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on location: south ❖

What’s Coming Up Down South? L

eisure Group Travel’s editorial team has compiled the following list of museum exhibitions and attraction openings in the Southern states, now through next year. From bridge tours to equestrian events, each state has something new that will enhance any itinerary. —Compiled by Justine Buonavita and Vanessa Day




What: Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination Exhibit, U.S. Space & Rocket Center

What: Osage Creek Performing Arts Center Grand Opening

What: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Opening

Where: Benton County

Where: Universal Orlando Resort

When: Summer, 2010

When: June 18, 2010

Where: Huntsville When: June 25-Sept. 6, 2010 Description: See over 80 costumes and props from all the Star Wars films. This is the first time the exhibit will visit the Southeast. Contact: 800-637-7223,

What: GulfQuest Opening Where: Mobile When: Late 2011 Description: This maritime museum will spotlight the heritage of the Gulf Coast and will be only the third interactive maritime museum in the world.

Description: An area between Siloam Springs and Tontitown will be home to the newest performance venue in Northwest Arkansas. This new “green” facility will be putting on 25 to 30 concerts and festivals a year. Contact:

Contact: 407-363-8000,

What: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Opening

What: Modern Masters exhibit, Polk Museum of Art

Where: Bentonville

Where: Lakeland

When: 2011

When: June 26-Oct. 3, 2010

Description: The new museum will feature American art from the colonial era to modern times.

Description: The Modern Masters exhibit will showcase important works by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Arshile Gorky, Robert Rauschenberg and many more.

Contact: 251-436-8901,

Contact: 479-418-5700,

What: Annie Leibovitz WOMEN Exhibit

What: Wal-Mart Visitors’ Center Expansion, Renovation

Where: Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

Description: One of the most highly anticipated theme park openings in years, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter aims to give visitors the full experience of author J.K. Rowling’s fantastical world of wizardry.

Where: Bentonville

Contact: 863-688-7743,

What: NASA ART Exhibit, Museum of Florida History Where: Tallahassee

When: Oct. 28, 2010-Jan. 9, 2011

When: Spring, 2011

When: July 23-Oct. 10, 2010

Description: The exhibit will showcase over 80 photographs taken by the acclaimed photographer. Many of Leibotvitz’s photos of famous females are in her book Women.

Description: The visitors’ center, at Sam Walton’s original 5&10 variety store in downtown Bentonville, is expanding to include interactive displays, an exact re-creation of his personal office and Walton family treasures.

Description: The exhibit documents the NASA space program with paintings, photographs and mixed media works from famous artists, including Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz and Norman Rockwell.

Contact: 479-273-1329,

Contact: 850-245-6400,

Contact: 334-240-4333,

12 April 2010




What: Glazer Children’s Museum Opening

What: Salvador Dali: The Late Works Exhibit, High Museum of Art

What: 2010 Alltech FEI Games, Kentucky Horse Park

Where: Tampa

Where: Atlanta

Where: Lexington

When: Aug. 7, 2010-Jan. 9, 2011

When: Sept. 25-Oct. 10, 2010

When: Late Summer, 2010 Description: The museum will feature interactive educational exhibits, including hands-on experiences in engineering, art, health, communications and technology, sports and transportation. A replica cruise ship and airplane provide realistic venues to let kids’ imaginations run wild.

Description: Featuring more than 40 paintings and a related group of drawings and prints from post-1940 Dali, this exhibit will showcase the artist’s many connections to influential artists of the 1960s and 1970s such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de Kooning.

Contact: 813-277-3199,

Contact: 404-733-4444,

What: Salvador Dali Museum Opening

What: Georgia Museum of Art Renovation

Description: The largest equestrian event ever held in the United States, the World Equestrian Games will be leaving Europe for the first time. Contact: 859-255-2010,

What: HullabaLOU Music Festival Where: Louisville When: July 23-25, 2010

Where: St. Petersburg When: Jan 11, 2011 Description: The museum’s revolutionary design is based upon the style and principles of the artist himself: traditional meets the fantastic. The new building, double the size of the previous structure, will house a state-ofthe-art theater that will showcase Dali’s films. Contact: 727-823-3767,

Where: Athens When: Early 2011 Description: GMOA, the state’s official art museum, will be adding expansive gallery space as well as an outdoor sculpture garden. The redesigned gallery space will more comfortably house the museum’s permanent collection of more than 10,000 artifacts and afford sufficient space for traveling exhibitions.

