Tourism Story Ideas

2022 Tourism Story Starters

 

NORTH AMERICA

 

Buena Park, CAwww.visitbuenapark.com 

Located in Orange County, California, Buena Park has earned a reputation for being the headquarters for all things Halloween. Knott’s Berry Farm, one of Southern California’s premier theme parks, transitions to Knott’s Scary Farm during the month of October. More than 1,000 creatures lurk through a haze of fog, hide in corners awaiting unsuspecting mortals and terrorize anyone who dares to walk through the gates after dark. While the scariest and most-frantic moments are reserved for nighttime, the family-friendly Knott’s Spooky Farm celebration occurs during the afternoon. Parents and their children can partake in pumpkin decorating and trick-or-treating while mingling with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang at the Calico Carnival Costume Cavalcade.  

 

Camp Fimfo – www.campfimfo.com 

Camp Fimfo, a new and award-winning elevated camping experience located in New Braunfels, Texas, will open a second location this summer in nearby Waco. Named among the Top 5 Campgrounds for Families, as well as the Top 5 Campgrounds for Design, by Campspot, Camp Fimfo evokes memories of summer camp and family road trips of yesteryear but with all the conveniences travelers expect today. Both locations feature about 200 Red Carpet RV spots with full hook-ups, cement pads and patios, and more. A collection of cozy cabins offers a glamping experience with multiple bedrooms, kitchens, full bathrooms and outdoor luxuries, including fire rings and charcoal grills. Campers who want a more-traditional experience can pitch tents at Camp Fimfo’s primitive sites. The amenity-rich destinations include restaurants, lounges, waterparks and plenty of activities for children and adults. 

 

Chattanooga, TN – www.visitchattanooga.com 

Named one of the Top U.S. Mountain Towns by Outside magazine, Chattanooga’s fall season brings with it a kaleidiscope of colors, alfresco adventures and a handful of events, including the Chattanooga Oktoberfest, Motorcar Festival, Collegedale Apple Fesitval and Rock City’s Enchanted Garden Lights during the holiday season. New hotel properties, such as the Avid Hotel, Element by Westin and a pair of soon-to-open TownPlace Suites add to the lodging landscape. Admire the fall foliage with a stroll along the Tennessee Riverwalk and Walnut Street Bridge or along one of the dozens of nearby trails all located within a 30-minute drive of downtown. Tennessee’s best bread is made in Chattanooga at Niedlov’s Bakery & Café, and was tapped by Food + Wine magazine to be included on its Best Bread in Every State list.  

 

Chickasaw Country, OK – www.chickasawcountry.com 

Spanning 13 counties across south-central Oklahoma, Chickasaw Country offers a mix of First American customs and traditions with outdoor beauty and historic downtown destinations. The Chickasaw Nation’s 62nd annual meeting and festival kicks off Sept. 23 for a weeklong celebration with storytelling, art demonstrations, ritual stomp dances, language lessons, tours and more. The autumn climate is also ideal for exploring the region, which boasts 21 lakes and hundreds of miles of riverfront trails coupled with breathtaking and unexpected waterfalls. Visitors to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (CNRA) can enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and picnicking. Established in 1902 as the Sulphur Springs Reservation, the Travertine Nature Center is an ideal place to learn more about the park’s 120-year history. 

 

Click&Boat – https://www.clickandboat.com/us 

Sailing in the off-season has never been easier. Click&Boat, touted as the “airbnb of boating,” connects boat owners with travelers who crave the seafaring lifestyle but don’t want the responsibilities that come with ownership. With the company’s user-friendly interface, similar to other peer-to-peer platforms, guests can select their vessel choice, destination and rental length, from a half-day to multiple weeks. By owning more than 40,000 vessels worldwide, including 1,100 moored in the U.S. (that number is expected to double by the end of the year), Click&Boat can be found in some of the top U.S. destinations, including Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, New York, Austin, Charleston, Chicago and just about anywhere there is a body of water. Internationally, Click&Boat is firmly anchored among the most-sought-after harbors and marinas, from Mallorca and Monaco to Sardinia and the British Virgin Islands. Amenities, such as captains and skippers, onboard chefs and other enhancements, can be requested.  

 

Florida – www.visitflorida.com 

The Sunshine State is basking in the spotlight as a collection of new hotels and resorts prepare to open or re-open. Plush properites include the Mandarin Oriental in Boca Raton featuring a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, a pair of rooftop pools and a cache of dining options – the rooftop MO Bar + Lounge among them.  Loews Coral Gables will also make its debut with 242 rooms and suites coupled with more than 30,000 square feet of functional indoor and outdoor meeting space.  The Baco Raton has undergone a $200-million reimagination and will soon unveil its revamped Spa Palmera.  Finally, the legendary Sunset Lounge in West Palm Beach, the cornerstone of the Historic Northwest District’s restoration spearheaded by the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, is expected to reopen following a mutimillion-dollar revial.  This century-old iconic jazz venue was once the south’s premier African-American entertainment venue.  

