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Conquering Florida: Ricky Carmichael Tackles Florida Triathlon

Ricky Carmichael takes on the challenge of a Florida triathlon in Everglades National Park that combines kayaking, a hike through swamp land, and a bicycle ride.

Disney looks for family to be face of park

If you and your family think they could be the faces for Disney, you may be in luck. 

A casting agency in Miami has posted an ad for families to star in a new Disney commercial. 

It appeared earlier this month on Miami Talent Casting's Facebook page and has gained a lot of interest. 

>> Read more trending stories 

Apparently the Mouse House has a commercial planned that features real families, parents in their '20s to '50s and kids from 8 to 16 years old according to the write up.

Nationwide - Disney Commercial - REAL FAMILIES - MIXED ETHNICITIESrate $2500 per person plus travelshoots first week...Posted by Miami Talent Casting on Thursday, September 8, 2016

The gig pays well -- $2,500 per person plus travel. But there is a catch, you have to be able to travel to Europe, which means families would need passports for all family members, and they all have to be available during the first two weeks in October. 

Florida Seafood Festivals

Here’s a sampling of seafood festivals in the Sunshine State from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

All feature delicious local seafood, and many have live musical performances, arts and crafts vendors, children’s rides, parades, 5K run/walks, cooking demonstrations, and competitions such as oyster shucking.

Let’s eat.


Enter your best recipe and be a contestant in the oyster cook-off or just come out and enjoy a day of wonderful food, refreshments and music at the Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off.

Photo: Bill Strength for VISIT FLORIDA 

Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off


Florida Keys Seafood Festival

Key West

Port Salerno Seafood Festival

Port Salerno


Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival    


Chowder Cook-off Seafood Festival

Port Canaveral       


Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival



Everglades City Seafood Festival          

Everglades City      

Jupiter Seafood Festival  



Port Canaveral Seafood Festival

Port Canaveral       

Did you know? Florida harvests four species of shrimp: pink, brown, white and royal red.

Daron Dean for VISIT FLORIDA






Dania Beach Arts and Seafood Festival           

Dania Beach


Deering Seafood Festival



Grant Seafood Festival



Homosassa Seafood Festival      



Marathon Seafood Festival



Marco Island Seafood Festival  

Marco Island          


Shrimpapalooza Festival 



St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival

St. Augustine          


Taste of the Sea Seafood Festival

Fort Pierce  


Fort Pierce Oyster Festival         

Force Pierce

Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival         

Fernandina Beach 


Panacea Blue Crab Festival         



Pompano Beach Seafood Festival        

Pompano Beach    


Treasure Coast Seafood Festival

Port St. Lucie          


Blue Crab Festival  



Did you know? Florida’s commercial spiny lobster season runs from August through March.

Julie Fletcher for VISIT FLORIDA

Key West Lobsterfest

Key West 


Pensacola Seafood Festival        



Cedar Key Seafood Festival        

Cedar Key    


Destin Seafood Festival   



Naples Stone Crab Festival         



Panama City Beach Seafood and Music Festival      

Panama City Beach           

One of the most popular ways to serve stone crab is cold on a bed of ice with a mustard dipping sauce, but they are also commonly eaten hot with drawn butter and lime juice.

Stephen Kubiak for VISIT FLORIDA


St. Marks Stone Crab Festival    

St. Marks     




Florida Seafood Festival  



John’s Pass Annual Seafood Festival   

Madeira Beach       


Ormond Beach Riverfest Seafood Festival     

Ormond Beach      


Ruskin Seafood Festival   



Sponge Docks Seafood Festival

Tarpon Springs      


Stone Crab Jam      

Crystal River


Stuart Seafood Festival   



Yankeetown Seafood Festival   



Let a Local Show You How Locals Live

From dining to arts to sports, companies offer private tours and tips from local experts to cater to your interests

The idea took root when Sarah and Shawn Ward, a longtime marketer and entrepreneur respectively, were vacationing with friends in the Hamptons. They wanted to go to a club but it was sort of exclusive and there was a line. One of the friends they were with was much more connected in town; he had a few words with the doorman, who quickly whisked the group inside.

That’s when it occurred to them: how cool would it be if anyone could hangout with a local while traveling? It affords you dependable advice about local haunts and hidden gems overlooked by guidebooks and, if you work it right, access to places that might otherwise be exclusive and inaccessible. And with that, Gibby Road was formed.

“It’s not that you’re told where to go. You don't get a curated list of places to check out. It’s just a chance to go around with someone—whether you know the person or not—and it’s like having a friend of a friend who’s an expert," explains Sarah Ward. "There’s this idea of ‘come with me’ infused throughout the whole Gibby Road concept.”

