The Group Travel Leader April 2021

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ALABAMA BOUND

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A KANSAS ENCOUNTER

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native beauty

A M E R I C A’ S

ENDURES

APRIL 2021


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Cook Museum of Natural Science, Decatur

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery

Whether it’s learning about the natural world in Decatur and Gulf Shores, the past and future of space exploration in Huntsville, visiting sights where Rock ‘n Roll hits were made, or the history of the Civil Rights Movement, we can supply you with itineraries for several group tours. Trouble is...deciding which tour to take first. We’ll keep adding to the list, you just keep coming for new adventures. www.alabama.travel To learn how your group can experience Alabama, contact Rosemary Judkins at rosemary.judkins@tourism.alabama.gov or 334-242-4493.


Oklahoma is an A+ destination for student travel — or any group. Your itinerary starts at Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve in Bartlesville. Marvel at exotic elk, bison and jaw-dropping Western art. Then, it’s onward to Standing Bear Park in Ponca City, where the 22-foot-tall chief keeps watch over the museum and idyllic park. Next up, visit the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City to explore Prohibition, Native American culture and more. Your trip ends at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, including interactive exhibits, Remington classics and larger-than-life Western sculptures. Craving an unforgettable journey? Oklahoma is in a class of its own.

Find more adventures and itineraries at TravelOK.com/Group.


CONTENTS

GROUP TH E

TRAVEL LEADER

CHARTING THE EVOLUTION OF GROUP TR AVEL

COLU M NS

N EWS

6 Editor’s Marks

7 Conference Scene 8 Family Matters 10 Gallup FAM Opportunity

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A Navajo girl rides through Arizona’s Monument Valley Tribal Park at sunset. Photo by Grand River Photography

Kansas Spotlight

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Native American Cultural Centers

VOL 30 | ISSUE 4

Student Travel Update

ON T H E COV E R

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E X PLO RING THE CA ROL I NA S

Distinctive attractions and Southern hospitality make this state an ideal place to restart your group travel.

Historic destinations and outdoor experiences await your group in North Carolina and South Carolina.

K E LLY T Y N E R 888.253.0455

MAC T. LACY CHARLES A. PRESLEY BRIAN JEWELL HERBERT SPARROW DONIA SIMMONS

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RED I SCOVERI N G ALABAMA

Founder and Publisher Partner VP & Executive Editor Senior Writer Creative Director

KELLY TYNER KYLE ANDERSON ASHLEY RICKS

SARAH SECHRIST CHRISTINE CLOUGH

kelly@grouptravelleader.com

VP, Sales & Marketing Director of Advertising Sales Graphic Design & Circulation Controller Copy Editor

The GROUP TRAVEL LEADER is published ten times a year by THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER, Inc., 301 East High St., Lexington, Kentucky 40507, and is distributed free of charge to qualified group leaders who plan travel for groups of all ages and sizes. THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER serves as the official magazine of GROUP TRAVEL FAMILY, the organization for traveling groups. All other travel suppliers, including tour operators, destinations, attractions, transportation companies, hotels, restaurants and other travel-related companies may subscribe to THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER by sending a check for $59 for one year to: THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER, Circulation Department, 301 East High St., Lexington, KY 40507. Phone (859) 2530455 or (859) 253-0503. Copyright THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of editorial or graphic content in any manner without the written consent of the publisher is prohibited.


REDISCOVER ATLANTIC CITY

The Story Continues Excitement awaits in Atlantic City, including miles of sandy beaches, our world-famous Boardwalk and the thrilling Steel Pier. Enjoy tax-free shopping, award-winning dining, live entertainment and other great attractions. Here you can experience the ultimate getaway and create a lifetime of memories.

Atlantic City Expert Heather Colache is available at 609-318-6097 or hcolache@meetac.com to make sure you enjoy Atlantic City as it was meant to be experienced.

Meet AC received funding through a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

TourAtlanticCity.com


EDITOR’S MARKS

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BY BRIAN JEWELL

here’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s growing brighter by the minute. Like many of you, I’ve been encouraged by the flood of good news in the fight against COVID-19. I’m also encouraged by the results of our recent survey (see “Reader Research Confirms Groups Will Return in 2021” on page 12). People are eager to start traveling again, and many are ready to go now. While Fauci and company will likely continue insisting we all stay home, I believe it’s time for the group travel industry to start ramping up in force. Here are four reasons why.

1. The Risk is Fading

Though COVID restrictions have been controversial since the beginning, there was arguably a moral imperative to limit activities during the worst surges of the pandemic. After all, a careless asymptomatic carrier might unknowingly pass the virus to someone more vulnerable, which could lead to their death. But now, four months into the vaccination effort, all the most vulnerable people in society have been immunized. The people we were protecting by limiting movement are now protected by their vaccinations. With the mortal danger largely neutralized, COVID-19 is now no more threatening than any other seasonal respiratory bug.

2. The Demand is Growing

Early on, some people suggested that group tours would be among the last segments of the travel industry to recover because tour groups traditionally skew older than the overall population. But a funny thing happened on the way to herd immunity: Older people were the first to be vaccinated. And once they got their vaccines, they were ready to travel. With the United States now vaccinating in excess of 2 million people a day — many of whom have been locked up

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at home for over a year — the pool of eager travelers is constantly growing. An astute group leader who offers those people an opportunity for adventure should have no trouble finding customers.

3. The Need is Pressing

When the pandemic began last spring, our leaders constantly told us “we’re all in this together.” But that was never really true — those of us whose livelihoods depend on travel and hospitality were in deeper than almost anyone else. While stimulus programs and easing restrictions have helped reverse some overall economic damage, the tourism industry has sustained incredible losses and received paltry government support. Restaurants, hotels, bus companies, tour operators and their hard-working employees around the country are still in dire straits. It’s time to show them some love and put them back to work.

4. The End is Coming

Far from “two weeks to flatten the curve,” the actual disruption in our lives has grown interminable. And there have been several false starts over the past year when victory over the virus seemed imminent. So it’s understandable that many people have become so accustomed to emergency conditions — and so leery of getting their hopes up — that they can barely imagine traveling again. But one day, this pandemic will be over… and it appears that day is coming sooner rather than later. We may not have been prepared when the pandemic began, but we can all be prepared when it ends. It’s time for leaders at every level of our industry to look beyond COVID. There’s a lot of work to do, but together we can build a prosperous future.

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CONFERENCE

SCENE

SELECT TRAVELER CONFERENCE SHINES IN PANAMA CITY BEACH BY MAC LACY

Visit Panama City Beach hosted a festive opening event.

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ore than 140 delegates enjoyed a sunny break from winter in Panama City Beach, Florida, at the 2021 Select Traveler Conference, held February 28 to March 2 at the Sheraton Panama City Beach Resort. An impressive array of travel buyers from banks, chambers of commerce, alumni organizations and similar high-end affinity groups attended. “Our theme for the conference was ‘Open for Tourism,’” said Charlie Presley, a partner in the 26-year-old conference and founder of The Group Travel Family, which manages the event. “Unlike other industry leaders who have chosen to go virtual with their events, Mac Lacy and I have chosen to remain steadfast in publishing outstanding magazines and offering face-to-face meetings that follow safety protocols and allow buyers and sellers to maintain their critical travel relationships.”

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Buyers and sellers met under well-established safety protocols.

Sellers at the event had an average of more than 40 business appointments each, and sponsors had key presentation opportunities to bring travel planners up to date on their 2021 offerings. Major meal sponsors included U.S. Tours, the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, Collette and Visit Cheyenne. Visit Panama City Beach sponsored an opening evening event outdoors on a beautiful night that included live music, dancing and outstanding food and beverage service. Other sponsors included major tour companies like Go Next, Star Destinations, and Mayflower Cruises and Tours. More than 60 industry buyers turned out for their annual breakout session to start the event and shared many ideas about travel options now on the table for groups that are ready to begin traveling again. Under the leadership of volunteers Ashley Taylor of Smile Travelers in Ironton, Ohio, and Dick Perl of

Young at Heart in Madisonville, Louisiana, they discussed safety protocols, destinations that are ready for groups, the positive effects of vaccines on their travelers’ attitudes and many other issues that will restart travel in the coming months. “We had to move to a large ballroom to accommodate all the buyers who were eager to share ideas,” said conference partner Lacy. “These are resilient leaders in our industry who will help us lead the resurgence of worldwide group travel. Thanks to Dick and Ashley; they spent almost two hours sharing ideas about how to do that as soon as possible.” For more information about attending a face-to-face group travel meeting this year, visit grouptravelfamily.com or call 800-628-0993. For more information about advertising to thousands of active travel groups, visit grouptravelleader.com or call 888-253-0455.