 

Huntington Beach, CA – www.surfcityusa.com 

Huntington Beach, the original Surf City USA®, is the quintessential Southern California getaway and a magnet for surfers and four-legged travelers. The annual Surf City Surf Dog takes place in September and attracts quite a crowd with its world-famous dog surfing competition. The Pacific Air Show returns Sept. 30–Oct. 2 and features the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds with the first-ever Afterburner Music Festival added to the festivities. From mid- September through October, Old World Village beckons those who have a fondness for lederhosen and dirndls to one of Orange County’s oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebrations. Since 1977, this Bavarian-style village has been the backdrop for authentic German fare and was voted as having the “Best Bratwurst” in the state. There’s also plenty of German bier, oompah bands and competitions — such as the stein-holding endurance contest.   

 

Jackson, MS – www.visitjackson.com 

This year marks Jackson’s bicentennial anniversary as the city celebrates its 200th birthday all year long with a variety of events and attractions. One of the most-anticipated events includes the new exhibit by 12 African-American artists at the Mississippi Museum of Art through the end of September. “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” examines the deep impact the Great Migration had on social and cultural life. Dining destinations and local watering holes are raising the bar with a selection of exclusive cocktails concocted especially for the bicentennial.  Made with local spirits and ingredients, these libations are available through the end of the year. Downtown Jackson will also be the site of the Mississippi State Fair—October 6-16—one of the south’s largest festivals with more than 600,000 visitors passing through its gates during the 10-day gathering.  

 

Kissimmee, FL – www.experiencekissimmee.com 

With an inventory of more than 50,000 accommodations including some 30,000 vacation homes, Kissimmee, located in Central Florida less than a half-hour from  

Orlando International Airport, has earned its reputation as the Vacation Home Capital of the World®. Striking a balance of excitement, with thrilling theme parks and wildlife parks, as well as relaxation, Kissimmee is an excellent homebase for exploring Greater Orlando attractioins, including Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which runs from Aug. 12–Oct. 31 at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom or raise a stein in nearby Celebration during Oktoberfest.  Other events in Kissimmee include the Old Town Classic Car Show, a weekly gathering of classic vehicles.  

 

Loudoun County, VA – www.visitloudoun.org 

Raise a glass to Loundon County, boasting more than 45 wineries coupled with tours and tastings just beyond the bustle of Washington, DC. The harvest takes place in October and coincides with Virginia Wine Month and the annual Virginia Wine Festival the first weekend of October with food and wine pairings, live music and more. The celebration continues with the Harvest Party on October 15 where the entire county gathers in restaurants, vineyards and open fields for a feast of Virginia-grown food paired with some of the state’s award-winning wines. In mid-October, The Middleburg Film Festival gets underway at Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Resort & Spa with a curated selection of world and regional premiers, foreign films and Oscar contenders held in intimate theater envrionments along with “fireside chats” hosted by filmmakers, actors and other film-related guests.  

 

Greater Louisville, KY – www.gotolouisville.com 

From new exhibits celebrating Black heritage to bourbon and beyond, Greater Louisville is off to the races with a number of events this fall. Now in its second year, the Black Heritage Tour Collection offers exhibits around Louisville highlighting African-American contributions to the city’s history and culture that include local son Muhammad Ali. The newly expanded Black Heritage in Racing exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum showcases artifacts and stories revealing the legacy of African-Americans’ in the thoroughbred industry. There is also the new  Roots 101 African American Museum  where visitors can experience African-Americans’ journeys through art, music, artifacts and education. Save the date for the Big Four Arts Festival as well as Bourbon & Beyond, the world’s largest bourbon and music festival,both taking place in September.  

 

Greater Miami, FL – www.miamiandbeaches.com 

Miami’s dining and cocktailing scene offers an elevated experience with a collection of new Michelin-reviewed chefs and dining destinations, including the Mediterranean-inspired Amalia tucked inside The Lennox Hotel with Executive Chef Hernan Griccini overseeing all-things culinary. Art dealer and restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda has added Ogaway, an intimate 12-seat dining experience in the Little River community, to his growing portfolio of Japanese restaurants with Master Chef Masayuki Komatsu under the toque. Vice Burger, Miami’s favorite burger pop-up and latest winner of South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s annual Burger Bash, has opened inside Lincoln Eatery food hall. And Smorgasburg, the the largest open-air food market in the U.S. with locations in New York and Los Angeles, recently made its debut. The market’s motto is “By Miami, For Miami,” with many vendors having local ties. In hotel news, CitzenM Miami World Center will open this fall with 351 app-controlled rooms, a rooftop bar and fitness center along with Atwell Suites, a new hotel brand for IHG opening its first location in Downtown Miami in November.   

