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Spending your Holidays in Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is always a wonderful place to be, but it takes on a special magic as the holiday season approaches. If you have never experienced Daytona Beach during the holidays, why not make this the year; trading in your snowman for a sandcastle. Spend Christmas on the beach and get your Christmas shopping done at funky seaside shops instead of at the mall.

Christmas at the beaches are just as festive without the cold and snow. You do not have to fight your way through a blizzard to enjoy the beauty of the holidays. Just make your plans to be in Daytona Beach this holiday season. There is a reason Daytona Beach is ranked #1 in the TRAVEL CHANNEL’s 2017 “Top 10 Attractions in Florida.”

Daytona Beach offers its visitors a wide range of sightseeing opportunities, attractions, and tours. From fun-filled family activities to a wealth of cultural attractions, there are endless scheduled events going on in Daytona Beach. When it comes to making more quality time and lifelong memories with your family, there is no place like Daytona for the holidays.

 

The Festival Capital of Florida

Daytona Beach is the festival capital of Florida and a standout in the state for its many planned activities. At the heart of these is Bike Week on Main Street; just one reason Daytona lays claim to the title of Festival Capital of Florida. These events take place throughout the year, so there is always something going on in Daytona Beach. There will be fun activities every day in December, so feel free to drop in anytime.

 

A Wealth of Historical Sites

Daytona Beach is home to several historical sites, and the holiday season always brings a touch of nostalgia. Give in to the pull of the past as you visit the many historical sites scattered throughout the region. Start with our ancient ancestors by visiting the Timucuan Sugarmill Botanical Garden Indians, then check out the many Spanish and French settlements, the sugar mill plantations and the man who literally put Florida on the map as a tourist destination; the fascinating Henry Flagler.

When you visit, you can learn about the humble beginnings of our state, visit its parks and plantations, see its preserves and historic sites. Take a walk through history as you tour Rockefeller’s Ormond Beach home, known as the Casements. Visit the ruins of the old sugar mill plantations at Bulow Creek State Park, Sugarmill Botanical Gardens, Sugarmill Ruins and DeLeon Springs State Park. No matter where you go, you will find history at every turn.

 

The Boardwalk and Pier

The boardwalk and pier at Daytona is focused on the two most critical parts of any vacation: fun and food. The holiday season is a time for tasty treats, and you will find plenty of those delicious delights as you stroll down the boardwalk and explore the pier at Daytona Beach.

Take your snacking to the next level as you browse the Main Street Pier. Enjoy lunch with your family at Joe’s Crab Shack, located near the end of the pier right over the Atlantic Ocean. Not in the mood for seafood? No problem. Enjoy a slice of cheesy pizza, a delicious ice cream cone, and even a rooftop bar; aptly dubbed The Roof. There you can indulge in your favorite tropical drinks as you watch the world go by.

 

Daytona Beach knows how to party, and its residents know how to keep the party going into the cold days of December. So this year, trade in your snowsuit for a swimsuit and see all the great things Daytona Beach has to offer at Marina Grande on the Halifax.

 

 

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5 Fantastic Features to Look for in Your First Condo

When you’re looking for your first condo, there are a lot of different amenity choices. Depending on your needs and your budget, there are quite a few to choose from. We’ve rounded up a list of 5 fantastic features to look for in your first condo.

1. In-Suite Laundry

Doing laundry outside of your own home can be a serious hassle. It’s much better to have an in-suite washer and dryer than having to worry about having enough change or if there will be enough washers open. We understand how much of a hassle it can be, so MG on the Halifax has in-suite washers and dryers available for your convenience.

2. Walk-In Closets

When you’re done with the laundry, having a nice walk-in closet to easily put away your clothes is a great amenity. Walk-in closets are great for storing your belongings and allow you to easily see your outfits.

3. Secure Parking

No one wants to worry about the security of their vehicle. It’s important to find a condo that has secure parking so you feel safe walking to and from your vehicle. It’s even better if condos offer covered or underground parking to protect you and your vehicle from the elements.

4. Terrace or Balcony

Having an outdoor space such as a terrace or a balcony gives you the perfect place to entertain guests or relax. It’s nice to have somewhere to enjoy the warm weather, grill your dinner, or just relax in the fresh air. It’s not quite a necessity, but it definitely makes a big difference.

