Tourism Story Ideas

2021 Tourism Story Starters

 

NORTH AMERICA

Camp Fimfo

www.campfimfo.com

Launching July 1, 2021, Camp Fimfo is serving up a wholly unique camping experience that brings the comforts of the indoors to the great outdoors. Across its property, Camp Fimfo guests will enjoy a place that blends the new with the familiar. Two hundred full hook-up RV sites are available, as are dozens of cabins that range in size, providing space for six to 10 people. These lodgings provide a comfortable atmosphere, featuring mid-century modern furniture and camp memorabilia, to ensure that guests feel at home even in the great outdoors.

Millennials will feel right at home at Camp Fimfo, a place that caters equally to adults and younger family members. Kids can run wild in the interactive playground or waterpark while parents and older guests can simply lounge in the swim-up bar or enjoy the sights from a private cabana. With a mission to embody the vintage nostalgia of the classic outdoor summer camp, Camp Fimfo lets adults relive their childhood camping experiences and recreate them with their families.

But Camp Fimfo isn’t just a great outdoor adventure; it also has surprises around every corner. Squirrely is the property’s enigmatic creature who leaves hidden messages throughout the property. Visitors should hold on to their binoculars and be on the lookout for a potential sighting. Hidden gardens are also scattered around Camp Fimfo, and even more surprises are in store for the future, ensuring that return guests are always afforded a new experience.

Camp Fimfo isn’t the average outdoor getaway. It’s an exciting combination of the old and the modern, the familiar and the excitingly fresh, creating an environment that never compromises on each visitor’s preferred experience. Explore the outdoors or stay in the cabin all day – it’s truly up to you. Camp Fimfo has activities and attractions planned for every type of camper.

 

Chattanooga, TN

www.chattanoogafun.com

Included in lists like “The Top 45 Places to Go” by the New York Times and “Best in the U.S” by Lonely Planet, Chattanooga has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, as a bustling city packed to the brim with sights, attractions and activities, Chattanooga is more than ready to rise to the occasion.

For visitors with insatiable appetites, Chattanooga has options to spare. Nic & Norman’s is a restaurant concept from a director and actor on the television show “The Walking Dead,” while Food Truck Alley will be the first food truck park in town, ensuring a wide variety of flavors and cuisines to satisfy all palates.

Experience Chattanooga to the fullest by venturing into the outdoors. Looking to trek through rough terrain and gaze upon natural wonders? Check out the private tours offered by Experience Chattanooga. Some tours take visitors past towering waterfalls, like those found around Lula Lake, while others journey up mountainsides for unparalleled views. Cross a swinging bridge to reach a cliffside overlook and check out a stone passageway carved between two massive rock cliffs. The experiences in Chattanooga’s outdoors are truly one of a kind, but there’s no need to go deep into the forest – or even out of the city – for a great adventure. The beautiful Tennessee Riverwalk runs along the Tennessee River.

Even during the pandemic, Chattanooga is constantly evolving and expanding to accommodate the needs of travelers and locals alike. The Alton Park beautification project is currently underway, set to be completed in June. With promises to feature an outdoor performance venue, tree-covered paths and a community garden, this project will elevate the neighborhood as the perfect destination for gatherings and events. Spice up the Chattanooga experience by spending the night in new and renovated hotels with character. The iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo complex will unveil its latest upgrades this fall – a complete overhaul at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. The project is converting the 132-room hotel into a four-star boutique property, featuring luxury Pullman train car suites that celebrate Chattanooga’s locomotive history and the soulful musicians who visited during the 1920s Jazz Era. Housed in a historic YMCA building, the Common House opened in May 2021 as a modern social club, and the 64-room Kinley opened in April 2021, featuring a contemporary speakeasy.

 

Chickasaw Country, OK

www.chickasawcountry.com

Chickasaw Country is a vast region in South-Central Oklahoma that provides a dazzling mix of culture, art and the great outdoors. Across its 13 counties, guests can explore vast terrains like the Arbuckle Mountain Range, which stretches 35 miles along countless dazzling waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes. The Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for visitors looking to indulge in some natural serenity or go hunting and fishing, and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area serves as a one-stop shop for all travelers’ boating, hiking and camping needs. The majestic Turner Falls are a sight to behold at more than 77 feet tall, making them the largest waterfalls in the State of Oklahoma.

