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56 South 33rd Avenue, #234 | St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301 320-259-1082 | 877-832-7267 | Fax: 763-201-7945 |

letter from

the publisher

Heather J. Lahren | PUBLISHER Lynn Gottwalt | TRAFFIC MANAGER Mackenzie Lahren | PROJECT COORDINATOR Eric Beuning | ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Independent Chris Reber | WEB DESIGNER/PROGRAMMER Carinna K. Hard Bullemer | ART DIRECTOR HARD AT WORK Design, inc. |

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Lahren, Kathleen Somers, Lynn Gottwalt, and Mackenzie Lahren | ITINERARIES Inc. Britt Aamodt

We make every effort to be as accurate as possible, but assume no responsibility for errors or omissions found in this magazine or any other corporate publications produced by ITINERARIES Inc. Proud Members of: Tour Minnesota Association (TMA) & American Bus Association (ABA) POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ITINERARIES Inc. 56 South 33rd Avenue #234, St. Cloud, MN 56301


Cover image: Topeka Convention & Visitors Bureau; Other images: Austin CVB, Botanica Wichita, Caribou Highlands Lodge, Castle Farms, Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago Southland CVB, Clemens/Munsinger Gardens, Eagan CVB, Explore Merriam, Fairmont CVB, FargoMoorhead CVB, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Hitchcock Nature Center,, Liberal KS, Little Falls CVB, Mackinac Island, Marquette Country, MN Renaissance Festival, MN State Fair, Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, North Dakota Tourism, Northfork Outback, Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Owatonna Chamber/Tourism, Powell Gardens, Prairie Lavender Farm, Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Hargis, Ron Schempp, She Sows Seed Rows, St. Joseph CVB, Topeka CVB, Visit Liberal, Travel South Dakota, Warroad Chamber/CVB, Winnipeg, Worthington Area CVB

Dear Planner, Find out what’s blooming across the Midwest in this issue of Itineraries. You’ll be surprised at the number of gardens and nature centers found year-round—yes, even in January! Conservatories, greenhouses, botanical festivals, parks and garden walks can be found all over—often in unexpected places. Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Conservatory is open all year with an ever-changing floral display and programs your group will surely enjoy. Along with bursts of vibrant colors, the National Grasslands Visitor Center in South Dakota features over 20 exhibits highlighting the history of the Midwest landscape. Munsinger/Clemens Gardens is a dazzling St. Cloud, Minnesota treasure. And did we mention it is part of the Itineraries Midwest Group Travel Show this fall? The St. Cloud CVB, along with Itineraries, has been hard at work planning a FAM tour of the area for those attending the show – October 27th – 29th, 2013. Stop and smell the roses on a tour of Midwest gardens and nature centers! illinois - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10 Best Regards, Heather J. Lahren, CEO - Publisher iowa - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 12 kansas

table of contents winter 2012-13

Gardens & Nature Centers













destination highlight


Tiptoe through the Tulips - A Blooming Tour of Topeka

north dakota



Kansas Yesterday and Today

south dakota



feature itinerary

calendar of events

on the cover

Groups don’t just want to sit and watch these days. They want to get right in there, roll up their sleeves and participate! And they are enjoying the experience! For the travel professional, this means more opportunities than ever!


8 Awe-Inspiring Beauty


Hands-On-Tours Experience the Experience

michigan minnesota



Coming Summer/Fall 2013!


wisconsin - - - - - - - - - - - 48 central canada


Ted Ensley Gardens at Lake Shawnee – Topeka, Kansas The Ted Ensley Gardens are located on the west side of scenic Lake Shawnee with a panoramic view of the lake. The gardens span an area of nearly 20 acres and provide a beautiful setting with a wealth of design ideas and spectacular plantings. Visit in the spring for Tulip Time in Topeka and view over 60,000 tulips and daffodils. Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.


destination highlight


Tiptoe through the Tulips A Blooming Tour of Topeka


Doran Rock Garden in Gage Park


nce, a wonderful surprise arrived at my office desk when a friend sent me a basket of blooming tulips and daffodils. Snow was still covering the ground, but the days were getting longer, just like it is as I write this. Truly there is something exciting and hopeful about the time of year when we all eagerly await the arrival of spring colors in the form of tulips, daffodils and a multitude of other flowers. It’s more than just lovely to think about the arrival of spring. It makes us feel happy and hopeful, don’t you think? Indeed, taking your group to where the flowers are in bloom and the color enthralls does a fine job of boosting spirits and drawing out the happiest of emotions. Consider touring the tulips of Topeka. Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, is awash with color for about two weeks in April. But it wasn’t always so. Tulips in Topeka had its humble beginnings thanks to the loving efforts of a devoted community business man who decided to bring a great splash of color to Topeka through his gardening efforts… specifically tulips. Jerold Binkley’s inspiration came from a trip to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Those magnificently bright flower beds, coupled with Binkley’s fond memories of his dear father’s gardens, were enough to make him want to transform his own yard. Tulip Time in Topeka was born. For twenty-two years his efforts grew, attracting visitors from a wide area, until 2009 when he handed the project over to Topeka and Shawnee County. Today, thanks to the work of so many volunteers, you can treat your group to the blooms of more than a hundred thousand tulip and daffodil bulbs artistically arranged to show off the vibrant color schemes chosen each year. Amazingly, all the bulbs are dug up and newly replanted each year. Think of it as a labor of love to ensure visitors get the prettiest blossoms and perfect color theme… not to mention the selection of bulb variety. Yes, Topeka really has set out to offer you a very wonderful experience. Once this annual event kicks off, you will find tulips galore in four unique and picturesque area settings. But remember, Tulip Time in Topeka can only be experienced for about two weeks, usually in April. Still, make

your plans knowing it is Mother Nature’s perogative to change her mind. A mild winter can have tulips bursting forth early, as easily as a lingering winter can leave looking for flowers far later in the season. Be sure to check with Rosa Cavazos (800-235-1030) for guidance. As Victoria Bearss from Sunrise Travel (Overland Park, KS) states, “She is a wonderful wealth of information. She really helped us out a lot.” As with all outdoor travel adventures, it is good to plan additional time or activities indoors where weather is not a factor. (See Feature Itinerary on page 6 for ideas.) Rita Madison’s bank club visits Tulips in Topeka most years. She keeps coming back because her groups love it so much. It’s a very popular trip. The spectacular site of so much color, perhaps gently swaying in the breeze, allowing for sweet aromas wafting through the air, and beckoning to small birds, can ease the soul and relax the mind. Be sure to have your camera at the ready! “I could have sat there all day,” says Rita when talking about her experience at Lake Shawnee. Ted Ensley Gardens at Lake Shawnee is a perfect place to begin your Tulip Time touring. Nine and a half acres showing off 60,000 tulips and daffodils can be explored amid the picturesque view of the lake. Park your coach, cross the covered bridge, and marvel at the waterfalls, streams, ponds, and gazebo. There are walking paths, benches to sit upon and a guide to give your group the overview. There is even

a film they can show if conditions are not ideal. Admission is $5. Old Prairie Town and Botanical Garden at Ward-Meade Historic Site, 124 N.W. Fillmore is a great place to relax. With 2.5 acres and 45,000 tulips and daffodils, the garden offers a peaceful setting with a classic garden pavilion, gazebo and Victorian Reading Garden. There is even a 240-foot cascading rock rivulet. Plan to make this your ice cream stop. Allow time for Anna’s Place and a little shopping. Open daily 9 am to 6 pm. $5 gate admission. Doran Rock Garden in Gage Park - 601 SW Gage Blvd. The garden offers stone walkways, a stone bridge, and more than 12,000 tulips and daffodils exploding with color. Completed in 1932, the Doran Rock Garden is open daily from 6 am to 11 pm. A $5 donation is suggested. Downtown Topeka - Kansas Avenue between 4th & 9th Streets. Take advantage of yet another photo op as your group explores Downtown Topeka for free, while enjoying over 12,000 tulips and daffodils. The flowers can be viewed by motorcoach or on foot. Downtown Topeka merchants helped sponsor the tulip beds in this area, and they are very welcoming to groups. Choose any or all of these gardens for a perfect way to get a jump on spring. And maybe pack a ukulele for a little TiptoeThrough-the-Tulips sing-a-long. X


feature itinerary


A 5-Day Sample Itinerary This sample itinerary may be customized for any time of year!


Y E S T E R D AY A N D T O D AY Enjoy the hospitality of the Heartland. Tour choices are as varied as the landscape. Peaceful and relaxing or adrenaline pumping, you will find experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime.

dayONE Liberal, Kansas

dinner. Liberal has a nice selection of group-friendly hotels to choose from.

1 – 3:00 pm

5 – 7:30 pm

Follow the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz and Dorothy’s House. The Land of Oz consists of 5,000 square feet of animated entertainment—good and bad witches, Munchkins, talking trees, winged monkeys, and of course, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Toto too! Dorothy’s house has been carefully restored and furnished to replicate the house shown in the movie. Discover why “there’s no place like home.”

Dine at The Salty Dog, a beautiful, newly remodeled restaurant in the basement of the historic Landmark Center, for a fine dinner. They offer banquet facilities and a full-service bar.

3 – 5:00 pm

9 – 10:30 am

Check in to your hotel and relax before

Spend the morning at the Mid-America


dayTWO 8 – 9:00 am

Have breakfast at the hotel or The Pancake House, an “almost-everything-made-fromscratch” dining experience with over 30 varieties of pancakes, crepes and waffles.

Air Museum. Call for group rates and to arrange a guided tour. Whether the interest is general aviation, warbirds, helicopters or experimentals and homebuilts, there’s something to spark the imagination in this collection. 10:30 – 2:30 pm

Head east on Hwy 400 to Pratt, Kansas Your group will enjoy getting dropped off and finding that special gift or needed refreshment at Pratt’s main street business district. 2:30 – 6:30 pm

Enjoy the ride along Hwy 400 to Emporia, Kansas. Take a short stop in Emporia and you’ll find several blocks of historic buildings


and unique architecture. Discover local eateries, chocolate & coffee shops, antiques, and boutiques. 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Head to your final destination of Merriam, Kansas. Merriam has several group hotels for you to choose from and great group tour services to make your stay all the better.

beauty of the landscape, view more than 50,000 tulips and daffodils at the Ted Ensley Gardens. (More details found in the Destination Highlight article, pages 4-5.) Experience Topeka in its original state at Ward-Meade Park & Old Prairie Town. Enjoy tulips, lush gardens, and an oldfashioned cream soda. 5 – 8:00 pm

Merriam, Kansas

Check in to your hotel and then head to dinner at Brickyard Barn Inn. This “farm home turned bed and breakfast” features beautiful views, tulips and delicious meals made with fresh, local ingredients. Tour the Inn and enjoy a delightful dinner.

Does it get any better than starting your day at Strawberry Hill Povitica? Experience the magic that goes in to making the world-famous Strawberry Hill Povitica, while sampling various flavors of their delectable swirled bread. Enjoy a free cup of coffee while you learn about Strawberry Hill’s rich cultural heritage. Your mouth will be watering by the end of this tour! Be sure to purchase a loaf or two to take home! 9:30 – 11:00 am

The K.C. Strings Violin Shop offers prescheduled tours to view the woodshop, retail location and conservatory for groups of 25+ people. With instruments sold worldwide and played in symphonies across the globe, K.C. Strings craftsmen are sure to impress your group with their master craftsmanship and expertise in creating these exquisite stringed instruments. Offered Monday through Friday at 10:00 or 10:30 am and must be arranged with the Merriam Visitors Bureau. 11 – 2:00 pm

Topeka, Kansas Harvey House Luncheon & Tours includes a great meal and a tour of “The Station.” Docents and Harvey Girls will explain the history of the railroads, the station, the All Veterans Memorial and the Harvey Girls. There is also an opportunity for you to win a Santa Fe medallion during the presentation. Luncheons and tours are offered to groups of 25 to 100. The tables are decorated with tablecloths, cloth napkins, and a centerpiece that includes real red roses. You will also receive a pamphlet that describes the history of the Harvey Girls. Don’t miss this great opportunity to bring your clubs, bus tours, and church groups to enjoy great food, fun, and education! 2 – 3:30 pm

Gaze in wonder at one of the most beautiful recreational outdoor areas in Northeast Kansas. On top of the natural

Land of Oz

3:30 – 5:00 pm

dayTHREE 8 – 9:30 am


dayTWO Mid-America Air Museum

dayFOUR Salina, Kansas 8 – 1:00 pm

Rolling Hills Zoo & Wildlife Museum welcomes you! The 64,000-square-foot museum takes you around the world to experience the delicate symmetry between humans, animals and nature in seven unique regions, from the arctic to the rainforest. Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventures offers a variety of activities for all ages and all types of groups.

dayTHREE Ted Ensley Gardens

1 – 4:00 pm

Cloud County Tour the National Orphan Train Museum in Concordia, Kansas. From 1854 to 1929 over 250,000 orphaned or abandoned children from New York were taken on trains to new homes all over the United States. Nominated as one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas History,” a visit will amaze and touch your heart like no other museum.

dayFOUR National Orphan Train Museum

4 – 8:00 pm

Check in to your hotel and then set out for an evening of fun. Cloud County Tourism can help you to find that perfect group dining experience.

dayFIVE 8 – 10:00 am

Take a short drive to Clyde to see Bob’s Toy Barn. This collection will amaze you. You will see toys from tractors to space ships. It’s a trip back to childhood you will not soon forget. X

dayFIVE Bob’s Toy Barn

For more information on this sample itinerary please contact your tour operator or any of the advertisers found on pages 15-16.



What is it about trees and clouds that makes us feel so alive? There’s no better time to appreciate the spectacle of the great outdoors than spring, when warming temperatures turn the world into a leafy pageant ringing with birdsong. And there’s no better way to reconnect your motorcoach group to the joys and surprises of nature than through gardens and nature centers. Many of them are open year round. They are also great learning centers, offering classes, concerts, special events and tours, many of them customizable to your group.

Something to See Researchers have long tried to figure out why we feel so much better when we’re immersed in nature. They say it’s because the natural world calls on all our senses. There’s always something to see, smell, touch, hear and taste, and that sensory explosion heightens our feelings of awe and even stimulates our intelligence and creativity. That’s hard to beat. But as a tour operator, how do you create an engaging and awe-inspiring encounter with the natural world your group will never forget? Well, what about 60,000 tulips and daffodils spread over nine acres? When tulip time hits Ted Ensley Botanical Gardens in Topeka, Kansas, you and your group will be


treated to a feast for the eyes. Your tour begins with a stroll over the 60-foot covered bridge that delivers you into gardens so alive with color you’ll feel like you’re in Oz. If your group likes variety, you’ll find it in Wichita at Botanica Gardens. Their guides will help you navigate their 26 themed gardens. They have everything from aquatic blooms to wildflowers. The Project Beauty Shakespeare Garden recalls Elizabethan England with formal and cottage gardens characteristic of the era, along with many of the herbs and flowers featured in Shakespeare’s plays. But if you really want to experience the magic, think about adding on a class or special group event. Many gardens and nature centers

sponsor a roster of classes, which can be geared for your adult group. Go into nature and learn about animal tracks and habitats first hand. Take a sensory walk. Tag monarch butterflies. Harvest prairie seeds. Take a stab at nature journaling.

Did you hear that? The song of the road is calling you. And if you’re in Nebraska’s Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, that call may sound like a million cranes, including 80 percent of the world’s sandhill crane population, returning to their nesting grounds. Tour guides hop aboard and accompany you to crane-viewing hotspots. After a program, you’ll be taken out to a private blind for crane viewing and photographing.

Bellevue, Nebraska has its own claim to fame, Fontenelle Forest. Listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and one of the largest private nature centers in the nation, Fontenelle will regale your ears with a wildlife symphony. Their nature educators tune in visitors to the nuthatch’s rhythmic “yank, yank, yank,” the chickadee’s ebullient “Spring’s here!” and the frog & toad chorus. This is a great opportunity for a class on birdcalls or frog identification. There are 280 native species of amphibians in the United States, 25 of which are found in Nebraska. One of the best storytellers in history was Abraham Lincoln. Illinois honors its famous son with the Lincoln Memorial Garden & Nature

Center, a reproduction of the landscape familiar to our sixteenth president. In between reading the Lincoln quotes printed on the park’s many park benches, dig deeper into the story of nature with programs on tall grass prairie and nature’s noisiest residents, the insects.

Midwestern Flavor Sure, we know those pyramids of oranges and plums at the supermarket come off trees. But Missouri’s Powell Gardens has a group option that takes you right to the source. The Heartland Harvest Garden Highlights Tour will stir your appetite with an edible landscape that comprises acres of heirloom and modern varieties of plants whose produce has, at one time or another, graced the American kitchen. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by the Tasting Station. Minnesota’s Landscape Arboretum would love to customize a tour for your group. They offer 1,100 acres

of gardens and natural areas, and their guides know how to spice up an outdoor excursion with interesting facts. Ask them about the 10 plants that changed Minnesota history. One of them is the honey crisp apple. Developed at the University of Minnesota, its sweet-tart taste has made it one of the most popular eating apples. Gardens & nature centers encourage an attitude of contemplation. That’s why it’s no surprise that Minnesota’s Como Park and Illinois’ Anderson Japanese Gardens are home to Japanese teahouses. Your group can view the secluded gardens and participate in an authentic tea ceremony. Other garden and nature centers offer a more Western spin on tea in the garden. Either way, tea tastes better under a beautiful sky.