 

5. Luxury Amenities

Luxury amenities don’t come standard with most condos. MG on the Halifax offers top of the line amenities like an 18 seat THX certified movie theater, 2 gorgeous swimming pools, a marina, banquet space, his and hers steam saunas, and meticulously manicured grounds. You won’t find luxury amenities just anywhere, so be sure to check what special amenities each condos have.

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Trending Condo Decorating Ideas

Looking to spruce up your condo with this years latest trending decorating ideas? Here’s what you should be looking for while on the prowl for the hottest finds.

Photo by Ingrid Rasmussen PhotographySource:
Houzz.com

Jewel Tones

Decorating with jewel tones such as sapphire blue, emerald green, and deep, rich purples with give you a luxurious pop of color. Bright, rich hues are are a great choice for accent pieces or an entire jewel-tone color scheme, depending on your taste.

Marble

If you’d like to decorate your condo with more luxurious material, marble is the way to go. If you’re not in the market for installing marble countertops, try marble wallpaper or fabric as a more affordable choice. This still lends you the same chic statement without a more permanent feature.

 

Metallic Details

Metallic details such as brass hardware on kitchen cabinets or golden joinery can add one of this years hottest trends to your condo. Molten finishes, shiny interiors, and metallic fabrics have been running rampant in this season’s creative looks. Look to add accents of brass, gold, and copper to your decor.

Artisan Touches

Instead of DIY, this year’s obsession is strictly artisan. High quality craftsmanship and materials, such as handblown glass, is on the rise. Look for quality, one-of-a-kind pieces to add to your condo.

Quilts

Going along with the artisan touches, quilts offer a quality, handmade, and homey element to any room. Find a quilt that matches your current room theme to add a cozy touch to your bedroom.

Velvet Furniture

Velvet is a luxurious and soothing material, perfect for a cozy couch. Pairing velvet with smooth metals and ceramics adds visual interest and coziness to a room. If you’re not ready for a new couch, add a few velvet pillows or a velvet throw instead, adding the same benefits without the price or commitment.

 

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Exercising in Your Condo

Whether you’re trying to slim down, build up muscle, or simply looking for something new to try, exercising at home in your condo affords you plenty of opportunity to meet your new goal. Not only does exercising help you lose weight and build muscle, it also helps to boost your metal function and brain power, reduce your stress, and give you more energy. You can also make new friends or build better relationships with your current ones by finding people to work out with.

Fitness Center

Living in a condo gives you the luxury of a fantastic gym in the comfort of your own condo community. If you’re trying to get into better shape, be sure to take advantage of Marina Grande’s 24 hour, waterfront state-of-the-art fitness center. At the fitness center, you can enjoy the view of the intracoastal waterway while lifting weights on doing cardio. There are countless ways to use the equipment to your advantage.

Swimming

There are quite a few different ways to burn calories in the pool, and at MG on the Halifax, you have two different pools to choose from! Try swimming laps, doing pool aerobics, or one of these workouts from U.S. Masters Swimming. There are pool exercises for all ages and levels, you just find one that works for your needs.

Yoga

The benefits of yoga are practically endless, but the fact that you can do it just about anywhere makes it perfect for condo application. With yoga you can increase your flexibility, increase your muscle strength and tone, have improved respiration, energy, and vitality, and so much more. If you’re an absolute beginner you might need to take a few classes or watch some videos first. Once you’re comfortable, you can do yoga by the pool on one of Marina Grande’s generous sun decks or in the comfort of your own home.

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Renting vs. Buying Condominiums: What to Consider

Renting vs. Buying a Condominium

There are many factors to consider when it comes to renting or buying a condo. Finances are a major aspect to factor in, but thats only one piece of the puzzle. Consider these pros and cons if you’re struggling with the decision to rent or buy.

1. Calculate the Price-to-Rent Ratio

If you want to know the price-to-rent ratio, find a condo in your area for sale and a condo for rent. Be sure that they have similar features, such as the same number of bedrooms and comparable square footage.