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FAMILY M AT T E R S

P R E S L E Y PA R T I C I PAT E S I N N YC & C O M PA N Y D I V E R S I T Y PA N E L SALEM, Ohio — The Group Travel Family was recently honored to participate as a lead panelist on the webinar developed by NYC & Company titled “Embracing Diversity.” The seven-part webinar asked Charlie Presley, the founder of the African American Travel Conference, to participate. For 25 years, AATC has helped develop leadership in the group travel market within the African American community. Today, AATC counts 3,500 group travel leaders in its membership and holds an annual conference where the travel industry can network with this valuable group travel market. “It was a real honor to be part of a NYC & Company event,” said Presley. The webinar content focused on expanding business by working with the established African American traveler. Presley reminded listeners that the African American market travels as a group twice as often as the general population, making it an extremely important market for destinations and hotels.

Some of the questions covered included the following: • What advice would you give to those who are beginning to put together their marketing plans with Black people in mind for perhaps the first time? • Many companies are interested in Black travel, especially as a market to help rebound from a tremendously difficult year. What should these companies know about managing the business once they are able to obtain it? • As a promoter of Black travel, what challenges have you experienced in the past that the audience can learn from? • Word of mouth is a huge influence on how Black travelers make their decisions. Can you talk about how significant this is? • What advice would you give to companies that are looking to partner with other organizations to attract Black business to their city or business? You can watch the entire webcast at nycgo.com.

GROUP TR AVEL FAMILY PROMOTES ‘OPEN FOR TOURISM’ CAMPAIGN SALEM, Ohio — As groups venture back onto the road, The Group Travel Family has made a dedicated effort to support its travel planner members by delivering in-person meetings to ensure that group travel industry is “Open for Tourism.” “Open for Tourism” is now the sign that hangs on the conference logo of all seven group travel events operated by The Group Travel Family. “We chose to add ‘Open for Tourism’ as a reminder to ourselves and our members that we have a responsibility to reestablish the foothold that group travel has as a valuable asset to travelers everywhere,” said Charlie Presley of The Group Travel Family.

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The Group Travel Family has operated four successful events to bring group travel back. The Going On Faith Conference, the Select Traveler Conference, Boomers in Groups and the Small Market Meetings Conference all took place to rave reviews in late 2020 and early 2021. The African American Travel Conference, the Small Market Meetings Summit and AgritourismWorld will round out the events under the Group Travel Family umbrella later this year. To participate in these events and send the message that you are “Open for Tourism,” call 800-628-0993.

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EMANUEL NAMED OPERATIONS MANAGER

JANINE EMANUEL SALEM, Ohio — The Group Travel Family recently named Janine Emanuel to the position of operations manager. Emanuel is a 13-year veteran of the travel industry and has held various positions with the Group Travel Family inside the accounting department. The Group Travel Family includes seven travel conferences serving travel planners in the group travel industry, and Emanuel’s responsibilities will include oversight and operations of those events as well as managing day-to-day business activities of the organization. “Janine brings a wealth of knowledge to our conferences and has already elevated quality control when she assumed duty of Select Traveler Conference director in February 2021,” said Kathleen Presley of The Group Travel Family. “Her financial understanding of business, combined with recognizing the hospitality aspect of group travel, is a rare value.” Prior to joining the travel industry, Emanuel was a key player in the trucking industry. “I really enjoy the value that we bring to travel planners at our conferences,” Emanuel said. “It’s rewarding to deliver an event that helps people be better group travel planners, return to their communities and enrich so many lives through travel.” Emanuel lives with her husband, Louie, and enjoys classic cars, camping, gardening, spending time with her grandsons and watching them play ball.

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Join Us For a FAM to Gallup, New Mexico, in August

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ave you always wanted to experience the historic Route 66 attractions and cultural heritage of Gallup, New Mexico? Are you looking for ways to learn more about trip possibilities in Gallup and have a great time doing it? Do you have a few days to see Gallup firsthand in August? Would you like to spend a few days with executive staff of The Group Travel Leader magazine while you’re at it? If so, we have just the opportunity for you. The city of Gallup is inviting up to 15 of our travel planner readers to enjoy a five-day site inspection trip August 2-6. Qualified travel planners will be guests of the city of Gallup staff. And once you get to New Mexico, all your expenses will be covered. “Join The Group Travel Leader’s executive editor, Brian Jewell, and Kelly Tyner, our VP of sales and marketing, for this fun and educational site inspection trip to experience the best of Gallup,” said publisher Mac Lacy. “Brian and Kelly will accompany our Gallup hosts on this trip and will be sharing their travel experiences with everyone in attendance. “Brian and Kelly will be highlighting the trip in real time on social media, and Brian will write an article on this tour for publication in The Group Travel Leader magazine,” said Lacy. “Tour participants will have the opportunity to share their impressions and experiences about Gallup with our staff and meet some wonderful hosts from the state. It’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone involved.” All accommodations, sightseeing, transportation and meals are included once participants arrive in New Mexico. No travel expenses to and from Gallup will be reimbursed. This readership event and site inspection tour is limited to 15 qualified travel planners.

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Kelly Tyner (bottom left) and Brian Jewell (bottom right) will accompany travel planners on a tour of Gallup, where they’ll enjoy Native American culture, public art and historic Route 66 sites.

PHOTOS COURTESY CITY OF GALLUP

Applicants will complete a brief travel profile that will be used by the city of Gallup staff to select attendees for this complimentary FAM. REGISTRATION CLOSES MAY 31.

WITH THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER

Submit your travel profile at: GROUPTRAVELLEADER.COM/GALLUP-FAM If you have any questions, call Kelly at 888-253-0455.

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Explore Gallup, New Mexico Home to Route 66 charm, Native American culture and Western heritage

SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR SALES FAM - AUGUST 2- 6 , 2021

Day 1 Fill up on breakfast at your home for the week – the historic El Rancho Hotel before

Day 3 Gallup is conveniently located to act as a hub and spoke to more than ten national

starting the first day around town. Gallup is home to more than 100 trading posts sharing

monuments, parks, and cultural attractions. Head out of town for the day and

art and jewelry from nearby Navajo and Zuni artists. Step inside Tanner’s Indian Arts and

start with a tour of El Morro National Monument. Explore the sandstone bluff and

City Electric Shoe Shop and see where more than 80% of the world’s authentic Native

waterhole that acted as shade and drinking source for travelers during the 1500s

American art comes from. For lunch, Don Diego’s Restaurant and Lounge will showcase

before cooling of yourself at Ancient Way Café for lunch next door. Next, stop at

the local New Mexican fare of the area. Continue relishing in the art, history, and culture of Gallup by visiting the El Morro Theatre, downtown murals and galleries and the collection of WPA art in the public library.

Day 2 Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime by seeing Gallup from above. Watch the sun rise over the beautiful red sandstone canyons and rock spires from the basket of a

New Mexico’s “Land of Fire and Ice” at the Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave. End the day with stunning views at El Malpais National Monument and take the short car ride back to Gallup for dinner.

Day 4 Before checking out of the El Rancho and heading home, opt for a sunrise hike at Red Rock Park to take in last-minute views of Gallup. Have one last bite of New

hot air balloon. This bird’s eye view ensures a unique look at the natural beauty of the

Mexican cuisine at Panz Alegra Restaurant before a drive to the Albuquerque

region. Clean up at the hotel and refuel with Gallup Coffee Company. In the afternoon,

airport and return home.

head to Zuni Pueblo, the largest New Mexican Pueblo, for an archaeology tour. Stay for dinner at Chu Chu’s in Zuni Pueblo before heading back home for the night.

Sign up for our FAM at: https: //grouptravelleader.com/gallup-fam/


Group Travel

essentials

READER RESEARCH CONFIRMS GROUPS WILL RETURN IN 2021 The vast majority of travel groups and tour companies plan to be back on the road sometime in 2021, according to a recent survey conducted by The Group Travel Leader. Most travel planners report that their customers will be ready to travel as soon as they have been vaccinated.

WHEN DO YOU EXPECT YOUR NEXT GROUP TRIP TO DEPART? WE’RE OPERATING TRIPS NOW

5.1% 24.2% WINTER OF 2022 OR LATER

31.1% FALL OF 2021

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17% SPRING OF 2021

22.7% SUMMER OF 2021

Ready to Return The survey found that more than 75% of group travel planners anticipate traveling again before the end of the year. When asked “When do you expect your next group trip to depart?” Five percent said they are already operating trips, 17% said they expected to travel this spring, 23% expected to travel this summer, and 31% expected to travel this fall. “There’s a building sense of optimism among travel planners,” said Brian Jewell, vice president and executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. “In the previous surveys we have conducted during the past year, planners’ hopefulness was tempered with uncertainty over travel restrictions and public health. But now, with vaccination efforts well underway, the uncertainty seems to be fading.” Immunization appears especially key to restarting travel, with the survey indicating that many potential travelers will be ready to hit the road once they have been vaccinated, regardless of the status of the pandemic. When asked to identify statements that describe the mindset of their travelers, 40% said they had travelers who are “tired of being at home and are ready to travel now.” Another 69% said they had travelers who are “cautious about COVID-19 but will be ready to travel once they’ve been vaccinated.” And 39% said they had travelers who are “concerned about COVID-19 and want to stay put until the pandemic is over.” Respondents could select more than one option. The results seem to indicate that traveler sentiment is somewhat at odds with the messaging coming from public health leaders. “While government officials are continually saying that vaccination doesn’t guarantee safety, this survey data indicates that most travel lovers aren’t willing to stay home and wait much longer,” Jewell said. “While it may be late this year before the pandemic is officially declared over, our travel planners will have plenty of customers champing at the bit to go as soon as they’ve been vaccinated. The pent-up demand we’ve all been talking about for a year is going to be unleashed soon, whether governments like it or not.”

