Get your exercise while on vacation in Memphis with one of these fabulous tours:
See the sights while you run through Memphis with the Memphis Rockin’ Running Tour! Ranging from 3 to 6 miles, this tour is the perfect way to stay in shape while on vacation. Rather than hopping on a bus to get to Memphis’ best attractions, use your own legs! Designed for runners of all ages, you set the pace while your tour guide narrates the tour. Choose when you’d like to depart, early in the morning, mid-afternoon, or early evening, then head out to see Cotton Row, Beale Street, the National Civil Rights Museum, and much more! Tell your guide what you’re interested in. Whether it’s Civil War history, pop culture, or music history, there’s a great tour waiting for you in Memphis! Don’t forget to throw your running shoes in your suitcase for your Memphis vacation! For more information about the tour, visit our website.
Slow things down a bit with a walking tour. You’ll still get great exercise on this tour because you’ll cover one mile of ground during a two hour tour that will explore Cotton Row, the Magevny House, and more! Your knowledgeable tour guide will tell you all about Memphis’ involvement in the Civil War, Memphis’ impact on rock and roll music, and more! On the tour, you’ll see downtown Memphis, the Peabody duck march at the Peabody Hotel, the Court Square Fountain, Cotton Row, and much more. Pick up your tickets for this awesome tour here.
After dark, discover the secrets of Memphis’ haunted past on the Memphis Ghost Walking Tour. Professional storytellers will lead you through the city sharing stories of Memphis’ most chilling ghost stories. Of course, this tour will require you to visit some of the city’s oldest landmarks and buildings. First up, the Orpheum Theater, which is haunted by the ghost of a little girl who plays the organ and tricks the actors. Next, head to Ernestine & Hazel’s in south Memphis. Here, you’ll hear the history of the former brothel and how it came to be one of the most haunted buildings in America. You will love hearing all about the spooky history of Memphis on this walking tour! For more information, visit this link.
Have a Fabulous Time Exercising in Memphis!
Start off your trip in the Big Apple with a visit to Ellis Island. The big bustling city can be stressful and timely to explore so pick up a skip the line pass to see this iconic monument without the wait during your vacation! Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you’ll hop on a ferry at Battery Park to shoot over to Ellis Island. On the way to the island, you’ll be greeted by the massive figure of Lady Liberty who welcomed millions of immigrants on their way to the United States in search of freedom. Your tour guide will regale you with the history, significance, construction, and restoration of America’s most famous monument, the Statue of Liberty, and the island she rests upon, Ellis Island. At Ellis Island, you can trace your ancestors to their arrival on the very island, take a photo in front of the ships that brought an estimated 12 million immigrants to America’s shores, and learn all about Lady Liberty’s construction in France. Then climb 305 feet, that’s about 28 stories high, to the top of Lady Liberty’s massive crown where you’ll get an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. This tour, which lasts approximately 5 hours, should not be missed on your visit to NYC! For more info about the tour, visit this link.
Get more NYC history on the New York Mafia Tour! If you’ve ever wondered about the validity of the Mafia, you won’t want to miss this tour. The Sopranos and The Godfather were both based upon the existence of the Mafia, a criminal group that draws its money from protection racketeering among other dangerous activities. Mafia members offer businesses and individual’s protection from danger in exchange for money. However, most of the businesses aren’t in need of protection except from the Mafia members themselves. In other words, it’s expensive bullying. Start your tour in Petrosino Square, which is named after New York City’s first Italian detective who managed to lock up more than 500 criminals during his career. Wander through Little Italy as you listen to the story of the Mafia and see the businesses that have been victims of protection racketeering throughout the years. See the site of John Gotti’s social club and his favorite Little Italy hangouts. Stop at the Curb Exchange, the bootlegging depot of NYC during the Prohibition Era. See Umberto’s, which is the site of Little Italy’s most infamous mob shooting. You’ll also get the chance to see the film locations for The Godfather and Goodfellas. You’ll be a Mafia expert at the end of the tour! For ticket information and the tour schedule, visit our website.
