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PUBLISHED BY THE GROUP TRAVEL LEAD ER
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Museum of the Red River, Idabel
CENTRAL SOUTH AMERICA EXPLORE ROCKETS ÅÃª MOON ROCKS AT A THRILLING
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Stafford Air & Space Museum, Weatherford
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Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, Bartlesville
For one-of-a-kind adventures guaranteed to entice and captivate travelers, visit TravelOK.com/Group.
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma City
FEEDING GIRAFFES AT THE ZOO WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR TOUR ‘TIL WE HIT THE DESSERT TRAY AT SCHMIDT’S
Great tours are Made in Cbus. Pair a visit to the zoo Jack Hanna calls home with a cream puff at iconic Schmidt’s in historic German Village. As a leader in experiential tours, Columbus is a perfect ﬁt for a group of any size (or taste)!
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CONTENTS 39 40 42 44 50 56 60 64
WELCOME TO TAP A LETTER FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STEFANIE GORDER
GROWING AND INNOVATING TAP IS BUILDING A LEGACY OF COLLABORATIVE TRAVEL PLANNING.
A SPECTAPULAR AFFAIR TAP’S SIGNATURE EVENT SERIES IS RETURNING TO MACKINAC ISLAND.
REGIONAL BEST SELLERS THESE TOURS ARE AMONG THE MOST POPULAR TAP OFFERS.
GLOBAL CITIES TAP TOURS TAKE GROUPS TO SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS PLACES.
BEYOND THE MOTORCOACH PLANES, TRAINS, BOATS AND MORE PLAY INTEGRAL ROLES IN TAP TOURS.
TAP INTO HISTORY TRAVEL WITH TAP TO THESE IMPORTANT AMERICAN HISTORY SITES.
TASTE OF CULTURES CULINARY EXPERIENCES ARE A WINDOW TO THE CULTURE IN THESE TAP DESTINATIONS.
ON THE TAP COVER: A pier overlooks one of Cuba’s many pristine Caribbean beaches.
38 I N C.
2016 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
Badlands National Park
Two magnificent mountain carvings. 244,000 acres of naturally-carved landscape. Some of the world’s longest caves nestled on the edge of 71,000 acres of peaks, prairies and free-roaming wildlife. A waterway that opened the West and a Western town where it got wild. These are the awe-inspiring destinations that make up South Dakota’s Great 8. You and your groups can explore them along with our great partners and Find Your Great Place.
Request a FREE Vacation Guide • 800-732-5682 • TravelSouthDakota.com • Find Your Great Place
TourSD — YOUR ROUTE BEGINS HERE 888-386-4617 • TOUR-SD.COM Planning your South Dakota journey is only a click away. The TourSD Highway routes will take you along relaxing prairies, local culture, history and outdoor recreation.
WALL DRUG WORLD’S LARGEST DRUG STORE 605-279-2175 • WALLDRUG.COM Wall Drug has been entertaining and educating the traveling public since 1931. This wonderland of free attractions includes a restaurant that seats 520. There’s something for everyone. Located in Wall.
WATERTOWN 800-658-4505 VISITWATERTOWN.COM Surrounded by clear glacial lakes. Home to more than 160 Terry Redlin original paintings. Beautifully landscaped zoo. Quaint downtown features unique eateries, breweries, winery and sculpture walk. Located I-29 and US 212.
TR RAVEL LLIA ANCE AL RTNERS PAR
a new level of service to your travel planning. Those at the top want you to succeed and take a hands-on approach to all aspects of tour operations. Your success in selling is our success in operating quality tours. TAP partners know that it takes a few conversations to understand the concept of working together at a new level. The tour choices are controlled by the travel buyer, with input from dozens of companies. We are not an
association or a club. We are a unique company, owned and managed by tour
operators. It is unlikely you will find a private group of independent companies coming together under the umbrella of working in collaboration with each other at this level anywhere else.
hrough the Power of
We can all agree that we need fresh and exciting itineraries to offer our
Partnership, the TAP net-
clients. We also know that there are great destinations that sell well and are
work has proudly become
often repeated. TAP expands our offerings by bringing in new partners who
a solid “go to” company in
specialize in products not in the current portfolio. The pages of this magazine
North America for travel
will showcase some of the most innovative opportunities for you to explore.
solutions. By creating progressive partnerships that
They include a SpecTAPular event for 2017 that lets guests step back in time
include tour operators, top destinations, suppliers
as we celebrate the Golden Age of hot jazz, explore flapper fashion and dance
and buyers of travel, we work together at an entirely
the night away.
new level. TAP is focused exclusively on a return
I encourage travel buyers new and old to call one of our partner companies
of investment in all aspects of business, from com-
to hear the latest news. Sit in on one of our weekly “TAP Into T.A.P. - Tuesday
munication to tour offerings to tools that enhance
at Two” webinar series hosted by a different TAP partner each session. “Like”
business. Together, this results in everyone making
us on Facebook at TAP Into Travel to read the latest updates and link into
our monthly Enews.
TAP has grown by leaps and bounds since our
Do you know about our current marketing promotion that can help compa-
beginnings over a dozen years ago. We created a solid
nies with savvy websites offer a great portfolio of guaranteed tours worldwide?
Guaranteed Departure program, an innovative concept
It’s called the TAP Tour Wrap, and it allows your clients’ access to all of the
that continues to offer hundreds of tours that will never
guaranteed departures tours right through your website with no risk of losing
be canceled because of low passenger counts — these
your clients! If you have a website and want to make more money on travel
tours operate even if only one seat is sold. We have
sales, call us today and it will be complimentary!
also added scheduled and customizable itineraries to
On behalf of our owner/managing partners, I invite you to TAP Into Travel
further support travel buyers. TAP has a solid brand-
with the Travel Alliance Partners by browsing this publication and reaching
ing message and tools for travel professionals beyond
out to me personally if I can be of assistance.
the basics. Our weekly webinar series, “TAP Tuesday,” has been wildly successful. Combined with our TAP Tour Wrap for websites, it now allows travel buyers to
use important resources beyond just a call center and a pretty brochure.
How does working with TAP differ? TAP Partners
STEFANIE GORDER, CTP, DS
are experts in the areas where they offer tours. Imagine
having the ability to work directly with the owners and
TRAVEL ALLIANCE PARTNERS, LLC
top management of a company that allows you to bring
866-373-0790 | WWW.TAPINTOTRAVEL.COM | MARKETING@TRAVELALLIANCEPARTNERS.COM
FUTURE BY B R I A N J E W E LL
TR AV EL A LLI A NCE PA RTN ER S IS LE V ER AGING TECH NOLOGY FOR GROW TH
he future looks bright for Travel Alliance Partners, the innovative consortium of tour operators founded in 2001. In the more than 15 years since it started, the organization often referred to as TAP has taken hundreds of groups on trips around the world. And an exciting array of new technologies and marketing approaches has the partners positioned to serve more group travel planners than ever before. TAP began when a number of individual tour operators saw an opportunity for cooperation that could lead to increased business for everyone. The first partners in the organization made an agreement to buy into and sell each other’s products, which meant that a company in the West could
sell its customers a tour put together by a partner in the Southeast, for instance. The idea caught on, and the partnership has grown to include dozens of tour companies that offer trips throughout North America and around the world. Each member company is a partner and owner of TAP, and each has its own expertise. Most TAP tour operators specialize in travel to a certain region, such as a group of American states, Canadian provinces or international destinations. Others focus on a specific type of travel experience, such as sports, history, outdoors or cruises. By participating in TAP, each of these tour companies opens its catalog of tours to the other partners in the organization, who can sell space on those trips to their own customers. With this wide range of travel products at their disposal, each partner can offer their local customers access to expertly designed tours in places where they don’t have personal experience. And because of the power of partnership, the trips that each company creates are sold through the entire network of other TAP operators, giving them a larger market presence that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
get the information even if they aren’t able to attend on a Tuesday afternoon. “We’re not only focusing on great new tour products, but we’re also providing educational tidbits,” Gorder said. “So once a month they address how travel planners can make more money, enhance their marketing or move into additional markets. These educational components are there to help viewers grow their business.” Another effort to help travel planners is the TAP Tour Wrap. This technology tool allows group leaders, travel agents and independent tour operators to display TAP’s online catalog of trips to their customers through their own websites, without redirecting them to TAP’s home page. “This year, anyone who is connected to The Group Travel Leader can have a complimentary TAP Wrap,” Gorder said. “Anyone who calls and says they read about it in this magazine will get a free wrap if they have an active website.”
