On April - 11 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Conveniently scheduled to coincide with one of the greatest stress-producing events of the year – the April 15 income tax filing deadline –April is National Stress Awareness Month. There’s no better way to alleviate tax-day stress than with a relaxing vacation. And if a refund is coming your way, what better way to celebrate than treating yourself to a great vacation.

People handle stress in different ways. Some people find relief in adrenaline-pumping physical activity. Other people start to feel stress oozing away as soon as they curl their toes into the warm sand of a secluded beach. However you prefer to deal with stress, beautiful iTrip.net vacation rentals are available in most of America’s most popular vacation destinations. Staying in a vacation rental rather than a hotel is a guaranteed stress-reliever. iTrip.net vacation rentals offer stunning landscapes and luxury amenities at affordable prices and the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a stress-relieving vacation.

If you need to de-stress, consider some of these stress-relieving vacation ideas:

  1. Immerse yourself in nature with a spring vacation to the Smoky Mountains. Snuggle up in cozy cabin rentals in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville.
  2. Scrunch your toes in the sugar-soft white sands and splash around in the refreshing emerald waters of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Tropical island resorts, secluded sandy keys and laid-back beach communities offer the perfect ambience for a relaxing getaway. Choose from kayak adventures on Anna Maria Island, Clearwater’s beautiful beaches or shelling on secluded Sanibel Island.
  3. Charge down the ski slopes at Park City, Utah or Breckenridge, Colorado.
  4. Go deep sea fishing off the coast of Destin, Florida or Gulf Shores, Alabama.
  5. Sample California’s famous wines on a wine tour of Sonoma County in California’s fabled Wine Country.

Start distressing by booking your vacation rental on iTrip.net today.

Categories: Vacation Guides


On October - 25 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Eating out is part of the fun when you go on a vacation to Alabama’s scenic Gulf Coast. Sampling regional cuisine is a unique way to explore the history and heritage of southern Alabama’s coastal towns. Serving up tempting seafood and tantalizing southern specialties, the area’s many delightful restaurants will add spice to your next Orange Beach vacation.

Orange Beach, Alabama offers Gulf Coast vacationers a wonderful variety of excellent dining options, many within walking distance of luxurious Orange Beach vacation rentals. If you’re looking for an evening of fabulous food, try these highly-rated Orange Beach restaurants:

  • The Italian cuisine at Café Grazie on San Roc Cay was voted Best Italian Food in Orange Beach by Trip Advisor travelers. Diners rave about Café Grazie’s outstanding crab cakes and their incredible bread with parmesan spread. Intimate, yet casual, this is a great spot for a romantic dinner. For the best value, dine before 6 p.m. to take advantage of the restaurant’s sunset specials
  • Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar in Orange Beach offers a cozy atmosphere, excellent service and delicious food. Named the best restaurant in Orange Beach by Urbanspoon, Cosmo’s is intimate and relaxed. Known for its fresh seafood and excellent sushi, Cosmo’s serves some of the best gumbo on the coast. Ask for a seat on the patio where you can enjoy live music while you dine. Save room for dessert. The peanut butter pie is amazing
  • If you have a taste for Cajun cooking, Louisiana Lagniappe is the place to go. Located on the Orange Beach waterfront, this is a great date night spot. Popular for its fabulous seafood, the restaurant’s crab-stuffed Oysters Lagniappe and seafood bisque are local favorites
  • Categories: Food


On April - 13 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, just announced the winners of its inaugural 2011 Travelers’ Choice® Beaches awards. Top beach spots were named in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Mexico, and Central and South America. iTrip.net features three of the top 10 destinations, including North Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach and Clearwater.

When people think of beaches in the U.S., expectations may have them guessing that California or Florida might hold the honors of the top rated beaches, but it’s actually Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that was named number 1 in the list of the Top 25 Beaches in the United States.

The Trip Advisor list explains, “Myrtle Beach boasts some of the best beaches on America’s East Coast, which are distinguished by panoramic views of the Atlantic, calm waters and soft white sand. Ideal for swimming and sunbathing, Myrtle Beach also offers plenty of family attractions, making it perfect for beach-lovers with kids.”

While Florida does hold six of the top ten spots, including Panama City Beach at number 3 and Clearwater at number 6, California makes a couple of appearances while other states like New Jersey, Hawaii, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, Delaware and Texas have their own representations in the Top 25. 

Unlike any other honors, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions from travelers around the world.