Enjoy a History-Filled Visit to NYC!
Cool off this summer in Gatlinburg at Dollywood’s Splash Country Waterpark! The park is built in a 35 acre mountain hollow making for a gorgeous escape. Featuring more than 23 slides and thrill rides fit for guests of every size and age, one day is barely enough to enjoy this wonderful waterpark. New this year is River Rush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster. This ride artfully combines the thrill of a roller coaster with the fun of a water ride. Hop in a raft with your buddies to careen down four massive hills, shoot through dark tunnels, and, most importantly, get wet! You’ll love everything about this awesome water coaster! Next, take a scream-inducing ride on Mountain Scream! Choose between a corkscrew slide or an aggressive quadruple-drop slide on this bad boy that leaves riders begging for more. Play with little ones at Bear Mountain Fire Tower, a fun playground with super soakers, small slides, and much more! Just remember to stay out of the way when the huge barrel unleashes 1,000 gallons of water at the top of the playground. Race your friends and family down the bumpy 300-foot slides of the Slick Rock Racer. Experience the thrill of white water rafting on Big Bear Plunge, a raft ride which sends riders through dark caverns, around winding bends, and through a curtain of water before splashing into a huge pool at the end. These rides and many more await in the mountains at Dollywood’s Splash Country Waterpark! For more information about other rides, height requirements, and park hours, click on this link.
No trip to Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge would be complete without a fantastic show! Featuring magicians, fire-eaters, jugglers, ventriloquists, comedians, country and gospel music, and fun barnyard animals, the Comedy Barn Variety Show will leave you laughing for days. The Comedy Barn Variety Show is the home to the area’s funniest comedians so this show should definitely not be missed. Family friendly comedy makes this show appropriate for everyone, young and old! For ticket info, visit our website.
See more than 10,000 aquatic animals at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! Upon entrance, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful Tropical Rainforest display where you’ll discover piranhas, freshwater stingrays, four-eyed fish, poison dart frogs, and much more! View the exhibit from both sides of a beautiful waterfall before moving on to see Systems Control, an awesome exhibit that shows visitors how 1.4 gallons of water circulates through the massive aquarium everyday. Next, face your fears in Shark Lagoon. See sharks from every angle in the aquarium’s awesome underwater tunnel that gives visitors a breathtaking underwater experience without getting wet! Before you leave, don’t miss out on Touch A Ray Bay, where, just like the name describes, you’ll have the chance to touch a sting ray! You’ll love learning about aquatic wildlife in this amazing aquarium! For more information, visit this link.
Enjoy a Marvelous Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Getaway!
A unique slice of Southern heaven awaits in Georgia – Savannah! Established in 1733, Savannah is a city full of art, culture, and history around every corner. Take the City Market, a four block area in the heart of the Historic District that has been renovated to capture the character and authenticity of the city’s original open marketplace. Stroll through the market to see artists at work in their lofts, open-air cafes filled with delicious smells, and theme shops filled with souvenirs to remember your trip by. You also won’t want to miss a visit to River Street, which borders the gorgeous Savannah River, to stroll, ship-watch, shop, eat, and much more! What else should you add to your itinerary?!
See the city from the water aboard the Savannah Riverboat Cruises! Featuring several cruise options including sightseeing cruises, lunch and dinner cruises, murder mystery cruises, moonlight cruises, and more, the Savannah Riverboat Cruises have something for every age and preference. On each cruise, the captain steers the large boat past the Talmadge Bridge, Fort Jackson, and, of course, the beautiful city of Savannah. Most cruises include a full buffet including yummy southern food favorites, classic desserts, and drinks. Live entertainment is also included depending on the cruise. For a full list of cruise types, visit our website.
