Friday, June 29, 2012

Getaway & Relax at the Marco Island Marriott

Located on Florida's Gulf of Mexico, along 3.5 miles of tropical powder sand beaches, the newly renovated Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort Golf Club and Spa offers 727 casually luxurious rooms and suites that provide a home away from home with various amenities to make each stay as comfortable as possible.

During the resort’s recent $225 million renovations, no inch was left unturned so that the rooms would be unforgettable (yes, the beds were amazing and very difficult to leave each morning!!). Each of the guest room balconies were refreshed with floor-to-ceiling tinted windows and sleek new outdoor furniture to relax on while watching the stunning views of Marco Island and the Gulf of Mexico. The interiors of the accommodations received a facelift as well, boasting new high-definition plasma televisions and incorporating the new Marriott Bedding Package: a washable duvet with 300-thread count, triple-sheeted linens, topped with a decorative bed scarf.

At the industry accolades for this year are wonderful as Marco Island Marriott has been named #69 of the top 100 US Mainland Resort Spas on 2012 Readers' Spa Poll, Conde Nast Traveler 2012 Gold List’s World's Best Places to Stay and 2012 Certificate of Excellence Winner from TripAdvisor.

If the beautiful sandy white beaches and free-form fantasy pool aren’t enough to keep you busy, the resort offer tons of activities including: Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Tiki Tribe Day Camp, Marco Island Scenic Cycling Tour, Kid’s Game Room, Dive-in Movies, Calusa Dolphin Watch, Spa Fitness Classes, Golf and The Rookery at Marco and Hammock Bay, Hair Braiding, Parasailing, Sailing & Shelling Tour, The Rookery at Marco Golf Academy, Wave Runner Excursion and Everglades Excursion.

And where to eat?  The resort’s beach and poolside bistro and bar named Quinn’s provides a relaxed atmosphere with tropical island food, breathtaking Gulf views and spectacular Florida sunsets. We ate almost every meal here!

Erin and I had a fabulous time relaxing at the resort’s world-class, Balinese-style health spa.  From the luxurious and tranquil surroundings to the expert therapists, the spa is a can’t-miss feature of this resort.  In fact, Erin said it was the best massage she has ever gotten.  Thank you Marco Island Marriott for one relaxing Girls Getaway!  If you haven’t seen this resort lately, definitely put it on your list!  You can also follow the resort on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fourth of July Getaways - Daytime TV Show

Fourth of July Getaways - Daytime TV Show  
Looking for a festive place to celebrate the Fourth of July? The Getaway Girl® shares her top picks on the Daytime TV Show.  To watch, click here. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

London's Olympic Countdown Begins

Today marks exactly one month until the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, and the latest set of Giant Olympic Rings has been unveiled on London's Tower Bridge to mark the countdown until the Games begin.  The Rings weigh more than three tons and measure over 25 metres wide by 11.5 metres tall.  During the Games, each of London‘s famous bridges will be lit up in the evenings in a dazzling display of color.  With the increase coverage of the Games and this amazing city, it made me reminisce on my Daytime TV Show coverage of the city, as well as my trip there a few years ago.  Here's an excerpt of my trip:

“Upon arriving at Gatwick and settling into my Wandsworth area flat, I went to the neighborhood pub with my friend Andy and ordered the Bangers & Mash.  Of course these bangers didn’t disappoint, and after a few drinks, I called it a night to catch up on my sleep.

My first full day in London was spent seeing the sights aboard the Big Bus Tour (tickets can be purchased via where we saw all of London’s best attractions, such as Tower of London, The London Eye, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral (where Princess Di got married), Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, Haymarket, and (of course) Westminster Abbey (where Prince William will get married in April).  This hop on, hop off tour was a great way to see the city.  I hopped off at Hyde Park to enjoy the Winter Wonderland and get a cup of Hot Mulled Wine.  I also got off at the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels (and tons of people enjoying the ice skating rink outside.

After the sightseeing, I realized how hungry I was.  I took a north bound tube (underground) to meet my friend Sharron (a fellow travel writer I met in Montreal) and her friends in the town of Cockfosters.  We had a great dinner and then hit one of their favorite local bars, The Orange Tree, which was appropriate for a girl from Florida.  As more friends arrived, we enjoyed cocktails and laughed as they did their very best to teach me proper English jargon (i.e. swim costume). 