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WHICH OF THESE STATEMENTS BEST DESCRIBES YOUR GROUP TRIPS FOR 2021? 8 0% 71.12%

60%

40 %

42.6%

20%

0%

2 1 .66% 9.03% TRIPS PLANNED FOR 2021 BEFORE THE PANDEMIC HAPPENED

NEW TRIPS SCHEDULED SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN

TRIPS PLANNED FOR 2020 THAT GOT RESCHEDULED OR POSTPONED BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC

OTHER

Vaccine Acceptance Another survey question, which dealt with immunization, found widespread acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines among potential group travelers. When asked which statement best describes their members’ attitudes toward the vaccine, 69% said their members are “eager to get the vaccine or have already started being vaccinated.” Another 17% said members are “ambivalent about the vaccine but will probably get it if it’s required for travel.” Only 2% said they had members who are “unwilling to be vaccinated, even if that means they aren’t allowed to travel for a while.” A fourth question in the survey revealed the majority of groups plan to take trips this year that were originally scheduled for 2020. Some 71% said their trips for 2021 are rescheduled departures from last year. Additionally, 42% said they will be taking new trips they have scheduled since the pandemic began, and 22% said they hope to operate a trip they had already planned for 2021 before the pandemic began. “On the whole, these results are very positive for the group travel industry,” Jewell said. “Most planners still intend to operate trips they had to postpone last year, and most of their travelers will be ready as soon as they’ve been vaccinated. If the vaccine rollout continues according to the timeline set out by the federal government, we should see a substantial rebound in group travel activity over the next few months.”

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WHICH OF THESE STATEMENTS BEST DESCRIBES YOUR MEMBERS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD COVID-19 VACCINES?

11.6 % 2.2%

17. 3 % 39 .4 %

69%

APRIL-JUNE 2021

THEY’RE EAGER TO GET THE VACCINE (OR HAVE ALREADY STARTED BEING VACCINATED) THEY’RE AMBIVALENT ABOUT THE VACCINE BUT WILL PROBABLY GET IT IF IT’S REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL THEY’RE UNWILLING TO BE VACCINATED, EVEN IF THAT MEANS THEY AREN’T ALLOWED TO TRAVEL FOR AWHILE OTHER

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LOOKING AHEAD

LESSONS LEARNED

International tour company WorldStrides has implemented safety protocols that have allowed some student groups to continue traveling despite the pandemic.

S T U D E N T T R AV E L L E A D E R S FOCUS ON RECOVERY

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BY BRIAN JEWELL

tudent travel, a segment of the tourism industry that would normally be gearing up for peak season at this time of year, was hit particularly hard by pandemic restrictions. And though there are still a lot of questions about when educational and performance groups will return to travel in force, signs point to a student travel recovery on the horizon. For more on the state of student travel and its comeback prospects, we spoke to three industry leaders. Here’s what they had to say about the challenges they have overcome and the opportunities they see ahead.

COURTESY WORLDSTRIDES

SYTA: ‘ANXIOUS FOR STUDENTS TO TRAVEL’

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or the Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA), an organization that represents some 150 student tour operators and the suppliers that serve them, the COVID-19 pandemic brought extreme challenges. “Everyone would tell you that 2020 was going to be a great year for student travel,” said Carylann Assante, SYTA’s executive director. “We were seeing very positive growth. But when the pandemic hit, the priority was to get everybody back home. Then, it was six months of refunds, cancellations and rescheduling.” Assante said her members reported that a high percentage of student groups were willing to postpone their scheduled trips. Some are still hopeful that those trips can be operated this spring or summer, with the pandemic receding and vaccinations advancing. “About 20% of our operators’ groups are still on the books,” she said. “We don’t know what June will bring, and we don’t know about July and August.” Complicating the matter, she said, are the numerous layers of gatekeepers and decision makers that can veto a student trip. In some places, school administrators have

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imposed districtwide bans on travel. “We anticipate teachers and students and parents will be anxious for students to travel,” Assante said. “But on the administration side, schools are sensitive to the risk management piece. That’s a key focus for SYTA and all the organizations that work in student travel.” In other cases, school administrators and educators are eager to restart travel but are being held back by restrictions put in places by the destinations they planned to visit. “We have groups still holding on for May and June, hoping that Washington, D.C., will start to open up soon,” Assante said. “It’s really about the destinations. We have school groups, but where can they go?” In spite of the difficulties, Assante remains optimistic. SYTA’s tour operator membership has grown since the beginning of the pandemic. And although members have been financially challenged, most remain in business. “The lights are on, and people are answering the phones,” she said. “We’re looking at a three-year recovery trajectory. We see spring 2022 in a positive way. The numbers are good; then, after that, it’s constant growth.”

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PEAK PERFORMANCE TOURS: ‘WE KNOW WE’RE GOING TO MAKE IT’

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or Peak Performance Tours, a student operator based in Jamison, Pennsylvania, the pandemic has brought considerable challenges. “Over the last 12 months, we have lost 90% of our business and given over a million dollars’ worth of refunds,” said president Bruce Rickert. “I’ve had to lay off my entire staff, although I’m hoping to bring them back slowly. But as a company, we know we’re going to make it.” Beyond the initial shock of canceling trips, Rickert said the most difficult part of the last year was dealing with refunds. Groups that chose to roll their trips forward haven’t technically lost any money. But for those that chose not to reschedule, extracting refunds from suppliers has proven challenging. “The biggest expense was the airlines,” Rickert said. “They weren’t giving money back. I have a bunch of groups that have credits for future airfare. It’s $50,000, $60,000 or $70,000 that the airlines were keeping. We just couldn’t get it back.” Rickert said he had a sizable group go to this year’s Rose Bowl and another group planning a trip to Orlando, Florida, in June. “The parents are gung-ho, and the teachers want to travel,” he said. “They don’t want their kids to lose money, so they’re just going to go for it. But what they’re doing is totally different than they planned. They were supposed to perform in a music festival. Now they can’t, so we’ve rebooked them into a Universal workshop instead.” Rickert anticipates more interest in students traveling in the second half of this year, followed by a substantial rebound next year. “I think 2022 is going to be a big year for us, and 2023 probably even bigger,” he said. “Kids are dying to travel again, and teachers need to travel for recruitment.”

CARYLANN ASSANTE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SYTA

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TERRI MORGOGLIONE CHIEF ACADEMIC HEALTH & SAFETY OFFICER WORLDSTRIDES

WORLDSTRIDES: ‘IT WILL COME ROARING BACK’

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ike many tour companies, WorldStrides, a large international student tour operator based in Charlottesville, Virginia, spent the early weeks of the pandemic getting students home from foreign countries. After that, the next task was working with educators to reschedule trips. “A good number of our teachers rescheduled from last spring, which is our busy travel time, to this spring,” said Terri Morgoglione, the company’s chief academic, health and safety officer. “We encouraged them to travel in the May-July time frame, and we’re hopeful that we can still run a lot of the ones that are still scheduled.” For some students, though, rescheduling trips isn’t so easy, particularly trips that mark the passage from one level of school to another, such as eighth-grade trips or high school senior trips. “We’ve actually gone out and contacted those students,” Morgoglione said. “We have career-focused individual programs they can sign up for. We also created group travel programs for individual students to sign up into with specific target itineraries. Students who missed their opportunities can sign up to go on one of those with some kids they may know and some kids they may not know.” The WorldStrides team has spent much of the past year developing new sets of health and safety protocols that will be in place on all tours going forward, and Morgoglione said some groups have plans to travel to Orlando or the Washington, D.C., suburbs this spring. As the pandemic continues to subside, she said, the company expects to see an enthusiastic return to travel. “Educators and parents are excited to get back to travel as soon as possible,” she said. “They see the value. We think it will come roaring back.”

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S TAT E S P O T L I G H T

By Eliza Myers

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nderneath the surface of Kansas lie an untold number of mysteries. An otherworldly salt cave older than the dinosaurs, called Strataca, allows visitors to see the unreal landscape far below the prairie floor. Aboveground, the state offers intriguing attractions by preserving its Wild West history of dramatic gunfights and tough pioneers. Not only does Kansas’ past fascinate visitors, but its present beauty also gives them plenty to admire. The Sunflower State boasts a worldclass botanical garden and parks that showcase stunning tallgrass prairie vistas. Groups can admire the past and present while enjoying Kansas’ many charming and group-friendly cities across the state.

