Group Tour Experiential Travel 2016 Planning Guide

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Travel A - Z list of adventures to experience 2016 Planning Guide Group Tour Hot spots add authenticity to an itinerary

A – Z list of

Experiential Travel

Hot spots add authenticity to an itinerary

EExperiential travel by any name remains a thrill. Depending on the interest of the group, the adrenaline rush may come from perfectly kneading dough for loaves of baguettes or conquering moguls on a ski run. There are those who zip through the tree canopy and others who maneuver city streets on a Segway. Each is an experience, often an adventure and, most importantly, authentic. No one in the industry knows this better than Joe Veneto, The Opportunity Guy.

“Today’s (group) travelers are experience junkies. They want authentic, fulfilling experiences when they travel that engage and immerse them,” Veneto said. “Destinations and their travel partners must engineer experiences that are hands-on, behind the scenes, entertaining, VIP and provide bragging rights.”

Veneto heads Opportunities Unlimited in Quincy, Massachusetts (opportunityguy. com). Experiential travel is one of his specialties.

When asked to define experiential tourism, he offers, “Experiences that actively engage and immerse visitors by providing a deeper, richer and unforgettable experience.

Experiences that create a lasting impact on visitors, [create an] ‘emotional bank account.’”

2 Winter 2016 • Hot air
The Ledge, Skydeck Chicago Photo: courtesy of skydeck chicago at Willis toWer Kayaking, Great Calusa Blueway, Blueway, Fla. Photo: ©


n artsy tour from the City of Philadelphia MuralArtsProgram includes a hands-on paint-a-mural option. Not artsy? Skip the Experiential Mural Painting activity for Mural Arts Scavenger Hunt.,


ultural tours behind the scenes at Symphony Hall in Boston are made possible via the Irving W. And Charlotte F. Rabb Symphony Hall Tours. The hall is home to the Boston POPS Orchestra.,

Brave the height to experience dramatic views from a colorful balloon ride in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Be sure to visit the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.,


eerstalker hats are in order when touring Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro, North Carolina. It has the world’s largest selection of old and new dinnerware and collectibles in an inventory of 12 million pieces and in more than 400,000 patterns. Some patterns are over 100 years old.,

Endeavor to savor the flavors at Hudson Valley’s first vinifera vineyard, Millbrook Vineyards & Winery in Dutchess County, New York. The tour includes tasting wine and olive oil.,


oodies gather at New Orleans School of Cooking to learn to cut, season and sauté in a hands-on cooking experience in the Big Easy. Bananas Foster, anyone?

3 Jan • Feb • Mar EXPERIENTIAL
Wine tasting Photo: © New Orleans School of Cooking New Orleans, La. Photo: neW orleans school of cooking Boston POPS Orchestra, Boston, Mass. Photo: stu rosner/boston PoPs Replacements. Ltd, Greensboro, N.C. Photo: © MuralArtsProgram, Philadelphia, Pa Photo: r kennedy for visit PhiladelPhia™ Balloon Ride, Albuquerque, N.M. Photo: © chuckschug PhotograPhy

host tours at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, Missouri, elevate the behind-the-bars 1836 experience.,

Heights, anyone? Step onto The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago to view the city’s horizons and the streets 1,353 feet below. Free motorcoach parking is provided with a group reservation.

Journey Behind the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, invites groups to slip into rain ponchos and follow two corridors 150 feet below the surface to see, hear and feel the power of 600,000 gallons of water crashing by each minute.,

With High Point’s central location, the region is easily accessible to most of North Carolina’s major attractions; including the new Carolina Field of Honor, Linbrook Heritage Estate, and of course our very own Regional Visitors Center featuring 16 galleries with a focus on High Point and the entire region.

IImmerse the group in any of five natural hot springs within a 30-minute ride from Logan, Utah. Or build an itinerary around them.


ayak the Great Calusa Blueway on a day trip when touring Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida. Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau can help.

4 Winter 2016 •
Contact us today to
1634 N. Main St., Suite 102 High Point, NC 27262 | 800.720.5255 EXPERIENTIAL
next tour!
Hot springs Logan, Utah Photo: camPPhoto Journey Behind the Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada Photo: smontgom65 Kayaking, Great Calusa Blueway Blueway, Fla. Photo: michaelWarrenPix
The Ledge, Skydeck Chicago Photo: courtesy of skydeck chicago at Willis toWer

Discover Dutchess

Here in Dutchess, you’ll discover experiences you won’t find anywhere else in the world!

