Full August 2013 Edition - Leisure Group Travel


Full August 2013 Edition - Leisure Group Travel


Little did you know “VIP”

stood for Very Important Planner.

Give people a cocktail party and they’ll probably give you a smile. Give people a

cocktail party overlooking the Colorado River and a chartered dinner cruise, kayaking,

waterskiing, championship golf 300+ days a year and spa facilities, all at an incredible

value, and they’ll write a song about you. Plan a winning get-together by calling

our Laughlin sales staff or filling out an RFP at VisitLaughlin.com/meetings/rfp.


VOL.23, NO. 4 • AUGUST 2013



12 Adventure Travel: The Future of Tourism


An expert gives his take on one of the industry’s hottest trends.


©Michael S. Nolan

14 Adventure Cruising BY CINDY BERTRAM

19 Exploring Peru BY LANCE HARRELL

36 Utah’s Red Rock Country BY SUSAN DILILLO


18 Circle Wisconsin’s Midwest Marketplace

23 Blazing Trails in Western Illinois


28 Cleveland Rocks BY RANDY MINK

34 New Jersey’s Southern Shore BY BECKY NEEMS

38 Riding the Rails in Nevada BY SUE ARKO

40 10 Boston Must-Sees BY RANDY MINK

42 Arkansas Odysseys BY DAVE BODLE

46 Casino Best Bets BY RANDY MINK

51 Trip-Worthy U.S. Museums




6 On My Mind


8 On Tour


10 On Girlfriend Getaways


16 On the Record

59 On Marketing






Lance Harrell, director of

online media for Leisure

Group Travel, visits one of

the great wonders of South

America—Peru’s Machu Picchu.



Voting is open in Leisure Group Travel’s 11th

Annual Reader’s Choice Awards. It’s your chance

to reward superior service by selecting your favorite

domestic and international destinations, hotel brand, tour operator, Broadway show, museum, rail

trip and cruise line. Cast your vote by returning this month’s Instant Info card (and update your

subscription too!), or go online to www.LeisureGroupTravel.com and click on the Reader’s Choice logo.


Stories in Cleveland’s

Terminal Tower



population of Little Rock


Height in feet of Fenway

Park’s Green Monster wall


In response to reader

requests, we have

recently changed the

way in which we publish

the digital edition of Leisure

Group Travel. You can

now access the complete

contents of the magazine in

mobile-friendly format at


as well as view the newly

enhanced digital page

flip edition.

Also in response to

your input, we have made requesting information on the

suppliers featured in the magazine available online

as well, as an alternative to mailing in our reader

service card.

We invite you to take these new features for a

test drive and of course, as always, if you have

any suggestions or comments, we welcome them.

Just send them to lance@ptmgroups.com.


Miles between the Quad Cities

and both Chicago and Des Moines


National parks in Southern Utah


The year Nevada

became a state

Utah Office of Tourism


Machu Picchu, the ruins of an ancient Incan

civilization in the Andes Mountains, captivates

travelers on adventure trips to Peru.

(Photo by Leo Tamburri/G Adventures)


Slot machines at Harrah’s

Cherokee Casino in North Carolina

on my mind ❖ jeff gayduk

On My Mind


for Prosperity

❖ jeff gayduk

Vol. 23, No. 4 August 2013

Editorial & Advertising Office

621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406

Willowbrook, IL 60527

P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652


Publisher – Jeffrey Gayduk


Associate Publisher – Dave Bodle


WE JUST FINISHED up our annual

company meeting here at Premier Tourism

Marketing (parent company of Leisure

Group Travel). Even after 14 years of

doing this, it’s still rewarding to be able to

get the whole team together at one place

and time. After all, I usually only get to

yell at them over the phone and email,

and let’s face it, those triple-exclamationpoint

emails lose luster after a while ☺.

Though everyone who draws a

paycheck from us wasn’t in attendance,

we had the full sales & marketing team,

plus representatives from editorial,

production and reader services. When

you have over 25 “cooks in the kitchen”

as we do, at times there’s a Hatfields &

McCoys relationship between company

departments, and these meetings go a

long way towards breaking down barriers.

During one presentation, Associate

Publisher Dave Bodle (see inside back

cover) talked to the team about what it

takes to put a tour together. Throughout

his presentation he emphasized the

value of trust and relationships in this

business, stating “no tour operator is

going to book a tour in this hotel if they

don’t trust this property.” True indeed,

as we’re often slammed by fly-by-night

offers from suppliers who have holes in

their schedule. Those who think rate sells

need a lesson on partnerships.

When planning this meeting, I reached

out to many of our good partners in the

city to help us put together a memorable

Chicago event. Starting in the afternoon

and extending through the night, our excursion

allowed us to step outside the

meeting room for a day of camaraderie

and fun. From the motorcoach charter

(used a guy I have known for 25 years) to

the Shoreline Architectural Tour on the

Chicago River (solid product) to the

theater and dinner reservations, I knew

our staff wouldn’t be disappointed because

I trusted these partners to deliver a

“beyond the brochure” experience. They

didn’t disappoint!

In the magazine business we have two

types of partnerships—those with our

readers and those with our advertisers.

It’s a delicate balance, as our job first and

foremost is to tell the truth by presenting

destinations and themes that help you

plan better trips. At the same time, we

want to make sure our advertisers are

communicating their message so they

are best able to reach you. After all, they

are making an investment in the group

market, and that investment means that

Leisure Group Travel and LeisureGroup-

Travel.com both come to you free of

charge. Understand that we balance

these relationships so one side doesn’t

dominate the other. This allows us to put

out a publication that’s truly helpful to

readers while making sure the advertiser’s

message is being seen and heard.


What destinations, attractions, hotels

and suppliers go above and beyond the

competition for your groups Tell us in the

11th Annual Reader’s Choice Awards in

Leisure Group Travel. You can cast your

vote by returning this month’s Reader

Service Card by mail, fax or email, or

vote online at LeisureGroupTravel.com

by clicking on the Reader’s Choice tab.

Every vote counts!

Happy Traveling, Partner!

Jeff Gayduk, Publisher

Managing Editor – Randy Mink


Director, Design & Production – Robert Wyszkowski


Regional Business Development Managers

Northeast &

Eastern Midwest/Canada – Harry Peck

P 330.830.4880 • F 630.794.0652


Mid-Atlantic/Wisconsin – Ellen Klesta

P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652


Southeast/West Coast – Cheryl Rash

P 563.613.3068 • F 815.225.5274


Frontier & Mountain West/

Illinois/Minnesota – Linda Ragusin

P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652


Florida & Caribbean – Evelyn Stetler

P 321.235.6002 • F 321.235.6094


The publisher accepts unsolicited editorial matter, as well as advertising, but assumes no

responsi bility for statements made by advertisers or contributors. Every effort is made to

ensure the accuracy of the information published, but the publisher makes no warranty that

listings are free of error. The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited photos,

slides or manuscripts.