Kansas’ Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, which features 100-foot spires of white chalk formations, opened in 2020. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY KS OFFICE OF TOURISM & TRAVEL

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ARTWORK BY DONIA SIMMONS

KANSAS


National WWII Museum

Wichita’s Botanica

A mine tour at Strataca

POPULAR DEMAND STRATACA

Visitors descend 650 feet underground in less than 90 seconds at Strataca in Hutchinson. Formerly known as the Kansas Underground Salt Museum, the site explores an ancient salt bed. Groups can marvel at one of the largest salt deposits in the world with various tour options, including a self-guided tour and an underground train ride. Tours relate the history of the machinery used by salt miners since the discovery of the Kansas mine in 1887. The Underground Vaults and Storage Gallery displays movie memorabilia hidden underground for safekeeping from the elements. For an in-depth experience, groups can opt for the 30-minute Dark Ride tram tour that traverses a maze of chambers and stops for a moment of complete darkness. The tram ride also allows visitors to fill a souvenir bag with salt crystals.

BOTANICA

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Butterflies flit about the 2,880-square-foot butterfly house at Botanica, a horticultural paradise in Wichita. The seasonal butterfly garden is one of 30 themed gardens at the site, among them the historic Shakespeare Garden for Elizabethan-era plants and flowers. The 18-acre site showcases 4,000 plant species, calming koi pond pavilions, natural landscapes and numerous sculptures. The 2011 Downing Children’s Garden offers interactive sections for youth, such as the Monster Woods, Granddaddy’s Musical Maze and the Sunflower Fountain. Groups can arrange guided tours and catered box lunches.

TALLGRASS PRAIRIE NATIONAL PRESERVE

Kansas bison

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Tallgrass prairies once dominated the Midwestern landscape. This once-abundant ecosystem lives on at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City, located in Kansas’ Flint Hills region. Bison herds graze on native grasses here with a backdrop of tallgrass and wildflowers blowing in the wind. Groups can choose from 40 miles of trails, a driving tour or a narrated bus tour in the summer. A stop at the visitors center provides information about the ecology and history of the area, alongside a gift shop. G R O U P T R AV E L L E A D E R . C O M

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UP AND COMING DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

In July 2019, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum unveiled new exhibits and updated features after a year of renovations. The Abilene museum now offers new minitheaters where guests can hear Eisenhower’s words firsthand on a variety of events, including D-Day. The museum also offers tours of the president’s boyhood home, where he lived from 1898 until going to West Point in 1911. Groups can wrap up their tours at the Place of Meditation, a chapel that marks the burial site of the president, the first lady and their son Doud Eisenhower.

BOOT HILL MUSEUM

Visitors will feel the floor shake during an immersive buffalo stampede video when Dodge City’s Boot Hill Museum completes its current $5.5 million expansion. Set to open later this year, the nine new permanent exhibits will add 13,000 square feet to the already popular museum. The interactive experience allows guests to walk down the dusty streets of Dodge City’s Wild West days. Groups can watch re-created gunfights, listen to Miss Kitty croon in the saloon or dine on a country-style dinner.

A reenacted gunfight at Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City

Eisenhower Library and Museum

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Boot Hill Museum

LITTLE JERUSALEM BADLANDS STATE PARK

In 2020, Kansas opened its 28th state park, called Little Jerusalem State Park. The park preserves a mile-long valley of 100-foot-tall spires and cliffs that encompass the state’s largest Niobrara Chalk formations. Groups can walk on trails that Wild Bill Hickok and Buffalo Bill Cody once rode while marveling at the site’s geological beauty and abundant wildlife.

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park

O V E R N I G H T S E N S AT I O N S CHATEAU AVALON

Chateau Avalon in Kansas City creates a royal atmosphere for its guests. Opened in 2004, the upscale boutique hotel features 23 separately themed rooms divided into three categories: Luxury, Adventure and Classic suites. The D’Nile Lounge on the first floor serves cocktails and small plate dinners surrounded by Egyptian decor. The hotel also offers a spa on the top floor for Swedish massages, aromatherapy and scrubs. The castlelike structure sits across from Kansas City’s Legends shopping district and the Kansas Speedway.

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New Theatre and Restaurant

O V E R N I G H T S E N S AT I O N S ELDRIDGE HOTEL

Built by prominent anti-slavery activist Shalor Eldridge, the Eldridge Hotel sits in downtown Lawrence about five minutes from the University of Kansas. Eldridge rebuilt the original structure in 1863 after Confederates burnt the anti-slavery waystation, along with the rest of the city, during the Civil War. The hotel underwent an extensive refurbishment in 1925, then again in 2004. The 48-room hotel offers an on-site salon, bar services at Jayhawker and American-style fare at the restaurant Ten.

Hays House Restaurant

MEMORABLE MEALS HAYS HOUSE RESTAURANT

Groups can feast at the oldest continually operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River at the Hays House Restaurant in Council Grove. First opened in 1857 as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, the steakhouse has lasted partially because of its award-winning chicken fried steak, fried chicken and seafood dishes. For dessert, diners are advised to try the restaurant’s specialties of fresh strawberry and peach pie with a dollop of homemade ice cream. The restaurant also boasts a fascinating history: Seth Hays, the great-grandson of Daniel Boone, built the restaurant, which would one day serve Jesse James, Gen. George Armstrong Custer and other historic figures.

NEW THEATRE AND RESTAURANT

Broadway musicals accompany beloved American cuisine at the New Theatre and Restaurant in Overland Park. The dinner theater has featured stars from stage, film and television in its past lineups, including Barney Martin from “Seinfeld.” The site began as the Glenwood Theatre in the 1960s and was transformed into a 617-seat dinner theater in 1992. The revolving stage, orchestra pit and 2015 addition of 4 million LED lights make a performance at the theater a dazzling event. The dinner theater is known for its desserts, including a chocolate cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream.

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Your Next Great Adventure!

TOURKANSAS.ORG

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LEAVENWORTH

C.W. Parker Carousel Museum & Gift Shop

Suggested Group itineraries at

VisitLeavenworthKS.com call 913-758-2948 | cvb@firstcity.org


Alabama travelers enjoy cycling through scenic wetlands at Gulf State Park.

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SECOND HELPINGS ALABAMA IS READY TO WELCOME YOUR GROUP BACK

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BY TOM ADKINSON

labamians love home cooking, and — admittedly mixing metaphors here — tour operators can take some Alabama ingredients off the pantry shelf to create broadly appealing recipes for post-pandemic itineraries. Starting up north in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and stretching almost 400 miles south to the white sand beaches and sparking waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama offers the leisure tour equivalent of “The Joy of Cooking.” Take a serving of science, a pinch of history, a dash of old-time religion and a cold pint of craft beer, and you quickly have the makings of several Alabama tours — and you haven’t even left the northern third of the state. You can cook up variations statewide by accepting Mother Nature’s invitation to step off the motorcoach and sample a smorgasbord of outdoor activities that can be tailored for group enjoyment. Mapping itineraries to appeal to a post-pandemic frame of mind is easy when you examine the various ingredients Alabama possesses.

WAT E R FA L L S A N D WOR SH I P “Our part of Alabama offers great accessibility to beautiful attractions and the great outdoors without big-city crowds,” said John Dersham, speaking of the 13 northern counties in the Alabama Mountain Lakes region. Dersham is president and CEO of DeKalb Tourism in Fort Payne and a noted nature and landscape photographer. Dersham enjoys steering visitors to the region’s 14 waterfalls, all of which he has captured with camera in hand. Any one of them is an antidote to the cooped-up feeling would-be travelers have felt for the past year. Among the favorites are the 104-foot-tall DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park, Little River Falls in Little River Canyon National Preserve and Noccalula Falls in Gadsden. Also in this part of the state are three of Alabama’s famous resort state parks that offer lodging, meals and special activity options. They are Joe Wheeler State Park,

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located directly on TVA’s Wheeler Lake; Lake Guntersville State Park, high on a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River; and DeSoto State Park, in the northeast corner of the state. When rolling though the region, consider pausing to reflect at one of the 34 locations on the Hallelujah Trail of Sacred Places. The trail is an inventory of notable houses of worship, each more than 100 years old, on its original site and still holding services. The variety is notable. They range from the ornateness of Temple B’nai Sholom in Huntsville to the simplicity of the Mentone United Methodist Church in Mentone to the log cabin rusticity of the Pine Torch Church in Moulton.

ROC K E T S A N D R E S TAU R A N T S The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is Alabama’s most visited attraction, and it undoubtedly will be a blast-off destination for many groups as post-pandemic travel grows. The primary attractions include a Saturn V rocket, one of only three in the world, and an explanation of America’s space race that led to lunar expeditions and the International Space Station; Rocket Park, which includes a mock-up of the Apollo 11 lunar landing site; and Shuttle Park, which offers the nation’s most complete chronology of launch vehicles. When you return from outer space, Huntsville offers three notable locations for unusual group dining and shopping experiences, all with plenty of open space. Stovehouse is a mixed-use campus that occupies what originally was a manufacturing plant for stoves and heaters. Heavy industry gave way to restaurants, entertainment venues, retail stores and more, among them Bark and Barrel

Mentone United Methodist Church on northern Alabama’s Hallelujah Trail

A waterfall at DeSoto State Park BY JOHN DERSHAM

Barbecue, a “milkshake bar” called Oscar Moon’s and a local coffee emporium named Charlie Foster’s. Campus 805 is perhaps the coolest use ever of a 1950s-vintage high school. In its new life as a multibusiness food and entertainment facility, its first tenants were two breweries: Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer. Both became stops on the popular Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail. Just think: There’s no reason to sneak a beer under the bleachers if the brewery is in the school. Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment is the contemporary use for a facility that opened in 1901 as a textile mill and had a second life as a shoe factory. Today’s owners say it is the largest privately owned arts facility in the South. Visitors can wander through 150 studios housing more than 200 artists working in many media and enjoy occasional concerts and several food options. One has a claim you don’t often hear: Pofta Buna International Café serves Mediterranean and Eastern European foods with a Romanian influence.