When: Fall, 2011 Description: Central Florida’s Polk County will join the Legoland ranks in 2011 as the Lego toy company’s fourth and largest theme park opens on the site previously occupied by Cypress Gardens. The park will feature more than 50 games, rides and attractions geared towards family fun. Contact:


What: BeechBend Park Expansion Where: Bowling Green When: Spring, 2010

Contact: 706-542-4662,

What: Legoland Grand Opening Where: Winter Haven

Description: This new, three-day summer music festival, hosted by Churchill Downs, features 65 performers on five stages. Included are Kenny Chesney, Loretta Lynn, Dave Matthews Band, Bon Jovi, Sara Evans, Huey Lewis and the News, Dwight Yoakam, Al Green and Gladys Knight.

What: Georgia Aquarium Dolphin Exhibit Where: Atlanta When: November, 2010 Description: The $110-million dolphin exhibit will have an 84,000-square-foot space and a 1.3-million-gallon pool to accommodate them. This is the first time the world’s largest aquarium will house a dolphin show. Contact: 404-581-4000,

Description: This family recreation center’s largest expansion ever includes a wave pool, lazy river, rides and a 400-seat amphitheater. Contact: 270-781-7634,

What: Jim Beam Bourbon Distillery Visitors Center Opening Where: Clermont When: April, 2011 Description: The “Visitors Experience” houses displays of historical documents and photos, and will offer tastings and tours. Contact: 502-543-9877,

April 2010 13




What: Ancestors and Descendents: Ancient Southwestern America at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century Exhibit

What: NASA’s INFINITY Opening, Stennis Space Center

What: Antler Hill Village Grand Opening, Biltmore Estate

Where: Gulf Coast, off I-10

Where: Asheville

When: Spring, 2011

When: May 20, 2010

Where: New Orleans Museum of Art When: July 24-Oct. 24. 2010 Description: Featured are antique photographs of Native Americans along with over 80 artifacts collected by George Hubbard Pepper, the first archeologist to excavate Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico. Contact: 504-658-4100,

Description: The state-of-the-art museum will provide visitors with an interactive space experience. Contact:

Contact: 828-225-1333, What: Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art Opening Where: Biloxi

What: National World War II Museum Expansion Where: New Orleans When: 2010-2014 Description: The Road to Victory: A Vision for Future Generations is the expansion that will quadruple the size of the current facility. Opening this year is the Restoration Pavilion, a building that will house military tanks, airplanes, boats and other equipment and show visitors how these artifacts are restored. Contact: 504-528-1944,

Description: Biltmore Estate unveils Antler Hill Village, a gathering place with shopping, dining, entertainment and historical exhibits. The village is included in admission to the estate.

When: November, 2010 Description: This new museum will open three of the five Frank Gehrydesigned buildings: The Mississippi Sound Welcome Center, IP Casino Resort Spa Exhibitions Gallery and Gallery of African American Art. Opening exhibits will feature work from George E. Ohr (the “Mad Potter of Biloxi”), Andy Warhol and Jun Kaneko. Contact: 228-374-5547,

What: Jefferson Davis Presidential Library Opening

What: NASCAR Hall of Fame Grand Opening Where: Charlotte When: May 11, 2010 Description: The high-tech venue features interactive exhibits, a state-ofthe-art theater, NASCAR Hall of Honor, restaurants, retail outlets and broadcast studio. Contact: 704-654-4400,

What: American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell Exhibit, North Carolina Museum of Art Where: Raleigh When: Nov. 11, 2010-Jan. 30, 2011

Where: Biloxi What: In Search of Our Cosmic Origin, Louisiana Art & Science Museum Where: Baton Rouge When: July 1-Nov. 2, 2010 Description: This new show will introduce ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. Visitors will venture through the universe with the use of astronomical images and 3D computer graphics.

When: Mid-2011 Description: The library is now under construction at Beauvoir, the home of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis, which reopened in 2008 following a nearly $4-million restoration after hurricane damage. Contact: 228-388-4400,

Description: Featuring one of America’s most prominent artists, the exhibit showcases 40 original works of art plus a collection of Rockwell’s famous Saturday Evening Post covers. Contact: 919-839-6262, What: Discover the Real George Washington Exhibit, North Carolina Museum of History Where: Raleigh

Contact: 225-344-5272, When: Sept. 10, 2010-Jan. 21, 2011

14 April 2010




Description: About 100 original artifacts from Mount Vernon, including the only surviving complete set of dentures, will be on view in 11 sections, ranging from Washington’s youth to his final days.

What: South Carolina State Farmers Market

What: White Lightning Festival

Contact: 866-724-8687,

Description: Open daily, the market will feature an exhibition kitchen for cooking demonstrations, specialty foods shops, a bakery, restaurants, children’s play area and amphitheater.