BETTING ON TAP Courtesy NPS
The most popular of these trips are offered as Guaranteed Departures — trips that are guaranteed to run regardless of how many or how few people book them. Customers and group leaders never have to worry that one of these trips will be cancelled due to low interest. But the TAP catalog also includes other scheduled tours, as well as opportunities for group leaders to work with TAP partners to build customized experiences for their groups. “Custom tours are now the fastest-growing segment of our tour departures,” said TAP executive director Stefanie Gorder. “And every day there is fresh product being loaded onto www.tapintotravel.com by one of our tour operators, so there is always new product there. It is constantly changing.”
AN EXPANDING REACH Much of TAP’s growth in recent years is due to a number of forwardlooking marketing efforts. The organization debuted a new website recently and has been using the site not only to sell trips but also to inspire travelers with editorial content. “We have a brand-new blog available on our home page, and it’s great content,” Gorder said. “Right now it’s all about the holiday season. We’ve also done articles on things like Kit Carson’s Old West and the history of some old towns in the Western states. We have done articles on patriotic tours and student travel. Because it’s not just the senior market — we’re now reaching out to millennial travelers and student travelers too.” TAP has also found success in its webinar series, TAP Tuesday. Held each Tuesday at two o’clock, these informative online sessions feature TAP partners providing in-depth information about specific destinations that they sell, giving travel planners valuable resources for tour research. Each session is recorded and made available in an online archive, so visitors can
TAP is also reaching out to travel planners by inviting them to get a behind-the-scenes look at the organization and its unique benefits. Formally known as the Buyer’s Education Tour — but more frequently called BET on TAP — this program is available to qualified group travel leaders and tour operators. “It allows travel professionals to join us at our exclusive June event, TAP Dance,” Gorder said. “Buyers of travel or potential partners can come in and see how we operate by attending a portion of our annual conference and then going on the local familiarization tours after the conference ends. “We tested the concept this year, and it worked out really well. It will be approved travel professionals, and there will be a screening process. They can meet with TAP partners and our Preferred Professional Travel Providers [PPTPs] and see what it’s like on the inside of TAP. They can talk to people about putting together exclusive, custom trips or even about becoming a TAP partner.” The BET on TAP program will make a good opportunity for professional tour operators who are interested in becoming members of the partnership to learn more about how it works. Gorder also said that TAP hopes to grow its membership ranks in the coming year, and that a number of new tour companies are already in the application process. “We want to continue to find new partners that fill holes of destinations and services that aren’t currently in our portfolio,” she said. “We expect 2017 to be a year of real growth.”
WWW.TAPINTOTRAVEL.COM Courtesy Visit Salt Lake
A SpecTAPular ENCORE BY B R I A N J E W E LL
TA P ’S SIGNATU R E E V EN T SER IES HE A DS BACK TO THE GR A N D HOTEL
he Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) know how to throw a party. Though every group trip has its highlights, few promise to be as glamorous and immersive as the soirees that have become the signature of SpecTAPular Tours and Events. “These are created to be very special tours and events — unique, one of a kind and just for our travelers,” said Nick Calderazzo, president of TAP partner Twin Travel Concepts and the organization’s SpecTAPular committee chair. “They’re not open to outsiders. Only TAP partners can sell into them. Everyone who wants to come has to book the trip through a TAP partner, and all the events are private.”
SpecTAPular events have been a staple of TAP’s product offerings since the first edition launched in 2012. They have taken place in destinations around the country, often drawing hundreds of travelers who come for experiences that aren’t available on everyday tours. “The idea is to come up with something creative and to use our partners,” Calderazzo said. “We have all these Preferred Professional Travel Providers we work with, and we use them to come up with these events. They’re not simple things to create — they’re difficult to come up with and to get just right.” TAP aims to produce about one SpecTAPular event each year, although the unique demands of these programs mean that sometimes there will be more than a year between editions; other years might have two SpecTAPulars.
GREAT GATSBY GETAWAY For 2017, the organization is planning the Great Gatsby Getaway, an encore to the similar 2015 SpecTAPular event that met with rave reviews.
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
PLANNING INFORMATION The Great Gatsby Getaway SpecTAPular is scheduled for October 1-4. Individual travelers can book their tickets at the organization’s website, www.tapintotravel. com. Group leaders can make arrangements by working directly with a TAP tour operator. In addition to the October event in Michigan, Calderazzo said plans for future SpecTAPular events are always in the works, although it’s too soon to say for certain what coming years will bring. “We’re working on some exciting things and looking at actual tours instead of just events,” Calderazzo said. “We’re thinking about doing a true SpecTAPular tour, but I don’t want to give away too much.”
THE GREAT GATSBY GETAWAY WILL FEATURE BIG-BAND MUSIC AND PERIOD COSTUMES.
Courtesy Grand Hotel
“We’re going to Michigan to combine Traverse City and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island,” Calderazzo said. “It’s all about the 1920s and ‘The Great Gatsby.’ It’s a perfect time of year up there — fall foliage is at its peak. You get to see Traverse City, a beautiful gem in northern Michigan, and each night is a 1920s-themed event.” Depending on the details of their bookings, most groups attending the event will fly into Detroit and may tour some attractions around the city before making their way up to Traverse City, where the opening evening’s entertainment will feature a singalong with a 1920s tribute band. Many attendees will wear 1920s costumes for pictures. “The next day we’ll go up to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island,” Calderazzo said. “It’s amazing — there are horse-drawn carriages that take you back and forth to the hotel. It’s a beautiful five-star resort with the longest porch in the world, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. “We’ll start with a reception, followed by a five-course dinner. Afterwards, we’re going to have everyone dressed in Gatsby character, and we’ll do a promenade through the lobby. Then we’ll go into the ballroom where the orchestra will be playing, and we’ll have a costume competition. There will be dancing and Champagne as well.” The day after this grand gala, visitors will be able to enjoy the resort and explore the surrounding Mackinac Island at their leisure. Available activities include golf, lawn games, afternoon tea, movie screenings and horse-drawn carriage tours of the island. The final evening will feature another five-course dinner, a signature of the Grand Hotel, followed by a dance accompanied by the hotel’s resident orchestra. “We’re going to have a singing and dancing competition,” Calderazzo said. “There will be contests for best dance couple, best singer, etc. It will be a wonderful event.”
NORWEGIAN’S DANYLUK WINS TAP AWARD Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) gave its 2016 Spirit of TAP Award to Jodi Ann Danyluk, program manager, emerging markets at Norwegian Cruise Line. Danyluk was nominated by TAP members for her outstanding role in the tourism industry. She is admired for always going above the call of duty and her willingness to always lend a helping hand. “The partners have seen the determination that Jodi has to advance the travel industry and to enrich product offerings through her knowledge of Norwegian products,” said TAP executive director Stefanie Gorder. “She is not only a friend to many of the TAP partners but a true teammate in their individual businesses.” The Spirit of TAP Award was established in 2012 after the passing of Ann Thomas, owner of TAP tour operator Western Discovery. The award annually recognizes a Preferred Professional Travel Provider who truly encompasses the TAP vision and embodies the true spirit of TAP. Rather than waiting for others to ask for help, the awardee asks “What can I do for you?” and “How can I help?” The Spirit of TAP Award was announced at the June 7 luncheon during TAP Dance, the annual convention held by TAP, this year in Duluth, Minnesota. Tracy Gruber, Ann Thomas’ daughter and the meeting and event coordinator for TAP, presented the award.