But Chickasaw Country isn’t just filled with beautiful nature views; the region is also packed with wellness options and relaxing stays. Spend the night at the Artesian Hotel in Sulphur and be treated to comfortable accommodations and the Sole’renity Spa. Head down to Tishomingo to check out Spa 211, a place to revive the mind, body and spirit. Nestled in the heart of Sulphur, Echo Canyon is a spa resort where fine accommodations like mansions and suites are complemented by rejuvenating treatments at Aloha Spa.

Summertime in Chickasaw is filled with unique events that attract outdoor enthusiasts, foodies and everyone in between. On the weekend of June 18, the best noodlers – who catch catfish with their bare hands – will be in town for the Okie Noodling Tournament & Festival. Contenders and spectators alike enjoy their stays at the floating cabins on Lake Murray, a visitor favorite. Enjoy produce festivals like the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival on Aug. 14 or the Stratford Peach Festival on July 17. Both festivals also feature a classic car show!

Looking to explore the rich culture, artistry and history that make Chickasaw Country so special? Look no farther than sites like the Chickasaw Bank Museum, Chickasaw Council House Museum and Chickasaw White House – all dedicated to the region’s history. Facilities like the Chickasaw Cultural Center provide opportunities to connect with Native American history through exhibits, demonstrations and tours.

 

Cincinnati, OH

www.thecincinnatiexperience.com

Considered one of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2021” by Travel + Leisure and “Best Places to Take a Road Trip” by Forbes, Cincinnati doesn’t just rest on its laurels. For both first-time visitors and locals in the community, the city is changing its offerings to continually improve on the Cincinnati experience.

Opening later this summer, the Andrew J. Brady ICON Music Center will serve as the premier music venue for concerts and festivals, offering close access to Cincinnati’s great dining venues. Soccer fanatics will love seeing a game when the city’s major team, FC Cincinnati, move to their new home in TQL Stadium this year. Set to open by the end of the year, Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill will be the region’s largest indoor sports complex, including a hotel, a restaurant, turf fields and much more.

Cincinnati also boasts a seemingly endless list of exciting cultural venues, from the Cincinnati Art Museum (which features the new Art Climb, a one-of-a-kind outdoor civic and art space) to the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center, the first Holocaust museum in the United States. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is dedicated to African American heritage, telling the powerful stories of freedom throughout slavery and present-day human trafficking. Perfect for both young and old visitors, the center uses its exhibits and programs to cultivate an engaging, immersive experience.

With its rich German heritage and brewing history, Cincinnati has cultivated a wide variety of breweries across the city. By 1890, the city was known as the “Beer Capital of the World,” with the city’s breweries producing more than 30 million gallons of beer annually in the Over-the-Rhine district. Venues like the Hofbräuhaus intend to live up to Cincinnati’s brewing reputation. This restaurant attraction is modeled after the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich, which is more than 400 years old. Specialty and seasonal beers are brewed onsite, and the venue’s biergarten provides a gorgeous view of the Cincinnati skyline. Go underground with a visit to the new Ghost Baby, one of many trendy hidden speakeasies and bars in the city. Located in the underground lagering tunnels once used to cool and age beer, Ghost Baby considers itself an urban theater of people, offering live music every night for its eclectic patrons.

 

CityPASS

www.citypass.com

With lockdowns slowly lifting and cities opening up, eager travelers want to get the most out of their destination getaways. With a CityPASS in hand, users can experience more while spending less. With a 92 percent customer rating across its products, CityPASS covers prepaid admission to the most iconic attractions in 14 North American destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay and Toronto. A family-owned and operated program since 1997, CityPASS has been helping travelers exceed their traveling expectations while saving around 40 percent on a destination’s top attractions. As attractions reopen, more will join their cities’ CityPASS.

CityPASS is convenient to use with readily accessible information. As part of an effort to adapt to the worldwide pandemic, CityPASS announced updates to make sure travelers can use the program without any worries:

  • Visitor safety measures: Guests’ health and safety are top priorities for attractions and CityPASS. The CityPASS team has listed the specific safety measures and cleaning protocols that each attraction has put in place, which can be viewed directly on the CityPASS website.
  • Nine-day validity: CityPASS tickets are valid for nine consecutive days, including the first day of use, giving you ample time to see the included attractions. You have one year from making your purchase to start using your tickets.
  • 365-day, risk-free returns: CityPASS introduced a 365-day, risk-free return policy on non-activated tickets. CityPASS tickets that haven’t been activated are eligible for no-fee returns for 365 days after their purchase.