No visit to Savannah would be complete without tasting Paula Deen’s fabulous southern food. The Georgia-native developed her style of cooking while living in Savannah with her two sons. When she was sick of dead-end jobs, she started a catering service in her own kitchen called “The Bag Lady.” She used her two sons to deliver the food until the business was simply too big to operate out of her home kitchen. So in January 1996, she opened her own restaurant in downtown Savannah called “The Lady & Sons.” The Paula Deen Culinary Tour offers guests the chance to visit the eateries that Paula frequented while she perfected her own cooking. Of course, you’ll stop at her restaurant, The Lady & Sons, and her brother’s restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, where you’ll grab a bite to eat for lunch. You’ll also get the chance to visit nearby Bethesda where Paula married her current husband in 2004. Learn all about Paula Deen’s career success on your trip to Savannah! For more information about the tour, visit this link.
All of this and more awaits in the fabulous city of Savannah!
As always, the Grand Ole Opry has a terrific lineup planned for this weekend. Making his Grand Ole Opry debut is Corey Smith, a country/rock/blues singer-songwriter. The Georgia-native happened upon his music career, which began as a hobby and a fun way to teach at the high school in his hometown of Jefferson. The hobby grew into an obsessive passion and three records later, Smith was turning in his resignation letter to the high school and setting up tour dates. Since quitting his job 5 years ago, the 33 year old has played 700 shows, sold more than 700,000 tickets, and grossed $9 million in revenue. “To say my music career has exceeded my expectations is an understatement,” he says on his website. This Saturday, Corey Smith will make his debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage! Check who else will be on stage this weekend!
Thursday, May 16: Opry Country Classics at the Ryman Auditorium. Host: Larry Gatlin. Spotlight Artists: Crystal Gayle, Jim Glaser, Suzy Bogguss, Ronnie Robbins, and James Wesley. There are only two more weeks to enjoy this fun show! It won’t return until October 3, 2013. Pick up you tickets to this show here.
Saturday, May 18: Performing at the Grand Ole Opry House will be Corey Smith, Johnny Reid, Greg Bates, Radney Foster, Elizabeth Cook, Jim Ed Brown, and more to be added. Stick around after the show to meet Jim Ed Brown in the Opry Shop and get a copy of his new CD, In Style Again, signed.
Visit our website to see who else will be at the Opry House in the coming weeks and to purchase your tickets.
Enjoy the shows!
The weather is warming up in Williamsburg, which can only mean that Water Country USA will soon open for the summer season! Water Country USA is Virginia’s largest water park and it is conveniently located just three miles from Busch Gardens. Even more convenient, Vacations Made Easy sells a 7 day pass for both parks! Ride the roller coasters at Busch Gardens then hop over to Water Country USA to cool down. Read on to learn all about these fabulous parks!
Featuring more than 30 rides and attractions, Water Country USA is the perfect place to start your summer vacation! The park is modeled after a 1950’s and 1960’s surf theme. The best new ride this year? Vanish Point! This is an epic drop slide that was inspired by the point on a wave where gravity and water meet to form a perfect partnership. Riders have two options for this fun ride: 1. Step in to a skybox and take a 75-foot plunge when the floor drops from underneath you; OR 2. Lie horizontally on a 300-foot speed slide that drops you straight down upon entrance. No matter what, you’ll be screaming! Other thrill rides include Aquazoid, an 850-foot pipeline that you fly down in a raft at a speed of more than 20 feet per second; Big Daddy Falls, a whitewater rafting adventure that sends riders down 670 feet of flumes and tunnels; and Nitro Race, a speed slide that allows you to race your friends down a 320-foot slide in less than 4 seconds. There are also three splash playground areas in the park that little ones will love. Restaurants, cafes, and small markets are scattered throughout the park for hungry tummies. The park even offers swimming lessons and American Red Cross training to guests. Pack your bags for Water Country USA! The park officially opens its doors for the summer season on Friday, May 18. For more information about the park, please visit our website.
