Green City Getaways

With April having two dates that recognize the importance of taking care of our Earth (Earth Day and Arbor Day), it makes sense to plan a trip to visit a Green City this month (or in the future).

Cherry tree blossoms on the waterfront in Portland, OR.

According to treehugger.com, there are several things to take into consideration in determining how “green” a city is. Those include efficient public transportation, quality public space, plentiful parks, and the availability of bike lanes as well as composting and recycling programs. One other interesting item is whether a city offers “good green fun,” which means farmer’s markets, plenty of organic fare served up in the local eating and drinking establishments and music festivals and outdoor events that feature solar-powered stages and valet parking for bicycles. There are several more “green definers” and combined that’s a lot for a city to tackle, yet slowly but surely, more and more of our urban areas around the country are hitting the mark when it comes to being green. Additionally, there are many different groups providing different rankings for these cities, but some consistently make the grade across the board.

  1. San Diego, California: San Diego’s nickname is “America’s Finest City”, but it can also boast being one of America’s greenest cities. San Diego is home to Balboa Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. Other green things about this southern California city include dozens of weekly farmer’s markets, a major “Farm to Fork” movement in the dining industry, a variety of public transportation including trolleys, shuttles, and pedi-cabs, and plenty of opportunities for green fun including kayaking, mountain biking, and surfing.

Book a cabin or cottage stay at Pio Pico or Oakzanita Springs for a San Diego Green Getaway.

Tiny House Savannah at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, OR.
  1. Portland, Oregon: With over 90,000 acres of green space and a top-notch biking/walking trail system, Portland is definitely eco-friendly. In fact, they have the highest rate of workers biking to the office than any other U.S. city. They were also one of the first cities to ban the use of plastic bags. For green space, visitors and residents alike need to look no further than the city’s Forest Park, a 5200-acre urban forest, featuring hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, and plenty of greenery!

Book a stay at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village for a Portland Green Getaway.

Cozy cabin Yukon Trails in Lyndon Station, WI.
  1. Madison, Wisconsin: Did you know that the man behind Earth Day was from Wisconsin? Gaylord Nelson, who served as both governor and senator of the state was not only a politician, but also an avid environmentalist, calling upon the citizens of America to bring awareness to problems with the environment. So naturally, it makes sense that Madison would be a green city – it’s in the genes! Madison consistently ranks as a green city thanks to its abundance of green space – from plenty of city parks to acres of lakes and miles of biking and hiking trails. Madison is home to more bikes than cars and the city is very walkable. The city has more farmer’s markets than you can shake a cucumber at, and in fact, Saturday on the Square, an event that features more than 250 vendors, is a popular destination for visitors and Mad-Town residents like.

Book a cabin stay at Yukon Trails for a Madison Green Getaway.

Lake Eola Park in Orlando, FL.
  1. Orlando, Florida: While green space is not as abundant as in some of the other green cities, Orlando makes the green grade thanks to its continued efforts and eye to the future when it comes to being, and staying, green. With goals like a 40% city-wide tree canopy coverage by 2040, the One Person One Tree initiative to help expand the urban forest, and a host of programs to protect the ecosystems found here, Orlando is definitely putting a green foot forward. And to clarify, they have plenty of green space to the tune of more than 100 parks, plus plenty of lakes and wetlands.
Colorful cottage stay at Tropical Palms in Kissimmee, FL.

Book a colorful cottage stay at Tropical Palms for an Orlando Green Getaway.

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5 Things to do in… Orlando, Florida

Colorful cottages at Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee, FL.

When someone says they’re traveling to Orlando, the most likely assumption would be that the trip is to visit the theme-park laden city in Central Florida to enjoy all those attractions. And, that may well be the case, especially now that Disney World has reopened after COVID-19 restrictions temporarily closed the popular Florida attraction. But for those who want to experience a theme-park free, and socially distanced, trip to sunny Orlando, we’ve got five things to check out. To plan your adventure, visit wildfloridaairboats.com.