 

Florida

www.visitflorida.com

Home to endless breathing room and socially distanced adventures, the Sunshine State is the ultimate place to recharge, reconnect and make lasting memories with the people who matter most.

Destinations across Florida offer visitors a breath of fresh air with cultural programming, hospitality additions and an ever-changing culinary scene. Resembling Jacksonville’s old Ford plant, the new Brumos Collection Museum features a vast collection of historically acclaimed race and collector cars, a 22-seat movie theater, a research archive and a working car shop. In St. Pete, the OCC Road House & Museum – a new restaurant and attraction showcasing custom choppers from Discovery Network’s “American Chopper” series and hundreds of rare biker memorabilia – will open in June 2021.

The World of Anna Sui, an exhibition exploring the glamorous and eclectic world of the famed fashion designer, will be on display at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale through Sept. 19, 2021. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in downtown Sarasota spotlight pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s legendary, Monet-inspired screen prints during “Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop!” through June 27, 2021. The gardens are also home to a new butterfly house, surrounding visitors with more than 160 Florida butterfly species.

For culinary aficionados, the newly opened, four-story Delray Beach Market is creating Florida’s largest food hall at roughly 60,000 square feet, with 35 individually curated, best-in-class vendors serving local seafood, artisanal coffee, handroll sushi and more.

The Sunshine State features a wide range of sights, sounds and attractions to ensure that any group of travelers finds the destination that appeals to their interests and tastes. Explore the shipwreck trail in the Florida Keys or discover hidden gems in the form of the sleepy hamlets and islands that dot the landscape. Visit St. George Island, an inhabited yet unspoiled barrier island that’s both serene and pet-friendly. Egmont Key is nestled in Fort De Soto Park, serving as a refuge for fascinating wildlife. The cool waters of the Devil’s Den, a prehistoric cave and part of Florida’s springs system, are perfect for all snorkeling aficionados. Take a trip down to Crystal River to get an up-close look at manatees and even a chance to swim side by side with these magnificent gentle giants. Uncovering all that Florida has to offer may be impossible, but the state’s countless secrets make the attempt worthwhile.

 

Greater Louisville

www.gotolouisville.com

Louisville Tourism recently unveiled its Black Heritage Tour Collection with new programming that will celebrate African American contributions to Louisville’s history, heritage and culture. The Unfiltered Truth Collection allows visitors to journey back in time, look to the future and explore the stories of the extraordinary people who built the Louisville experience as we know it today. These new offerings highlight African American influences in Kentucky with a special focus on the bourbon and horseracing industries and Muhammad Ali Tourism. The Ali Festival is an annual event that marks the anniversary of Muhammad’s passing, celebrating his impactful legacy and love for Louisville. This year’s festival will take place June 3-13. At the Kentucky Derby Museum, a new exhibit focuses on African Americans’ legacy in the thoroughbred industry and influences on the Kentucky Derby.

Dedicated as a “healing place” where visitors can come and experience African Americans’ journeys through art, music, artifacts and education, the new Roots 101 African American Museum will also open this year. In November 2020, the Breonna Taylor memorial, which was the heart of Jefferson Square Park for more than 160 days, was moved piece by piece to the Roots 101 Museum.

Despite the pandemic, the Louisville culinary scene continues to thrive. Stacey’s Donuts, which reopened at a former Louisville donut shop in early 2021, is just one of the city’s shining stories of resilience in the face of COVID. Riot Cafe, a concept born from the BLM protests as a haven for protesters, is part-bodega, part-gallery, part-meeting place to lift up the Black community. The Urban Bourbon Trail® also added the first Black-owned distillery in Kentucky, Brough Brothers.

The city recently welcomed its first DIY bar, The Craftery, which melds two pandemic-era pastimes: crafting and sipping cocktails. Other new culinary offerings in Louisville include Barn8, a unique bourbon-tasting and dining experience created by 21c Museum Hotels’ co-founders, and La Bodeguita De Mima, a new contribution to the city’s already-thriving Cuban cuisine scene. In Southern Indiana, Board & You, a local startup, recently became a restaurant, offering charcuterie boards and other innovative creations. Harry’s Taproom features new outdoor drinking options with the region’s best bartenders, and Fistful of Ale offers a new brewpub alternative.

