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PRE-REGISTRATION OFFER!

$2,000 Savings per couple for Balcony Suites $1,000 Savings per couple on all staterooms 2018 river cruises at 2017 pricing PLUS our EGV points! Valid through August 31st, 2017!


It's all Included!

Life’s a deluxe river cruise, only on Emerald Waterways. You haven’t had a vacation experience that exceeds your expectations like this. Our exciting, unique destinations and itineraries, exceptional contemporary amenities and service, and amazing range of thoughtful inclusions and options are designed so you can completely relax—and revel—in a truly deluxe trip. Our award-winning international fleet of Star-Ships is the river cruising experience you’ve always wanted, and more:

Exceptional Emerald Value Group Offers Available

✓ Innovative on board features like a heated pool with retractable roof and cinema†. This space also provides your group with an area to host functions ✓ Boutique hotel like accommodations with spacious cabins and our refreshing open-air balcony system in all our suites ✓ A ll on board meals and a collection of highlight dinners at Reflections Restaurant ✓ A refined selection of wine, beer and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner ✓ Tea and coffee available at all times ✓ Bottled water restocked daily in your cabin ✓ Enjoy each port with an included excursion ✓ Extra special included excursions courtesy of EmeraldPLUS ✓ Biking and hiking guided tours with Emerald Active ✓ Visits to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Panorama Balcony Suite

✓ Served right to your suite Continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and after dinner treats with Emerald’s Concierge Service* ✓ Excellent service from an English-speaking crew ✓ Knowledgeable local guides at each destination ✓ Complimentary bicycles on board for daily use† ✓ Complimentary WiFi on board ✓ All airport transfers to and from your ship ✓ A ll Personal lightweight headsets for included excursions for your listening ease ✓ N ow including Emerald Waterways Rivercruise Guarantee – enjoy peace of mind with our new river cruise guarantee that protects you from unforeseen changes to your itinerary once your trip departs ✓ Plus we even take care of all gratuities

Reflections Restaurant

NEW FOR 2018 Enjoy more amenities on your sailing with our new Emerald Group Value points!

†Cinema & bikes not available on the Emerald Radiance *Owner's One-bedroom, Riverview and Grand Balcony Suites only.

Contact our Groups Department to learn more. Call 844.857.6021, visit emeraldwaterways.com or email us at usgroups@emeraldwaterways.com

Terms and conditions: For new bookings only. Not combinable with other offers. Minimum group size must be achieved in order to qualify. Savings of $1000 per person in balcony suites or $500 per person for staterooms applicable to any sailing in 2018. All offers are subject to availability and may be recalled at any time. $500 non-refundable deposit must be received on or before August 31, 2017 to qualify for this offer. Full payment is required 90 days prior to departure. 2018 itineraries, hotels and inclusions are accurate at the time of printing but are subject to change. Contact Emerald Waterways groups department for specific information on the Emerald Groups Value points, which vary by destination and departure date. ©Emerald Waterways | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | One Financial Center, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02111. Ad Code: 17_EW100 April 2017


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CAROLINAS

6 EDITOR’S MARKS

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The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove is one of the most photographed sites in Nova Scotia.

FILM AND TV SITES

Decade

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

THESE ATTRACTIONS SHOWCASE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LATE 20TH CENTURY.

FEATURES

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CANADA The maritime provinces sing a siren song for travelers.

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

Founder and Publisher Partner Executive Editor Senior Writer Creative Director Art Director

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ELIZA MYERS CHRISTINE CLOUGH SAVANNAH OSBOURN ASHLEY RICKS KELLY TYNER STACEY BOWMAN

Online Editor Copy Editor Staff Writer Circulation Manager Director of Sales & Marketing Advertising Sales Director

888.25 .0455 KELLY@GROUPTR AVELLEADER.COM

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 travelrelated 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) 253-0455 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.


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ravel planners, we need to talk. And it’s going to be a tough conversation. I love travel and the impact it makes on people’s lives. I love the tourism industry and the people like you that make it run. I’m your biggest cheerleader. And because I care about you, I’m going to tell you some hard truths. There are, unfortunately, some inconsiderate people in our industry — group leaders and tour operators misrepresent themselves, act unprofessionally, take advantage of suppliers, leverage relationships for favors and otherwise game the system. Though most of you are sincere, honest travel planners, there’s a minority — a very troubling minority — whose bad behavior reflects poorly on the industry as a whole. This problem doesn’t exist solely among tour operators and group leaders. Legitimacy has been a big problem among travel agents and travel journalists for a long time, and the issue has only grown in the digital age. Fortunately, however, legitimate travel planners can avoid many of the mistakes and missteps of imposters by following some simple best practices. If you want to stand out from the pack and build a great reputation in the industry, here are four principles that should guide you.

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1) BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION. It’s always tempting to make ourselves and our organizations seem bigger, more successful or more important than they are. But exaggerating or misrepresenting the size of your group, the types of trips

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you take or the money you spend will always get you into trouble. Your partners and suppliers would much rather know the truth about your organization upfront than find out later that you are not what you claim to be. Honesty is always the best policy.

2) HONOR YOUR COMMITMENTS. One of the hallmarks of professionals is that they do the things that they say they will do. If you have signed up to attend a conference, a FAM tour or some other travel industry event, you should do everything in your power to attend. The people who organize these events spend a lot of time and money to create memorable and helpful experiences for you, and canceling at the last minute — or simply failing to show up — is incredibly disrespectful to them. You’re better than that. 3) REMEMBER YOUR MANNERS. Some travel planners behave like divas when they arrive at conferences, FAM tours and other events. They make unreasonable demands, complain loudly about things they don’t like, show up late, talk too much and make every moment about themselves. Even if these people are legitimate travel buyers who do lots of business, they drive everyone else crazy. Don’t be that person. 4) DON’T ABUSE YOUR PRIVILEGES. Travel planners are treated well in the tourism industry. They get lots of free gifts, free meals, free drinks and even free trips. Everyone wants to be their friend because everyone wants to earn their business. These perks are attractive, but you should never accept free travel or other favors from people if you don’t intend to do business with them. If you take the perks without doing the work, you’re just a freeloader.

Whether you’re a part-time travel enthusiast or a full-time, professional operator, the tourism industry offers a wealth of opportunities. So strive to be a person worthy of the opportunities you’ve been given.


IT WAS A NATIONAL MOVEMENT. NOW IT’S A NATIONAL MONUMENT. The Civil Rights Movement that helped galvanize the nation is now being recognized on a national level. But the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument does more than just acknowledge where we’ve been. It offers visitors a chance to celebrate where we’re going. Book your next tour in a place rich with history. Book your next tour in Birmingham. inbirmingham.com | # INB irmingham | 800 - 458 - 8085


FAMILY MATTERS A VI I

SALEM, Ohio — The Group Travel Family, an organization with over 25 years of service to the travel industry, recently reimagined its vision and mission statements and dedicated its focus to travel groups and the industry that serves them. “We have always been about group travel, and our new vision and mission statements look to the future of this great sector of travel,” said Joe Cappuzzello, president of The Group Travel Family. “It’s important to remind ourselves of the value we bring to travel directors as well as all of the DMOs, CVBs, hotels, attractions and receptive operators that we serve.” Created in a staff retreat, the new mission and vision state: “Our mission is to grow the group travel industry” and “Our vision is to be the No. 1 choice for group travel solutions.” Those are not simply words to the organization as they implement plans to expand the awareness of the benefits of traveling as a group.

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As the population of America grows, more than 10,000 people reach age 55 every day. Those new baby boomers are entering the prime target market to enjoy the benefits of group travel, and The Group Travel Family intends to position itself to serve those needs. “Group travel offers value, safety and, most of all, travel with people of like interests,” Cappuzzello said. “Group travel adds to the enjoyment of life, and we are going to help make everyone aware of those benefits.” The Group Travel Family has founded six separate organizations that serve the needs of group travel directors. Those organizations offer continuing education, networking and destination knowledge at their annual conferences, as well as online and through publications. The Group Travel Family reaches 25,000 travel planners who take over 9 million people on trips each year. The organizations are segmented to better

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serve the specific needs of travel groups. Those organizations are the Select Traveler Conference for banks, alumni and chamber of commerce travel planners; the Going On Faith Conference for church and faith-based groups; the African American Travel Conference for the AfricanAmerican community; Boomers In Groups for the new baby boomer groups; the Small Market Meetings Conference for meeting planners using medium to small venues; TravelTalks Meetings for the mature market; and AgritourismWorld, which brings groups to farms and markets. The Group Travel Family estimates that group travel will grow 5 percent to 7 percent annually through the year 2025. This growth will be led by entering baby boomers who have the time, wealth, health and desire to travel. You are welcome to contact The Group Travel Family at 800-628-0993 or online at www. grouptravelfamily.com.


SELECT TRAVELER CONFERENCE CREATES DESTINATION VIDEO SERIES SALEM, Ohio — The Select Traveler Conference, an organization that serves upscale travel groups in the bank, alumni and chamber of commerce markets, has just announced the publishing of a dozen Destination Showcase videos designed to expand awareness of new tour products and help travel directors find new travel destinations. The Select Traveler Conference invites destination presentations at its annual meeting every February as educational tools for the 500 delegates in attendance. The organization now makes that information available free of charge to travel groups nationwide. The idea to expand the reach of the destination showcase presentations is an effort to grow group travel. “We see the benefit of watching a great presentation on a new tour destination and recognized that we had an obligation to make that, information available outside of our conference,” said Teresa Burton of Select Traveler Conference. With that she set out on the task of capturing the presentations on video to preserve and distribute them to travel planners around the world. The result has been a collection of 12 interesting presentations from Collette, Mayflower Tours, Norwegian Cruise Line, the Eureka Springs CVB, East Coast Touring Company, Fathom, Trips, MSC Cruises, Islands in the Sun, Go Ahead Tours, Anderson Vacations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The presentation videos are available on the Group Travel Family YouTube Channel at www.youtube. com/grouptravelfamily. You can view all the presentations by going to the Select Traveler Conference 2017 playlist. Contact Teresa Burton at 800-628-0998 with any questions or comments.

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INDUSTRY NEWS APOLLO 11 COMMAND MODULE TO MAKE NATIONAL TOUR WASHINGTON — The command module Columbia, which carried the first men to walk on the moon in 1969, will embark on another journey in October, a national tour leading up to the 50th anniversary of the historic feat. “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” will visit museums in Houston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Seattle over the next two years, winding up at Seattle’s Museum of Flight on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, July 20, 2019. The command module, the only part of the spacecraft to return to earth, was the main living area for the three-man crew of Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. It has been displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington for the past 46 years since a 50-state tour in 1970-1971. An interactive 3-D tour, created from highresolution scans of Columbia performed at the Smithsonian in spring 2016, will allow visitors to explore the entire craft including its intricate interior,

By Eric Long, courtesy National Air and Space Museum MUSEUM VISITORS IN SEVERAL MAJOR CITIES WILL SEE THE APOLLO 11 COMMAND MODULE WHEN IT MAKES A TOUR OF THE UNITED STATES IN 2018 AND 2019.

which has previously been inaccessible the public. Several objects from the Apollo 11 mission will also be featured in the exhibit, including gloves and a visor Aldrin wore on the moon, a star chart used onboard and a rock box that brought back the first samples from the moon’s surface. The traveling exhibition previews part of a new gallery at the National Air and Space Museum, slated to open in 2021, that tells the story of human exploration of the moon. The schedule for the tour is: Space Center Houston — Oct. 14, 2017– March 18, 2018 Saint Louis Science Center — April 14–Sept. 3, 2018 Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh — Sept. 29, 2018–Feb. 18, 2019 The Museum of Flight, Seattle — March 16–Sept. 2, 2019. W W W.SI. EDU

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION OPENS IN PHILADELPHIA PHILADELPHIA — The Museum of the American Revolution, which opened April 19 on the edge of Independence Square near Independence Hall, brings to life the events, people and ideals of the founding of the United States with original artifacts, immersive galleries, theaters and re-created historic environments. Among the most iconic of the surviving artifacts from the Revolution is General George Washington’s headquarters tent. The tent, which served as both his office and sleeping quarters throughout much of the war, is housed in a dedicated theater and is part of a multimedia presentation exploring Washington’s leadership. The museum’s extensive artifact collection includes other personal items of George and Martha Washington, along with weapons, works

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Courtesy Museum of the American Revolution GEORGE WASHINGTON’S SILVER CAMP CUPS ARE AMONG THE EXTENSIVE ARTIFACT COLLECTION AT THE NEW MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

of art, manuscripts, personal items and more. Immersive experiences include a gallery featuring a full-scale replica of Boston’s Liberty Tree; the re-creation of an Oneida Indian Nation Meeting House, where the tribe’s leaders debate whether to join the American cause; the Battlefield Theater, where visitors are placed on the Continental Army’s front lines facing an attack by British soldiers; a view of Independence Hall in disarray during British occupation in Philadelphia; and a large-scale replica of an 18thcentury privateer ship that visitors can board. The three-story museum also includes a café, retail store and welcoming rotunda. W W W.AMREVMUSEUM.ORG


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LEMURS COME TO TENNESSEE AQUARIUM CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee — Lemur Forest, featuring seven ring-tailed and two redruffed lemurs, opened March 1 as the latest major addition to the Tennessee Aquarium. The exhibit, which replicates the wilds of Madagascar, the lemurs’ native habitat, anchors a complete overhaul to the top floor of the aquarium’s Ocean Journey building. An innovative exhibit design offers consistent sightlines along the numerous routes the animals can traverse, including an aerial path arcing directly over the exhibit’s entrance. The exhibit also features more than 200 linear feet of artificial “vines,” which can be moved and re-attached to a network of anchor points, creating new and interesting pathways to satisfy the lemurs’ thirst for exploration and mental stimulation. The changes to the top floor of the building also include a comprehensive update to Stingray

Bay, the Aquarium’s largest touch tank, to make it more accessible.