WWW.TAPINTOTRAVEL.COM Courtesy Visit Salt Lake
MUSTSEE AMERICA BY R AC H E L C A R T E R
THESE TOU R S A R E A MONG TA P ’S BEST SELLER S
ome regions have become famous for what they have in abundance, whether it’s geographical allure or cultural appeal. Explore the seaside scenery that makes Cape Cod a long-standing resort destination for New England’s elite, including the Kennedy family. Experience Texas cowboy culture in the Lone Star State’s original Cowtown or any number of Old West communities. In southern Utah, visitors can explore extraordinary geological formations — arches, canyons, spires, towers and hoodoos — at no fewer than three national parks. Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) tours take groups to every part of the United States and showcase some of its most beloved destinations. Here is a look at some of TAP’s best sellers in every region of the country. 48
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
SOUTH: CAJUN TO COWBOYS More than a century ago, Fort Worth, Texas, was the last stop on the line: For the latter half of the 1800s, the outpost was the final refuge for cattle drivers on the Chisholm Trail, which earned Fort Worth the nickname Cowtown, a moniker it still wears proudly today. Groups can tour Fort Worth, nearby Texas towns and parts of Louisiana on TAP’s Cajun to Cowboys tour, which includes visits to New Orleans; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; and more. Visitors can soak up Fort Worth’s Cowtown culture by boot scooting down to the Stockyards National Historic District where they can take historic walking tours, visit the Stockyards Museum and watch twice-daily cattle drives through the streets. At Billy Bob’s Texas, the “world’s largest honky-tonk,” groups can learn to two-step, eat some Texas barbecue or cheer on live bull riding. Guests can make their way through the 5,400-squarefoot Cowtown Cattlepen Maze at Stockyards Station, ride the Grapevine Vintage Railroad or watch a high-noon shootout show. Bandera, Texas, bills itself as the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” where residents still ride their horses into town. And with a population of fewer than 900, cattle may outnumber humans. Visitors can stay at several area dude ranches where they can also go horseback riding, take a hayride and chow down on a chuck wagon dinner. About an hour’s drive northeast, Luckenbach, Texas, is a tiny, historic town that’s little more than a dance hall and an old post office. The weathered-wood dance hall is perfect for barbecue-and-band events for up to 250 people, and groups can use the outdoor stage, horseshoe pits and picnic tables under 200-year-old oak trees. Although Dallas is the Lone Star State’s third-largest city, visitors can have another type of cowboy experience there: touring AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Several options are available, including selfguided and VIP guided tours, as well as education and art tours.
MOUNTAIN WEST: RED CLIFFS ADVENTURE BY RAIL
UTAH’S ARCHES NATIONAL PARK IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS ON TAP’S TOURS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST.
Land heaves up in impossible ways. Soil erodes into otherworldly shapes. Rocks jut and arch and perch precariously. And there are dozens of ways to discover the red earth and ethereal formations of western Colorado and eastern Utah: by rail, by river and by road. TAP’s most popular trip in this region is the Red Cliffs Adventure by Rail, which includes scenic train rides, float trips and other exploration of some of the most beautiful parks in Colorado and Utah. One of the most scenic legs of Amtrak’s iconic California Zephyr train from Chicago to California runs through Colorado and Utah. The train travels through McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area in Colorado and north of Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. About 25 miles outside of Moab, groups can take in views of the famous Fisher Towers, a series of sandstone and red-mud tower formations, during a raft trip on the Colorado River. Arches National Park is home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches and countless other red-stained cliffs and formations. Delicate Arch is arguably the most famous, but other formations — Three Gossips, Tower of Babel and the Organ — are equally impressive. When visiting, groups can stick to the roads for a scenic drive, take a tour with one of the park’s concessioners, get in the saddle for a horseback ride or hit the hiking trails. About 30 miles south of Moab, Canyonlands National Park is a sunset-
colored desert wilderness where rivers and tributaries have carved out countless canyons. During a jet boat tour on the Colorado River, passengers will learn about the park’s geology and history while marveling at the canyon walls towering 2,000 feet above them. In Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah, red rock spires called hoodoos jut up like stalagmites from Earth’s surface. Visitors can explore the park on 65 miles of hiking trails or a 38-mile roundtrip scenic drive, take guided snowshoe excursions in the winter and participate in stargazing astronomy programs in the summer.
CAPE COD, MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET, MASSACHUSETTS With seagrass waving on sand dunes, cedar-shingled houses dotting the beachfront and lighthouses blinking in the distance, Cape Cod is the quintessential seaside resort destination. Cape Cod is one of several featured destinations on TAP’s Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket tour, a popular Massachusetts itinerary that also includes visits to Provincetown and Boston. Cape Cod National Seashore is 43,000 acres of protected land that includes sand dunes, beach shacks, swimming areas and even the site of Guglielmo Marconi’s famous Wellfleet radio station, where he sent America’s first transatlantic wireless signal in 1903. The seashore offers nature walks, a visitors center and ranger-guided tours. In
FORT WORTH STOCK YARDS Courtesy Fort Worth CVB
We’ve got you covered. Plan your next motorcoach tour with someone you know … your friends on the A-Team. We know tours inside and out and can help you plan itineraries or suggest destinations you may not have considered. That’s why we’re the A-Team. FIND OUT MORE BY VISITING ArkansasGroupTravel.com OR CALLING 1-800-872-1259.
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
Provincetown, on the tip of the hook-shaped cape, Art’s Dune Tours can take up to 45 people in its fleet of SUVs to tour the sand dunes, visit Race Point Lighthouse or enjoy a sunset clambake. Every year, about 14,000 vessels traverse the 17.5-mile Cape Cod Canal that connects Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay. At the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center, guests can board a retired 40-foot patrol boat, pilot a virtual boat through the canal, scan live radar to locate ships in the waterway and learn about the canal’s history through museum exhibits and films. Or visitors can simply kick back in a rocking chair on the center’s deck and watch the passing ships. Groups can even get on the canal during a Hy-Line Cruises canal tour. Hy-Line ferries passengers from the town of Hyannis to the islands of Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Nantucket was once the whaling capital of the world, and that carefully preserved history, complete with cobblestone streets, makes it a favorite for travelers, who can learn more during a guided history tour. Martha’s Vineyard has long been a summer retreat for New Englanders, and the 2.5-hour All Island Bus Tour highlights the island’s six towns and includes a stop at the beachfront cliffs near Aquinnah.
SUNSET ON CAPE COD
OMAHA’S HEART OF AMERICA PARK
OLD MARKET IN OMAHA
Courtesy Cape Cod COC
Courtesy Omaha CVB
12 COUNTRIES WITHOUT A PASSPORT IN NEBRASKA
IN SOUTHERN UTAH, RED ROCK SPIRES
People know Nebraska for corn and Cornhuskers. The state isn’t exactly famous for its cosmopolitan culture — but maybe it should
CALLED HOODOOS JUT UP LIKE STALAGMITES
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VISITCOS.com/tours or call 800-888-4748 x135
Mexicano dance company or arrange for a performance. The GermanAmerican Society event hall is decorated to resemble a traditional German beer hall and hosts private events and parties.
PACIFIC COAST: CIRCLE OREGON AND THE ROSE FESTIVAL Craggy shores and crashing waves, redwood forests and windswept dunes make the dramatic coastline of central Oregon both lush and stark, welcoming and wild. Groups can explore the state’s scenic sites and attend a famous annual event on TAP’s Circle Oregon and the Rose Festival tour, a West Coast bestseller. In the coastal city of Newport, the Oregon Coast Aquarium gives both front-of-house and behind-the-scenes tours, and the aquarium can arrange animal encounters for groups. During a visit with a seal or a sea lion, the animal will plant a kiss on visitors’ cheeks or lips — beware the fish breath — or guests can get up close with a giant Pacific octopus at its enclosure, where they can touch its tentacles and even feed it a crab. Groups can also dine in a room where a glass wall offers views into the 1.3 million-gallon Passages of the Deep tank and floorto-ceiling windows look out onto the Yaquina Bay estuary. If looking at it isn’t enough, Marine Discovery Tours takes passengers onto Yaquina Bay while a naturalist guide narrates about oyster farming, sea life, shorebirds and the bay habitat. Passengers can even take turns driving the boat and pulling in crab pots. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area covers 40 miles of the Oregon coast from Florence south to Coos Bay. But the impressive expanse and height of the windswept dunes is difficult to grasp without getting into the nitty-gritty, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the sand. Both Sandland Adventures and Sand Dunes Frontier offer group tours in large 20-person dune buggies that deliver quite a thrill when they come over the top of a towering sand dune. At Sand Master Park, a 40-acre commercial sandboarding park in Florence, visitors can learn sandboarding — which is similar to snowboarding, except it’s on sand — go sand sledding and build sandcastles.