After an $80 million renovation completed in the summer of 2020, the legendary Galt House Hotel opened its doors as Louisville’s only waterfront hotel. New food concepts include Swizzle Dinner & Drinks, a revolving restaurant that offers spectacular views above the Ohio River and opened at the end of August. It’s inspired by a downtown Louisville restaurant of the same name that operated during the 1940s and ‘50s.

Louisville is also home to many natural outdoor getaways. It boasts more than 120 parks, many of which were created by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York’s Central Park. Its greenspaces earned the city the “City of Parks” moniker.

 

Greater Miami, FL

www.miamiandbeaches.com

Miami is home to the best outdoor experiences in the United States. Hop on a kayak in Everglades National Park and enjoy nature without compromise. Then visit South Beach, where parasailing offers the ultimate getaway. For more fresh-air experiences, hike through one of the destination’s many parks, including Biscayne National Park, where other souls will be few and far between. Or head to the open water to discover the many scuba adventures in Miami, including the offerings at Tarpoon Lagoon Dive Center.

Miami is perhaps best defined by its interconnected districts and neighborhoods, all of which showcase a vibrant culture and a history that is only possible there. Visit Little Haiti – La Petite Haiti – to get a taste of the Caribbean. It’s the premier spot for art galleries and small restaurants serving up favorites like Haitian patties, meats wrapped in buttery puff pastry. Latin flare abounds in Little Havana. With Latin flavors and markets welcoming visitors, it’s easy to forget you haven’t left the United States while strolling along, sipping a cortado. Sunny Isles Beach is known as Little Moscow for its Russian influence and grocers. Miami offers Asian delicacies with pork buns and bubble tea in Koreatown, not far from Aventura in North Miami. Aventura is also home to Little France, where French immigrants settled and opened shops and restaurants. There’s even a Little Tel Aviv in Mid Beach, with a large Jewish population and businesses that celebrate this tradition. Chef Marcus Samuelsson recently debuted Red Rooster Restaurant in the heritage neighborhood of Overtown.

Between the new hotels, Esmé Miami Beach is a unique boutique property located along Miami Beach’s historic pedestrian plaza, Española Way. Music and fashion creative Pharrell Williams teamed up with hospitality mogul David Grutman and developer Eric Birnbaum to create a new, 266-room property called The Goodtime Hotel, which opened this spring. KAYAK Miami Beach is the first-ever stay experience brought to you by KAYAK.com. Miami Hotel Months will return from June 1 to Sept. 30. Locals and visitors can enjoy luxe packages, complimentary add-ons, BOGO hotel stays and more. The four-month-long program calls on those who are looking to book a vacation or staycation without breaking the bank, enjoying top hotels across Greater Miami.

The first section of The Underline officially opened on Feb. 26 below Miami’s Metrorail. The Underline will eventually become a 10-mile linear park, a world-class urban trail and public art destination that will meander from the Miami River to Dadeland South Station. The Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel recently debuted at Bayside Marketplace. Developed by BlueLab Preservation Society in partnership with the City of Miami Beach and Coral Morphologic, the ReefLine is an underwater public sculpture park and artificial reef slated to open its first phase at the end of 2021.

Miami’s art scene continues to thrive. Superblue, a production company dedicated to putting on public experiential art displays, announced plans to launch its first experiential art center in the Allapattah district. The new “Beyond van Gogh: An Immersive Experience” features more than 300 of Vincent van Gogh’s iconic artworks and takes art lovers into a three-dimensional world that exhilarates the senses. At the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), “Michael Richards: Are You Down?” is a museum retrospective on the work of Michael Richards, whose practice reflects on issues of racial inequity, systemic oppression and diasporic identity. The retrospective is available through September 2021. At the Frost Museum, the “Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs” exhibition highlights the latest research by museum scientists and leading paleontologists around the world.

 

Loudoun County, VA

www.visitloudoun.org

As DC’s wine country, Loudoun County ensures that any visit would be incomplete without a trip to any of the countryside’s more than 40 wineries. Pick up a wine glass and a map to embark on Stone Tower Winery’s self-guided tour. This mile-long hike is designed to help guests enjoy a pleasant evening through vines and rugged terrain. This trek also comes with a mini winetasting kit that can be drunk at visitors’ leisure along the hike. The foremost boutique winery in all of Loudoun County, Greenhill invites up to three guests on a carriage ride through the vines while snacking on cheese plates and savoring the winery’s Blanc de Blancs. Located nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, Bluemont Vineyard offers panoramic views of Loudoun Valley and exciting wine experiences. But Loudoun isn’t just limited to wine; its breweries are also popular destinations, many of which feature on the LoCo Ale Trail. The trail features a list of breweries with a variety that few other destinations can match, from underground taprooms to clifftop breweries like Harpers Ferry Brewing.