Sweet Scents You’ve heard that smell is one of the strongest triggers to memory. A whiff of baking

bread and you’re immediately whisked back to Grandma’s house on a Saturday morning. If you’ve never smelled a dense, dripping rainforest, you’re in for something special when you plunge into Missouri’s Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure. The air is thick with the perfume of exotic flowers & vegetation. Just as exotic is the experience of stepping into their butterfly aviary. But also check out walking tour options for a whiff of nature. Fergus Falls, Minnesota, through its Fish & Wildlife Service, gets in the act with its Sensory Walk.

Feeling Great Do you feel that? That’s the feeling of pure release you’ll experience when you visit the International Peace Garden straddling the North DakotaManitoba border. Dedicated to peace, the 2,339-acre site is part of the world’s longest unfortified border. The 9/11 Memorial incorporates ten steel girders from New York’s former World Trade Center

among the floral displays, and the floral clock is a giant timepiece made out of thousands of blooms. The garden also hosts a number of festivals, memorials, shows and workshops throughout the year. Humans may or may not have a sixth sense, but the McCrory Gardens and South Dakota Arboretum take a stab at what the future may hold for nature centers. They’ll tell you about new hybrid plants and shepherd you through a building with a living roof made of sedum. They’ll also provide your group with a next-generation class on natural building techniques and sustainable designs for the future. With so much to offer, gardens and nature centers are an ideal way to immerse your group in a full-sensory experience of nature. Next stop: a garden path, rustling leaves, warm sunshine and a sense of wonder. X

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens - Overland Park, KS

a full-sensory experience of nature


tour illinois gardens… Anderson Japanese Gardens | ROCKFORD Bring your group to this formal 5-acre Japanese Garden, featuring 4 waterfalls, spring-fed ponds, paths and quiet areas for contemplation. It is enhanced by lanterns, bridges, a granite pagoda, water basins, gates and a formal tea house, a gazebo, and a magnificent 50-foot waterfall. In our hectic and stressful world, Anderson Japanese Gardens opens minds to a different culture while offering guests a place of peace and tranquility.

Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center SPRINGFIELD This garden represents the landscape Abraham Lincoln would have known growing up and living in the Midwest. This 100-acre site features six miles of trails, footbridges, a pond, eight stone council rings, and dozens of wooden benches inscribed with Lincoln quotes. The woodland and prairie garden beckons to thousands of visitors year round. The Ostermeier Prairie Center, a 29-acre tract, is a former farm acquired by the foundation in 1995. It includes a barn, pond, and century-old farmhouse.

Cuneo Mansion & Gardens Galena

Rockford ○

94 Libertyville ○

Mt. Carroll




St. Charles



Chicago Botanic Garden



○ ○

Chicago Joliet





t La Salle



34 he Chicago Botanic Garden offers 67 57 39 Galesburg a variety of unique, memorable ways 34 74 24 to explore the garden’s many Peoria ○ Macomb wonders, including 23 spectacular 24 Bloomington ○ t 155 136 gardens and 75 acres of lagoons. You can 136 136 74 51 Rushville customize tours to match your group’s 74 T 24 72 55 67 interests and physical abilities, as well as Champaign Jacksonville 36 74 view gardens at the peak of their season. r t 150 Springfield The garden also offers unique winter tours Marshall 54 57 T of their four-season greenhouses, renowned 51 70 55 gallery exhibitions, unique shopping and lunch, t 67 Effingham all in a remarkable setting of tranquility and beauty. 70 45 The grand tour takes your group on a tram for a 50 ○ t50Highland Collinsville beautiful overview of the garden’s 385 acres and includes 57 Belleville 64 views of the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden, 64 3 100-acre oak woodland, and the native prairie. ○





spotlight illinois



Also see Butterflies and Blooms - a habitat filled with over 500 butterflies native to South America, North America, and Africa, as well as Illinois - open June through September.


Cobden T 3


Illinois: Mile after Magnificent Mile.




VERNON HILLS This splendid mansion is surrounded by 75 serene acres featuring lakes, fountains, formal gardens, antique classical statuary, a private 9-hole golf course and a conservatory housing exotic plants. Arrange your group tour any day of the week by appointment. Groups receive a complimentary private tour of the mansion and grounds with the option of catering services, including beverage, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks to enhance your experience.

Cantigny Park | WHEATON If you’ve never taken your group to Cantigny, you’re in for a treat. Historic home, first-class museum, picnic grounds, gardens, golfing, dining for every taste—there’s something for everyone in this beautiful park, a gift to the people of Illinois from Robert R. McCormick. Stroll through more than 29 acres with 22 individual gardens. Here you’ll see what has been lost from our landscape. The prairies, grasses, trees, and ornamental flowers remind us of the beauty that nature offers every day.

Mile after Magnificent Mile.

Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.


The Biggest Backyard in the Nation This sample itinerary is best during the Spring and Summer months, but can be customized for any time of year. Lake Katherine

Balmoral Park Race Track Tinley Park

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . 866-369-0011 8001 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 715 – Skokie, IL We offer personal and customized service to help you plan your North Shore visit. We can assist in planning any aspect of your group trip, from lodging to attractions and dining to step-on-guide services! Call to book your group today!

Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . 888-895-8233 Experience the biggest backyard in the nation for group tours! The Chicago Southland, Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs, is conveniently located 30 minutes from Chicago and offers affordable amenities with FREE coach parking! Discover the Chicago Southland advantages. They offer easy travel with close proximity to Interstates 57, 80, 90, 94 and 294. In fact, many of their 6,000 hotel room accommodations are located just minutes from these and other major roadways.

day one 10 – 12:00 pm Start off by checking in to one of Chicago Southland’s many wonderful and affordable hotels. With over 60 lodging facilities, you will find the amenities, comfort, and service every traveler is looking for and within your budget, too. 12 – 4:00 pm Drive to Palos Heights and spend the afternoon at Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, known as the crown jewel of Palos Heights. Your group can participate in one of their group educational programs. Maybe your group would like to volunteer! Past group projects include removing invasive species, trail chipping, planting, weeding, and general clean-up. 4 – 6:00 pm Head back to your hotel for some rest and maybe some shopping along the way. 6 – 7:00 pm Some of the best restaurants in Illinois call Tinley Park home. With all the great choices, you will find that perfect dining experience for your group that will satisfy both budget and taste. After dinner be sure to enjoy Tinley Park’s Benches on the Avenue public art program. It has become one of the village’s most popular attractions. On display along Oak Park Avenue from May through September, these colorful benches bring to life the chosen theme of the season.

and enjoy a relaxing shopping experience in our quaint, small town setting. 2 – 4:00 pm Take a break from shopping and find a bit of peace and tranquility among the wild prairie swales around Governors State University in the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Some 27 monumental statues from masters of contemporary sculpture are scattered throughout the pristine landscape. 4 – 8:00 pm For an exciting evening of racing, head over to Balmoral Park Race Track in Crete, a premier harness racing facility. Have dinner in the cheerful ambiance that prevails throughout the Balmoral Club Dining Room overlooking the spectacular 1-mile track.

2304 173rd Street – Lansing, IL Experience true Midwestern hospitality on your next motorcoach tour. The Chicago Southland CVB is the official, state designated, nationally accredited destination marketing organization (DMO) for Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs. Discover the Chicago Southland Advantage!

Illinois Bureau of Tourism . . . . . . . . 800-2CONNECT

For more information about this itinerary or the Chicago Southland, contact Kristy Stevens, CTIS, Group Tour Sales Executive, at (708) 895-8200 or

day two 8:00 – 2:00 pm Make your way to beautiful and historic downtown Frankfort. A variety of small boutique shops along tree-lined streets offer personal service and selections you won’t find at the local mall. Find something special

w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m



tour iowa gardens… Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University | AMES Reiman Gardens consists of a dozen distinct garden areas, an indoor conservatory and an indoor butterfly “wing,” with nearly 800 live butterflies, a gift shop, and several supporting greenhouses. Situated on a 14-acre site, it has become one of the top ten attractions in Central Iowa and is said to have some of the country’s best rose gardens, with over 2,000 individual plants and 250 different varieties. A walk through the ever-changing floral display in the 5,000 square-foot conservatory features a lush, tropical collection of colorful and rare plants. Guided tours are available.

Central Gardens of North Iowa | CLEAR LAKE Nestled in the heart of Clear Lake, Central Gardens is North Iowa’s only public garden. Developed more than a decade ago, the 2.5-acre garden is actually many gardens within one. Gardens range from Victorian to Wetland, Butterfly, Ornamental, Grass and Shade. Water features and a stream are part of the landscape, as well as terraces and a pavilion. Guided one-hour tours by volunteer docents are available to groups of 10 or more.

spotlight iowa

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden | DES MOINES COUNCIL BLUFFS

Hitchcock Nature Center


itchcock Nature Center is a flagship nature center. It is everything a nature center should be, consisting of 1,268 acres located in the heart of the globally significant Loess Hills. The Loess Hills harbor some of the largest remaining prairie remnants in Iowa and provide refuge for plants and animals found nowhere else in the state. On your group’s visit to Hitchcock, the Loess Hills Lodge interpretive facility is the perfect place to begin your exploration of this unique landform. Outside you will find an interpretive garden of native prairie plants, a patio area for picnicking and relaxing, and an observation deck that offers beautiful views of the park and the surrounding flora and fauna. Climb the 45-foot observation tower for a unique bird’s eye view of the Loess Hills and adjacent landforms. Hitchcock is open every day of the year for hiking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, stargazing, or simply enjoying nature.

Iowa: Life Changing

Where “Explaining, exploring and celebrating the world of plants” is their mission. Tropical and temperate gardens make this an oasis in the heart of downtown. Explore with your group and you will find the Botanical Garden is a place where you can learn about fascinating plants, hone your gardening skills or just immerse yourself in the beautiful gardens. Step inside the geodesic dome to experience the tropics in all seasons. For an added bonus, schedule your trip during one of their Galleries and Exhibit times, where exhibitions of art and photography are on display.

Pella Historical Village & Scholte Gardens | PELLA This museum village celebrates its Dutch heritage with flower gardens, architectural models and antique Dutch heirlooms brought to Pella by immigrants. Tulips (28,000), annuals, perennials and roses ornament the village, which includes the Scholte Gardens at the home of its founder and a Statuary Garden dedicated by Princess Margriet of The Netherlands. Pella also hosts their Tulip Time Festival each May. The town comes alive with tulips, Dutch attire, parades, food, fun and more.

Life Changing

Read ITINERARIES Midwest Online. Ads hotlinked to websites.

Head for the Hills in Council Bluffs! This sample itinerary is best Spring through Fall.

day one 9 – 10:00 am Marvel at the handcrafted quality furniture and custom cabinetry built with locally harvested hardwoods at the Loess Hills Woodworks showroom. 10 – 12:00 pm Visit Honey Creek Creamery, the only certified goat dairy west of Des Moines, situated in a renovated historic bunkhouse on a century farm. Goats are fed rich, chemical-free alfalfa raised on the farm along with native plants from the Loess Hills. Using time-honored farmstead techniques, the milk is crafted into a mild, dense & smooth Chevre with a wonderful range of flavors. 12 – 1:30 pm Sawmill Hollow Family Farm is the first aronia berry farm in the country and has a naturally spring fed lake. Enjoy pulled pork & more made from the aronia berry. 1:30 – 2:30 pm The Loess Hills Lavender Farm has over 1,100 acres and provides a peaceful experience centered on the mystical and magical herb Lavender. A series of food, lotions and bath products are produced. 2:30 – 4:30 pm Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center includes the new Lincoln Highway/Loess Hills Interpretive Center featuring films, a scenic overlook, road demonstration area and trail. Shop the gift area.

4:30 – 7:00 pm Council Bluffs has many dining options. A locallyowned favorite is Tish’s with private rooms for groups.

day two 10 – 11:30 am Tour the Pottawattamie County Courthouse where Grant Wood corn murals from the Chieftain Hotel have been restored to their former glory. The murals have been placed in the courthouse and were designed to make viewers feel as if they were in an Iowa field with tall stalks of corn, rolling hills & barns dotting the horizon. 11:30 – 1:00 pm Marvel at this lavish 14-room Victorian mansion, the Historic General Dodge House, built in 1869. It’s one

of Iowa’s premier historic homes and is a National Historic Landmark. General Grenville M. Dodge, a Civil War veteran, dubbed “the greatest railroad builder of all time,” built the home. The mansion is historically authentic with a majority of the Dodge family’s original furnishings. Afterwards enjoy lunch in the ballroom, where many prominent historic figures were entertained. 1 – 2:30 pm Spend the afternoon at the Prairie Crossing Vineyards & Winery. The vineyard and winery offer a gift shop, spectacular views, and indoor and outdoor seating. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or Council Bluffs CVB, 800-228-6878 x109.

directory accommodations AmericInn of Ames. . . . . . . . . . 515-233-1005 2507 SE 16th Street - Ames, IA 50010

AmericInn of Spencer . . . . . . . 712-262-7525 1005 13th Street SW - Spencer, IA 51301

Country Inn & Suites . . . . . . . . 515-233-3935 2605 SE 16th Street - Ames, IA 50010

Country Inn & Suites

. . . . . . . . 319-545-8464 2571 Heartland Place - Coralville, IA 52241

Country Inn & Suites

. . . . . . . . 641-236-9600 1710 West Street South - Grinnell, IA 50112

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Council Bluffs CVB. . 800-228-6878 ext 130 149 W. Broadway – Council Bluffs, IA 51503 Allow the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau to make planning your next group tour a little easier! Designing itineraries, suggesting dining options, organizing entertainment, and coordinating lodging are just a few of the services offered through the CVB. w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m



tour kansas outdoors… Dillon Nature Center | HUTCHINSON Surround your groups with the beauty of the great outdoors on this 100-acre “wild arboretum” designated as a National Urban Wildlife Sanctuary. Discover more than 300 species of woody plants, hundreds of varieties of wildflowers and native grasses, 200 species of birds, and a large variety of other wildlife along three miles of National Recreation trails. Beautiful flower gardens and outdoor sculptures surround the Visitor Center. Gift shop onsite.

Arboretum and Botanical Garden | OVERLAND PARK This 100-year-old 300-acre park features woodlands, prairies and gardens. Of special interest is the Erickson Water Garden with four waterfalls, the Marder Woodland Garden, the Monet Garden—with a subtle blending of soft colors and shapes typical in the original Monet gardens—the Prairie Medicine Garden, an old English-type maze with shrubs, and a bog area with over 100 natural plantings designed to attract birds and butterflies.

spotlight kansas

Tulip Time in Topeka at Ted Ensley Botanical Gardens | TOPEKA


Prairie Lavender Farm


stablished in 2002, Prairie Lavender Farm resides on the cusp of the tallgrass and shortgrass prairies of north-central Kansas, just 20 miles outside of Salina. Groups will love the inviting aroma of over 3,000 plants and 12 varieties of lavender. A member of the mint family, lavender offers an array of benefits from its pleasant fragrance to its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. During World War I it was nicknamed “first aid in a bottle” and was used to treat soldiers’ wounds. Purchase various products made with this “wonder plant” including lotions, soaps, body scrubs, lavender wreaths and even lavender honey! All plants on the farm are grown naturally—no pesticides, herbicides or growth chemicals—and receive only what nature provides. Pay the farm a visit in June for the annual Lavender Harvest Festival and tour their farming/processing operation, watch demonstrations, learn to grow your own lavender, make lavender gifts and so much more!

Kansas: As Big As You Think

The city of Topeka plants hundreds of thousands of tulips and daffodils each year, making the city a brighter place with flowers planted everywhere. Gaze in wonder at one of the most beautiful recreational outdoor areas in northeast Kansas. View more than 50,000 tulips and daffodils at the Ted Ensley Botanical Gardens, located on the west side of beautiful Lake Shawnee. Spanning 20 acres, your group will enjoy a Meditation Garden, Rock, Water, and Rose Gardens, Waterfalls and Fountains. Beyond the entrance your group will walk through a beautiful 60-foot covered bridge over a rocky stream. And that’s just the beginning!

Botanica, Wichita Gardens | WICHITA Step into an island of beauty and serenity where plants comprise over 17 acres of stunning gardenscaping, both new to Kansas and native to the prairie, presenting an ever-changing palette of color. Enjoy 26 themed gardens, such as the Shakespearean Garden, Wildflower Garden, Aquatic Collection, award-winning Sensory Garden and the Woodland Bird Garden. The landscape is decorated with a collection of 20 elegant sculptures, flowing streams, fountains and waterfalls. Visit Botanica’s Butterfly House (June-September) and stroll among hundreds of free-flight butterflies. With ever-changing scenery and special events, they invite your groups to visit Botanica, The Wichita Gardens and take advantage of all they have to offer!

As Big As You Think

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Discover Kansas If your groups are looking for new and exciting vacation adventures, then Kansas is the place you want to be! History buffs can explore the state’s legendary cowboy towns or visit Kansas’ countless museums. Outdoor lovers will be ecstatic to know Kansas is still home on the range to the American bison. And for nature lovers, Kansas is home to the largest remaining stand of tallgrass prairie in North America, providing a glimpse of what the continent looked like 200 years ago! Read on to discover all Kansas has to offer for your group tours of any type!