Everyone told me I had to check out Camden Market, so I navigated my way via public transportation to the area and met my friend, Eli, there.  He gave me a great tour of the area and told me about the history and how it has evolved over the years.  I loved checking out the “stalls” in the Stables Market that housed antiques, clothes, hat, collectibles, home goods and vintage clothes.  There was so much to see and so much I wanted to buy, but I knew my suitcase was already bursting at the seams.  One of our last stops was a boutique called Boon.  While most of the dresses were not my style, I did find one that I fell in love with.  After speaking with the clerk, I realized he didn’t just work there, but he was the owner of the store and designer.  As I paid for my new find, Boon told me that Lady Gaga always stops to see him when she’s in town and bought eight dresses (no meat) from him.

After a late lunch at Fogg’s Restaurant & Bar, I said goodbye to Eli and headed back to my flat to start the packing process.  I had an early plane to catch to Dublin the next morning.”

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Submit Your Girls Getaway Photo: Cancun

Jennifer Lickenfelt, Grand Prize Winner of the Girls Getaway Guide's 12 Days til Christmas,  submitted this photo of her fabulous Girls Getaway to Cancun.  She writes:

"Neither my sister nor I ever visited an All Inclusive (AI) Resort and were very impressed and happy at the level of attention and wonderful service we received. The bartender knew our drink order and we never had to ask for just magically appeared in front of us! We loved the ease of not having to worry about carrying cash around the resort and feeling that everything was taken care of without having sticker shock!  The pool and beach areas were kept clean and always saw the staff cleaning the public areas both inside and out. I would definitely consider an AI as a vacation destination in the future!"
PHOTO: Jennifer and her sister Kelly enjoying our dinner at The Wok, Beach Palace Resort Hotel!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Visiting Marla Wynne at HSN

Recently I had fun visiting my friend Marla Wynne on the set of HSN while she promoted her new clothing line made up of simple elegant separates (five pieces will provide over a week of clothing options and fit inside a purse). This recent line, which was inspired by almost two decades of her living in Paris, brings 'easy care, easy wear and easy elegance' to women’s wardrobe. 

HSN, Inc. is a $3 billion interactive multi-channel retailer with strong direct-to-consumer expertise and operates two business segments, HSN and Cornerstone. HSNi offers an innovative, differentiated retail experience on TV, online, via mobile, in catalogs, and in brick and mortar stores. HSN delivers a curated assortment of exclusive products and top brand names, and broadcasts live 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year, reaching approximately 96 million homes. is a top 10 most trafficked e-commerce site that creates a unique experience by leveraging content, community and commerce.

I watched Marla charm the models, and everyone at HSN gushed over her clothes (I did order the dress and necklace myself).  Marla's clothes sold out so quickly that she had to keep changing items to talk about while live on the air.  To see what is left, visit HSN. Although I had never met Marla in person, she was the most gracious and generous host and we vowed to work together...stay tuned! ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Win Free Stuff Winners Announced

Who doesn't love to WIN FREE STUFF?  Especially when it is fabulous travel prizes that you can enjoy during your next getaway.  The Win Free Stuff spring cycle is over. To see if you won the fabulous prizes below, visit the Girls Getaway Guide website.

Sex and the City Hotspots Tour From On Location Tours
Follow in the footsteps of Carrie & Co. as you visit locations from the popular TV show and movies to see where they shop, drink and dine at more than 40 locations in New York City.  Tour highlights include: a visit to the site of Carrie and Big’s wedding rehearsal dinner, hop into the Pleasure Chest where Charlotte buys her “Rabbit,” scout the bar owned by Steve and Aidan, reminisce Miranda’s embarrassing underwear moment in the Village , venture into the trendy neighborhood, MePa, where the girls frequent, pass the café where Samantha invites the girls to Abu Dhabi, get some retail therapy like Carrie & Co. at Greenwich Village boutiques, and indulge in cupcakes like when Carrie confides in Miranda about Aidan.  Two tickets.  For more information, visit
Value: $96

A “” Personalized Novel
Be the star in your own personalized romance novel!  Any couple can play the starring roles in these novels - as hero or heroine - how cool is that? With dozens of books and eBooks set in exotic locations around the world, there's something for everyone (even vampire, detective, golf and historical fiction). Our authors blend action and romance to produce fun, campy books for a one-of-a-kind gift or keepsake.  For more information, visit
Value: $126.95

Costa Rican Adventure Excursion
Desafío Adventure Company is Costa Rica's leading adventure company specializing in unique, high-quality adventure and nature activities throughout Costa Rica. Legendary "Adventure Pioneer" Suresh Krishnan started Desafío (which means "challenge" in Spanish) way back in 1992 by doing first descents on local rivers & canyons and igniting adventure tourism in the wet and wild Northern Zone.  Desafio Adventure Company is giving away an exciting adventure tour of your choice (either canyoneering or rafting) to a lucky Girls Getaway Guide fan. For more information, visit
Value: $180

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Festive Fourth of July Getaways

Looking for a festive and memorable way to spend Fourth of July this year?  Whether you are looking for the beach, boats, chowder or charm, The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl shares some of her top picks for our nation's celebration.

