Our spotlight on St. Augustine, Florida continues this week with golf and restaurant reviews by our members. Take a look at last week’s Vacation Exchange Network Blog for posts about sights to see and things to do in St. Augustine and vacation homes available for swap in St. Augustine.
Golf and Restaurant Reviews by The Vacation Exchange Network Members
Our members’ St. Augustine golf course picks:
St. Johns Golf & Country Club is located between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, Florida and offers extraordinary golf. The 18-hole Clyde Johnston-designed course has the right challenges for novice and avid golfers alike. A great place to hone your skills, St. Johns is known for its consistent quality of service and conditions, being nationally ranked for customer satisfaction and loyalty by the National Golf Foundation, and host to the PGA TOUR Qualifying School in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
Cimarrone Golf in Jacksonville should not be missed. Cimarrone’s manicured course conditions and challenging design provides a fun, player-friendly experience for golfers of all abilities.
King & Bear Golf Course in World Golf Village is named for its co-designers, World Golf Hall of Fame members Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Wide fairways, top-notch conditioning. Not to be missed!
These restaurants have gotten rave reviews by our members:
O.C. White’s Restaurant: If sightseeing downtown, O.C. Whites is a good choice for lunch or dinner. Offering fresh local seafood, it is located in a historic building. Music in the patio area in the evening creates a fun atmosphere to spend part of an evening.
Pusser’s Bar and Grill in Ponte Vedra Beach (a short drive north of St. Augustine) is a great spot. Try the fish and chips. You won’t be sorry.
Ocean 60 (in Atlantic Beach) is a trendy spot with great food. You’d think you were in SOHO in New York City. Be sure and make a reservation because it’s a very popular spot. Located in a very cute little area that’s perfect for taking a walk after dinner.
Benito’s: There were so many good restaurants in the area, but for wonderful Italian food, don’t miss Benito’s. Located in Vilano Beach (a section of St. Augustine), the food at this very unassuming spot is terrific. On top of wonderful food, the prices are very reasonable. Over a two week period, we ate here four times.
Columbia Restaurant: This Spanish restaurant on St. George Street serves wonderful food with atmosphere. Indoor patio is stunning. Don’t miss the Scallops Casimiro.
Aunt Kate’s is a casual spot with great food and reasonable prices. The fried shrimp is terrific.
Salt Water Cowboy’s is not fancy but has a pleasant atmosphere; good food with a southern flair and good value. For those with a daring streak, try the fried alligator. Of course, be sure and try the fried chicken.
The Vacation Exchange Network is always looking for restaurant, golf, attraction, and destination reviews. Please share yours in the comments section below, or if you are a member, please email us with your reviews.
The Vacation Exchange Network
Unmatched in the home exchange industry, The Vacation Exchange Network is the vacation home owner’s first stop in vacation planning. Swap a stay in your vacation home for a stay anywhere in the United States or around the world, without the necessity of having to find someone who wants to use your home. Please visit The Vacation Exchange Network’s main site for more information about how home swaps work or to become a member and start planning your next home exchange vacation!
Vacation Home Swap Opportunities in St. Augustine with The Vacation Exchange Network
In yesterday’s blog post about St. Augustine, we highlighted the variety of sights to see and activities the oldest city in the United States offers to its visitors.
What better way to visit St. Augustine than with a home exchange? The Vacation Exchange Network has many beautiful homes available for swap in St. Augustine and the surrounding area. Here are just a few:
This modern oceanfront St. Augustine, Florida vacation home is steps away from beach and may be the perfect property for your next home exchange. Stunning wrap-around deck has private hot tub. The kitchen is modern with granite counters and upgraded Viking appliances. Vacationers can collect sharks teeth, surf, fish, charter a deep sea fishing boat, rent jet skis, para-sail, scuba dive, and rent ocean kayaks. The restaurants and culture of St. Augustine are less then 5 minutes away.
This ocean-side 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath condo in St. Augustine is 50 yards from the beach. Available are 2 pools and tennis courts, property is located across the street from the intracoastal waterway. Come to sail, tour, windsurf, surf, play golf, or just relax.
