On a recent trip to Florida, I had the pleasure of discovering the smallest Post Office in the United States.
The Ochopee Post Office is just 56 square feet and fits only one postal worker. This post office has been in continuous use since 1953, after it was quickly put into service when the existing post office and general store burned down in a fire.
The building used to be an irrigation pipe shed on the adjacent tomato farm, which no longer exists, but the post office hasn’t changed in nearly seventy years. There’s a phone but no internet, so money orders are created manually on a vintage-looking machine. It’s the old-fashioned away of doing it that nobody really does anymore.
Even during the pandemic, this tiny post office was open, serving local residents and businesses in three counties and is now a famous landmark.
If you are ever passing through this rural part of south Florida, it’s worth a stop to get a photo of this unique historical tiny Post Office in Ochopee
I like adventure, and the opportunity to experience the World’s Highest Tandem Skydive from an aircraft at 18,000 feet/ 5,486m, almost five and a half kilometers, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I could not miss out on.
On a recent road trip to the sunshine state, I had the opportunity to visit Titusville on the Space Coast, close to Kennedy Space Center. The Skydive Space Center specialises in high-altitude sky diving. It was exciting and scary as I thought about what lay ahead. What would it be like for one and a half minutes of free fall? What if the parachute didn’t open?
The Skydives usually occur in the morning as the sky is clear, with few clouds and less wind to blow you off course. I checked into the Skydive Space Center. After signing my life away in pages of medical, danger warnings, and indemnity paperwork, I was instructed and trained in the safety of parachute jumps, body position, hand signals, and what to expect.
Next, it was time to get kitted out in a harness to attach me to my tandem skydive instructor. Mick? was Italian and had jumped many times and assured me I was in safe hands. Eye goggles on, I made my way to the King Air aircraft with my instructor, wearing double belts to keep us attached during the jump.
In a matter of minutes, we were up and away with four other crazy jumpers. A 7-minute flight brought up to a height of 18,000 feet. There was no turning back as we moved through the aircraft on our bums toward the door. In seconds, it was my turn to jump. I was sitting at the door over five and a half kilometers up, looking out at the beautiful clear blue sky.
GO – we were out and falling at 120mile an hour. I imagined it was like a movie screen from MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. It was incredible, face felt like the skin as been pushed around the side of the face and behind my ears. One and a half minutes of freefall straight down. The gound was coming up very fast.
Then the moment the parachute opens. It caught me by surprise as the parachute deployed and slowed our descent. It felt like I was getting pulled softly upwards as I transitioned from the horizontal on my belly free fall position to sitting vertically in my harness. Once the parachute opened fully, I enjoyed the breathtaking scenery, and it was time to enjoy a 7-minute parachute flight.
The landscape of Florida was scenic, spectacularly beautiful, and unbelievably fantastic. In the distance was Orlando, and under my feet were breathtaking views of the Indian River and Kennedy Space Center.
The touchdown was so soft, gentle landing. An EPIC experience of pure adrenaline. I would do it again.
ORLANDO, Fla. – As one of the most sought-after destinations in the U.S., Orlando maintains its popularity as one of the top places for summer vacationers and promises an array of new experiences for visitors planning their next trip to the Theme Park Capital of the World. In addition to new attractions at Orlando’s theme parks, the destination is offering up even more new adventures ranging from a new golf entertainment venue from Tiger Woods to an alcohol-free speakeasy concept.
“Orlando is ready to welcome summer travelers with unforgettable new experiences,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO for Visit Orlando. “Whether you’re a theme park expert or a first-time visitor, there’s always something new to discover in Orlando with a variety of new hotels, unique restaurants and one-of-a-kind attractions to explore and create new vacation memories.”
Continuous updates on what’s new in Orlando can be found at VisitOrlando.com, the official visitor information source for the destination. On the website, visitors can also make an appointment for a complimentary, personalized one-on-one Vacation Planning Service with one of Visit Orlando’s vacation planning experts for advice and guidance on building the perfect itinerary.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, EPCOT‘s first “other-world” showcase pavilion opens May 27, featuring a new storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
Ice Breaker, SeaWorld Orlando‘s first launch coaster features four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch with a 93-foot-tall spike with 100-degree angle, the steepest vertical drop in Florida.
Aquatica Orlando‘s newest water slide, Reef Plunge, offers eye-catching translucent cutouts and rings with twists and turn though 330 feet of fiberglass. A vibrant array of marine life, Commerson’s dolphins, leopard sharks and a variety of other cold-water fish are also part of the new dynamic habitat.
PopStroke, a golf entertainment venue created in partnership with Tiger Woods, will offer a menu of handhelds and pizzas to enjoy from the indoor-outdoor dining room overlooking two 18-hole miniature golf courses. PopStroke even has an app to automatically keep track of scores on the course and is set to open in May at Waterford Lakes Town Center.
Take a short drive to explore Orlando’s local neighborhoods and experience The BANDBOX – Orlando, Central Florida’s first alcohol-free speakeasy cocktail tasting lounge and vintage shop, will open this summer at Ivanhoe Village in Downtown Orlando.