Leisure Group Travel (ISSN-1531-1406) is published

bi-monthly by Premier Tourism Marketing, Inc. 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406,

Willowbrook, IL 60527. The magazine is distributed free of charge to

qualified tour operators, travel agents, group leaders, bank travel clubs and

other travel organizations. Other travel-related suppliers may sub scribe at the

reduced rate of $12.00 per year. The regular sub scrip tion price for all others is

$18.00 per year. Single copies are $4.95 each.

Send Address Change to:

Premier Tourism Marketing, Inc.

621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406

Willowbrook, IL 60527



All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced in any

form without written permission of the publisher.

6 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

On Tour

❖ marty sarbey de souto, ctc

Stuck With The

Same Old Trips

ARE YOU LOCKED into same old,

same old Caribbean one-week

cruise, check. Shopping jaunt to the

mall, check. One-day gambling jaunt,

check. Hey—it’s time to get out of

your rut and try something new!

Granted, there may always be

those who want to go to the mall,

those who like to gamble, and those

who don’t care where they go. But is

that your role To take them to the

same tried-and-true place just because

you know they’ll go—over and over

and over

I don’t think so. While perhaps we

need at least one “tried-and-true” trip

on our annual calendar, I think folks

look to us for new opportunities.....

opportunities to spice up one’s social

life, challenge our intellect, or satisfy

some hidden yearning. Trips your

travelers couldn’t do on their own,

trips they’d be afraid to try on their

own, trips they wouldn’t even know

how to begin on their own. Maybe

trips they’d read about or dreamed

about or heard about from friends but

assumed they’d never get to do such

a trip themselves.

So, what kind of new trips could

we be looking at for the future Some

far-away destination well off the typical

tourist track An evening pub crawl/

dine around to new restaurants right

in your home town Maybe one of

these new eco-tourism trips Perhaps

a trip with a focus like gardens, music,

cooking or even a gentle hiking tour.

Celebratory trips for Mother’s Day or

Thanksgiving weekend can often be

a draw. You might even consider

booking with a family adventure

company (example: Thomson Family

Adventures’ Costa Rica year-end

holiday teen adventure).

Other thoughts might be a cruise

with a theme (country-western

dancing, Big Band era) or an onboard

lecture series. Some of your more

upscale cruises often offer a program

with intellectual depth. Viking River

Cruises offers wonderful “Christmas

Markets in Europe” cruises on the

Perhaps a trip with

a focus like gardens,

music, cooking

or even a gentle

hiking tour

Rhine or Danube. You might want to

design your own “Big Apple” visit to

New York including theater, a United

Nations visit, the Stock Exchange or

one of the city’s wonderful museums

(check dates of special exhibits and

make advance reservations for admission

and a docent guide).

Lots of ladies on your trips If so,

locate a fashion show; even if your

folks aren’t potential buyers, most

women like to see what’s new in the

world of ready-to-wear. Some department

stores offer fashion shows on a

regular basis, like Galleries Lafayette

in Paris and its Friday afternoon

champagne with fashion shows.

Long weekends or four- to five-day

spans lend themselves nicely to intensive

junkets to our nearby neighbors.

For example, a Quebec City/Montreal

combination or a Vancouver/Victoria

experience. What about a week in

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—a

favorite of American snowbirds looking

for Spanish-colonial atmosphere,

history, art and architecture, perhaps

with a class or lecture or two at the

well-known art institute there.

Also, don’t forget our own homegrown

spots with a Spanish flavor.

Four-hundred-year-old Santa Fe,

New Mexico offers colorful open-air

crafts markets, fiestas, rodeos and a

summer opera season, and is known

worldwide for its art galleries. Another

attractive Southwest destination is

San Antonio, Texas with its distinctive

River Walk, the Alamo, Spanish

missions, history and fiestas.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to

check out a new destination but never

had the time, money or inclination to

do so on your own to see if it’s a

viable future group destination. So

why not announce that you’re going

on a “scouting trip” and invite a few of

your good sport travelers to join you as

paying participants. They’ll feel honored

to be included in your “inner circle.”

These few ideas should give you

food for thought. Now it’s your turn.

Let me know what new trips you come

up with for your travel calendar!

Marty is a Certified Travel Counselor who

designs and leads tours. Her travel industry

consulting and educational firm is Sarbey

Associates (sarbeyassociates.com).

8 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

Go to www.gulfcoast.org for all the information you need to

plan your next tour, including sample itineraries, step-on

guides, and tour friendly restaurants and lodging properties.



Palace Casino Resort is the only smoke free

casino resort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!

From the slot machines and table games in the

casino to our fabulous restaurants and hotel

rooms, smoke free is a better way to play!

Call: Janet Harrington,

Manager Leisure Sales&Group Travel at

888-467-4853 (Ext. 228) Email: janeth@gulfcoast.org






Celebrating 51 Years

The Original Biloxi Tour


Welcome to Biloxi. We invite all aboard

for this genuine adventure through Biloxi’s

cultural history! This tour is like no otherguests

love it! Relive our colorful past as

only Carla can share it. Come for history,

for the fun, or just to enjoy the ride!

Mississippi Gulf Coast CVB, Manager Leisure Sales&Group Travel: Janet Harrington 888-467-4853 (Ext. 228)

❖ lisa kasanicky

On Girlfriend Getaways

Girlfriend Trips with a

Side of Something Different

THE LAST TIME I uttered the words “I

want something different,” I ended up

with a haircut in the shape of a mushroom.

A wild, lopsided mushroom.

Bad haircuts aside, when it comes to

group trips, my guess is that you

often hear that request. Travelers

want something other than the “same

ole, same ole” but with a tinge of

familiarity so that the trip has broad

appeal, especially with those tagged

as girlfriend getaways. The trick is to

pick a destination rich in diversions

that keep everyone happy.

Here is some food for thought (hold

the mushrooms please) when brainstorming

themed girlfriend getaways.

Retail Therapy

For many of us, shopping is a sport.

According to recent studies, a sweet

find on the sale rack and the din of the

cash register can truly enhance your

mood. Even better when you are among

friends. But remember that shopping

can take many forms, from mega malls

to back-street antique shops.

Themed shopping getaways:

● Thrift store and outlet shopping

in Palm Springs, California. Amazing

things end up in thrift stores, especially

in areas where celebrities go to, errr

… uh, retire. (Gypsyland and Revivals

are among the top rated.) If all else

fails, the Cabazon and Desert Hills

Outlets offer miles of retail.

● Furniture shopping in the back

roads of High Point, North Carolina.

Not sure where to start Where You

Need to Go offers insider tours


● Boutique shopping in the Pearl

District of Portland, Oregon. Get a

walking map at explorethepearl.com.

● Crafts and quilts in Amish Country,

Ohio. The Berlin Village Gift Barn is a

must (oldeberlinvillage.com).

● Antique shopping in Mount Dora,

Florida. Close enough to entertainment

central in Orlando, this quaint town

was once dubbed the “antique capital.”

Water Adventures

Everybody loves a beach vacation.

But with your planning expertise,

your group can get more than just

their feet wet.

Getaways with a splash:

● Snorkeling in the Florida Keys.