What: Wilmington Convention Center Grand Opening Where: Wilmington

Where: Cumberland Gap Where: Columbia When: June 26, 2010 When: June, 2010

Contact: 803-734-2210,

Description: This new festival celebrates the heritage of the White Lighting Trail, which stretches across nine Tennessee regions that comprise the birthplace of stock car racing. The one-day event will feature food, music and cars. Contact:

When: August, 2010 Description: The brand new, state-ofthe-art Wilmington Convention Center will feature 50,000 square feet of meeting space, riverside green space and a 581-space parking deck. A hotel will be located adjacent to the center as well as a full-service marina, which will expand to include retail outlets and restaurants. Contact: 910-251-5101, What: Mint Museum of Art Expansion Where: Charlotte When: October, 2010

Where: Myrtle Beach

What: The Golden Age of Couture: Paris & London 1947-1957 Exhibit, Frist Center for the Visual Arts

When: Spring, 2011

Where: Nashville

Description: Featured exhibits in this impossible-to-miss, upside-down building at Broadway at the Beach entertainment complex will include a volcano, lighthouse, pyramid, virtual roller coasters, space and fighter jet rides, and an earthquake and hurricane simulator. WonderWorks Management opens a zip line ride over Lake Broadway and a ropes course this spring.

When: June 18-Sept. 12, 2010

What: WonderWorks Grand Opening

Contact: 800-386-4662,

Contact: 704-337-2000,

Where: Charleston

What: Paula Deen’s Kitchen at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel

Description: The 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy will begin offering year-round cruises from the Port of Charleston to the Bahamas and Key West. The cruise line has offered seasonal trips from Charleston for the past 10 years.

When: Late 2010 Description: The celebrity cook’s restaurant will be reminiscent of her home and kitchen in Savannah, Ga. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Contact: 615-744-3336,

What: Nashville Shores Expansion

Description: The redesigned museum in Uptown’s Art District will house important collections of American art and contemporary art and craft design from regional and nationally renowned artists.

Where: Smoky Mountains, N.C.

Description: Artifacts include clothing from Dior, Chanel and other designers who influenced fashion in Europe after World War II.

Where: Hermitage When: Spring, 2010

What: Carnival Cruise Lines

When: May 18, 2010

Description: A new 25,000-squarefoot wave pool and 1,000-foot-long lazy river, plus improvements to concession and retail areas, comprise the biggest expansion in the water park’s history. Contact: 615-889-7050,

Contact: 800-227-6482,


April 2010 15



What: Werowocomoco: Seat of Power Exhibit, Jamestown Settlement

What: Smooth Ambler Distillery Grand Opening

Where: Jamestown

Where: Greenbrier Valley

When: May 15-Nov. 15, 2010

When: June, 2010

Description: This is the first time that artifacts from the Werowocomoco archaeological site, a residence of legendary Native American Chief Powhatan, will be displayed in a museum setting.

Description: Smooth Ambler, a familyowned and -operated distillery making vodka, gin and bourbon, will offer tours and tastings. Small groups can assist in the bottling process every Saturday.

Contact: 888-593-4682,




What: New River Gorge Bridge Tours What: Tiffany: Color & Light Exhibit, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Where: New River Gorge

Where: Richmond

When: Spring, 2010

When: May 29-Aug. 15, 2010

Description: Guided walks on the bridge’s 24-inch catwalk, 850 feet above the river, begin this spring from the Canyon Rim Visitor’s Center. The bridge is the highest vehicle-carrying bridge in North America and largest single-span steel bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

Description: This exhibition of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, best known for his colorful stained glass, follows the museum’s grand re-opening on May 1. Contact: 804-340-1400,

Contact: 304-574-1037, What: National Museum of the Marine Corps Gallery Openings Where: Triangle

What: Tri-State Casino & Resort Hotel Opening

When: June 6, 2010

Where: Charleston Area

Description: The museum opens three new galleries that will chronicle the history of the Marine Corps from its beginnings in 1775. One special exhibit features an interactive reenactment of the battle of Belleau Wood.

When: Summer, 2010

Contact: 877-635-1775,

Description: The 150-room hotel will have 40-inch TVs in guest rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, indoor heated swimming pool with hot tub, outdoor fire pit and patio, and other amenities for guests who come for the casino and greyhound track. Contact: 800-224-9683,

16 April 2010

Travel Events in the South  
Travel Events in the South  

travel events and museum openings in the southern United States