 

Redding, CA – www.visitredding.com 

Redding, located at the top of the Golden State near the Oregon border, is home to the bi-annual Chainless Downhill Mountain Bike Race, an exhilarating ride that occurs every fall and spring. Participants are required to remove the chains from their bikes and careen downhill without pedaling. Billed as the “mullet-wearing stepbrother of the cross-county race,” the event attracts cyclists from all over who describe the experience as being “1,300 feet (about the height of the Empire State Building) of pure flow and concentration.” Proceeds raised from the event benefit the Redding Trail Alliance, which builds, maintains and advocates for progressive, diverse and high-quality trails that promote community. 

 

San Antonio, TX – www.visitsanantonio.com 

San Antonio is a UNESCO City of Creative Gastronomy and has one of the nation’s most vibrant and varied culinary scenes. Visit San Antonio and Culinaria have partnered with the world-renowned James Beard Foundation to bring the Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival to the city’s historic Travis Park, October 27-30. The event will bring together some of the city and state’s top chefs with opportunities for gourmands and oenophiles to experience food-centric events throughout the city. Other events include Oktoberfest in Beethovel Maennerchor’ Southtown beer garden, the Ford Parade of Lights featuring 10 beautiful floating 26-foot-long boats filled with glowing lanterns along the River Walk. The San Antonio Zoo will host Zoo Boo! in October with daily costume contest, a Cowboy’s Scavenger Hunt and trick or treating. 

San Luis Obispo, CA – www.visitslo.com 

September is California Wine Month, and SLO’s Edna Valley, which just was just recognized as its own American Viticultural Area (AVA), is well-known for its whites and reds but is gaining a reputation for being green as well. Many of SLO’s wineries are Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certified, which means they meet a list of stringent criteria. Chamisal Vineyards has the distinction of being the first SIP-Certified winery and the first winery to plant grapevines in the Edna Valley nearly 50 years ago. Nearby Wolff Vineyards, a family-owned winery located minutes from downtown, is where enthusiasts can learn how the owners’ underground PVC irrigation project is saving at least 30-percent of water. The aesthetically pleasing Tolosa Winery, which offers reservation-only barrel tastings, boasts a solar system that produces enough power to offset 90 to 95 percent of the winery’s electricity demand. Most wineries are open to the public and some may require an appointment for tastings.  

 

Seattle, WA (business events media only) – www.visitseattle.org 

Seattle is one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the United States, and the newly rebranded Seattle Convention Center (SCC) boasts a comprehensive green program that reduces the impact of the facility on the environment. The latest addition to the SCC —the Summit, a new state-of-the-art convention center—is set to open this January. The Summit  will incorporate sustainable practices, such as salvaged wood culled from log booms and a building that once stood on the site. In honor of International Day of Climate Action on October 24, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, which late last year, has made it its mission to be the world’s most-sustainable, progressive and responsible arena. Goals include creating the first International Living Future Institute, a certified zero-carbon arena that uses 100-percent renewable energy sources and includes the elimination of single-use plastics by 2024. 

 

St. Louis, MO – www.explorestlouis.com  

The Gateway City will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the popular Great Forest Park Balloon Race September 17 and 18. As the country’s oldest and largest free balloon event, the event kicks off on the eve of the race with the Balloon Glow, also known as The Gaslight Glow.  The St. Louis Art Fair, a visual art and live performance gathering featuring jazz, blues, hip-hop and more, takes place September 9 and 10, while Music at the intersection highlights more than 60 acts on a half-dozen stagest on September 10 and 11 at the Grand Center’s Arts District. Several new restaurants have opened at the City Foundry STL, St. Louis’s bustling public market, including 4 Hens Creole Kitchen, City Winery and STL Toasted. Other dining news includes James Beard Award semifinalist Nick Bognar, owner of Indo Restaurant and named one of the 10 best new chefs in America, is set to open his new sushi restaurant, Sado. 21c Museum Hotel St. Louis will open later this year in downtown’s historic YMCA building.   