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Courtesy Tennessee Aquarium THE NEW LEMUR FOREST EXHIBIT AT THE TENNESSEE AQUARIUM SHOWCASES THE BELOVED CREATURES FROM MADAGASCAR.

GILMORE ANNOUNCES NEW MYRTLE BEACH PRODUCTION MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina — Gilmore Productions has announced its latest production in Myrtle Beach, Pure Magic, starring The Wagsters. The Wagsters duo combines magic with comedy and drama with card tricks, disappearing acts and sleight of hand. After a successful preview showing earlier this year, Gilmore has announced several dates for the 2017 season with more to be added. The Wagsters were featured as a special act of Gilmore’s Thunder and Light show and the Carolina Opry Christmas Special over the last two seasons and were so well received that Gilmore saw an opportunity for a feature show. Shows are currently scheduled for May 27, June 29, July 11, July 18 and August 3 at 4 p.m. Additional dates will soon be added; check online for updates throughout the year. W W W.THEC A LV I NGI L MOR E THE AT ER .COM

Aurora and Lawrenceburg

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Courtesy Gilmore Productions THE WAGSTERS COMBINE COMEDY, DRAMA AND ILLUSIONS IN THEIR NEW SHOW “PURE MAGIC” AT THE CALVIN GILMORE THEATER IN MYRTLE BEACH.

Lexington

Louisville

South of I-74 & west of I-275, 20 minutes west of Cincinnati

www.TOURSoutheastIndiana.com 800-322-8198

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BRANSON BRINGS TRAVEL SOUTH SHOWCASE TO MISSOURI B Y M AC L AC Y A BUSY MARKETPLACE

MEDIA MEMBERS MET WITH DESTINATIONS

MISSOURI STATE TRAVEL DIRECTOR DAN LENNON WITH LIZ BITTNER

More than 600 delegates gathered in Branson, Missouri, March 12-15, for the first Travel South Showcase held in that top-of-mind travel destination. Over the past several decades, this dynamic city carved into the edge of the Ozark Mountains has become synonymous with entertainment and outdoor relaxation. “We had 117 tour operators and 28 travel journalists join us in Branson, and the entire state of Missouri made us feel welcome for our first-ever event here,” said Travel South USA president and CEO Liz Bittner. “Missouri has added so much to the South’s sphere of activities and entertainment to be enjoyed by travelers since joining our organization in 2014. “Missouri rounds out our vast music heritage in the South,” said Bittner. “Its contribution to blues and jazz really helps to tell the story of those genres that have so much recognition throughout the South. Missouri enhances the travel experience for many visitors to states on our western and northern edges. Arkansas and

MISSOURI LUNCHEON ENTERTAINERS

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Kentucky, in particular, are packaged often with Branson and other Missouri destinations. It’s a great fit for us, domestically and internationally.” Bittner underscored the value of regional promotion that came from the event. “The media and tour operators who participated in our site inspection trips came away with a new recognition of how much two states like Missouri and Arkansas benefit from cooperative marketing efforts,” she said. “Until you tour the area and learn the geography, you don’t understand how much northwest Arkansas, Branson and the Route 66 region of Missouri complement each other. Travelers are the beneficiaries of that.” She also noted the value of having exposure for Branson’s outdoor environment. “The story of Branson’s entertainment often gets top billing,” she said. “Travelers need to know about places like Top of the Rock and Dogwood Canyon, or Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds and Eureka Springs. Bringing 145 tour operators and media members in here will help to tell that story.” While in Branson, the Travel South USA board of directors and its media buyers met with numerous consumer media outlets during the organization’s annual Ultimate Ad Challenge day. More than $900,000 of consumer media was contracted for with media like National Geographic, the Local Palate and Sojern, plus Expedia, the Food Innovations Group and the Matador Network. “The Matador Network is very cool,” said Bittner. “It’s a video platform for young adventure travelers, and we want to see those folks in our Southern outdoors very soon.” For information on the 2018 Travel South Showcase being held March 18-21 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, visit www.travel southusa.org.


Changing A F E W O F M Y FAVO R I T E T H I N GS . . .

BY B O B H O E L S C H E R

HORIZONS

eople I encounter seem to be intrigued that I get to travel for a living and see the world, then frequently comment on what a great life that must be. I always tell them that it’s like any other job — it has both good days and bad, many of the latter involving airport and flying hassles, and that even enduring the occasional lousy cruise can try one’s patience. Nevertheless, after spending much of the last 47 years on the road, I’ve managed to visit about 110 countries and territories on all seven continents, made 44 trips to Europe, explored all 417 units administered by our National Park Service, taken 105 cruises and stayed in a multitude of hotels and motels, over 100 in each of several particularly busy years alone. However, many fond memories have led me back time and again to places and experiences that have emerged as personal favorites. Here are a few of these that I’m pleased to share with our readers:

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• ALASKA TIDAL GLACIERS: As many of these massive rivers of ice that I’ve seen over the years, I’m still fascinated by them. It’s hard to imagine that it’s taken the chunks calving from the face of the largest glaciers about a million years to reach the water.

HELMCKEN FALLS AT WELLS GRAY PROVINCIAL PARK IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

• BASEBALL: This wonderful 19thcentury game is notable for not being fast and furious, allowing excitement to build gradually and the fan to take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st-century life. There’s no clock to beat, so “it’s not over ’til it’s over,” as noted by Yogi Berra. It’s also no wonder that I live by the ballpark on Homerun Road. • CLASSICAL MUSIC: Most folks who aren’t into the classics have no idea how much repertoire is out there — thousands and thousands of great works. My travels have allowed me to indulge my musical passion by attending over 2,100 symphony concerts by some 250 different orchestras across North America and Europe.

• CRITTERS: Since I’m away too much to have a pet at home, I make do handsomely by viewing and photographing Mother Nature’s incredible creatures, both large and small.

• FALL FOLIAGE: As a color photographer, I find that nothing enhances already scenic vistas more than the addition of brilliant autumn hues. • FLOWERS: Speaking of photography and colors, the immense variety of floral subjects worldwide is astounding, as proven by the thousands of shots I’ve taken.

• FRIENDS: How could any of us cope with life’s challenges without the help of good friends? I’m not listing mine for fear of omitting someone, but I will mention my best friend of about 43 years, fellow journalist “Gig” Gwin, who has been to every country in the world. We frequently travel together, and we’re now working on getting a radio show. • GIANT FORESTS: I’m a sucker for hikes amidst groves of big trees. Although we have many fine examples in the Pacific Northwest, the forests of coastal redwoods and giant sequoias of California are unsurpassed.

• MOUNT RAINIER: This magnificent, 14,410-foot dormant volcano is not only my favorite mountain but the centerpiece of a truly inspiring national park that also features splendid glaciers, forests, waterfalls, wildflowers, lakes and even a rain forest. • THE NIGHT SKY: Head outdoors and find a very dark place with no ambient lighting, and you, too, will be awestruck by the incredible splendor of the universe. • SOUTHWEST AND ALASKA AIRLINES: I much prefer the customer service of these two carriers that treat passengers as human beings rather than self-loading freight, which is all too common on many other airlines.

• TRANS-OCEANIC CRUISES: I particularly appreciate the numerous “at sea” days available while crossing the Atlantic or Pacific; they allow plenty of time to relax, read and get work done and to enjoy the shipboard facilities and (usually) good food. • WATERFALLS: I’ve seen hundreds, but each one is different, beautiful and photogenic.

By Bob Hoelscher

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by BRIAN JEWELL

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ometimes, exploring history is the most fun when you remember experiencing the events firsthand. From the golden era of Americana in the 1960s to the thrill of the space age, the excess of the 1980s and the technological revolution of the 1990s, the last half of the 20th century saw monumental events and cultural shifts that changed the face of America. Today, travelers young and old can live — or relive — this history at various attractions around the country. To help inspire you in your history and heritage travel planning, we’re taking a brief walk through each decade from the 1950s through the 1990s and highlighting historical sites, architectural achievements, presidential history and pop culture phenomena that will help your travelers remember the tragedies and triumphs of these times.

Courtesy


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THE 1950s:

THE 1960s:

AGE OF AMERICANA The heyday of muscle cars, the zenith of postwar prosperity and the dawn of the television age make the 1950s an iconic period in American history. And the seeds of some coming cultural movements were planted in this period as well.

WINDS OF CHANGE As baby boomers began to come of age in the 1960s, they ushered in sweeping cultural, political and societal changes that would shape America for decades to come. And some of the pivotal events of this time still resonate in the memories of those who lived through them.

HISTORIC HAPPENINGS: Though we remember the 1960s as the era of civil rights, one of the seminal steps in that movement took place in 1954 when the Supreme Court struck down school segregation in the landmark case Brown vs. Board of Education. Today, the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas, preserves the elementary school at the heart of that case and is filled with displays and media educating visitors on the ruling and its role in the greater civil rights movement.

HISTORIC HAPPENINGS: Though there was plenty of controversy in the 1960s, America came together and rallied around the Apollo missions that put men on the moon for the first time in history. Today’s travelers can see the Historic Mission Control Room, where the Apollo missions were run, as well as numerous other space-age artifacts, on a tour of Space Center Houston in Texas.

PRESIDENTS AND POLITICS: Dwight Eisenhower, a triumphant World War II general, served as president throughout most of the 1950s and presided over an era of wealth and infrastructure expansion. Groups can relive Ike’s successes and learn more about his personal life by visiting the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kansas.

ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: Though Frank Lloyd Wright had been a famous architect for decades, his design for the Guggenheim Museum in New York wowed the nation when the building was completed in 1959. Critics called it “the most beautiful building in America,” and it continues to serve as a symbol of Wright’s genius and the height of midcentury American architecture.

POP PHENOMENON: Movie tycoon Walt Disney made a splash in entertainment and travel when he opened the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, in the summer of 1955. And though the park has grown and changed quite a bit since then, visitors can enjoy some of the spirit of the ’50s with original rides and attractions such as Main Street USA, the Jungle Cruise and the Mark Twain Riverboat. OPPOSITE PAGE TOP: AN APOLLO CAPSULE ON DISPLAY AT SPACE CENTER HOUSTON FROM THE 1960S OPPOSITE PAGE BOTTOM: WALT DISNEY SHOWS OFF MODELS OF HIS DISNEYLAND RESORT IN THE 1950S.

BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

DISNEYLAND OPENING Courtesy NPS

Courtesy Disneyland Resort AIR FORCE ACADEMY CHAPEL

GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM By David M. Heald, courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Artwork by David Brown

Courtesy Air Force Academy

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GERALD FORD PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM By William Hebert, courtesy Ford Presidential Museum

AMERICAN HISTORY

ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: Completed in 1962, the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a soaring, stunning example of modern architecture in the space age. Groups can see the chapel inside and out during tours of the academy.

MISSISSIPPI MUSIC

SOUTHERN CHARM

Contact Ashley Gatian, Sales Manager, for itinerary planning assistance. 800-221-3536 ashley@visitvicksburg.com

VisitVicksburg.com Scan this QR to visit our GROUP mobile site and get your T HE

/VisitVicksburg

PRESIDENTS AND POLITICS: Youthful and charismatic, John F. Kennedy represented the hopes and dreams of many young voters when he came into office as president. But the nation stood still in horror when he was assassinated in 1963. Today, history buffs and conspiracy theorists alike can take Kennedy-themed tours in Dallas, where they see the book depository, the parade route and the infamous “grassy knoll” that were pivotal in the final moments of Kennedy’s life.

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keys to Vicksburg.

POP PHENOMENON: The Woodstock Festival in the summer of 1969 came to represent the cultural identity of an entire generation and saw performances by some of the greatest musicians of the day. Travelers can see the festival grounds for themselves and perhaps even relive their own memories of the event by visiting the Woodstock Museum on Bethel Woods in Bethel, New York.

THE 1970s: UPHEAVAL AND DISCONTENT Many historians remember the 1970s as a dark decade in the latter half of the 20th century, when the generation of change lost its innocence to political scandal and cultural tragedies. Many attractions from that era focus on letdowns and losses.

HISTORIC HAPPENINGS: The 1972 break-in at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, as well as the ensuing cover-up, led to the downfall of Richard Nixon’s presidential administration, making Nixon the only American president to resign the post. Though its name is now synonymous with scandal, the Watergate Hotel is still a stylish, luxurious hospitality property, newly renovated in 2014, and welcomes guests for pampering and historical reminiscence. PRESIDENTS AND POLITICS: Nixon’s resignation

WATERGATE HOTEL


set the stage for the presidency of Gerald Ford, an unlikely leader who took over under difficult circumstances. The Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, introduces visitors to Gerald and Betty Ford and gives them an overview of his significant role in leading America through the mid ’70s in the wake of presidential scandal.

ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: The architecture of the 1970s is often viewed disapprovingly by modern critics, but that doesn’t mean the decade was without its achievements. One of the most renowned projects of the time is the Kahn Building at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Opened in 1972, the smooth, concrete-vaulted surfaces of the building are considered quintessential examples of modern architecture.

Courtesy Watergate Hotel

BILTMORE’S FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS

POP PHENOMENON: Elvis Presley had dominated Courtesy the worlds of music and film for decades before his untimely death in 1977. In Memphis, Tennessee, his Graceland Estate is preserved much as he left it when he died, showcasing the opulence of his lifestyle and the design sensibilities of the era.

THE 1980s: GREED IS GOOD Shaking off the doldrums of the 1970s, Generation X seized American culture in the 1980s and embraced the pursuit of immense wealth and a luxurious lifestyle. The relative peace and economic stability of the decade allowed people to focus on more self-centered pursuits. HISTORIC HAPPENINGS: Natural disaster grabbed headlines at the beginning of the decade with the unexpected eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state in 1980. The eruption killed 57 people and permanently changed the landscape, and today the area is preserved as a national monument, where visitors can admire the area’s beauty and learn about the seismic activity that triggered the eruption.