  1. If you want to feel like you’re on safari in the wilds of Africa, consider a trip through the Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park in nearby Kenansville. Enjoy the show from the comfort of your own car as you drive a two-mile path through the 85-acre park that is home to exotic animals like zebra, giraffes, oryx, and Watusi cattle.
  1. What better way to enjoy the outdoors than surrounded by beautiful blooms of roses, camelias, azaleas, and a crazy variety of tropical plants? Set over 50 acres, the Harry P. Leu Gardens has over 10 individual gardens including a Butterfly Garden, a Rose Garden, a Tropical Stream Garden, and the Idea Garden, which contains 10 different garden designs within the garden. Don’t miss the Garden’s collection of camellias which is the largest documented camellia collection in Eastern North America. Visit leugardens.org for more information.
Orlando is home to many floral and butterfly varieties within the Harry P. Leu Gardens.
  1. If your trips are all about Instagram, you might like the slightly quirky, yet super trendy attraction called the Wall Crawl.  It’s not a museum or a historic site, but your photos may go down in history. Basically, it’s an installation of 20 walls with a variety of backdrops and vignettes that change seasonally and are there for the pure purpose of taking Instagram shots. There are holiday settings, beachy scenes, pop art, and other whimsical backdrops. And while it is an indoor shoot, COVID-19 protocols are in place and reservations are required. Check out wallcrawl.com for all the deets.
  1. Bike the West Orange Trail, a 22-mile paved rail-trail that runs through several towns, The Oakland Nature Preserve, and the Tilden Outpost, which includes a lovely butterfly garden. There are promises of wildlife glimpses, historic buildings, and plenty of Florida sunshine and fresh air. For specifics about the trail, visit bikeorlando.net/west-orange-trail.
An Airboat ride down Shingle Creek in Kissimmee, FL.
  1. You don’t need the theme parks to find thrill rides in the Orlando area. We’ve got a few unique, and certainly thrilling, ways to discover Orlando. Consider an off-road adventure aboard an ATV or an amphibious Mucky Duck as you explore acres and acres of countryside (revolutionoffroad.com) or take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride and view Florida from above on an approximate 45-60 minute ride (orlandoballoonrides.com). Tour the swamps and see the gators on an airboat ride (spiritoftheswamp.com) or get up close and personal with the trees in a soaring day of fun at the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park in Kissimmee (orlandotreetrek.com). 
Cottage at Orlando RV Resort in Clermont, FL

Consider a colorful cottage rental at Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee for your home base. The roomy cottages have kitchens with amenities that include refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, and coffee makers. Orlando RV Resort in Clermont also has cottage rentals which make great accommodations for your Orlando adventures.

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Glamping Thanksgiving

Bragas Family • Red Rock State Park • Arizona
Red Rock State Park • Arizona

Thanksgiving is all about gathering friends and family near and being thankful for all your blessings. Why not put a twist on the tradition this year by gathering together to go glamping?

Since it’s the holidays, it makes sense to kick it up a notch by staying in accommodations that are a bit comfier, photogenic, and where you can cook up a great meal with ease. Consider group rentals for all of the adorable tiny homes available at our tiny house villages in Leavenworth (WA), Verde Valley (AZ), Sunshine Key (FL), or Mt. Hood (OR). Another option is adjacent cottages at Tropical Palms (FL) or Palm Springs (CA). Or, be thankful for all that nature has to offer and get adjacent tent or RV sites. Either way, everyone’s all together and, of course, the more the merrier.

@adventuresonwheels
IG: @adventuresonwheels

Once you’ve settled in, get outside and be thankful for the great outdoors. Take a hike – top fall hikes include Florida’s Seminole-Wekiva Trail outside Orlando, which is a 14-mile, well-marked trail; Araby Trail in Palm Springs is about a 2-hour hike with gorgeous desert views, including a glimpse of Bob Hope’s former home; or Lower Chimney Rock Trail in Sedona, which takes you to Chimney Rock through Arizona’s spectacular Red Rock State Park. Other outdoor activities can include the Sedona Turkey Trot, Orlando’s Turkey Trot in Avalon Park or Portland’s Turkey Trot at the Zoo, which are all set for Thursday, November 28.