The site went live in in August with more than 100 local “gibbies” in three states. The guides sign up, explain the experience they offer, and provide a bio and their contact information on the website so that you can get in touch with them directly while deciding on whether to hire them. Fees are variable and range between $5 and $250. But the coolest thing about the site—and others like it—is that each individual offers highly specified tours, usually around a particular theme. You can go on a food tour in Brooklyn or San Francisco for instance, but there’s plenty that are more eccentric featuring places and things you likely didn’t know were a thing. In Detroit, for instance, you can go on a music tour with a longtime Detriot dweller and music industry vet. In Joshua Tree, CA, there’s a “surreal” art crawl with a local film producer featuring little known installations in the desert and a visit to Junk Dadaist, an outdoor museum. In Palos Verdes, CA, an adventure-loving ski instructor takes you to test drive a Tesla along the coast. Detroit’s every growing hipster haunts (pictured) are the focus of a tour of the Motor City's increasingly vibrant Downtown

“Going local trend that everybody is obsessed with. You even hear it from hotels that say ‘don’t be a tourist, live like a local,’ but that’s just four walls and a bed,” says co-founder Rachel Harrison. “What really allows you to be a local is actually interacting with and spending time with locals.”

Gibby Road is very much a product of our time. After all, that “come with me” ethos that Ward describes is increasingly infused throughout most of the way we travel, from AirB&B to Uber and other rideshare services. In fact, thematic local-led tours are a growing trend. 

Viator is the elder statesman of destination tourism, having launched in Sydney in 1995. It’s a bit more slick and glossy than the newer indie start-ups, having been acquired by TripAdvisor in 2014. It’s a network of more than 3,000 tour operators around the planet and its site is available in ten languages.  Vestigo, which launched in 2015, focuses on outdoor activities, from yoga to hiking to mountain biking. It’s largely offered in Georgia, where it was founded, and surrounding states. 

Your Local Cousin is much broader in scope. Like Gibby Road, locals sign up to offer tourists tips and insight when they travel. There are over 1200 “cousins” in 250 cities in 110 countries. Unlike Gibby Road, it is not a marketplace for purchasing hours’ or days’ worth of time with a guide. (Many of its cousins are independent tour operators, though, so the connection could end up with the option of a private tour.) YLC's network of cousins is pretty broad and eccentric. There’s a fishing expert in Victoria Falls, Zambia, for instance, and an Olympic silver medalist in field hockey offering tips in Amsterdam, to name a few.

YLC’s services are communication-based, allowing you to pick someone’s brain and answer your specific questions. You can connect with a Cousin over text (20 questions for $15) or communicate through the YLC platform (3 questions for $10). Have a phone conversation with a local to help you plan your trip (30 minutes for $15), or get a custom designed itinerary for one to 11 days ($25 to $60) to use as a guide as you explore a city on your own.

“The best source of information is always a network of friends and family,” says co-founder Aarti Kanodia. “We have a family of 1200 locals who really help you explore the way you should. They're a way to get a deep dive in the city.” 

See More From Budget Travel:Park-to-Park Adventure: Glacier to YellowstoneAmerica's Greatest Walking ToursBest Foodie Cities in America

Conquering Florida: Ricky Carmichael At Busch Gardens

Watch as Ricky Carmichael and his buddy experience all that Busch Gardens has to offer. They start on the 60 mph Cheetah Hunt roller coaster. Then their blindfold challenges are riding the SheiKra roller coaster and getting to know some of the park's flamingoes.

Sip Craft Cocktails at Odd Birds in St. Augustine

Odd Birds is a craft cocktail bar in the heart of St. Augustine's historic district that's serving up tasty tapas dishes and craft cocktails that use local ingredients and spirits.

Sip Craft Cocktails at Odd Birds in St. Augustine

Odd Birds is a craft cocktail bar in the heart of St. Augustine's historic district that's serving up tasty tapas dishes and craft cocktails that use local ingredients and spirits.

Sip Craft Cocktails at Odd Birds in St. Augustine

Odd Birds is a craft cocktail bar in the heart of St. Augustine's historic district that's serving up tasty tapas dishes and craft cocktails that use local ingredients and spirits.

How to Pack a Beach Bag

Heading to a beach in Florida? Here's what you should bring with you to make sure you have the perfect day.

How to Pack a Beach Bag

Heading to a beach in Florida? Here's what you should bring with you to make sure you have the perfect day.

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