As a native Floridian, I can personally

attest that The Conch Republic

is nothing like most people think who

haven’t yet visited this diverse string

of islands. Islamorada, Marathon,

the Lower Keys and of course, Key

West, offer a slew of diversions with

snorkeling among the “key” ways

to get wet. Top snorkeling spots:

scubo-do.com, diveflakeys.com and


● Whitewater rafting in Northern

California. With rafting trips for all

levels, the American and Truckee

rivers take in the scenic northern Cali

river coast and are within short shots

to Lake Tahoe, wine tasting and apple

orchards. For produce lovers, a trip

to Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse

(davisranchproduce.com) for sweet

corn harvested daily is worth the trek.

Check out: whitewatertours.com and


● Sea kayaking in the San Juan

Islands, Washington. For calmer

waters, plan a trip that explores the

shores of the San Juan

Islands by kayak. Start at: outdoorodysseys.com

and shearwaterkayaks.com

Getaway ideas range from thrift shops

to whitewater rafting adventures

Festivals and Events

Here’s what I know

about fairs, festivals,

concerts and special

events: You’ll eat too much, blow way

too much cash and have a blast. The

build-up and planning that goes into

events are often what shapes a community

and as “outsiders,” your group

will get a front-row seat to the sights,

sounds, tastes and culture of an area.

Events worthy of a getaway:

● Scottsdale Culinary Festival

(scottsdalefest.org), early April

● New Orleans Jazz & Heritage

Festival (nojazzfest.com), late Aprilearly


● Rodeo Santa Fe (rodeodesantafe.org),


● Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California

(gilroygarlicfestival.com), late July

Lisa Kasanicky is author of The Complete

Idiot’s Guide® to Girlfriend Getaways (Alpha

Books, 2009) and founder of AZSpaGirls.com

− a girlfriend-to-girlfriend guide to spas,

salons, beauty and wellness. The book offers

travel details on more than 70 destinations in

the United States and Canada ideal for

female-focused group travelers.

10 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

on adventure travel ❖




Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel Trade

By Vanessa Day

Association, talks about about opportunities in this fastgrowing

segment of the industry

Imagine snorkeling off the Norwegian coast, floating in the

chilly Atlantic Ocean as a group of killer whales swims just a

few feet below the surface waiting to capture their meal.

Tourists can witness the orca’s unique feeding behavior only

a few times a year, making for a truly rare experience.

Mingling with whales is just one of many tour options that

fall under the category of adventure travel, a market that

holds huge growth potential.

The adventure travel industry has experienced a major

boom in recent years, with hundreds of new tours popping up

and more operators and companies entering the lucrative


“The growth pattern in adventure travel is extremely high,”

says Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel

Trade Association (ATTA). “It’s because people want more

from their vacation, they want something transformative, they

want it to be memorable.”

ATTA, a global organization formed to grow and promote the

adventure travel market, has some 800 members, from tour operators

to travel agents to media providers. One of its goals is

to encourage more people to get out and explore the world.

Since the term adventure travel elicits a variety of images

and ideas for each person, ATTA tries to help define what exactly

it is and establish an understanding among customers

and businesses. Stowell says a trip must have three elements

to categorize it as adventure travel. First, it has to

have some sort of physical activity, not necessarily extreme.

In fact, hiking is probably the most common pursuit on adventure

tours. Second, there has to be some kind of connection

to nature, such as a wildlife tour or a trek through the

forest or mountains. Third, it has to include some kind of cultural


“It can be extreme or it can be quite mellow,” Stowell says.

“A walking tour in Scotland can be an adventure tour for

somebody, and for somebody else it could be hiking

“The growth pattern in

adventure travel is

extremely high. It’s

because people want

more from their vacation,

they want something

transformative, they

want it to be memorable.”

Shannon Stowell

President of ATTA

ATTA’s president, an avid adventurer himself, has traveled the world.

in Nepal. There is some variation in the definition in the traveler’s


As adventure travel has become more popular, the selection

of tours has grown substantially, making it tough to know

where to begin for travelers who have never done an adventure


“The beauty of adventure travel is it’s so broad and

varied that I think if a person has a fascination with a place or

an activity, it is what they should pursue,” Stowell says.

A seasoned traveler, Stowell has journeyed to some off-themap

destinations. One of the most interesting, he notes, was

a trip to Kurdistan in Northern Iraq, mostly because it is lightly

traveled by people from the West. A destination such as this

is certainly a possibility, though few novice travelers may want

to start there.

Classic destinations include Machu Picchu in Peru, or

any city in Brazil, a personal favorite of Stowell’s. In fact, South

America is a current hotspot, according to a survey

of some 400 ATTA members. Norway, one of the few places

where travelers can ski to the ocean, is also popular,

offering activities from dog sledding to horseback riding

and hiking.

One trend is a boom in soft adventure travel, a mellower

category that can include anything from walking and biking

tours to sightseeing and boating. Custom itineraries are also

popular, and tour operators are getting into the action by creating

programs with activities that have rarely been done on

12 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

certain trips or in specific locations.

Part of ATTA’s mission is to educate tour operators on the

best practices of adventure travel and help them boost their

reputations as quality companies. Stowell recommends

listening to what customers want and experimenting with a

few different itineraries to gauge interest. Many companies

may have a current experience or trip that could be changed

or given a new twist, he says.

Consumers should check companies’ qualifications to

make sure they meet specific standards. For example, it is

essential for the company to have experienced, well-trained

guides with proper certifications, as high-quality leaders

make for a more personalized experience. And ATTA is there

to lend a hand to companies. The organization will be

launching an educational program aimed at the trade to

increase knowledge about adventure tourism. The program

will include skills training, such as certification for rafting

or mountain guiding. The idea is that ATTA will have an

Shannon Stowell advocates for a commitment to responsible travel.

educational offering that increases the professionalism and

opportunities for travel companies and destinations.

“We exist to try to grow the sustainable side of the adventure

travel industry,” says Stowell. “We’re really serious about

trying to help companies increase their adventure tourism

businesses and to do it responsibly.”

A large part of that initiative is the Adventure Travel World

Summit, which gathers hundreds of tourism industry professionals

in one exciting location to learn and invest in adventure

travel, which many consider to be the future of tourism.

This year’s summit will be held in Namibia, marking the first

time the event will take place in Africa.

So why Namibia

“The core reason for Namibia is it is one of the shining

stars in Africa now for wildlife conservation,” Stowell says.

That has been achieved over the last 20 years through

“community conservancy.” These are basically plots of land

with a tourism-interest site composed of one or many

lodges. The owners and local communities sign a legal

agreement whereby the communities benefit from what the

lodges earn from tourists. The lodges, in turn, succeed by

having incredible wildlife for customers to see. It puts everybody

in charge of protecting the wildlife.

“It’s an amazing model and it’s working,” Stowell says. “We

wanted the tourism professionals to come and see how this

works, and possibly apply a version of it wherever they can.”

This fits with ATTA’s commitment to responsible and sustainable

travel because “tourism should be a protective force, not

a destructive force,” Stowell adds. And he is not alone in this


At the summit in 2012, Taleb Rifai, the secretary-general of

the World Tourism Organization, left the crowd with an insightful

observation: “Adventure travel is what travel should

be today and will be tomorrow.”