Go off the beaten path in Loudoun County’s natural areas. Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve features several natural habitats to explore and miles of trails to trek. Offering a whole host of activities fit for all ages, Harpers Ferry Adventure Center lets guests go tubing, kayaking or rafting down the Shenandoah or Potomac rivers for some whitewater thrills. Soar on a zipline tour and be sure not to miss the exclusive 100-foot Sky Bridge. For the first time in 17 years, trillions of cicadas will rise from the earth in an event unlike any other. For several weeks throughout May and June, visitors to Loudoun County can witness this natural phenomenon. Many of the county’s hospitality partners have arranged special events to commemorate the occasion, such as a chance to “fly” beside the cicadas on a sprawling zipline course at Salamander Resort & Spa. Also at Salamander, fine dining lovers will enjoy the Middleburg Food & Wine Festival (Aug. 20-22). Partnering with Food & Wine, this festival will celebrate diversity, share delicious food and wine, inspire conversation and highlight talented chefs – including “Top Chef” alumnus Kwame Onwuachi.

Across the county’s downtown areas, galleries and museums prove popular destinations for travelers who are looking to enrich their vacation with a bit of culture, artistry and history. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum offers massive exhibit spaces where social distancing is easy. Gaze upon the largest collections of Japanese and German World War II aircraft in the world and witness an extensive collection of space artifacts at the James S. Mcdonnell Space Hangar. In Leesburg’s Art & Cultural District, choose from a dozen art galleries – like Medlin Art Gallery and Gleedsville Art Gallery. The National Sporting Library & Museum has a new exhibition, “Tucker Smith: A Celebration of Nature,” featuring more than 75 original oil paintings – a true survey of the painter’s life’s work. Take a scenic walk through Raflo Park and Sculpture Garden and see the various sculptures created by local and regional artists.

 

Northern Virginia

www.virginia.org/regions/northernvirginia

Northern Virginia has always been an epicenter of outdoor adventures across its five distinct regions – Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Loudoun and Prince William. But travelers from Canada who are looking for the perfect road-trip destination this year – especially museum lovers and history buffs – should keep a lookout for the exciting developments happening in the area. After closing during the pandemic, the National Museum of the United States Army has now reopened for visitors, showing the complete history of the U.S. Army on a level that can’t be matched elsewhere. The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial’s opening this spring gives visitors an opportunity to honor the millions of women who spent seven decades fighting for the right to vote. Plus, the Capital One Center opened as a new mixed-use entertainment center in Tysons, featuring a hotel, a performing arts venue, retail and a 1.2-acre sky park that brings green space, a biergarten, a dog park, public art and a pop-up food truck to the area.

Coming in from the air? No problem. In early 2022, Dulles International Airport will open a rapid and inexpensive transit option to travel throughout Northern Virginia. Set to extend the Silver Line Metrorail, additional stations will reach as far as Ashburn in Loudoun County, providing an efficient alternative to travel around the area.

There are few places better to strap on a pair of hiking boots than Northern Virginia, thanks to destinations like Great Falls Park, where the Potomac River flows, careering over a cliff and into the Mather Gorge. The trails here are perfect for sightseeing while whitewater rafting provides a range of difficulties, from easy to extreme. Only 15 miles from the capital, Great Falls is an 800-acre stretch that lets visitors surmount rock walls, fish in the river and ride horseback through the trees. But to take in a truly daunting slice of nature, travelers should explore the reaches of Prince William Forest Park. With more than 15,000 acres of woodlands, streams and ponds, it’s the largest nature area in the National Park Service’s Washington Capital Region. Trading in the bristling speed of the Potomac, Prince William is a calm terrain – just right for bringing along a pet on a trek through the woods along 37 miles of trails.

Northern Virginia is a perfect destination to visit year-round, with outdoor adventures always a viable option and urban developments that provide fresh, exciting experiences to return visitors.