Cloud County Convention and Tourism

Emporia Convention and Visitors Bureau

Come visit the world’s longest sculpted brick mural in Concordia, Kansas! Our step-on guides will challenge you to a fun game of “I Spy” on this amazing mural, carved out of 6,400 extra large bricks. Learn why over 250,000 orphaned or abandoned children were sent out from New York to new homes across the U.S. at the National Orphan Train Museum. Imagine yourself performing in the theatre known as the “Exquisite Gem of the Prairie,” the Brown Grand Theatre. Discover amazing art and history in the halls and gardens of the Nazareth Convent. A former WWII POW Camp, one of the largest collections of old toys, and other fun quirky spots can be found at Concordia. We offer free itinerary set-up, step-on guide service, welcome bags and a special treat at the end of the day.

As official Founding City of Veterans Day, Emporia is also home to a beautiful zoo, botanically lush with floral displays spring through fall. Your step-on guide takes you around town telling of our history, ghost stories, military and political tidbits. Learn about one of Kansas’ most famous people with a guided tour of the state historic site; the William Allen White House. End with a visit to the Granada District and enjoy tours and refreshments. Free itinerary set-up and visitor packets. We’re right on your way and conveniently located on Interstate 35.

785-243-4303 /

800-279-3730 /

Liberal Convention and Visitors Bureau Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Dorothy’s official hometown of Liberal, Kansas where you will find

wide-open spaces, spectacular sunsets, history, culture and a wide variety of activities and attractions. With Dorothy’s House and the Land of Oz, Mid-America Air Museum, Baker Arts Center, Coronado Museum and two restored train depots, over 800 motel rooms, more than 35 restaurants and all the services travelers need, Liberal offers something for everyone on your tour. 1-800-LIBERAL /

Merriam Visitors Bureau Merriam, Kansas…next door neighbors to Kansas City! Just minutes from all major metro favorites including casinos, museums, attractions, restaurants and shopping, Merriam offers full or half-day itineraries for groups of all ages. We invite you to visit the world-famous K.C. Strings Violin Shop, an inspiring place where string instruments are crafted, sold and played in symphonies across the


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As Big As You Think Continued from Page 15: Discover Kansas

globe. Go back in time to learn about soda jerks while you sip a hand-made strawberry soda from the Georgetown Pharmacy’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop. Uncover your inner rock star as your group takes the stage for a karaoke jam at GuitarLamp. View the creation and sample the sweetness of swirled dessert bread at Strawberry Hill Povitica (as seen on QVC). In Merriam, we have a tour for all seasons and senses. Contact the Merriam Visitors Bureau today to begin your group’s getaway in KC. Ask about our group hotel discounts and motor coach incentive program. 866-707-6534 /

Rolling Hills Zoo Located in the heart of Kansas, Rolling Hills Zoo awes and inspires visitors with more than 300 animals representing over 105 different species exhibited in a park on 100 acres of Kansas prairie. One of the world’s premier collections of full mount animals, our Wildlife Museum proudly displays over 400 animals in full immersion naturalistic dioramas! Tour groups will find plenty of free, secure parking with drop offs proximal to admission gates. Both escort and driver receive free admission. An on-site restaurant has meals available throughout the day. “Meet and Greet” service is offered with options for narrated tram tours and plenty of rest rooms. Groups



will delight at the treasures and souvenirs available in our two gift shops. Rolling Hills offers personal assistance with your itinerary planning. Rolling Hills Zoo is open year round, seven days a week. We look forward to seeing you in 2013 and future years! 785-827-9488 /

Topeka Convention and Visitors Bureau Topeka offers a wide variety of group-friendly activities for all seasons, indoors and out. View beautiful architecture and hundreds of tulips embedded along the streets of downtown or take in some Kansas history at the State Capitol. Experience Topeka in its original state at historic Old Prairie Town and enjoy tulips, lush gardens and an old-fashioned cream soda. Tour and lunch at the beautifully restored Great Overland Station and see a presentation by Tulip Time -Topeka the conductor and Harvey girls. Looking to satisfy your taste buds? Sample imported cheeses and sip fine wine at a Topeka winery, or visit Hazel Hill Chocolate and take part in a chocolate-making demonstration while learning the history of Hazel Hill and sampling goodies. Topeka is a beautiful city full of history, beauty and culture. Schedule your visit today!

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directory attractions Rolling Hills Zoo Salina . . . . . 785-827-9488

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Cloud County Convention & Tourism Concordia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 785-243-4303

Emporia Convention & Visitors Bureau Emporia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-279-3730

Liberal CVB Liberal . . . . . . . . . . . 800-LIBERAL Merriam Visitors Bureau Merriam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 866-707-6534

Topeka CVB Topeka . . . . . . . . . 800-235-1030

800-235-1030 /


tour michigan gardens… Castle Farms | CHARLEVOIX The gardens of Castle Farms grow more spectacular every year. Stroll these sweeping gardens, or simply take in the breathtaking views found around every corner of the castle grounds. Castle Farms is the perfect setting where old world charm meets new world fun. Your group will be escorted by experienced tour guides through the numerous gardens, formal and informal, all stunning works of natural beauty. Groups will love to play a leisurely game of giant chess and feed the ducks and rainbow trout found in the Reflection Pond. Tours of the castle are available as well. Tulip Time Festival | HOLLAND Celebrate Holland’s proud Dutch heritage with one of the nation’s favorite festivals—Tulip Time! Held the first Saturday in May, the festival boasts over six million tulips, Dutch attractions and dozens of events. You are invited to taste such treats as: Saucijzenbroodjes (pigs in a blanket), Erwtensoep (pea soup), and Speculaasjes (spiced cookies). A Dutch-costumed step-on guide will escort your group along six miles of Tulip Lanes. Motorcoach parking is available.

Large groups are welcome to tour MooseWood Nature Center for a variety of programs. Often they can modify their hours to accommodate your group’s schedule. One option: ‘Virtual Bog Walk’ Hundreds of people have enjoyed the outdoor experience of taking a “bog walk” tour, but because not every participant gets to see every frog, mammal, bird, flower and season in the bog, a stroll through this imaginary bog is perfect. If you’ve taken an actual bog tour, you’ll enjoy these close up views and beautiful scenes as reminders of your real bog experience. If you’ve never taken a bog walk, get ready to enjoy a fascinating new habitat through the beautiful photographs of Scot Stewart.

Upper Peninsula Horseshoe Falls Trout Pond & Gardens | MUNISING There is so much to see here at Horseshoe Falls. Enjoy beautiful gardens, trout pond, gift shop, picnic area, and more! Feeding the large rainbow trout and the ducks is a must. The gardens are full of wildflowers and whimsical Laafs (pronounced laughs). These are amusing figures that have awakened from their winter slumber to once again romp & frolic throughout the gardens. For those who love the flowers, try the wildflower hunt for some great photo opportunities.

spotlight michigan

MooseWood Nature Center | MARQUETTE


Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


his beautiful year-round botanic garden and sculpture park features indoor and outdoor gardens, nature trails and boardwalks, more than 100 magnificent sculptures by renowned artists, special exhibitions and more! Guided and self-guided tours are available with knowledgeable docents, covering the 132-acre grounds, featuring Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory, housing more than 200 exotic plant species, waterfalls and streams with barrier-free pathways. Stroll the arid and Victorian gardens with bronze sculptures by Degas and Rodin, the carnivorous plant house and so much more. Plan your day to include lunch at the Taste of the Gardens Café, with its dazzling ceiling sculpture comprised of dozens of individual blown-glass pieces, spanning the ceiling in a spectrum of colors. Plan at least 2 to 3 hours with your group in order to enjoy your tour with time enough to spend in the Meijer Gardens Gift Shop.

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Pure Michigan

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A Sample of Charlevoix, Grayling, Grand Rapids & Webberville This sample itinerary is best Spring through Fall, but can be customized for any time of year.

day one 1 – 3:00 pm Begin your day in Charlevoix, MI with a tour of Castle Farms. This nationally-acclaimed French Renaissance Castle offers old world charm and modern day amenities. Majestic stonework is shown throughout the towers & courtyards, completely restored beyond its original splendor. Groups love the expansive gardens, hedge maze and garden railroad. 3 – 4:30 pm Travel the short distance to Lavender Hill Farms. Rolling hills of lavender are creating a must see destination for tourists. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the fields, join a class in making lavender wands, sample lemonade and lavender shortbread, shop a while in the gift shop, or sit under the big walnut tree to relax. Groups can schedule a tour or consultation on growing lavender or beekeeping. 4:30 – 6:00 pm Travel to Grayling and stay at the Ramada Inn.

day two

Castle Farms - Charlevoix

8 – 8:30 am After breakfast board the coach for Wellington Farm Park. They offer a rare opportunity for your group to visit the Great Depression. 8:30 – 10:30 am A shuttle will transport your group to the historic complex. Explore the Stittsville Church, the Summer Kitchen, John Schram’s Blacksmith Shop, where often on weekends you will find a blacksmith hard at work at the forge. Next stop is Junior Wakeley’s Sawmill where you will get a brief history of the logging era and the part this mill played, and the last stop of your guided tour is the Grist Mill, where, if the miller is in, you may be able to see cornmeal or barley flour being ground. Stop by the well stocked Visitor Center before you leave, offering Amish farm baked pies, jams and jellies, hand made wooden toys and more! 10:30 – 2:00 pm Make your way south to Grand Rapids, MI. Lunch will be along the way. 2 – 5:00 pm Welcome to Grand Rapids and the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, a perfect place to stretch your legs. This 132-acre haven integrates horticulture and sculpture throughout its site, setting it apart from other more traditional botanic gardens. Marvel Continued





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Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park - Grand Rapids

Northfork Outback - Web


at Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; arid and Victorian gardens. 5 – 7:00 pm Enjoy dinner at one of the area’s many Farm to Fork restaurants. Consider Eat local and feel global in this signature restaurant. The chef’s pantry is bursting with locally grown ingredients, some of which are picked just a few feet away at the JW Chef’s Garden. 7:00 pm Relax and spend a comfortable night at the Sleep Inn & Suites.

day three 7:00 am Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and depart.

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8 – 9:30 Your group can travel to Webberville to Northfork Outback Horse & Adventure Camps. While this is more geared toward kids, the 1800’s Wild West Adventure can offer something fun for your group as well. Everyone feels better after visiting with a horse. For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or these advertisers: Castle Farms in Charlevoix, 231-237-0884 Wellington Farm Park in Grayling, 989-348-5187 Experience Grand Rapids CVB, 800-678-9859 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, 888-957-1580 Northfork Outback Horse & Adventure Camps in Webberville, 517-881-9142



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EXPERIENCE Grand Rapids Highlights


rand Rapids is better when it’s shared! We make it easy for your motorcoach group to share a memorable travel experience - with lots of great tour ideas and group-friendly services.



Grand Rapids Public Museum Downtown on the riverfront, this state-ofthe-art entertainment/education center features interactive history and natural science exhibitions. Heritage Hill Historic District This nationally recognized historic district embraces over 60 architectural styles, from early Victorian gingerbread to the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Gerald R. Ford Museum Following a $5 million renovation, the nation’s most entertaining presidential museum puts you in the middle of history. Attend a White House State Dinner, see a Smithsonian-caliber temporary exhibit and eavesdrop on an eventful day in the Oval Office.

Pictured Rocks

Mining, Munising Falls and the World-Famous Pictured Rocks! This sample itinerary is best during Spring & Summer months, but can be customized for any time of year.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery This family-owned and operated fruit farm market offers a cider mill and bakery with delicious homemade baked goods. Its 118year-old gift barn features fine collectibles. For more information, contact Mary Manier, CTP/CTIS,, 616-233-3554, 800-678-9859 ext. 3554.

day one 3 – 4:00 pm Arrive in Marquette Country to a welcoming reception and check in at your hotel. 4 – 7:00 pm Travel to the Landmark Inn in downtown Marquette and enjoy dinner at their Skyroom Restaurant on the top floor, overlooking beautiful Lake Superior and downtown Marquette.

day two 8 – 9:00 am After breakfast, meet Fred Huffman from Marquette Country Tours in the hotel lobby. 9 – 11:00 am Begin the Iron Mining Heritage Tour, featuring Marquette’s Home & Harbor District, Presque Isle Park and over 7 miles of scenic Lake Superior shoreline. 11 – 12:30 pm Lunch is at Hudson’s Classic Grill & Bar in downtown Marquette; enjoy this classic restaurant that takes a step back in time. 12:30 – 2:00 pm Tour the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee Township. Michigan’s iron built the rails westward and the skyscrapers upward. Find out what it was like to work underground and follow the trail to the site of the Carp River Forge. 2 – 3:30 pm Return to downtown Marquette for shopping and sightseeing on your own. 3:30 – 4:30 pm Meet at Donckers Candy & Gifts for a Dutch treat sundae or ice cream cone and return to hotel. 6 – 7:30 pm Travel to the Casa Calabria Italian Restaurant in the Village for an evening of great dining in a festive Italian atmosphere.

day three 7:30 – 9:30 am Have breakfast and meet Fred Huffman in downtown Continued





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Munising for the days boat tour. 9:30 – 12:30 pm Board the boat for the Pictured Rocks Boat Tour on Lake Superior. The crew loves to bring groups out on the crystal clear blue-green waters of Lake Superior. Explore the splendor of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with their knowledgeable staff. 12:30 – 1:15 pm Visit the gift shop following the cruise for that must-have item to take home. 1:15 – 2:15 pm Lunch will be at the Dogpatch Restaurant in downtown Munising for their buffet. 2:15 – 3:30 pm Travel to Munising Falls and view the actual falls and on-site Interpretive Center. Walk the paved quarter-mile trail to the base of the falls. Two sets of stairs lead to platforms to view the 50-foot waterfall as it drops over a sandstone cliff. Watch for ferns, wildflowers, and an occasional mink. 3:30 – 4:30 pm Return to your Marquette area lodging facility.

directory accommodations AmericInn of Menominee . 906-863-8699 2330 10th Street - Menominee, MI 49858 Imagine after a day of tours relaxing on a bench looking out at the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan’s Green Bay. We offer lake view rooms, indoor pool, hot tub, free hot home-style breakfast, & WiFi, all perfectly located within the Lower U.P.!

attractions Castle Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231-237-0884 5052 M66 North - Charlevoix, MI 49720 One of Northern Michigan’s premier historic attractions and open year-round for group tours. View soaring towers, majestic stone walls, charming courtyards and magnificent gardens. Collections on display include royalty memorabilia, antique toys and castles, plus a model garden railroad on 2,000 feet of track.

Say good-bye to Fred Huffman from Marquette Country Tours or talk him into joining you for dinner later at Elizabeth’s Chop House in downtown Marquette. The food is always wonderful! For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or the Marquette Country CVB at 1-800-544-4321 or

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. . . . . . . . . . 616-890-5367

Munising Falls

1000 E Beltline Avenue NE - Grand Rapids, MI 49525 As one of the world’s most significant botanic and sculpture experiences, the park serves more than 550,000 visitors annually. It was recently ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper.

Northfork Outback . . . . . . . . 517-881-9142 3637 Morrice Road - Webberville, MI 48892 Experience the 1800s Wild West! Your group will enjoy all that Northfork has to offer, including a Lewis and Clark exhibit, blacksmith crafts, panning for gold and so much more. A chuck wagon, large bonfire pit, souvenir shop, and covered picnic area are available.

Wellington Farm Park

. . . . 989-348-5187 6944 South Military Road - Grayling, MI 49738 Wellington Farm, USA is a 60-acre open-air interpretive museum designed to provide an educational opportunity for visitors to experience life as it was in rural mid-America during The Great Depression. Through a series of displays, a wide variety of exhibits, and beautiful natural settings, the park provides a variety of educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities for visitors to Northern Michigan.

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Experience Grand Rapids . 800-678-9859 171 Monroe Avenue NW - Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Grand Rapids makes it easy for your motorcoach group to share a memorable travel experience. The city offers a variety of arts and culture, fantastic restaurants, plenty of outdoor recreation, shopping and lodging.

Marquette Country CVB

. . 800-544-4321 337 W Washington Street - Marquette, MI 49855 We’re here to help you plan a trip for the memory books. We offer customized itinerary planning, step-on guides, reservation assistance, digital images, familiarization tours and more—all at no charge!

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tour minnesota gardens… Jay C. Hormel Nature Center | AUSTIN Newly renovated, the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center is an excellent spot to stretch your legs. These upgrades include improvements to the Ruby Rupner Auditorium, and prairie restoration. Seasonal offerings include maple syruping, apple cidering, and Monarch Butterfly tagging. The Visitor Center houses live and mounted animals, nature games, plus a nature library. While you are hiking the trails through the 507-acre Nature Center, don’t be surprised if you spot deer, salamanders, birds, mink, or raccoons. Truly a perfect place to spend the day.

Glensheen - The Historic Congdon Estate’s Formal Gardens | DULUTH

spotlight minnesota

Glensheen, this historic estate on the shores of Lake Superior, offers a slice of turn-of-the-last-century opulence. In addition to the spectacular home, your group can explore its seven-acres of formal gardens and working vegetable gardens, the tennis court and bowling green. “Stunning” most often, describes Glensheen’s Juliet Balcony, overlooking Lake Superior, the beautiful formal garden, and the hand-carved marble fountain. Be sure to visit Glensheen’s Museum Shop for that special souvenir.