Adventure travel, with its strong focus on nature and

culture, has the opportunity to be a preserver of human and

natural capital, according to Stowell. He, along with Rifai,

sees adventure travel as

a way to explore the

world more responsibly.

As for where adventure

travel can go, it

seems unlimited.

“I think adventure

travel is an expression

of the creative interest

of humans,” Stowell

says. As long as humans

remain curious

about the world, the adventure

tourism industry

will continue to thrive.

“The interesting thing

about adventure tourism

is that it’s about people

exploring, so the directions

it can go, I think,

are incredibly diverse,”

says Stowell. “We haven’t

even thought about

some of the things that

will be offered as tours

five years from now.” LGT

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 13

on adventure travel ❖

Adventure Cruising

on the Upswing

Exotic options tempt

seasoned travelers with

a thirst for the offbeat

By Cindy Bertram

G Adventures

©Michael S. Nolan

Whether navigating the Amazon River in Peru with G Adventures or exploring Antarctica with Lindblad Expeditions, it’s no ordinary cruise.

Celebrity Cruises

As the cruise industry continues to evolve, so does

the actual experience. Interest in adventure cruising

has really taken off in the past decade as travelers

seek active, mind-expanding vacation experiences to write

home about. From niche cruise lines to high-end ones, there

are more options than ever before. Adventure cruising is

something to seriously consider when dreaming up your next

group cruise.

The world has become smaller because it’s so much easier

to navigate. Does your group want a cold- or warm-weather

adventure Frosty-weather fans choose Antarctica, a continent

that was virtually untouched by humans until the 20th century.

Today more cruise lines than ever are offering Antarctica options.

Seabourn Cruise Line just unveiled plans to offer four

“Ultimate Antarctica and Patagonia” voyages, with the first departure

this fall.

If your group prefers a balmy clime, consider the Amazon

River or Galapagos Islands. Both Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity

Xpedition and Lindblad Expeditions offer year-round cruising in

the Galapagos.

Celebrity Cruises is the only major cruise line that sails to

the Galapagos. Its Celebrity Xpedition is an intimate mega-

Celebrity Xpedition passengers encounter unusual wildlife in the Galapagos.

yacht that accommodates just 94 guests. Celebrity Xpedition

has two exclusive itineraries that call on more than 20 island

locations and works closely with the Galapagos National Park

to ensure low-impact travel, leaving the islands pristine. All

14 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

©Ralph Lee Hopkins

©Michael S. Nolan

Camera-toting Lindblad travelers keep their cameras poised off Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska and along the icebound coast of Antarctica.

sailings are accompanied by naturalist guides certified by the

national park.

Another nice touch The Celebrity Xpedition is a seamless

all-inclusive experience. The price covers all beverages (bottled

water, beer, wine, spirits, as well as coffee and tea service,

including espresso and cappuccino), gratuities and shore excursions.

All snorkeling equipment is provided—wet suits, fins,

masks, snorkels and vests. Three levels of excursions are

ranked according to the activity involved.

Celebrity Xpedition’s seven-night cruise departs on Sundays.

The cruise can be combined with pre- or post-cruise hotel

stays in Quito, Ecuador, creating a 10- or 11-night experience.

A post-cruise Peru visit also can be part of the package.

G Adventures recently increased capacity on the Amazon

River with the launch of its newly refurbished purpose-built vessel,

the Queen Violet. Departures began in May and continue

through January 2014. The Queen Violet accommodates only

32 guests, and each journey includes visits to local villages

where guests can spend time with a family.

A company that created quite a legacy, Lindblad Expeditions

was the first to take travelers to places where only

scientists had gone. Sven Lindblad has continued what his

father, Lars-Eric Lindblad, pioneered. Lars was among the first

to take explorers to many offbeat destinations, including

Antarctica (1966) and the Galapagos (1967).

Lindblad has increased the size of its owned and chartered

fleet to 10 ships, with two of them based in the Galapagos.

Worldwide options range from West Africa to the Arctic. It has

added some new programs to its expeditions, such as kayaking

in the polar regions and the Galapagos.

In 2004 Sven Lindblad created an unprecedented alliance

with the National Geographic Society, and since then guests

have been able to travel with National Geographic explorers,

scientists, writers and other experts in diverse fields. Lindblad’s

96-passenger National Geographic Endeavor and 48-passenger

National Geographic Islander expedition ships offer 10-day

trips in the Galapagos. A 16-day option combines the cruise

with a visit to Peru.

Silversea Cruises in 2008 launched its first expedition

ship, the Prince Albert II, offering a new product that combined

adventure cruising with its trademark ultra-luxury ambience. In

2011 the line renamed the ship the Silver Explorer and continues

to market itineraries ideal for adventure-seeking travelers

who appreciate returning to Silversea’s pampering after a day

of authentic experiences in wild places. The 132-passenger

ship roams the world, from Antarctica and Polynesia to Norway,

Iceland and Northern Canada. The line’s newest addition,

the 100-guest Silver Galapagos, starts seven-night Galapagos

cruises in September.

The Silverseas expedition leader works closely with the captain

to make sure opportunities for exploration and adventure

are the best possible, based on weather, wildlife activity and

other factors. Zodiac excursions are led by the expedition team

or a guest host. Activities vary with the actual itinerary and are

designed for different levels of physical ability and interests.

Shore excursions are complimentary. Another nice touch: The

itineraries follow a tentative schedule, which allows for some

flexibility as far as staying longer at a site of particular interest.

Seabourn Cruise Line’s new, all-inclusive Antarctica/

Patagonia cruises include five days touring the White Continent.

The Seabourn Quest departs Nov. 20, Jan. 4 and Jan. 25

on 21-day cruises, while a special 24-day holiday version departs

Dec. 11 and includes South Georgia Island. Passengers

will be able to view glaciers and wildlife while cruising along

the shore in Zodiac rafts. While in Antarctica, guests will be led

by a team of naturalists, scientists and historians. Seabourn

ensures that these itineraries will have a minimal impact on the

environment. For instance, guests will be required to disinfect

their shoes before traveling to and from shore. Once on land,

they must stay in a small, contained group. Because of the

great interest, Seabourn plans to offer a few more Antarctica

voyages later in 2014.

With the increased demand for offbeat travel and authentic

experiences, adventure cruising appears to be a growth niche

that group planners should not ignore. These trips are not for

everyone, but for those with the time, the money and a sense

of wanderlust, an expedition to the Galapagos, Antarctica or

the Amazon promises to be the trip of a lifetime. LGT

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 15

on the record ❖

On The Record

U.S. Destinations Lure Foreign Travelers


from Leisure Group Travel readers

who responded to our inquiry: With

more international travelers coming

to America than ever before, what

has your business done to welcome

foreign guests Have you seen an

influx in overseas visitors If so,

from where


Shoppers from Brazil

Over the last few years we’ve seen a bigger influx of

international visitors than we’ve had in years. Our biggest

influx at the moment is from Brazil. We offer free shuttles

for individuals to over 62 area hotels and a free VIP shuttle

for groups of 20 or more from any hotel in the greater

Orlando/Kissimmee area, plus lots of special coupons.