Courtesy Eugene, Cascades & Coast
be. Omaha is a city where visitors can find international flavors and intercontinental attractions that highlight Indian, Irish, German, Greek and Latin cultures. The state’s global cultural inf luences are on full display during TAP’s 12 Countries Without a Passport tour, one of its most popular in the Midwest. With more than 1 billion followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion in the world, and some of those followers live and practice their faith in Omaha. The city’s Hindu community first bought a building in 1993 as a place to worship and then spent several years raising money to build a traditional Hindu temple that was completed in 2004. Groups can tour the bright-white building, which is adorned inside and out with intricate hand-carved religious figures, or visitors can book one of the temple’s event spaces. George and Sarah Joslyn were native Vermonters turned Nebraska entrepreneurs, but their massive limestone mansion, complete with a circular turret, looks like it belongs on the green velvet of the British Isles. The four-story, 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion was completed in 1903 and cost about $6 million in today’s dollars. During a guided tour, visitors will see the home’s intricate details, including stained glass, mosaic tile and wrought iron. In midtown, St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church will host groups for authentic Greek meals. The church also organizes Omaha’s Original Greek festival, which showcases Greek culture through homemade cuisine, live music and folk dancers in full Greek dress. At El Museo Latino, a Latino art and history museum, groups can take a folklorico dance class with the Chomari Ballet Folklórico
LOUDER THAN WORDS: ROCK, POWER AND POLITICS Coming Jan. 13, 2017
The Newseum and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame partner for a one-of-a-kind exhibit that explores the power of rock to change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality and freedom.
NEWSEUM.ORG 555 PENNSYLVANIA AVE., N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. TripAdvisor’s 2016 Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Museums in the U.S.
SANDBOARDING ON OREGON’S DUNES
THE CAPTION SHOULD GO HERE
OF THE WORLD BY R AC H E L C A R T E R
THESE GLOBAL CITIES ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF TAPâ€™S INTERNATIONAL TOURS
he world is smaller than ever, and people are exploring its farthest reaches more than ever. Travelers no longer hesitate to discover the delights of global cities, whether a megalopolis in China or a Spanish colonial city frozen in Communist time, a French bastion in North America or the Catholic Churchâ€™s headquarters in Italy. Some cities have been embracing eager guests for centuries, but others are just beginning to open up to the world travelers waiting at their doorsteps. Some of the great cities of the world are included in international itineraries offered by Travel Alliance Partners. Your group members can immerse themselves in culture and history in any of these five amazing cities.
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
PRAGUE Maybe it’s the red-tiled rooftops that roll over Prague’s hillsides. Maybe it’s the spires that earned it the moniker “City of 100 Towers.” Or maybe it’s the bridges that span the Vlatava River. Maybe it’s all of the above and more that have given the Czech Republic’s capital its reputation as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Prague has something visitors can’t see anywhere else in the world: the oldest still-operating astronomical clock. The clock was installed in the side of the Old Town Hall Tower in 1410, and every hour on the hour, crowds gather to watch the procession of the 12 Apostles: A small door opens, figures of Christ leading his disciples march, and a skeleton that represents death tolls the bell. Below the clock, 12 medallions with the zodiac signs were added in 1865. The Old Town Square, the city’s oldest historic square, is also home to the National Gallery in Prague and the Gallery of Art Prague, as well as a classic Czech restaurant and beer garden that offers seasonal outdoor dining. No visit to the city is complete without exploring Prague Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans more than 17 acres, making it the world’s largest castle complex, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The castle dates to 880 and features wide-ranging architecture that includes 10th-century Romanesque buildings, 14th-century Gothic modifications and renovations from the first half of the 1900s. On the grounds, groups may want to visit St. George’s Basilica, the castle’s oldest church, and Daliborka Tower, the castle’s famous prison. Nearby, St. Vitus Cathedral is also the national treasury and houses some of the Czech Republic’s most important statehood symbols, including the St. Wenceslas Crown and the Coronation Cross.
PRAGUE’S OLD TOWN SQUARE IS A HIGHLIGHT OF TOURS IN EASTERN EUROPE.
“When in Rome …” can end a million different ways or be used to justify a million different frivolities; but in Rome, there are many must-see sites as well as lesser-known attractions that groups should experience. As the most-visited attraction in all of Italy, the Colosseum hardly needs an introduction. Tickets include admission to the giant amphitheater’s neighbors, the Roman Forum, which was the city’s marketplace and business district, and Palatine Hill, where the remains of noble houses and imperial palaces scatter the slopes. The city is also a Catholic bastion covered in churches and cathedrals, and it can be difficult to whittle down which ones to visit. Locals often recommend the 17th-century Sant’Agnese in Agone that faces Piazza Navona. Construction began in 1652, and the Baroque-style cathedral is open during the day and free to visit. Lined with boutiques, restaurants and cafes, the oval-shaped piazza is itself an attraction where baroque art and architecture is on display, including the dramatic Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or Fountain of the Four Rivers. Piazza Navona is also home to the Museum of Rome, an art and history museum located inside Palazzo Braschi, a Neoclassical palace. Rome surrounds Vatican City, the city-state headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The 110-acre walled enclave is a veritable trove of art, artifacts and architecture. In addition to the famous St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican Museums are an absolute must-see. On display in their 54 galleries are priceless works of art that popes have collected throughout the centuries, and the museums are also where guests can see
Courtesy Prague City Tourism
NOTRE-DAME BASILICA OF MONTREAL
By Stéphan Poulin, courtesy Tourisme Montreal
the famed Michelangelo-painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Just south, a climb to the top of Castel Sant’Angelo rewards visitors with views of Vatican City and the Tiber River.
SHANGHAI Beijing is China’s capital, but Shanghai is the country’s financial hub. And with more than 24 million residents, it is the largest municipality not only in China but also in the world. The city is a concrete jungle of skyscrapers and a bustling jumble of people, but Shanghai is also a cultural mecca where visitors will find ancient treasures. The Shanghai Museum displays more than 120,000 works of art, including ancient Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, coins, ceramics and furniture. Many consider the building itself a work of art. Completed in 1996, the circular structure is studded with soaring arches and was inspired by the shape of an ancient bronze cooking vessel that’s now on display inside. Famous skyscrapers such as the Jin Mao Tower, the Shanghai Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center define the busy skyline of the Pudong district. But, topped by a spire above two spheres perched on a tripod-looking base, the Oriental Pearl Tower is by far the easiest silhouette to find. Travelers can visit the top of the building for city views, including one of the famous Bund district across the Huangpu River. The riverfront Bund district is one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions because it was once considered the financial center of the Far East. Dozens of historic buildings in just as many architectural styles — former banks and trading houses from around the world — line the riverbanks as a sort of living museum of architecture. Inside the Jade Buddha Temple, which was built in 1928 to replace the 1882 temple that burned down, travelers will see the two Buddha statues carved entirely from white jade that a monk imported from Burma.
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
MONTREAL Strolling on cobblestone streets past old stone buildings in Old Montreal, or Vieux Montréal, visitors can easily imagine themselves in the city 200 years ago and may even forget they’re not in France for a moment or two. The historic city center is the heart of Montreal and home to many of its must-see attractions. At the Old Port of Montreal, shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques line the Promenade du Vieux-Port, which fronts the St. Lawrence River. Groups can also soar on zip lines, take Segway tours, climb 192 stairs to the top of the historic Clock Tower and relax on Clock Tower Beach below. Notre-Dame Basilica de Montreal is one of the city’s jewels and a National Historic Site of Canada. The twin-tower church is a dramatic example of Gothic Revival architecture. And, although the exterior is gorgeous, the interior is breathtaking with bright blues, reds and golds that saturate the ceiling, the sanctuary and the panes of stained-glass windows, which depict scenes from the city’s religious history. Groups can arrange 60- and 90-minute guided tours and schedule an organ concert performed by Pierre Grandmaison, who has been an organist
SHANGHAI’S MODERN SKYLINE
By J. Patrick Fisher
THE CITY IS A CONCRETE JUNGLE OF SKYSCRAPERS AND A BUSTLING JUMBLE OF PEOPLE
CLARKSVILLE, JEFFERSONVILLE AND NEW ALBANY, INDIANA
from cool CULTURE to Haute cuisine
there since 1973. In addition to the concert, Grandmaison talks about his training, creative process and, of course, the instrument itself. At the Montreal Botanical Gardens less than five miles away, groups can take guided tours of the themed outdoor gardens and 10 exhibition greenhouses, or opt for self-guided tours of the Biodome and its four ecosystems of the Americas, which include live animals. During a guided behind-the-scenes tour of the Biodome, visitors discover what it takes to maintain healthy ecosystems in a controlled environment and see water and air systems, the animal kitchen and reproduction basins. The gardens are adjacent to Olympic Park, site of the 1976 Summer Olympics — the Biodome is housed in the former velodrome — as well as the Insectarium de Montréal and the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan.
HAVANA The doors to Cuba are cracked, but they haven’t exactly been flung wide open. After decades of embargoes on the small Communist country, the United States recently started allowing travel to Cuba, but only under strict rules. Ordinary tourism is still off limits. Individuals traveling to Cuba must do so on so-called “people to people” trips that focus on educational programs and require a schedule jam-packed with activities designed to create “meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.”