Wilmington, NC
Located on the southeast side of North Carolina, Wilmington is a perfect summer getaway retreat that’s surrounded by water, history and natural beauty.  It features nearly two miles of scenic Riverwalk along the historic Cape Fear River. Lose yourself in a vibrant array of locally owned shops and restaurants  as well as colorful attractions - including a thriving arts and cultural scene, riverboat cruises, and a World War II battleship. Stroll along the 230+ block National Register Historic District, brimming with Victorian-era homes and gardens. The brick paved streets of downtown take you back in time as you ride along in a horse-drawn carriage.  Its beach towns - Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach - all charm visitors and residents alike with an independent spirit and energy that nourishes and recharges the soul.
And Wilmington is the perfect site for the best family event in July. There is nothing that screams family fun and patriotism like watching fireworks over a World War II Battleship. On July 4 each year, the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, across from downtown Wilmington, proudly presents a spectacular pyrotechnic show that will knock your socks off. Already noted as one of the top places to being during the holiday, onlookers walk away with a sense of pride in their country. Before the fireworks begin at 9:05pm the streets of Wilmington come alive with band performances and vendors showcasing the best of the best this coastal town has to offer. It is an event you will never forget!

Newport, CA
Co-sponsored by City of Newport Beach, Newport Dunes Resort’s annual fireworks presentation has become one of the area’s most popular 4th of July destinations.  Located 10 miles south of Downtown Santa Ana, CA, Newport Beach is the perfect Fourth of July location for anyone who loves rock n’ roll music, beach and fun in the sun.  Tribute bands honoring these legends of rock - Bon Jovi, Heart & Journey - will take the stage from 3-9 p.m. as the Dunes carries on its half-century-plus summer tradition with all-day family fun festivities followed by one of the regions finest fireworks presentations. From 11 a.m.-7p.m., attendees can enjoy a number of fun activities including a Velcro wall, dunk tank, bungee run, cake walk, limbo contests, inflatable jumpers and bounce houses.

  Newport Dunes Resort is a 100-acre waterfront resort featuring a 386-site state-of-the-art RV park, 450-slip marina and a private waveless beach and playground that has been enjoyed by families since 1958. It is also is home to 24 mobile cottages that the public may rent. Each May, the Dunes will open up its Aquatic Fun Park and visitors can also rent kayaks, windsurfers, pedal boats, bicycles, and electric boats. 

Mt. Rushmore, SD
There is little to compare to celebrating America's Birthday under the faces of the country's most famous men.  Each year the Fourth of July or Independence Day Celebration at Mount Rushmore provides the visitor with great entertainment. During the day music is provided by live performers which are sure to please everyone. In addition there are performances along the Avenue of Flags, Military honors, a flag folding ceremony, Declaration of Independence reading, a US Air Force flyover and the monument lighting complete two days of activities.  Acclaimed as one of the 10 man-made wonders of the world, celebrating the Fourth of July here is truly a tribute to American history. You can get up close to the famous visages of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt by following the Presidential Trail. Or, you can celebrate by night, at the July 4th fireworks display. Unfortunately, there won’t be any fireworks at Mt. Rushmore this year due to the risk of wildfires, however, nearby communities in the Black Hills area will have fireworks.

Home to many of the pivotal historical moments leading to American Independence, few locations could be more patriotic. More than 200 events make up the six-day long annual Boston Harborfest (June 28-July 4) that’s celebrated in conjunction with Boston Navy Week.  The event will honor the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 with USS CONSTITUTION as the centerpiece.  Warships and military tall ships from several nations are expected to be in Boston for the festivities as there will be a Parade of Ships in Boston Harbor that will be open to the public throughout.  Annual Party on the Plaza will be held, featuring Disco Inferno.  Over 200 events during these six days will provide entertainment throughout the festival.  The schedule includes historical reenactments, walking tours, sunset harbor cruises, and free noontime concerts throughout the week on City Hall Plaza.  Visitors to the 31st Annual Chowderfest will vote for “Boston’s Best Chowder” after sampling traditional New England style clam chowder from top Boston area restaurants.  Free admission to over half of the over 200 events makes the celebration accessible to all.