Tammy Johnston

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Orlando, FL

Promoting Cape Cod

This year the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce partnered

with the Cape Cod and Hyannis Chambers, the

Steamship Authority, Sea Crest Beach Hotel, Harborview

Hotel and Red Jacket Resorts in a collective effort to

bring visitors to Cape Cod and Falmouth in 2014 and

beyond. In June I joined colleagues at the IPW International

marketplace trade show in Las Vegas.

In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business

appointments, I joined colleagues and more than 1,000

U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA

and more than 1,200 international and domestic buyers

from more than 70 countries to conduct business negotiations

that would otherwise be generated only through an

exhaustive number of around-the-world trips. According to

the U.S. Travel Association, the event was expected to

generate an estimated $3.5 billion in travel to the United

States over the next three years and at least $350 million

in future economic impact for the host city — Las Vegas.

In May I represented Falmouth in Stowe, Vermont at

Discover New England (DNE), the official tourism organization

representing the New England region. It is a cooperative

marketing entity funded by the participating states

of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,

Rhode Island and Vermont with a primary mission to

increase tourism to the New England region from

overseas markets — with a particular focus on the core

markets of the United Kingdom/Ireland and Germany.

Maura Aldrich

Falmouth Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA

Provincetown Rolls Out Welcome Mat

Our location is Provincetown, Mass., at the very tip

of Cape Cod. We have seen a considerable increase

in international travelers to our town. Many from Europe:

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom over

recent years. This year we have seen a considerable

increase from China, Japan, Korea and Brazil.

To make their stay welcoming and comfortable, we

have many multi-lingual guest houses, the attractions

offer translations in many languages, and we are known

for restaurants as diverse as our visitors. Also, we have

high-speed ferries from Boston to maximize the marine

travel to our charming town. Provincetown is America’s

oldest continuous art colony with a world-class art

museum and the birthplace of modern American theater.

In addition, Ptown is steeped in history. The Mayflower

Pilgrims landed here in November 1620 before they later

settled in Plymouth. The first American democratic document,

the Mayflower Compact, was written and signed by

the Pilgrims in Provincetown.

Anthony Fuccillo, Director of Tourism

Provincetown, MA

Kicks on Route 66

Over the course of the last few months, Pontiac has

welcomed tour company operators and tour promoters

16 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

from all across the globe. There have

been folks from Spain, Germany,

China, and other countries. In June,

one of these guests told us that at a

recent international travel industry

trade show, he was told that if he was

putting together a Route 66 tour for

his European clients, making the

trip to Pontiac, Illinois was a “must

do” assignment. After spending an

afternoon exploring our museums,

murals and Abraham Lincoln heritage

sites, that tour manager told Pontiac

Mayor Bob Russell that he now understood

why everyone he spoke to sang

the praises of Pontiac. “It is one of the

cleanest, nicest and most friendly towns

I have ever visited,” he commented.

Ellie Alexander

Pontiac (IL) Tourism

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: For more reader

responses on inbound travel, log on to

www.leisuregrouptravel.com and enter this code: 35405.

New Midwest

Trade Show to

Launch in 2014

Circle Wisconsin, the organization representing group

travel interests throughout the state, is launching a new

trade show in May 2014.

Titled Circle Wisconsin’s Midwest Marketplace, the event

will take place May 4-6 at the Marriott Madison West in Middleton,

Wisconsin. The organization is targeting pre-qualified

tour operators, bank travel clubs and group leaders that currently

promote Midwestern destinations, matching them up

via one-on-one appointments with leading travel suppliers

from the region. The state of Wisconsin will be prominently

featured; however, the organization will open up seller registrations

from states that border Wisconsin, including Minnesota,

Iowa, Michigan and Illinois.

“I have contemplated starting a Midwest trade show for

years, but the timing never seemed right,” stated Peggy Bitzer,

executive director of Circle Wisconsin. “Looking at the landscape

of the market, I believe the time is now and we are

super excited to launch this new endeavor.”

There is strong early interest from both buyers and sellers

for this event, signaling pent-up demand for Midwestern destinations.

Buyers are anticipated from as far as California to the

west and Florida from the south. The goal is to have 75 buyers

Marriott Madison West in Middleton will host Circle Wisconsin’s show.

and 75 sellers with each delegate

having up to 50 one-on-one appointments.

Bitzer indicates that there has

also been an overwhelming response

to sponsorships with many

key functions and sponsorships already

sold for the 2014 show.

Getting To

Madison, WI

With easy access from

Interstates 90 and 94,

Madison is within a few

hours of major Midwestern


■ Milwaukee .........80 miles


■ Chicago ...........150 miles

The event will be held at the

Minneapolis.....270 miles

upscale Marriott Madison West in Des Moines .....290 miles

Middleton, Wisconsin. This property

is just minutes from down-

Indianapolis ....330 miles

■ St. Louis ..........360 miles

■ Omaha.............420 miles

town Madison and the University

■ Detroit .............420 miles

of Wisconsin. It offers a blend of

convenience, outstanding service

and welcome amenities with the

largest convention space in the

area. The region was chosen

because of its central Midwest

location, making it an easy drive

for delegates (see chart). For

those traveling by air, Dane

County Regional Airport offers

non-stop service from the following

locations: Atlanta, Chicago,

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas-

Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis,

New York, Newark, Orlando and Washington, DC.

There are no pre- or post-familiarization tours associated

with the Midwest Marketplace. However, if a tour buyer

wants to schedule an independent fam, they can do so directly

with participating destinations. That doesn’t mean the event

won’t have personality. Circle Wisconsin is a known commodity

in the group travel industry and Bitzer packs plenty of

personality and know-how. Bitzer adds, “We’ll greet them with

hugs, say goodbye with kisses.”

A tentative tour buyer registration will be out in October.

For more information about the new Midwest Marketplace,

contact 715-833-1100. LGT

18 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

on location: south america ❖




Vestiges of an ancient

empire, along with exotic

flora and fauna, flavor

an unforgettable trip

featuring iconic wonders

like Machu Picchu and

Lake Titicaca

By Lance Harrell

Photo By Lance Harrell

View of the Andean

mountains from the doorway of

a dwelling in Machu Picchu

Just a few more steps.

You plant your hiking poles into the earth one

last time, catch your breath in the thin, brisk mountain

air, and attempt to absorb the magnificence of

the sprawling vista below.

A wellspring of mild euphoria envelopes you,

temporarily washing away the weariness in your muscles and

the chill permeating your fingers and toes. Temporarily, only

because the journey you undertook to reach this destination

has been an arduous one.

Embarking four days before, you have hiked 26 miles,

reached heights of 13,800 feet, climbed thousands of handcarved

stone steps, survived Warmiwañusqa (“Dead Woman’s

Pass”), endured weather ranging from scorching sun to windwhipped

snow, and wondered at the ruins of Runcuracay,

Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca and Wiñay Wayna. All this

along a path kept secret for almost half a millennium to protect

a last refuge of an ancient, powerful, yet defeated empire.

