Posts for North America Category

Casino Resorts: A Brief History

North America - Ross French - March 4, 2017

Casinos today are more than just games of chance. They’re the biggest hotels, concert venues, theaters and offer a multitude of experiences. A symbol of entertainment and indulgence, modern casino resorts, complete with over-the-top architecture and flamboyance, are on the bucket list of most travel junkies.

While no one is sure where it all started, there are references to games of chance all through history. It was in the early 17th century in Italy that a venue was created that could be remotely associated with the casino of today. Soon such venues appeared in several places in Europe, but it was America that gave the world its first casinos as we know them today, in the form of gambling saloons.

The first few casinos were found in Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans during the early 20th century. However, it was only in 1931, when gambling was legalized, that everything changed forever. Casinos have evolved a lot since then and we now have casino holidays that are widely popular and there are entire cities that are totally devoted to it.


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Universal Studios – Must Visit Attraction for All

North America, Travel Blog - Ross French - December 20, 2016

Universal Studios, Orlando is a world-famous vacation destination with production studios, exciting rides, a water park, film sets and onsite luxury hotels. Situated within the Universal Orlando Resort area, the site is home to four exciting entertainment experiences in one location and includes more than 40 thrilling rides and 3D shows. It makes for an ideal destination for a family vacation. However, to make the experience hassle free, it’s wiser to get your tickets online before you go! Continue Reading

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3 Fantastic Things To Do In New York City

North America, Travel Blog - Ross French - July 21, 2016

New York City

There is something about New York City. It is one of the most memorable cities in the entire world. Known for its bright lights, vibrant energy, and the endless list of things to experience…there is a reason so many people long to visit. Is The Big Apple on your wish list? Have you been dreaming of an unforgettable vacation? Here are three fantastic things to do on a trip to New York City.

Do Some Serious Shopping. There is one thing we all love to do on vacation: go souvenir shopping. It is exciting to bring unique gifts home for friends and family. Oh, and splurge on ourselves a bit, too! Not to worry. There is no shortage of great shopping in NYC. In fact, the shopping in New York is legendary. There is absolutely everything to choose from. Whether you have an unlimited budget, something more modest, or fall somewhere in between. You can find unbelievable places to get your shop on. The city is full of traditional souvenir shops as well as mid-range stores (think Forever 21, the Disney Store, and other Times Square drawing cards). Then there are the high-end shops. 5th Avenue has it all. Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Armani, and Prada, to name a few! Whoever you are shopping for – and whatever your budget may be – New York City has what you want.3 Fantastic Things To Do In New York City 2

Go And See a Broadway Production. It simply isn’t a trip to The Big Apple without seeing a Broadway performance. It doesn’t matter if you choose a play or a musical…. the experience is one that cannot be missed. There are many different performances to choose from at the moment. (Hamilton is easily the most popular. Not to mention the hardest to get tickets for.) So take a look at the scheduled time of your trip. Then determine what is playing and book some tickets of your own. On a budget? That doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your Broadway experience. Just head to one of the many discount ticket boots in the city. They sell cheap tickets for same day performances. The selection might be a tad limited but it’s a great way to save some cash.3 Fantastic Things To Do In New York City 3

Check Out The Iconic Sights. It doesn’t end there! Your trip to New York City should also be packed with things to see. There are so many incredible sights! Like the iconic Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is even the famous restaurant exterior from Seinfeld. Yes, the city boasts architecture, history, entertainment, and so much more. That is what makes New York such an exciting city to visit. You can customize your trip to match your interests. Just be sure to add Central Park to your travel itinerary. It allows you to slow down a little. The expansive grounds, large trees, and breathtaking sights will add to your vacation. Not to mention the Central Park Zoo, the restaurants, and the John Lennon memorial. Walk around and fall in love with New York City.

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Why You Need to Visit Oklahoma

Destinations, North America, Travel Blog - Ross French - May 15, 2014

It’s springtime and your backpack has never looked more appealing. Winter has decided to take a break for most of us and now it’s got you thinking of the places left untraveled. To quench that travel thirst, there is no time like the present than to see what is going on in Oklahoma. Now before you get incredulous, hear me out. Oklahoma has got a lot of cool things going on, and not many people are in on it. So do yourself a favor and forgo the cliché vacation spots and give the Sooner State a whirl. Here are a few reasons that will make you purchase your ticket faster than you can say the state capital.


Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC are arguably the best young NBA team within the league. Made up of a team with great work ethic and good hearts OKC has done many charities and is a pillar of their community. Last year Kevin Durant even put up $1 million to donate to the Oklahoma tornado disaster. Now that’s a class act. Fun fact, Oklahoma City Thunder made it to the NBA Championships a mere 3 years after moving from Seattle. They had one of the youngest team to compete in the finals, ever. Currently they are duking it out with the LA Clippers in the playoffs with their star player Kevin Durant being named MVP.  Seeing them in action during the playoffs alone should make you want to take trip to Oklahoma, like yesterday.