When rolling though the region, consider pausing to reflect at one of the 34 locations on the Hallelujah Trail of Sacred Places. The trail is an inventory of notable houses of worship, each more than 100 years old, on its original site.

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Huntsville’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center COURTESY U.S. SPACE & ROCKET CENTER

Barbecue at Stovehouse in Huntsville

COURTESY STOVEHOUSE

MINES AND MOTOR SP ORT S Birmingham, Alabama’s biggest city, is only 100 miles from Huntsville, and it has a growing list of group destinations to complement mainstays such as the Birmingham Museum of Art, the 16th Street Baptist Church and the towering statue of the Roman god Vulcan atop Red Mountain. Birmingham rose as a steelmaking city in the 1870s, which explains why a mythological god of the forge is so prominent. Its economy now is quite diverse, and numerous opportunities exist for open-air activity. The conspicuous example is Railroad Park right downtown. It is a 19-acre green space that celebrates Birmingham’s artistic and industrial heritage. It is a great spot for a leisurely walk after visiting baseball’s Negro Southern League Museum or having a snack at the Red Cat Café. It’s also only a five-minute drive — or a 12-minute walk — to the Pizitz Food Hall, another opportunity to give groups free time and individual dining choices. Pizitz once was a destination department store, but it now offers more than a dozen food stalls and restaurants. Consider gourmet sandwiches at Ashley Mac’s, Israeli cuisine at Eli’s Jerusalem Grill or Indian street food at Silver Kati. You can get more outdoor time and learn about the area’s history at Red Mountain Park and Ruffner Park.

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SHOOT FOR THE MOON. DISCOVER HUNTSVILLE. Our Mission Is Living Life to the Fullest. Home to the world’s largest space museum and U.S. Space Camp, “Rocket City” reignites America’s ingenuity and lively spirit. Featuring a vibrant arts and entertainment district, plus a vast number of natural attractions and cuisine offerings, Huntsville, Alabama, is the perfect destination for those who want to see and do it all.

(800) 843-0468 | HUNTSVILLE.ORG

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The Lodge at Gulf State Park

COURTESY GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH TOURISM

Birmingham’s Red Mountain Park

The Safari Club at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Red Mountain Park covers 1,500 acres of the mountain that Vulcan calls home. It’s a bit west of downtown on land once owned by U.S. Steel. The last iron ore mine there closed in 1962. Today, there are 15 miles of trails and several adventures for the daring, or perhaps, just for watching others be daring. They include zip lines — one is 1,000 feet long— a treetop ropes and cable course and a 75-foot-tall climbing tower. Smaller and more active groups can consider Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve to the east, which comprises 1,038 acres. It, too, was a mining area that now is a showcase for nature through 14 miles of trails, overlooks and an informative nature center. Outside Birmingham is an attraction with a different focus: not nature itself, but a way to speed through nature. It is the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, which its owner proclaims is the world’s “best and biggest” motorcycle collection. You’re not likely to doubt George Barber’s statement as you learn about his 1,600 motorcycles from around the world. More than 950 motorcycles are on display every day on multiple levels of the airy museum. Also here is a 16-turn, 2.38-mile racetrack that is home to the Porsche Driving School.

BE NG A L S A N D BE AC H E S COURTESY GREATER BIRMINGHAM CVB

COURTESY AL GULF COAST ZOO

Sand and waves will always be the objectives of travelers headed to Alabama’s sliver of the Gulf of Mexico, but there’s an internationally famous attraction without a beach four miles inland. It’s the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, made famous through an Animal Planet TV series, “The Little Zoo That Could,” because of a hurricane-inspired evacuation from its original beachside home. The move tripled the zoo’s size to 25 acres and created new spaces for its 325 animals that represent 110 species, including 20 endangered species. Among the endangered are three regal Bengal tigers: Rajah, Rani and Omar. The

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

COURTESY AL GULF COAST ZOO

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There’s an internationally famous attraction without a beach four miles inland. It’s the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, made famous through an Animal Planet TV series, “The Little Zoo That Could,” because of a hurricane-inspired evacuation from its original beachside home.

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Birmingham’s Railroad Park BY ART MERIPOL, COURTESY GREATER BIRMINGHAM CVB

Outdoor dining in Orange Beach

Waterfront at Railroad Park COURTESY GREATER BIRMINGHAM CVB

zoo staff has great fun naming the animals, including a meditative black bear named Boodah and a massive American alligator with the down-home name of Chuckie. One of the zoo’s treats is dining at the Safari Club, a restaurant that overlooks the grounds. The African-themed interior is nicely done, and you can listen to the monkeys chatter and the tigers roar if you dine on the veranda. Getting to the beach, of course, is mandatory, and there are two full-service hotel resorts to examine. One is the Lodge at Gulf State Park, the 2018 replacement for the park’s original lodge that Hurricane Ivan destroyed. Its 350 rooms are in the middle of a 6,150-acre preserve that also features pier fishing, bicycling and miles of nature walks. Not seven miles down the beach and almost to Florida is the second one: the Perdido Beach Resort. This 338-room property was a popular destination until 2020’s Hurricane Sally and Hurricane Zeta temporarily put it out of commission. Owners seized the moment to reimagine everything, and as the general manager said, “We basically have a new hotel from the roof down.” It reopens in May, cooking up new memories for Alabama tours.

COURTESY GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH TOURISM

NASA Visitor Center

Home of Space Camp! @RocketCenterUSA

GROUP Huntsville, Alabama • (800) 637-7223 TR AVEL LE ADER rocketcenter.com THE

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MUSEUM METRO PHILADELPHIA IS FILLED WITH WORLD-CLASS COLLECTIONS

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Insets, left to right: Philadelphia Museum of Art; “The Thinker” at the Rodin Museum; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

BY JILL GLEESON

ou know Philadelphia offers group travelers outstanding historical attractions. After all, this is the place that gave birth to America. But equally dazzling, if slightly less recognized, is the city’s art scene. That includes the Museum Mile, as the stretch of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway boasting the finest of Philadelphia’s art institutions has become known as. Inspired by the Champs-Élysées in Paris, it features five superb visual art galleries and museums: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation, Moore College of Art and Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. “Each of the museums has great programs for hosting groups,” said Kimberly Barrett, communications manager for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “And Museum Mile is very walkable.” Bring your art lovers to experience the best of Philadelphia at these museums.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art anchors the city’s Museum Mile. BY JOSEPH HU, COURTESY PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART

INSET PHOTOS COURTESY PHLCVB; BY ANTHONY SINAGOGA, KAIT PRIVITERA, PAUL LOFTLAND

PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART

RODIN MUSEUM

Now amid a massive renovation by legendary architect Frank Gehry, the Philadelphia Museum of Art debuted its North Entrance, which features a soaring, vaulted ceiling made from Italian tile, in fall 2019. The space includes goodies for groups like a new restaurant, cafeteria, gift shop and espresso bar, but Gehry isn’t stopping there. According to Barrett, roughly 90,000 square feet of new public space and 23,000 square feet of new gallery space will open at the museum later this year. Of course, the real star of the show remains the more than 240,000 pieces of art spanning 2,000 years. In a single afternoon, groups can see everything from impressionist paintings by masters like Monet to a 14th-century Buddhist temple. Among the biggest highlights is the museum’s Marcel Duchamp collection, the largest and most important on the globe. The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers groups onehour guided tours as well as special dining packages.

Tucked next door to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is another grand jewel in the city’s sparkling art crown: the Rodin Museum. Dedicated entirely to lauded sculptor Auguste Rodin, it features nearly 150 of his works, a greater concentration than found anywhere else, outside of Paris. Even the most casual art aficionado will immediately recognize the bronze cast of his famed sculpture The Thinker. Other can’t-miss treasures include the sensuous Eternal Springtime, and The Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante’s “Inferno.” Though the museum also offers drawings, studies and paintings that give a fascinating peek into Rodin’s artistic process, groups might be tempted in warmer weather to spend much of their time in the garden. Built around a reflecting pool, the peaceful space also exhibits eight of the artist’s finest sculptures. The Rodin Museum offers groups the opportunity for one-hour guided tours as well as group dining packages.