Leisure Group Travel’s Lance Harrell gave out

school supplies to children on his trek route.

The Lost City of Machu Picchu, Peru

Photos By Lance Harrell

You reap the reward of your predawn rising as you watch

the first rays of the morning sun crest the Andean mountains,

ignite the air in an almost mystical illumination and gently fall

upon the nearly perfectly preserved ruins sleeping silently on

the mountaintop below.

You have been fortunate enough to arrive on the summer

solstice, allowing you to bear witness to an example of the incredible

astronomical, mathematical and architectural prowess

of this civilization, the Sun Temple. As you stand transfixed, the

sunlight crests the top of a far-off mountain and pierces the

Sun Gate that resides there. The beam of light streaks across

the deep valley and strikes the window of the Sun Temple,

marking with exact precision one of only two days a year

when the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to its orbital path

around the sun.

You marvel at this ancient calendar made of stone and

light—more accurate than even its modern day contemporary—as

it will continue on without need for adjustment for

another 11,000 years, unlike ours that needs to be adjusted

every four (leap year).

The moment passes and the reality of your own accomplishment

awakens within you. You have conquered the Inca

Trail and delivered yourself to one of the most iconic locations

in the world. You have arrived… at Machu Picchu.

Through Hell and Back Again

While hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu could arguably

be considered the shining jewel in your Peruvian crown, you

20 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

Lance Harrell

Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru

cannot afford to miss experiencing the myriad of other resplendent

locations spread across this South American country.

At the edge of the Amazon Rainforest lies one such

destination, a massive 3.5 million-acre park serving as a

gilded repository to a cornucopia of unique flora and fauna—

Tambopata National Reserve.

To reach the handful of lodges inside the reserve, one

must venture up the Tambopata River via Puerto Maldonado

and the village of Infierno (Hell), the latter so named because

of its unforgiving soils and summer temperatures that can

reach 133 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the Tambopata is a

far cry from a journey on the River Styx. With a watchful eye

you can add caimans, piranha, jaguars, pumas, monkeys, the

giant river otter, countless species of birds and even the

world’s largest rodent, the cabybara, to your checklist of

sighted creatures.

Visiting a traditional alpaca wool weaving community

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 21

on location: south america ❖

For a deeper look into the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco, go to

LeisureGroupTravel.com and enter this numerical code: 35348

Children of the Sun

Farther south, spanning the border between Peru and Bolivia,

you can set sail upon the highest navigable lake in the

world, Lake Titicaca. Home to threatened species such as the

large Titicaca water frog and the flightless Titicaca grebe, the

island-studded lake is held in Incan mythology as the place

from which the world was created, when the god Viracocha

came out of the lake and created the sun, the stars and the

first people; and where Manco Capac, the first Inca king, was

born. Touching these waters is like touching the soul of the

Incan people.

History in Motion

Those seeking a more metropolitan-centered experience

need look no further than the formal capital of the Incan empire,

Cuzco. Here you can immerse yourself in the proud and tragic

history of the Americas’ greatest ancient empire by visiting the

wealth of museums that abound upon its architecturally delightful

streets. Or travel just outside the city and surround yourself

in the living history of ruins such as Sacsayhuaman, the

site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men

charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca. At night, seek out

a culinary adventure or two and try the local delicacies of alpaca

and guinea pig, or merely enjoy a latte on a balcony overlooking

the Plaza de Armas and feel the pulse of the city as

you recoup, reflect and rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.

The Temple of the Sun, Cuzco, Peru

Machu Picchu, Tambopata National Reserve, Lake Titicaca

and Cuzco would not be the completion of your journey

in Peru. However, they are a touchstone upon which your potential

adventure can be judged. These names elicit wonder,

but the thought of planning an excursion to them may also

seem overwhelming. Do not become discouraged—there is

help available. I was lucky enough to be in the capable hands

of G-Adventures, who made the process so effortless that all

I had to do was pack my bag, open my front door and take…

just a few more steps. LGT

Lance Harrell

Finishing the Inca Trail

and overlooking Machu

Picchu from the Sun Gate.

Photo by Jim Old

22 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

on location: midwest ❖

Blazing Trails in

Western Illinois

Tour possibilities abound in

group-friendly places like Moline,

Galesburg, Nauvoo and Peoria

By Randy Mink

Visitors to the blacksmith shop at Historic Nauvoo get a lesson in pioneer craftsmanship and the history of Mormon migration from Illinois to Utah.

When it comes to Illinois tourism, the Chicago area

undoubtedly grabs the lion’s share of the attention.

Abraham Lincoln sites in Springfield, the

state capital, thrust Illinois into the national and international

spotlight as well.

Smart tour planners know that top-notch attractions also

await in Western Illinois—a less-heralded region that stretches

to the Mississippi River and neighboring Iowa. Tourist-friendly

towns only three or four hours from Chicago seem light years

away from the skyscrapers on Lake Michigan’s shores.

Western Illinois, however, has its own metropolitan areas,

one of them a collection of communities that straddles Illinois

and Iowa on a section of the Mississippi that runs east-west,

not north-south. The Quad Cities consists of five large

communities—Moline, East Moline and Rock Island,

Illinois, and Davenport and Bettendorf,

Iowa (yes, that’s five, not four)—plus a few

other towns. The area is equidistant (160

miles) from Chicago and Des Moines.

Moline is the corporate home of John

Deere & Company, the farm implement

manufacturer. Its chief attraction is the

free-admission John Deere Pavilion,

a glass-enclosed showplace

for those shiny green machines

with the yellow deer logo.

Randy Mink

Visitors roaming the exhibit floor climb into tractor cabs and

see a wide variety of products, including logging and construction

equipment. Taking up one end of the building is a

mammoth combine with a suggested price of $510,885. A

Wagon rides provide

an overview of Historic

Nauvoo, a Mormon

settlement in the mid-1800s.

Top inset: Carl Sandburg

house in Galesburg.

Below: Bishop Hill

artisan studio.

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 23

on location: midwest ❖

Obtain Illinois visitor guides and itineraries and contact groupfriendly

suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info

video about Deere’s role in world agriculture, “Anthem: A Song

of the Land,” is shown in the mini-theater. On two-hour tours of

John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, visitors get

close to the combine assembly lines.

Moline’s best-known historic homes were built by Charles

Deere, who took over the company from his father at the age of

21. The 1872 Deere-Wiman House, the residence of Charles

and his wife Mary, sits on seven acres overlooking the Mississippi.

Across the street he built Hillcrest (now the Butterworth

Center) in 1892 for his daughter Katherine and her husband,

William Butterworth, the third president of Deere.

In downtown Moline, a short walk from John Deere Pavilion,

is Lagomarcino’s, a local institution. This third-generation

soda fountain and candy shop, a slice of yesteryear with mahogany

booths and a terrazzo

floor, offers a full menu and

can accommodate groups. A

good shopping stop, the store

has everything from homemade

truffles and toffee to

group itineraries. The government’s largest arsenal has manufactured

weapons, parts and armor, even tanks and artillery,

for more than a century. Step-on guides are provided for tours

that include a museum with an outstanding firearms collection.