Mt. Hood • Welches, OR
Mt. Hood • Welches, OR

After your hike or Turkey Trot, be thankful for the bountiful meal you can enjoy with these simple ideas. Instead of a full-blown turkey dinner with all the trimmings, make up a variety of food boards ranging from veggies and cheese, to meats and breads or delicious dessert offerings. Or, plan the perfect potluck in advance by having each guest pick from a hat and bring whatever food is marked on their pick. The options should include an appetizer, veggie dishes, simple main meal options which can include stuffed peppers or one-pan dinners, easy desserts, and, of course, a seasonal libation. Or, let someone else do the cooking and consider the Thanksgiving Day Dinner at Yosemite National Park, which offers several feast options in their dining rooms and helps keep your yurt guest-free, or enjoy a meal at the historic Timberline Lodge, just a few miles from the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village.

Verde Valley • Cottonwood, AZ
Verde Valley • Cottonwood, AZ

Be thankful for local attractions and explore your surroundings. Check out the schedule for Cannon Beach, Oregon’s Haystack Holidays which include Mimosa Madness, a Holiday Wreath Making Class, Christmas concerts, and holiday light displays. Visit www.cannonbeach.org to see all the fun that’s planned. Tampa’s Busch Gardens will have a Christmas Town from early November to early January that features thousands of twinkling lights, holiday decorations, a sing-along train and a variety of holiday shows (www.buschgardens.com/tampa has all the details).

Inside a Tiny House
Inside of Zoe, a tiny house at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village

Visit www.PetiteRetreats.com to book your glamping accommodations and make this a unique Thanksgiving celebration you’ll remember for years to come!

Spirits in the Night, or Day if you prefer!

If you’re looking for a spirited adventure this fall but haunted houses and ghost tours aren’t really your thing, consider seeking spirits of a different kind. We’re talking about the kind of spirits you can drink, and you don’t need complicated equipment to find them. Simply check out these distilleries below to find the kinds of spirits that will keep you in good spirits!

Trinity River Distillery, Fort Worth TX:  Housed in an historic landmark dating back to 1913, this distillery uses natural rainwater in their distilling process. Tours are just $10 per person and include samples of the distillery’s products which include Silver Star Vodka, Silver Star Whiskey and Silver Star Texas Honey Liquor. After the tour, enjoy some specialty drinks at the bar like the Silver Stargarita, the Texas Honey Mule, or the Toxic Whiskey. www.trinityriverdistillery.com

(Cozy cabins at Bay Landing are less than 50 miles from the distillery)

Cannon Beach Distillery, Cannon Beach, OR:  The spirits produced here are about as homegrown as you can get. Every liquor produced is done so on site – from fermentation to bottling. Considered an artisanal distillery, the batches are small and not mass produced so a trip to the tasting room is the only way you are likely to taste what they have to offer. Sadly, they are closing up shop within the year, but they are still open and plan to release four whiskeys before year-end. www.cannonbeachdistillery.com

(Cabins and yurts at Pacific City are about an hour from Cannon Beach)

Sound Spirits Distillery, Seattle, WA: Located under the Ballard Bridge in Seattle, Sound Spirits offers tours of the distillery which produces some unique liquor varieties including aquavit and herbal liqueurs, as well as gin and whiskey. www.drinksoundspirits.com

(Cabins and yurts at Tall Chief is about 35 minutes from the distillery)

Lost Spirits Distillery, Los Angeles, CA:  According to reviews, this is more than just a tour and tasting, and is instead akin to an adult version of the tour portrayed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tours are $37 per person and reservations are required, but the experience is well worth it. A mix of science and spirits with a special “ride” to reach the tour are all part of the fun, not to mention the whiskey and rum tastings. www.lostspirits.net

Palm Springs Oasis
Colorful cottages at Palm Springs, less than two hours from Lost Spirits Distillery.