On the list of the Top 25 Beaches in the World, Myrtle Beach comes in sixth behind such world-renowned vacation spots as the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Philippines, Aruba, Jamaica and Mexico.

Want to find out more about Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach and Clearwater? iTrip.net offers great Panama City Beach rentals and Clearwater, Florida condos.

Categories: News


On March - 30 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The results of TripAdvisor’s inaugural Travelers’ Choice Family Awards for the Top 10 best family vacation destinations were recently announced; and American families voted overwhelmingly for sun, sand and fun. Sunny Florida dominated the Top 10 listings with more family-friendly vacation destinations than any other state. Millions of unbiased reviews posted to TripAdvisor by vacationing families were tabulated to determine the 2011 Travelers’ Choice Family Award winners. Vacation destinations were evaluated on outstanding attractions, family-friendly activities and affordable vacation rentals.

The sun-drenched, sugar-sand beaches that line Florida’s scenic Gulf Coast put Destin, Florida and Panama City, Florida in the running for favorite family vacation spots. But it was the Gulf Coast’s exciting variety of family-pleasing activities and wealth of affordable vacation rentals that earned these two vacation playgrounds inclusion on the list of America’s most family-friendly vacation destinations. Located in the heart of Florida’s famed Emerald Coast, Destin was also recognized as one of the Top 10 award-winning Great U.S. Destinations to Discover. Panama City earned rave reviews as an award-winning amusement park destination.

 

Mouse ears and wizard wands put Orlando, Florida on the “must-do” list of most American families and made it a top family pick for award-winning amusement parks,. But it was Orlando’s location at the heart of Central Florida’s outstanding variety of family-pleasing activities and eclectic attractions, coupled with a great selection of Orlando vacation rentals priced to fit any budget that U.S. families said kept them coming back to Orlando year after year.

Despite a lack of sandy beaches, the natural beauty of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities and a heaping helping of down-home fun made Gatlinburg, Tennessee at the entrance to Smoky Mountain National Park and neighboring Pigeon Forge, home of Dollywood, favorite family vacation destinations. Although each town has its own unique personality, both were named to the Top 10 list of Great U.S. Destinations to Discover.

Discover one of these family-friendly vacation destinations for yourself. Book your vacation rental at iTrip today.

Categories: News


On March - 29 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Photo courtesy of www.florabama.com

“Steamed or baked?” is the question typically asked when you order fish. But from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, “How far can you throw it?” is the question you’ll have to answer if you join the fun at what locals and Gulf Shores/Orange Beach vacationers claim is the Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party. Definitely not your typical beach event, the highlight of the weekend festivities is the Annual Interstate Mullet Toss, now in its 27th year.

A short drive from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation rentals, thousands of vacationers and local residents flock to Perdido Key for the wacky weekend festival every year, and hundreds sign up to get their hands around a real fish and see how far they can throw it. Standing on the Florida side of the state line, contestants square off on the beach to see who can toss their fish the farthest into Alabama. But fish aren’t the only thing tossed around at the festival. Gulf Shores vacationers can test their strength with the beer keg toss or their skill at beach volleyball. The festival offers plenty of food, fun, music and beach time for all who attend. It’s a cash-only weekend, so hit the ATM before you go. Proceeds benefit local Gulf Coast charities and youth organizations.

  

The much-anticipated state line tradition is hosted by Perdido Key’s legendary Flora-Bama Lounge & Package. Located right on the Florida-Alabama state line, “The Bama” is a Gulf Coast cultural landmark and vacation “must do” that offers a variety of eclectic bars, great food and live music. Gulf life doesn’t get much better than sipping a Bushwacker, The Bama’s signature drink, while slurping down a side of fresh-shucked oysters!

If you want to experience the 27th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party, book your Gulf Shores or Orange Beach vacation rental now on iTrip.com.

Categories: Events


On March - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The white, sugar sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama beckon vacationers. A long stroll along the water’s edge is the perfect place to get some sand between your toes. Gentle white-frothed waves lap softly along miles of wide, gorgeous beaches just steps from luxurious vacation condominiums. A vacationers’ paradise, Gulf Shores, Alabama, is the perfect blend of relaxing tropical luxury and charming southern hospitality.

The best way to enjoy Gulf Shores is to rent a fully-equipped vacation condominium right on the beach. The new 17-story high San Carlos provides a peaceful oasis in the center of the action. Spacious rooms feature their own private balcony with breathtaking views of the Gulf. Sip a cocktail while lounging on your balcony or head for the beach where you can rent wave runners, beach chairs and umbrellas. Take a dip in the ocean or enjoy the large, beach-side outdoor pool.