This ocean view condo has private beach access. The 2 bedroom, 2 bath home is newly remodeled and sleeps 7. The complex is gated, has 2 pools, tennis, a hot tub, and shuffle board. The property is just minutes away from Historic Old St. Augustine, Sawgrass, (home of Tournament Players Club), and the World Golf Village.
Home Exchange with The Vacation Exchange Network
Remember that with The Vacation Exchange Network, you always have the choice of mutual (direct) home swaps or non-mutual (indirect) home swaps. Browse our vacation home listings, or contact one of our Exchange Coordinators to find your next vacation!
Come back to our blog tomorrow for members’ reviews of St. Augustine golf and restaurants!
We at The Vacation Exchange Network have always believed that our uniqueness speaks for itself. But thanks to one of our members, it no longer has to….
When Berne and Sam Webb were on a home exchange vacation in the Bahamas, a conversation with a few couples from Miami, Florida quickly turned into a lively presentation about the benefits of The Vacation Exchange Network, complete with a hands-on demonstration!
The Webbs have been Vacation Exchange Network members for a few years. Last year, they traveled to Sanibel Island, Florida on a non-mutual house swap. Berne tells me the Sanibel home was beautiful. Located a few blocks from the beach, it also had a pool in the backyard. Perfect for an afternoon swim or as a backdrop to evening cocktails.
North Bimini Island in the Bahamas was the Webbs’ vacation destination this year. This home exchange was mutual and non-simultaneous; the owners of the home in Bimini plan to travel to the Webbs’ home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts at a different time — when the weather in Cape Cod is at its best.
So, how did we convince Berne to serve as our remote marketer?
No convincing was necessary. Sitting in a North Bimini Island cafe, Berne and Sam struck up a conversation with a few couples sitting at a nearby table. “What brings you to the Bahamas?” they asked each other. Berne’s response that she was on a home exchange sparked wide eyes from the other couples, so Berne went on to provide them with a lively description of home swapping with The Vacation Exchange Network. With her fellow cafe goers’ interest piqued, Berne opened up her laptop, fortunately remembering her PIN, and took her captive audience on a tour of the Vacation Exchange website. The other couples were laughing and clapping along with Berne’s enthusiasm. Apparently, she didn’t even need the white board and film projector we offered to send her!
One of the Miami couples was particularly interested in traveling to Italy, so Berne showed them The Vacation Exchange Network’s homes in Terracina, Rome, and Teramo.
Berne tells me that she raved about the travel opportunities afforded by vacation home exchanges. Since the Webbs’ children are grown, their travels no longer need to be tied to school vacations. Like our other members, the Webbs enjoy the freedom and flexibility afforded by the non-mutual and non-simultaneous home exchanges that are the hallmark of The Vacation Exchange Network. The Webbs can travel when and where they’d like to travel, without the necessity of finding someone else who wants to use their home at the same time.
While hiring a public relations firm to do publicity about The Vacation Exchange Network might get us a few lines in some travel magazines and allow us to garner invitations to a few fancy cocktail parties, having members like the Webbs is much more rewarding. Our thanks to the Webbs, and to all of our other members, who speak so graciously about our service.
Please visit The Vacation Exchange Network’s site to join our home swap network, to learn more about how home exchanges work, or to refer a friend to The Vacation Exchange Network.
Have you had an opportunity to tell someone about The Vacation Exchange Network or about your home exchange vacation? We’d love to hear about it. Use the comment box below or contact us via email. We look forward to hearing from you!
This Queensland Australia Beachfront Home is Available for Your Next Holiday Home Swap
Do you feel limited by the high cost of traveling?
Wish your family’s “staycation” could take place somewhere other than in your home?
With housing exchange, your biggest asset — your home — enables you to take unforgettable vacations on a budget. By swapping a stay in your home for a stay in someone else’s home, you can save thousands of dollars on your holiday.
Typically, 45% to 65% of the cost of a vacation goes to pay for lodging. Expect to spend $200 to $550 per night at a hotel. That totals $1,400 to $3,850 for a week, before taxes, parking, and other hotel fees. Plan to double that dollar figure if the size of your family necessitates two hotel rooms. The cost of renting a vacation home can range from $1,000 to $20,000 per week!
