Songwriters get toes tapping in the Panhandle
Ever wonder where songwriters find their inspiration? You can ask a songwriter yourself during the 29th Annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival from Nov. 7 to 17. More than 200 singer-songwriters will be showcasing their music in Perdido Key and downtown Pensacola, as well as Orange Beach and Gulf Shores in Florida’s panhandle.
This year’s festival will kick off with a special tribute to Pensacola native Larry Butler, who died early this year. Butler was a celebrated songwriter and Grammy award-winning producer who worked with some of the biggest names in country music. For more information, visit www.fbisf.com.
Wild Wonderland at the zoo
Going ape at the thought of preparations for the upcoming holidays? Consider a getaway to Tampa to meet Santa and his merry mammals – real reindeer – at Wild Wonderland at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. The whimsical world of holiday magic includes animated displays, a million twinkling lights and free zoo rides from 6:30-10 p.m. on Dec. 7, 13-15, 17-23 and 26-30. On Dec. 13, visitors can also celebrate the season with the zoo’s primate family as the primates open special presents from zoo staff and docents. The Presents for Primates is included free-of-charge with zoo admission. For details, visit www.lowryparkzoo.com/calendar_events.php.
SoBe hotel gets a sexy new look
The $9 million renovation of the South Beach Marriott, a boutique beachfront hotel in the South of Fifth (SoFi) neighborhood of Miami Beach, is scheduled for completion by the end of the year. But travelers don’t have to wait that long to experience the new digs. A handful of rooms are already available. The South Beach Marriott is inviting travelers to celebrate the new look with a SoBe Soiree package that includes city or ocean-view accommodations, two cocktails and complimentary WiFi, with rates starting at $269 per night. The offer is valid through Dec. 29 with promo code YQ1. For reservations or more information, visit www.marriottsouthbeach.com .
Aspiring innkeepers and Christmas card makers
The Amelia Island Williams House is offering two unique experiences in the months ahead. From 2 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5, guests can create a Christmas card while enjoying a cup of tea and holiday treats. All supplies needed to create the card will be provided. Event cost $18 per person and is open to the public. Reservations are required by calling 904-277-2328.
In February, the B&B will host an Aspiring Innkeepers Seminar for people interested in owning a bed and breakfast. The weekend seminar will include a day of instruction, course materials, current industry studies and information, informal consulting and informative round-table discussions. Meals include a happy hour Friday night; breakfast, lunch and social hour on Saturday; and breakfast on Sunday. Registration is $95 for single and $175 for couples. Accommodations are also available at $125 per night for single and starting at $150 per night for couples. For more information or to register for the seminar weekend, Feb. 7-9, contact Helen at Lodging Resources Partners by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 904-321-2210.
Pedal from the beach to the lighthouse
This time of year, you want to be outdoors to enjoy the fall weather. One fun suggestion: Book a room at the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa to take advantage of its C’mon, Get Happy package. Plan to climb the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, relax on a hammock with a pina colada, and take the resort’s complimentary bike rentals for a cruise around town. The C’mon, Get Happy package includes tours of the Jupiter Lighthouse, game tokens for the game room, 20 percent off the best available rates and daily breakfast for two. Rates start at $176 per night and valid through Dec. 23. Call 866-943-0950 Visit www.jupiterbeachresort.com. Use promo code HAPPY.
Mary Thurwachter is a West Palm Beach freelance writerEmail: email@example.com