 

San Luis Obispo, CA

www.visitslo.com

A nearly endless supply of sunshine makes finding any type of adventure easy in San Luis Obispo (SLO). With rolling hills, breathtaking coastal vistas and oak trees as far as the eye can see, SLO has scenic backdrops that suit every type of outdoor enthusiast. Play some disk golf or beach volleyball at Meadow Park, stroll Laguna Lake Park or hit up one of the hiking trails – including Bowden Ranch. The ranch offers the Reservoir Canyon Trail, featuring oak groves, a waterfall, rivers, eucalyptus groves and 360-degree, panoramic views from the top.

While road trips are all the rage this summer, sustainability should still be a major focus for travelers. SLO is the perfect sustainable “road trip” destination: take public transportation most of the way to San Luis Obispo with Amtrak trains and arrive right in the middle of the city to enjoy restaurants and shopping within a stone’s throw of downtown hotels. The country’s number-one bike town offers great options for lovers of the two wheels: take a sunset ride through the Irish Hills, which provide roughly 10 miles of trails for the public to enjoy. For a unique and ideal biking experience, be sure to check out the SLO Bike Boulevard and hop on and off your bike to visit wineries around the city. The sustainable “SIP” certification helps you identify and enjoy wines that don’t leave huge footprints on the environment.

Wine enthusiasts are sure to be satisfied since SLO is wine country as it’s meant to be. With scenic, vineyard-lined country lanes, friendly, uncrowded tasting rooms and world-class pinot noirs and chardonnays, wineries like SLO Coast Wines and the historic Chamisal Vineyards are simply a must. Spend your morning sipping a buttery chardonnay at the Edna Valley Vineyard. Then, head over to Tolosa Winery, which takes pride in using the most environmentally sustainable practices to grow grapes and create distinctive SLO wines. Moreover, sustainability is served up in most of the region’s wineries, which are SIP-certified. But craft breweries are also thriving in SLO’s emerging craft beer scene, with macro breweries like Firestone Walker Brewing Company or small-batch, micros breweries like Liquid Gravity Brewing & Oak and Otter Brewery Company.

Locals and visitors are spoiled with SLO’s superb dining options, such as Novo – a creekside spot in the heart of downtown that serves global cuisine and an even better outdoor atmosphere. Granada Hotel & Bistro is the perfect dinner spot, with unbeatable French cuisine and beautiful patios. The city is also a haven for wellness. Hotel Cerro, Hotel SLO and The Kinney SLO all offer guests incredible options for lounging. Or head outside with the SLO Yoga Center for some al fresco downward dogs.

San Luis Obispo offers all of the responsible outdoor dining that a destination needs in this climate, but it particularly excels in quirky coffee bars – a point of pride among locals. Kin Coffee Bar, for example, serves up a creative matcha latte. Active Coffee Co. is a newcomer that tops some drinks with its signature homemade cotton candy. Scout’s locations are both open for takeout, offering their delectable Scout cookie. Nautical Bean specializes in its “Nutty Bean” coffee, which pairs perfectly with cool temperatures on a crisp afternoon.

 

St. Louis, MO

www.explorestlouis.com 

St. Louis is the ideal getaway for travelers looking to experience a slice of Midwest Americana, combined with a vibrant downtown, award-winning new restaurants, microbreweries and a rich array of cultural venues – many of which are budget-friendly or free. The big “must-see” is the Gateway Arch, whose renovated grounds were unveiled in 2018 after a five-year, $380 million project.

This year, Missouri celebrates its bicentennial, and Forest Park is set to open the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape in early June. The Playscape is a 17-acre experiential green space built to enable visitors – especially children – to connect with nature and engage their senses in exploration, discovery and learning. Also opening this fall is City Foundry STL, a soon-to-be bustling public market filled with dining outlets, shops and entertainment. Visitors will be able to relax at Fassler Hall, the authentic German Beer Hall of the Midwest, shop for organic produce at Fresh Thyme Market and eat delicious chicken ‘n’ waffles at Punch Bowl Social – all in the same evening.

In hotel news, Live! by Loews is the first St. Louis hotel from the New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., located in the middle of the city’s sports and entertainment area, Ballpark Village. Other upcoming hotels are Le Meridien Downtown, opening in June 2021, and a 21c Museum Hotel in late 2022. Work is in progress for the Major League Soccer stadium and adjoining plaza, the expansion of America’s Center and a revitalized Laclede’s Landing, as well as the Brickline Greenway. The Greenway will connect downtown and the Gateway Arch National Park to Forest Park, Fairground Park and Tower Grove Park – a two-mile walking and recreational path.

