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Vanessa Leavitt

V.R. Leavitt grew up in Northern Virginia but is proud to call Orlando her home since 2010. She's always been a theme park enthusiast, so living in vacation town is a dream come true. When she's not at the parks, she's checking out all the other great things the City Beautiful has to offer with her family and friends, and also playing mom-taxi for her kid and her hectic band schedule. Besides theme parks, she loves movies, music, and theater and spends lots of time in her Harry Potter-themed office writing, reading, and shooing her cats off of her desk. She's also a big fan of soccer and has an impressive collection of socks with animals on them.

The best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Orlando

The City Beautiful is filled with fine dining experiences around every turn. Not only do we have the world-famous theme parks, replete with character experiences and award-winning restaurants, but we also have destinations like International Drive and Downtown Orlando (which you can learn all about here). And, tucked between all of them, we have the […]

Explore Orlando with these maps

Welcome to the City Beautiful! Below, you can find a collection of maps of some of the areas around Orlando – after all, the town’s more than just our theme parks and attractions. Each map focuses on a different section of the city with a brief intro of what is in that region, including entertainment options, […]

Celebrating your birthday or special occasion at Universal Orlando

I’ve always considered my birthday to be one of the best days of the year, and I’m sure the majority of you reading this feel the same way. What could be better than visiting Orlando and, more specifically, Universal Orlando Resort on your special day? It’s especially fun when you’re trying to take the sting out of […]

Pointe Orlando: An I-Drive gem for tourists and locals

Welcome to Pointe Orlando, a playground for adults in the heart of Orlando’s International Drive. As a large, single-site complex, Pointe Orlando is one of the few places in Orlando to offer a fantastic mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment establishments, all within an easy walk of one another (the other two being Universal’s CityWalk and Disney […]

Review: BB King’s Blues Club

In 1991, the first BB King’s Blues Club opened on the infamous Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. But, fortunately, you don’t have to go all the way there to get a taste of the blues – in 2007, Orlando welcomed BB King to Pointe Orlando, in the heart of International Drive. When you first step […]

Universal Orlando: Can staying club level actually save you money?

Everyone loves going to Universal Orlando Resort for vacation, and everyone loves saving money. Therefore, what could be better than doing both? I’m not great at math, but there are more than a few ways to save a little cash while visiting Universal, including not only staying at one of the many Universal hotels, but also […]

Healthy eating at Universal Orlando

While most of the crowds at Universal Orlando Resort are treating themselves to all of the sweets, fried foods, and large portions they can get their hands on, some vacationers still like to watch their calorie intake. Health-conscious individuals used to be left with minimal options, but, over the years, Universal has expanded its menus […]

Yellow Dog Eats: A hidden gem

I’m just going to come right out and say it: Yellow Dog Eats should be at the very top of your list of restaurants to visit during your next trip to Orlando. And if you’re a local and you haven’t tried it yet, you’ve certainly heard about it, so now you have no excuse to hop […]

Putting Edge glow-in-the-dark mini golf

  Looking for some indoor fun on a rainy day (or just any day, really) in Orlando? You can’t go wrong with Putting Edge’s glow-in-the-dark mini-golf. Located inside the former Artegon Marketplace, just down the street from Universal Orlando Resort and at the north end of International Drive, Putting Edge is a great place to bring the kids if it’s too hot, too […]

How to save on SeaWorld dining

After paying for admission to SeaWorld Orlando, then handing over $20 or more for parking, the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune to feed your family all day. The good news is that SeaWorld has many ways to make eating at the park very affordable – no matter how long you’ll be there […]

Sweet Tomatoes: The best quick and healthy meal in Orlando

Here’s a perfect quick-and-healthy restaurant idea: put out dozens of fresh-from-the-farm salad ingredients and toppings as a buffet, toss together a few handmade options for the guest who doesn’t want to build it himself, serve the salads with unlimited soup, pizza, pasta, and ice cream, and do it all for about $10 a person. Well, […]

Adventures in pool-hopping at Universal Orlando

One of the many perks of staying at a Universal Orlando hotel is the chance to enjoy the amenities at its first six resorts, no matter whether they fall in the category of being premier (Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and Royal Pacific Resort), preferred (Sapphire Falls Resort), or prime value (Cabana Bay Beach […]

7 need-to-know tips for first-time Orlando visitors

If you’re planning your first visit to Orlando, you want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible! If you’re responsible for creating the perfect trip for your family, the weight on your shoulders can feel a little heavy. But don’t worry – we’re going to help you out and relieve a little of that stress. […]

Review: Dave & Buster’s Orlando

Dave & Buster’s, located on Orlando’s bustling International Drive, is a great destination for tourists and locals alike. Orlando’s first installment of this popular adult-oriented entertainment center has more than 40,200 square feet of gaming and dining fun. There’s the full-service restaurant with contemporary American cuisine, a large bar with numerous flat-screen TVs, and, of […]