After you dry off, head aver to Busch Gardens for more thrills! Busch Gardens is a European-themed adventure park that was founded in 1975 with the goal to provide cultural and charm mixed with 21st century technology. This culture and charm is depicted through 6 different countries in the park: England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, and France. Each area is meticulously designed to match the architecture, culture, and landscaping of each country. Because of this dedication, the gorgeous park has received The National Amusement Park Historical Association’s “Most Beautiful Park” for the last 22 years! Upon arrival, challenge yourself to the 205-foot, 90-degree, 75 mph free fall of the world’s tallest dive coaster, the heart-pounding Griffon. A thrill seekers destiny, the Griffon is just one of five coasters offered at Busch Gardens. In order to bring your heart rate down, try out the Rhine River Cruise, a relaxing cruise in which you can enjoy 360-degree views of the park including a view of the roller coasters as they skim over the river. The park features several more rides in each country, ride them all on your visit! For more information about the park, visit our website.
Plan your next vacation to Music City, USA! Perhaps best known for being the home to the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville is THE destination for country music lovers. With fascinating history, fantastic musicians, and gorgeous sights around every corner, you’ll be hard pressed to see everything while you’re there. Here are some tips and tricks for tackling this city on your next vacation….
This all-inclusive pass grants access to some of the best spots in Nashville! Use the pass to gain entry to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, the Music City Trolley Hop On/Hop Off Tour, and the Nashville Unpublished Walking Tour for one low price!
Start your vacation at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. The 37 million dollar complex is home to interactive exhibits which immerse each visitor in the world of country music from the 19th century to modern day. Currently, the museum is celebrating the advent of country music in Bakersfield, California during the 1960’s. It was in Bakersfield that Buck Owens and Merle Haggard created a new sound with piercing electric guitars and honest lyrics. Then, view the gorgeous costumes, instruments, and set pieces from superstar Taylor Swift’s Speak Now World Tour which entertained more than 1.5 million fans in 111 shows in 19 countries. The exhibit will run from June 6 to November 4, 2013. Catch the tail end of the Patsy Cline exhibit before it ends on June 10, 2013. Featuring fabulous costumes, personal possessions, vintage photographs, and more, the exhibit tells Cline’s story in her own words using narratives from her own letters and videos. Several other exhibits complete the museum including a towering wall which displays every gold and platinum record to ever hit the country music charts. Your pass allows 2 days of access to the museum so don’t feel rushed to see it all in one day!
The Nashville Unpublished Walking Tour tells the tales of music legends through historic sites and famous stories. This 1.5 hour tour tells the untold stories, assumed legends, and true stories of Nashville and the cast of characters who have called this city home including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Elvis, and many more. The highlight of the tour is a behind the scenes look at the Ryman Auditorium, known as the “Mother Church of Country Music.” You’ll also have the chance to see Ernest Tubb Records, the Silver Dollar Saloon, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and much more!
Finally, use your pass to catch a ride on the Music City Trolley Hop On/Hop Off Tour. The narrated tours lasts about an hour then riders are free to jump off and on the bus at several stops throughout the city. On the tour you’ll see Bicentennial Park, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the famous Nashville Parthenon, and much more. When the narrated tour is over, spend your second day at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum because the trolley stops right in front of the museum!
Pick up the All About Nashville Attraction Pass on our website for your next vacation!
A trip to New York City can be overwhelming because there are so many must-see stops – the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Empire State Building, Central Park, Broadway…. The list goes on and on. However, here at VME, fitting all these destinations into one fun vacation is a challenge that we love to take on! So check out this itinerary for an amazing weekend getaway in the city!
Saturday: Start off your trip at the very top of the city – the Empire State Building. From 1,050 feet above the streets of NYC, you’ll be able to see up to 80 miles away! The National Historic Landmark is one of the most visited spots in the city plus it gives visitors a breathtaking view of the city below just waiting to be explored. Next, head down the street to meander through The Metropolitan Museum of Art, more commonly known as “The Met.” Built in 1870, this gorgeous museum has inspired thousands of artists to create beautiful works of art worthy of this amazing museum. So spend a few hours gazing at the art. Before you leave, stop at one the museum’s many cafés for a bite to eat or wander to a classic New York City hot dog for a real New York lunch. Next, spend your afternoon in the country’s most visited urban park – Central Park! The Central Park Walking Tour is one of the best ways to see the 834 acre park, which is rife with fascinating history, gorgeous architecture, and beautiful outdoor spaces. This 3 hour tour provides a well-rounded view of the past and present of this massive park. When you’re done, head back to the hotel to gussy up for a night on the town! Take your pick from the Broadway shows Chicago, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, Newsies, Phantom of the Opera, and many more. Finally, get a good night’s rest because tomorrow will be another busy day!