As an example, lets say you find a condo selling for $200,000, and down the block you find a similar condo renting for $1,000 per month (or $12,000 per year.) Dividing $200,000 by $12,000 will give you a price-to-rent ratio of 16.7. If the ratio is higher than 20, the monthly costs of condo ownership will exceed the cost of renting a similar condo.

2. Determine Your Household Budget

An important financial aspect to consider when deciding to rent or buy your next condo is your income. If the purchase prices of the condos in your area are exceeding what you make in three years, then consider renting. If you’re intent on buying, then consider looking at other neighborhoods or locations.

3. Identify Your Needs

If you purchase a condo, being able to change the layout is an available option. But if you rent, you’re basically stuck with what you get. Owning a condo gives you the freedom to make more invasive changes to the interior. You can remodel more easily and expand where you need to. Most tenants who are renting or leasing, won’t be able to make any significant changes.

4. How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

Another major aspect to contemplate is how long you plan on staying in the area. Renting a condo gives you a lot more flexibility to relocate if needed. Some things to consider are if you’re planning on starting with a new job or starting a family. Buying a condo, you may be stuck with the purchase until the 30-year load is paid off or you can find a buyer.

5. The Responsibility of Maintenance

One major upside to renting is that if anything goes wrong, like the electricity malfunctioning or toilet backing up, you can call the condo association to come fix the problem. As a condo owner, you’ll be responsible for any mishaps.

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The Best Devices for Smart Condos

Technology has improved leaps and bounds over just the last decade, and now you can use technology to make your home work for you. With gadgets like automated light systems, thermostats that can cool off your condo before you get home, and intuitive control systems, your devices are now connected to the internet. This means that they can communicate with you, send you information, and take your commands. If you’re looking for tech that will turn your condo into a “smart home,” we’ve rounded up a few of the most useful and creative gadgets out on the market.


Amazon Echo

179.99 on Amazon

“Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.

Echo has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with 360° immersive sound. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).”


Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit

59.95 on Amazon

“The Click & Grow Smart Garden takes the unpredictability out of indoor gardening, so you get more fresh herbs, fruits or flowers with zero effort. Using a Smart Garden is simple. Just insert the plant capsules, fill the water tank, and plug it in. Then, relax! Our specially developed Smart Soil and built-in sensors make sure plants get the optimal configuration of water, oxygen, and nutrients so your plants thrive with zero effort. This innovative technology will help your plants grow faster and more nutritious. No pesticides, plant hormones, or any other harmful substances.”


Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

$114.30 on Amazon

“Nest Protect has been redesigned from the inside out. It has an industrial-grade smoke sensor, can be hushed from your phone, tests itself automatically, and lasts up to 10 years. And just like the original Nest Protect, it also tells you what’s wrong and can even alert your phone.”


Petnet SmartFeeder

$119.99 on Amazon

“We believe the best nutrition for your pet is personalized. Petnet will help you make intelligent decisions when it comes to your pet’s food — bringing you joy while keeping your pets healthy and happy. The SmartFeeder will help you manage feeding times, portion sizes, proper ingredients, and have your pet’s food delivered right to your doorstep.”


Neato Botvac 

$624.30 on Amazon

“Fully-featured, Botvac Connected is the smartest, most powerful, versatile solution for automatically clean floors, everyday. With dual cleaning modes and a wide cleaning path, Botvac Connected efficiently cleans room-to-room, recharges automatically and resumes cleaning until the entire floor is clean. Works on all floor types. Use the Neato app to clean your floors anytime, from anywhere. Great for homes with pets and allergies.

Also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant so you can voice control your robot.”


 

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Volusia County’s Top Beachfront Bars

For sun, sand, and sea complemented by beachfront watering holes that brim with good times, Volusia County has everything travelers are looking for from a seaside vacation. When spending time in Volusia, be sure to pay a visit to the following beachfront bars and restaurants that are revered for their ambience, food, and sunset drink specials!

The Beach Bucket

Beloved by locals, The Beach Bucket is the perfect venue for listening to the waves crash while enjoying a meal and drinks any time of day. Revered for its omelettes, The Beach Bucket is a popular breakfast destination, but their drink specials and fish baskets lure hungry locals and vacationers alike to its setting. Watch the surfers perfect their skills while enjoying blackened mahi and a tasty Bahama Mama.

