Archive for the ‘Tourism Industry’ Category
The Old Plantation, painted in the late 18th century by John Rose, courtesy of Colonial
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF) museums are often regarded as mere sideshows compared to all the historic buildings, shops and eateries that line Williamsburg, Va.’s Duke of Gloucester Street. But that may change thanks to two exhibits that are taking center stage this year.
The CWF’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum currently features Painters and Paintings in the Early American South. The collection includes 83 paintings and 70 portraits created by 31 artists from 1740-90. Although half of the pieces reside permanently at the DeWitt, 20 other museums and institutions have loaned artwork to the CWF for the largest exhibit ever of its kind.
“Included are several iconic works that are normally seen only in books,” says Ron Hurst, CWF vice president for collections, conservation and museums. “All were loaned for the full 18 months of the exhibition—unheard of, since most museums lend for relatively brief showings of about 12 weeks. The level of cooperation is deeply gratifying and reflects confidence in the borrowing institution.”
Hiawatha statue, Ironwood, Mich., via wikimedia.org
Theme parks and attractions are wonderful opportunities for groups to visit during a meeting or conference when the meetings are done. Here are a few to prime the well in anticipation of our November feature on theme parks and attractions.
–Anyone driving through Tennessee would have a hard time missing the presence of the classic See Ruby Falls signs that have enticed visitors along highway I-24 near Chattanooga, Tenn., for 80 years. The underground waterfall cave is one of those roadside thrills worth the stop and is now geared to accommodate corporate groups.
Who doesn’t like a bit of fall foliage colors when trees turn from green to brilliant oranges, yellows and reds? Depending on your era, the colors may conjure 1970s shag carpets, corduroys and wall weavings or Saturday Evening Post covers. Others may recollect the season from hometowns or want to discover the seasonal show in a new destination from Vermont to Colorado. For some serious off-the-track and backwoods autumn viewing from Sedona, Ariz., to Finger Lakes National Forest in New York, find an adventurous park with a search on the U.S. Forest Service site. For something local, check out where to go when at weather.com.
Image: Foliage in Sedona, Ariz.’s Oak Creek Canyon. New England doesn’t have a monopoly on fall colors; the Southwest can be just as stunning. The homepage of Sedona, Ariz.’s tourism office is currently devoted to helping visitors seek out reds, yellows and oranges. Photo courtesy of Sedona Chamber of Commerce.
It had been a long, long time since I’d used Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” feature, but while looking for an affordable place to spend the night during a hastily planned excursion to Lake Tahoe, I decided to give the ol’ hotel-roulette wheel a spin. After working their magic, the Priceline elves placed me and my wife at the Cal Neva Resort, Spa & Casino. The 86-year-old resort and one-time Rat Pack hangout has a Crystal Bay, Nev., mailing address, but its situation is a bit more complicated than that. As we approached Crystal Bay from Kings Beach, Calif., we were surprised to come across Cal Neva’s parking lot before we saw any “Welcome to Nevada” sign. A friend who was with us narrowed in on our GPS coordinates using his smart phone and determined that we were, in fact, still in California. “The border is just about…there,” he said, pointing to a bronze statue of an Indian.
Last night, I went to see my friend play drums at Yoshi’s in Oakland, Calif. A Bay Area institution―famous for live jazz―Yoshi’s is part music venue, part restaurant, and it has always intrigued me for this very fact. I usually like venues that offer standing-room only. I realize that may be weird for some, but I like to be able to dance and get as close to the band as I deem fit. However, the more laid-back vibe at Yoshi’s was everything I wanted and more, especially for a Monday night show.
It started with Jessie Harris, a John Mayer-like guitar player who won a Grammy for writing Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.”
Just in case you hadn’t noticed the 90-plus degree temperatures that have been oppressing much of the nation for the last few weeks, summer is here. A lot of people will be heading to the beach to beat the heat, but how do you decide on which sandy shore to lay your towel? Sure, you could just go to whatever is closest, but there is no shortage of critical beach analysis out there to help you decide which coastal areas to patronize—or maybe which to avoid.
Although Ventura, Calif., is known for its spectacular coastline and contemporary downtown surrounding Mission San Buenaventura, the city’s heart and soul lies in its bustling agriculture industry. The city is surrounded by acres of lush farmland stretching in all directions, providing wondrous varieties of fresh produce to local restaurants and a stark contrast to many of the urban backdrops found nearby. I recently had a chance to visit this part of the city and, among the endless rows of perfectly laid out fruit trees, was surprised to find a fantastic meeting location in Limoneira, the United States’ largest producer of lemons and avocados.
I don’t consider myself an especially “dark” person. Other than the occasional Halloween costume, I’ve never been one for dressing in black. My music collection tends to lean more toward indie pop than death metal. But I do have an appreciation for the macabre, tragic and historic, which makes me the target audience for dark tourism.
Dark tourism—also sometimes known as “thanatourism,” based on the Greek word for death— is an emerging term for the act of visiting sites with some sort of connection to death and suffering. That includes everything from cemeteries to disaster memorials.
There is something about sailing that captures the imagination. Whether it’s the whip of a sail, the creaks of the rigging or the rhythmic sounds of the sea, sailing brings us back to a time long forgotten, when mankind had to work with the elements in order to achieve his objectives. Although the Age of Sail ended nearly 150 years ago, Star Clippers, a tour company based in Miami, is bringing the past to life through its operation of three nostalgic clipper ships.
“Sailing is truly a different experience from cruising. When the sails go up and the engines go quiet, all you hear are the sounds of the wind in the sails and the water splashing off of the bow—there’s nothing better,” says Bill Dwyer, director of North and South American sales for Star Clippers.
I’m not talking about cringe-worthy made-for-TV dramas, but rather that universally loved natural product: maple syrup. March and April are the peak months for syrup celebrations from Michigan to Vermont. The traditional sugaring seasons runs from February through late March. The syrup industry is one of the first agriculture industries to flourish in North America, after Native Americans introduced the product to American and Canadian settlers. It remains a popular product in primarily colder climate regions in the upper Midwest and Northeast.
One popular stop is the Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival, held the last weekend of April each year, falling on April 27-29 this year. Go for the vendors selling syrup candies, crème and cotton candy. It is in Vermontville, Mich., southeast of Grand Rapids.