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MOORE COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

BARNES FOUNDATION

The country’s first and only historical visual arts college for women, Moore College of Art and Design boasts 7,000 square feet of exhibition space that is open to the public free of charge. Down the parkway from the Barnes Foundation, the gallery gives groups an opportunity to encounter work from newer artists and those on the rise that they may not find anywhere else. And what will that work look like? Moore does not have collections, and its exhibition schedule “varies from year to year,” said Gabrielle Lavin Suzenski, director of The Galleries at Moore. “But the bulk of our shows focus on the visual arts and tie into the academic programs at Moore, including animation and game arts, fashion design, film and digital cinema, fine arts, graphic design, illustration, interior design and photography.” Groups will especially want to check out Moore’s excellent gift shop, which features handmade and original art, jewelry and gifts, all created by current students and alumni. M O O R E . E D U/ T H E - G A L L E R I E S -AT- M O O R E

The third of the three world-class art repositories that sit clustered together at the top of the parkway, the Barnes Foundation is a museum quite unlike any other. “The one-of-a-kind experience begins when you step off the tour bus,” said Colleen Delaney, Barnes Foundation sales manager, groups and events. “A walk along the beautiful reflecting pond, in view of the stunning architecture of the building, leads you into a massive, sunlit space that gives you a sense of the importance of the collection.” The Barnes Foundation boasts a jaw-dropping 181 pieces by Renoir and 69 by Cézanne, both more than any other collection in the world, plus dozens of works by Matisse and Picasso. Amassed privately by Albert Barnes, these masterpieces are hung as he uniquely displayed them, “alongside African masks, native American jewelry, Greek antiquities and decorative metalwork,” according to Delaney. The Barnes Foundation offers self-guided and docent-led tours to groups, as well as catering options like plated luncheons, high tea in the afternoon and a champagne reception at day’s end. B A R N E S FO U N DAT I O N .O R G

PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS If groups continue down the parkway from Moore toward Center City, they’ll encounter the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Founded in 1805 as the first art museum and school in the nation, it boasts an exquisite collection of American art from the 18th century to today that includes work from major names such as Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer. Equally worthy of attention is the academy’s National Historic Landmark Building, a superb example of Victorian Gothic architecture. Outside it sits Paint Torch, a 51-foot-high Claes Oldenburg sculpture of a jauntily angled paint brush and a fine example of Philadelphia’s exceptional public art collection. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts offers group tours as well as a full-service cafe. PA FA .O R G

JUNE 5-13, 2021 FDR PARK - PHILADELPHIA, PA

Group reservations available now! PHSonline.org

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BEAUTIFUL BEGINNINGS NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURES OFFER INTERPRETIVE LANDMARKS

The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage celebrates the indigenous people who have lived on this land for centuries. BY JUNO KIM, COURTESY ANHC

BY ROBIN ROENKER

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he United States is home to a rich and diverse array of Native American tribes and cultures. Exploring their stories offers a chance to learn a rich part of America’s story, one that’s sometimes glossed over in traditional history books. A trip to any of the country’s thriving Native American Cultural Centers proves that the stories, customs, artwork and traditions of Indigenous Americans aren’t just a part of American history; they’re a vital, vibrant part of our country’s modern cultural fabric. Here are five your group should visit.

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A hiking trail outside the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum PHOTOS COURTESY AH-TAH-THI-KI MUSEUM

A H -TA H -T H I - K I M U S E U M CLEWISTON, FLORIDA

Basketry on display at Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum’s exterior

The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum outside of Clewiston, Florida, from Fort Lauderdale, offers visitors an opportunity to experience the Florida Everglades and the culture of the Seminole Tribe of Florida firsthand. Situated on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki — in Seminole, “a place to learn” — Museum features 6,000 square feet of gallery space with more than 180,000 unique artifacts and archival items that speak to the culture and history of the Seminole people. Permanent exhibits explore tribal history and aspects of earlier life for the Seminole Tribe: early tools and modes of transportation, methods of hunting and gathering foods and how alligator hunting became part of the Seminole’s cultural tradition. Outside, visitors can enjoy a stroll along a one-mile raised boardwalk, which winds through a 60-acre cypress dome. It’s not uncommon to see native Everglades wildlife nearby, including birds, alligators and even a black bear. The path leads to a re-created Seminole village, where Seminole artisans demonstrate the craftsmanship behind handmade goods including beaded jewelry and baskets. “I think the main takeaway that we always want visitors to have is that the Seminole Tribe is still here and that they’re thriving,” said Kate Macuen, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum’s director. “They have this truly amazing, deep and rich history and culture.” Guided group tours of the museum and boardwalk, including insights into how the Seminole people have used the native plants and animals of the Everglades to survive and thrive, are available by reservation. On the first Friday and Saturday of November each year, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum hosts the American Indian Art Celebration, which features artisans from the Seminole Tribe and other Indigenous tribes. “We focus on dancers and singers, and we do alligator wrestling shows,” said Macuen. “It’s just a really fun two days to explore and celebrate both Seminole art and culture as well as other tribal and Indigenous cultures throughout the United States.” A H TA H T H I K I .C O M

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A K TA L A K O TA M U S E U M A N D C U LT U R A L C E N T E R CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center in Chamberlain, South Dakota, helps “conserve and present the historical and contemporary story of the Northern Plains people,” said Dixie Thompson, the museum’s director. Operated as a public outreach project of St. Joseph’s Indian School, a residential school that serves Native American children in the first through eighth grade, the museum focuses primarily on the Lakota Tribe. Engaging exhibits feature representative tribal art and cultural artifacts that depict life on the Great Plains from before Euro-American contact through modern times. Highlights include an authentic buffalo hide teepee, children’s decorated clothing, an exhibit of traditional tribal games for children and native tools and implements of daily life. “Our exhibits illustrate how Native Americans have adapted over the past 200 years to successfully preserve their traditions and cultural heritage through modern art forms and show how they continue to practice their sacred ceremonies today,” Thompson said. Upcoming rotating exhibits include The Gift, based on the Lakota narrative of the seven sacred rights from the White Buffalo Calf Woman, which will run through November. The on-site gift shop features handmade art, quilts, purses, jewelry and more crafted by members of local tribes. On Tuesdays, the museum hosts a story hour in which elders from the Native community share books celebrating Lakota legends or cultural traditions. Although geared toward children, the event is suitable for everyone. “People of all ages love it,” Thompson said. A K TA L A KOTA . S TJ O.O R G

Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center

A dance demonstration at Alaska Native Heritage Center BY WAYDE CARROLL, COURTESY ANHC

A L A S K A N AT I V E H E R I TA G E C E N T E R ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Alaska visitors can explore 10,000 years of the area’s history through the stories, history and culture of its Indigenous people at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. This museum celebrates the vibrancy of the state’s modern Indigenous tribes by celebrating and showcasing their songs, art, cultural artifacts and dance. Open to the general public mid-May through early September each year, the heritage center offers a great introduction to the five major Indigenous cultural groups of Alaska. Visitors might wish to start their tour in the heritage center’s theater, where the film “Stories Given, Stories Shared” offers an overview of the history and rich culture of the Alaska native people, as well as stunning panoramic views of the pristine Alaskan wilderness. Native Alaskan artisans are often on hand to demonstrate and sell their crafts in the Hall of Cultures, offering an opportunity to take home an authentic souvenir. Guests can explore six authentically styled native dwellings situated around Lake Tiulana on the Heritage Center grounds. Center staff can share details about the unique cultural traditions of the various native Alaskan tribes, including the Athabascan, the Inupiaq, the Tlingit, the Haida, the Alutiiq and the Tsimshian Peoples. During the summer, guests can enjoy demonstrations of Alaskan native dancing or even join in on the fun of a traditional Alaskan native game. A L A S K A N AT I V E . N E T

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I N D I A N P U E B L O C U LT U R A L C E N T E R ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

Alaska Native Heritage Center BY ASHLEY HEIMBIGNER, COURTESY ANHC

Pueblo cuisine at New Mexico’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

In the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center serves as a gateway to the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. “We offer a great place to be able to feel the special aura that these pueblos have,” said Beverlee McClure, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s vice president of cultural and community engagement. Here, visitors can enjoy an immersive experience with pueblo culture, from enjoying a native dance ceremony in the courtyard to tasting traditional Indigenous dishes prepared by celebrated chef Ray Naranjo of the Santa Clara pueblo. Groups can even book hands-on cooking classes at the center’s newly added Indian Pueblo Kitchen. Pueblo artisans share daily demonstrations of jewelry-making, basket-making and other traditional crafts during summer months, offering guests a chance to interact with living curators of pueblo cultural traditions. Guided tours of the museum’s richly developed permanent and rotating exhibits are available. Highlights include exhibits of pottery and art from each of the pueblos, as well as the history behind the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. One spotlights the contributions of Pueblo women, including

BY JOE WIGGLESWORTH, COURTESY IPCC

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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the First Native American cabinet secretary in American history, who is a member of the Laguna Pueblo. “It’s a beautiful exhibit, and we’re really excited for our guests to be able to experience it,” said McClure. One of the most popular docent-led tours takes groups to explore the more than 20 indoor and outdoor murals on the grounds that have been painted by pueblo artists. “It’s a really unique experience because, in addition to enjoying the beauty of these murals, guests also get to learn the significance of the imagery for each particular pueblo,” McClure said. I N D I A N P U E B LO.O R G