In addition, to Harborfest, there will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence from the Old State house and the Boston Pops Firework Spectacular, which is known as the premier Independence Day celebration in the nation. Each year, since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the country to the banks of the Charles River to celebrate America’s birthday while another seven million tune in nationally on the CBS Television Network to view the event during a live one-hour primetime special.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Girls Getaway to Marco Island, FL

I'm ready to kick off my shoes and explore paradise in Marco Island where the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort Golf Club and Spa is now celebrating the completion of a $225 million renovation and redesign that brings the spirit of Balinese beauty, hospitality and well-being to this already acclaimed destination.

Nestled on three miles of pristine Southwest Florida beaches, the Resort features several renowned restaurants, championship golf, a world-class spa and a wide range of activities and amenities, including upscale shops for men and women, a free-form fantasy pool with views of the Florida Gulf, new dining options and completely redesigned and redecorated guest rooms.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tune in to WPCV 97.5 FM Tomorrow!

It's not very often that I call a radio personality a true friend, but that's exactly what Andrea Oliver, News Director for Hall Communications, is. Even when we aren't doing an on-air radio interview about travel, Andrea and I get together for gal pal lunch chats whenever I am in Lakeland. 

When I was just there, we quickly caught up on each others lives and taped a fun segment that will air on Sunday, June 17 at 8:30 AM (EST) on all of the Hall Communications stations: WPCV-FM 97.5, WWRZ-FM 98.3, WLKF-AM 1430 and WONN-AM 1230.  So be sure to tune in!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fantastic Fathers Day Getaways - Daytime TV Show

From motorcycle cruising around a Caribbean island to fishing for rare and exotic fish in Bolivia, The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl shares some fantastic vacation ideas to consider for dad this year! 

Watch this Daytime TV Show travel segment by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Travel Tips for 20-Somethings

If you’re like most 20-somethings, then you are probably out of college and working a 9-to-5 job. Therefore, you likely have some flexible, vacation time and a decent amount of spending cash. Before you put a ring on it, or start a family, take advantage of this “no strings attached” time in your life to travel. This is the perfect age to go out and explore the world since you are probably healthy and energetic. At this time, whether it is back-to-back weekend getaways, or two week adventures around Europe, you can likely do what you want when it comes to vacations – so carpe diem and go explore!

To help you get the most out of your travels during your 20s, the experts from have put together some tips and advice:

·Split travel costs with friends: You can save money on your travels by going on a trip with a friend or two. By vacationing with a pal or group of friends, you can divide the costs of your accommodations, transportation and sometimes even your meals. Call up your BFFs and see who has the time to join you on your next adventure so you can “go Dutch” on your hotel room, cabs, happy hour food and drinks, and more.

·Be flexible with your travel plans to save money: If you can be flexible with your vacation timing then you can potentially save some money. For example, if you change and/or play around with your departure date then you can often get a better price on plane tickets. For instance, flying on a Wednesday is usually a great money-saving option as is flying in and/or out of an alternate airport with a low-cost carrier. For example, flying into Oakland on a low-cost carrier like Southwest will cost you significantly less than flying into San Francisco on a non-low cost carrier. If you do so, then it is just a short and affordable trip on the BART public transpiration system to get into San Francisco. Most major cities have alternate airports with low-cost carriers and public transportation.

·Pick a vacation theme to help find the best deal: Ask yourself what you are in the mood for when it comes to your next vacation. Are you craving sun, sand and surf? Need an adrenaline boost? Figure out exactly what it is that you want to do on your next trip and let this theme guide you to the best deal. For example, if you want a week in paradise, then consider booking a trip to Mexico instead of Hawaii or Montreal instead of France if you are a Francophile yearning to hear the spoken French language. There are deals out there for you to enjoy so pick a theme and then select the cheaper destination option that fits your taste.

·Leverage your college language skills: We bet you didn’t think those college Spanish or French language classes would come in handy, did you? Well think again. Having recently been in school, you are likely to remember what you were taught when it comes to a foreign language. So why not take advantage of that and travel to a place where you can use your language skills? Book a vacation to a foreign place where you can communicate in the native tongue. This will not only be a fun trip but also an enjoyable learning experience.

·Tap into technology to discover travel discounts: You can use your smartphone, laptop or computer to not only book travel but to also research deals. Sign up for and/or subscribe to different travel sites to receive regular newsletters and email updates about travel deals. These sites also provide detailed information on destinations so they are great resources for planning your next trip. Don’t forget about apps too! Nowadays there is an app for everything, including places to find cheap eats, discount hotel rooms and budget travel options. Download travel-related apps to help you research and save money.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Girls Getaway to Vero Beach - Poolside Foot Massages...Thank You Costa d'Este

We woke up the next morning to watch the sun come up over the Atlantic Ocean and watched people stroll the beautiful white, sandy beach below our peaceful.  We ate breakfast (yummy made-to-order omelettes) and made our way to the beach for some sun time in the cabanas.

