NOT Your Grandma’s Ferris Wheel!

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? We are constantly in search of unique places for our readers to visit. Our latest trips were down I-75 to Orlando to visit I-Drive 360 and a plane trip to the Washington, DC area to see National Harbor in Maryland. What both destinations have in common are massive Ferris wheels, entertainment, restaurants and stunning views.

I-Drive 360, Orlando FL

This entertainment area is located on International Drive, close to the convention area. It was named after the 360° view you will get from the Orlando Eye. You will find restaurants, shops, and entertainment and best of all, lots of free parking!

Coca Cola, Orlando Eye

The huge 400-foot, Ferris wheel opened in 2015 and is run by Merlin Entertainments, under its Midway attraction brands which also has the iconic London Eye. Although this in not as large as the London Eye, it is still impressive and gives you panoramic views of Orlando, theme parks and downtown. Each of the 30 capsules are air-conditioned and have seating. There are touch screens in the gondolas that tell you what you can see on your twenty minute tour. At night, the Eye lights up
with changing color displays commemorating national holidays, important world events, and charitable causes.

Sea Life Orlando Aquarium

This is one of the most attractive aquariums we have ever visited, and it is located next to the Orlando Eye, just like the location in London, England. We walk through a beautiful grotto. You don’t feel that you are looking at tanks but that you are immersed in the ocean and seeing all of the creatures in their natural environment. If you want to get close up and personal with a shark just walk through the 360° tunnel. The tunnel has a glass floor and ceiling, so the sharks swim all around you. At the end of your visit there is a very nice gift shop.

Tip: You can call and reserve a spot for your little one for, Toddler Tuesday at 9:30am story time, sing-a-long. A great way to build family memories. www.visitsealife.com


Sugar Factory

Oh gosh where do I start? It’s like one big party and full of Pop-Culture. The glam interior of the restaurant is black and white with chandeliers and lots of mirrors. The music is upbeat and every few minutes you see the staff carrying huge desserts with fireworks on top to celebrate someone’s birthday….yes….fireworks! I ordered one of their famous cocktails from their Goblet selection. My Raspberry Watermelon Mojito came in a massive bowl and steamed with dry ice….very spectacular, and delicious. The kids ordered from the Monster Burger list. And yes they are a Monster size and great for splitting. The menu has so many items, including, crepes, chicken and waffles and incredible coffees. The Sugar Factory is famous for their milk shakes and desserts. We had a Sugar Daddy Shake. It has a slice of real cheesecake, caramel sauce, melted chocolate, vanilla ice-cream, graham cracker and of course a Sugar Daddy! Executive Chef Jessie Aguilera has a saying, “From my heart to your mouth.” He certainly does put a lot of love into every dish that comes out of his kitchen. Kylie Jenner and Mark Wahlberg are just a few of the famous guests that have dined here. At the end of our meal the restaurant surprised us with their signature King Kong Sundae that has 24 scoops of a variety of ice-cream flavors, gummy bears, hot fudge, strawberry sauce, bananas, fireworks and more! This one of a king dessert serves twelve and costs…$99!!!!The restaurant also has a massive candy shop that is full of mouthwatering items that of course are gigantic in typical Sugar Factory style. sugarfactory.com


Bond 45

This Italian steak house has wonderful views of the river and the Ferris wheel. Known for its fresh and juicy steaks, fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes, it is a real treat for the taste buds. We sat outside under the huge shade of the umbrellas. After lunch we treated ourselves to the home made cheesecake that was one of the best we had ever tried- light, creamy and bursting with flavor. The restaurant is quite romantic and reminds me of a European café. www.bond45.com

Capital Wheel

The 180-foot, wheel opened in 2014 and has forty-two climate controlled passenger gondolas, including a VIP gondola that can be rented for weddings, engagements or other special occasions. It is a unique and personal experience as they allow you and your guest to take your own gondola. My friend that went with me is scared of heights but even she enjoyed this comfortable ride and we both loved the views of Washington DC and Maryland. www.thecapitalwheel.com.

National Harbor, Maryland

If you are planning a trip to Washington D.C. then you should visit this beautiful new area that is located on the Maryland side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. This shopping, dining and entertainment area is set on the banks of the famous Potomac River.