Goleta Red Distilling Company, Goleta, CA:  Rum is the spirit of choice here with three different varieties as well as a rum liqueur, but they also have gin and a “Fiesta” Agave Spirit, too! The tasting room is open Wednesdays through Sundays and you can also enjoy cocktails on the patio at this very welcome addition to the fun found in Santa Barbara. www.goletared.com

Rancho Oso
Cozy cabins, teepees, and covered wagons at Rancho Oso are less than 30 miles from Goleta Red Distilling Company.

Florida Distillery Trail, Various Locations:  Follow the Florida Distillery Trail which runs across and around the state offering roughly 15 distilleries to visit. These distilleries offer everything from rum to whiskey to moonshine. Florida Cane Distillery, in Tampa, offers not only tours, but also a Distillery After Dark option where you can mix your own signature cocktail or a 3-day Whiskey Workshop that offers insight to whiskey making (www.floridacane.com). In Sarasota, award-winning Siesta Key rum flows at the Drum Circle Distillery where tours are free and the tasting room is open seven days a week (www.siestakeyrum.com). Down in the Keys, enjoy a free tour at Key West First Legal Rum Distillery (keywestlegalrum.com) or visit (by appointment only) Key West Distilling which offers craft distilled rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey (www.keywestdistilling.com).

Tropical Palms
Colorful cottages from Tropical Palms, about one hour from Loggerhead Distillery along the Florida Distillery Trail near Orlando.

(Petite Retreats locations near the Tampa and Sarasota distilleries include Tropical Palms, Orlando, and Peace River while Sunshine Key is near the Key West locations)

Spring Break in Orlando & Kissimmee

Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL

Looking for a way to get away this spring? Look no further than Orlando & Kissimmee, Florida! While the Orlando & Kissimmee areas are known for the theme parks, there’s so much more to explore in this area. Here are some of our favorite ways to explore the region in the spring!  

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Until June 3, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival brings the kind of joy only spring can bring! During the International Flower & Garden Festival, Epcot is positively bursting with all the colors of the rainbow from over “30 million blooms.” While the flowers and garden displays are certainly the main events, this year’s 25th annual festival also features concerts, special programs and demonstrations, new topiaries and gardens, food specials, and more! Admission to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is included in your day pass for Walt Disney World®. Be sure to visit the Epcot website for more information: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/  

Lake Eola Park 

Lake Eola Park is a perfect daytime excursion while enjoying spring break in Orlando. Located in downtown Orlando, you’re in the heart of it all with lots of shops, restaurants, and bars to check out. Here, you can rent a swan-shaped paddle boat, see a concert at the Walt Disney Amphitheatre; or just relax amid the flower beds while gazing on the view of Orlando’s skyline! Remember to also check out the sculptures installed around the park by the nonprofit, See Art Orlando. These outdoor public sculptures serve to “enlighten and enrich” the park and the lives of park visitors. For more information about Lake Eola Park, visit orlando.gov. 

Ziplining Safari 

Take a zip line adventure in Kissimmee! Zip across the treetops at 25 miles an hour at Forever Florida’s Zipline Safari! Thrill seekers of all ages can strap on a helmet and swoosh across the treetops for a sensational activity you won’t soon forget! Forever Florida also offers other outdoor excursions like horseback riding and a trail buggy. For more information and to book an excursion, visit foreverflorida.com. 

Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld®

Eat your way around the world when you visit SeaWorld until May 5! Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, visitors can sample over 180 international cuisines and a huge collection of beer, wine, and spirit selections from around the world! This year, the festival has become even bigger and more diverse with new markets like Italian, Vegan, and Caribbean, and a lineup of live performances featuring bands from many genres like Latin, rock, country, and more! Just make sure to purchase a Specialty Dining Pass along with your general admission to SeaWorld® or visit seaworld.com. 

Tropical Palms Resort
Tropical Palms Resort

Stay & Play at Tropical Palms RV Resort 

Located in Kissimmee, Florida, Tropical Palms RV Resort is a hidden gem set on 69 beautiful sun-kissed acres that are perfect for your Orlando vacation getaway, especially for spring break! Approximately 4 miles from Walt Disney World Resort, 11 miles from the Orange County Convention Center, and within walking distance from Old Town and Fun Spot, Tropical Palms RV Resort is the perfect home base for your spring break adventures. 