Chickasaw Cultural Center in Oklahoma COURTESY CHICKASAW CULTURAL CENTER

Pueblo members showcasing their heritage at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

C H I C K A S A W C U LT U R A L C E N T E R SULPHUR, OKLAHOMA

A Zuni pueblo demonstration

Price Tower Arts Center

In Sulphur, Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Cultural Center preserves and celebrates the traditions and legacy of the Chickasaw people. Guided, customized tours of the cultural center and expansive grounds are available. Guests can explore a re-created Chickasaw village and get an in-depth tour of the museum’s 96,000-square feet of exhibits spotlighting native art and cultural artifacts. Most visits will start at the Chikasha Poya — “We are Cherokee” — Exhibit Center, which takes visitors on a journey of the Chickasaw experience from ancient times through the present. Docents are on hand to explain the significance of Chickasaw symbols found in the artwork on display throughout the museum. While sitting within a replica 18th-century tribal council house, visitors can enjoy a video spotlighting Chickasaw history, traditions and culture. Many of the museum exhibits encourage active, hands-on exploration; for instance, push-button “language stations” help visitors try their hands at speaking Chickasaw. At the outdoor “hayip,” or pond, guests can walk out onto the Oka’ Aabiniili’ — “a place for sitting on the water” — pavilion to enjoy a moment of reflection on the beautiful, tranquil grounds. There are also ample opportunities to witness living presentations of Chickasaw music and dance. The campus’ outdoor amphitheater often hosts concerts and dramatic performances, including native Choctaw hymn singing and traditional native stomp dances. And the large, indoor Anoli’ Theater frequently screens Native-based films and other cultural demonstrations. When hunger strikes, visitors can take a break at the on-site cafe, which specializes in fresh-made Chickasawinspired dishes. C H I C K A S AWC U LT U R A LC E N T E R .C O M

PHOTOS BY JOE WIGGLESWORTH, COURTESY IPCC

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

THE MODERN FRONTIER

Let cultures and history come to life through state-of-the-art exhibitions, educational programs and immersive activities all awaiting your group’s arrival.


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A Pivotal Past CAROLINA HERITAGE IS MEASURED IN CENTURIES B Y PA U L A AV E N G L A D Y C H

Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk

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ounded in the mid-1600s, the Carolinas are rich in American history. Groups traveling to these states can learn about the origins of flight, the impacts of the American Revolution and the Civil War, slavery and reconstruction, and how early settlers interacted with Native Americans in the area at the following must-see historic sites.

For t Su mt er Nat ion a l Monu ment

C H A R LE STO N H A R B O R , S O UTH C A RO LI N A

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The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked the Federal troops there, capturing the facility. Fort Sumter, built in 1829, sits on a man-made island at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Visitors to the island can tour the remains of the fort, which is considered a Civil War ruin. Union forces laid siege to Fort Sumter for 17 months during the war in an attempt to recapture it from the Confederacy, launching 70,000 tons of artillery at it and reducing the walls to rubble. The brickwork visitors see at the site today is what was left beneath the rubble. The walls are about one-third the height they were when the fort was constructed. Three projectiles are still lodged in the interior walls of the fort, and the site is home to many Civil War-era cannons. A small museum and store reside on the second floor of an Endicott-Era gun battery, which was built about 1898. Groups that want to visit the site can reserve a tour through Fort Sumter Tours, the park’s concessioner; tours depart from Liberty Square in downtown Charleston or Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. The Liberty Square location has a Visitor Education Center with exhibits about the causes of the Civil War, antebellum Charleston and why Union forces fired on Confederate-held Fort Sumter. N P S .G OV/ FO S U

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Cannons at Ft. Sumter

Edent on , Nor t h Ca rol i n a

Historic Edenton, established in 1712, is the second-oldest town in North Carolina and was the state’s first Colonial capital. Groups that want to tour the historic city should book a 45-minute trolley tour or a guided walking tour through Historic Edenton to learn more about its history. Guided tours also are available at the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse and the James Iredell House. The courthouse, which is still in operation, is one of only two courthouses outside of Raleigh where the North Carolina Supreme Court can meet. It also is one of the best-preserved Colonial courthouses in America. The lighthouse is one of the last lighthouses in the U.S. that was built on screw pilings. Originally built in the Albemarle Sound at the entrance to the Roanoke River, it was moved to its current location overlooking Edenton Bay. The Iredell House Homesite was the home of James Iredell, an

Edenton’s Cupola House COURTESY VISIT EDENTON

A Wright Flyer replica at the Wright Brothers National Memorial COURTESY NPS

COURTESY NPS

associate justice on the first U.S. Supreme Court and attorney general and North Carolina Superior Court judge during the American Revolution. Tours showcase the furnished home, a carriage house, a one-room schoolhouse, a dairy, a kitchen, a smokehouse and other outbuildings from the 18th and early-19th centuries. Groups can learn about the Maritime Underground Railroad at Colonial Waterfront Park, where African American watermen worked to identify sympathetic seamen who would agree to transport runaway slaves to free states. V I S I T E D E N TO N .C O M

Wr i g ht Brot hers Nat ion a l Memor ia l

KILL DEVIL HILLS, NORTH CAROLINA

Groups can learn about North Carolina’s maritime heritage with waterfront activities in historic Edenton.

Big Kill Devil Hill, at 100 feet tall, and hills in the area were just high enough for the brothers to practice launching their flyers.

Orville and Wilbur Wright chose the Kill Devil Hills outside of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, as the site of their test flights in the early 1900s because of its remote location, strong winds, hills, lack of vegetation and sandy beach for soft landings. Big Kill Devil Hill, at 100 feet tall, and hills in the area were just high enough for the brothers to practice launching their various flyers. It was here that the brothers made their first successful flight December 17, 1903. Group visitors to the Wright Brothers National Memorial can start their tours at the Wright Brothers Visitors Center to learn about the duo and why they came to North Carolina for their flight tests. The facility is packed with interactive exhibits and a full-size reproduction of the 1903 Wright Flyer. Groups also can tour reconstructed 1903 camp buildings and living quarters that show how Orville and Wilbur lived during their time in the Outer Banks. The Wright Brothers Monument stands atop Big Kill Devil Hill, with impressive views of the surrounding countryside and the town of Kill Devil Hills, which didn’t exist until 50 years after the Wright Brothers made history. On the south side of Big Kill Devil Hill, there is a re-creation of the Wright Brothers’ first flyer that visitors can touch and climb on. Guided tours of the site are not available, but during the summer months, park rangers offer interpretive programming throughout the day. N P S .G OV/ W R B R

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Caesars Head State Park

Ni net y Si x Nation a l H i st or ic Sit e N I N E T Y S I X , S O UTH C A RO LI N A

About 60 miles south of Greenville, South Carolina, the Ninety Six National Historic Site preserves the original site of the town Ninety Six, which was established in the early-18th century, and the original earthen Star Fort, which was built by settlers to protect them from the Cherokee Indians that lived in the South Carolina foothills. The site also commemorates the first land battle of the Revolutionary War outside New England, which took place in November 1775. Ninety Six was a strategic location during the war, so British loyalists fortified the town. It also was the site of the war’s longest field siege in 1781, when Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene led 1,000 patriot troops against the 550 British loyalists who were defending the frontier town. Groups can schedule a tour of the park by calling at least two weeks ahead. There is a small museum on-site that contains period artifacts and oil paintings depicting the battles that took place there. A one-mile-long interpretive trail begins at the visitors center, taking guests past the remains of the 18th-century earthen Star Fort as well as the original town site of Ninety Six. The historic site has numerous trails: The Cherokee Path Trail leads past the Star Fort Pond, which is a great fishing spot, and the Gouedy Trail wends past the location where Robert Gouedy first opened a trading post in the area. There also is an unidentified cemetery on the property that is presumed to be a slave cemetery from post-Colonial times. N P S .G OV/ N I S I

The historic home and gardens at Rose Hill Plantation in Union

The Star Fort and other historic structures at South Carolina’s Ninety Six National Historic Site

PHOTOS COURTESY NPS

R ose H i l l Pla nt ation St at e H i st or ic Sit e U N I O N , S O UTH C A RO LI N A

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site preserves 44 acres of a historic cotton plantation that was active for 130 years. In 1860, the 2,000-acre plantation enslaved 178 people, making it one of the largest enslaved populations in the area. The owner, William Henry Gist, served as governor of South Carolina and was a staunch secessionist. “He strongly believed South Carolina should secede from the U.S. to protect the institution of slavery,” said Nate Johnson, park manager at Rose Hill Plantation. Groups that visit the site can tour the large mansion and a historic brick kitchen that was built behind the home. The site tells the sometimes-difficult story of slavery, sharecropping, emancipation and reconstruction and the white supremacist violence that followed that kept former enslaved peoples from taking part in the freedoms for which they fought during the Civil War, among them owning land, going to school, voting and serving on juries. Numerous trails take visitors past historic places, such as the caretaker’s house and the tenant farms where former slaves continued to work the fields as sharecroppers. One of the trails takes visitors past a witness stand of 230-year-old pine trees that were alive during the plantation’s heyday. Rangers staff the site and are available to answer questions. Tours of the site are available, and groups can rent out the picnic pavilion on-site. S O U T H C A R O L I N A PA R K S .C O M / R O S E - H I L L

PHOTOS COURTESY ROSE HILL PLANTATION

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This historical field trip could change your students’ lives forever.

