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Florida Nature

National Wildlife Week is celebrated every year in April. This year, it'll be observed from Tuesday, April 5, through Saturday, April 9. As an initiative of the National Wildlife Foundation, it has connected nature lovers of all ages and backgrounds since 1938 – and that includes our real estate agents.

In the United States, there's virtually no place better to be for National Wildlife Week than right here in Florida. 

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Gator Bites

A live alligator may not be a delightful sight, but gator tail is an exotic food experience that will delight your taste buds. Head to these great restaurants when you're craving this iconic Florida famous food.

The Black Sheep on Broadway - 128 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL 34471
With a name like The Black Sheep on Broadway, you may think this gastropub is all about red meat. Yes, they have delicious burgers and steak sandwiches, but they're also known for their fried gator tails. Get them as an appetizer, served with zippy Cajun remoulade sauce, or on the Cuban gator sandwich. Stop in for live music on a Friday or Saturday night. Hours are 11 a.m. - midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday.

Fish on Fire - 7937 Daetwyler Dr., Orlando, FL 32812
The exterior of Fish on Fire is decorated in traditional Florida pastels. Inside, the food is unlike any other restaurant. Founders Jay Herrington and John Mitchell are longtime fishing buddies, so they're seafood experts. The cleverly named Allies Gator is seasoned with Everglades spices before frying for a unique flavor. Specials such as shrimp & grits fritters showcase their inventive spirit. Hours are 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. - midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen - 2203 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, FL 32792
Find flavors of the bayou at Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen. Cheesecake usually comes after a meal, but Tibby's serves a savory shrimp & alligator cheesecake to whet your appetite. If you prefer, order your gator bites straight up, hand-battered with a side of remoulade sauce. The menu includes other favorites such as boudin, jambalaya, and muffuletta. Tibby's is open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday.

Cocoa Beach Fish Camp Grill - 5602 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Cocoa Beach Fish Camp Grill definitely lives up to their slogan, "Swamp Food with a Flair." Choose gator bites with their signature Camp Sauce or a trio of gator sliders on brioche buns topped with coleslaw. If you're starving, take the Da Rougarou challenge. This beast of a sandwich features a pound of pulled pork, eight strips of bacon, andouille sausage, mac & cheese, coleslaw, crispy onions, and two Black Angus patties. Hours are 11 a.m. - midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

JT's Seafood Shack - 5224 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast, Fl 32137
Just as straightforward as its name, JT's Seafood Shack serves fresh, delicious food in a casual setting. The tin roof, wood doors, and diner-style decor provide a classic ambiance. Fried gator tails, shrimp & grits, and crab cakes are only a few of the seafood favorites on the menu. Follow them on Facebook for information about specials. JT's is open from noon - 9 p.m. daily except Friday and Saturday when hours are extended to 9:30 p.m.

Famous foods are just one part of the amazing lifestyle in Central Florida. Contact us at Watson Realty Corp. for experienced help buying or selling your home.



Florida Empanadas

Florida's famous foods embrace a diverse range of flavors that provide a welcome variety. Empanadas are a prime example of a traditional food that encompasses a number of styles and influences. When you get a craving for empanadas, head to these great local restaurants. 

Latinos y Mas - 2030 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL 34471
Treat your taste buds to global cuisine at Latinos y Mas in Ocala. Contemporary Latin dishes get some Mediterranean flair for true international fusion. Hearty Empanadas Colombianas feature cornmeal patties filled with beef stew and potatoes. Pair them with a roast beet salad topped with feta cheese and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Latinos y Mas is open 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. every day but Sunday, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Arepara La Nueva - 29 S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando, FL 32807
At Arepara La Nueva, there's a flavor of empanada to suit every taste. Choose from shredded or ground beef, shredded chicken, ham and cheese, fish, or cheese. Their signature Empanada de Pabellon is stuffed with black beans, shredded beef, sweet plantains, and white cheese. Stop by this Orlando gem whenever you're craving authentic empanadas. Hours are 8 a.m. - midnight daily, with extended hours as well as curbside pickup from 11 p.m. - 2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Tipico Latino Restaurant - 566 Barton Blvd., Rockledge, FL 32955
Take a trip to the Dominican Republic without leaving the Space Coast. Dominican cuisine, as served at Tipico Latino Restaurant, has been shaped by influences ranging from Puerto Rican and Haitian to Japanese and Hungarian. At just $2 each, you can indulge in beef, chicken, and cheese empanadas to your heart's (and stomach's) content. Tipico is open 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Latin Shark - 26 N. Orlando Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
It's not surprising that a restaurant named Latin Shark would boast the best-fried fish around Cocoa Beach. But according to the many fans posting on social media, it's the amazingly authentic Venezuelan empanadas that keep them coming back for more. Get your day off to a perfect start with one of their delicious breakfast empanadas, then come by at 7 p.m. on Friday for live music. Hours are noon - 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