PRESIDENTS AND POLITICS: For many people, the politics of the 1980s are synonymous with Ronald Reagan, the actor-turned-president who is credited with ending the Cold War and ushering in the era of modern American peace. The Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley, California, offers guests a look at Reagan’s remarkable life and the issues and challenges that defined his presidency and, with it, the decade.

ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: Opened in 1983, the 135,000-square-foot building designed by Richard Meier to house the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is considered one of the most beautiful buildings of the

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era, winning the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1984. Though additional facilities have since been added to the High, the Meier building remains a central feature of Atlanta’s architectural identity.

POP PHENOMENON: The 1989 film “Field of Dreams” became one of the most memorable films of the decade and garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Visitors can see the farmland and baseball diamond where key scenes from the film were shot at the Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa, fulfilling the signature line “If you build it, they will come.”

THE 1990s: DAWN OF THE DIGITAL AGE After the end of the Cold War, the 1990s emerged as a decade of progress and prosperity. Much of the

“FIELD OF DREAMS” MOVIE SITE

Courtesy Visit Dubuque

new wealth was a result of massive progress in technology as the world began to see the power and potential of the nascent World Wide Web. HISTORIC HAPPENINGS: Americans reacted in horror at the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1995. Today, the Oklahoma City National Memorial stands on the site of the bombing as a moving tribute to the victims and the community members who united to recover in the aftermath of the event.

PRESIDENTS AND POLITICS: Though Bill Clinton generated plenty of scandal and controversy during his two-term presidency in the ’90s, his personal

Artwork by Donia Simmons

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charisma and the era of prosperity over which he presided make him a popular figure. Groups can learn all about Clinton’s background and time in office by visiting the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. ARCHITECTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: Opened on the banks of Lake Erie in 1995, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is both a seminal music museum and a shining example of the Picturesque architectural movement of the 1990s. The 150,000-square-foot facility features two glass-enclosed pyramids and a 162-foot tower, which make the museum an unmistakable fixture of the Cleveland skyline. POP PHENOMENON: In a time of blockbuster summer movies, 1993’s “Jurassic Park” captured audience’s imaginations with its stunning scenery and its pioneering use of computer-generated imagery to bring dinosaurs to life on the screen. Though the dinosaurs are strictly digital, the landscape featured in the film is real and can be found at Kualoa Ranch and other locales in Kauai, Hawaii, where numerous tours offer guests glimpses of the scenic settings that made the movie memorable.

THE HIGH MUSEUM OF ART Courtesy High Museum of Art OKLAHOMA CITY NATIONAL MEMORIAL

Courtesy OKC National Memorial

THE CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM Courtesy Clinton Presidential Library THE GATES OF TIME

Courtesy OKC National Memorial

MAKE YOUR

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VIRGINIA

STATE SPOTLIGHT

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s the first established colony in British America during the

early 1600s, Virginia has a rich history that spans more than

400 years, providing groups the opportunity to explore some of the nation’s most important historic sites. Virginia was home to eight U.S. presidents, more than

any other state in the country, among them prominent Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe. Groups can tour many of these men’s historic homes, such as Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon and Jefferson’s plantation, Monticello. For a taste of Colonial America, visitors can travel along the Historic Triangle of

Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, which features interactive attractions like the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum. Other key landmarks include the Arlington National Cemetery and the Virginia State Capitol, which housed the United States’ oldest body of government.

In addition to its political heritage, Virginia is also known as the birthplace of country music, which travelers can experience through nine distinct music venues along the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail.

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Courtesy Monticello

Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

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JEFFERSON’S MONTICELLO Nestled atop a hill in Charlottesville, the elegant manor and grounds of Monticello yield a rare glimpse into the world of the man who penned the Declaration of Independence, shaping a nation’s future with the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Jefferson spent nearly half his lifetime constructing the home in what he termed his “essay in architecture,” which now serves as a blueprint to both his character and his historical contributions. Visitors can take a 40-minute tour of the main house. A day pass provides additional access to the garden tours, the Slavery at Monticello tour, the museum galleries and a film on Jefferson’s life. In the restored garden and orchard, groups can learn about Jefferson’s fascination with botany and agriculture, and even sample selections of fruits and vegetables during the harvest tasting tour, which is available between May and October. Groups can also delve into local scenery along the Saunders-Monticello Trail, a beautiful four-mile loop through Kemper Park.

HISTORIC TRIANGLE Connected by the scenic Colonial Parkway, the Historic Triangle comprises three of Virginia’s most historically significant towns: Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. Beginning at the reconstructed Jamestown Settlement, visitors can take a brief voyage aboard the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discover, or explore the Powhatan Indian Village, where historic interpreters bring Native American culture to life. The original site of the settlement, Historic Jamestowne, is located nearby. Colonial Williamsburg contains one of the country’s largest living-history museums, with 300 acres of taverns, trade shops and Colonial homes that preserve the everyday lifestyle of Americans in the 1770s. Groups can tour the Governor’s Palace, explore an art museum and grab a bite to eat in Merchant’s Square. The historic loop ends in Yorktown, where Washington and his troops famously coerced British forces to surrender following the Siege of Yorktown, effectively bringing the American Revolution to a close. Travelers can learn about this momentous event at the brand-new American Revolution Museum.

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ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY The largest military cemetery in the United States, Arlington National Cemetery holds the remains of more than 400,000 American heroes and veterans. One of the cemetery’s most famous landmarks is the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, which honors unidentified soldiers who fought in World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam. The large white sarcophagus is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by sentinels who perform a distinguished changing of the guard ceremony every hour. At President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite, visitors can still see the “eternal flame” that Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy lit at the president’s funeral in 1963. Other significant figures buried in the cemetery include President William Howard Taft, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, several Tuskegee Airmen and seven Space Shuttle Challenger astronauts. Throughout the week, visitors can take an interpretive bus tour through the cemetery to visit these key monuments as well as Robert E. Lee’s historic home, Arlington House, which overlooks the property. W W W. A RLI N G TO N C E M E T E RY.M I L

Courtesy Arlington National Cemetery

3 DON’T JUST LEARN A B O U T H I S TO R Y

HAVE A BLAST

Courtesy Virginia State Capitol

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Plan your trip to Virginia now at

HISTORYISFUN.ORG

VIRGINIA STATE CAPITOL Influenced by Neoclassical and Roman architecture, the Virginia State Capitol stands as testament to the Founding Fathers’ desire to shed their new government of any remnant of British rule. As a passionate architect himself, Jefferson commissioned French architect CharlesLouis Clérisseau to draft the first design, based on the Roman temple of Maison Carrée in Nimes, France, and the original scale model can still be found on display inside the building. Jefferson chose the Roman style for more than its aesthetic appeal; it also represented the kind of government that would reside in its halls: a republic. Virginia’s General Assembly, America’s oldest English-speaking legislature, first met inside the capitol in 1788, though during the Civil War it served as the headquarters for the Confederate Congress. The building recently underwent a $104.5 million renovation and expansion, adding an exhibit gallery, a gift shop and new surrounding landscape. Tours are offered daily free of charge. W W W.V I RG I N I ACA P ITO L .G OV

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BRING YOUR GROUP TOUR TO LIFE. BRING TOUR Fall in loveYOUR with theGROUP rhythm of the wavesTO withLIFE. hands-on Fall in love with rhythm of the waves with hands-onfor groups. experiences and the uncommon access offered exclusively experiences and uncommon access offered exclusively for groups. Plan your group’s Live the Life Adventure at VisitVirginiaBeach.com/GroupTour. Plan your group’s Live the Life Adventure at VisitVirginiaBeach.com/GroupTour.


Courtesy SWVA Cultural Heritage Found.

5 CROOKED ROAD HERITAGE MUSIC TRAIL Winding through more than 300 miles of scenic landscape, the Crooked Road Music Heritage Trail marks nine locations that played a role in the birth of country music. These roots trace back to Bristol, Virginia, where the first recorded sessions of the Carter Family took place in 1927. One of the original trio’s children, June Carter, later won two Grammys for her solo work and married Johnny Cash. Throughout the year, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum hosts a Friends of 1927 series, where fans can connect with celebrated artists over cocktails and appetizers. Another popular site is the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center, which commemorates Appalachian artists like the Stanley Brothers, whose songs “Man of Constant Sorrow” and “O, Death” appeared in the hit 2000 film, “O, Brother, Where Art Thou?” Every Friday, the Floyd Country Store hosts a bluegrass jamboree, and the Rex Theatre and Blue Ridge Backroads Live welcomes guests to watch bluegrass and mountain music bands perform. W W W.M YSW VA .O RG / T C R

Don’t Miss Out on GROUP ADMISSION DISCOUNTS Call 423-573-1927 24


te Experience the best of COLUMBUS on this one-of-a-kind

fam - Aug. 1-5, 2017

From fashion to microbrews and everything in between, there are plenty of creative ways to inspire your group’s trip to Columbus. This FAM will take you on unforgettable experiences that will explore all the local restaurants, attractions, dining and more that are made in Cbus. Here is a sampling of the activities that await you in Columbus: • Craft your own card on an antique, hand-operated letterpress and then pick from dozens of scents to hand pour your own custom candle. • Catch a baseball game at America’s best ballpark. • Take a lesson in how essential oils are blended to create custom scents, then weigh, blend and pour the ingredients for your own beer soap crafted with local brews. • Explore the largest Planetarium in Ohio at the nation’s top-rated science center. • Be the first through the gate of the 30th anniversary of the Dublin Irish Festival. *Itinerary subject to change, based on availabilitity

We look forward to hosting you in Columbus! Apply to attend at grouptravelleader.com/2017columbusfam This FAM invitation is limited to qualified tour operators with at least 2 years of professional experience and is non-transferable. FAM attendance is for business associates only and limited to 1 attendee per company. Travel accommodations to and from Columbus and personal incidentals are NOT included in the FAM trip and is the responsibility of the individual attending the FAM. This FAM includes four nights of accommodations, transportation during the FAM, and all meals and attractions as listed on the itinerary. A pre/post hotel FAM rate will be available for those wishing to extend their stay.

experiencecolumbus.com/tours


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CA NA D A’S MA R IT I MES ARE POSTCARDS FROM THE COAST BY E L I ZA B E T H H E Y

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SENTRIES DRESSED IN 78TH HIGHLANDER TARTANS GUARD THE HISTORIC CITADEL IN HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA. Courtesy Tourism Nova Scotia

anada celebrates its 150th birthday this year. And it’s the perfect time to explore the history and beauty of the nation’s Maritime provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In honor of the celebration, all Parks Canada sites on your itinerary will offer free admission during 2017. Bordered by Maine, Quebec, the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of St. Lawrence, New Brunswick is a land of extremes. From its Aboriginal history to the capital city of Fredericton, itinerary possibilities are numerous. The Bay of Fundy separates New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and is famous for its dramatic tides and 15 species of whales. In Nova Scotia, Halifax combines a modern metropolis and bustling seaport as Atlantic Canada’s largest city. Rural Nova Scotia retains its Celtic traditions, and the Gaelic culture still thrives on the province’s Cape Breton Island. Prince Edward Island is known for red-sand beaches, lighthouses and fertile farmland. The capital city of Charlottetown boasts Victorian architecture and was the birthplace of the Confederation. The Cavendish countryside became the inspiration for the beloved story “Anne of Green Gables,” experienced today at Green Gables Heritage Place and numerous other sites.

NEW BRUNSWICK: HISTORIC SITES AND RISING TIDES The historic and cultural heart of New Brunswick’s capital, Fredericton, is the Historic Garrison District. Located next to the St. John River, the Garrison intermingles musicians, artists, historic re-enactments and attractions. From Canada Day to Labour Day, costumed guides offer walking tours while they recount local history and folklore. The red tunics of the British regiment can be seen during Changing of the Guard ceremonies, which take place in the district. Fredericton’s cultural scene presents outdoor summer theater and concerts, an Under the Stars Film Series and Music at the Cathedral. Expansion of the world-class Beaverbrook Art Gallery will be completed this fall. The city is also known for its variety of popular festivals, such as the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. Canada’s Irish Festival on the Miramichi features Irish music, dance and cultural workshops. Fredericton boasts the highest concentration of craft breweries and tasting experiences in the Maritimes. There’s more to explore in other parts of the province. Originally settled by an Aboriginal community, Metepenagiag Heritage Park in Red Bank showcases New Brunswick’s 3,000-year-old roots. Guided tours begin with the cooking fire and traditional food and include the Interpretation Centre, ancient storytelling and sampling seasonal fish or summer game with wild rice, traditional bread and fragrant cedar tea. Also on display throughout New Brunswick are elements of the Acadian culture, brought by French settlers who arrived in the area in the early 1600s. “Acadians are a passionate people, and groups can experience their joie de vivre, or love of life, through dance, music, laughter and celebration,” said New Brunswick Tourism spokesperson Rose Arsenault. Perhaps the most popular attraction in New

Artwork by David Brown

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METEPENAGIAG HERITAGE PARK

Courtesy Tourism New Brunswick

Brunswick is the Bay of Fundy, where tides rise at the rate of 3.3 feet per hour. The tides yield edible treasures, such as mineral-rich sea salt and dried seaweed. The Fundy Trail features a 12-mile drive that hugs the coast, with stunning views, more than 20 lookouts, a waterfall, rock formations and a suspension bridge. Tides are best explored at Hopewell Rocks. “At low tide, you can walk on the ocean floor, leave your footprints in the mud and marvel over the fact that the nearby cliffs have been carved into huge flowerpot-shaped rocks,” said Arsenault, “then return at high tide to kayak above the same spot.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt spent his summers on Campobello Island in the Bay of Fundy, now designated Roosevelt Campobello International Park. His “cottage” is preserved almost exactly as it was in 1920, the summer before he was stricken with polio. Tours explore his 34-room summer home, and the Visitor Centre showcases exhibits and artifacts. Groups can enjoy Tea with Eleanor, a fact-filled hour with entertaining anecdotes about Eleanor Roosevelt’s life and accomplishments during a tumultuous period of U.S. history. Eleanor’s favorite blend of tea and a variety of cookies are served on fine china and linens. W W W.T OU R ISM N EW BRU NSW ICK .C A