While on the beach, you can also rent gear for kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling.  We spotted GiSi, the resort’s poolside foot masseuse, and walked back to the pool.  That day, nothing was better than enjoying a mojito poolside while getting a foot massage!  Pure bliss!

It was the perfect way to end our Girls Getaway to Vero Beach!  Many thanks to the Benchmark Management team and Costa d’Este for hosting us on a much-needed getaway.  We will be back!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Girls Getaway to Vero Beach - Ceviche, Paella, Spa & Sun

As we started our weekend adventure, Kelli and I laughed hysterically as we unknowingly dressed in identical travel outfits (navy and white striped maxi dresses, silver sandals and tan leather purses).  Upon arrival, we checked in and made our way to the poolside bar where we met up with Rebecca and Zoe.  After visiting with them and a few cocktails, we made our way to our amazing ocean view suite to find chocolate treats in a graham cracker sand cute!

Once we changed from looking like twin sisters to our swim suits, we found our reserved poolside loungers and ordered lunch: Ahi Tuna Ceviche, Grilled Salmon BLT and Beef Sliders....all was amazing and tasted wonderful with our cocktails.

While poolside we got to experience the resort’s Splash Stylists, a program officially launched on Memorial Day.  This team of beach and pool attendants are dedicated to care for guest’s every sun-worshipping need. The Splash Stylists offer a host of services including frozen grape delivery, wireless call buttons for prompt food and beverage service, sunglass cleaning, a variety of sunscreens and beach reading to choose from, beach cabana set up and more.

After a few relaxing hours in the sun (and catching up on our celeb gossip magazine reading), we made it to the resort’s spa our 50-minute Couples Massage.  We selected our scent, Euphoric and Rejuvenating, and Robby and Ilene escorted us to the room where they provided amazing massages with Lava Shells.  Thank you so much...and the champagne finish was perfect!

After massages, we got ready for dinner at the resort’s new restaurant concept, The Wave Kitchen & Bar, an ocean-front dining space with gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean. The restaurant offers a menu directly sourced from local farmers, fishermen and artisanal purveyors.  It features classic selections, as well as select Cuban specialties developed by Costa’s owners, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, for their Estefan Kitchen cookbook.  We had the paella....incredible!!!! 

After dinner we returned to our room to find chocolate cigars and a soft, pink turtle in bed to snuggle with.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Girls Getaway to Vero Beach's Costa d'Este Beach Resort

Situated along Florida’s Atlantic Coast 135 miles north of Miami and about 110 miles Southeast of Orlando, the quaint seaside town of Vero Beach is surrounded by 26 miles of pristine, unspoiled beaches and the Indian River Lagoon.  Nature and culture are treasured and preserved here, as well as immaculate beaches, superb fishing and water sports, and small-town ambiance. With world-class dining, boutique shopping, and an abundance of natural and cultural resources, it’s no wonder that Vero Beach was twice named by "Great Towns of America" as one of the "100 Great Towns in America."   Visitors can relax on miles of picturesque beaches, or choose sports activities all within just a few minutes of local resorts.
Swimming, surfing, boating, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and sky diving are just a few of the wide range of exciting recreational opportunities awaiting you in Indian River County. There are 17 challenging golf courses, three open to the public.  In addition, there are tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, riverside camping and seaside picnic facilities available for year-round enjoyment…a lot to choose from including the Atlantic Ocean in the backyard.

Quietly nestled in Vero Beach is Costa d'Este Beach Resort, an exquisite world-class retreat surrounded by white sand beaches and lush natural views. Specifically designed to pamper, relax and inspire, celeb owners Emilio and Gloria Estefan's exclusive oceanfront haven was our home away from home as my gal pal Kelli and I got to experience the resort's new BFF (Best Friend Forever) Package, which celebrates everything that epitomizes quality gal pal time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Show Us Your Skin" & Be Featured on a Billboard in Times Square

This summer, Dove is giving every woman the opportunity to star in a Dove ad as part of the “Show Us Your Skin” campaign! Every woman who uploads a photo showing off her skin will be featured in a national Dove ad – digital ads, a gallery on and a billboard in Times Square (see my photo on right)! Women can upload a photo now through August 1 at

Once you do, you can stroll through Times Square and see your photo up on a billboard. If you are planning a staycation and can’t make it to Times Square this season to see your “moment of fame” live, you will still get to see it as every woman will receive a snapshot of her photo up on the billboard emailed to her. This campaign celebrates the soft and smooth skin women get from using Dove body washes and beauty bars.

Thank you Dove for this fabulous opportunity!