The high cost of lodging can mean forgoing vacations for lots of travelers who travel on a budget. However, lodging expenses no longer have to keep you from traveling…. The cost of vacationing with The Vacation Exchange Network for an entire week? Only $250 (for a Direct Exchange) or $500 (for an Indirect Exchange )!
Home swaps also enable you to skip restaurants for some meals, saving you an estimated $40 to $120 per meal for a family of four. Additionally, some home swaps come with beach passes, museum passes, discount attraction tickets, and the like, adding to the ways home swaps make travel affordable.
Of course, the tremendous savings you’ll realize by spending your vacation or holiday in someone’s home instead of a hotel is just part of the picture. Home exchange offers you the home base many people find lacking when they stay in a hotel. Even a staycation will feel like a real vacation when it is away from home! Additionally, a home offers you space and amenities that no hotel can offer. Home swappers enjoy the convenience of having a kitchen, laundry machines, comfortable sleeping and living rooms, and ample space for their family and their belongings. Many home swappers also value living like a local rather than like a tourist, an opportunity you’ll get when you stay in someone’s home rather than in a hotel.
Interested in traveling without paying exorbitant prices for lodging? Travel the home exchange way! Join The Vacation Exchange Network now!
Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina Vacation Home Available for Home Exchange
Another New Vacation Home Exchange Opportunity
Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina may just be one of the world’s most perfect summer vacation spots. You’ll find a combination of charming neighborhoods, quiet yet family-friendly beaches, and the rich history and culture of nearby Charleston, South Carolina. You’ll find an aquarium, a pirate tour(!), and the island’ s very own lighthouse.
Inviting, Spacious Home Dressed in Relaxing Tones Makes for a Relaxing Vacation Home Base
This new addition to The Vacation Exchange Network has 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. It is located across the street from the beautiful, wide Sullivan’s Island Beach. And speaking of Sullivan’s Island Beach, this beach will quickly become a favorite of shell seekers. Unbroken shells, sea stars, and sand dollars commonly found.
This spacious yet cozy vacation home is typically available for home exchange all year, except Christmas through New Year’s Day. Contact The Vacation Exchange Network to help you arrange your home swap.
Family vacations and home exchange go hand in hand. And, those interested in making travel affordable will find that home swaps are the ideal way to do just that. Your next perfect vacation is sure to be a home exchange.
Add your comments below, and share your home swap experiences or your idea of the perfect summer vacation!
This South Lake Tahoe CA vacation home is available for home exchange with The Vacation Exchange Network. Stunning mountain views, covered porches, and two fireplaces make this the perfect home for your next Lake Tahoe vacation.
In Lake Tahoe, California this week, April (Snow) Showers Bring May Flowers Happy Spring Skiers
Spring skiers in Lake Tahoe, California are enjoying the powdery conditions of mid-April snow. In North Lake Tahoe, ski areas Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe are all reporting powder. Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is reporting packed powder. Kirkwood Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe is also reporting powder — 25 inches in the past 48 hours!
In addition to the April snow and the spring weather, many of these resorts are running specials on their lift tickets. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe’s spring skiing daily lift tickets are only $29! Whether your skiing looks more like Bode Miller’s or my six-year-old’s, spring skiing in Lake Tahoe will certainly offer you gorgeous conditions, unbeatable weather, and unforgettable views.
Lake Tahoe Home Exchange
The Vacation Exchange Network has many North Lake Tahoe home exchanges and South Lake Tahoe home swaps, as well as many other California vacation homes available for home exchange. To spotlight a few:
North Lake Tahoe California Vacation Home with Wrap-Around Deck
This vacation home in North Lake Tahoe boasts a stone fireplace and a wrap-around deck. Three bedrooms and a loft sleep 8. Squaw Valley, Northstar, and Alpine Meadows ski areas are all within minutes.
Lake Tahoe Cabin with Open Floor Plan and Access to Private Marina
This 3-bedroom vacation home on Donner Lake offers boat launch, private marina, and easy access to ski and golf. Open floor plan and large wrap-around porch will make your vacation home exchange unforgettable.