ACADIAN HERITAGE ON DISPLAY AT VILLAGE HISTORIQUE ACADIEN

AN ATLANTIC OCEAN ENCOUNTERS

Courtesy Tourism New Brunswick

Courtesy Tourism New Brunswick

WHALE WATCHING IN NEW BRUNSWICK

Courtesy Tourism New Brunswick

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NOVA SC OTIA : STORIES FROM THE WATERFRONT In Nova Scotia, the picturesque Halifax Harbourwalk features restaurants and shops that overlook the bay. Downtown stretches uphill from the waterfront. Sites include the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which details the Titanic tragedy, and St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Canada’s oldest surviving Protestant church and Halifax’s oldest building. On the city’s north end, Fairview Lawn Cemetery is the resting place of 121 Titanic passengers. Commanding panoramic city views, the Halifax Citadel’s star-shaped fort was built by the British in 1856. Groups can opt for several different tours. Sentries dressed in 78th Highlander tartans change guard on the hour. The new “Ready, Aim, Fire!” program invites visitors to fire three rounds using an authentic Snider-Enfield Rifle. Foodies can experience the flavors of Halifax with Local Tasting Tours. Guests on these walking excursions go through downtown and the Harbourwalk while sampling the city’s cuisine and getting an insider’s look at the food scene. Six tours focus on locally sourced food, craft beer and one-of-a-kind establishments. Beer lovers can explore the area’s breweries aboard the Halifax Beer Bus. To the north of Halifax, wild and rugged Cape Breton encompasses 3,981 square miles. The 185-mile Cabot Trail road passes forests and rugged coastline as it skirts Cape


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or island souvenirs and a delightful lunch in a historic creamery-turned-restaurant, take your group to the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company. Owner Bruce MacNaughton, sometimes dressed in his Scottish kilt, enthusiastically greets motorcoaches with a brief history of the region and his company, which officially started in 1985. “On the island, we grow some of the best fruit anywhere,” said MacNaughton. “One day, a friend handed me a jar of homemade strawberry preserves, and the light went on. So I apprenticed in Toronto to become a chef and to understand the science of food.” MacNaughton uses no chemicals and as little sugar as possible in his products, preferring instead to incorporate

Breton Highlands National Park. The park’s Skyline Trail footpath overlooks the Gulf of St. Lawrence, known for migratory whales. Driving tours of the area give groups a look at the stunning scenery, winding roads and expansive countryside. While on the cape, visitors should plan to stop at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. This museum showcases Bell’s numerous inventions, including his landmark work with the deaf. An optional “white glove” tour takes participants into the archives, where they can touch and see additional inventions that aren’t on display. Another popular attraction, the Highland Village Museum, is perched on a picturesque hillside above Bras d’Or Lake and features costumed interpreters in reconstructed buildings. Each building depicts a different era of Gaelic heritage from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. Located on the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, approximately two and a half hours from Halifax, Barrington claims some of the best birding in eastern Canada. It’s also home to Peggy’s Cove, where the iconic lighthouse perched on a granite outcropping has become one of the most photographed spots in the Maritimes. The Barrington Woolen Mill Museum features demonstrations of spinning, dyeing and weaving. And at Darren Hudson’s Lumberjack AXEperience, visitors learn skills like axe throwing, log rolling and competitive sawing from a seven-time world-champion lumberjack. “The lumberjack experience is very Canadian and unique,” said Pam Wamback, media relations specialist for Tourism Nova Scotia. “Barrington

the island’s fruit, such as wild blueberries and strawberries. He bottles up to 1,000 jars each day and oversees production of every jar. The sample room overflows with people buying and tasting preserves, which can be purchased and shipped home as souvenirs. Walls are lined floor to ceiling with jams of every sort, traditional flavors to exotic combinations such as Cabernet Sauvignon jelly and raspberry champagne preserves. Few diners leave without ordering the restaurant’s signature dessert, a flaky raspberry cream cheese pie, along with a cup of tea from their extensive selection. WWW.PRESERVECOMPANY.COM

THE ICONIC LIGHTHOUSE AT PEGGY’S COVE

Courtesy Tourism Nova Scotia

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is considered the lobster capital of Canada, and they have terrific seafood.” Nova Scotia borders on the Bay of Fundy as well, and groups can experience coastal hiking, tidal bore rafting and bird-watching on its shores. At the Fundy Geological Museum, groups can help paleontologists dig for dinosaurs on a behind-the-scenes tour at the Fossil Research Lab. Museum experts lead ocean floor walks. Guided beach tours highlight tides and geology. The annual Nova Scotia Gem and Mineral Show and Sale takes place August 18-20.

WALKING THE NOVA SCOTIA COAST

W W W. NOVASCOT I A.COM

Courtesy Tourism Nova Scotia

PICTURESQUE SPRINGBROOK

By Paul Baglole, courtesy Tourism PEI

GREEN GABLES ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND By John Sylvester, courtesy Tourism PEI

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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: ISLAND CHARM AND GREEN GABLES Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is known for its scenic beauty, bucolic charm and significant history. In 1864, representatives from Britain’s Canadian colonies gathered on the island to declare their independence from the Crown and form a new nation. Today, visitors can relive elements of those historic events when visiting Charlottetown. Interpretive guides dressed in period costume, known as the Confederation Players, take groups through historic downtown. Visitors learn about PEI and Canadian history and chat with re-enactors who portray locals who lived here over a century ago. Province House National Historic Site, the birthplace of the Confederation and the seat of PEI’s provincial legislature since 1847, is a significant landmark. At the Confederation Centre of the Arts, the Charlottetown Festival has entertained audiences for more than 50 years. From June through September, live theater, free outdoor performances, gallery exhibitions, dining and shopping are available. The 2017 lineup includes “Million Dollar Quartet,” “Anne of Green Gables: The Musical,” “Bittergirl” and the world premiere of “A Misfortune.” Fall Flavours Festival, a monthlong September celebration, offers signature events created exclusively for the festival and hosted by celebrity chefs. Groups can also join local hosts to pick potatoes, catch lobsters or harvest oysters. Each experience offers an educational component, plus a tasting and/or cooking opportunity. From Charlottetown, three scenic coastal drives offer opportunities for daylong sightseeing excursions. The North Cape Coastal Drive features Mi’kmaq culture, Acadian music and theater, and museums highlight potatoes to shipbuilding. The Central Coastal Drive includes Cavendish, spectacular views along Route 20, fishing ports, lobster suppers and quaint Victoria-by-the-Sea. The Points East Coastal Drive features the dune system at Greenwich in PEI National Park, beautiful beaches, wildlife and the Railway Museum in Elmira. Most groups don’t leave PEI without visiting Cavendish,


home of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the setting of her beloved book “Anne of Green Gables.” At the Green Gables Heritage Place, fans can immerse themselves in the landscape that inspired the beloved story of red-haired orphan Anne. They can explore the original house, the 19th-century gardens, the farmyard and the historic trails. Avonlea Village, a re-created rural community is based on the village where Anne lived, complete with shops and eateries. Other “Anne” activities include Matthew’s Carriage Ride past the Lake of Shining Waters, an old-time photo shoot dressed up as Anne at Shop and Play in Gateway Village, and visiting Montgomery’s birthplace in nearby New London.

“ THE LUMBERJACK EX PERIENC E IS V ERY

CANADIAN AND UNIQUE . BARRINGTON IS CONSIDERED THE LOBSTER CAPITAL OF CANADA, AND

THEY HAVE TERRIFIC SEAFOOD.” — PAM WAMBACK

W W W.T OU R ISMPEI.COM

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Artwork by David Brown

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Confluent

CULTURES K A N S A S C I T Y, K A N S A S , I S A R I V E R P O R T W I T H A P A S T

BY E L I ZA M Y E R S

All photos courtesy KCK CVB GROUPS CAN EXPLORE 16 EUROPEAN NATIONAL CULTURES AT THE STRAWBERRY HILL MUSEUM IN KANSAS CITY, KANSAS.

ith threatening slave hunters camped at the edge of Quindaro, Clarina Nichols nervously hid a runaway slave named Caroline in an empty cistern before sneaking her north to freedom. This harrowing tale of former Quindaro, a historic town started by abolitionists in 1856, is one of many similar tales of escape preserved in Kansas City, Kansas. Kansas City may be known today for its modern sports facilities, which include the Kansas Speedway, but it retains its fascinating past, which spans all the way back to the Hopewell Native American culture 3,000 years ago. The city’s historic attractions tell stories through guided tours and customizable group programming such as the Wyandotte County Museum’s educational programming and Strawberry Hill’s culturally authentic Tea Room experiences. From a forgotten town on the Underground Railroad to an early camp site for the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Kansas City’s historic sites will keep any group captivated.

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OLD QUINDARO MUSEUM

KAW POINT RIVERFRONT PARK

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HIS TO RI C Q UIN DA RO In the 1980s, an archaeological study in Kansas City uncovered the remnants of a legendary portal for fugitive slaves. Residents of the former town of Quindaro originally helped stop the westward spread of slavery. The town’s citizens aided escaped slaves from Missouri and linked them to the Underground Railroad. Though the town was later abandoned, in its heyday, citizens chartered the first black school west of the Mississippi River and invited former slaves to gather in the residential community. Today, groups can learn this intriguing piece of Kansas City’s history at the Quindaro Ruins and Overlook, the Old Quindaro Museum and the Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum, all within a block of one another. Tours generally start at the Quindaro Underground Museum to learn about the town and the historic school through artifacts, documents and a knowledgeable docent. Afterward, visitors can wander through the Quindaro Ruins and Overlook to see the stone and brick foundations of homes that welcomed fleeing slaves. A John Brown statue also stands


nearby in tribute to one of the nation’s best known opponents of slavery. Visitors then continue into the Old Quindaro Museum for a more personal glimpse into the families living in Quindaro. “The Old Quindaro Museum has some old shackles that slaves actually wore,” said Kerry Green, group sales and partnership manager for the Kansas City, Kansas, Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They have a lot of artifacts from the families who settled there. When you go in there, you have a feeling of ‘Wow, this really happened in our world.’ It makes you understand the story.”

S T R AW B E R R Y H I L L MUSEUM Guests can taste history with delight at the Strawberry Hill Museum’s Tea Room, which features a menu full of authentic Slavic desserts. This relaxing experience concludes a tour in which groups learn about Kansas City’s influx of Slavic immigrants and the impact they had on local culture. “Each room features a different European culture,” said Green. “You can see each Slavic culture’s traditional clothes, decorations, toys and other day-to-day items.” Guides reveal 16 Kansas City nationalities, among them Belgium, Croatian, Slovakian, Mexican and Irish. Exhibits on these immigrants’ art, music and dance reveal the city’s diverse heritage. Visitors will also discover the past of the 1887 Victorian home, one of the best examples of Queen Anne architecture in Kansas City. The house also served as an orphanage after an influenza epidemic in 1919 until its close in 1988. Many groups love to book tours during the Olde World Christmas event, when the Victorian home decks its halls with Christmas finery from various cultures across the globe. Others plan meals on-site or incorporate a trip to the museum’s gift shop for local and BalticSlavic crafts such as Polish pottery.

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— WWW.VISITKANSASCITYKS.COM —

W YA N D O T T E C O U N T Y MUSEUM

K AW P O I N T R I V E R F R O N T PA R K

Over 3,000 years ago, the area around Kansas City could be an unforgivingly wild place. The Wyandotte County Museum documents how Hopewell Native Americans lived in those days with a collection of ancient artifacts. Located in nearby Bonner Springs, the museum houses over 75,000 artifacts, including items from the first recorded humans in the area to those from the 20th century. “There are a lot of hands-on elements, photos and exhibits,” said Green. “It has one of the nation’s remaining Native American dugout canoes.” The canoe belonged to one of the tribes that immigrated to Wyandotte County in the 19th century. Exhibits illustrate the complicated lives of those Native Americans with artifacts like the double-barrel shotguns used to protect the local tribes’ burial grounds from being destroyed. Groups can view the museum’s horse-drawn steam pumper fire engine, replicated 1960s barbershop and other artifacts. The museum offers activities, such as the Trunk Program, which features a hands-on experience with material from a specific period and culture in Kansas City’s history.

To punish two young crew members for sneaking whiskey from the community barrel, the Lewis and Clark Expedition held its first court-martial at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. Today, the Kaw Point Riverfront Park chronicles this event and other stories from the expedition’s three-day stop there in 1804. The Kansas City, Kansas, CVB can arrange a meeting for groups with a costumed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark not only to see their traditional garb, complete with replicated muskets, but also to listen to some firsthand tales from the famed explorers. “Groups like to walk down to the river at the park,” said Green. “It’s very peaceful. They really enjoy the interpretive signs and learning about how Lewis and Clark came down the river here.” The park retains its natural state with wooded trails, wildflowers and wildlife. Visitors can take a walk along the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail or stroll along the wheelchair-accessible boardwalk for views of both rivers.

Kansas City Kansas

visitkansasCitykS.com 800.264.1563

Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.

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FACING WEST

T H E SE M USE U MS DE PIC T T H E F R E E DOM OF T H E F RON T I E R

BY B R I A N J E W E L L

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owboys, actors, artists, showmen and rodeo stars all played a role in making the cultural story of the American West. Throughout the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of travelers, settlers, ranch hands and lawmen helped open the West and make it part of America. But a lot of our knowledge of that place and time comes from the larger-than-life personalities who brought the West to popular art and culture. Some of the country’s most fascinating Western characters are honored today with museums that tell their stories and, along with them, the stories of the West and America itself. Here’s a look at some of the great museums around the country that are based on famous figures.