Take in the stunning views on a Hudson River nature walk. Or, take your place in history at America’s first Presidential library. You can even take to the skies in an open air biplane ride. Visit Distinctly Dutchess attractions for memorable, authentic group experiences!

HIKE New York: Guided group nature walks and hikes.

FDR Presidential Home, Library & Museum: Tour FDR’s home & immersive, interactive museum.

Crown Maple at Madava Farms: Quite possibly the purest maple syrup on earth. Tour & taste. Dutch’s Spirits: Historic bootlegging operation. Tour, dine, discover, taste.

Towne Crier Café: Enjoy farm-fresh dining and live music.

Fishkill/Pougkeepsie Fishkill Contact: 845-463-5444

Hudson Valley
Kali Bird & friend, Hike New York

LLearn about Polynesian culture at the Wailele Polynesian Luau at the Westin Maui Resort and Spa in Maui, Hawaii. The luau includes a traditional Hawaiian meal served buffet style, mai tais, performances and a fire-knife dance finale.

New plays make their way to the stage at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. It has introduced classics, like Dinner with Friends.,

Make a glass ornament at a true hot spot. Pick your colors and work with a glass artist at Vetro Glass-blowing Studio & Gallery in Grapevine, Texas.,

Over 150 waterfalls within 10 square miles of Ithaca, New York, make it a “gorges” destination. For tour opportunities, contact Ithaca-Tompkins County Visitors Bureau, New York.

6 Winter 2016 • EXPERIENTIAL
Wailele Polynesian Luau, Westin Maui Resort and Spa, Maui, Hawaii Photo: grouP tour media/courtney birchmeier Waterfalls, Robert Treman State Park, N.Y. Photo: ©
ADVENTURE Await! & Where History

Perform with Broadway Classroom in New York City. Workshops can be booked with group theater tickets and an optional meal at a Times Square restaurant to provide a fully experiential day on Broadway.


tudio A invites groups to make their own Motown sound in Detroit, Michigan, on an Experience Tour at the Motown Museum.,

Themed weekends highlight the transformation from Cambridge, Ohio, to a Charles Dickens Victorian Village. Themes include Decked Out for Dickens, Queen Victoria Weekend, even time with Sherlock Holmes.,

uilting classes at Country Traditions in Fremont, Nebraska, cover everything from making a simple table runner to an elaborate covering for a king-size bed. Located about 50 miles northwest of Omaha, the shop carries more than 7,000 bolts of quilting fabric.


Rodeo like a cowhand at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming. Start the festivities with a behind-the-chutes tour of the rodeo grounds.,

For custom itineraries & lodging contact Sarah Imes, Group Sales Manager, Ithaca CVB (607)-272-1313

7 Jan • Feb • Mar
Country Traditions, Fremont, Neb. QPhoto: grouP tour media/david hoekman Studio A, Motown Museum, Detroit, Mich. Photo: bill boWen/visit detroit Rodeo, Cheyenne, Wyo. Photo: © dgPhotograPhy


IP status for groups on a backstage tour of the Grand Old Opry in Nashville. Hear stories, see dressing rooms and maybe walk on stage.,


ndercover is the operative word for adventure on an Operation Spy Tour at the Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.


ylophones and other musical instruments can be heard or played at the world’s only global Musical Instrument Museum. Find it, and middle C, in Phoenix, Arizona.,

hitewater parks in Iowa? Arrange to course the rapids at Charles City Whitewater in Riverfront Park, Elkader Whitewater Park or Manchester Whitewater Park.,,,

Yoga on the beach, Virginia Beach, Va.


oga on the beach is just one of a series of Live the Life Adventures developed for groups visiting Virginia Beach, Virginia. It’s a true body, mind and spirit experience.

ip through the Hocking Hills of southeast Ohio during a zip line adventure at Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, in Rockbridge. Get a bird’s-eye view of sandstone rock cliffs, recessed caves, the Hocking River and all those wonderful trees.

8 Winter 2016 • EXPERIENTIAL official airline boston pops Hospitality Partners: official hotel official chauffeured transportation provider For group reservations, call 800-933-4255 or email americas favorite orchestra Your Group • Our Great Rate SPRING SEASON 2016 MAY–JUNE Keith Lockhart Conductor • John Williams Laureate Conductor america’s favorite orchestra International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C. Photo: international sPy museum
© 2014 grand ole oPry® /chris hollo
VIP backstage tour,
Old Opry Photo:
Whitewater rafting, Manchester, Iowa
travel ioWa
and visitors bureau
Photo: virginia beach convention
ZZiplining Photo:

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