExXL.dpuf

mexican-dancers

Flickr/haveclipperswilltravel

A quarter, or 23%, of travelers from around the world never tip while on vacation, according to a new Expedia survey of 11,165 people across five continents. When to tip and how much to tip are topics of endless conversation, especially when visiting a new country and learning about the customs of the new destination.

The chart below shows which percentage of vacationers from each country indicated that they tip service providers while on holiday

Travelers Who Tip The Most Infographic

Travelers Who Tip The Most Infographic
Skift

Food servers are the most likely to receive a tip with 50 percent of respondents claiming that they typically tip in a restaurant.

Hotel staff were less likely to receive with approximately 36 percent of respondents stating that they tip for maid service, room service delivery and bellhops.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mexican-travelers-tip-the-most-2014-6#ixzz34MWCl5FP

Brightly costumed dolls representing Japan and Mexico in scenery from their lands at 'it’s a small world'

If you have ever visited Disneyland or Disney World, then chances are you have heard “It’s A Small World”. When you take the 12-15 minute ride in the little boats that meander throughout the various lands, you hear it many times & in many languages. In my case, I have been stuck in that attraction several times with my daughters in both Florida & in California. It was their favorite ride so we rode it as many times as we could possibly fit in each visit. The more you ride, the more likely you are to get stuck.  One of the fastest way to drive this mother crazy.

Fast forward 15 years and I have just purchased a new phone. My youngest daughter is helping me set up this new phone but with a few surprises unknown to me. Teenagers are so clever, aren’t they? So the first time of my daughters called me, the new phone rings with, can you guess? Yes, “It’s a Small World”!! They thought that it would drive me crazy-a short drive these days, I admit. That was 2 years ago & their little surprise has backfired because I love it. That song lets me know that it is one of my wonderful daughters calling. It brings a smile to my face every time and brings back some incredibly fun memories. It’s a blessing & a curse. LOL   SO thanks, my wee one! Or should I say Merci, Muchas gracias, Vielen Dank, Σας ευχαριστώ, Grazie, 感谢您, Takk, ありがとうございました。, Obrigado, Go raibh maith agat?

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears. There’s so much we share…and a smile means friendship to everyone

To watch the video:  http://youtu.be/weZrqrN9Jp0

Written by brothers Richard and Robert Sherman

It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small, small world.  Thank you, Mr. Disney!

Walt Disney

 

 

10Best.com (a division of USA TODAY)
readerschoice-Clearwateraquarium

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium was voted best attraction in Florida by 10Best.com and USA TODAY readers.(Photo: Courtesy Visit St. Pete/Clearwater)

After four weeks of voting in 10Best.com’s Readers’ Choice contest, your votes helped identify the “Best Florida Attraction.” The winners are:

1. Clearwater Marine Aquarium

2. The Ringling – Sarasota

3. Everglades Holiday Park – Ft. Lauderdale

4. Discovery Cove – Orlando

5. Magic Kingdom – Orlando

6. St. Augustine Historic District

7. Seashells of Sanibel Island

8. Salvador Dali Museum – St. Petersburg

9. Castillo de San Marcos – St. Augustine

10. Beaches of Daytona Beach

10Best and USA TODAY congratulate the winners! A new Readers’ Choice contest category launches each week. Vote for Best Classic Cocktail and see previous winners and vote in all underway contests at 10best.com/awards/travel/.

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 438 other followers

List of Categories

Monthly archive of my posts

RSS PROView-Pinellas Realtor Organization

  • Association health plans – members opinions wanted June 12, 2019
    How do you feel about PRO/CPAR being able to offer association health insurance as part of your benefits package with us? Will you give us 3 minutes and take a survey about your current health insurance situation and your interest in PRO/CPAR offering you an association plan? If you take the survey, you’ll be entered […]
    PROView
  • 2019 Florida Legislature adjourns: Remote notaries, open permits & environment among victories May 6, 2019
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — May 4, 2019 — 2:16 pm — Your world got a little bit easier thanks to new legislation that brings modern technology and common sense to transactions. The Florida Legislature, which ended its 60-day legislative session minutes ago, passed two bills many Florida Realtors’ members had requested. One allows the use of […]
    PROView
  • UPDATE: PRO/CPAR and HCAR merger March 25, 2019
    Pinellas Realtor Organization/Central Pasco Chapter members voted to merge with Hernando County Association of Realtors (HCAR). Although HCAR’s Board of Directors was on board to offer the Plan of Merger to its membership for a vote, an HCAR member filed a lawsuit to block the vote. A court order was issued forbidding their members from […]
    PROView
  • New FREC Team Rules: Are You Compliant? March 5, 2019
    Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) has approved a New Team Advertising Rule that will impact brokerage office procedures and team advertising. Brokers and teams have until July 1, 2019 to comply, but it’s not too early to prepare. Teams “Team or group advertising” shall mean a name or logo used by one or more real […]
    PROView
  • ‘Welcome’ to all our new members who joined us in January February 4, 2019
    PRO/CPAR would like to welcome all of our new REALTORS® who joined us in January! We are happy to have you as a part of our organization and wish you much success in your careers. A Better Life Realty Rachel  Trimble Align Right Realty LLC Grecia Clark Align Right Realty NP Yadira Bellido American Real […]
    PROView

Visit Me at Active Rain