Immersion at London House, a new boutique restaurant by Chef Rikku Ó’Donnchü, features a tasting menu-only concept with a sensorial dining experience focused on science, climate change, sustainable farming and zero waste, where texture, scents and sounds are as important as taste.
The New York Beer Project, set to open this summer in Winter Garden, will resemble an indoor beer garden complete with a gastropub, sidewalk bistro and up to 20 craft beers on tap.
Three-time James Beard Award semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar has brought his concept Knife Burger to the JW Marriott Orlando. Featuring a slightly more expanded menu than the original Texas location, the poolside restaurant offers classic, high-quality burgers as well as seafood burgers and salads, all made with the finest ingredients.
The Tuscan-inspired, 126-room ette Hotel Orlandoopens in June near Disney World. Focusing on wellness as an alcohol-free property, the hotel offers culinary experiences in partnership with Michelin Star Chef Akira Back, along with The Spa at ette, with services for everyone from the modern minimalist to the unruly naturalist.
AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista will offer a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness facility, inventive chef-tailored dining and signature cocktail service. The property is set to open June 2022.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and Theme Park Capital of the World®. Visit Orlando connects consumers with every segment of Central Florida’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, outdoor thrill rides, activities to connect with nature, and a dynamic dining and entertainment scene — Orlando is welcoming to travelers of all ages. With 450 hotels, visitors have choices that span multi-acre resorts to themed boutique hotels. Orlando’s trusted theme parks, attractions, hotels and businesses have developed comprehensive safety measures and worked closely with medical experts to create safe travel experiences. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com.
Editor’s Note: For additional press information or high-resolution downloadable images, please visit VisitOrlando.com/media.
Miami Seaquarium a world-class marine-life entertainment park features eight marine animal shows and presentations. It is home to Lolita, the Killer Whale and TV superstar Flipper. Guests will discover the grace of bottlenose dolphins, and laugh with the adventures of Salty the Sea Lion. Other exhibits include Crocodiles, Salty’s Pirate Playground, stingray touch pool, and friendly Manatees. Visitors can get up-close to these friendly mammals through dolphin interaction programs at Dolphin Harbor or walk underwater among tropical fish during a Sea Trek Reef Encounter.
A world-class marine-life entertainment park features eight marine animal shows and presentations. It is home to Lolita, the Killer Whale and TV superstar Flipper. Guests will discover the grace of bottlenose dolphins, and laugh with the adventures of Salty the Sea Lion. Other exhibits include Crocodiles, Salty’s Pirate Playground, stingray touch pool, and friendly Manatees. Visitors can get up-close to these friendly mammals through dolphin interaction programs at Dolphin Harbor or walk underwater among tropical fish during a Sea Trek Reef Encounter. www.miamiseaquarium.com
Family attraction located in the heart of the city, between Downtown Miami and South Beach. Building upon the rich tradition Parrot Jungle began in 1936, it is home to some of the world’s rarest and most incredible animals, including Mama Cass, the only tame Cassowary on the planet; the liger, who holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the World’s Largest Cat; and Peanut and Pumpkin, only the third set of Orangutan twins to be born in captivity. Guests can participate in hands-on interactions with some of the animals, marvel at the engaging animal shows and are amazed by the park’s breathtaking landscapes and vistas. www.jungleisland.com
Miami Children’s Museum
Play, learn, imagine and create on Watson Island with the museum’s 14 interactive and bilingual exhibit galleries, as well as daily programming for the whole family. The museum also offers seasonal camps and classes, custom birthday party packages and more. Pick up a unique souvenir from Kid Smart Educational Gift Shop, and lunch at Subway. www.miamichildrensmuseum.org
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
The 2.6-acre urban green space at the heart of South Beach was transformed in 2011 with a $1.2 million landscape renovation designed by South Florida landscape architect Raymond Jungles. The new landscape showcases Florida native plants and trees, significant new water gardens and cascading fountains, a welcoming entrance.
Reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa with its leisure-focused lifestyle and grand design, Acqualina is South Florida’s only five-star hotel of its kind, built completely open to the ocean, free of barriers between the 51-story tower, featuring 98-luxury rooms and 188 lavish residences, and its 400 feet of glistening Atlantic shoreline.
very detail of the guest suites has been studied with a master design eye, from luxury beds and bedding to, the custom case goods and artwork, as well as the customary Acqualina 5 star service. The resulting vision, a space fit for royalty.
Guests may partake in a variety of off property excursions, or enjoy a collection of amenities on property that make the luxury Miami Beach resort a true destination. Our Les Clefs d’Or Concierge staff await your call at +1.305.918.6860
This video was produced by VolAero for the Acqualina Resort and Spa in Miami, (a Forbes 5 Star and AAA Five Diamond Beachfront Oasis) for its marketing campaigns that were showcased at the Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference 2017 in Las Vegas. (VNR).