Visitors also can view the barge traffic and lock operations at

the Mississippi River Visitor Center at Locks and Dam 15.

Bishop Hill State Historic Site, southeast of the Quad

Cities, is an idyllic, Swedish-flavored village that attracts groups

with its specialty shops, artisan studios and 19th century history.

Settled in the 1840s by immigrants from Sweden, Bishop

Hill was a religious utopian community that thrived for 15 years.

Original buildings have museum exhibits. Eateries serve

Swedish meatballs, and shops offer Swedish imports.

Galesburg, the home of Knox College, offers great shopping

in its revitalized downtown.

The Galesburg Antiques Mall

Co., in a magnificent building

at the corner of Main and Seminary,

has three floors of old

treasures, from vintage jewelry

seasonal favorites like

and baseball cards to well-preserved

caramel apples and chocolate

Easter eggs. The hot fudge

sauce is to die for.

The Celebration Belle,

celebrating its 30th year of

issues of Life magazine

from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. A

one-block section of Seminary

Street abounds with boutiques,

art galleries and restaurants,

Mississippi River cruising Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse presents musicals and other light-hearted including Stray Cat Art, Denim &

fare in a restored 1921 theater in downtown Rock Island, Ill.

from Moline, welcomes

Pearls, and Landmark Cafe &

groups on its lunch, dinner and sightseeing trips. Circa ’21

Dinner Playhouse, housed in a beautifully restored 1921

vaudeville-movie theater in downtown Rock Island, is another

Quad Cities staple. Guests are served by a talented waitstaff

that performs a 15-minute revue before the main show, which

is usually a comedy or Broadway musical. Upcoming shows

include A Christmas Story: The Musical, Buddy: The Buddy

Holly Story and Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and


Many sample itineraries crafted by the Quad Cities CVB include

a tour of Boetje’s Mustard, which has made its stoneground

Dutch mustard in Rock Island since 1889. Another

behind-the-scenes option is the Isabel Bloom Studio in Davenport,

where artisans carry on the legacy of the Iowa sculptor

who studied under Grant Wood.

The historic Rock Island Arsenal, an active U.S. Army facility

on an island in the Mississippi River, plays a key role in

Creperie. Just down the street is the Galesburg Railroad

Museum, next to the Amtrak depot.

Literary buffs in Galesburg head to Carl Sandburg State

Historic Site to see the humble cottage where the Pulitzer

Prize-winning poet and Lincoln biographer was born in 1878.

The adjacent visitors center has an orientation video and

Sandburg memorabilia. A small park behind the birthplace features

Quotation Walk, a winding path of stepping stones inscribed

with short quotes from Sandburg’s poetry and prose.

The ashes of the “Prairie Poet” and his wife are buried beneath

Remembrance Rock (named after his novel).

The town of Nauvoo, situated on a bend in the Mississippi

River, abounds with Mormon history. It was here in 1839 where

Prophet Joseph Smith Jr., who established The Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his followers settled in

1839. The town became the largest in Illinois and flourished

until 1846, when Brigham Young led church members to Utah,

leaving behind violent anti-Mormonism. (Smith was killed by a

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: For a sampling of brew pubs in the Quad Cities, see

Randy Mink’s article at www.LeisureGroupTravel.com and enter this code: 33822.

mob while in jail in nearby Carthage.)

Historic Nauvoo, a tract of tree-shaded, riverfront land

Quad Cities CVB

24 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 25

on location: midwest ❖

framed by split-rail fences, contains original

and reconstructed homes and shops furnished

with 1840s-era artifacts and staffed by

Mormon missionaries from various states.

Blacksmithing, brick-making and other pioneer

crafts are demonstrated. Narrated horsedrawn

wagon rides provide an overview of this

Colonial Williamsburg-style attraction, and the

20-minute film Remembering Nauvoo is

shown in the visitors center. An outdoor stage

on summer evenings presents the folksy variety

show Sunset on the Mississippi, plus

Brigham Young University performance

groups. The nighttime Nauvoo Pageant (early

July to early August), complemented by daytime

festivities, is a tribute to Joseph Smith

and Mormon settlers. Admission to all buildings,

musical shows and plays is free. Joseph

Smith Historic Site, adjacent to Historic Nauvoo,

has its own visitor center and offers walking

tours ($3 pp.) of Smith’s homes, store and


The Nauvoo Temple’s hilltop grounds afford

stunning river panoramas. The adjacent

business district on Mulholland Street has

small shops and restaurants. Hotel Nauvoo

is famed for its dinner buffet. Many of the

shops sell religious items.

Tour groups in Nauvoo also might consider

a tour and tasting at Baxter’s Vineyards &

Winery. Founded in 1857, Illinois’ oldest winery

is a fifth-generation family enterprise.

Quincy, another historic Mississippi River

city, lies about 50 minutes south of Nauvoo via

the Great River Road. Many tours visit the

Quincy Museum, which occupies the Newcomb-Stillwell

Mansion, and Villa Kathrine, a

Mediterranean-style castle that serves as

Quincy’s tourist information center.

The big news in Peoria, the largest city on

the Illinois River (metro population 462,000),

centers on the Caterpillar Visitors Center

and adjacent Peoria Riverfront Museum, a

major downtown development. Guests can

watch a short movie about the Peoria-based

heavy equipment manufacturer and hop into

the cabs of a bulldozer, excavator and other

giant, yellow-and-black vehicles. LGT

26 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

Chicago’s North Shore is home to

many world-class attractions and

is 20 minutes from downtown

Chicago. You’ll find many dining

and lodging options perfect for


For personalized assistance and to

make group reservations, contact

us today.


to the fall beauty of the

Chicago Botanic Garden,

complete with a tram ride.

Combine with other area


• Ravinia Festival

• Illinois Holocaust Museum

• Bahá’í House of Worship

• Charles Gates Dawes House

• Fabulous Cooking Schools

• Guided Architecture Tours

Caryn Shulman

847.763.0011 Ext. 25



LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 27

on location: midwest ❖



Good times await tour groups

on the shores of Lake Erie

By Randy Mink

Goodtime III − Cleveland’s largest excursion boat.

The Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame is a shining star on

Cleveland’s lakefront.

Photos Courtesy of Positively Cleveland

In Cleveland your groups can cruise on a Great Lake, enjoy

big-league sports and sample cheese at a historic food

market. They can try their luck at a new casino, marvel at

marine wonders in a new aquarium and see where a quirky

cult Christmas movie was filmed. You might have trouble tearing

some of them away from what many consider to be the

city’s star attraction—the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum;

even a two-hour visit there just isn’t enough.

A good rule of thumb for tour planners: Devote more time to

Cleveland than you originally had intended. Once you realize

the diversity of attractions and their relative proximity to each

other, you know you’ve discovered itinerary gold. How could

you call this place dull

The glass pyramid that houses the Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame and Museum has become a city landmark and a

tourism-generating powerhouse. With seven floors of exhibits,

the museum deserves as much time as you can give it.