The St. Louis area has great options for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. From coming face-to-face with birds of prey to spending the day strolling through one of the world’s most beautiful gardens, St. Louis offers a variety of options to create the next great outdoor adventure. Visit the Missouri Botanical Garden and the many great attractions along the I-44 corridor: Tower Grove Park, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center and many more. Explore one of many parks, including America’s favorite urban park, Forest Park, the original site of the 1904 World’s Fair. Hike and bike along endless trails that crisscross the region. Paddle along the mighty Mississippi and experience first-hand the confluence of two majestic rivers.

If the dining culture brought you over to St. Louis, then you won’t be disappointed by its lively fare. By combining the styles of mainland Southeast Asia, Nick Bognar’s (James Beard Award semi-finalist, Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best Chef 2020 in Food & Wine) Indo creates a unique experience for guests who are looking for both adventure and dedication to tradition. Sustainability efforts in the culinary world also continue to thrive in St. Louis. Opened in 2020, the acclaimed Bulrush’s chef-owner, Rob Connoley, recently shared tips on embracing zero-waste cooking techniques at home. Vicia bar manager Phil Ingram recently spoke about zero-waste cocktails. Wondering what to do with leftover stems or egg whites from the kitchen? Ingram works with Vicia’s chef Michael Gallina, a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef Midwest Award, to make sure every scrap is used. Winslow’s Table, another eatery owned by the Gallinas, has turned into a glorified grocery store, providing residents with produce, artisan hand sanitizer, drinks and prepared dishes through a window.

 

Tulsa, OK

www.visittulsa.com 

Tulsa has made a name for itself as a city filled with cultural hotspots and innovation, from cultural centers to the family-friendly attractions that make it a perfect destination for groups of all ages and sizes. The city’s local dining venues are no exception, thanks to offerings like Kitchen 66, the first food incubator in Tulsa. Kitchen 66 is a kickstarted kitchen supporting entrepreneurs by lowering the barriers to success in the culinary scene. FarmBar, a small venue that features the agricultural cuisine of Oklahoma, is an intimate space offering a 10-course tasting menu, serving fresh and local ingredients. In the heart of downtown Tulsa’s Art District, visitors can find Amelia’s Wood Fired Cuisine, a locally sourced venue inspired by regional and South American cuisine.

Stay in the Art District to get the most out of Tulsa’s art scene. As one of the oldest sections of the city, this district has developed a culturally robust atmosphere, home to every kind of venue imaginable. For the arts, visit the Woody Guthrie Center, featuring several permanent exhibits that highlight Guthrie’s life and accomplishments, as well as temporary exhibits like Folk the Vote, which depicts the bridge between artistry and politics. Opening in 2022, OKPOP will feature stories from film, radio, television and much more – all connected to the language of music. Its world-class installations will showcase Oklahoma’s artistic impact on the world. But step out of the Art District and you’ll still find yourself surrounded by music and artistry. The Philbrook Museum of Art features vast collections of art within the trappings of an Italian countryside villa. Most recently, it unveiled its newest permanent collection – two live cats – making it the first museum in the country to do so.

Tulsa is the smallest city in the country to feature a ballet, a symphony and an orchestra, and all three venues are worth checking out. The Tulsa Opera consistently produces bold, fresh spins on opera classics, pairing young singers with conductors and directors to improve their artistic talents. Through creative and innovative programming, the Tulsa Symphony has operated as a cornerstone of the arts in Tulsa. Its performances are more than just shows; the Tulsa Symphony lets visitors enjoy both a free pre-concert conversation with guest conductors and a post-concert reception with the symphony’s musicians. The Tulsa Ballet not only provides Tulsa with greater cultural exposure through acclaimed performances but is also the site of the region’s leading ballet training facility.