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WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL MUSEUM CLAREMORE, OKLAHOMA

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Perhaps no other man stands as tall in the American West as Will Rogers, the actor, columnist and radio personality who soared in popularity in the early 20th century. “At his time, he was the biggest star in the world,” said Tad Jones, executive director of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Rogers’ hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma. “Our museum talks about his life and how he touched people all over the world.” The museum features 12 galleries that tell Rogers’ story, from his birth in nearby Oologah to his Cherokee heritage and his career in newspaper, radio and movies. Visitors can see galleries of portraits made by professional artists and dedicated fans, and a theater plays a documentary on Rogers’ life and clips from films in which he appeared. “We have some movies that you can’t see anywhere on TV,” Jones said. “We’re the only place in the country where you can see these movies that were done in the ’20s and ’30s.” The newest exhibit at the museum covers the last few days of Rogers’ life, before he died tragically in a plane crash while traveling in Alaska. Artifacts include the typewriter he used to write his newspaper columns as well as numerous other items from the plane’s wreckage. Rogers and his family are buried in a sunken garden at the museum site. Groups can also visit the ranch where Rogers was born, which is also part of the museum and about 12 miles from the main campus. The ranch comprises some 400 acres and features Rogers’ birthplace home, as well as some longhorn cattle and other ranch animals. W W W.W I L L ROGER S .COM

WILL ROGERS DEMONSTRATES A LASSO MANEUVER.

A LIFE-SIZE BRONZE STATUE SITS AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL MUSEUM IN OKLAHOMA.

Photos courtesy Will Rogers Memorial Museum

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C.M. RUSSELL MUSEUM — GREAT FALLS, MONTANA

Art museums and Western heritage museums around the country feature exhibits of Western art that highlight the work of many well-known painters. But none were as well known in their own time as Charles Russell, better known as C.M. Russell, who lived in Great Falls, Montana, and was one of the country’s most celebrated artists around the start of the 20th century. “He was truly a celebrity at his time,” said Mark Robinson, director of marketing at the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. “His wife was his business manager, and she was one of the reasons that he became the highest-paid artist of the time.” But Russell’s fame and fortune didn’t take away from his true Western bona fides. He spent a decade as a working cowboy on the range in Montana before he ever sold a piece of artwork, and the things he experienced deeply shaped his artistic perspective. “He is known as America’s cowboy artist,” Robinson said. “He really respected the American Indian cultures out here, which was quite unusual at the turn of the century.” The Russell Museum offers the country’s definitive Russell experience. Visitors can see his home as well as the log cabin studio where he did much of his painting. Galleries at the museum showcase numerous famous Russell paintings, including “The Exalted Ruler,” “Cowboys of the Circle Diamond” and “Crossing the Northern Plains,” as well as a famous work called “Mothers Under the Skin,” which pictured Native American and white women and children.

3 “THE EXALTED RULER”

CHARLES RUSSELL IN HIS CABIN STUDIO

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“CROSSING THE PLAINS”

Photos courtesy C.M. Russell Museum

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BUFFALO BILL CENTER OF THE WEST CODY, W YOMING

“Buffalo” Bill Cody made a name for himself in the 1880s by taking the sights and sounds of the American West to people throughout the country and around the world. In the process, he founded the town of Cody, Wyoming, where the Buffalo Bill Center of the West honors the man and the culture he helped to spread. “We have five museums under one roof,” said group tour coordinator Debra Elwood. “We have one museum all about Buffalo Bill. The Plains Indian Museum talks about the tribes in our area. The Cody Firearms Museum will be going under renovation next year. The Draper Museum of Natural History deals with the Yellowstone ecosystem and the relationship between people and nature. And then we have the Whitney Western Art Gallery, with all kinds of historical pieces of artwork.” The Buffalo Bill Museum features Cody’s boyhood home, which was brought over from Iowa, as well as exhibits about his Wild West Show, which toured all around the world. “We have some artifacts from his Wild West Show, like a tent set up with his personal effects,” Elwood said. “The museum is packed full of his stuff. There are a lot of outfits that he wore in the Wild West Show, as well as a saddle and some other related things.” Groups can arrange guided tours, chuck-wagon cooking demos and horseback-riding tours on the museum’s seven-acre campus. Many also choose to stay for the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Review, a long-running show in Cody that features dinner and Western music. The show runs through the summer in one of the museum’s auditoriums.

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AUTRY MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN WEST LOS ANGELES

For three decades beginning in the 1930s, Gene Autry was one of America’s most famous “singing cowboys.” During his show business career, he appeared in 93 films and 91 episodes of “The Gene Autry Show” and was also an early influencer in the country and western music genres. It’s fitting, then, that his signature museum is in Los Angeles. “Gene Autry, along with his wife, Jackie, created the Autry to encompass a broad representation of art and artifacts all about the American West,” said Keisha Raines, communications manager at the Autry Museum. “They founded the museum in 1988. They wanted it to be very different than other places. It’s not really about his life and legacy, but more about the history of the West.” Visitors will still learn some about Autry in an exhibit dedicated to him that is part of a gallery that deals with Hollywood’s depiction of the West. But the museum is rich with other areas that deal with Western cultural heritage. One of the core exhibitions, “Art of the West,” deals with religion, landscape and migration in the West through artwork by famous artists such as Frederic Remington and Georgia O’Keeffe. A recently opened exhibition, “California Continued,” looks at the traditional ecological knowledge of the Native American groups indigenous to California. Other highlights of the museum are a collection of Native American baskets, a customized Indian motorcycle from the 1940s and a re-created 19th-century saloon. W W W.THE AU T RY.ORG

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A DESERT ECOSYSTEM EXHIBIT AT THE AUTRY MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN WEST

A BUFFALO BILL PORTRAIT AT THE BUFFALO BILL CENTER OF THE WEST

Courtesy Buffalo Bill Center of the West

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By Danielle Klebanow, courtesy The Autry


Visit Oklahoma,

where legends live and breathe. Travel back through centuries in a traditional Cherokee village. Commune with the spirit of Chief Standing Bear beneath his towering monument. Behold fiery colors in motion at a legendary powwow. Then lose yourself amid the world’s largest collection of Western and American Indian art.

In Oklahoma, discover the native traditions of 30+ tribal nations.

Find adventures and itineraries at TravelOK.com/Group.


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SOUTH DAKOTA RODEO LEGEND CASEY TIBBS

Courtesy Casey Tibbs SD Rodeo Center

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CASE Y TIBBS SOUTH DAKOTA RODEO CENTER — PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA

If you ever watched rodeo in the 1950s or movies about the West in the decades that followed, you likely saw performances by Casey Tibbs, a nine-time rodeo world champion who still stands out as the most successful rodeo competitor in the world. The Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center, which opened in 2009, pays tribute to the South Dakota-born cowboy and other rodeo stars. “We have a lot of artifacts from Casey Tibbs,” said Cindy Bahe, the center’s executive director. “He won his first championship at age 19, and no one has ever matched his record. We have a photo of the homestead where he grew up and a lot of pictures here from when he did stunts in Hollywood movies.” The museum features a large bronze sculpture of Tibbs on a bronco at its front entrance. That statue is accompanied by a bronze of Mattie Newcombe, a famous female trick rider in the 1920s who the museum also features heavily. “I call her a gymnast on a horse — she had to be very limber,” Bahe said. “We have her horse trailer within the museum as well as an array of her clothes and artifacts. We have a mural of her homestead that was hand painted and is about 60 feet long. There are also panoramic photos in there and information on her trick riding.” Tibbs and Newcombe are both members of the South Dakota Rodeo Hall of Fame, which is housed at the museum. Other museum exhibits showcase the history and culture of rodeo in South Dakota. W W W.C ASE Y T I BBS .COM


Hannibal

S E Q U E L S R A R E LY L I V E U P TO T H E O R I G I N A L . U N T I L T H E Y D O.

Relive the life of Twain or hit the road along the more than 280 miles of Route 66 in Missouri. With group tours in the Show-Me State, some stories are even better the second time around. Enjoy the encore. Call 800.535.3210 or contact Donna Cordle Gray at DonnaCordle@legacydimensions.com for group info.


C A ROL I N A C O OL V I B R A N T

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By Jeff Silkstone, courtesy Visit Winston-Salem ARTIVITY PARK SHOWCASES THE SPIRIT OF INNOVATION IN DOWNTOWN WINSTON-SALEM.

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A BEACHFRONT FESTIVAL IN WILMINGTON

SUNRISE OVER THE BEAUFORT SHORELINE Courtesy Wilmington & Beaches CVB

Courtesy Beaufort Regional COC

B Y F I O NA YO U N G - B ROW N

From little towns to big cities, the Carolinas are home to a plethora of thriving downtown communities. Even some of the smallest mountain towns now count art galleries, coffeehouses and excellent restaurants among their attractions, and larger cities continue to host award-winning entertainment from around the world. Below are five lively downtowns worth visiting in North and South Carolina. Handmade crafts, fine arts, barbecue, beer and celebrated chefs: They can all be found in at least one of these destinations. W ILMINGTON, NORTH C A ROLINA “No matter your age, Wilmington can take you back to your childhood in an instant,” said John Sneed, vice president of sales and services with the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau. With its beaches and the riverfront, the city offers several settings within close reach of one another, which allows Sneed and his colleagues to “build an itinerary around just about any special interest.” The downtown area is part of a 230-block National Register Historic District. It is bordered by a 1.75mile riverwalk along the Cape Fear River. Visitors might not know where to start, with the more than 200 shops and restaurants within walking distance of the river. Suggested places include the Cotton Exchange, a series of historic warehouses that were converted into shops, restaurants and coffeehouses, and the Old City Market. For history buffs, Wilmington has something for every era. The BurgwinWright House was built about 1770. After a taste of Colonial Carolina, jump forward in time at the antebellum Bellamy Mansion. Round out the day by visiting the Latimer House, built in 1852 but now

preserved in the Victorian style. Alternatively, if military history is more to a group’s taste, the Battleship North Carolina is just across the river. To take a guided tour around downtown Wilmington, all visitors have to do is pick their mode of transport and subject matter. But the choice is a difficult one, and the CVB can provide information about tours on foot as well as by boat, Segway, horse-drawn carriage or trolley. Follow the Wilmington Ale Trail to explore the local craft breweries; Front Street Brewery offers daily free tours and tastings, and has a restaurant on-site. The film tours are very popular; the city has more than 400 movie and TV credits. Sneed can also put groups in touch with a local guide who is knowledgeable about the area’s African-American history. W W W.W I L M I NGT ONA N DBE ACHES .COM

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COLUMBI A, SOUTH C A ROLINA According to the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau’s director of communications, Andrea Mensink, one of the great things about downtown Columbia is that it offers “a manageable urban experience.” “It is very easy to get around on foot,” she said. In the past five years, the city has undergone a lot of revitalization. Now the Main Street area features museums, shopping and restaurants all within walking distance of one another. Also downtown are many major hotels, and due to open this fall is the Hotel Trundle, a 41-room boutique hotel located in three restored historic buildings. Every room will have its own unique style and decor to match the original fixtures and setting. The South Carolina Statehouse stands at the center of the city. Nearby are the South Carolina State Museum, the EdVenture Children’s Museum and the Columbia Museum of Art. For those who prefer to spend their time browsing the shops, Main Street is home to a diverse mix of gift shops, boutiques, bakeries and more. Mensink said that visitors can “easily spend the entire day exploring the downtown area and still not find every little nook, cranny and alleyway that there is to discover.” Among those easy-to-miss places that she recommends seeking out are Ally and Eloise Bakeshop, where Mensink promises “the most decadent desserts,” and the recently opened Lula Drake Wine Parlor, where guests can enjoy a number of limited-run wines.

SWEET CREAM AND CO., ONE OF MANY LOCAL BUSINESSES IN DOWNTOWN COLUMBIA

Courtesy Experience Columbia

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M Y R T L E B E A C H OC E A N F R O N T

COLUMBIA MUSEUM OF ART IS ONE OF THREE CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS IN DOWNTOWN COLUMBIA. By Brett Flashnick, courtesy Experience Columbia

In addition to various events throughout the year, downtown hosts First Thursday on Main on the first Thursday of each month. Shops and galleries stay open late, providing free entertainment and a free shuttle. W W W. E X PER I E NCECOLU MBI ASC .COM

W I NS T ON-S A L E M, NOR T H C A ROL I N A There are six colleges and universities in Winston-Salem, technically twin cities since 1913, so it has much of the lively SWEET CREAM AND CO., ONE atmosphere that would be expected of a college town. OF MANY LOCAL BUSINESSES Visitors to the downtown IN DOWNTOWN COLUMBIAarea can find restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and a lively evening entertainment scene. For shoppers keen to take home a distinctly Winston-Salem find, the Design Archives Emporium has 1,000 square feet of space and features products made by more than 100 local vendors. Galleries and small shops abound in the Downtown Arts District. Here groups can find everything from artisan chocolates and custom-made hats to metalsmithing and calligraphy. The Stevens Center is a restored 1929 silent-movie theater, now part of the University of North Carolina campus and the primary performance space for arts programming. A full calendar of music, dance and theater is scheduled throughout the year. Also in the heart of downtown are the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and the Hanesbrand Theatre. Movie fans might want to enjoy a screening at the Aperture Cinema. The small cinema showcases independent, foreign and classic films. When it’s time to eat, groups won’t go hungry in downtown Winston-Salem. Bistros, pubs, pizza parlors and fine-dining establishments can all be found, as can a selection of foreign cuisines. Barbecue is a serious business in North Carolina, and the Camel City BBQ Factory can fulfill those cravings for hickory-smoked pulled pork or brisket. Hotels are in the downtown area and, thus, within walking distance of many attractions.