Jo Ryo En Japanese Garden at Carleton College ST. CLOUD

Munsinger / Clemens Gardens


mmerse yourself in a truly unique botanical experience. Awaken your senses. Delight in the natural beauty. Located along the Mississippi River, visitors to Munsinger and Clemens Gardens are invited to stroll the winding paths and brick pathways as they experience this dazzling St. Cloud treasure. Munsinger’s informal garden of 14 acres has winding flower-bordered paths under tall pines. The grass flows between the organic shapes of island beds much like the river beside it. The Clemens Gardens, provide 7 acres of considerable contrast. A collection of six gardens characterized by a formal style, they are situated on the sunny hill above Munsinger. Stroll the Virginia Clemens Rose Garden, the Rest Area Garden, the Formal Garden, the White Garden, the Perennial Garden, and the Treillage Garden. All are enhanced with decorative ironwork and fountains. Stop at the Garden Gift Shop for a memento.

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NORTHFIELD The Garden of Quiet Listening named one of the 10 best Japanese gardens outside Japan. This remarkable garden is a “kare-sansui” or dry landscape garden, where water is only suggested by rocks and gravel. Plants are mostly evergreen with flowering shrubs. Features include stone lanterns, a water basin with bamboo drip and a viewing pavilion. The Japanese garden is a place to go to. It ideally involves an intentional, unhurried journey. The pathway, the rustic shelter and the benches await one’s presence.

Como Park Marjorie McNeeley Conservatory | SAINT PAUL Visit this stunning 1915 Victorian double-domed glass greenhouse. The conservatory includes the central Palm Dome, The North Wing (plants with a connection to humans), the Fern Room, the Gallery Garden (works of art, flowers, and plants together), the Sunken Garden or South Wing (an ever-changing display of flowers) and a Bonsai Display Room (the Midwest’s largest collection). Outdoor gardens include the McKnight Formal Garden, the Enchanted Garden (a butterfly garden) and the Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden with a Tea House landscaped in the Sansui mountain-and-water style featuring a pond and waterfall.

Explore Minnesota

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Group Hospitality at the MINNESOTA STATE FAIR


aint Paul’s historic Landmark Center began in 1892 and was completed in 1902. It originally served as the Federal Court House and Post Office for the upper midwest. Tours range from a broad presentation of the building’s history and its beautifully restored courtrooms and Cortile, to tours tailored to the specific needs of the group.



he Minnesota State Fair’s mission is to educate and involve guests by providing a world-class showcase that is innovative, entertaining and fun for your group.


Travel together! Groups arriving at the fair by bus may use the University of Minnesota Transitway to avoid traffic. Plus, your bus parking is free! Play together! Their hospitality staff has a variety of resources to make your day at the fair even more fun! They can help you organize a fairgrounds scavenger hunt or a trivia contest, provide self-guided tour maps for the fair’s beautiful gardens and tree sculptures or help you plan your activities with a sample itinerary. They also provide daily entertainment and activity schedules so you won’t miss a thing! Most exhibit buildings are open

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Landmark CENTER

from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For early arrivals, there is plenty of activity in the Livestock area as animals are groomed and readied for judging. In fact, if your group likes animals and children, here’s a great idea for you! Join in together! Free admission and a free t-shirt are available to everyone in your group if they lend a hand to the children at “Little Farm Hands!” Groups of 15-25 volunteers are needed in four-hour shifts to guide the kids through this hands-on exhibit that teaches the agricultural process from farm to market. “Day of Volunteers” sponsorship opportunities are also available with additional benefits. Groups can also eat, shop and save together with additional options available. Just contact 651-632-2689 or email for all the details.

Guided Tours offered: hot STOP • Summer Walking Tours • Interactive History Tours • Education, Schools and Specialty • Scheduled Group Tours • Gangster Tours General Group Tours typically begin at the Landmarket Gift Shop and focus on the building’s history, architecture, restoration, preservation, and famous and infamous personages. Groups enjoy the Gangster Tour, enhanced by costumed guides who adopt the personae of the infamous gangsters who resided in Saint Paul during the 1930s and whose path took them (perhaps unwillingly) into the Federal Court House (now Landmark Center). Landmark Center also houses Anita’s Cafe, Landmarket Gift Shop, gallery spaces, and a number of Saint Paul’s premier arts and culture organizations. Please arrange tours two weeks in advance. Call Diane Lewis at 651-292-3230 for more information.



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The 43rd Annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival WELCOMES YOUR GROUPS! pon entering the gates it is hard to escape the smell of tasty delicacies, with more than 100 food booths throughout the village. In addition to traditional Renaissance festivities, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival elaborated on the events that occur at most renaissance festivals to include themed weekends focusing on different aspects of the Renaissance era. These weekends have changed over the years to bring new and fresh events to the festival. The weekends for the 2013 Minnesota Renaissance Festival are still in the planning stages, but here are some things to look forward to:




Live Mermaid – Appearing daily at the festival A wonder among wonders, few have ever seen the elusive mermaid in her home below the sea. Captain Jonas Fairweather will recount his tales of finding the beautiful Mermaid Ambrosia while patrons marvel at her shimmering hair and scaly tail during daily appearances at the Renaissance Festival in the Mermaid Cove. If you’re lucky, she may even share a piece of her magic with you. Ladies Shopping Day – Friday, September 27th Bring your group and join us for a day of shopping and wine! The discount ticket includes admission, free glass of wine, gift bag, and the opportunity to receive discounts from select artisans all day! The social hour will be from 6-7pm at the Waterwheel Pub with raffle prizes from artisans, and you can compare your great shopping finds with the other shoppers. Groups are welcome and the bus parking is the best! The 43rd Annual Minnesota Renaissance Festival runs weekends and Labor Day. For more information, visit or call 952-445-7361 to book your group!




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Get Fresh in Eagan! This itinerary is best Wednesdays; June through September, but can be customized for any time of the year.

day one 10:00 am Arrive in Eagan to a warm group welcome! Put on your comfy shoes and spend some time at Caponi Art Park. This is an outdoor sculpture garden designed within the natural setting – literally, a union of art and nature! 10 – 12:00 pm While on a tour, you will discover sculptures of earth, stone, and metal as a guide leads your group through the winding trails system. You will learn the history of Caponi Art Park and its sculptures. Tours showcase manmade creations harmonizing with the beauty of nature, and highlight the Minnesota landscape that provides the backdrop for this one-of-a-kind museum. 12 – 1:00 pm Enjoy lunch at one of Eagan’s delicious lunch spots. 1 – 1:30 pm Ride to Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis for a unique tour. 1:30 – 3:30 pm Go behind the scenes at Bachman’s flagship store,

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located on the original site of the Bachman family farm. This Floral, Home and Garden Center has over 200,000 square feet of retail space and features a dramatic gift and home décor shop, exquisite fresh flowers, a wonderful array of green and blooming plants, trees and shrubs, lawn and garden products, equaling more than you can imagine! See their call center, the design areas where talented floral and plant designers create bouquets, the expansive floral coolers, order center, greenhouses, and the gift and home décor areas. All tour-goers receive a discount coupon good for purchases made that day. 3:30 – 6:00 pm Return to Eagan and visit the Eagan Market Fest, voted Minnesota’s #1 Farmer’s Market (held Wednesdays)! Explore fresh produce, created food products and demos, plus fine arts and live music. A great experience in healthy living. 6 – 9:00 pm Return to your Eagan hotel for a break, and then gather for dinner at one of Eagan’s premiere dining spots, Jensen’s Supper Club. Enjoy dining in the style and superior quality of the Supper Clubs of days gone by. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary, please contact your tour operator or Denise Olsen at the Eagan CVB, 651-675-5542 or

Caponi Art Park

Voice of Culture -Caponi Art Park © PHOTO COURTESY OF RON SCHEMPP

The Eagan Convention & Visitors Bureau prides itself on providing personal services, which include greetings, goodies and greenbacks. Too good to be true? Think again! When you book your next overnight group tour, you’ll receive a FREE welcome reception along with FREE gift bags which include FREE Mall of America® coupon books for your entire group.



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Industry and Beauty in the North Woods



This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of the year.

day one 4:00 pm Warroad, MN is the only American Port on beautiful Lake of the Woods, home to trophy fishing, excellent hunting, and great outdoor activities. Warroad’s Point Park marks the beginning of the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail. Check into your hotel, or one of the many resorts in the area that would really give your group the up-north experience. Dine at a local diner or supper club. There are many wonderful choices for groups.

day two 8 – 9:00 am Enjoy breakfast with a view. No matter the season, it’s always sure to please. 9 – 10:30 am Tour HEATMOR™. Their mission is to honestly manufacture a quality product at a fair price. See how they make the best outdoor furnaces in the industry. Tours available Monday through Friday. Just call ahead for an appointment. 10:30 – 12:00 pm Experience the rich history of Marvin Windows and Doors at the Wm. S. Marvin Training and Visitor Center, the world’s largest manufacturer of made-to-order wood windows and doors. Their museum and gift shop are open to the public with free admission. The exhibits include a combination of artifacts and interactive presentations that will wow visitors of all ages. 12 – 1:00 pm Grab some famous walleye cheeks (or a burger) for lunch at one of the local hot spots. 1 – 2:00 pm Here is a little reminder of days gone by: Visit The Shed, a Classic and Muscle Car Collection displayed in a 24,000 square foot building, with approximately 70 cars available for your viewing enjoyment. Hours vary, so please call ahead to

make arrangements. 2 – 3:30 pm Visit the Warroad Heritage Center & Museum and enjoy a variety of historic items that have shaped this area. View Indian artifacts from the Warroad area, the local commercial fishing industry, the Northwest Angle, early pioneers, Christian Brothers Hockey Stick factory, and sports. Plus, works by area writers, genealogies, old photographs, and much more. 3:30 pm Spend the rest of your time exploring the beautiful north woods of Minnesota, taking in the fresh air in this relaxing setting. For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or the Warroad CVB 800-328-4455 or visit


he 15th Annual Nature Valley Bicycle Festival will take place June 6-16, 2013. The festival will include the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic June 6-8 at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine and the Nature Valley Grand Prix pro stage bike race June 12-16 in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis and Stillwater, MN and Menomonie, WI.

Marvin Windows

Warroad Heritage Center

NATURE VALLEY BICYCLE FESTIVAL Features Top Pro Bike Race in 2013

& Museum

About Nature Valley Bicycle Festival Now in its 15th year, the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival is an eleven-day celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The Nature Valley Grand Prix has become the most prestigious event on the USA Cycling Racing calendar, attracting top American racing teams and nearly 300 top riders from around the world. Races are free and open to the public. It is the only professional sporting event Minnesota for which no admission ticket is required. Proceeds from the Nature Valley Grand Prix are donated to Children’s Lighthouse of Minnesota, a pediatric hospice project. For a detailed schedule of events visit




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What Women Want Weekend Retreat This itinerary is best Spring through Fall, but can be customized for anytime of the year. Caribou Highlands Lodge

Sometimes, you just need to get away with a group of close friends!

day one 3 – 4:00 pm Check in to Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, offering luxury with the conveniences of home— comfortable and cozy. A perfect place to relax. 4 – 5:00 pm Treat yourself to a full one-hour therapeutic

massage using LaStone Therapy. Stretch out on hot rocks while the therapist massages you with warm stones. 5 – 6:30 pm Relax in the lounge or enjoy one of the many amenities, each tailored to match the seasons. 6:30 – 8:00 pm Dine at Moguls Grille & Tap Room. The mountain view is always magnificent, and the food and drinks are always the best in the area. 8:00 pm Meet up in the lodge for a gourmet cup of coffee or step outside to view the night stars before turning in for the night.

day two 7:30 – 8:30 am Gather your friends for breakfast and prepare for the day. 8:30 – 11:30 am Spend the morning hiking and sightseeing. This is a favorite activity for guests of the North Shore. From a short walk to see river cascades to a hike down Moose Mountain to combing cobblestone

beaches, Minnesota’s North Shore has hundreds of miles of trails to explore. 11:30 – 12:00 pm Head over to Eagle Ridge Resort in Lutsen for a spectacular ride on the Mountain Tram. You won’t find a better vantage point from which to view the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior’s dramatic coastline. This aerial tramway is one of the North Shore’s most popular attractions, taking you on a scenic ride to the top of Moose Mountain, rising 1,000 feet over Lake Superior. 12 – 1:30 pm Have lunch at the Summit Chalet at Lutsen Mountain. A beautiful mountaintop chalet welcoming guests for gorgeous views, lunch and relaxation. 1:30 – 4:30 pm With numerous area gift shops overflowing with unique goods, you will have no problem spending your afternoon browsing. 4:30 pm Return to your lodging facility for dinner and an evening of relaxation, good company and clear views of the northern sky.

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary, please contact your tour operator or Melissa Dressely with Lutsen Mountain – North Shore Mountain Tramway at 218-406-1319 or

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LOCATION All the convenience. All the amenities. All the appeal.

Granite Country US A St. Cloud, Minnesota

If you are looking for something a little different, you’ll find it in Granite Country! Located between Minneapolis/Saint Paul and Moorhead/Fargo, it’s convenient and an interesting place to start your “hub-n-spoke” touring adventure. Our experienced industry professionals will assist you in planning your trip. We know the ins & outs, who’s and what’s, and we’ll make sure your visit is an exceptional experience!


MILEAGE CHART Des Moines, IA . . . 305 Chicago, IL . . . . . . 470 Milwaukee, WI . . . 397 Omaha, NE . . . . . . 438 Duluth, MN . . . . . . 141 Rochester, MN . . . 148 Mankato, MN . . . . 115

St. Cloud

Site of the 2013 Itineraries Midwest Group Travel Show & FAM.

Exit 164

Grasshopper Chapel

The tour is wonderful and the brews (such as “Bitter Neighbor”) aren’t bad either.

lanning your next great motorcoach trip can be as easy as a repeat of the same trip you have done in the past. But if you have a coach traveling between Minneapolis and Fargo why not change that thought and take Exit 164? Now is the time to check it out.


Upon your exit off of I-94 your first stop is to the east…you can’t miss the building. It’s like no other shopping adventure along I-94. If you are looking for a special gift or just want to treat yourself, there are two floors of home décor, extensive cooking accessories, food, toys, liquor, and seasonal items that will tempt you to want to redecorate your home! It truly is a grand place…no better name either: The Grande Depot. Off the beaten path is a small church, which bears a legend to tell that’s over 157 years old. This tiny church was first made of wood, but later reconstructed of granite. It’s nestled high on a hill surrounded by trees. Oh yes,

This is just the beginning of a great relationship when you take Exit 164. The people who will plan your tour have several years of knowledge and customer service. Are you wondering where Exit 164 is?

the legend. Well it’s about grasshoppers, and the chapel is affectionately called the Grasshopper Chapel. Since we’re so close and it is the afternoon, you need to check out another business. It’s not quite as old as the chapel, but a close second at 139 years old. Learn the long history of this business that survived prohibition and the big box breweries. In 2012 Cold Spring Brewing Company was reborn as Third Street Brewhouse. This is a craft brewery with state-of-the-art equipment.

Maybe you would like to check out Exit 164? On October 27, 28, & 29th, 2013, there is a FAM planned for those who want to be adventurous and take Exit 164. Don’t be left behind…this is an opportunity to visit a place you have driven by for years…now it’s time to stop! Welcome to Granite Country, USA. Welcome to St. Cloud Minnesota. For more information about the FAM, please contact Jean Robbins at the St. Cloud CVB: 320-251-4170 or

1.800.264.2940 x129 /

2013 Itineraries Midwest Group Travel Show & FAM St. Cloud, MN

October 27–29, 2013 2013 SPONSORS

Café Renaissance 320-253-9300 / Experience the ambiance of a classy café/bar with a European flair.

Country Inn & Suites by Carlson 320-252-8282 / Enjoy a relaxing and memorable stay, just five minutes from downtown.

Coyote Moon Grille 320-257-6500 / This restaurant at Territory Golf Club offers large rooms for banquets & meetings – and great food!

Fuji Sushi & Steakhouse 320-252-3838 / An authentic Japanese Hibachi grill and lounge serving the St. Cloud area.

Millner Heritage Vineyard & Winery 320-398-2081 / Explore nine acres of grapes, growing eight different varieties.

Nick’s Third Floor at D.B. Searle’s 320-253-0655 / Enjoy fine dining in a relaxing atmosphere; serving soup, salads, steak, burgers and more!

Pioneer Place on Fifth 320-203-0331 / See high-quality entertainment in an intimate setting. Relax at The Veranda Lounge before or after a show.

1.800.264.2940 x129 /

Little Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau 800.325.5916 /

2013 Events Calendar Film Series - Lindbergh: The Shocking, Turbulent Life of America’s Lone Eagle • • • • • • • • • • • • May 14 A Virtual Walking Tour of Historic Little Falls • • • • • May 26 Little Falls Dam Festival • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • June 14-16 Living History Day • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • June 23 The WPA & Minnesota Greatest Generation • • • • • • • • July 6 Little Falls Annual Arts & Crafts Fair • • • • • • • • • • • • • Sept 7-8 Always held the weekend after Labor Day, this is one of the largest craft fairs in the upper Midwest. Your group can weave their way among over 500 crafters and 40 food vendors. In conjunction with this event, the Antiques & Collectibles Show, Antique Auto Show, and Farmer’s Market are held the same weekend. Free bus parking!