WELCOME TO ECLECTIC SOUTHERN INDIANA. You’ll discover a vibrant arts community fed by a burgeoning food scene from laid back gourmet burger joints to riverfront dining and upscale cuisine. And all just a bridge away from downtown Louisville and its many attractions. Take in a show at Derby Dinner Playhouse …the area’s largest dinner theatre. Shop our thriving main street boutiques and galleries for unique treasures. Venture to one of the nation’s largest Bass Pro Shops. Don’t miss the eclectic charm of Clark and Floyd Counties. With a variety of lodging choices, and one of the lowest bed taxes in the area, it's nothing but sweet dreams. Book today!
VIEW OF HAVANA FROM EL MORO Contact Kate Kane • (812) 282-6654 • kate@GoSoIN.com www.GoSoIN.com
Courtesy Ministry of Tourism of Cuba
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
Because travel to Cuba must focus on person-to-person exchanges, visiting the Caribbean island still requires a deft touch and is best done with an experienced travel operator. A cruise with an established company that provides those educational opportunities and schedules those social interactions is one of the best ways to not only get to the island but also experience its rich culture. Havana is both Cuba’s capital and its largest city, with more than 2 million residents. During a “History of Havana” presentation, visitors will learn about the city’s Spanish origins, its republican period and its current Communist regime. A “Real Taste of Havana” tour showcases the island’s culinary culture, a mix of Spanish cuisines and Caribbean influences. Visitors can sample classic Cuban dishes, such as moros y cristianos, rice cooked in black beans; crispy snacks like malanga fritters and yuca fingers; and hearty, home-cooked comfort food such as ropa vieja. As part of their cultural immersion, groups can take in a performance of the Cuban National Ballet or another show or concert at the Gran Teatro de La Habana, which dates to the 1830s. Groups can also stroll the streets to soak up Havana’s renowned nightlife or enjoy a scheduled people-to-people performance of Afro-Cuban music.
ROME’S ICONIC COLOSSEUM
AS THE MOST-VISITED ATTRACTION IN ALL OF ITALY, THE COLOSSEUM HARDLY NEEDS AN INTRODUCTION.
Museums, dining, maritime history, waterfront cruises and shopping make Norfolk, Virginia a distinct destination offering a variety of itineraries for your group to enjoy. With so much to see and do, the possibilities are endless. To learn more, visit us online or contact Melissa Hopper, Associate Director of Tour & Travel. WWW.TAPINTOTRAVEL.COM
Discover it all at visitnorfolktoday.com.
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OPPORT U N ITIE S TO EX PLOR E ON TR A INS, BOATS A N D MOR E
raveling by motorcoach is fine. After all, motorcoaches get groups where they need to go and often deliver plenty of scenery along the way. But thereâ€™s something about less-often-used modes of transportation that call to travelers and appeal to their sense of nostalgia. Thereâ€™s the romance of riding the rails, the adventure of sailing the open seas and the excitement of riding horseback in the Old West. Whether swaying in a train car, rocking on the waves or jouncing in the saddle, groups on Travel Alliance Partners tours can find plenty of other ways to travel beyond the motorcoach. 60
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DURANGO AND SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD DURANGO, COLORADO As the steam locomotive huffs and puffs past river valleys, ranches and mountain peaks — and maybe even a moose or two — passengers on board the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad get more than a sense of “being on a train that was running back when it was in 1882,” said railroad marketing manager Christian Robbins. During the summer, the 45-mile train route follows the curves of the Animas River from the historic depot in downtown Durango northwest to Silverton, a late-18th- and early-19th-century mining town where, “if you look at a picture from 1881 when the train was first getting into Silverton to today, not a lot has changed,” Robbins said. From November to mid-May, the ride is shorter because the train travels only 26 miles to the Cascade Canyon “wye,” train speak for a place to turn around. At the wye, deep in the San Juan National Forest, passengers can disembark to eat a meal, stroll along the river and gather around the large stone fireplace in the railroad’s covered pavilion. One of the most impressive legs of the route is known as the Highline, a narrow, winding stretch of rail that clings to the mountainside and dangles passengers 400 feet above the river with “a straight drop-off below,” he said. Groups can buy discounted tickets on regularly scheduled departures, charter a premier first-class car, many of which are the original Victorianera passenger cars, or charter the entire train for a special event, either to the Cascade Canyon wye or all the way to Silverton. Another popular option is the Skyway Tour, which is a little faster because one leg of the trip, either to or from Silverton, is by motorcoach.
TALL SHIP WHALE ADVENTURES ST. ANDREWS, NEW BRUNSWICK
GROUPS CAN EXPERIENCE HISTORIC TRAIN TRAVEL ON THE DURANGO AND SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD IN COLORADO.
Anyone can take a whale-watching cruise. But not everyone can take a whale-watching cruise aboard a 72-foot, gaff-rigged cutter that’s a replica of a famous 1913 sailboat, the Jolie Brise. With its tall masts and billowing sails, the Jolly Breeze of St. Andrews is as much of an experience and an attraction as the possibility of spotting whale spouts, flukes and breaches. “That’s why people like it: the added value of the ship itself,” said Joanne Carney, who started the company with her husband, Rob, in 2005. The sailboat can hold 45 passengers and is also equipped with an engine to make the journey easier. When the ship cruises into the Bay of Fundy, passengers may spot minke whales, right whales, fin whales and, sometimes, humpback whales along with seals, porpoises and eagles. On board, passengers can warm up with jackets and blankets, a glass of wine from the bar or a cup of homemade pea soup, which is traditional tall ship fare. During the return trip, a marine biologist shows guests lobsters, crabs and starfish in the onboard touch tank and lets them hold a bristly whale byproduct known as baleen. This summer, the company added a new experience: a jet boat for whalewatching tours. The 33-meter Zodiac Hurricane is a former FBI boat and can hold 12 people with individual-style seating. Though the tour is a bit shorter — 2.5 hours — the boat is lower to the water and can reach speeds of 50 mph, so “it’s a more adventurous experience,” Carney said.
www.jollybreeze.com Courtesy Durango & Silverton Railroad
A HORSEBACK ADVENTURE AT CATALOOCHEE RANCH IN NORTH CAROLINA
CATALOOCHEE RANCH MAGGIE VALLEY, NORTH CAROLINA The Cataloochee Ranch covers 800 acres and sits at 5,000 feet elevation, so its expansive views stretch across and down several North Carolina mountains — not to mention the ranch’s rolling pastures dotted with horses and chestnut trees. “We have huge vistas,” said Mary Coker, Cataloochee’s general manager. “You can’t find many places where you can get a motorcoach that has these huge vistas.” Coker’s grandparents, Tom and Judy Alexander, aka Mr. Tom and Miss Judy, founded the ranch in Cataloochee Valley in 1933 before buying a large portion of the current ranch property on Fie Top Mountain in 1938. A stone and lumber cattle barn that was already at least 100 years old stood on the property, and the Alexanders converted it into the existing lodge, complete with a rambling porch and big woodburning fireplace. The ranch borders Great Smoky Mountain National Park for about a mile, and horseback riders and hikers can go from the ranch into the park on the integrated trail systems. The ranch has 26 horses and can arrange to bring in more for larger groups, and wranglers lead all trail rides. Hemphill Bald delivers the best views from the highest point on the ranch; the Swag is longer by length but with less climbing. Devil’s Britches is a woodsy trail sprinkled with wildflowers, and the Bowl Loop is fairly short “but long enough to stretch your legs,” Coker said, and rewards riders with a beautiful bowl vista. Guests who don’t want to get in the saddle can instead get on the wagon. Cataloochee offers tractor-pulled wagon rides, usually with some light narration and Q&A sprinkled in. The wagons go through pastureland, so horses may even come up to the trailer looking for nuzzles and nibbles. Meals are served in the ranch house or at the Way Back When, a rustic outdoor dining tent that’s accessible by wagon ride or an easy 15-minute walk. Guests can also play a game of cornhole, toss horseshoes, go fishing or do some good old-fashioned porch sitting.