Top-Ranked By TRipadvisoR.com Voted most accommodating by tour groups. “Best in Hospitality” by Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association. Featuring 6 oceanfront pools (with hot tubs and heated pools), Sanctuary Spa, fitness center, and complimentary Hampton “On the House” hot breakfast buffet. • Group rate: 10 rooms or more • Complimentary room (1 per 20 paid rooms; not available Jun 1–Aug 22) • Complimentary parking • No Resort Fees • 90-Seat Conference and Meeting Facility

www.HamptonInnOceanfront.com or call 843-946-6400 and ask for our Sales Department 1801 South Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

W W W.V ISI T W I NST ONS A L E M.COM

BE AU F OR T, S OU T H C A ROL I N A The small coastal town of Beaufort may consist of 13,000 people, but Robb Wells, vice president of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Tourism Division, wants to assure

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FOOTHILLS BREWING IN WINSTON-SALEM

FIREWORKS OVER DOWNTOWN BOONE Courtesy Visit Winston-Salem

Courtesy Watauga Co. TDA

potential visitors that it has an emerging food scene that can rival Charleston. “We have some great choices for sea-to-table dining,” he said. In addition to winning frequent accolades as one of the country’s best art towns, Beaufort was recently named the South’s Best Small Town by Southern Living magazine. Wells said the town offers “the South we remember — where locals are keen to wave and share a story with a visitor.” It’s the kind of place to which visitors just keep coming back. “You may come for a meeting or just pass through, but you’ll be back.” The downtown area is home to the Beaufort History Museum, which has permanent exhibits charting the town’s history, from the Revolution through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and beyond. For the art connoisseur, 17 galleries feature all kinds of art, from fine watercolors to glassblowing. Meanwhile, guided tours cover everything from movie locations to local history to the region’s lowcountry

cuisine. And then there are the restaurants, which encompass all manners of taste and budget. Groups wishing to enjoy the best of downtown Beaufort have several historic inns to choose from, including the Beaufort Inn, now with the adjoining Tabby Place and Anchorage 1770. The innkeepers are happy to work together as necessary to accommodate larger groups. W W W. BE AUF ORT SC .ORG

BOONE, NORTH C A ROLINA For those wanting to combine traditional Appalachian mountain life with the modern vibe of a lively college town, Boone offers an eclectic and diverse downtown community that is worth a visit. The small town, nestled high in the mountains, is home to Appalachian State University, meaning that visitors will find vintage clothing and record stores alongside fine art and craft galleries. There’s even a climbing wall. Virginia Falck, the downtown coordinator for Boone, said it is this diversity of cultures and experiences that makes the town so attractive to visitors. “We have so much to offer as a community,” she said. “Just five minutes from downtown, you can stay in a remote mountain cabin, but you are close to shopping, dining, and museums.” The university’s Turchin Center for Visual Arts offers year-round exhibits, and the town has an active public-art program. The Jones House Community and Cultural Center hosts regular exhibitions and live music concerts. In addition to browsing the boutiques, shops and galleries, guests should be sure to explore Boone’s growing selection of restaurants and breweries. Eateries cater to a variety of tastes, from hot dogs and Mexican to Thai and sushi. For a more upscale dining experience, Vidalia specializes in local ingredients and regional wines. Or groups can head to the Lost Province Brewery for craft beer and handmade pizza. There are a number of hotels in the area, and help is on hand for groups seeking to make bookings. W W W. E X PLOR EBOON E .COM

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Give them an experience that will last.

Bring

your group to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., and discover how a humble farmer’s son became pastor to the presidents and shared God’s love with millions of people around the world. Retrace his dynamic journey as history comes to life through inspiring multimedia presentations and state-of-the-art exhibits. FREE ADMISSION Monday to Saturday, 9:30–5:00 • BillyGrahamLibrary.org • 704-401-3200 Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more; email LibraryTours@bgea.org or call 704-401-3270. 4330 Westmont Drive • Charlotte, North Carolina A ministry of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

©2017 BGEA

“ONE GENERATION SHALL PRAISE YOUR WORKS TO ANOTHER, AND SHALL DECLARE YOUR MIGHTY ACTS.”

—Psalm 145:4, NKJV

“The No. 1 thing to do in Charlotte.”


C A ROL I N A S HOR I ZONS O U T D O O R

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From the mountains to the sea, North Carolina and South Carolina offer an abundance of outdoor activity options. The Blue Ridge Mountains stretch through parts of North Carolina, with miles of hiking trails and scenic vistas. Meanwhile, South Carolina’s many lakes make it a great destination for watersports and boating enthusiasts. And with nearly 500 miles of coastline, the beaches and shores of the Carolinas attract tourists year-round. Options abound, from gentle hikes to more strenuous activities, such as zip lining, whitewater rafting and horseback riding. For groups that are traveling specifically for a taste of the mountain or sea air, or want a break from touring the area’s cities or have tired of lounging on the beach, we’ve put together a list of outdoor adventures guaranteed to provide thrills, fun, and plenty of memories. FRENCH BROAD ADVENTURES A SHEV ILLE, NORTH C A ROLINA Just 25 minutes from downtown Asheville, groups can enjoy the great outdoors, taking in the scenery of both the French Broad River and the Blue Ridge Mountains. French Broad Adventures offers the choice between calm water or whitewater, depending on whether visitors prefer an adrenaline-fueled experience or something a little more sedate. Whitewater rafters can take a five- to six-hour trip covering nine miles or a three- to four-hour trip over five miles. All trips are led by experienced guides. Hot lunch is served in a pavilion beside the river and is included in the price of the longer excursion. The shorter trip includes a snack, but lunch can be arranged upon request. Meanwhile, those who prefer a more peaceful tour can enjoy two to three hours on four miles of calmer waters, with or without a guide.

Courtesy Nature Adventures Outfitters

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TRAVELERS GET TO KNOW THE WILDLIFE AROUND CHARLESTON ON EXCURSIONS WITH NATURE ADVENTURES OUTFITTERS.


EXPERIENCE TIMELESS INSPIR ATION

Inspire your group with a visit to Biltmore, America’s largest home®, featuring acres of historic gardens, the nation’s most-visited winery, and two distinct hotels.

Join us for two exciting new exhibitions in 2018: Glamour on Board: Fashion from Titanic the movie: February 9–May 13, 2018 Chihuly at Biltmore: May 17–October 7, 2018

ASHEVILLE, NC

866-851-4661 groupsales@biltmore.com


SHALLOTTE RIVER SWAMP PARK BLACK HORSE RUN Courtesy Black Horse Run

Courtesy Shallotte River Swamp Park

Highly recommended for a complete day of fun are the packages, which allow visitors to combine a morning of rafting with lunch and the zip-line experience in the afternoon. Ten lines take guests through the top of the forest canopy. A 100-foot bridge walkway leads to a rather unusual treehouse, the perfect spot to stop for a breather and refreshments. Lisa Sluder, who takes care of reservations for French Broad Adventures, said, “Everyone loves our guides. They are all so experienced and very knowledgeable of the area’s history.”

we love to bring the two together.” For novice riders, Cooper recommends the one-hour trail ride. This is a good introduction and allows people to get used to being on a horse while enjoying the scenic property. Two-hour rides are also available. For the more adventurous visitor, daylong rides can be scheduled, and overnight camps are available with notice. Black Horse Run also welcomes birthday parties and special events. Cooper said the stables can accommodate riders of all ages. The only limit is weight; none of the horses can carry over 275 pounds. Although the property has 34 horses, groups are typically limited to no more than 12 people at a time. This is due to the availability of trail guides and for the ease of management on the trails. An advance reservation is a good idea. Usually, only a day or two notice is required, although Cooper warns that during the summer season, a little more notice is suggested. School vacations attract many children, and Saturdays are particularly busy. Riders should dress comfortably, with long pants and closed-toe shoes.

W W W.FR E NCH BRO A DR A F T I NG.COM

BL ACK HORSE RUN GREEN V ILLE, SOUTH C A ROLINA Black Horse Run is located on 45 acres of pasture and wooded land some 25 miles east of Greenville. With 34 horses, owner Jerry Cooper can cater to riders of all ages and levels, from absolute beginners to more experienced trail riders. “Our riders love the personal attention,” he said. “We love people, we love horses and

W W W. BL ACK HOR SERU NSC . N E T

SHALLOTTE RIVER S WA M P PA R K OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NORTH C A ROLINA

America’s oldest preserved plantation house still open to the public.

AN AMERICAN ICON

For special group rates and tour packages, contact Debbi Zimmerman (843) 769-2630 or dzimmerman@draytonhall.org. Charleston, SC | draytonhall.org |

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Shallotte River Swamp Park is home to the largest and longest zip-line canopy tour on the Eastern Seaboard, not to mention an aerial adventure park and a series of swamp boat eco-tours. General manager George Howard said it is the sheer size of the facility (65 acres) and the variety of activities that make this an excellent destination for groups. “We have a lot of versatility,” he said, “and can tailor experiences to the needs of the group.” The park’s goal is to combine an adventure experience and the natural habitat, with guides also educating visitors about the unique ecological environment. “Being able to zip line through the swamp and appreciating the habitat is a phenomenal experience,” Howard said. The zip-line tour features 10 stations and takes roughly two and a half hours to complete. Groups of no more than 10


We help you create unique itineraries. You take all the credit. The best itineraries are filled with inspiration, entertainment and excitement from start to finish. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in North Carolina where our scenic tours, cultural attractions, award-winning restaurants and more await your group’s arrival. Plan your group getaway to North Carolina by contacting Amanda Baker at 984-364-7474 or amanda.baker@visitnc.com.

visitnc.com/groups


AQUATIC ADVENTURE IN HILTON HEAD Courtesy Destinations by Outside

can be accommodated at any one time. However, larger groups can have an entire day of activities tailored to them, allowing some to zip line while others enjoy a 50-minute swamp boat tour or explore the aerial adventure park. The latter contains 53 challenges that range in difficulty. W W W.SH A L LOT T ER I V ER SWA MPPA R K .COM

NATURE ADVENTURES OUTFITTERS CH A RLESTON, SOUTH C A ROLINA A guided hiking tour with Nature Adventures Outfitters combines fresh air, exercise, great scenery and the opportunity to learn about the natural environment. All hikes take place in the Francis Marion National Forest, roughly 45 minutes from Charleston, and are led by qualified naturalists. Since the hikes all cover flatlands, visitors need only mosquito repellent, comfortable shoes and some enthusiasm. The shorter tours last up to two hours, with each trail approximately

GO

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

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W W W.K A YA KCH A R L EST ONSC .COM

DE ST INAT IONS BY OU T SIDE HILT ON HE A D, S OU T H C A ROL I N A

Hilton Head, South Carolina, and the surrounding sandbanks are packed with activity options, and Destinations by Outside is a one-stop shop for just about everything you could want to do while visiting the island. The company offers a wide variety of team-building exercises, historic tours, culinary workshops and more. But its array of water activities is particularly impressive. Dolphin watching, beachcombing, cruising, kayaking, fishing, waterskiing, tubing — the list is almost endless. The Vanishing Island beachcombing trip combines a dolphin-watching boat ride with a stop at one of the nearby islands or sandbanks, giving visitors the chance to stroll the beach in search of shells, artifacts and even hidden treasure. The Ultimate Lowcountry Day ensures you are doing only what you want and nothing else. The private tours are crafted to suit you and your group and can combine any number of activities. Kayaking and crabbing? Fishing and a historic tour? No problem. Lessons are available for stand up paddleboarding, paddleboard yoga, kayak Cape Hatteras Lighthouse fishing, waterskiing and more. If your group has some experience, instructors can help improve skills. ®

explore THE OUTER BANKS

Wright Brothers National Memorial

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1.5 to 2.5 miles long. Options include the blackwater swamp, complete with alligators, otters and an old plantation; Carolina Bay, home to black bears and an endangered wetlands ecosystem; and a trail around a 4,000-year-old Native American shell ring. Several longer options are also available, each covering approximately five miles and lasting up to four hours. One of these, the Awendaw Passage, is the favorite of Elizabeth Anderegg, the company’s outreach manager. “This trail exposes the hiker to several environments, from the intercoastal area to a maritime forest to the marshways,” she said. Dolphins and pelicans are just two examples of the wildlife you can usually expect to see along the way. Groups are welcome on any of the hikes. Because each hike is scheduled to order, reservations are required. Anderegg advised making a reservation as soon as possible to ensure a naturalist is available. In the case of a larger group, an additional guide may be provided. Kayaking and paddleboarding lessons are also available.

The Outer Banks OF NORTH CAROLINA

outerbanks.org

W W W.DEST I NAT IONSDMC .COM


Gibbs Gardens | Ball Ground

Go behind the scenes at some of Georgia’s iconic film locations.

ExploreGeorgia.org


Film

2017 is the Year of Georgia Film, which makes it a great time to tour the locations of some of your favorite hit movies and TV shows like The Walking Dead. See the sets, hear the stories and get a behind-the-scenes look when you Explore Georgia in 9 films at ExploreGeorgia.org/Film.


Lights, Camera, Action! OLD SAVANNAH TOURS Savannah

By Richard L. Eldredge Whether you want to wander the gorgeous setting that served as heaven in the 2016 motion picture Miracles from Heaven, tangle with zombies on the set of The Walking Dead or drive the streets Miss Daisy drove, Georgia’s got it covered. Television and movie buffs can visit sets, see memorabilia and perhaps even meet characters from their favorite productions. From shows such as The Vampire Diaries to mega movies like Captain America: Civil War, fascinating film locales await all across Georgia. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates (which he shared while sitting in Savannah’s Chippewa Square), you never know what you might discover next as the state’s ever-expanding entertainment industry brings in new projects. Walk in the footsteps of your favorite stars and learn more about Georgia’s starring role on the big screen when you take a movie tour with local experts. Whether selfguided or with a knowledgeable local guide, these tours will delight fans of film and television.