JB’s Fish Camp

Located on the Canaveral National Seashore, JB’s Fish Camp is a seafood hot spot that attracts nature lovers who come to gaze out at the sea for sightings of dolphins, manatees, and seabirds. A family-friendly destination, JB’s Fish Camp features fresh catches and specialties of the house like crab cakes, bay scallops, combination seafood platters, and even blackened alligator. Be sure to pop in for happy hour to enjoy a sunset along with a glass of house wine and a slice of key lime pie.

Salt Life Food Shack

Enjoy attractive sea views at Salt Life Food Shack while dining on terrific eats like Bahamian conch chowder, sushi rolls, or the fresh catch of the day. Salt Life Food Shack is a popular destination for its Sushi Tuesdays and Oyster and Margarita Madness on Thursday. Be sure to try the Grilled Parmesan Garlic Oysters.

The Mai Tai Bar

Situated in the Ocean Walk Shoppes, The Mai Tai Bar has a first-rate view of the band shell and the expansive Atlantic Ocean beyond it. Naturally, they are known for their delicious mai tai cocktails, but their happy hours brim with all kinds of drink specials. The bar’s gorgeous views are frequently accompanied by live music, so if you’re looking for a lively beach bar atmosphere, keep the Mai Tai Bar in mind.

Crabby Joes & Sunglow Pier

The beach setting at Crabby Joes & Sunglow Pier is the stuff of postcards. Saunter out along the pier and pop in to Crabby Joes to dine on blue lump crab cakes, blackened red snapper, or a platter filled with sweet chili teriyaki wings. Relaxed whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this restaurant won’t disappoint you with its tasty drinks and deliciously fresh fare.

The Breakers Restaurant

With its casual ambience, The Breakers Restaurant will delight your taste buds. After a stroll on the beach, step in to sample their popular corn nuggets or flavorful taco salads. No matter where you sit, you’re likely to feel a refreshing sea breeze. The Breakers is the ideal beachside eatery to enjoy a burger wearing your most comfy beachwear.

For fun in the sun with great food and drink, be sure to check out these bars and restaurants. Volusia is known for its relaxed beach atmosphere and exciting nightlife. You won’t be disappointed with your travels there.

 

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The Best Breakfast in Daytona Beach

Now that summer is in full swing, you’re going to need all of your energy to get out there and have fun! Eating a good breakfast gives you the energy you need, kickstarts your metabolism, and helps improve your memory and concentration. It can also lower your risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Knowing how important it is to start your day right, we’ve created a list of our favorite breakfast spots just for you!


The Cracked Egg Diner

Owned by brothers Chris and Kevin Purucker, the Cracked Egg Diner is a great spot for both breakfast and lunch. Their most popular menu items include homemade apple fritters, Eggs Benedict, and their french toast. Breakfast is served all day, and lunch is served from 11 to close. The Cracked Egg Diner is located right next to the beach, so this is a great choice for breakfast before enjoying a day by the ocean.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 7am-3pm

Menu


Steve’s Famous Diner 

Steve Mavronas opened his first diner in 1986, and now his son Chris runs the business to bring great comfort food to the hungry citizens of Daytona Beach. Steve’s Famous Diner is known for their large portions, fast service, and their authentic Greek fare. Definitely be sure to check out their huge display case of muffins! They also serve lunch and dinner, but if you’re looking for a hardy breakfast, Steve’s Famous Diner is a great choice.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 7am-9pm

Menu


Vittoria’s Italian Coffee & Pastry 

If you’re in the mood for some authentic Italian, Vittoria’s is the place to be. Stop by for some espresso, cappuccino, lattes, and traditional Italian pastry. Vittoria prides herself in the fantastic service, beautiful desserts, and authentic Italian coffee offered at her bakery. After breakfast, you can also get lunch, gelato, and a huge array of other baked goods.

Hours: Sunday-Saturday 7:30am-5pm


Rosie’s Italian Bakery and Cafe 

If you’re spending the morning walking Beach Street, Rosie’s Italian Bakery and Cafe is a perfect stop for a breakfast sandwich and an espresso. Owned by Frank and Rosemarie “Rosie” Mirino, this bakery stemmed from their passion for their Italian heritage and authentic Italian food. Try their pastries, “create your own” coffee bar, or some freshly brewed tea. It wouldn’t hurt to grab some goodies for later either.

Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8am-6pm Wednesday: 8am-3pm Saturday: 9-4pm Sunday: Closed

Menu


 

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Top 8 Blogs for Condo Owners

Whether you’re ready to finance, decorate, or even sell your condo, it’s conducive to have plenty of information at your fingertips. There are plenty of great blogs out there to help you find the information you need now, or could use in the future, when it comes to the complexity of owning your own condo. We rounded up a few of our favorites for you to look through or save for future reference.

Top 8 Blogs for Condo Owners

1.  Condo Association

A blog that deals with an array of different condo-living issues, especially financial related tips. Plenty of information on lending, insurance, and general condo-living information.

2. Condo Owner

Condo Owner is a blog geared towards resort condominiums, but there’s information for all condos available. Just a few of the issues Condo Owner touches on are banking, buying and selling, insurance, legality, and maintenance.

3. Condo & HOA Smart 

Provides important information against scams and risks for those looking to buy homes in condominium and homeowners associations. They have essential information for condo buyers, real estate agents, and board members.

4. Condo Law Guru

A blog run by an attorney, Beth Grimm, who is very familiar with condo and HOA legal issues. She breaks down the laws in layman’s terms and helps those who need information regarding condominium associations. As a result, Beth Grimm has already covered a plethora of issues you might run into or want to know more about.

5. Houzz

Perfect for finding decorating ideas for your condo! They feature photos of inspirational living spaces with a product directory, so you know which items to buy to replicate your favorite look. Most of all, they have a quite a collection of condo eye-candy.

6. CondoBlog

A great resource for city guides, tips, advice, market trends, and much more. They offer a lot of unique information about condo-living news.

7. My First Condo

Has a ton of information for first-time condo owners. Find resources for getting started, buying your first condo, mortgage, renovating, and co-ops, and more.

8. Evercondo Blog

A community blog that includes “tips, interviews, and trending topics on the ins and outs of condo living and management.” Find information about all sorts of issues like budgets, avoiding issues, property management.

 

 

 

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Why Condo Living Is Great For Newlyweds

If you’re newlyweds and looking for your first home, condo living could take away a lot of the hassle of finding somewhere safe, comfortable, and cost-efficient to live. With all the benefits that come with living in a condominium, it’s no surprise that this choice is rising in popularity with both young couples and retirees. Could this be the right choice for your new family?

1. Spend More Time Together

Instead of spending your precious time doing yard work, spend that time with your new spouse. Living in a condominium means that condo personnel take care of your chores for you. No more yard work or house repairs to eat up your time.  No need to worry about buying a fixer-upper because condominiums are made to be modern and well kept.

2. Stay Fit and Healthy

The Marina Grande’s 24 hour waterfront gym is state of the art. Now you and your partner can team up and encourage each other be stronger and healthier. Most condos also have pools and other sports amenities to help get your blood pumping. Practice yoga before work, or go for a run within the safety of your gated community.

3. Unwinding is Easy

After you and your partner hit the gym, what better way to cool off and unwind then to go swimming? Marina Grande has two luxurious swimming pools and a Jacuzzi spa to help you relax. Or you could lay around on the sundecks together with a good book. If you prefer to watch movies together, you could try Marina Grande’s 18 seat THX movie theater to watch your favorite box office hit in 7.1 surround sound. No matter how you like to relax, condo living makes it easier. If you don’t want to stay in, most condominiums are built next to thriving towns and cities so finding somewhere to hangout or go out to eat should be a piece of cake.

4. Make New Friends

Since the concept of condo-living is becoming a popular choice for young couples, making friends in your new neighborhood is easy. The Marina Grande is a tight knit community with events and gatherings created by it’s very own social committee. You could hang out at the gardens, pools, and fitness centers and get to know your new neighbors.

5. Feel Safe and Secure

Peace of mind is practically guaranteed with 24/7 security everywhere from the main gates and into the common areas.  Safety and security should never be taken for granted, so feel more at ease with your home with one less thing to worry about.