Camp Ripley Open House • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Sept 15 Linden Hills Christmas Tours • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Nov 29-Dec 8

State Park Walking Trail

Camp Ripley Military Base

Jordie’s Trail Side Cafe

Rosenmeier House

Maple Island Park


Little Falls Itinerary DAY ONE 10 – 11:30 am Begin your day in Little Falls with a visit to the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site and a tour of his boyhood home. Built in 1906, it is furnished with original family décor. The visitor center offers state-of-the-art exhibits and boasts a replica of the cockpit of The Spirit of St. Louis, where your group can re-live the feel of Lindbergh’s historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight in a flight simulator. Groups enjoy this interactive museum, displaying the family's mementos, a vintage theater showing documentaries from the 1920s – 1930s and a gift shop on site. 11:30 – 12:30 pm Have an indoor/outdoor lunch on the grounds of Jordie’s Trail Side Cafe, with a landscaped dining area outdoors and great indoor seating. Enjoy local craft style decorations and daily homemade specials. 12:30 – 2:30 pm Within the city limits is the Pine Grove Zoo, celebrating its 100-Year Anniversary in 2013! Guided tours give participants an up-close glimpse at Siberian tigers and wonderful bear exhibits. Enjoy natural histories of the zoo’s animals as your group is escorted by an educated tour guide.

2:30 – 3:30 pm Step back in time with a tour of the early 1900s

Linden Hill Mansions. These two beautiful homes are fully furnished with vintage artifacts and situated on nine acres on the Mississippi River. (After Thanksgiving, both houses are full of beautiful Christmas decorations!)

3:30 – 4:30 pm From mansions to fishing! The Minnesota Fishing Museum is not “just a collection of old fishing items,” but rather a collection of historical possessions that belonged to individuals from across Minnesota who were (and are) a part of the history of freshwater fishing in our state. The museum holds a priceless collection of fishing-related antiques & memorabilia tracking the heritage of freshwater angling in Minnesota.

4:30 – 6:00 pm Head to dinner at The Fort Steakhouse. Choose and cook your own steak on their open Texas-Style grill and enjoy adult beverages, if you wish. Multiple delicious dinner options! 6:00 pm Check in to your hotel – the AmericInn or Comfort Inn & Suites in Little Falls. Relax and swim in the pool to complete your day.

DAY TWO Enjoy complimentary breakfast at your hotel. 9 – 11:00 am Take a short drive to the Camp Ripley Military

Base and visit the Minnesota Military Museum. This is a 53,000-acre military and civilian training facility where your group will be able to visit the only military museum in the state honoring all branches of service from early frontier days to the present. Tour outdoor and indoor exhibits, including the current featured exhibit on Minnesota’s two Civil Wars and discover how Minnesotans played unique roles in each of our nation’s conflicts on the home front and the battlefield.

11 – 12:00 pm Maple Island Park and Gardens, along the Mississippi River, is a great place for a stroll. It’s beautifully landscaped with flowers, trees and shrubs and footpaths lighted by globe lamps, reminiscent of the streets of Little Falls. Benches and a gazebo overlook the Rushing Dam on the Mississippi river. Tables, shelter and restrooms available. 12 – 1:30 pm Bring your group to the A.T. Black and White Restaurant for lunch. Enjoy great food, fun décor, and vintage wine bar/café atmosphere with murals and neon signs from the 1930s. For more information or to customize an itinerary, contact Kris Vonberge at Little Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800.325.5916 or

Where the Mississippi Pauses

Pine Grove Zoo

The Minnesota Fishing Museum

MN Military Museum

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Explore Beautiful Preston! This itinerary is best Spring through Fall. 9 – 12:00 pm Arrive in beautiful Preston, located along the Root River in scenic Historic Bluff Country, and known as the Trout Capital. Your group can get acquainted and browse around town – do a little shopping or stop and see the Milwaukee Elevator. This original 1902 grain building is also home to a restored 1939 Milwaukee Road boxcar and 1951 caboose. Plus visit the National Trout Center, providing hands-on activities to engage the public in the environment and cold-water fishery resources of the driftless region and the arts and crafts related to trout fishing. 12 – 1:00 pm Have lunch at The Old Barn Resort Restaurant, located in a cozy, rustic barn with lots of memorabilia displayed. Enjoy a casual dining experience where you can enjoy a full menu and specialties including on-site smoked ribs, pork and brisket, homemade breads and more. 1 – 3:00 pm Take the short ride to Historic Forestville – for a “Taste of Life in the Late 1800s.” Go back in time as costumed guides go about their daily business at this 19th century pioneer village. Visit the general store with original 19th century merchandise. Tour the homestead and farm buildings, which feature original artifacts. You can even lend a hand with daily chores of the era like baking bread, tending the

garden, and cutting wood. Walk across the landmark Carnegie Bridge that leads visitors into town. Special programs offered May – October. 3 – 5:00 pm Move your group onto the Mystery Cave Tour. Discovered in 1937, Mystery Cave is the longest cave in Minnesota - spanning over 13 miles underground. It is a network of passages that was dissolved by moving water. You will travel the subterranean paths this water has taken, seeing many of the features that make up Mystery Cave including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, fossils, and beautiful underground pools. Park naturalists lead your tour through various portions of the cave and explain its history, its features, and how it was formed. 5 – 7:00 pm Return to Preston for dinner at the Branding Iron Supper Club. Known for its beautiful view and delicious food, including everything from the salad bar to steaks with numerous choices in between. 7:00 pm Retire for the evening and relax at Country Trails Inn & Suites, hosting Fillmore County’s only indoor pool! For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism at 507-765-2100 or www.

Authentic Albert Lea! This sample itinerary works on Thursdays, June through August, but can be customized for any time of the year. The Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau would be happy to help with your group tour. They can arrange lodging needs, attractions, dinner arrangements, and provide your group with welcome bags. The staff is here for all of your needs. 10 – 11:30 am Begin your day in Albert Lea with a tour of the Freeborn County Historical Museum. An exceptional history complex, it has been recognized as one of the top museums in the state. It houses exhibits of “Rock & Roll” famer Eddie Cochran and “Mrs. C” of Happy Days; Marion Ross. Visit the Village’s church, schoolhouse, plus exhibits on the Civil War, history of the town and much more. 11:30 – 12:30 pm Venture over to The Fountains at New Denmark Park. This beautiful 1.1-acre park is next to Katherine Island. Take in the beauty of the flower gardens and mermaid statue. Garden tours are available. 12:30 – 1:30 pm Indulge in some authentic and delicious Mexican food for lunch at Casa Zamora. 1:30 – 2:30 pm Take a private tour of Daisy Blue Naturals. This is a natural health and beauty product business that started right here in Albert Lea. 3 – 4:30 pm This is your chance to enjoy a fun-filled relaxing afternoon on the Pelican Breeze II. This is a 60-foot pontoon river styled boat with a seating capacity for 55. It features 2 smoke stacks, a paddle wheel, wet bar, tables, and can be enclosed for inclement weather. There are entertainment options available, such as Al Batt, a humorist to amuse you while you float along. 4:30 – 5:30 pm Return to the ‘mainland’ and freshen up at your Albert Lea Hotel before dinner. 5:30 – 7:00 pm Dinner this evening is at Crescendo, located in a building dating back to 1883. It is full of turn of the century charm and features exquisite food, an extensive wine list and live piano music for your group’s enjoyment. 7:00 pm Following dinner, amble over to Edgewater Park on Fountain Lake for a spectacular water show from the Bayside Water Ski Show Team! This water ski show performs every Thursday night June-August at 7 p.m. Sit back and enjoy! For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or the Albert Lea CVB 800-345-8414 or




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Worthington Welcomes You! This itinerary is best in the Spring, Summer and Fall. 1 – 2:00 pm The City Tour will get you excited for your fun-filled day planned in Worthington. 2 – 3:00 pm Historic Dayton House is a genuine showcase of Worthington’s early days. It is listed on the National Dayton House

Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Memorial Auditorium is a classic art deco performance center owned and operated by the City of Worthington. 9:15 pm Make your way back to one of seven of Worthington’s fine lodging facilities after a fun day in the city. Places of lodging include: AmericInn, Comfort Suites, Days Inn, Historic Dayton House, Holiday Inn Express, Sunset Inn Motel, Super 8 Motel and Travelodge. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact the Worthington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-279-2919 or

Register of Historic Places. The house was built in 1890 by George Draper Dayton who later left Worthington to purchase a mercantile business in Minneapolis, which later became Dayton’s Dry Goods Co., or simply Dayton’s. Through thoughtful donations, this legendary home can be preserved for future generations. 3 – 4:00 pm Pioneer Village is a historic collection of 40 buildings telling the story of early Worthington and Nobles County. The village is the scene of many activities and celebrations. Special entertainment can be arranged for you in the town hall, saloon or on the grounds. 4 – 6:00 pm At Spomer Classics Tour/Car Show, view a display of over 300 advertising items of automobiles, implements, oil, gas, etc. See the lost art of porcelain and neon signs and clocks. All are restored in working order. Also on display are peddle cars and 20-30 classic cars. 6 – 7:15 pm Enjoy a wonderful evening meal at BenLee’s Café, in the heart of Downtown Worthington. You will enjoy your meal in a beautiful and comfortable atmosphere with great entertainment. 7:15 – 9:15 pm Catch an evening show at the Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center. Constructed in 1931, the renovated and newly restored building is one of the largest auditorium facilities in a wide region of

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A Time to Remember in Northfield This itinerary works best August through December, but can be customized for other times of year.

The Archer House

9 – 11:00 am Begin your day in Northfield with a step on guide to show you the historical sites of the city. Many of the buildings downtown look as they did when built a century ago. Among them, the Scriver Building is the former site of the First National Bank; The Archer House, one of the state’s oldest river inns, still functions as a hotel; and many more. Hear the historic telling of that fateful day in 1876 when Jesse James and his gang attempted to rob Northfield’s bank.

Jo Ryo En Japanese Garden

Make a return visit the weekend after Labor Day for “The Defeat of Jesse James Days.” 11 – 12:30 pm Make your way over to the Jo Ryo En Japanese Garden at Carleton College. The Garden of Quiet Listening - named one of the 10 best Japanese gardens outside Japan, this remarkable garden is a “kare-sansui” or dry landscape garden, where water is only suggested by rocks and gravel. Features include stone lanterns, a water basin with bamboo drip and a viewing pavilion.

Cannon River Winery

12:30 – 1:30 pm Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Northfield Golf Club, featuring a beautiful panoramic view of the club’s championship golf course. 1:30 – 3:00 pm Fireside Orchard and Gardens welcomes your group (August–December). They are much more than a store to buy apples. A lot of effort goes into the beautiful rose, perennial, and water gardens. Sit in the pavilion and enjoy the sights and smells while you eat your caramel apples and watch them make homemade donuts on a sunny afternoon. Take a moment to “stop and smell the flowers.” 3 – 5:00 pm Continue your outdoor journey to the Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls. Stroll the vineyard, enjoy a wine tasting or choose a glass of your favorite to sip while you relax in the beautiful Winery accented by century-old limestone walls. They also offer a wide array of wine-themed gifts to decorate your home or serve as a memorable gift for a friend. 5 – 6:00 pm Return to Northfield and check in to one of their group friendly hotels. 6 – 9:00 pm Enjoy dinner in town and spend the evening with the Northfield Arts Guild. They present a yearround season of lively musicals, entertaining comedies and heart-warming dramas, featuring both classics and world premieres. 9:00 pm Return to your hotel for the night. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or the Northfield CVB at 800-658-2548 or www.visiting




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A Dream Location for Architecture & History Buffs – and Outdoor Enthusiasts! This sample itinerary is best Summer through Fall, but can be customized for any time of the year. Past and present come together in Owatonna. From the world famous architecture of the Louis Sullivandesigned National Farmers’ Bank in downtown Owatonna to Cabela’s, the second most visited destination in Minnesota, Owatonna is truly a great destination with unique attractions.

day one 10 – 11:00 am Built from 1906-1908, the National Farmers’ Bank is widely recognized as one of the premier pieces of Prairie School Architecture in America. The most famous of all of Louis Sullivan’s banks, it is considered “a jewel box of the prairie,” featuring gold leaf arches, stained glass windows, and nouveau baroque art designs. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and was commemorated on a United States postage stamp in 1981. 11 – 1:30 pm Explore historic buildings, coffee shops, and boutiques in downtown Owatonna and enjoy lunch at one of their many restaurants. For treats of the chocolate sort, stop by Costa’s Candies & Restaurant featuring delicious hand-made/hand-dipped candies. Pick up a copy of the Historic Walking Tour of Owatonna brochure from the Owatonna Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. 1:30 – 2:30 pm After lunch, visit the State School Orphanage Museum to learn the story of Minnesota’s orphans who lived there from 1886-1945. Explore and tour the grounds of the West Hills Campus and visit Cottage 11. 2:30 – 5:00 pm Get out and enjoy one of Southern Minnesota’s diverse municipal golf courses at Brooktree Golf Course. Walk-ons welcome or call ahead for a tee time. (Weather permitting) 5 – 6:00 pm Enjoy dinner at Torey’s Restaurant for fine cuisine, friendly service, and a full-service bar!

(advance reservations required). At the heart of the Gainey Conference Center is the French Norman-style home of the late Daniel C. Gainey, founder of Jostens. Your group can also tour Frank Gehry’s Winton Guest House, which was recently relocated to the Gainey Conference Center. 2 – 3:30 pm Take a little time to shop for all your outdoor gear or home décor at Cabela’s World’s Foremost Outfitters! Tour the store to see the animal dioramas, fresh water aquarium and fudge shoppe! 3:30 – 4:00 pm Enjoy an afternoon treat with Blue Bell Ice Cream at Russell Stover’s Candies and pick up gifts for friends and family. 4:00 pm Shop until you drop at the Medford Outlet Center to get the latest deals from great stores like GAP, Old Navy, Bath & Body Works, Nike Clearance Store and many others.

Lake Kohlmeier Walking Tour

For more itineraries and activities in Owatonna, contact the Tourism Department at 800-423-6466 or go to

Stay overnight at one of Owatonna’s fine properties.

day two 9 – 10:00 am Get a little exercise after breakfast and discover Owatonna’s Parks and Trails for a brisk walk through Kaplan’s Woods or enjoy the sights and sounds of Lake Kohlmeier. 10 – 12:00 pm Visit the Steele County History Center, featuring rotating exhibits, displays, and educational programming. Learn what life was like at the turn of the 20th century in Owatonna at the Village of Yesteryear. The 16-structure site has become a landmark in the county and a historic treasure. 12 – 2:00 pm Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Gainey Conference Center

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All things Hormel! This itinerary can be customized for any time of year.

SPAM® Museum

Hormel Historic Home

Tour planning made easy - The Austin CVB is a full service tour-booking organization. One call is all it takes to book your next unique mystery, day, or overnight trip. Austin is home to many things Hormel. Today your group will get to explore the diversity of what this name means to Austin. 9 – 10:15 am Today’s first stop will be the home of George A. and

Lillian Hormel. This historic home tells the story of the founders of Hormel Foods, Inc. and their son, Jay. Start the day off with a hot cup of coffee and a scrumptious pastry, followed by a guided tour of this elegant 1871 mansion. 10:15 – 11:30 am The Hormel Institute was originally established in 1942, in a corner of the stable, at the family estate. The institute has become one of the nation’s leading

cancer research centers, playing important roles in health and disease. Your group will get a first hand look with a guided tour, arranged by the Austin CVB. 11:30 – 1:00 pm Enjoy lunch at the Pizza Ranch with their famous pizza and chicken buffet. 1 – 2:30 pm A great way to work off lunch is to explore the wonderful Hormel Nature Center. Enjoy wildlife AND an Interpretive Building, enabling visitors to see furs, antlers, bones and LIVING displays. The Naturalist staff offers wildflower hikes, cider pressing, maple syruping, and astronomy. Your group may even learn how to walk and talk like a snipe! 2:30 – 3:30 pm Wrap up your day in Austin with none other than a whimsical tour of the SPAM® Museum! Few experiences in life are as meaningful and meatyfilled as those at the magnificent SPAM® Museum. Referred to by some meat historians as Porkopolis, the SPAM® Museum is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of spiced pork artifacts. You’ll be tickled pink by SPAM® trivia and vintage SPAM® brand advertising, plus numerous displays including a World War II exhibit and more. There’s even a SPAM® store so you can stock up on priceless SPAM® collectibles on your way out. 3:30 pm Time to head out, with a day’s worth of Austin’s Hormel history. For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or the Austin CVB 800-444-5713 or at




Designed by group travelers, is the premier online travel tool that gives you all the information you need to plan upper Midwest group travel stays. Enjoy peace of mind knowing you have the right contact names, numbers, maps, photos and little details that always make a difference. Bookmark today and come back often for new hotels to check out.

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SHOREVIEW | Country Inn & Suites WALKER | Country Inn


Cambria Suites Comfort Inn Airport Country Inn & Suites At Mall of America Country Inn & Suites West Courtyard by Marriott MPLS/Bloomington Crowne Plaza Bloomington Embassy Suites Bloomington Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport Fairfield Inn by Marriott Hampton Inn Bloomington Hampton Inn & Suites Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis/Bloomington Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington Hotel Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Holiday Inn Bloomington Airport I-35 Holiday Inn Express Minneapolis Airport/Mall Area Holiday Inn & Suites Minneapolis Airport Homewood Suites by Hilton

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If you are a group-friendly hotel and want information to participate in, call the Itineraries Inc. office at 1-877-832-7267.

Explore Minnesota

John Michael Montgomery

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Welcome to the Fair! he Martin County Fair in Fairmont is a wonderful place for groups to enjoy all of the events and activities that people have grown to love about the fair. As Minnesota’s “Other Big Fair” the Martin County Fair features the largest number of any attractions, events and activities of any other fair in rural Southern Minnesota.