The Walking Dead Prison Set | Senoia

GIBBS GARDEN, BALL GROUND This sprawling slice of heaven in Ball Ground has actually represented the place—in the film Miracles From Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner. Visionary landscape architect Jim Gibbs toured lush sites around the world for 15 years before transforming this stunning property into a tourist favorite. Twenty-four ponds, 32 bridge crossings, 19 waterfalls and thousands of native trees and colorful flowers make visitors feel as if they’ve stepped into a celestial realm. Groups of all sizes are welcome.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Swan House | Atlanta

ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER, ATLANTA Hunger Games fans will want to tour President Snow’s palace, set at the stunning Swan House - a 1928 classical mansion on the Buckhead campus of the Atlanta History Center. Walk the winding staircase where Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman plotted nefarious schemes, stroll on the great lawn and take in the expansive gardens, all featured in the blockbuster films. See original props and snap selfies where Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks filmed scenes. Groups of 10 to 20 guests are welcome, and tours include full access to the Atlanta History Center.

ATLANTA MOVIE TOURS, ATLANTA Visit locations from some of your favorite movies filmed in Atlanta: the grocery store from Driving Miss Daisy, exterior shots from Captain America: Civil War and The Blind Side, and the stadiums in Remember The Titans and We Are Marshall, to name a few. Take one of the Big Zombie Tours, where you’ll visit settings featured in The Walking Dead. The Gone With the Wind tour features an actress who portrays author Margaret Mitchell. As she narrates, you’ll visit locales featured in the novel and 1939 film, and see set design sketches, props and other movie memorabilia.

The Vampire Diaries Mystic Grill | Covington

MYSTIC FALLS TOURS AND ON LOCATION SELF-GUIDED MOVIE TOUR, COVINGTON Fans of The Vampire Diaries will want to sink their teeth into the show’s mythical Mystic Falls Tours, complete with treks to The Mystic Grill, The Mystic Falls Courthouse, the Whitmore college campus and the Lockwood Mansion. Long-time fans of The Dukes of Hazzard and In The Heat of the Night should stop by the Covington Visitors Center for information and set out on a walking or driving tour to see their favorite locales from these hit TV shows.

Forrest Gump Chippewa Square | Savannah

Order your FREE Georgia Group Tour Planner today at ExploreGeorgia.org/ROAM.


HOME OF THE WALKING DEAD, SENOIA

SAVANNAH MOVIE TOURS, SAVANNAH

Hop on the tour bus in Atlanta, and before an on-board screening of The Walking Dead is finished, you’ll find yourself in the horror series’ town of “Woodbury,” the real-life Georgia city of Senoia. Visit the zombie arena and stop at the officially licensed Woodbury Shoppe, built with the help of the show’s Riverwood Studios. The cell doors and prison decor from the show’s third season inspired the shop’s interior design. Upstairs, the Waking Dead Cafe serves its own blend of java “guaranteed to wake the dead” along with exclusive The Walking Dead merchandise.

Take in the sights of 100 years of moviemaking in Savannah, all from your seat on a climate-controlled mini bus (seating up to 24). This 90-minute narrated tour includes movie clips screened on the bus and stops at filming locales for such flicks as 1962’s original Cape Fear, Glory, Forrest Gump, the Clint Eastwood– directed true crime hit Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Song. Bonus: pets are welcome and the tour includes a stop at Leopold’s Ice Cream.

WHISTLE STOP CAFÉ, JULIETTE

JEKYLL ISLAND CLUB HOTEL, JEKYLL ISLAND

First opened in 1927 as a general store, this family-owned business garnered national attention with the release of the 1991 hit film, Fried Green Tomatoes, starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Mary Stuart Masterson. For 25 years now, the Whistle Stop has served its signature fried green tomatoes, plates of fried chicken and Big Lee’s Georgia peach cobbler to thousands of famished tourists. If there’s a wait inside, kick back in one of the rocking chairs on the porch.

Thanks to the 2000 golfing drama The Legend of Bagger Vance, this beautiful island destination became a screen star. Directed by Robert Redford, the movie was shot on location here, and the hotel re-built the lobby bar just for the filming (alas, it was removed after shooting). A National Trust Historic Hotel of America destination, the property dates back to the 19th century and is adjacent to the Jekyll Island Golf Club, where Will Smith’s iconic caddy taught Matt Damon the secret of success.

LEOPOLD’S ICE CREAM, SAVANNAH Future Academy Award–winning composer Johnny Mercer worked in this Savannah ice cream institution as a kid. But the establishment’s Hollywood connection doesn’t end there. After learning his family’s ice cream business, Stratton Leopold departed for Hollywood, where he produced films including Mission Impossible 3, The Sum of All Fears and worked on modern classics like The Big Chill. Movie posters from his storied career adorn the shop, as well as photos of celebrities enjoying the famed ice cream.

Find more experiences at ExploreGeorgia.org/Film

Combo Ticket

hillsanddales.org LaGrange, GA | 706-882-3242

IN LAGRANGE, HISTORY LIVES AND INSPIRES.

biblicalhistorycenter.com LaGrange, GA | 706-885-0363

With advance reservations, tour groups enjoy a special discount ticket price. Big on the “wow” factor and tiny on your budget, a $45 ticket includes admission to Hills & Dales Estate and the Biblical History Center, including the popular Biblical Meal.

visitlagrange.com 706.884.8671


NSHINE&GoldMines 40 miles of adventure and fun, starting just 20 minutes north of Atlanta. DAHLONEGA

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DAY ONE AND TWO LaGrange

Biblical History Center Hills and Dales Estate

DAY THREE

Columbus

FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs National Infantry Museum

DAY FOUR

Plains and Andersonville Andersonville Historic Site and POW Museum Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood Home

Plan your trip at

ExploreGeorgia.org/Presidential Pathways


Get Outside at The Rock Ranch

WHERE SOUL LIVES. This is where history and heritage come together to create this beautiful thing we call ‘soul.’ Bring your group to Macon. It’s more than a place on the map. It’s a vibe all its own.

800.768.3401 | VisitMacon.org

Hay House


Featured Partner

The new online guide to the best of Savannah oldsavannahtours.com 800.517.9007

stayinsavannah.com 912.721.2305 • info@stayinsavannah.com

See where movies and music meet

PEACHTREE CITY VISIT SOUTHERN HOLLYWOOD • FLY IN HISTORY AT DIXIE WING • TOUR ZAC BROWN’S SOUTHERN GROUND VISITPEACHTREECITY.COM (678) 216-0282

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Peachtree City is a master-planned city near Atlanta with over 100 miles of paved cart paths. Park the car, rent a golf cart, and spend the day exploring! Shopping, Dining, Lakes, Parks, Resort-Style Hotels, Golf, Tennis and more.

Find more group travel ideas at ExploreGeorgia.org


VisitSandySprings.org A group has varied interests, and staying in Sandy Springs suits them all. Located in Atlanta’s dynamic metro north, we’re minutes from the big city but also near 950 acres of natural areas. With plenty of choices for group dining, easy parking and countless activity options, it’s everything a group needs, and everything each person wants.

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For more information call 800-776-7935 or visit us at www.visitroswellga.com

Plan your festivities today at ExploreGeorgia.org


REEL INVITING

GEO RGI A

TR AV E L GUIDE

G E O R G I A’ S A S TA R I N T H E F I L M I N D U S T R Y B Y R AC H E L C A RT E R

Georgia is enjoying its starring — and recurring — role as the sweetheart of the film industry. Recent reports show that Georgia-based feature-film and television productions generated more than $7 billion of economic impact during fiscal year 2016 and boosted infrastructure and business growth, which included the opening of Atlanta Metro Studios in Union City and a significant expansion at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville. As Georgia-filmed productions take over big and small screens alike, group tours spotlight locations from some of visitors’ favorite movies and television shows.

JULIETTE “The secret’s in the sauce.” You can try the barbecue, sans Frank Bennett, at the actual Whistle Stop Café featured in the 1991 film “Fried Green Tomatoes.” You can get those, too. The unincorporated town is barely a blip on the map; it covers only about one square block. But the train still runs through town right in front of the main road where the Whistle Stop Café sits. Edward Williams built the cafe in 1927 as a general store that he, his wife and six children ran for 45 years until its closing in 1972. The building served various purposes, including as a real-estate office and an antique shop, before playing the pivotal role of the Whistle Stop Café in 1991. The movie, which was adapted for the big screen by the novel’s author, Fannie Flagg, tells the lives of best friends Ruth Jamison and the irrepressible tomboy Imogene “Idgie” Threadgoode during the 1930s.

Courtesy Visit Savannah SAVANNAH’S SCENIC GARDEN SQUARES MAKE IT A POPULAR LOCATION FOR FEATURE FILMS.

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In a twist of “life imitating art,” Williams, who inherited the building, opened the Whistle Stop Café after the movie debuted, and current owner Elizabeth Bryant bought it about 15 years ago. Today, the tiny town draws busloads of visitors who stop to enjoy fried green tomatoes, fried green tomato sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, pork ribs and burgers, all in the 1930s-style cafe that looks almost exactly as it did in the movie. Also on the menu are pound cake, peach cobbler, pecan cobbler and fried apple pie. When they’re done eating, visitors can stroll out back to see the stone barbecue pit, Bennett’s “grave” and the shanty where Smoky Lonesome stayed. Guests can also wander Juliette’s short dirt roads to the train tracks, the depot, the nearby church and the cemetery where two headstones bear the names Buddy Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison — and where they may even find a jar of honey sitting on top. WWW.THEWHISTLESTOPCAFE.COM

Independent Presbyterian Church toward Chippewa Square, landing at the feet of Tom Hanks, who spends most of the movie sitting on a bus stop bench, telling his incredible life story to anyone who sits down. The bench was a prop and is now housed in the Savannah History Museum, but the square is a popular stop for fans of the movie. Savannah is also the famous setting of an infamous crime that was immortalized in a book and movie: “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” This classic recounts the true events surrounding the death of Danny Hansford and the trials of Jim Williams, an art and antiques dealer and Savannah socialite who was infamously tried for murder four times and finally found not guilty in the shooting death of Hansford. Groups can tour the historic Mercer-Williams House Museum where Williams lived; both Noble Jones Tours and Savannah Movie Tours also highlight the home. During a trolley tour with Old Savannah Tours, guides act in character, including as Gump or Jim Williams. WWW.VISITSAVANNAH.COM

S AVA N N A H As a film location, Savannah is easy: The historic city doesn’t even have to try to look like it’s straight out of a movie. Movie producers and television crews are flocking to Savannah and neighboring Tybee Island to film full-length features and new television shows. Many of the area’s films, such as “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie” and “Dirty Grandpa,” are more recent, so they haven’t had time to seep into the pop-culture psyche. “Baywatch,” starring Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, was filmed on Tybee, and when it comes out this summer, viewers will see “these crazy stunt scenes they did on the pier,” said Chelsea Paulsen, group tour sales manager for Visit Savannah. In the opening shot of “Forrest Gump,” a feather floats down past

COVINGTON The first film ever shot in Covington was “A Man Called Peter” in 1954. “We’ve been doing it so long,” that the city is known as the Hollywood of the South, said Jenny McDonald, director of tourism and marketing for the Covington/Newton County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The city is 35 miles east of Atlanta and offers a plethora of historic architecture and picturesque settings, both of which make it popular as a film location. Today, Covington boasts about 70 production credits, including “Miracles From Heaven,” 2016; “Selma,” 2014; and “Sweet Home Alabama,” starring Reese Witherspoon, 2002. In the 1981 Burt Reynolds film “The Cannonball

THIS PEACHTREE CITY HOUSE APPEARED IN “FRIED GREEN TOMATOES.” Courtesy Southern Hollywood Film Tour

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Run,” a plane lands on the east side of Covington Square, and Dom DeLuise hops out to make a beer run. However, “where we gain our most film tourism is from [television],” McDonald said. The first five episodes of “The Dukes of Hazzard” were shot in Covington before producers moved it to Los Angeles. The 1990s crime drama “Heat of the Night” was filmed in Covington starting in its second season. Most recently, The CW’s “Vampire Diaries” aired its final episode in March, and except for the pilot, all 171 episodes were shot in Covington, which serves as the show’s fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia. Mystic Falls Tours offers guided Vampire Diaries tours, and the town has a detailed self-guided Heat of the Night walking tour. Historic tours, either with CVB-arranged step-on guides or through Covington Ghost Tours, often highlight historic buildings that were used as film locations. Visitors can also explore the historic Newton County Courthouse on their own or arrange for an informal guided tour of the 1884 building, which was featured in “Selma,” “Dukes,” “Vampire Diaries” and the remake of “Footloose.” WWW.FILMCOVINGTON.COM

PE ACHTREE CIT Y Peachtree City was an early adopter of film tourism in Georgia. The Peachtree City Convention and Visitors Bureau developed the Southern Hollywood Film Tour several years ago, but Sherri Smith Brown, who was on the CVB board and has production experience and “has always been involved with [the tour],” took it over a couple of months ago. Brown is revamping and ramping up to expand her new venture’s offerings. Tours highlight filming locations for the Lifetime series “Drop Dead

COVINGTON’S NEWTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE HAS NUMEROUS FILM AND TV CREDITS.