Trade in the urban attractions of Tulsa’s center for a bit of outdoor recreation. Where can visitors kayak, birdwatch, dine outdoors, explore and generally just enjoy themselves for free in Tulsa? Bring the family to the Gathering Place. Ranked as one of Time Magazine’s top 100 places in the world in 2019, the riverside park is still thriving. It offers visitors a safe, family-friendly, outdoor experience unlike any other. The Gathering Place also focuses on promoting welcoming messages of inclusivity and diversity, especially with its art installations. Tucked in midtown Tulsa is the only county park within the city’s limits. LaFortune is a 270-acre park with spots for swimming and fishing, while the LaFortune trail is a 3.2-mile loop around the park. River Parks offer even more opportunities to explore nature, thanks to its 66 miles of walking trails that provide stellar views of the skyline while guests journey along the Arkansas River. This past May, Tulsa hosted the Ironman triathlon.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Barbados

www.visitbarbados.org

Barbados has always designated itself as not merely a destination getaway but also a second home for visitors looking to indulge in sweeping views of white sand dunes and crystalline beaches. With the 12-Month Barbados Welcome Stamp, an extended stay in the country has never been easier, and expanded traveling protocols that took effect on May 8 made it even more effortless.

Throughout the pandemic, Barbados has worked tirelessly to maintain its place at the forefront of tourism by adapting to the crisis and ensuring a secure, engaging trip for all its visitors. BIMSafe is a brand-new and intuitive app designed to help make travel experiences more convenient. Upload COVID-19 tests, monitor temperatures and symptoms, and complete the online ED form. Users will even receive a monitoring bracelet upon arriving, which helps maintain social distancing.

Barbados has earned a reputation as a paradise for visitors, with unparalleled natural beauty and exciting activities that are unmatched anywhere else. From the west coast and its gentle surf to the east coast, with its strong currents and large waves, Barbados offers a beach-going experience to satisfy all travelers. Explorers with keen eyes can even discover some of the “hidden” beaches scattered throughout the country – like Cove Bay, with its spectacular coastline sights. Indulge in aquatic adventures and watersports by taking a skipper out onto the water, gliding along the surface with a kayak or hanging on tight for a bristling afternoon of kitesurfing at Silver Sands.

But Barbados offers even more to travelers who dare to dig deeper. As the “birthplace of rum,” Barbados has a lot to live up to. Learn about that history at Mount Gay Rum, where you can tour the bottling area and try the signature drink. Across each of its coasts, Barbados is dotted by authentic rum shops and distilleries that are worth checking out.

There is truly no end to the possibilities in Barbados. Explore the region’s wealth of dining options, learn more about its colonial past and indulge in luxurious shopping venues. In Barbados, all tastes are satisfied.

 

Belize 

www.travelbelize.org

To put the safety of visitors and locals alike at the heart of its pandemic response, Belize stays on top of the latest information and constantly updates its protocols, adapting safely and continuing to provide an unforgettable experience for all of its visitors. The list of the country’s hotels, restaurants and tour operators expands every day, based on Belize’s Tourism Gold Standard Program, the nine-step process that tourism-related businesses must implement to receive the green light before safely reopening. With Belize’s award-winning travel policies, recognition from TripSavvy as an Industry Leader in the 2020 Editors’ Choice Awards and the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) coveted Safe Travels stamp, visiting the destination is easier than ever.

Belize boasts an unrivaled array of unspoiled flora and fauna, as well as vast greenspace that is proudly protected by the community’s mindful, eco-first approach to tourism. Go horseback riding through a lush forest, unearth mysteries lurking deep in massive caves and go snorkeling or scuba diving alongside the aquatic life populating the Belize Barrier Reef, a 185 mile-long natural habitat and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Considered the Maya heartland, Belize has only uncovered a few of the ancient wonders scattered across its land. With 1,400 sites to explore, choosing a jumping-off point for cultural exploration is tough. The former trading hub Altun Ha is located closest to Belize City, while El Pilar is among the country’s largest ancient sites and continues to be excavated today. In Belize, attractions and activities are all around.

 

Scotland (Business Events Media Only)

Scotland is working to ensure that if clients are postponing events, they can fit them into future years, or, if clients are cancelling, that they still choose to come back to Scotland in the future. The message that Scotland ‘will wait’ for clients to return or reconsider it as a destination for business has been amplified on social media via the #scotlandwillwait hashtag. Before it was mandated, Scotland has been leaning into social distancing. As a vastly green country, Scotland can host events in seven distinctly different cities, often utilizing historic castle venues and sprawling countryside. The whole country of Scotland has a lesser population than London, England, making Scotland a naturally spaced-out destination. For a long-haul road trip or railroad trip, Scotland is conveniently located in the Northern UK – a great launching point to travel through the rest of the UK. Visitors can extend a business travel trip to explore the rest of the country.

 

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