The colorful and spacious vacation cottages at Tropical Palms are a favorite accommodation option for guests! Complete with private deck, full kitchen, flat-screen TV, sleeper sofa, and available in a variety of floor plans to accommodate any size group! If you want to bring a furry family member, Tropical Palms also has pet-friendly cottages available 

Tropical Palms Resort
Tropical Palms Resort

When you choose one of these spacious private cottages or RV sites, you will have access to the Tropical Palms pool, café, shuffleboard, bocce ball, horseshoes, live entertainment, social events, on-site laundry, and much more. Tropical Palms RV Resort makes for the perfect Central Florida spring break getaway! 

Make your reservations today and learn more on petiteretreats.com 

Sun-Kissed Fall Fun at Tropical Palms

Color is always in season at Tropical Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida thanks to the variety of colorful cottages they offer as the perfect accommodation for a fun fall getaway to the Sunshine State. Come and pick your favorite color and enjoy the resort’s amenities, peaceful vibes, and all the nearby Kissimmee and Orlando attractions.

Tropical Palms Resort | Kissimmee, Florida
Tropical Palms Resort | Kissimmee, Florida

Fall is a great time of year to enjoy the Orlando theme parks as they go into Halloween-mode with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (select evenings through October 31) and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida (select nights through November 3).
After getting some culinary inspiration at Epcot’s 23rd International Food and Wine Festival (through November 12) come back and cook up something in your cottage’s full kitchen, another great amenity found in the Tropical Palms unique retreats.

Enjoy an evening movie at Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration, a new nighttime event that shows movies at the theme park’s lagoon. Or stay home and see what’s playing at Tropical Palm’s popular Dive-In movie nights. Whichever you choose, your cottage’s private deck offers the perfect spot for an al-fresco, after-event film discussion.

Tropical Palms Resort | Kissimmee, Florida
Tropical Palms Resort | Kissimmee, Florida

If sporting events are the motivator for your Florida fall getaway, Tropical Palms is a little over an hour from Tampa Bay, home to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and just 30 minutes from Amway Center, home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Or, get some friendly competition going at Tropical Palms’ horseshoes pits, bocce, and shuffleboard courts.
A variety of colors, a variety of floor plans, a variety of things to do – Tropical Palms is just what you need to add a splash of color and fun to your fall getaway.

Make your reservations for your fall getaway at the colorful cottages at Tropical Palms RV Resort!

Colorful Cottages at Tropical Palms RV Resort

Colorful Cottages at Tropical Palms
Colorful Cottages at Tropical Palms

You’re bound to have an unforgettable resort experience when you stay in one of the colorful cottages at Tropical Palms. These bright colored cottages boast Instagram-worthy hues, inside and out all year round. With easy access to the beach, amusement parks, and all kinds of activities, you’ll find that your colorful cottage is the perfect retreat for a siesta in style. The palm-tree lined streets of Tropical Palms greet you around every corner and the Florida sunshine generously warms the guests of this tropical paradise in Kissimmee. There is plenty to do nearby! Whether you spend your days sunning and surfing at Daytona Beach or stroll down the brick-lined streets of Old Town, where there are plenty of shops and restaurants and family-friendly activities at every turn, you’re sure to fill your days with a plethora of fun. Tropical Palms is just a short distance from all the major theme parks like Disney World, Universal Theme Parks, and Sea World.

Tropical Palms
Tropical Palms

Though close to the heart of Orlando, Tropical Palms boasts its own special activities and features- watch a classic movie from the pool at the “dive-in movie,” learn a new dance or perfect your steps at our on-site dance classes, gather your team for a shuffleboard tournament, or impress your friends with your best recipe at a potluck. You’ll see that Tropical Palms is the perfect home base for your Orlando vacation!

Tropical Palms
Tropical Palms

Make your next vacation unforgettably colorful and sunny – book a reservation at Tropical Palms today!