Bring your students to the Billy Graham Library and invite them to discover the remarkable story that began when God called a 15-year-old farmer’s son to Himself— and then used him over eight decades to reach millions of people across the globe with His love. Take a step back in time through engaging exhibits, photos, and video displays during The Journey of Faith tour. Free, downloadable educational resources will help your students get the most of their visit to the Library with engaging activities for before, during, and after your trip. To plan your visit or find out more, go to BillyGrahamLibrary.org/ Students. The Library is following safety precautions and social distancing in light of COVID-19. Please check BillyGrahamLibrary.org regularly for up-to-date information. ©2021 BGEA

A ministry of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever.” —Psalm 104:31, ESV


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THE CAROLINAS’ OUTDOORS ARE IN VOGUE B Y PA U L A AV E N G L A D Y C H

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rom barrier islands with pristine beaches and amazing wildlife to national parks with mountain vistas, rivers and waterfalls, the Carolinas are full of group-friendly outdoor experiences that feed not only the spirit but the mind as well. The following outdoor experiences are great for groups that want a less taxing outdoor experience.

Sout h Ca rol i n a Bot a n ic a l Ga rden

C LE M S O N , S O UTH C A RO LI N A

Carnivorous plants at the South Carolina Botanical Garden COURTESY SC BOTANICAL GARDEN

The South Carolina Botanical Garden gives visitors a taste of the state’s diverse ecosystems. Formed in 1959 on the campus of Clemson University, the garden covers 295 acres and includes ornamental gardens, a butterfly garden, woodlands and a nature trail. The property also has the Bob Campbell Geology Museum and the Fran Hanson Discovery Center. Groups can take a docent-led tour of the grounds for a nominal fee. The gardens themselves are free. The gardens got their start when a new stadium broke ground on campus and some beautiful, well-established camellias were going to be destroyed. Those plants were moved to an unused part of the property that used to serve as cotton terraces. To protect them from the sun, loblolly and slash pines were added to provide shade and a creek running through the property was dammed to become a duck pond. The Natural Heritage Garden Trail is a simple way for visitors to explore South Carolina’s maritime forest, longleaf pine savannas and coastal environments that have sand, palmetto trees and live oaks. A boardwalk traverses a bog, and the pine savanna is home to orchids and carnivorous plants like Venus’ flytraps, pitcher plants and sundews. The prairie exhibit includes grasslands that would have been in South Carolina before development occurred. “When you are walking this trail, you feel like you are enclosed in those habitats,” said Sue Watts, educational program coordinator for the gardens. “It is a wonderful experience.” C L E M S O N . E D U/ P U B L I C /S C B G

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An interpreter demonstrates native dances at Cherokee’s Oconaluftee Indian Village. COURTESY VISIT CHEROKEE NC


Soco Falls near Cherokee

Ed i st o Isla nd , Sout h Ca rol i n a

Visitors to Beaufort, South Carolina, should make a point of visiting nearby Edisto Island, with its pristine beaches and the Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve. The island is too small for larger groups to stay overnight, but there is plenty to see and do for groups that don’t mind making the day trek. The Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve encompasses 4,630 acres of maritime forests, salt marsh, tidal creeks, freshwater ponds and hammock islands. Managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the area is a wonderful place to experience the nature and diverse wildlife of South Carolina. The boneyard beach on the preserve is famous for its beautiful driftwood, shells and shark teeth that pepper the shore. A short walk shows how other beaches in the area used to look before they were discovered by tourists. There are canoe and kayak tours available in the area for groups of up to 12 people; nature and dolphin tours are also available. The Edisto Beach State Park and Interpretive Center, with numerous hiking and biking trails, is also worth a visit. Small groups can hire outfitters to take them on tours or organize charter fishing trips.

COURTESY VISIT CHEROKEE NC

Fun on the water at Edisto Island

E D I S TO C H A M B E R .C O M

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve encompasses 4,630 acres. COURTESY GSMRR

COURTESY EDISTO COC

Great Smok y Mou nt a i n s R a i l roa d

B RYS O N C IT Y, N O R TH C A RO LI N A

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad dates back to the early days of Bryson City and existed before Great Smoky Mountains National Park was formed. It was built to deliver people and supplies to the area, but now its sole purpose is scenic excursions. Groups can take the two-hour round-trip train ride to the Nantahala River Gorge or sign up for one of the railroad’s package deals. The Rails and Trails adventure pairs the two-hour train ride with a two-hour backwoods Jeep adventure that takes people up the mountain, past lakes and waterfalls, and along a segment of the Appalachian Trail. Another package pairs the train ride with a whitewater rafting trip. The Tarzan Train includes the River Gorge train trip and a visit to Wildwater’s Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours, which offers 13 zip lines and eight sky bridges to traverse. Visitors who don’t want to take part in the outdoor adventure can grab a bite to eat at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, sit on the outdoor patio and watch the whitewater rafters maneuver their way through the gorge before hopping back on the train for the return journey to Bryson City. The scenery along the trip is beyond compare, and when the weather is nice, people can enjoy the view from several enclosed or open-air cars while enjoying tales told by a local storyteller. Groups can purchase tickets for the train that include entrance to Smoky Mountain Trains, one of the country’s top Lionel train museums. G S M R .C O M

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O con a lu f t ee I nd ia n Vi l la ge C H E RO K E E , N O R TH C A RO LI N A

A re-created Cherokee village from the 17th century, Oconaluftee transports groups back in time. Visitors walk along winding paths through the forest that take them past traditional Cherokee dwellings, work areas and sacred ritual sites. Along the way, visitors can watch beautiful cultural dances or interact with the villagers as they take part in traditional activities like hulling canoes, weaving baskets, making pottery or creating beautiful and intricate beaded designs on clothing and jewelry. One of the most popular demonstrations shows how the Cherokee used blow guns and darts. It takes about two hours to see the village and watch some of the reenactments, including Time of War, when a ceremony begins and the entire village prepares for battle. Many visitors pair their trip to the Indian Village with a visit to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian nearby. The museum was recently updated and is full of information and displays. If groups have time, they might like to make a reservation to see Unto These Hills, an outdoor drama at the Mountainside Theater in Cherokee that relays the tragedy and triumphs of the Cherokee people as they were forced to relocate from their homes in North Carolina to an Oklahoma reservation. V I S I TC H E R O K E E N C .C O M

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Caesars Head State Park

Cap e L ookout Nat ion a l Sea shore

B E AU FO R T, N O R TH C A RO LI N A

Cape Lookout National Seashore preserves 56 miles of pristine shoreline along three undeveloped barrier islands in North Carolina: North Core Banks, South Core Banks and Shackleford Banks. Accessible to groups only by ferry from Harkers Island and Beaufort, North Carolina, the journey to the National Seashore is just as eye-popping as the arrival. With its glistening white sand beaches, the area is part of the famed Crystal Coast and is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors can walk the beaches searching for beautiful shells and smoothed-out pieces of driftwood or rent a 4WD Kubota side-by-side ATV to explore the miles of scenic landscape that is accessible only by fourwheel drive vehicle or boat. On South Core Banks, groups can take a tour of the iconic Cape Lookout Lighthouse, a 163-foot-tall beacon that was completed in 1859 and that is easy to recognize because of the black-and-white diamond pattern along its base. Visitors who plan ahead can hike up the stairs to get a great view of the Outer Banks from the top. Beaufort cruise tours can take 49 passengers past many of the islands of the Crystal Coast, including Shackleford Banks with its wild horses that have called the island home for 400 years. The cruise tours also make a great way to see the area’s frolicking dolphins. C RYS TA LC OA S T N C .O R G

Wild horses and the iconic Cape Lookout Lighthouse at North Carolina’s Cape Lookout National Seashore

PHOTOS COURTESY CRYSTAL COAST TOURISM AUTHORITY

Outer. Space. A true getaway, the Outer Banks offers incredible connections to nature and an abundance of soul-stirring experiences. From a luxurious four diamond resort to charming seaside properties, your groups are guaranteed to enjoy the varied amenities that make each of our properties safe and unique. Home to 3 National Parks, a myriad of bucket list adventures and 100 miles of free beaches to explore; the Outer Banks provides an authentic coastal vibe vacation for your customer. Ask us about our new night skies program.

For group adventures, contact Lorrie Love; love@outerbanks.org, or call 877-629-4386

The Outer Banks OF NORTH CAROLINA

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outerbanks.org/planners

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