When the kids get tired of building sand castles, cruise into town for a rollicking ride down a giant waterslide or rent some horses for an invigorating trot down the beach. Ride to the top of the Ferris wheel for a bird’s eye view of the area (spectacularly lit at night). Indulge in a day of old-fashioned fun at Adventure Island where you’ll find rides, arcade games, mini-golf, go-karts, laser tag, bumper boats and much more. Don’t miss the nightly volcano eruption!

For an unforgettable evening, take a dolphin dinner. You’ll enjoy wonderful food and a spectacular view of the coast as you track after playful dolphin pods. Sport fishing, hiking, biking, water sports and golf are other popular Gulf Shores pastimes. If you’re a golfer, make sure you pack your clubs. The Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area is a top-rated golf destination and home of 16 championship golf courses.

Search for Gulf Shores/Orange Beach vacation rentals today!

Categories: Vacation Guides


On February - 23 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The perfect combination of sun and fun, Florida’s panhandle is lined with idyllic sugar-sand beaches and crowded with fabulous restaurants and fun things to do. From Santa Rosa to Panama City, Florida’s Gulf Coast is dotted with one delightful Panama City vacation rental after another like gleaming seashells scattered on the beach. The towns along what Floridians call “the big bend” offer a delightful potpourri of vacation styles to choose from. Each town seems to have a personality all its own and each offers visitors unique delights beyond the Gulf Coast’s universally gorgeous sandy beaches.

Vacationers to Florida’s panhandle will want to return again and again to sample the various delights of the Gulf Coast’s many vacation spots.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway at the luxurious Beachside Villas on relaxing Santa Rosa Beach or a week of family fun at the Destin West Beach & Bay Resort in family-friendly Fort Walton Beach or want to be at the center of Spring Break action at 1812 Shores of Panama in Panama City,  you’ll find an outstanding selection of Beaches of South Walton vacation rentals or Panama City vacation rentals.

Vacationers will find the largest and most eclectic selection of things to do, shopping, restaurants and nightlife centered on the panhandle’s “Emerald Coast” from Fort Walton Beach to Destin. If you want to experience the pristine, natural beauty of the area, pack a picnic, rent some snorkeling gear and take a day trip to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park on the eastern edge of the coastal barrier islands. A quiet oasis of breathtaking natural beauty, the park attracts more than 300 species of birds and offers picture postcard views, miles of white sugary sand, snorkeling and hiking. End your day with a glass of wine on the beach while you watch the sun melt slowly into the ocean. Vacationing doesn’t get much better than that!

Search for Panama City Beach condo rentals, Panama City vacation rentals or Beaches of South Walton vacation rentals today!

Categories: Vacation Guides


On October - 25 - 2010 4 COMMENTS

The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Concerts for the Coast has had a nice, smooth run; now it’s time for the 2010 grand finale. But, before we get into the details for the close out concert of the year, here’s a quick look back at how it all began.

The Concerts for the Coast series was created to promote tourism and awareness along Alabama’s gorgeous Gulf Coast, a place known for its diamond white, sandy beaches and southern hospitality. Funded by BP PLC, the company who is responsible for the nastiest oil spill accident in U.S. history, Concerts for the Coast has, without question, accomplished what it set out to do.

The first band to headline the Concerts for the Coast series was none other than Jimmy Buffett and Friends, and I’m sure we don’t have to tell you just how large the crowd turned out to be. Following Buffett, was Hank Williams Jr. and Gretchen Wilson, and just last weekend, on Friday, October 15th and Sunday, October 17th, Bon Jovi, with Green River Ordinance, and Brad Paisley, with Little Big Town, rocked the stages of the Gulf Shores. The Bon Jovi/Paisley combination may have been the best yet.

Notice that we did say, yet.

Closing out the Concerts for the Coast series will be country legend, and Grammy award winner Alan Jackson. Jackson will headline the October 30, 2010 concert with special guest and country new comer, Chris Young. This FREE Saturday night concert will be located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, and will be an appreciation concert for the local community, presented by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism (CVB). According to the Concerts for the Coast website, tickets became available for locals on October 11, and will continue to be given away while they are still available.

This concert is particularly interesting because it’s occurring one night before Halloween – believe us when we tell you, the Gulf Shores will be full of Halloween thrills and chills. But, it’s also your last chance to be a part of history, while enjoying the beautiful beaches in the Gulf Shores of Alabama. So, come on down and enjoy the last ride.