By Bill Harbin, courtesy Cataloochee Ranch
VISTA FLEET DULUTH, MINNESOTA The Duluth Aerial Bridge was originally built in 1905 as a transporter bridge before being converted to a lift bridge in 1930. But, no matter which Vista Fleet tour passengers board, the ship will take them past the historic Duluth Harbor landmark, which is “an iconic sight,” said Colleen Smith, sales and events coordinator for Vista Fleet. Vista Fleet has two ships: The 50-passenger Vista Queen has two decks, one open and one enclosed. The Vista Star can accommodate 220 passengers on three decks; the first and second decks are enclosed, and the third is open. Most groups hop on one of Vista Fleet’s three regularly scheduled public tours offered throughout the summer. The fully narrated Duluth Waterfront tour lasts about an hour and 15 minutes and cruises around the harbor, showing off landmarks such as lighthouses and the lift bridge. But weather permitting, the captain always tries to get passengers out onto Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. At an hour and 45 minutes, the Grand Sightseeing Tour is the longest standard option that takes passengers onto the lake; the shortest summertime tour, the Lake Superior Express, is a 45-minute cruise that’s “usually offered on our smaller vessel, which is kind of nice because it’s a more intimate setting,” Smith said. Vista Fleet also offers dinner cruises, which are popular for groups. During the summer, the two-hour sunset dinner cruise includes dinner and limited narration by the captain as the ship travels “around the horn,” which means leaving the harbor from the Wisconsin point, going onto the lake and looping back around into Duluth Harbor beneath the bridge. In the fall, groups can book a harvest dinner cruise.
ALASKA RAILROAD ANCHORAGE, ALASKA As far as states go, Alaska is one of the most picturesque. That means there’s no bad scenery along Alaska Railroad’s main line, which stretches 470 miles from Fairbanks south to Seward on the Gulf of Alaska coast. Although travelers can’t go wrong when it comes to riding the rails in Alaska, there are some sections that are growing in popularity, said
A WHALE SIGHTING IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Courtesy Tall Ship Whale Adventures
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
Meghan Clemens, Alaska Railroad marketing communications manager. The railroad has seen “huge growth” in its Coastal Classic train, which departs from Anchorage and travels about 4.5 hours south to the coastal town of Seward. It parks there for about seven hours before returning that night, making it a popular day trip. But it also delivers “some of the most incredible scenery you’ll see all along the rail belt,” she said. Passengers will see three major glaciers and crashing waterfalls as the train rumbles along Turnagain Arm and through the backcountry wilderness of the Kenai Peninsula. When the train pulls into the coastal town of Seward, it comes to a stop on the shores of Resurrection Bay, where travelers have easy access to whalewatching cruises and nearby Kenai Fjords National Park. Passengers are already starting to book tickets to celebrate Denali National Park’s centennial in 2017. The Denali Star is the railroad’s flagship route; the George Parks Highway from Anchorage to Fairbanks wasn’t even completed until 1971, so “we have a long history of being sort of the way to get to Denali National Park,” Clemens said. The depot sits just outside the park, and all the area hotels, restaurants and tour vendors are “very train-guest friendly because, for a long time, the train was the only way to get there.”
By J. Patrick Fisher
A WHISTLE STOP AT ALASKA’S SPENCER GLACIER
Courtesy Alaska Railroad
“FOR A LONG TIME, THE TRAIN WAS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THERE” —
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HISTOR IC SITES HIGHLIGHT M A N Y TA P ITIN ER A R IES
istory often gets chalked up as dusty or dull, but historic sites give visitors the chance to stand in the very spots where the course of our country shifted or where our future was decided. Step inside the small wooden house where a silversmith began his “midnight ride” to warn of the British invasion. Stand in the very spot where one of America’s greatest presidents was shot. Feel the fear of harboring a fugitive slave in the root cellar of an Ohio mansion. Along with giving an authentic glimpse into history, many historic sites also give visitors the chills. Travel Alliance Partners’ tours take groups to notable historic sites all around the country. Here are five that will make an impression on your travelers. 64
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GEORGIA’S OLD GOVERNOR’S MANSION MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA From the outside, visitors can’t miss the towering Greek Revival-style columns of Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion facade. But the exterior gives no clue to the secret that surprises guests inside this home in the town of Milledgeville. “We have a 50-foot-tall interior dome that’s completely hidden below the roofline of the home, so it’s not visible from the outside,” said director Matt Davis. The dome, which is covered in original plaster and gilded in 23-karat gold leaf, is one of visitors’ favorite highlights during a group tour. Another crowd pleaser is the ballroom, which “has been favorably compared as nearly an exact copy of the East Room at the White House,” Davis said. Milledgeville was Georgia’s original capital from 1804 to 1868, most notably during the Civil War. That’s why the city is home to the original governor’s mansion, which was completed in 1839. During his famous March to the Sea campaign, Union General William Sherman claimed the mansion and headquartered there for a night on November 23, 1864. After the North won the war, Georgia’s capital was relocated to Atlanta, and the mansion was abandoned for more than 20 years until it was given to the school that is now Georgia College. A $9.5 million restoration was completed in 2005 that restored the building’s original layout, exterior, interior, collections and grounds to its early-1850s period. Guided group tours include all three floors and focus on the building’s history, its inhabitants — both free and enslaved — and the complex societal issues during Georgia’s Antebellum and Civil War years. Group tours are limited to 40 people at a time, but larger groups can be split up.
KELTON HOUSE MUSEUM AND GARDEN COLUMBUS, OHIO
A 50-FOOT INTERIOR DOME IS HIDDEN INSIDE THE OLD GOVERNOR’S MANSION IN GEORGIA.
Sophia Stone Kelton seems to grow increasingly nervous as she leads groups through her mansion in Columbus, Ohio. She has noticed bounty hunters outside and finally reveals to her guests that she and her family are in a harrowing situation: They are harboring a fugitive slave fleeing to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Kelton and her husband, Fernando Cortez Kelton, were staunch abolitionists, and their 1852 home is a documented Underground Railroad site. At the Kelton House Museum and Garden, the Sophia’s Secret tour re-creates the homeowner and her refugee nearly being caught. Tour and Tea With Sophia is another experiential tour for groups that highlights genteel society of the era and takes visitors to the Carriage House for tea and trifles, said museum director Georgeanne Reuter. Groups of 15 or more can take the basic historical tour led by a costumed docent who talks about the Kelton family in the context of life between 1850 and 1900, which includes the Victorian era, the Civil War and the postwar Reconstruction years. The house stayed in the Kelton family until Grace Kelton, Fernando and Sophia’s granddaughter, died in 1975 and willed the estate to the Columbus Foundation with the direction to use it for educational purposes. Inside, guests will see a huge array of family antiques and artifacts, including a piece of Victorian hair jewelry, as they explore the four rooms
Courtesy Georgia College
on the main level, the bedrooms upstairs and the Underground Railroad Learning Station on the lower level. Because historians “don’t know exactly where they hid [fleeing slaves], we created an area in the basement root cellar to give visitors an idea,” Reuter said.
BELMONT GHOST TOWN BELMONT, NEVADA The remote town of Belmont, Nevada, doesn’t have power; it barely has cell service. But it does have people, about a dozen residents. And those residents welcome visitors to the ghost town to see the ruins of collapsed buildings, to gaze upon the remains of partially standing structures and to tour the inside of the Belmont Courthouse, which is being restored. “There were always people in Belmont — maybe not a lot — but it never really was completely a ghost town,” said Donna Motis, president of Friends of the Belmont Courthouse, which was established in 2011 to preserve and restore the building. Belmont is the classic tale of a boom-and-bust mining town that sprang up after a rich silver ore deposit was discovered in October 1875. Only 25 years later, Belmont’s silver boom was winding down, and people were drifting away. Nearly 100 years later, in 1972, the entire town, including the 1876 courthouse, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse has a new roof and new windows to make it weather tight. Regular tours are available in the summer, or groups can arrange for private tours, Motis said. Inside the brick building is a veritable archive of history — on the walls. After the county seat moved to Tonopah, the nearest “big” city 55 miles away, in 1905, the courthouse remained unlocked, and people wrote on the walls. “There’s a lot of history in there just from the names and dates written on the walls,” Motis said. Groups can also follow a brochure and plaques for a self-guided walking tour. Some buildings are still partially standing, among them the George Ernst house and the old schoolhouse. The Philadelphia Building, which once housed offices for the mine, the mill and the newspaper, still stands and is now a private residence. After wandering around town, visitors can grab a drink at Dirty Dick’s Saloon or browse one of three gift shops.