Jerrod Niemann

This year’s line up of Quality Musical Entertainment, featuring Big Name Talent looks like this: Tuesday, August 13 – 8pm Vocal Trash – Described as, “Glee Meets Stomp,” this green minded ensemble delights audiences, globally, on a relentless pursuit to bring people together utilizing the universal language of song and dance. Wednesday, August 14 – 8:30 pm John Michael Montgomery – An American country music artist who has had more than thirty singles on the Billboard Country Charts, including two of Billboard’s Number One country singles of the year: “I Swear” and “Sold.” Thursday, August 15 – 7 & 9 pm Dueling Duo Pianos – Andy Gibson and Ryno will play your request and may add a little twist too! This is the only Dueling Pianos show with an amazing fiddle and saxophone player, Dan Witte. Get ready for a great time! Friday, August 16 – 4:30 pm HeartSong – Their versatile musical style includes contemporary, country, and original Gospel music, as well as favorites of the church. Friday, August 16 – 6:30 pm Sandra Lee and the Velvets – It seems it was only yesterday that Sandra and her “boys” took the stage for the very first time. My, how time goes by? Well now they’re back on stage again and sounding better than ever. Saturday, August 17 – 8:30 pm Jerrod Niemann – An American country music artist. He has recorded two independent albums. In 2006, he signed to Category 5 Records and charted with the single “I Love Women.” Sunday, August 18 – 2:30 pm Tonic Sol Fa – This quartet has been named one of the top five “must see” groups in America, and been awarded numerous original song and album awards in pop, gospel and holiday genres. They’ve appeared on NBC’s Today Show and in the pages of Newsweek magazine. Outings with Jay Leno, Shawn Colvin, and Garrison Keillor have propelled album sales to more than 2,000,000 copies. If you’re planning a trip to the fair, call the group hospitality department at 651-288-4310 or email them at




Explore Minnesota

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A must stop for groups at the “City of Lakes”… This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of the year. Fairmont, known as the “City of Lakes,” is located in southern Minnesota off Hwy 90, with five lakes offering your group boating, fishing, small town hospitality, and all with spectacular views! With comfortable group friendly hotels, Fairmont is a great place for groups to stay and dine, Fairmont is a must stop.

day one 3 – 4:45 pm Begin with a drive through the city with your step on guide, and make a stop at the Martin County Court House, originally a stockade to provide safety to the locals against Indian uprisings and was called Fort Fairmont. The present Court House was built in 1906. It is considered one of the Top 10 most beautiful courthouses in Minnesota. Especially noteworthy are the upper level murals & artistic construction. Open all year. 4:45 – 6:45 pm Built in 1867 on a hill overlooking Lake Sisseton, The Chubb House is the oldest surviving house in Fairmont. The house is of Greek Revival architecture where square nails can be seen in places throughout the house. Your group will enjoy dinner relaxing around the warm and friendly fireplace, or the backyard is suitable for picnics overlooking Lake Sisseton. Food

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service will be arranged. 6:45 – 10:00 pm An evening performance at the Fairmont Opera House awaits you, a unique building, which has enriched the architectural, cultural and commercial life of the region for over 100 years. The atmosphere, ghosts, memories of great actors, entertainers and shows are all here.

Martin County Courthouse

day two 9 – 11:00 am Heritage Acres is an Agricultural Interpretive Center with community events and festivals celebrated throughout the year. Enjoy taking a stroll through yesterday on “Old Main Street” with its one room schoolhouse, country church, depot, blacksmith shop and more. Tours by appointment are conducted through yesteryear’s Pioneer Village. For more information on this sample itinerary please contact your tour operator or Fairmont CVB 800-657-3280.



Explore Minnesota

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directory accommodations




Just For Me: the Spa

. . . . . . . . . . .651-439-4662 110 South Greeley Street – Stillwater, MN 55082

Lexington Inn & Suites

. . . . . . . . .651-275-1401 2000 Washington Avenue – Stillwater, MN 55082


AmericInn Silver Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 877-254-1827

AmericInn Lodge & Suites & Event Center of Moorhead . . . 218-287-7100 600 30th Ave S – Moorhead, MN 56560 877-287-7100 Our two-story waterfall cascades into a tropical courtyard featuring an indoor 9-hole championship, miniature golf course, swimming pool, children’s pool, & whirlpool. We have a lounge, fitness center and free deluxe hot continental breakfast.

AmericInn of Grand Rapids

. . . .218-326-8999 1812 Pokegama Ave S – Grand Rapids, MN 55744 The birthplace of Judy Garland; drive the Wilderness National Scenic Byway, discover the history of the logging era at the Forest History Center. Enjoy the area’s 1,000 lakes or relax by our pool. Wake up to a free hot home-style breakfast.

AmericInn of Sartell . . . . . . . . . . . .320-259-0877 119 LeSauk Drive – Sartell, MN 56377 Stay at the hottest spot in the St. Cloud area, the AmericInn of Sartell, we’re on the border to everywhere. Experience a quiet night’s sleep with our soundguard guestrooms and wake up to our free enhanced continental breakfast.

Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior. . 800-258-8736 5700 W Hwy 61, PO Box 9 – Lutsen, MN 55612 Historic property, located on Lake Superior’s shore, a spectacular stop for any group. Great lakeside restaurant, pub, massage services and beautiful grounds. There is a large beach, with evening campfires and frequent guest programs.

Odyssey Resorts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218-728-8060 Barb Oswell (contact) A Collection of Minnesota’s finest resorts. Outdoor beauty to indoor luxury. From the North Shore of Lake Superior to the banks of Leech Lake, the outdoors offers something for every group.

Sawmill Inn

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218-326-8501 2301 S Highway 169 – Grand Rapids, MN 55744-9501

Gondola Romantica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-439-1783 425 East Nelson Street – Stillwater, MN 55082 /

Landmark Center

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-4375 75 West 5th Street – Saint Paul, MN 55102 Landmark Center serves as a cultural center for music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and public forums, and hosts countless special events. Groups are always welcome!

Minnesota Historical Society

. . . 651-259-3444 345 W Kellogg Blvd – Saint Paul, MN 55102 Chief caretaker of Minnesota’s story and the History Center is home to the Society’s vast collections. Within our archives reside artifacts ranging from American Indian moccasins and artwork to furniture and photographs. Civil War-era flags and a wealth of genealogical information.

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

. . . . . . . . . . . . 952-445-7361 1244 Canterbury Road South #306 – Shakopee, MN 55379

Mystic Lake Casino - Hotel Prior Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-496-7345

Saint Croix Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-3310 6428 Manning Avenue North – Stillwater, MN 55082 /

Stillwater Trolley Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-0352 400 Nelson Street – Stillwater, MN 55082

Wabasha Street Caves . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-1220 215 Wabasha Street South – Saint Paul, MN 55107 Down In History has exciting historic tours done by costumed characters. Historic Walking Cave Tours in Saint Paul and Stillwater. Motorcoach Gangster Tours, Irish Tours, Tacky Tours, Ghost & Graves Tours, & More! We make history fun!


Fond-du-Luth Casino . . . . . . . . . . . 218-720-5113 129 East Superior Street – Duluth, MN 55802 Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Duluth and offering guests a variety of gaming entertainment choices for adults 21 and older. It’s all provided in a clean, friendly and comfortable environment!



Eagan Convention and Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . .651-675-5546 1501 Central Parkway – Eagan MN 55121 Eagan makes planning your next group outing easy! Personal service includes custom and creative itineraries, FREE welcome bags and FREE Mall of America coupon books ($9.95 value) You’ll also enjoy our low 3% lodging tax. Ask how to qualify for our $250 cash rebate.

Stillwater & Oak Park Heights CVB . . . . . . . .651-351-1717 PO Box 2025 – Stillwater, MN 55082 Historic Stillwater, Minnesota is located along the banks of the scenic St. Croix River. Our many unique shops, restaurants, lodging establishments & attractions make a perfect group destination. Located within 30 min. of most major Twin Cities metro attractions.

Tour Minnesota Association . . . .952-406-8832 PO Box 11682 – Saint Paul, MN 55111 TMA members provide exciting destinations and top quality services for tour groups. Our member organizations include Attractions, Lodging, Dining/Catering, CVB’s, Transportation and Tour Operations. Check out the website for a full list of members.


St. Cloud Area Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320-251-4170 525 Hwy 10, Suite 1 – St. Cloud, MN 56304 800-264-2940 Among the many attractions are world-class gardens, history, granite, and great places to stay and eat. The St. Cloud CVB takes pride in helping you plan the perfect getaway. Creativity is key to the success of your group tour.

Little Falls CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-616-4959 606 1st Street SE – Little Falls, MN 56345 Visit our historic attractions and museums, experience the town’s original murals and frescoes or take in the great outdoors. We’re happy to customize a tour for your group!

Warroad Area Chamber . . . . . . . . . 218-386-3543 311 State Ave North – Warroad, MN 56763

Lutsen Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218-406-1319


Lutsen / The highest peak in MN. Stunning views of Lake Superior. The 200-mile Superior hiking trail and some of the finest accommodations on the North Shore. Ski it in the winter, see it all from the gondola in the summer, plus so much more.

Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-373-2316

Kimball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-398-2081 . . . .507-388-2818

Microtel Inn & Suites Springfield . . .507-723-8200


Stillwater, MN /

Millner Heritage Vineyard & Winery


Microtel Inn & Suites Mankato

Foodies on Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 855-236-6343

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers


102 W Clark Street – Albert Lea, MN 56007 800-345-8414 Located 90 minutes from Minneapolis, where I-90 & I-35 intersect, featuring small town hospitality with big city amenities. Plus additional lakes and 38 city parks hosting various outdoor activities.

Wanda Gag House New Ulm. . . . . . . 507-359-2632 1-877-832-7267

Explore Minnesota

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directory continued southern continued

entertainment & theater

Waite Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-252-3838

Austin CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-437-4563 104 11th Ave NW Ste D – Austin, MN 55912 800-444-5713 / SPAM Town, USA. Southern Minnesota Tourism at its best! Home of Fortune 500 Company Hormel Food Corporation. Tourists will be delighted with the SPAM Museum, Historic Hormel Home, Paramount Theatre, & other exciting attractions.

Explore Southern Minnesota Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-868-7476 ext 162 115 East Hickory #403 – Mankato, MN 56001 You’ll be surprised…at what you’ll find in southern Minnesota! With many scenic byways, festivals, parks & trails, historic sites, caves, bluffs, waterfalls & so much more, it makes a perfect destination for any group.


History Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-4323 30 10th Street East – Saint Paul, MN 55101 /


GREAT Theatre

Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce

. . . . . . . . .800-658-2548 205 3rd Street West – Northfield, MN 55057 Located just 30 minutes from the Twin Cities along the shores of the Cannon River. Whether you enjoy the arts, history or nature, you’ll find multiple outlets for education as well as opportunities for relaxation and live entertainment.

Preston Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-765-2100

Pioneer Place on Fifth

Mankato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-625-6500

St. Cloud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-203-0331


Minnesota Renaissance Festival

. . . . . . . . . . 952-445-7361 1244 Canterbury Road South #306 – Shakopee, MN 55379

Minnesota State Fair . . . . . . . . . . . 651-632-2689 1265 Snelling Avenue North – Saint Paul, MN 55108 The great Minnesota Get-Together. Local, national and internationally-known entertainers, horse show and rodeo performances, Mighty Midway and Kidway rides, competitions, exhibits, attractions and concessions.

Veigel’s Kaiserhoff

shopping metro

Northland Visions

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-872-0390 1113 E Franklin Avenue – Minneapolis, MN 55404 Specializing in Native American art from the Woodlands and Plains tribes. Sculptures, paintings, beadwork, jewelry, native foods, original native and traditional art, gifts of the northlands, offering unique, all Minnesota gifts.

tour operators metro

Foodies on Foot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 855-236-6343

Wilder Pageant Walnut Grove. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 888-859-3102

Stillwater, MN

Valley Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-439-6110


101 Pine Street West #4 – Stillwater, MN 55082 /

metro Landmark Center - Saint Paul

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter

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Pub 500


Willmar Lakes Area CVB . .800-845-8747 ext 79

. . . . . . . . . . .507-372-2919 1121 Third Ave – Worthington, MN 56187 Worthington is a friendly community in the Southwest corner of MN. Bring your group here for some fantastic tours, including the Pioneer Village, Historic Dayton House, and War Memorial Auditorium.


festivals & events

Cherokee Tavern

Worthington Area CVB

St. Cloud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-253-0655

New Ulm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-359-2071

PO Box 657 – Preston, MN 55965 Preston is a vibrant community in the heart of bluff country, known as “Minnesota’s Trout Capital”, and home to the Forestville Mystery Cave. Preston welcomes groups offering a variety of entertaining, educational, and recreational activities.

2104 Highway 12 East – Willmar, MN 56201 Visit the Willmar Lakes Area. Only 2 hours west of Minneapolis/Saint Paul. 360 lakes, 36 parks, 81 holes of golf – and that’s just on the drive in! Let our staff help put together a getaway for your group.

5821 Ridgewood Road – St. Cloud, MN 56303 St. Cloud’s coolest hot spot! Serving up delectable ice cream creations, this walk-up shop is reminiscent of the ones you rode your bike to as a kid. The treats, low prices and friendly atmosphere keep guests coming back.

Nick’s Third Floor at D.B. Searle’s

Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce

. . . . . . . . .507-451-7970 320 Hoffman Dr – Owatonna, MN 55060 800-423-6466 Located in south central MN, 45 minutes from Mpls/Saint Paul on I-35. Come “discover our faces & places” - filled with historical, recreational & cultural opportunities as well as nearly 700 guest rooms to accommodate any group.

Mr. Twisty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-310-0314

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-258-ARTS 919 W Saint Germain Street – St Cloud, MN 56301 The premiere community theater in Central Minnesota. GREAT has produced over 100 shows since 1998, including 5 World Premiere productions. Provides School Performances.

Fairmont Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-657-3280 323 East Blue Earth, PO Box 976 – Fairmont, MN 56031 Fairmont the “City of Lakes” awaits your arrival. Located in southern Minnesota on Interstate 90 we have a range of lodging and dining options to fit your needs. Lakes, history, open spaces, discover Fairmont!

Fuji Sushi & Steakhouse

Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-457-2729

The Dock Café

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-3770 425 Nelson Street East – Stillwater, MN 55082 . . . . . 651-439-7128 8390 Lofton Avenue North – Stillwater, MN 55082


Café Renaissance Waite Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-253-9300

Coyote Moon Grille

. . . . .320-258-4653 ext 113 480 55th Ave SE – St. Cloud, MN 56304 Overlooking the beautiful Territory Golf Course with a view second to none. Conveniently located on the East side of St. Cloud near the Paramount Theater, Munsinger Gardens, and other local attractions. Inclusive group pricing on lunch buffet and plated dinner menus. Private rooms available.

Munsinger-Clemens Gardens



tour missouri gardens… The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure BRANSON Strolling through dozens of towering palm trees, beautiful orchids, and other exotic plants and flowers in the Butterfly Palace’s living rainforest is only part of your group’s adventure. Your admission also includes: Exotic Butterfly Aviary, Living Rainforest Science Center, Rainforest Theater, Emerald Forest Mirror Maze and the Base Camp Gift Shop.

The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House CHESTERFIELD More than a thousand live tropical butterflies flutter freely in the glass conservatory. Watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis right before your eyes. Or go outside and visit native and migrating species in the Butterfly Garden. Take a class, shop until you drop, or plan a group party on the Emerson Lakeside Terrace. Whatever your age, you’ll enjoy a visit to the Butterfly House, where wonder takes flight! (a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden)

spotlight missouri

Missouri Botanical Garden | ST. LOUIS


Powell Gardens


he Heartland Harvest Garden - The Journey of Food from Seed to Plate

Bring your group to experience 970 acres of botanical bliss, stunning architecture and gorgeous display gardens that change with the seasons. With a full-service cafe, gift shop and an inspirational chapel, your group will enjoy a visit any time of year. Welcome to America’s largest edible landscape—where every tree, shrub, flower and groundcover is part of the story of where our food comes from. As you explore the fruits and vegetables, grains and nuts and so much more, you may often find yourself saying, “Oh that’s the plant that (food) comes from!” See a wide range of edible varieties, from heirloom and modern to even some plants on trial for the future. Don’t forget to taste a sample of the garden’s produce at the Tasting Station. A visit to the Missouri Barn’s silo observation deck is a must, where you can overlook the whole garden and see its quilt patterns.

Missouri: Close to home. Far from ordinary.

Founded in 1859, this 79-acre Botanical Garden is the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and an oasis in the city of St. Louis. A variety of tour options await you! Groups love the splendid horticultural displays, offering something for everyone, including the Chinese Garden, English Woodland Garden, Ottoman Garden and Victorian District. A vibrant tropical rainforest thrives inside the Climatron conservatory, while the adjoining Temperate House is home to a multitude of Mediterranean species. The Japanese Garden covers 14 acres, making it one of the largest Japanese strolling gardens.

Springfield Conservation Nature Center | SPRINGFIELD Something exciting is always happening at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Indoors you’ll discover nature through programs, activities and displays. Outdoors, seasonal changes and unpredictable wildlife make each visit an adventure. Surprise a white-tailed deer bedded in a cedar thicket. Smell the fresh scent of the Ozark woods after a rain. Watch an eagle snag a fish from an icy lake. Groups can walk the trails, explore exhibits, videos and programs. It’s the place to experience and learn about the Missouri outdoors.

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Close to home. Far from ordinary.