 

 

INTERNATIONAL

Barbados – www.visitbarbados.org 

With its newly minted status as a republic, the world is casting its eyes towards Barbados. It’s the only Caribbean nation to offer nighttime horseracing at the newly illuminated racetrack in Garrison Savannah near the capital of Bridgetown. Other recent additions include Rascals Waterpark, the Caribbean’s largest aqua park. Barbados’ top attraction, Harrison’s Cave, has been rebranded Harrison’s Cave Eco Adventure and is transitioning into an activity center for outdoor enthusiasts. Enhancements will include a free-swinging bridge across the gully, a zipline, a challenge course and an adventure zone. A bevy of new Barbado restaurants include QP Bistro & Quattro Passi at The Cliff where Michelin-starred Chef Antonio Mellino brings the flavors of Italy to the island. With a nod to its heritage as the “birthplace of rum,” the island’s top producers are making major strides in sustainability. The West Indies Rum Distillery is the first distillery in the Caribbean to achieve the Bonsucro Chain of Custody certification, which recognizes responsible sourcing and trading, and has installed a million-dollar solar energy plant as it makes efforts to reach carbon-neutrality by 2030.  

 

Scotland (business events media only) – www. businessevents.visitscotland.com 

Scotland has long been committed to finding innovative solutions and initiatives to help tackle global challenges, such as climate change, renewable energy sources and poverty. Its Journey to Change campaign, launched last year, continues to drive social transformation. VisitScotland Business Events views the industry as a catalyst for social and economic change and casts a spotlight on global solutions. The country’s theme for 2022 is the Year of Stories, which includes meetings and events planners hosting gathering by community groups, museums and heritage sites while encouraging travelers to visit real-life locations from favorite books, films and song lyrics. Traveling from North America to Scotland has become even more convenient aboard United Airlines with the return of three non-stop flights, including Newark (EWR) to Edinburgh (EDI), and seasonal service through the end of October from Chicago (ORD) and Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Edinburgh. WestJet, which now offers three weekly nonstop flights between Toronto and Edinburgh, has also launched service between Glasgow (GLA) and Toronto (YYZ) operating four times weekly.  

 

Monaco – www.visitmonaco.com/en 

The second-smallest independent state in the world is emerging as a leader in planet preservation. HSH Prince Albert II has rolled out a proactive sustainable development policy to combat climate change, preserve biodiversity and conserve water resources. Monaco’s hotel industry is one of the most-active sectors in protecting the environment. A pioneer in organic gastronomy, the Elsa restaurant at the Monte-Carlo Beach hotel is the first fully organic Michelin-starred restaurant certified by Ecocert. Green spaces cover about one-fifth of Monaco with the Saint-Martin Gardens in Monaco-Ville, the Petite Afrique Gardens near the iconic Casino de Monte Carlo, the Princess Grace Rose Garden and the beautifully landscaped district of Fontvieille being top spots for visitors. Monaco hosts some of the world’s most-prestigious sporting events, including the Monaco Yacht Show, September 29-October 1, showcasing megayachts available for charter and purchase. 

 

U.S. Virgin Islands – www.visitusvi.com 

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is an archipelago located in the Caribbean, and U.S. territory, where no passport is required for American citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Travelers can easily access all three islands — St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas — as part of their holiday. This fall, one of the most-anticipated hotel developments, the all-new Westin Beach & Resort at Frenchman’s Reef, will begin welcoming guests. The Seaborn at Frenchman’s Reef, part of a $350 million rebuild project and the first-ever Autograph Collection Hotel to open in the U.S. Virgin Islands, will also open its doors. With perfect temperatures, the USVI is an excellent year-round travel destination. Sailors describe the region, considered by some to be the world’s best sailing grounds, as “heaven on Earth” due to its sunny weather, dependable trade winds, stunning scenery, protected anchorages and short voyages between islands. 

Vienna – www.wien.info/en 

Viennese culture reveals itself this fall with the arrival of new venues, hotels, art exhibits and more. The Alte Post, a collection of buildings that once served as Austrian’s postal headquarters from 1850 to 2011, is receiving a new lease on life as it transitions into an expansive mixed-use development. Within its confines are Lebendiges Haus (Living House), a new contemporary museum featuring multidimensional media artwork that includes an immersive 360-degree sensory experience. Back-to-back gatherings include Vienna Contemporary, September 8-11, held at the historic and stately Kursalon Vienna and one of the city’s leading art fairs. On its heels is Vienna Design Week, September 16-25, one of Europe’s most-important multidisciplinary design festivals. Cultural milestones include the mumok, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special exhibition starting October 22. Vienna will also usher in a dozen new hotel properties, including The Leo Grand Hotel Vienna, Rosewood Vienna and the Almanac Vienna, just to name a few.  

 

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