Tag Archives: Flamingo

#UniquelyInLove: Top 7 Locations to Get Married

Love is found everywhere, so it may be difficult to choose your perfect wedding location! Guest Services has a variety of unique wedding locations that are perfect for any couples’ desires in all areas of the United States – rustic, mountains, cozy accommodations, large venues, outdoor set-ups, indoor sites, and more. Take a look at our top seven places to get married and be #uniquelyinlove!

1. The Lodge at Breckenridge – Breckenridge, Colorado

Get married on top of the world at WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice Award Winner for the last two years – The Lodge at Breckenridge! With the Rockies as the backdrop and the lodge as the stage, your wedding day (and photos) will be magnificent. Nestled cliffside overlooking Breckenridge Ski Resort, The Lodge at Breckenridge is a boutique hotel with rustic Colorado charm and breathtaking views. Guests will enjoy a relaxing mountain-top getaway and alpine adventures while just a quick shuttle ride from historic Main Street Breckenridge for shopping, dining, festivals, and more.
The private wedding deck, reception room, and rehearsal dinner location are available year round. The deck can accommodate 220 guests, and the main lodge offers 3,000 square feet of space, perfect for the reception. With a wide selection of packages, the catering menu is fully customizable with the support of our culinary team and on-site event planner.

Did we mention that The Lodge at Breckenridge is dog-friendly?! Here comes the pup down the aisle after the beautiful bride. Find out more information, here.

2. Echo Bluff State Park Lodge – Eminence, Missouri

No detail is overlooked for your wedding at the Echo Bluff State Park Lodge. Many wedding goers appreciate the extra mile our skilled staff takes to ensure everything is perfect for each wedding. At Echo Bluff, they pride themselves in working closely with each couple to custom design each wedding. They specialize in planning an exquisite reception menu, helping the couple choose the perfect ceremony location, offering stunning embellishments and recommendations – all this to achieve your goal of creating an unforgettable wedding and memories to last a lifetime.

Echo Bluff State Park provides the perfect natural setting for your wedding – with all the comforts and conveniences of our full-service hotel and catering team with a twist of Ozark-rustic luxury. Find out more information, here.

3. Bear Mountain Inn – Tomkins Cove, New York

Bear Mountain Inn has the rustic-style wedding vibe that many couples love! This historic venue is the idyllic destination getaway. Guests can enjoy everything available in the venue including fun outdoor activities and a relaxing spa! The Inn offers many services to create a memorable and stress-free wedding experience. They also provide all needed barware, china, flatware, glassware, linens, and even a chocolate fountain. Three wedding venue locations on site accommodate groups ranging from 75 – 250 guests! There is even their Merry-Go-Round Pavilion in a stone and timber rotunda to create a memorable atmosphere for the big day! Everywhere you look, it’s inviting, cozy, and romantic, which is exactly what you need for your wedding.

Bear Mountain Inn is listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, so your wedding will be a part of history! For more information, visit their website.

4. Lodge at Wakulla Springs – Wakulla Springs, Florida

Offering a southern flair, The Lodge at Wakulla is a peaceful location for weddings! The Lodge is surrounded by nature and located right next to one of the country’s largest springs. It isn’t a rare occasion for you to see manatees as they love to visit throughout the year. There are so many activities for guests to enjoy such as swimming, riverboat tours that give guests a glimpse of Florida wildlife, and more. For wedding events, they accommodate up to 250 guests. Also, the variety of in-house catering services is something to note – buffet style, cocktail reception, plated options, food stations, and more.

The Lodge at Wakulla Springs provides the perfect natural setting for your wedding – with all the comforts and conveniences of their full-service hotel and catering team. Find more information on their website.