Remington Nature Center

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers

Bring the Whole Gang to St. Joseph This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of the year. 175 years ago, visitors to St. Joseph traveled by stagecoach, seeking a new life. For the past 20 years, the St. Joseph Visitors Bureau has been greeting travelers, by motorcoach, from all over the country, seeking fun and entertainment. The transportation might be different, but the history is still the same. 9 – 10:00 am Mount up and head for the Pony Express Museum. The famous mail delivery service started within these walls on April 3, 1860. Your guide will give a personalized tour of exhibits covering the creation, running and demise of this famous mail delivery service. 10 – 11:45 am The Patee House was the headquarters for the Pony Express in 1860 and the finest hotel west of the Mississippi. Today, it offers a “hands on” look at St. Joe’s colorful history. Stroll down Old Main Street, climb aboard a steam engine and visit the Jesse James Home where Jesse was shot and killed. Enjoy the “Wild Thing Carousel,” which is fun for all ages. 11:45 – 1:00 pm Have lunch at your choice of various unique venues in the city. 1 – 2:15 pm The St. Joseph Museum features extensive Indian exhibits from ten cultural regions. This location also features the Glore Psychiatric Museum, which chronicles the 130-year history of what was once known as the “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2,” and the Black Archives Museum, with displays on the St. Joseph African American experience. 2:15 – 3:30 pm Experience history during a driving tour with historian Kathy Reno (from the St. Joseph Museum) to see and learn about the many various historical sites

across St. Joseph. 3:30 – 5:00 pm Experience the Remington Nature Center where history and nature collide! Your journey begins when you’re greeted by a 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth. Follow the indoor “river” past a 7,000-gallon aquarium teeming with native Missouri river fish. Wild animals abound as you pass a howling wolf. A beaver lodge blocks a creek and forms a habitat for many animals. Learn about Missouri animals as you watch their tracks appear before you.

Missouri Division of Tourism Jefferson City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-519-2100

St. Joseph CVB . . . . . . . . . . . 800-785-0360 109 South 4th Street – St. Joseph, MO 64501 An All-American city born of the fur trade and brimming with a spirit of adventure. Recently named America’s “Top Ten Western City” by True West Magazine, we are a city abounding in 19th century charm and timeless beauty.

For groups staying overnight in St. Joseph, the CVB will personally welcome you with goodie bags for each member of your group, including a St. Jo brochure and other items.

For more information and sample tours, or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, contact the St. Joseph CVB at 800-785-0360. w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m



tour nebraska gardens… Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center | ALDA




Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center


Beauty and tranquility are found in the outdoor gardens including a rose garden, Victorian garden, children’s garden and an arboretum and bird sanctuary. This area along the Missouri River corridor is a natural flyway for migratory birds. There are feeders and nest boxes located throughout the sanctuary so the arboretum provides a unique area to observe the birds. Go slowly, sit, stroll, relax and enjoy the day. Groups may arrange guided walking, or narrated tram tours, depending on the ability of your group and time of year. Visit the indoor floral display hall, café and gift shop before your departure.


scape to a 100-acre urban oasis of beauty and tranquility and experience the glory of the garden as you discover this hidden sanctuary within the heart of Omaha.


spotlight nebraska

Their step-on guided bus tours put you in touch with one of the greatest bird migrations in the world. After a 30-minute presentation at the Nature & Visitor Center, they’ll accompany you and guide your driver to crane viewing hotspots nearby, answer questions and provide insights and commentary along the way. After an hour or so of viewing, you’ll return to the center where you’ll be free to hike the trails and browse the gift shop, art gallery and display. They will tailor the presentation to meet your group’s interests and needs.

Nebraska: Possibilities…endless

Fontenelle Forest | BELLEVUE This is one of Nebraska’s oldest conservation organizations and one of the largest private nature centers in the nation. Plus it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Bring your group to observe wildlife, armed with binoculars and a camera to capture the sights and sounds of the forest. Consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the animals are more active. The gift shop is open daily, offering nature books for all ages, jewelry, photography, art, custom apparel and décor for home and garden. Boys Town Garden of the Bible | BOYS TOWN Your tour will begin at the Visitors Center, where a step-on guide will greet you. From there, you will start a driving tour through the village and see where the children live, play, work, go to school and pray. Today’s tour will focus on the 3-acre Garden of the Bible, maintained by the youth and includes rose bushes, lilies, the rose of Sharon, a burning bush, fountains, benches, and olive, fig, pomegranate and cedar trees—all of which are mentioned in the Bible.

Sunken Gardens | LINCOLN Sunken Gardens features an annual floral display that consists of over 30,000 individual annual plants, which are redesigned to a different theme each year. As the only Nebraska garden listed in the “300 Best Gardens to Visit in the U.S. and Canada” by National Geographic, this is a special place to many. Visitors can tiptoe through the tulips every spring and watch the thousands of annuals bloom all summer long and then enjoy the peaceful winter interest of the varied trees and shrubs.

tour north dakota gardens… International Peace Garden | DUNSEITH A group favorite! Straddling the United States/Canadian border, this 2,339-acre national park offers formal gardens, including plantings based on a yearly theme. See fountains, a floral clock, the 120-foot high Peace Tower, the Peace Chapel (built on the border) and so much more. Be sure to stroll the sunken garden featuring thousands of perennials and flowering plants gracefully displayed in a beautiful English Cottage Garden style. Tours are fashioned for your group’s interest, ability and length of stay, and can include dining, shopping at the gift shop or a visit to the Conservatory.

GRAND FORKS Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life with a tranquil walk among the Japanese Gardens in Grand Forks. This hidden gem graces the landscape of Sertoma Park and features the beauty of rocks, water, hills, trees, and plants. The style of the park design is known as jyoudo, meaning heaven, paradise, space, or universe. Guests will find peace and harmony among the pathways of the landscape. This unique garden commemorates the recovery from the 1997 Red River Valley flood and was given as a gift from Grand Forks’ sister city of Awano, Japan.

Northern Plains Botanical Garden | FARGO Bring your groups to visit these public gardens – Butterfly, Woodland, Rain, Chrysanthemum, Trailer, Seeds of Opportunity – spring, summer and fall. Enjoy the changing panorama of blooming and foliage plants. See the butterflies flock to their garden to feed on nectar. Participate in workshops happening throughout the year. Be sure to watch for the amazing Garden of Mind and Soul – a Japanese Garden, coming in the future.

Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve | FORT TOTTEN President Theodore Roosevelt designated this unique natural area in 1904 as “a big game preserve, refuge, and a breeding ground for wild animals and birds.” But beyond these animals, there is more here than meets the eye. Climb the stairs to the top of Sully’s Hill Overlook for a panoramic view of the surrounding rolling hills and prairie stretching to the south. Different prairie flowers can be found blooming throughout the growing season supported by the deep-rooted native grasses that form the backbone of the prairie.

spotlight north dakota

Japanese Gardens


Buffalo River State Park


fter the waters of glacial Lake Agassiz receded, they gave way to miles and miles of fertile grasslands, becoming home to nomadic hunters and herds of bison. Today, Buffalo River State Park has one of the state’s largest areas of native and restored prairie, featuring a great variety of grasses and wildflowers such as pale purple coneflowers, silky asters, dotted blazing stars, Maximillian sunflowers and prairie roses. Twelve miles of park hiking trails offer views of the prairie, the meandering Buffalo River, and forest. Birdwatchers in the prairie can look for bobolinks, prairie chickens, upland sandpipers, and marbled godwits. Forest birds include woodpeckers, the great crested flycatcher, “Gardens enhance mental reflection phoebes, numerous warblers, and rejuvenation for all who visit. vireos, and orioles. Hikers may see mammals such as red fox, badgers, They encourage the arts through drawing, coyotes, prairie toads, white-tailed painting, sculpture, and photography. deer, and even moose. In the Most importantly, they teach us all the summer, a park naturalist leads elements of nature and how we need a hikes, shows films, and presents certain balance for our survival in the north.” evening programs on the park’s – Quote from Northern Plains Botanical Garden’s website natural and cultural history such as geology and birding presentations.

North Dakota: Legendary


A Day of Fun in Fargo! This itinerary is best Spring through Fall. Welcome to the largest metropolitan area between Minneapolis and Spokane. They offer unique attractions, shopping, casinos, over 4,000 guest rooms and 350 restaurants. Let us customize a group tour for you. In 2011, Fargo-Moorhead became home to the infamous wood chipper from the movie Fargo. The Fargo Wood Chipper Exhibit includes the original movie prop and memorabilia from the famous Coen brothers film. Your group will enjoy this photo op at the FM Visitor Center along with free popcorn.

day one 9 – 11:00 am Begin your day enjoying the outdoors at the Red River Zoo. Several endangered species live and breed in natural habitats here, including plants from around the world with climates similar to the Red River Valley. Take a step back into childhood with a ride on the Diederich Family Carousel. It was built in 1928, with 30 beautifully painted horses and two chariots. 11 – 12:00 pm Move on to Northern Plains Botanic Garden. Enjoy the changing panorama of blooming and foliage plants. See the butterflies flock to their garden to feed on nectar.

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Participate in workshops happening throughout the year. Be sure to watch for the amazing Garden of Mind and Soul – a Japanese Garden, coming in the future. 12 – 1:00 pm Fargo has an abundance of restaurants to choose from – The Fargo-Moorhead CVB can arrange a delicious group-friendly experience. 1 – 3:00 pm Time for a little shopping & more childhood shenanigans! (We’re all kids at heart!) Each Scheels store offers something a bit different to make your visit unique. Enjoy the trophy-mounted wildlife, ride the 12-car Ferris Wheel, test your skills in the shooting gallery or on the sports simulator games. Shop all the gear and clothing sections. There is something for everyone at Scheels. 3 – 6:00 pm Finish your day at Bonanzaville, delighting in their variety of exhibits and museums. Begin with the 20-minute tram tour around the village with a costumed docent, who will give information about each building and additional background information about area history. It’s a great way to start your visit to Bonanzaville. Spend some time after exploring any of the 43 historic buildings & 400,000 artifacts and complete your day with a catered, oldfashioned Pitchfork Fondue! Now that just sounds FUN! 6:00 pm Retire to a Fargo hotel to enjoy their relaxing amenities.

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . 800-235-7654 2001 44th Street S – Fargo, ND 58103 The Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau is eager to assist with your tour planning. Whether you are looking for a group-friendly restaurant, accessibility to the interstate, motorcoach parking or full continental breakfast, your tour experience is our priority.

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-235-7654 or




tour south dakota gardens… McCrory Gardens and South Dakota Arboretum BROOKINGS All operated and maintained by the Plant Science Department of SDSU. There are over 25 acres of formal display gardens featuring hundreds of different flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses in harmonious settings to display, educate, and further the development of new varieties. Additionally, groups can tour the Straw Bale House, created as a service-learning project for students. This unique building has a living roof of sedum, is surrounded by a series of plantings and displays, teaches about gardening and exposes visiting groups to natural building techniques, living roofs, and sustainable design.

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

Memorial Gardens RAPID CITY Memorial Park was constructed after the June 1972 flood that devastated Rapid City. The park was built in memory of the 238 victims of that tragedy. The rose gardens are located on the west side of Memorial Park and are South Dakota’s only All American Rose Selection Garden. This AARS Garden has over 120 different varieties of Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras and Floribunda Roses, totaling more than 1,200 roses.

McKennan Park SIOUX FALLS Nestled in the heart of Sioux Falls lies 20 acres of majestic beauty where the young and old come together to enjoy a beautiful and peaceful park. Groups can pack a picnic and visit the bandshell to enjoy concerts, plays and festivals along with strolling the Sunken Gardens with its mature elm trees, luscious flowers, greenery and sculptures, such as the “Potato Man,” a tribute to the city’s Irish residents and a replica of the Statue of Liberty.

spotlight south dakota

MCCOOK LAKE Groups may walk or reserve guided golf cart tours to explore Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, featuring miles of trails that wind through prairie and forest spanning 1,500 acres along the Missouri River riverbank. With over 100 species of birds, a variety of native plants and a number of different animals, visitors are immersed in nature.


National Grasslands Visitor Center Historic Site


he National Grasslands Visitor Center is located just two blocks south of the world-famous Wall Drug Store. This is a great educational stop for your group. The Visitor Center features over 20 exhibits highlighting a variety of subjects: Great Plains history, prairie plants and animals, and recreational opportunities. Several videos on the Grasslands, Badlands, and Black Hills region are shown in a comfortable theatre. Outside the Visitor Center, you’ll enjoy a natural mixed-grass prairie landscape. In addition to the grasses, shrubs, and trees are wildflowers, such as upright prairie coneflower, western yarrow, false boneset, annual sunflower, purple coneflower, heath aster, and soapweed. The gift shop carries nature, travel, and history books, colorful posters & postcards, and prairie seed packets.

South Dakota: Great Faces. Great Places.

tour wisconsin gardens… Green Bay Botanical Garden GREEN BAY Enjoy a sampling of what Green Bay Botanical Garden has to offer with the “Taste of the Garden Tour!” (tour options available). A knowledgeable guide will lead your group through the most well known ‘areas’, including the Herb Garden, Cottage Garden, Rose Garden and Children’s Garden. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stories of its history, plant material and points of interest. Enjoy beauty, nature and companionship with a group tour.

Hawthorn Hollow – Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum KENOSHA All groups are welcome for a one-hour educational tour. You will explore the 12-acre arboretum of unique and stately trees, walk the trails of the Pike River Valley looking for wildflowers, birds and wildlife, hike up to the original and restored prairies, then visit Hawthorn Hollow’s three historical buildings: the original 1847 One Room Pike River Schoolhouse, the 1858 Somers Town Hall, and the 1906 Second Pike River Schoolhouse. Also learn about Ruth and Margaret Teuscher, who bought this land in 1935 and had the foresight to protect it as a wildlife refuge.

spotlight wisconsin

Olbrich Botanical Gardens MADISON Stroll 16 acres of outdoor gardens featuring stunning landscapes and Midwest-hardy plants. Your group will get an insider’s view of the outdoor gardens during a guided tour led by expert garden staff. Next, visit the tropics in the Bolz Conservatory. Enjoy a tropical paradise in Olbrich’s two-story glass pyramid filled with exotic plants, fragrant orchids, a rushing waterfall, and free-flying birds. This is also home to Olbrich’s Blooming Butterflies—an annual event from mid-July through mid-August. Free-flying butterflies emerge from chrysalises daily and fly around the conservatory.


“The Domes” Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory


xperience a desert oasis, a tropical jungle and special floral gardens all in one afternoon… and an amazing lighting display in the evening!

Come to the deserts of Africa, Madagascar, South and North America in the Desert Dome where one of the world’s finest collections of cacti, succulents, shrubs and arid-land bulbs grow. An oasis of pampas grass and desert palms beckons as paths lead you past many plant oddities with intriguing geometric forms, subtle coloration and unique adaptations to hot, dry habitats. Stroll the jungle-like trails of the Tropical Dome and see a rich diversity of plants from the rainforests of five continents. Be sure to look for the colorful birds that call the Tropical Dome their home. Enter a themed floral exhibit filling the Floral Show Dome with gardens of color. Five seasonal displays each year will delight your group with their beauty.

Travel Wisconsin

directory accommodations Baymont Inn & Suites . . . . . . . 715-384-5240 2107 N Central Avenue - Marshfield, WI 54449 Enjoy some fun in Marshfield! Cranberry Tours, Amish Tours, Cheese Factory Tours, & Farm Tours. Visit Jurustic Park, Marshfield Motor Speedway and Wildwood Zoo, then relax in our indoor pool and wake up to a free hot breakfast.

Country Inn & Suites . . . . . . . . 920-884-2000 2308 Lineville Road - Green Bay, WI 54313 Easy access to Lambeau Field, Oneida Casino, the NEW Zoo, the historic Meyer Theatre and Bay Beach Amusement Park. Choose our hotel in north Green Bay, and enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, an indoor pool & free hot breakfast buffet.

Washington Island Art and Nature Center | WASHINGTON ISLAND (Door Country) Located in a 100-year-old schoolhouse, they feature an art gallery and a nature center. The gallery displays and sells the art of local artists. The nature center features live exhibits including local snakes, frogs, a 180-gallon fish tank with native fish, and an observation beehive—one of the most popular exhibits, showing the inner workings of the hive, and the making of honey. A naturalist is on staff during the summer to answer questions, lead wildflower hikes and bird walks. In addition to learning about the local fauna, visitors can learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island.

tour central canada gardens… Potholes Provincial Nature Reserve | CHAPLEAU The nature reserve gets its name from the glacial potholes and troughs scooped out of bedrock forming the riverbed of the Kiniwabi River. This is a great place to stop for a picnic, soak up the scenery or follow a short interpretive trail for a close look at the potholes, and the sedges and forbs (flowering plants) that grow along the riverbank. Nestled in the heart of Northern Ontario’s boreal forest, it is a remarkable geological site. The water still flows through these potholes and provides a site of great natural beauty and significant geological interest. A five-minute walk along a graveled pathway takes visitors to the potholes.

A wonderful escape is in store for your group at this turn-of-the-century style Carriage House, sitting amongst six acres of gardens, ponds, flowers and peaceful property. So unique and so fun! Groups can enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner in the restaurant or screened-in porch seven days a week. Visit the 2-level home & gift store and the gorgeous furniture showroom to discover unique giftware, home décor and furnishings. Then move outside to tour the beautifully landscaped gardens and on-site greenhouse.