El Pollo Colorao - 227 Saint Joe Plaza Dr., Palm Coast, FL 32164
Pizza empanadas? No, it's not a dream. That's one of the flavors you'll find when you visit El Pollo Colorao Puerto Rican Eatery in Palm Coast. Customers rave about the authentic Puerto Rican food, including empanadas with chicken, beef, and cheese to go along with the aforementioned pizza. When you want to switch it up a bit, be sure to try the mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish of mashed green plantains that are fried and filled with your choice of ingredients. El Pollo is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Want to learn more about the benefits of living in Florida? Contact us at Watson Realty Corp. and talk to one of our friendly, knowledgeable real estate agents.


Even Santa Claus needs a break from the snow sometimes. When he does, you can bet he'll be visiting the sunny skies and crisp waters of Central Florida's beaches. From Daytona Beach to Port Orange and more, here's where to see Santa in the Central Florida Beaches area.

Where to See Santa in Ormond Beach

Breakfast with Santa

Santa brings joy and festivity to breakfast when he visits The Casements in Ormond Beach on December 21. Your kids can feast on a tasty meal before posing for pictures with the big man himself.

SC Decorations

A local tradition continues in 2019 as SC Decorations decks its yard with awesome Christmas decorations and lights. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to find out which dates Santa will be visiting!

Where to See Santa in Daytona Beach

Holiday Happenings at the Volusia Mall

Let your kids hand-deliver their letters to Santa at the Volusia Mall! Santa will be ready for pictures every day through December 24. You can even purchase special photo packages or a fast pass to skip the line!

Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

It may seem an unlikely destination, but Bass Pro Shops in Daytona Beach plays host to Santa through December 24 this year. Kids can get a free photo with Santa and take part in a variety of fun activities.

Toddler Time with Grinch and Santa

Santa is joined by The Grinch (who we can only assume is his rival) as they descend upon Sky Zone in Daytona Beach on December 11 for free photos, hot cocoa, gingerbread house building, and more!

Daytona Ice Arena Skatacular

Santa goes skating at the Daytona Ice Arena on December 21-22! Join him for photo opportunities, fun skating games, face painting, and more, all while a DJ pumps out classic Christmas hits.

Where to See Santa in New Smyrna Beach

Christmas on Canal Street

An annual tradition in New Smyrna Beach, Christmas on Canal Street kicked off in late November but carries on throughout December. Multiple activities and events occur throughout the month, and you can always visit Santa's Work Hub where your kids will love meeting Santa and seeing the sparkling decorations.

Where to See Santa in Palm Coast

Holiday in the Gardens

Santa's stopping by Washington Oaks Gardens State Park on December 8 for entertainment, games, photos, and so much more!

European Village Christmas Market

Visit Palm Coast's European Village on December 14 to celebrate Christmas the European way! Parents can shop for gifts while their kids work on crafts and other fun activities. Local vendors will be serving up traditional food and drinks, as well as handcrafted items. And, of course, Santa will be there for photos!

A Very Merry Christmas

Palm Coast's firefighters are hosting this event at the Palm Coast Community Center on December 21. The free event features games, story time with Chief Forte, and photos with Santa.

Where to See Santa in Port Orange

Christmas in the Park

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 7, you and your family can experience live music and holiday cheer at Christmas in the Park at the Kenneth W. Parker Amphitheater. After the musical performances, Santa makes a guest appearance! You can even take a free horse-drawn carriage ride around the city center.

42nd Annual Holiday Parade

Port Orange's annual holiday parade kicks off on December 8 at 2 p.m.! You won't want to miss the fun floats joining the parade this year, as the 2019 theme of "Santa's Toy Shop" is sure to produce some inspired designs.

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