Oklahoma boasts an incredibly diverse terrain. Lakes, prairies, mesas, and the like are abundant and are guaranteed to take your breath away. Plus this would be a great time to polish those photography skills you’ve slightly abandoned due to working so much. Dust off your camera and be one with nature in Oklahoma. If you want to do more than sightsee, there are a ton of wilderness activities for you to enjoy. Fishing and hunting are two popular pastimes in the Sooner state. Be sure to check out the Wildlife Department to get the ins-and-outs of everything you will need to know on regulations. Rare animals also call Oklahoma home. Creatures such as the roseate spoonbill, purple gallinule, and white ibis all reside in this wondrous place. I don’t know about you, but nothing beats being able to tell friends you have seen animals that they could not have even dreamed up. It will definitely give you a good story to tell down the road.

Local Events
You can explore local Oklahoma events and get the amazing opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself. You can learn a great deal about the Native American history of Oklahoma. Packed full of festivals, dancing, casinos, and a variety of lodging, this is an experience you and your travel mates will be sure to appreciate. Not only are there wonderful cultural activities, but also Chickasaw Nation is a popular venue to see some of the most treasured artists perform in addition to the local talent. Their event calendar is always bursting at the seams so you can never go wrong. There is no doubt that you will find some grand adventure to take part in at Chickasaw Nation.

It’s that time of year where the traveling bug is at it again. You do not want to stay in the same place and who can blame you? The weather has stopped being bipolar all over the country for the most part. It’s time to spread your transient wings and find a new place to explore. Oklahoma is a great state, though at times it can get a bad rap. Underneath it all there is so much to see and do. It is home to one of the best NBA teams in the country. The natural beauty of Oklahoma cannot be compared, as its geography is very diverse. The local events are infused with its rich Native American culture and you can get a sense of the State’s immeasurable history. Traveling to Oklahoma is a decision you will not soon regret as it offers a different and unforgettable experience that you could not get anywhere else. Lastly, Oklahoma is the home state of Brad Pitt; need I say more?

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Wildlife in Florida

North America - Ross French - December 14, 2013

There are lots of reasons people head to the Sunshine State for their holidays from the great beaches and stunning attractions to the good old fashioned southern style comfort food. But there are a whole host of amazing wildlife and rare inhabitants to be discovered here too.

FL Waters are filled with bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Photo Credit

If you fancy exploring Florida’s wilder side, then here are some great places to nature’s curiosities in their natural habitats.

Big Cat Rescue

There really isn’t a better place to encounter nature’s biggest felines that the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. The park aims to protect lions, tigers and other exotic cats from being held in captivity or being otherwise mistreated.

Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Tampa, FL. FLICKR Photo Credit

Only a 30 minute drive from St. Petersburg, a trip to the huge cat sanctuary is definitely worth it. You’ll see a range of cats from leopards and tigers to bobcats and lynx. Unlike a zoo, the sanctuary prides itself on being an educational experience for all visitors. You can also take guided tours of the sanctuary, including a night tour – a great way to see these fascinating animals in the wild.

Manatee Springs State Park

Northwest of Orlando is home to Florida’s hotspot for wild Manatees. These curious looking sea creatures tend to populate the area in winter, swimming up from the cooler Gulf of Mexico into the warmer headspring.

Manatee just chillin’ in Blue Spring State Park FLICKR Photo Credit

You can dive in for a closer look at these coy sea creatures otherwise you can stay on the viewing platform, or take a ride out in a boat. Usually joined by perch, turtles and flounder, there’s plenty of marine life to discover here.

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge

June and July is the perfect time to visit the 20 mile stretch of shoreline to see loggerhead turtles nesting and laying hundreds of eggs on the beach. You can join a three-hour guided tour of the beach to learn more about the habits of these fascinating creatures.

A sea turtle egg looking like earth rolls along the beach FLICKR Photo Credit

It’s also likely that you’ll see up to four other species of these prehistoric creatures. Up to 18,000 of the creatures have been known to inhabit the shoreline for nesting between May and October.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Located near Cape Canaveral and only a stone’s throw from the Kennedy Space Centre, this protected refuge is home to Manatees and sea turtles, as well as American alligators, bald eagles and 15 endangered species.

The ideal place for wildlife spotting in this 220 square mile area is the Black Point Wildlife Drive – a seven-mile route which takes you through a range of environments, allowing you to stop and take a closer look at the wildlife.

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