Hillcrest Park | THUNDER BAY Hillcrest Park offers a panoramic view of the harbor, its famous Sleeping Giant and the unique Sunken Gardens, with a spectacular seasonal display of more than 70 varieties of flowers. Groups may walk through the Centennial Conservatory, a vast glass and concrete structure that houses displays of tropical plants, desert cacti and seasonal flower arrangements. Nearby is the Soroptimist International Friendship Garden where residents of various ethnic origins have created unique gardens and monuments typical of their culture.

Living Prairie Museum | WINNIPEG The museum is a 13 hectare endangered tall grass prairie preserve located inside the city. Set aside in 1968 as a remnant of original tall grass prairie, this preserve is home to over 160 species of prairie wildflowers, grasses and shrubs with a great array of wildlife. Explore this endangered ecosystem with “Naturalist Knapsacks,” which are full of fun equipment and free for your group to borrow while on the site.

spotlight central canada

Pineridge Hollow | OAKBANK


Assiniboine Park Conservatory


he conservatory is a year-round verdant, green paradise, featuring more than 8,000 flowers, plants and trees. With an ever-changing floral display and guaranteed great weather, it’s the perfect place to visit any time of the year. Enrich yourself with an endless array of programming, special events and art displays, all within a venue that is a feast for the senses. Combine your group’s time with a tour of the outside gardens in the Assiniboine Park Gardens, offering beautiful sculptures, English and formal gardens and the unique Garden of Life; filled with approximately 3,000 flowers that depict the shape, color or care of the vital organs used in human transplantation, honoring the many unsung heroes who gave the gift of life, hope and happiness through organ donation.

Canada: Keep Exploring Exploring

directory convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Tourism Thunder Bay

. . . . . . . . . .800-667-8386 PO Box 800 – Thunder Bay, ON P7C 5K4 Thunder Bay, the largest city on Lake Superior, is just minutes north of the Minnesota/Ontario border. Come and relive the fur trade at Fort William Historical Park where costumed interpreters guide your group through this exciting period in Canadian history. View majestic Kakabeka Falls, which plunges more than 130 feet over sheer cliffs. At Amethyst Mine Panorama, “urban prospectors” can gather amethyst from this working quarry. Thunder Bay also provides plenty of diverse dining options and first-class accommodations.

Winnipeg Tour Connection . . . . .800-665-0204 Winnipeg, Manitoba / Winnipeg offers a variety of signature experiences, unique products and warm hospitality for your next travel group. We’ve made it easier than ever to plan your next trip with up-to-date planning features, specialized itineraries, images, video and promotional materials.

Dates to consider for your next itinerary…

Kansas Sampler Festival –Liberal, KS

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival –Mackinac Island, MI

Tall Ships –Marquette, MI

calendar of events 2013 [ april – may – june ]

C O N TA C T A R E A C V B S F O R C O M P L E T E C A L E N D A R S .



april • 10th Annual Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure April 5-7, Shelbyville 217-774-2244 • Great American Cooking Expo April 21, Arlington Heights 847-385-7500 • Effingham Artisan Fair April 26-27, Effingham 217-342-5310 • Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo April 26-28, Chicago 312-791-7000 may • Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor Festival May 4-5, Towanda 309-728-2811 • Civil War Days May 18-19, Naperville 630-420-6010 • Washington Cherry Festival May 29-June 1, Washington 309-444-9921 june • Chicago Blues Festival June 6-9, Chicago 312-744-3370 • Glorious Garden Festival June 14-15, Bloomington 309-828-1084 • Great Galena Balloon Race June 14-16, Galena 800-892-2269 • 64th Annual Midsommar Swedish Days Festival June 18-23, Geneva 815-547-3740 • Blossoms at Butterworth: Deere Family Mansions June 30, Moline 309-765-7935 july • Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival July 6-7, Glencoe 847-853-5440 • 8 Miles of Ag-tiques July 6-7, Orangeville 815-789-4570 • Taste of Chicago July 10-14, Chicago 312-744-3370 • Gardens United Garden Walk July 13-14, Freeport 815-232-7200 • Lincoln’s Bloomington Festival & Civil War Days July 20-21, Bloomington 309-827-0428



april • Art on the Lake April 6-7, Moravia 641-724-1407 • Arsenic & Old Lace April 11-21, Mason City 641-424-6424 • Women’s Outrageous Weekend April 26-27, Cedar Falls 319-277-0213 • Iowa Wine Trail April 27-28, West Branch 563-557-3727 • 26th Annual Civil War Reenactment April 27-28, Keokuk 800-383-1219


may • Pella Tulip Time May 2-4, Pella 641-628-4311 • Iowa Wildflower Week May 5-11, Peterson 712-295-7200 • Orange City Tulip Festival May 16-18, Orange City 712-707-4510 • Iowa Renaissance Festival May 25-27, Amana Colonies 319-622-7622 june • Summer Farm Toy Show June 7-8, Dyersville 877-475-2727 • Centerville Wine Festival June 8, Centerville 641-437-4102 • Glenn Miller Festival June 13-16, Clarinda 712-542-2461 • North Iowa Herb Fest, Garden & Craft Show June 22, Clear Lake 641-357-1494 july • Iowa City Jazz Festival July 5-7, Iowa City 319-337-7944 • Tour de Brew July 13, Amana 319-622-3672 • Game Jamboree July 15-20, Waterloo 319-234-6357 • BBQ’Loo & Blues Too July 19-20, Waterloo 319-291-2038



april • Tulip Time April 6-23, Topeka 785-368-2439 • Prairie Fire Festival April 8-12, Cottonwood Falls 620-273-6020 • Spring Fling April 12-14, Ulysses 620-356-1808 • 20th Annual Kansas Storytelling Festival April 26-27, Downs 785-454-3808 may • Kansas Sampler Festival May 4-5, Liberal 620-626-0170 • Barber County Wildflower Tour May 11, Medicine Lodge 620-886-3417 • Lindsborg City Band at Swensson Park Band Shell May 23, Lindsborg 785-341-4695 • June Jaunt May 31-June 2, Great Bend 620-793-4111 june • St. Dionysios Greek Festival June 7-9, Overland Park 913-341-7373 • Mayhem on the Marais des Cygnes June 8, Ottawa 785-242-2085 • Trolley Tour: Historic Sites June 9, Hays 785-628-2624 • Washunga Days June 20-22, Council Grove 620-767-5413

• Moore Ranch Branding June 28, Bucklin 620-826-3649 july • Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival July 4, Topeka 785-234-4317 • Guys and Dolls July 19-27, Lindsborg 888-227-2227 • National Day of the Cowboy July 27, Abilene 785-263-2681 • 68th Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo July 31-August 3, Abilene 785-263-4570



april • Festifools April 7, Ann Arbor 800-888-9487 • Wildflowers for the Home Garden April 9, Grand Rapids 616-957-1580 • Michigan Wine Showcase April 15, Detroit 734-677-0503 • 24th Annual Spring Fling at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory April 26-28, Paradise 906-492-3596 may • Migratory Bird Festival May 1-31, Copper Harbor 906-289-4588 • Tulip Time Festival May 4-11, Holland 800-822-2770 • Flower Fair May 10-11, Lake Orion 248-693-9742 • World Expo of Beer 2013 May 17-18, Frankenmuth 888-805-1504 • Native American Festival May 25-26, St. Ignace 906-643-9161 june • Mackinac Island Lilac Festival June 7-16, Mackinac Island 906-847-3783 • Leland Wine & Food Festival June 8, Leland 231-271-9895 • Marquette Annual Garden Extravaganza June 15, Marquette 906-226-9904 • The Great Tugboat Parade & Race June 27-29, Sault Ste Marie 906-632-6868 july • Thunder Bay Maritime Festival July 4, Alpena 989-356-8805 • 15th Annual Garden Walk July 10, Charlevoix 231-547-2199 • Tall Ships 2013 July 19-21, Marquette 906-226-2006 • Grand Marais Garden Tour July 27, Grand Marais 906-494-2447

minnesotaminnesota april • Maple Syrup Festival April 6, Vergas 218-342-2091 • New Vintage Days at WineHaven Winery April 6-7, Chisago City 651-257-1017 • Granite City Train Show April 13, St. Cloud 320-255-0033 • Wild West Music Fest April 18-20, Winona 507-452-0735 • Mary Poppins April 23-28, Minneapolis 800-982-2787 may • Senior Expo May 1, Owatonna 507-451-7970 • Festival of Nations May 2-5, Saint Paul 651-647-0191 • Tap the Barrel Weekend at Winehaven Winery May 25-26, Chisago City 651-257-1017 june • Rhubarb Festival June 1, Lanesboro 507-467-2696 • 15th Annual Nature Valley Bicycle Festival June 6-16, Twin Cities Area 651-247-2685 • Eddie Cochran Weekend June 7-9, Albert Lea 507-373-2316 • Tour of Gardens June 29, Winona 507-452-0735 july • Bloomington Summer Fete July 3, Bloomington 952-563-8895 • July Showcase: Wildflowers July 13, Fergus Falls 218-998-4480 • Steele County Historical Society Extravaganza July 14, Owatonna 507-451-1420 • Tall Ships Duluth 2013 July 25-28, Duluth 218-722-4011



april • Cherry Blossom Kite Festival April 6, Springfield 417-891-1515 • Wildflower Hike at Sam A. Baker State Park April 13 & 27, Patterson 573-856-4514 • 45th Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival April 18-21, Charleston 573-683-6509 • Wildflowers Amongst the Trees at Knob Noster State Park April 27, Knob Noster 660-563-2463 may • Civil War Encampment May 3-5, Ste. Genevieve 573-883-9397 • Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ Festival May 9-27, Branson 800-475-9370 • Oma and Noma Heritage Festival May 18, Lake Ozark 573-365-7132 • 12th Annual Evening Shade Farms Herb Days in May Festival May 25-26, Osceola 417-282-6985 june • Blues, Cruise and BBQ June 1, Sedalia 660-221-2080 • Town & Country Garden Tours & Plant Sale June 1-2, Hermann 800-932-8687 • Scott Joplin Festival June 5-8, Sedalia 660-826-2271 • 19th Annual Old Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival June 14-15, West Plains 888-256-8835 july • National Tom Sawyer Days July 3-7, Hannibal 573-221-2477 • Independence Day at Missouri Town 1855 July 4, Lee’s Summit 816-503-4860 • Summerfest Concerts 2013 July 6-28, Kansas City 816-510-0978 • Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival July 20, Springfield 417-891-1515

nebraska nebraska april • The Hutchins Consort April 4, Lincoln 402-472-4747 • Nebraska Cork & Ale Festival April 19, Lincoln 402-435-7496 • Living History Day April 27, Plattsmouth 402-296-4770 may • Outdoor Cooking Camp Weekend at Ponca State Park May 4-5, Ponca 402-755-2284

• Nebraska Renaissance Faire May 4-5 & 11-12, Papillion 402-332-5771 • Humboldt Flower Show May 16, Humboldt 402-855-2485 • An Evening with Garrison Keillor May 21, Omaha 402-345-0606 june • Rock Creek Trail Days June 1-2, Fairbury 402-729-5777 • Gateway to the West Days June 6-9, Blair 402-533-4455 • Swedish Days June 14-15, Holdrege 308-995-4444 • Garden Walk June 23, West Point 402-372-2981 july • Fort Kearney State Historical Park’s 4th of July Weekend July 4 & 6-7, Kearney 308-865-5305 • Northeast Nebraska Toy Show July 7, Norfolk 402-640-7381 • GermanFest July 13, Syracuse 402-269-7489 • Wild, Wild West Day July 27, Omaha 402-444-5071

north dakota north dakota april • PRCA Rodeo April 5-6, Fargo 701-663-6098 • Nano Days 2013 April 6, Bismarck 701-258-1975 • Home Show 2013 April 13-14, Dickinson 701-225-1374 may • Red River Festival May 8, Wahpeton 701-642-8709 • 10th Annual Turtle Mountain Birding Festival May 17-19, Bottineau 701-228-2277 • Wild West Shootout May 25, Jamestown 701-320-2725 • Sky Fest Over Fort Stevenson May 25-27, Garrison 701-337-5576 june • Icelandic State Park National Trails Day June 1, Cavalier 701-265-4561 • Medora Musical June 7-September 7, Medora 800-633-6721 • Potholes & Prairie Birding Festival June 12-16, Carrington 701-652-2524 • Fort Stevenson Frontier Military Days June 22-23, Garrison 701-337-5576 • Midwest Viking Festival & Scandinavian Hjemkomst Fesival June 28-29, Fargo 218-299-5452 july • Fourth of July Celebration at Bonanzaville July 4, West Fargo 701-282-2822 • Red River Valley Fair July 5-13, West Fargo 701-282-2200 • Soroptimist International of Fargo 2013 Garden Tour July 17-18, Fargo 701-235-1547 • North Dakota State Fair July 19-27, Minot 701-857-7620

south dakota south dakota april • Restaurant Week April 5-13, Sioux Falls 605-338-4009 • Lunafest Film Festival April 6, Custer 605-673-2244 • Model Railroad Open House April 20, Aberdeen 605-226-2139 • What Women Want Expo April 26-27, Bell Fourche 605-892-2676 may • Korczak Day May 3, Crazy Horse 605-673-4681 • South Dakota Birding Festival May 3-5, Pickstown 605-487-7603 • Ladies Ultimate Sample Tour May 5, Sioux Falls 605-338-4009 • Shakespeare Garden Planting Festival May 22-25, Wessington Springs 605-539-1529 june • Siouxland Renaissance Festival June 1-2, Sioux Falls 866-489-9241 • Fort Sisseton Historic Festival June 7-9, Lake City 605-448-5474 • Finn Fest June 15-16, Frederick 605-290-3335 • Roots, Shoots, Seeds & Fruits Hike June 29, Yankton 605-668-2985

july • Wild West Days July 1-4, Faulkton 605-598-6592 • Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant July 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, De Smet 800-776-3594 • Trolley on the Trail July 10, Hill City 605-584-3896 • Dakota Irish Fair 2013 July 27, Sioux Falls 605-373-9154

wisconsin wisconsin calendar april • Eau Claire Jazz Festival April 5-7, Eau Claire 715-836-4092 • Bay Area Farm & Garden Show April 6, Ashland 800-284-9484 • Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival April 20, Kenosha 262-654-6200 • Taste of the North April 25, Minocqua 715-356-5266 may • Spring Wildflower & Folklore Hike May 5, Chilton 920-849-7094 • TasteBud Outdoor Culinary Event May 16, Green Bay 920-490-9457 • Chequamegon Bay Birding & Nature Fest May 16-18, Ashland 715-682-2500 • Chocolate Fest May 24-27, Burlington 414-254-4813 june • Green Bay Botanical Garden – Garden Fair June 1-2, Green Bay 920-490-9457 • Art That Blooms June 7-8, Portage 608-742-5655 • Cable Garden Fest June 15, Cable 715-798-3191 • Ladies Festival June 22, Algoma 920-487-5208 • Cranberry Blossom Day June 29, Warrens 608-378-4878 july • Cedarburg Garden Walk July 13, Cedarburg 262-377-5856 • Waterford Balloon Festival July 19-20, Waterford 262-534-5911 • Door County Plein Air Festival July 22-27, Fish Creek 920-868-3455 • Italian Festival July 26-28, Racine 262-898-1694

central canada central canada april • Winnipeg Comedy Festival April 9-14, Winnipeg 204-284-9477 • 10th Annual Glesby Centre Wine Tasting Evening April 11, Portage la Prairie 204-239-8334 • Kinsmen Business Expo April 20-21, Dauphin 877-566-5669 • 35th Annual A.C.T. Festival April 26-28, Portage la Prairie 204-239-8334 may • Winnipeg Wine Festival May 3-4, Winnipeg 204-956-1720 • International Migratory Bird Day at Oak Hammock Marsh May 11, Stonewall 204-467-3300 • Lilac & Lavender Festival May 25-26, Sault Ste. Marie 705-759-5443 • Thunder Bay Kite Festival May 26, Thunder Bay 807-625-2487 june • Manitoba Summer Fair June 5-9, Brandon 204-726-3590 • River City Dragon Boat Festival June 7-8, Winnipeg 204-788-4547 • Manitoba Highland Gathering June 16, Selkirk 204-794-6587 • The Great Tugboat Race June 27-29, Sault Ste. Marie 705-759-4800 • Dauphin’s Countryfest June 27-30, Dauphin 204-622-3700 july • Manitoba Holiday Festival of the Arts July 8-14, Neepawa 204-476-3232 • Winnipeg Folk Festival July 10-14, Winnipeg 204-231-0096 • Thunder Bay Dragon Boat Festival July 19-20, Thunder Bay 807-345-2033 • Manitoba Sunflower Festival July 26-28, Altona 204-324-9005



Join us in St. Cloud, Minnesota October 27th – 29th for the

2013 Itineraries Midwest group travel show & fam! Tour Operators, Bank Club Directors and qualified Group Leaders will have time for… • Appointment Session • Open Marketplace • Find Out What’s New and Plan Itineraries • Area FAM Tour Registration fees start at just $25 for a one day experience with no accommodations, to $125 for a full registration including transportation from the Twin Cities. Coach departs from the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area Sunday, October 27th to St. Cloud. Register today online at or call 877-832-7267 for more details.

It’s where everyone in the group travel business can really do business!

Itineraries Midwest Group Travel Magazine  
Itineraries Midwest Group Travel Magazine  

Itineraries Midwest Spring 2013 issue is all about Botanical Group Tours.Find out what’s blooming across the Midwest with a group garden tou...