5. Big Sur Lodge – Big Sur, California

Picture your special day in a lovely lodge setting surrounded by majestic redwoods and the calming tranquility of the Big Sur River. At Big Sur Lodge, they have four lovely venues that provide indoor and outdoor seating that can accommodate up to 120 guests. It offers charming and comfortable accommodations, including family-style rooms with kitchenettes and fireplaces to enjoy during your guests’ stay for your big day! Their on-site Event Coordinator makes your wedding day planning a breeze by providing helpful insight for everything – from recommended service providers to planning the rehearsal dinner in Pfeiffer State Park.

At Big Sur Lodge, they are happy to help you plan your special day and go the extra mile to ensure it exceeds all expectations. Check out their website for more information.

6. Giants Ridge – Biwabik, Minnesota

Giants Ridge is WeddingWire’s 2019 Couples’ Choice, and we can see why! The new Giants Ridge chalet is the hottest location to host your upcoming wedding or special event! They have over 5,000 square feet of flexible indoor gathering space, along with beautiful scenic outdoor areas – perfect for any couple! Giants Ridge offers full-service event planning that includes meticulous attention to detail including menu selections ranging from simple buffets to elegant multi-course meals. Giants Ridge also features two on-site lodging facilities, each offering guests a unique experience with the safety, comfort, and convenience of staying right within the resort village.
At Giants Ridge, guests experience extraordinary connections to nature through their first-class, four-season recreation resort situated in the true north woods of Minnesota. Make giant memories on your big day! Find out more information by visiting their website.

7. Flamingo Everglades – Homestead, Florida

Weddings on the water are the next big thing! So, get married on a houseboat on the water at Flamingo Everglades!! Flamingo Adventures has 42-feet houseboats that are ready to get the party started! They sleep up to six people (four adults and two children) and are fully equipped with all the necessities as well as essential amenities you and your guests will need. Have a mermaid gown already picked out? It will match perfectly with this vibe!

Flamingo Adventures has a Captain on-site and can serve as your officiant if you wish. Set sail on your perfect water wedding! Find out more information about their houseboats on their website.

Congratulations on your engagement and make sure to choose the best location that fits for your wedding! Interested in any of these places? Check out their websites.

6 Activities Guaranteed to Prevent 4th of July Weekend FOMO

With so many great Fourth of July activities happening all across the United States, the odds you miss out on something are very high. Don’t experience FOMO (fear of missing out) this year! Ditch the boring backyard fireworks and celebrate this amazing nation at one of these gorgeous properties located around Boston, Washington D.C., and all across Florida.

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Where: Key Bridge Boathouse, National Harbor Boathouse, Thompson’s Boat Center, Washington Sailing Marina, The Wharf Boathouse

What: Round up your family and friends and join the Boating in DC team for an Independence Day weekend full of the #1 DC recreational activity; boating! With kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats, pedal boats, and even bikes, there is something for everyone of every skill level.


Key Bridge Boathouse: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Weekends 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The 4th of July fireworks paddle at Key Bridge Boathouse is one of the best Independence Day celebrations in the metropolitan area! Enjoying the legendary annual DC firework show while paddling is a true, authentic American experience. Get your tickets as soon as possible because they sell fast!

National Harbor: Weekdays 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Weekends 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Thompson’s Boat Center: Every Day – Rowing Rentals with Lights 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Other Rentals 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Washington Sailing Marina: Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Where: Newton Boathouse, Hopkinton State Park Boathouse, Natick Boathouse, Spot Pond Boathouse, Wakefield Boathouse


If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some 4th of July weekend paddling in Boston, look no further than Boating in Boston Boathouses. With convenient, beautiful destinations scattered throughout the area, their team can’t wait to send you on your next paddling adventure!


At all locations rentals are available from 10:00 am – 6:30 pm.

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Where: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park


Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is one of Florida’s most distinctive destinations and offers guests access to a spring-fed water park, riverboat cruise, live mermaid shows, and some of the state’s best boating. Kayak and paddleboard through crystal clear waters in the company of manatees and stunning natural beauty.