THE KELTON HOUSE IN COLUMBUS
Courtesy Kelton House Museum
FORD’S THEATRE WASHINGTON Standing in the spot where President Abraham Lincoln was shot on the night of April 14, 1865, means you’re standing in the very place where history pivoted. But Ford’s Theatre also allows visitors to walk in the steps of history through the tour History on Foot — Investigation: Detective McDevitt. During the walking tour, each person takes on the role of a deputy while a costumed actor plays the role of detective James McDevitt, who was on duty the night Lincoln was shot. The guide leads the group from the theater to the White House, past eight major sites along the way. He narrates the tour based on “original witness accounts of what happened that night,” including information from McDevitt, who was on duty about half a block away when the shooting occurred, said group sales manager Josh Feldman. Groups can visit the historic theater, as well as the Center for Education and Leadership located across the street and adjacent to the Peterson House, where Lincoln died on the morning of April 15, 363 days a year. The Peterson House is also open for tours. Groups can also enjoy a ranger talk or a performance in Ford’s Theatre. During the spring and early summer, visitors can watch the one-act play called “One Destiny,” a name derived from the phrase “One Country, One Destiny” that was embroidered in the lining of Lincoln’s overcoat. Although it’s a historic site, Ford’s Theatre is still a working performing arts center with “a really exciting season that’s underway,” Feldman said. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is onstage every holiday season. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ” will run January 21 through February 19, and the musical “Ragtime” will open March 10.
FREEDOM TRAIL BOSTON It’s only 2.5 miles long, but the Freedom Trail in Boston “is an experience of 250 years,” said Suzanne Taylor, executive director of the Freedom Trail Foundation. The trail leads visitors to 16 country-defining sites, including Boston Common, the Paul Revere House, Faneuil Hall, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House.
NEVADA’S BELMONT COURTHOUSE
By Sydney Martinez, courtesy Travel Nevada
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
The standard option is A Walk Into History tour that lasts about 90 minutes and features 11 of the trail’s 16 sites, but a three-hour group tour is available that covers all 16 sites, although visitors don’t go inside all of them. Either way, a costumed Freedom Trail player guides the tour and talks about the significance of each stop. The Old North Church recently added two new living-history areas in the Clough House. At Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop, guests can taste how Colonial-era residents enjoyed chocolate, including sipping the same chocolate concoction John and Abigail Adams drank. At the Printing Office of Edes and Gill, visitors can watch a master printer operate an 18th-century printing press. Until fall of 2017, groups have an unusual opportunity to see the USS Constitution while it’s in dry dock being restored. Next door, the USS Constitution Museum’s new exhibit “Forest to Frigate” explores the creation of the U.S. Navy and Revolutionera ship-making. Visitors can sign giant copper sheets that will be placed on the USS Constitution‘s hull during the restoration, “so your name will go on the hull of the ship,” Taylor said. The Freedom Trail Foundation offers a variety of themed tours, such as Pirates and Patriots, and African-American Patriots, that groups can request. New lantern tours and the Revolutionary Women Tour have been popular, she said. For a little more money, the Historic Pub Crawl includes beer tastings and small bites at four historic pubs on the historic Blackstone Block, where many of the Sons of Liberty would gather “to ferment the revolution, as we like to say.”
A STOP ON BOSTON’S FREEDOM TRAIL
FORD’S THEATRE IN WASHINGTON
Jay Smith, President, Sports Travel and Tours
OKC-ing is believing.
Courtesy Freedom Trail Foundation
By Maxwell MacKenzie, courtesy Ford’s Theatre
“THE FREEDOM TRAIL IN BOSTON IS AN EXPERIENCE OF 250 YEARS” — SUZANNE TAYLOR WWW.TAPINTOTRAVEL.COM
From whatever direction your tour approaches OKC, you’ll ﬁnd the intersection of I-44, I-40, I-35 and Route 66 is a modern metropolis with loads of group-friendly attractions like the Bricktown Canal, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. If OKC isn’t already on your list, it’s time to stop and OKC what you’ve been missing.
Learn more at
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TA P ’S CU LINA RY EXCU R SIONS OFFER LOC A L FL AVOR S A N D INSIGHTS
he eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the best way to discover a destination’s heart is through your stomach. Food is an edible embodiment of any region, and if you do it right, what’s on your plate should reflect where you are. Seasonal produce and local goods tell visitors about the area’s geography, climate and industry; and spices and flavors transport travelers through the people’s culture, history and values. Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) offers tours that highlight some of the best regional cuisines around the country. Here are some of the culinary hot spots that your group can visit on a TAP trip. 68
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HUDSON VALLEY, NEW YORK New York’s Hudson Valley is known for both its abundant agriculture and its long history as a retreat destination, and visitors can get a taste of both extremes. Guests can feast on farm produce they pick themselves or sit down to feasts at historic resorts. At the restored 1854 Rhinecliff Hotel, The Bar is both a bar and a brasserie-style restaurant featuring the valley’s bountiful seasonal produce, and Sunday Jazz Brunch delivers brunch favorites with a side of live jazz. Although the Mohonk Mountain House dates to the 1870s, it has been expanded many times and now resembles a sprawling Bavarian lodge perched on the edge of Lake Mohonk. The hotel offers a variety of group dining options, including outdoor meals at the Granary. Madava Farms in Dover Plains is home to Crown Maple Syrup. Groups can walk in the woods, eat lunch in the cafe and take an hourlong guided “maple tour” to see the farm’s hand-bottling and sugar-making operations and finish with a five-stage tasting. Pennings Orchard is “a real farm experience but an upscale farm experience,” said Susan Hawvermale, Hudson Valley Tourism director. Guests can pluck apples from branches, take a hayride and visit Pennings Market to shop, eat lunch at the cafe, drink a beer or have an ice cream cone. There’s also an on-site cidery and a hard-cider tasting room. The valley is home to food festivals that celebrate the region’s agriculture. The two largest happen every fall: the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties and Applefest in Warwick. Per its name, Applefest features all things apple: ciders, fritters, caramel apples and, of course, apple pie. And “as they say when you go to the Garlic Festival, everything is made out of garlic, including the ice cream,” Hawvermale said.
FRESH CRAB IS THE SIGNATURE FOOD OF BALTIMORE.
Credit Visit Baltimore
Vermont is a veritable cornucopia of fresh produce and farm goods: apples and maple syrup, cheese and dairy products and, of course, the famous Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Every nook and cranny of the state is bursting with local food finds, but the town of Shelburne “is kind of a little food mecca that centers on Shelburne Farms,” said Grace Meyer, communication and membership coordinator for the Vermont Fresh Network, a community of Vermont farmers and food professionals. Shelburne Farms is an old, 1,400-acre estate farm that is now a leader in farm-based education. On campus, groups can visit historic barns and buildings, the seven-acre vegetable garden and the eight-acre sugarbush, with nearly 1,000 sugar-maple taps. The 1890 Farm Barn is the hub of Shelburne Farms’ educational programs and serves as a sort of visitors center. There, groups will find the farm’s cheesemaking facility; the O-Bread Bakery, an independent organic bakery and cafe; and Beeken/Parsons, an independent furniture-maker. The former estate home, now the 24-room Inn at Shelburne Farms, sits on the shores of Lake Champlain. “People often go and stay at the inn and retreat [at the farm],” Meyer said. Three miles south, Shelburne Vineyard offers tours of its vineyards and winemaking facility, as well as tastings in its 110-person tasting room; groups of eight or more should make reservations at least two weeks in advance. Groups can cross the street to visit Fiddlehead Brewing Company’s tasting room to sample what’s on tap. At Shelburne Orchard, guests can take a tour, pick apples, munch on cider doughnuts and visit the orchard’s new brandy still.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
The flavor of San Antonio, Texas, combines the best of the Lone Star State and its Southern neighbor. Historic Market Square is “one of the largest Mexican markets on this side of the border,” said Francisco Gallegos, tourism sales and experiential manager for the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Cortez family just celebrated Mi Tierra Café and Bakery’s 75th anniversary in business. The family also owns and operates another Market Square staple: La Margarita Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Mi Tierra is a festive, colorfully lit, 24-hour restaurant where Gallegos always recommends the chicken mole plate and the menudo. The entire open-air Market Square “gives you a little taste of the hill country around San Antonio,” with a farmers market that peddles local produce, food booths that dish out flautas and gorditas, shops that sell handmade crafts and folklorico dancers that twirl onstage. The 22-acre historic Pearl Brewery complex has been resurrected as a mixed-use retail and restaurant hub, and groups can take a water taxi there because it’s the last stop on the recently extended River Walk. Pearl Brewery Complex is home to a weekly farmers market and the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio school. It boasts nearly 20 restaurants, bars and cafes. Botika opened this summer with PeruvianAsian fusion fare, and the live-music venue Jazz TX, featuring jazz, blues, big band, salsa and Texas swing, opened in August. Other options include workshops about using food for health at the Pharm Table restaurant, cooking demonstrations at the Witte Museum, Culinaria Festival Week and the annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference.