South Lake Tahoe Vacation Home on Shore of Lake Tahoe Available for Home Swap
This luxury 5,000 square foot four-level vacation home on the shore of Lake Tahoe boasts a private beach and a deck with a stunning view. Located close to Lake Tahoe ski areas, this 4-bedroom, 5-bath home with a gourmet kitchen will certainly make you feel right at home.
We’d love to hear your feedback! How are the ski conditions in Tahoe? Do you have a favorite ski resort or any restaurants or shops to recommend?
Outdoor Living in Cote D’Azur, France – This 5BR Home Available for Swap with The Vacation Exchange Network
Continued from Top 10 Reasons Why Home Swapping is Ideal for Family Vacations – Part Four
More Reasons Why Your Next Family Vacation Should Be a Home Exchange
2. Home swapping enables you and your family to experience your vacation destination as a local.
When you stay in someone’s home, you can live like a local rather than a tourist. To the extent you want, you can shop in the shops, eat at the restaurants, and stroll the streets away from the tourist spots. Home swap hosts often leave lists of local dining, markets, and happenings for their home swap partners. You’ll be able to offer your family a unique opportunity to view a culture from within its boundaries. You might even meet some neighbors! They’re sure to give you a friendlier welcome when you are staying in the home of their friend. More than a few times, my children have befriended some of our home swap neighbors’ children. Their stories of playing with these children have become some of their longest-standing memories of our trips.
And the number one reason why home exchange is ideal for family vacations….
1. Home exchange makes travel affordable!
There’s no getting around what many see as the most important benefit of home exchange — avoiding the high cost of lodging. Hotels and vacation rentals can cost thousands of dollars per week. This certainly limits vacation opportunities for most of us, especially “ITE” (in this economy). If you didn’t have to worry about the cost of lodging, would you be more likely to travel wherever your vacation dreams take you? Would you be more likely to take your children to all of those places you’ve always wanted to take them? You can travel in the U.S. or around the world without having to check hotel prices. And you can spend more of your vacation budget on exploring the sites and experiencing all your vacation destination has to offer.
We look forward to helping you plan your next family vacation!
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Why Your Next Family Vacation Should Be a Home Exchange
10. You don’t have to ask for a room away from the noisy elevator.
Concern about where your room will be located — close to or far from the elevator, 2nd floor or 8th floor, smoking section or non-smoking section — is par for the course when you vacation in a hotel. When you stay in a vacation home, however, the whole house is yours. No need to worry about noisy guests, rooms that smell of smoke, a view of the parking lot, or being too far away from the ice machine. Every room in a vacation house is conveniently located and as quiet as you’d like it to be!
9. In a vacation home, there is no extra charge for room service.
Although I’ll agree that room service has a few benefits, I’d prefer not to have to pay $5 for that cup of orange juice my daughter is asking for. Home swappers enjoy a kitchen that is open 24/7, which is especially convenient for families with children who wake up hours too early for breakfast at a restaurant and for anyone who occasionally enjoys a midnight snack. Home swapping enables families to eat some meals at home, saving money on your vacation and adding oodles of convenience.
To be continued….
To read more of the top 10 reasons why home swapping is ideal for family vacations, visit us again tomorrow!
Vacation Home Exchange Opportunity in Kauai, Hawaii
Besides offering a haven of tranquility or a home base for your adventures, vacation homes also offer many owners a major source of income. A substantial number of vacation and second home owners rent their homes to vacationers. This rental income is not inconsequential. Some vacation rentals can go for as much as $12,000 or more per week. But, even the most desirable vacation properties in the most desirable vacation destinations have unrented weeks.
So, the vacation home sits empty and unused, and the owners of the vacation home consider the week a loss. This doesn’t have to be the case. That unrented week can be used in a home exchange, also called a home swap. By joining The Vacation Exchange Network, an unrented week in your vacation home enables you to take that trip you’ve been dreaming about, in the United States or around the world. And you can take your trip in an affordable way, avoiding the high cost of lodging.
You don’t have to wait for someone to use your home in order for you to make a home exchange. Unlike other home swap companies, you can travel when and where you want without having to find someone to use your home. Simply find a vacation home in our Network, or have our home exchange coordinators find one for you, and arrange to stay there for your vacation. The other home owner will receive an Exchange Credit to be used on a future vacation. Similarly, when you allow another Vacation Exchange Network member to use your vacation property, you’ll receive an Exchange Credit.