*Reservations are required*

Saturday, June 30th – Wednesday, July 4th

Rentals and Private Boats: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Private Boats ONLY: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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Where: Rainbow Springs State Park


Much like Weeki Wachee, Rainbow Springs State Park offers some of the clearest waterways in Florida. The rich natural splendor and cultural history has been bringing fans back for decades, and is a wonderful spot to visit for your July 4th weekend!


Rentals are available every day 8:00 a.m. – Sunset.

Where: Flamingo at EvergladesWhat:

Experience the magnificence of Florida’s subtropical wilderness in the globally acclaimed Everglades National Park. From adventurous hiking trails with diverse wildlife to world-class fishing sites, kayaking and paddleboarding, there is an endless amount of exciting things to do at this unique destination!


Every day boat rental hours are 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

All boats back to the dock by 4:30 p.m.

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Wakulla Springs State Park

Where: 550 Wakulla Park Drive, Crawfordville, FL, United States


Wakulla Springs State Park is home to the world’s deepest freshwater spring and the beloved Lodge at Wakulla Springs, perfect for a fourth of July getaway. Book with the Bed, Breakfast, & Boat Package to receive delicious daily breakfasts at the Edward Ball Dining Room as well as the fan-favorite and locally famous scenic boat tour through the gorgeous State Park.

Call 855.632.4559 to make reservations.

National Park Service Selects New Operator for Everglades National Park

New contract will expand and improve visitor services including a new restaurant and lodging at Flamingo

General Park Information:  305-242-7700
Media Queries: Denese Canedo, Denese_Canedo@nps.gov, 786-481-7592

HOMESTEAD, Fla – Get ready for new ways to experience Everglades National Park! On May 30, 2017, the National Park Service selected Everglades Guest Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Guest Services, Inc. (Guest Services), to provide visitor services in the park’s Flamingo district. The contract requires construction of 24 cottages and 20 eco-tents by December 2019, but authorizes a total of 40 cottages and 40 eco-tents. Apart from campsites, this will be the first expanded overnight accommodations in the park since 2005, when the previous lodging complex was removed due to severe damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

Under the new agreement, Guest Services will manage all visitor services in Long Pine Key and Flamingo, including campgrounds, boat tours of Florida Bay and Whitewater Bay, a new restaurant co-located with the cottages, and retail. The new accommodations will be environmentally friendly, affording a sustainable visitor experience. The 20 year term of the contract will enable the new operator to invest in needed visitor services and make customer service a priority.

Superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, Pedro Ramos, expressed excitement about the new contract: “Guest Services has a long history of serving our national parks and the millions of visitors that come out to visit them. We are thrilled that we can now move forward with Guest Services to revitalize Flamingo and offer quality services that will enhance the visitor experience at Everglades National Park.” Ramos also expressed his gratitude to Sammy Hamilton and Everglades National Park Boat Tours for over eight years of providing services to the visitors of the Flamingo area.

Gerry Gabrys, CEO of Guest Services, Inc. similarly shared his enthusiasm by stating, “2017 has been a very special year for our organization as it marks a ‘Century of Service’ since our founding in 1917. When we received this tremendous news from the National Park Service, our Centennial Celebration became even more special. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to steward and enhance visitor services within the Everglades – truly one of America’s most iconic National Parks!”

Flamingo is accessed by water, through Florida Bay, or a 45-minute scenic drive through the park. Visitors will be able to walk out their cottage door, and within minutes have the opportunity to see crocodiles, alligators, manatees, sawfish, sea turtles, dolphin, tarpon and more. Flamingo is also a world-class birding and fishing paradise, with rich history of peoples and industries from the Calusa & Tequesta Indians, Guy Bradley and the Audubon Society, to Henry Flagler and agriculture.

Guest Services was selected under the provisions of the 1998 Concessions Management Improvement Act. Guidelines used to evaluate proposals can be found online at: http://www.nps.gov/commercialservices. More information about the company is available at www.guestservices.com.

For more information about Everglades National Park, visit http://www.nps.gov/ever or call (305) 242-7700.

– NPS –

The National Park Service has more than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 National Parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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