New Orleans often gets the bulk of Louisiana’s culinary acclaim, but the state is covered with out-of-the-way, little-known establishments that locals love and visitors should discover. At Olde Tyme Grocery in Lafayette, bring cash, an appetite and, if you visit on a Friday during Lent, a little patience because “the line goes out the door and down the street,” said Kyle Edmiston, director of the Louisiana Office of Tourism. That’s because Olde Tyme Grocery is known for its fried oyster and fried crawfish po’boys, although its cold-cut po’boys and hand-cut fries are also hugely popular. For dessert, the Borden’s store — remember the famous Elsie the Cow logo? — serves the best milkshakes in town, or groups can indulge in an Oreo cookie brownie at Indulge, Lafayette’s only dessert restaurant, said Barry Landry, director of communications. Natchitoches’ local specialty is the meat pie, and Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant is famous for them — it’s in the name, after all. But the meat pies are “just as good” at French Market Express, which stuffs them with crawfish, shrimp or boudin, and also serves pastries and gigantic cinnamon rolls, Edmiston said. He added, “And the reason you can’t find a place like this anywhere else is because it’s inside a gas station.” Despite its location, the restaurant has a seating area, and because of its location, it’s a good stop for groups traveling on Interstate 49. Although French, Cajun and Creole cuisine dominate Louisiana dishes, a Shreveport establishment has quickly earned a reputation for an Italian staple: the muffaletta, better known as the “muffy,” at Fertitta’s Delicatessen. “Out of nowhere, this place in Shreveport
HUDSON VALLEY MAPLE SYRUP A MAPLE SYRUP TASTING IN THE HUDSON VALLEY
COW MILKING ON A VERMONT FARM Charleston, SC | draytonhall.org | Courtesy DutchessTourism.com
By Hubert Schriebl
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
popped up, and it has tremendous business,” Edmiston said. “It’s really good, and it’s something different.” Also in Shreveport, the original Strawn’s Eat Shop opened in 1958. Strawn’s serves breakfast and lunch, but its motto is “home of the ice-box pie,” and the pies — strawberry, chocolate, coconut, butterscotch, banana and seasonal peach — “are outstanding,” he said.
A PO’ BOY AT LAFAYETTE’S OLDE TYME GROCERY
BALTIMORE Since the city’s founding, immigrants from around the world have settled in Baltimore. Its diverse demographics helped define its culinary culture, but so did the city’s specific geographic setting on the Patapsco River and the northern stretch of Chesapeake Bay. “Italian, Greek, Polish — all these long-standing communities have wonderful culinary options in Baltimore,” said Amy Calvert, senior vice president of convention sales and services for Visit Baltimore. In Little Italy, “everybody has their favorite,” whether it’s Da Mimmo’s or Aldo’s Italian restaurants or any number of Italian delis with great subs and almond cookies. On the seafood side, “forever and ever, people have thought of Courtesy Lafayette Travel
“ITALIAN, GREEK, POLISH — ALL THESE LONG-STANDING COMMUNITIES HAVE WONDERFUL CULINARY OPTIONS IN BALTIMORE.” — AMY CALVERT
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DESSERT AT CHARLESTON IN BALTIMORE
Courtesy Visit Baltimore
Kansas City Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
Baltimore as the home to have steamed crab because of Chesapeake Bay,” she said. Phillips Seafood is a long-standing go-to for fresh fish, and Faidley’s Seafood is famous for its jumbo lump crab cakes, the secret recipe for which “they won’t tell you even if you ask,” Calvert said. Faidley’s is located in Lexington Market, which dates back to 1782 and is one of the longest continuously operated markets in the world. Inside, food stalls house butchers, bakers and candy-makers, and food vendors dish up barbecue, soul food and international far e. Lexington Market is a genuine version of what the “food-hall movement” is trying to re-create, Calvert said. “There are purveyors who have been in there and established in their community for generations.” Although Baltimore has plenty of tried-and-true staples, James Beard Award-winning and -nominated chefs are leading the city’s emerging food scene at pioneering restaurants tucked away in hip neighborhoods. Woodberry Kitchen focuses on traditional fare that highlights seasonal ingredients from the Chesapeake region, and Charleston serves cuisine that’s rooted in French fundamentals and South Carolina low-country cooking.
2017 TAP TRAVEL GUIDE
800.488.8998 | MyrtleBeachGroups.com Fresh Itineraries |Diverse Accommodations | Live Entertainment | History & Nature Coastal Carolina Cuisine | Incredible Shopping | Southern Hospitality
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ACT Tours provides unique customer service for groups traveling within Canada, the USA and abroad. We specialize in agricultural, culinary, experiential, historical, and sightseeing tours.
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With years of experience creating tours, Ed-Ventures has gained eputation for delivering top-notch customized group tours to worldwide destinations.
Guided Deluxe Worldwide Vacations since 1989. We are a family owned business and a Partner in Travel Alliance Partners since 2005. Members of NTA since 1991, CLIA since 1996 and ABA since 2010.
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Joy Tour & Travel has been developing exciting trips for groups since 1985. We serve mid to upper scale clientele with nice hotels that are 3 star or better and many inclusions and few options.
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Experience the true Southwest. We offer unique, active and informative travel experiences. Our philosophy is to provide the best value and service possible.
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Mid Atlantic Tours and Receptive Services operates hundreds of hand crafted , custom tours for groups traveling to Washington DC, NYC, Virginia, the Mid Atlantic Region, and the World!
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• DC: An African American Journey and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Heritage and Culture KATE SCOPETTI
SHEBBY LEE, CTP
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• CANALS, CASTLES AND CRUISE: NEW YORK FINGER LAKES STEVE EVERIDGE • NASHVILLE COUNTRY CHRISTMAS AT THE OPRYLAND HOTEL
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A tour operator based in Staunton, Virginia, offering superior escorted tours throughout the United States and Canada since 1972. Quality vacations at value pricing with a personal touch.
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Wade Tours & Travel, a family owned business since 1926, serving the Northeast offering single & multi-day tours across the continental US and Canada with our ﬂeet of modern state-of-the-art coaches.
Western Leisure is a full service receptive tour operator specializing in custom group tours to the National P est and along the Paciﬁc Coast.
F O R I N F O R M AT I O N O N A D D I T I O N A L TA P T O U R O P E R AT O R S , I N C LU D I N G A L K I T O U R S , I N T E R LU D E T O U R S A N D T H E T R AV E L AU T H O R I T Y, V I S I T W W W.TA P I N T O T R AV E L .C O M .
Photo credit: Bruno Vega
With more than 2.5 million travelers visiting Peru’s 11 World Heritage Sites each year, it comes as no surprise that the country’s $168 million annual tourism revenue is on the rise. That’s why in 2011, Tourism Cares selected Peru for a sustainable tourism initiative that engaged peers from both the North American and Peruvian tourism industries to make an impact through volunteering and distributing $80,000 in grant funding.
THIS LLAMA IS VALUED AT $168 MILLION.
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Greater Ontario is excited to host the Select Traveler Conference in 2017! Greater Ontario region boasts scenic mountains, deserts, vineyards and metropolitan areas that are both historic and cosmopolitan in character that make it Ideal for leisure and business travel. We look forward to welcoming you February 5 – 7 to Ontario, California. The Ontario International Airport lets you ﬂy right into the heart of Southern California. A state-of-the-art convention center, world class shopping, awe inspiring weather, access to over 6000 guest rooms. All waiting for you when the business day is done. Greater Ontario oﬀers an abundance of things to see and do such as live entertainment, shopping, sports teams, gaming, skating, exploring, art and history perusing. For more information, visit: discoverontariocalifornia.org 2000 E. Convention Center Way | Ontario, California 91764 909.937.3000 | 800.455.57.55 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Iceland shines bright gazing at the Northern Lights
Northern Lights, Iceland
Bring your group October March to spend their days surrounded by natural wonders - waterfalls, geysers, icebergs, and volcanic beaches - and their nights in search of the spectacular Northern Lights. Geysir, Golden Circle
Hallgrimskirkja Church, Reykjavik
Offer the world to your travelers with journeys to seven continents. guided by travel
To learn about our extensive tour selection, call 800.762.5345 or your local Travel Agent. CST# 2006766-20 UBN# 601220855 Nevada Seller of Travel Registration No. 2003-0279
Get the latest on Travel Alliance Partners and new domestic and international tour offerings for 2017.