Sunday: Start off your day by taking in the same view of thousands who were desperate to start a new life in the United States. The 75-minute Liberty Cruise sails past Ellis Island offering spectacular views and photo ops of the Statue of Liberty. You’ll also have the chance to see the beautiful New York City skyline. After the cruise, grab some lunch at the famous Russian Tea Room. The iconic restaurant that was founded in 1927 exudes the extravagance and luxury of 20th century Russia. Dine on delicious Russian dishes while taking in the culture, history, and art that make this restaurant a must-stop destination! After lunch, visit Ground Zero on the Heroes of the World Trade Center Walking Tour where you’ll see the site where the World Trade Centers fell on September 11, 2001. Learn about the towers, hear stories of bravery and sacrifice, visit the newly finished memorial, and reflect at Ground Zero. After all this fun, it’s about time to head back home. Looking to see more on your trip? Pick up a CityPASS to see the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island for one low price.
With so much to see, you may want to extend your vacation to a whole week!
As always it’s a great time to head out to the grandest stage in country music to catch a show and see the top performers of yesterday and today. There are always brilliant performers ready to give you an amazing show, and this week is no exception. Here are the upcoming scheduled performers for this wonderful May week:
Tue, May 7, 2013: 7:00 PM: Chris Young, Del McCoury, Love and Theft, Mandy Barnett, and more to be added as scheduled.
Fri, May 10, 2013: 7:00 PM: Anita Renfroe, Maggie Rose, Sara Haze, and more to be added as scheduled.
Sat, May 11, 2013: 7:00 PM: Charlie Daniels, Joel Crouse, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ralph Stanley, and more to be added as scheduled.
Be sure and check us out for up to date performer information at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/NashvilleTN/activity/GrandOleOpryTicket.cfm
Of course you’ll also want to grab a hotel if you plan on staying a night or two during your trip, so why not check us out and see what kind of properties there are available that might suit your needs? We offer everything from standard hotel rooms at great prices, to luxury hotels with all of the top amenities. Visit us to take a look at http://www.vacationsmadeeasy.com/NashvilleTN/lodging/
Temperatures are finally rising to officially welcome summer in Myrtle Beach! The gorgeous beach town features amazing attractions on the boardwalk, fantastic shows, a beautiful sandy beach, and much more! You’ll be hard pressed to find a better beach destination in South Carolina. Check out some of our favorite things in Myrtle Beach!
Travel back in time to celebrate the music of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s at The Carolina Opry! The talented musician, Calvin Gilmore, launched The Carolina Opry in 1986 in order to bring live music to Myrtle Beach. Originally, the Opry featured one live music variety show. Now, in addition to that original show, The Carolina Opry features Good Vibrations: Best of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s! At the show, you’ll hear your favorite music from those three decades blended with multimedia screens, special effects, and elaborate costuming. Watch as 36 talented singers, dancers, musicians, and comedians bring the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s back to life! You’ll be tapping your toes, humming along, and reminiscing throughout the show. For more information, visit this link.
While you’re there, don’t miss the original show – The Carolina Opry!
For a home away from home, book a fabulous condo, chalet, or villa on the beach! Typically located on a secluded section of beach, these fantastic little homes give guests privacy and peace and quiet with the convenience of your own kitchen, separate bedrooms, and a living room. Visit each link for more information about each condo, villa, or chalet. Kingston Plantation Condos, Ocean Forest Villas, Royale Palms Condominiums, and the Caribbean Resort & Villas.
Enjoy a Marvelous Myrtle Beach Getaway!