Home exchange is a great way try spring skiing in Colorado, Utah, or Vermont, to dust off those golf clubs in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, or to travel somewhere you’ve never been. Just browse through our vacation properties to get some ideas, and we’ll help you find that perfect vacation.
To learn more about home swaps, including how to list your vacation home, how to join our home swap Network, or what makes The Vacation Exchange Network a unique house swap program, please visit us at www.TheVacationExchange.com. We look forward to helping you plan your next vacation!
No more lamenting those unrented weeks; they’re your key to your next vacation!
Your Next Golf Vacation Could be a Home Exchange
Time for a spring golf tune-up?
The Myrtle Beach area boasts over 100 golf courses, including some of the most challenging and beautiful golf courses in the country. If your clubs are just aching to get out on the course, consider Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Award-winning courses abound, including those by world-famous architects Robert Trent Jones, Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Tom Fazio.
Average spring temperatures in Myrtle Beach range from the high sixties in March to the low eighties in May, making for perfect golf weather. Myrtle Beach is part of the Grand Strand, 60 miles of white sand beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. So, after those 18 (or 27?) holes, you can watch the sunset with soft sand between your toes.
Golf and Restaurant Reviews by The Vacation Exchange Network Members
Our members’ Myrtle Beach golf course picks:
Arrowhead Country Club of Myrtle Beach, by architects Tom Jackson and Ray Floyd, is an outstanding course, upscale and particularly visually appealing. This 27-hole course has three 9-hole tracts. Our members picked The Cypress as their favorite.
Glen Durnoch Golf Course, part of The Glens Golf Course, is located in Little River, South Carolina. This coastal course is located on the Intracoastal Waterway and has several natural elevation changes. Our members say the course has a fabulous layout and that the last three holes are particularly spectacular.
River Hills Golf and Country Club of Little River, South Carolina, by architect Tom Jackson has a southern feel with rolling hills and natural elevation changes. Our members were particularly impressed with the excellent condition of the course and made note of the outstanding greens.
These restaurants have gotten rave reviews by our members:
Parson’s Table, located in Little River, South Carolina, is fine dining in a one-of-a-kind setting. Upscale, with outstanding food and ambiance. The antique wooden floors and stained glass windows are a perfect accompaniment to a meal prepared by Ed Murray, Jr., recently selected as one the Best Chefs in America.
Umberto’s at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers outstanding traditional Italian food at a reasonable price. Their self-named house dish Chicken Umberto lives up to its name, and the owner has a sense of humor. Check out his Dining Tips!
Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is an entertaining dining experience. Their sizzling meats are delicious, and children six and under dine for free!
Inspired to try these golf course and restaurant picks out yourself? The Vacation Exchange Network has many vacation homes in Myrtle Beach available for your next vacation home exchange.
To spotlight just a few:
Located on Myrtlewood Golf Course, this condo (see photo below) in the Myrtlewood Villas sleeps 6. This beautifully furnished and centrally-located Myrtle Beach vacation home is close to the beach, shopping, water sports, and restaurants.
This Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation home is available for home swap at The Vacation Exchange Network now through the end of May.
Located in Surfside Beach, seven miles south of Myrtle Beach, this sunny 5-bedroom, 3-bath raised beach home is also within minutes of a variety of golf courses. The home’s gorgeous in-ground pool is perfect for a few laps or just relaxing at the end of the day.
This Surfside Beach, South Carolina beach home is available for swap during April with The Vacation Exchange Network
Located in Myrtle Beach, the home pictured below has both a lake view and an ocean view. The community is gated, and it has both a swimming pool and an outdoor waterpark.
This waterfront condo is available for home swap in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The Vacation Exchange Network has scores of vacation homes in South Carolina, including many in and around Myrtle Beach. Take a look at our homes in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, and Garden City Beach. You’re sure to find one that is right for your next home exchange. Be sure to let us know about your restaurant and golf course picks!
Images: Rasmus Thomsen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net