In a year when vacations have been difficult to pull off given the restrictions on flying, visiting theme parks, spending time at popular beaches, along with scores of other fun activities, it's no surprise that many people have been fantasizing about making their next vacation a truly special one. These are the types of experiences often referred to as “bucket list” vacations and, if you're like most people, your bucket is getting close to overflowing! That's why this year Exploria Resorts is ready to host you at our home resort destinations - where you'll find unique experiences that are ideal for your bucket list. Here are just a few vacation activities that are certain to get thrill seekers and family fun enthusiasts excited! Orlando Viewing a Rocket Launch Seeing a rocket launch from viewing areas at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is an unforgettable experience. You can feel the ground rumble under your feet as millions of pounds of thrust slowly lift the payload off the ground, eventually carrying it out of sight into space. It's nearly impossible to describe the feeling when you witness one of man's greatest scientific achievements up close. Best part, Florida's 'Space Coast' is just a short drive from our Grand Seas Resort in Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Waves, and Summer Bay Orlando resorts!For launch schedules and additional information, visit the KSCVC website at www.kennedyspacecenter.com. Hot Air Balloon Excursions It's hard to imagine an experience that is simultaneously exhilarating and peaceful, but that is the best way to describe a hot-air balloon ride over Central Florida. From just a couple of thousand feet above earth, you can enjoy spectacular views of the countryside surrounding Orlando. That includes Walt Disney World Resort, as well as downtown Orlando and other unique sights, all within view from the calm environment of a comfortable gondola.You have more than one option when planning your flight. Choose from Orlando Balloon Rides or Clermont Balloon Rides, both just a short drive from our Summer Bay Orlando resort! Daytona Beach Daytona International Speedway Whether you want to attend a live race or simply tour this historic racing venue, a visit to the Daytona International Speedway is worthy of any NASCAR fan's bucket list. With the DAYTONA 500 in February and the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in August, two of NASCAR's biggest events will be held at the speedway this year. If you can't make it to any of the live events, you can actually be part of the action with the NASCAR Racing Experience, a unique opportunity to get behind the wheel of a racecar and take a few laps around the track at actual racing speeds! Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com for more information.Driving on the BeachDriving on the beach has been a well-tread Daytona tradition since 1903. The beaches are wide enough for cars and sunbathers alike, so go ahead and pack for setting up camp for the day. The beach is accessible and free for pedestrians and bicyclists 24 hours a day, depending on tides and weather conditions. Driving and parking on the beach is open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset from November 1 through April 30 and from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm from May 1 through October 31.There is a $20 per day per vehicle user fee to drive on the beach. There is no cost for Volusia County residents in December and January. Annual beach passes are $25 for Volusia County residents and $100 for non-residents. For further information regarding beach passes, click here. If you're staying with us at our Grand Seas Resort, located right on Daytona Beach, you can keep your car parked where it is and simply walk outside the pool deck and directly on to the sand - and catch the free car show.ParasailingThere's nothing quite like soaring 600 feet to 1,000 feet in the air over the Atlantic Ocean. An area favorite for years, Parasailing requires no special training, and basically, anyone can do it. The adventure is perfect for couples and families, but the minimum age to get airborne is 5 years old. Don't miss the chance to take some photos and videos, but if you do plan on taking selfies while you're up there, be sure to have your phone strapped to you. And don't forget to ask your boat captain to dip your feet, especially if the weather is warm. For more information, tickets and pricing check out Daytona Beach Parasail here! Smoky Mountains Whitewater Rafting There's no doubt that the Smoky Mountains offer some of the most beautiful and scenic surroundings found anywhere east of the Mississippi River. However, if you add the adrenaline rush of riding a raft down the rapids of one of the many rivers in the area, the result is an amazing bucket-list experience! Available seasonally from May to October, whitewater rafting requires no prior experience because there are runs that match any skill level from beginner to advanced. And don't forget, our Gatlinburg Town Square resort is right in the heart of the Smokies, and close to this and all kinds of outdoor adventures! The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Located in Bryson City, North Carolina, this all-day experience is definitely worth the drive from Gatlinburg. You'll board the train at a historic depot in a quaint part of town that's also home to an impressive model train museum. From there, you can relax and enjoy the views during a two-hour excursion to the Nantahala Outdoor Center on a vintage 1942 steam-powered locomotive. The 53-mile route takes you across 25 bridges and through two tunnels as part of the journey. Ziplining Imagine gazing upon the picturesque Smoky Mountains as you glide along a zipline trail that rises to heights of a hundred feet off the ground. Safely harnessed to a secure cable, you'll feel a rush of wind on your face from start to finish, propelled only by gravity and enthusiasm. From Gatlinburg, you'll find plenty of ziplining adventures located just a short drive away. The Poconos Fly Fishing People often think of “fishing” and imagine it as a passive activity where you simply hook a worm, drop it in the water, and relax while you wait for a bite. Fly fishing is a whole different sport. It takes skill and strategy to be successful in fly fishing. You have to choose the right lure for the species of fish you're trying to catch. You have to understand the conditions of the stream you're fishing in. And you have to develop the skill to move the lure so it attracts the fish. It takes some effort… and it's absolutely worth it! For beginners, look online for a skilled fly-fishing guide and you'll have an experience you'll never forget! Skiing In 1946, the first commercial ski area in Pennsylvania was established in the Pocono Mountains, followed shortly thereafter by the perfection of artificial snowmaking. Since then, the Poconos have become a thriving ski destination with slopes and trails that range from beautifully groomed beginner slopes to double black diamond runs and terrain parks. Skiing in the Poconos is an extraordinary experience set against the panorama of scenic rolling mountains covered with glistening snow. Pocono TreeVentures Located adjacent to Pocono Mountain Villas By Exploria Resorts, Pocono TreeVentures offers a bucket-list experience above all others… literally. Because all the activities – including rope courses, zip lines, swings, and more – take place in the trees up to 40 feet in the air, you can enjoy hours of adventure and fun without ever setting foot on solid ground. There are activities for kids as young as seven so the whole family can play together. And if you've got a competitive streak, don't miss the Dual Zipline Racing course where you can speed through the treetops, competing for bragging rights! At Exploria Resorts, we offer luxurious suites at a wide variety of desirable travel destinations. So, dip into your bucket list and try some of these activities this year! Start planning your next vacation with us today.