Diva,” which was filmed in Peachtree for five years, and AMC’s wildly popular “The Walking Dead” is filmed “right next door to Peachtree City in Senoia,” she said. Tours include stops at the Alexandria Safe Zone and the Woodbury Shoppe, a store that sells official AMC souvenirs, clothing and accessories for the show. Other tour stops include the amphitheater where scenes were filmed for “Joyful Noise,” starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, as well as locations for “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “The Fighting Temptations” and “The War,” with Kevin Costner. At the Dixie Wing Museum in Peachtree City, visitors can see planes that have been used in films, such as the DC3 used in “42,” the 2013 film about Jackie Robinson that stars Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford. The museum also houses two replica Japanese aircraft built for the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora!” Although neither studio offers tours, Brown will take groups to the gates of Raleigh Studios, formerly Riverwood Studios, in Senoia or to Pinewood Studios in Fayetteville, where they can dine at Hanna Brothers Studio Café across the street. Brown will customize tours, which can include meals, and will act as or arrange for step-on guides for motorcoaches. WWW.VISITPEACHTREECITY.COM

AT L A N TA Atlanta is Georgia’s capital, but it’s also the location of The Capitol in the Hunger Games movie franchise. In the past 10 years, Atlanta has played both host and setting for some 150 films and television shows, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and for more than 1,200 movies and television shows since 1972, according to Atlanta Movie Tours. Carrie Burns founded the company in 2012, and it now offers nearly a dozen guided tours as well as custom and group tours. The Best of Atlanta tour is a popular option because it highlights the best of some of those 1,200 locations, including the bar from “Triple 9” where Woody Harrelson and Norman Reedus hung out, the funeral scene set from “Fast and the Furious” and the African market from “Captain America: Civil War.” The three-hour Atlanta Heritage Tour covers the city’s starring roles in real life and in films. The tour covers civil rights landmarks, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Eternal Flame and the Sweet Auburn Historic District, all while featuring Donald Glover’s FX show “Atlanta,” Tyler Perry’s “Madea” house, “Ride Along” and “Selma.” Four zombie tours, including a walking tour, showcase locations from seven seasons of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The Swan House at the Atlanta History Center served at President Snow’s mansion in the “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Groups can explore the 1928 mansion though an open-house format with first-person, costumed interpreters or opt for the Capitol Tour experience, which includes a guided tour of areas used during filming and exclusive access to a behind-the-scenes exhibit with production photos and props from the film. WWW.ATLANTAMOVIETOURS.COM

Courtesy Covington Co. CVB

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GEO RGI A

TR AV E L GUIDE

FARE ENOUGH GEORGIA CUISINE IS SECOND TO NONE B Y R AC H E L C A RT E R

Georgia is known as the Peach State, and when the state nickname features food, travelers can count on the region’s offering plenty of delicious experiences. Groups traveling in Georgia can dine under the stars in a garden, enjoying dishes made with produce plucked just feet from their plates. Visitors can stop at a roadside market where they can buy a seasonal peach or, when peaches are out of season, sample all sorts of peach products: cider, wine, fritters, ice cream, salsa and preserves. Barbecue lovers can learn the secrets of rubs, brines and marinades, smoking, grilling and roasting during a barbecue class. These Georgia culinary experiences highlight the best flavors of the state: fresh produce, local fare and Southern food.

M I LT O N ’ S C U I S I N E A N D C O C K TA I L S M I LT O N A garden dinner at Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails in Milton, Georgia, is “absolutely beautiful; it’s like a little piece of heaven,” said event sales manager Jill Hayes. The one-acre garden is behind the 155-year-old restored farmhouse. The setting shapes group events there, infusing them with cozy comfort and seasonal flavors. The house restaurant can accommodate groups of 80 to 100 people, although they’ll be split up among the dining areas in various rooms. The farmhouse’s largest room, which is really a couple of rooms that open into one another, can

Courtesy Chateau Elan GROUPS CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON GEORGIA CUISINE IN THE VIKING CULINARY STUDIO AT CHATEAU ELAN WINERY AND RESORT

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GEORGIA FRESH PRODUCE AT MILTON’S

seat about 40 people. The only “truly private room” is an enclosed banquet porch than can host meals for 40 people, Hayes said. Outdoors offers space for larger events. In the middle of the garden is an open area for meals for up to 100 people. The restaurant can even set up one long table for lunch or dinner for 100 guests. Meals are served family style or in a buffet, and dishes are prepared with produce and herbs — squash, cucumber, melon, spinach and more — that were plucked just feet from the dinner table. Evening events are held beneath strung patio lights or in lighted event tents. By setting up long estate tables in the field in front of the garden, Milton’s can host outdoor meals for up to 250 people, Hayes said. Milton’s menus are seasonal, but its signature dishes include Southern fried chicken and shrimp and grits, and the restaurant boasts a “killer pimento cheese dip,” she said. Herbs from the garden show up in almost everything, including seasonal cocktails such as The Thyme. WWW.MILTONSCUISINE.COM

Courtesy Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails

TRAVELERS ENJOY AN AL FRESCO DINNER AT SERENBE IN CHATT HILLS.

SOUTHERN THUNDER BARBECUE’S ’QUE UNIVERSIT Y M A R I E T TA Southern Thunder Barbecue is a competitive barbecue team with some major pro division championships under its apron strings. When pit master Pete Warner “realized that the fact that we’re a real, live barbecue team landed on people,” the team decided to start sharing its secrets. Three years ago, it launched Southern Thunder ’Que University, an in-depth, hands-on barbecue school that teaches students how to smoke, roast and grill with the best of them. “Barbecue is an odd thing: People have a passion for it, and it’s difficult to master,” Warner said. “Our typical student, when they get there, they’re excited.” The full experience is a daylong class that is limited to 24 people who walk in in the morning “and we put an apron on ’em and a knife in their hand.” The day starts with briskets that will go into one of seven smokers; then teachers lead students through pulled pork, “lollipop drumsticks” and a

Courtesy Serenbe

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juicy pork loin. Students also learn how to make applewood-smoked chicken breasts and wrap up by preparing competition ribs. When class is over, it’s time to eat, “which is certainly one of the fun parts,” Warner said. The full banquet includes “adult” macaroni and cheese made with five cheeses, “The Best Baked Beans I’ve Ever Had” and a fresh, mayoless coleslaw made with apple cider dressing. For groups that don’t have all day or don’t have the passion for barbecue, shorter classes can be offered for at least 40 people. For Valentine’s Day, the school recently held a ’Que With Your Cutie class, in which students learned how to cook elegant barbecue and pair it with wine. Classes are held at a Knights of Columbus farmhouse-turned-hall with a giant backyard strewn with picnic tables under trees. Inside, students learn about rubs, brines, marinades, injections and sauces at “lab tables,” each with an assistant to help. WWW.SOUTHERNTHUNDERBBQ.COM

C H ÂT E A U É L A N W I N E R Y A N D R E S O R T B R A S E LT O N Château Élan Winery and Resort is just 40 minutes north of Atlanta, and 3,500 acres of estate vineyards surround the winery, which is housed in a 16th-century-style French chateau. In addition to restaurants, a conference center and a spa, the winery is home to the Viking Culinary Studio, which can do cooking demonstrations for groups of up to 150 people. Hands-on cooking classes are available for up to 60 people at individual cooking stations, and lessons include such wideranging options as making a three-course meal and sitting down to enjoy it in the room next door, and facing off in “Iron Chef ”-style competitions. A large pavilion on the ground floor below the studio is ideal for groups of

more than 150 people. The culinary team will break the group into teams of 20, and each team will work with a chef to prepare a different portion of the meal, from appetizers to dessert, served either at a buffet or during a plated dinner. For meats, participants can even pick out their steaks before throwing them on the grill. Some attendees have even played the role of wait staff. And, of course, there is always “plenty of our wine flowing during the cooking process,” said Doug Rollins. With six restaurants and two bars, there are plenty of ways to experience Château Élan’s food and wine outside of the studio. The Taste of Georgia experience pairs Château Élan’s wine with local Georgia products such as cheese, bread, chocolate and even olive oil from the Georgia Olive Farms, which grows and presses its own olives. As part of a recent $2 million renovation, the winery added a 50-seat climate-controlled veranda at the 130-seat Café Élan as well as two private dining rooms that can seat 12 and 24 people, respectively. Groups can also dine in the vineyard or other unique locations around the property and can arrange dining experiences built around different themes, such as the harvest, Southern cooking, or rum and other spirits. WWW.CHATEAUELAN.COM

MILTON’S CUISINE AND COCKTAILS IS FAMOUS FOR ITS GARDEN DINNERS.

GUESTS ENJOY SIGNATURE DRINKS AT MILTON’S CUISINE AND COCKTAILS.

Courtesy Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails

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Courtesy Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails


SERENBE C H AT T H I L L S

GEORGIA PE ACH WORLD TOWNSEND

It’s difficult to call Serenbe a “development,” and the moniker doesn’t do it justice. The master-planned sustainable community embraces plenty of the lush, rolling green of Chattahoochee Hill Country, and Serenbe’s four hamlets each focus on one element: arts, agriculture, nourishment or health. Groups can schedule cooking classes at the Bosch Experience Center, a 16,000-square-foot event space with a professional kitchen. The center can accommodate up to 100 people, although cooking classes must have at least 10 people and no more than 30. “It’s a very personal hands-on class that invites everyone to help with slicing and dicing and getting their hands dirty,” said Janet Marie Gunnels, communication manager at Serenbe. The Farmhouse at Serenbe restaurant uses produce from its own kitchen garden and from the community’s 25-acre organic farm. Groups can arrange to tour the farm, eat at the Farmhouse and stay at the Inn at Serenbe, in the same restored 1905 farmhouse. The Inn has 33 rooms in various buildings on the property, among them the farmhouse, a converted 1930s barn, cottages and a lake house. Groups of 10 or more can arrange Dinner Under the Stars in the backyard of the farmhouse and enjoy six al fresco courses of seasonal cuisine that feature produce grown in the garden and on the farm. At the Lake Pavilion, up to 400 people can dine in an open-air pavilion with a stone fireplace and views of the lake and pastures.

About 50 miles south of Savannah on Interstate 95, travelers should make a “pit” stop at Georgia Peach World. The country store opened its second location in 2015 and now has two stores — one on the northbound exit and another on the southbound exit of Interstate 95 at exit 58. The exterior has been described as rustic, ramshackle and rinky-dink, but the facade doesn’t do justice to what hides behind it: a wall-to-wall inventory of fresh produce, homemade treats and old-fashioned delights. Although Georgia peach season is short, the country store and outdoor market offer a vast array of fresh produce and local homemade goods throughout the year. Georgia peaches from local farmers are available May through August, but visitors will find a wide variety of peach goodies any time: peach cider, peach wine, peach slushies, peach salsas, peach butters and peach jellies. Visitors can choose from plentiful free samples. Anyone who stops in can sip and taste products offered in jars or bottles, including preserves, sauces, ciders and wines. The stores also sell old-fashioned candies and fudge, homemade peach ice cream and baked goods such as peach bread, peach fritters and pecan pie. Shoppers can buy pecans when they’re in season or dip into the vat of boiled peanuts. WWW.GEORGIAPEACHWORLD.COM

WWW.SERENBE.COM

CHATEAU ELAN WINERY FEATURES ACRES OF GRAPEVINES.

A GROUP DINES UNDER THE STARS AT CHATEAU ELAN IN BRASELTON.

Courtesy Chateau Elan

“IT’S A VERY PERSONAL HANDS-ON CLASS THAT INVITES EVERYONE TO HELP WITH SLICING AND DICING AND GETTING THEIR HANDS DIRTY,” Courtesy Chateau Elan

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sound-off

STAFF IF YOU COU

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I’ve wanted to see the Pyramids of Giza ever since I studied Egyptian history in fifth grade and fell in love with the culture and mythology. It astounds me that we still don’t fully understand what’s inside the last standing Wonder of the Ancient World or how it was built in such a short period of time.  — Savannah Osbourn, DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING

This is such a hard question for me to answer. If I had to pick one, it would be Jerusalem and the surrounding areas known as the Bible Lands. My fascination with things of the Bible, antiquity and archaeology make this a very hard question to answer. I would also love to visit Pumapunku, Bolivia; any and all of the amazing ancient sites in Peru, along with the fascinating Nazca Lines. To visit Mount Ararat in Turkey, the cave dwellings of Derinkuyu  or the Pamukkale hot springs would be “goose bump” moments for me. I’d better get started, or I won’t be able to fit it in to one lifetime.

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This isn’t the best question for the “cocktails on the beach, sorry I’m too lazy to even book an excursion” traveler that I am, but I would say Petra. It’s where my husband wants to go the most and every now and again, you have to give the poor guy a win. — Stacey Bowman, DIRECTOR, ADVERTISING SALES

I would like to visit Normandy to see the beaches where Allied Forces landed on D-Day. The bravery on display that day was extraordinary. — Brian Jewell, EXECUTIVE EDITOR

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I would love to travel to Kyoto, Japan. This storied city has 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as 38 sites designated National Treasures by the Japanese government. Besides these impressive temples, gardens and Nijo Castle, I would love to walk the streets of Gion Kobu to talk to the geisha and other artisans that keep the culture and traditions thriving today. — Ashley Ricks, CIRCULATION MANAGER

I’m going to have to say I’d like to visit and play the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, which is traditionally considered the home of golf. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit places like Petra in Jordan and Machu Picchu in Peru, so as a lifelong golfer, I’d like to do something personal and visit the course where the game found its origins in the 15th century. — Mac Lacy, PUBLISHER

— Donia Simmons, CREATIVE DIRECTOR

EDITOR’S NOTE Welcome to Staff Sound-Off, the monthly column where our staff members answer questions about their travel practices and preferences. We hope you enjoy these tips. If you have a question you’d like to see us answer, send it to me and it may appear in a future issue. BRIANJ@GROUPTRAVELLEADER.COM

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The Group Travel Leader May 2017  

The Group Travel Leader May 2017 issue features group trip ideas for pop culture experiences, western museums, the Canadian Maritimes, Virgi...

The Group Travel Leader May 2017  

The Group Travel Leader May 2017 issue features group trip ideas for pop culture experiences, western museums, the Canadian Maritimes, Virgi...