Here at iTrip.net, we have several Orange Beach condo rentals with spectacular balcony views, which will allow you and your friends to look directly down at the concert from above. These condo rentals are great for capturing photos at just the right angle.

To follow updates, contests, and news, be sure to check out the Concerts for the Coast Facebook page.

We know we’re going to be there, and we hope to see you too!

Categories: Events


On October - 15 - 2010 15 COMMENTS

Gulf Drilling Ban liftedOn Tuesday, October 12, 2010, the Obama administration officially lifted the ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. But, they also said that “it could take weeks for companies to win regulatory approval to go back to work there,” according to an article published by WSJ.com.

The lifting of the ban, which was ordered not long after the April 20th explosion of a BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, has come six weeks earlier than expected, stated the article. And, it’s caused a major controversy on all sides of the spectrum.

Ironically, the controversial ban comes at a time when congressional elections are looming over head. “Republicans and some Gulf Coast Democrats had attacked the ban on drilling in water deeper than 500 feet for putting thousands of jobs at risk, at a time when the region’s economy was already in distress,” said WSJ.com reporters in the article. However, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made it clear in a statement about the ending of the moratorium that, “rig operators must demonstrate they can comply with a lengthy list of new safety regulations designed to prevent a repeat of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.”

For the most part, political parties and rig workers seem only to be concerned with how cost, jobs, budgets, and other monetary issues will affect them. (Exceptions to this rule are political guru’s such as the aforementioned Ken Salazar, and others like him in Obama’s administration.)

The horrible part about all of this is that the blame game continues to go on, making our politicians look like a bunch of precocious little children. As a nation, we Americans understand that a large majority of our finances come from oil and gas wells, but what good are those oil and gas wells going to do us if the proper precautions aren’t put in place? The BP oil rig explosion which killed 11 people, and made a place in the history books as the worst offshore oil spill accident in the U.S., cost billions of dollars, nearly made some of our wildlife extinct, and destroyed communities.

The message that doesn’t seem to be getting across, is that this isn’t just a political game – it’s also very personal. Retailers, fisheries, and tourism were severely affected, especially in areas of Florida and the Gulf Shores of Alabama, where they rely heavily on all of these things to keep their economies thriving.

Along with tourism, of course, comes vacation rentals, and many vacation rental owners and vacation rental management companies were effected as well. Fortunately, here at iTrip.net, we were not as seriously affected as others – but, we fully empathize with those who were.

Thankfully, the Gulf Coast has the people, their communities, and a flock of environmental groups fighting the good fight.

Categories: News


On September - 23 - 2010 2 COMMENTS

Late summer and fall seem to be the ripe seasons for seafood festivals. Just a few weeks ago, Destin, FL held its annual Seafood Festival, and Panama City Beach, FL hosted its annual Lobster Fest.

Now, it’s the Gulf Shores turn! Every fall for four days, the Gulf Shores celebrates its Annual National Shrimp Festival. This year, the Gulf Shores grandest party will be taking place October 7-10, 2010, and best of all, admission is free!

Sponsored by Zatarains and the Alabama Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, the Gulf Shores Annual National Shrimp Festival brings over 200,000 people to Alabama’s coast from all over the globe, where its main focus, is of course, shrimp. The shrimp is prepared in every imaginable way possible, and plenty of other seafood is readily available, as well as your traditional festival foods, like funnel cake, ice cream, and kettle corn.

The National Shrimp Fest also features over 300 vendors, some of which include fine arts, handmade arts & crafts, and a specialized retail marketplace. The arts and crafts area is as colorful as a box of Crayola Crayons, and the skillfully hand crafted items are often made with a coastal theme, which make for great vacation rental and home accessories.

There’s also live music with back to back rock-n-roll coming from two different stages- and, if you’re one of the countless people who adore sand castles and their art form, than you’re going to love the sand castle/sand sculpting contest. The contest has divisions for both children and adults, so be ready to bring your shovels and best sand sculpting skills. Here’s a hint – a luxurious waterfront condo is the perfect location for brushing up on your sand castle skills.

The Gulf Shores Annual National Shrimp Festival is definitely a family affair. So what are you waiting for? Get the family together and come on down to the beautiful Gulf Shores of Alabama for a one of a kind shrimp fest!

iTrip.net has plenty of vacation rentals in the Gulf Shores for you and your family. We hope to see you there!

For a full schedule of events, visit the Annual National Shrimp Festival website, sponsored by the Alabama Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Categories: Events