Whether a fan of Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix or

Madonna, everyone remembers a certain era and revels in

nostalgia as they peruse the photos, videos, costumes and instruments.

There are the pioneers like Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee

Lewis and Buddy Holly. Motown is represented by the Jack-

28 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

See vintage cars and planes at Crawford Auto Aviation Museum.

PlayhouseSquare is downtown Cleveland’s theater district.

son Five, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and Diana Ross

and the Supremes. Beatles memorabilia includes a Yellow

Submarine toy and jackets worn by the Fab Four. See Elvis’

white-beaded jumpsuit and film clips of “The King” in concert.

Listen to disc jockeys from your city.

Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, running through

next March, is the museum’s first ever major exhibition capturing

the band’s long career. Chronicling the Stones from the

mid-1960s, it includes personal items that have never been

seen before by the public. The exhibit, with film and interactive

technology, takes up two-and-a-half floors.

The rock music shrine is just one of several attractions

fronting Lake Erie in downtown’s North Coast Harbor District.

A short walk away is the Great Lakes Science Center, which

offers an Omnimax theater and the NASA Glenn Visitor Center,

a collection of exhibits on aeronautics and space exploration.

The science museum’s Steamship William G. Mather,

a restored Great Lakes freighter built in 1925, is moored on

the lakefront and open for visits from May to October. Next

door to the Science Center is Cleveland Browns Stadium,

which offers behind-the-scenes tours.

From North Coast Harbor, the city’s largest sightseeing ves-

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 29

on location: midwest ❖

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: For a look at Cleveland’s West Side Market, see

the article at www.LeisureGroupTravel.com and enter this code: 31656.

sel provides a good orientation to Cleveland. For captivating

skyline views, consider a narrated Lake Erie/Cuyahoga River

cruise aboard the 1,000-passenger Goodtime III. Lunch and

dinner sailings are available. Another popular cruise boat is the

Nautica Queen, which offers lunch and dinner cruises from

The Flats, a riverside district that has grown in popularity with

the opening last year of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. At

Ohio’s only free-standing aquarium, located in the historic

Side Trips from Cleveland

Cleveland makes a good base of operations for touring

Northeast Ohio. Here are just a few of the possibilities:

• Pro Football Hall of Fame,

Canton. Fresh from a major

renovation/expansion, the hall

captures defining moments of

football history and profiles greats

of the game through videos and

high-tech, interactive exhibits.

Touch screens provide bios of all

inductees. (profootballhof.com)

• Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens,

Akron. This 65-room Tudor

Revival manor house, built in

1912-15 for Goodyear company

co-founder Frank A. Seiberling,

showcases treasures from around

the world. (stanhywet.org)

• Cedar Point, Sandusky. This

amusement park on the shores of

Lake Erie boasts 16 roller coasters,

including some of the tallest

and fastest in the world. Also

enjoy the beach, miniature golf

and Soak City water park.


• Hale Farm & Village, Bath.

Journey back to the 19th century

at this outdoor living history

museum in the Cuyahoga Valley.

A property of Western Reserve

Historical Society, it includes

dozens of historic buildings and

a working farm staffed by roleplaying

interpreters who demonstrate

pioneer crafts. (wrhs.org)

• Cuyahoga Valley Scenic

Railroad, Independence. Take

a nostalgic three-hour ride in a

classic rail car pulled by a 1950s

diesel locomotive. Traveling

through Cuyahoga Valley National

Park, the excursion train traces

the Cuyahoga River and Ohio

& Erie Canalway, traversing

meadowland, forest and farms.

Fall color tours are especially

popular. (cvsr.com)

Some of the world’s premier roller

coasters dominate the skyline at

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

FirstEnergy Powerhouse, guests can walk through the Shark

SeaTube with sharks and fish swimming overhead. One exhibit

features freshwater species native to Ohio. One- and twohour

tours of Cleveland on Lolly the Trolley depart from the


Terminal Tower, a 52-story skyscraper on Public Square,

is the most recognizable beacon on Cleveland’s skyline, and its

enclosed observation deck is open to group visits at any time

(only on weekends to the general public.) The top of the Art

Deco masterpiece, dedicated in1930 and once the tallest building

outside of New York, is bathed in colored lights for holidays

and special occasions.

The lower levels of Terminal Tower contain shops, restaurants

and an 11-screen cinema. Called Tower City Center, the

complex has a food court with eateries like Nathan’s Famous

and McDonald’s. The Hard Rock Cafe at Tower City serves the

brand’s signature burgers, fries and shakes. For groups it offers

a package that includes admission to the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame. The restaurant has its own collection of rock

music memorabilia, from a Rolling Stones guitar to Madonna’s


Creating the latest buzz at Terminal Tower is Horseshoe

Cleveland, a full-service casino that opened last year in the

former Higbee’s department store. Highlights include 1,900

slots, 89 table games and a buffet called The Spread.

The nearby East 4th Street District, a block-long brick

pedestrian street, is a nightlife hub with hotspots like the House

of Blues, Hilarities comedy club, Pickwick concert venue and

celebrity chef Michael Symons’ Lola. Corner Alley, an upscale

bowling center with casual dining at 4th Street Bar & Grill, has

12 lanes accented by video walls.

A walk down Euclid Avenue leads to PlayhouseSquare, a

cultural magnet centered around five restored theaters. On almost

any night you can catch a Broadway show, Shakespeare

play, concert, opera, ballet, play or top comedian. The Great

Lakes Theater Company and Cleveland Playhouse, among

the top regional theater companies in the country, provide a

wide variety of fare. All five theaters—the Allen, Ohio, State,

Palace and Hanna—were built between 1919 and 1921 as

vaudeville or movie theaters. They closed in the 1960s but

were saved from the wrecking ball; renovations began in the

’70s. Theater tours can be arranged.

Not far from PlayhouseSquare are Progressive Field

(Cleveland Indians) and Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland

Cavaliers). Tours of Progressive Field include a dugout, the

visitors’ clubhouse, bullpen, indoor batting cages, press box

and exhibits on the team’s past. Quicken Loans Arena, or “The

Q,” is also home to the AHL Lake Erie Monsters and arena

32 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

Obtain Ohio visitor guides and itineraries and contact groupfriendly

suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info

football’s Cleveland Gladiators and hosts major concerts.

Many of Cleveland’s cultural institutions are clustered in

the University Circle area, a few miles east of downtown. The

Cleveland Museum of Art (free general admission), undergoing

an extensive renovation and expansion, spans 6,000 years

of art, offering everything from Egyptian

antiquities to French Impressionists and

modern American art. You can view vintage

cars and planes at the Crawford Auto

Aviation Museum, part of the Western

Reserve Historical Society, which also

encompasses The History Museum. Other

University Circle attractions include Cleveland

Botanical Garden, which has a conservatory

that houses the ecosystems of

the Madagascar desert and Costa Rican

rainforest; the new Museum of Contemporary

Art; Cleveland Museum of Natural

History; and magnificent Severance

Hall (home of The Cleveland Orchestra)

on the campus of Case Western Reserve


The West Side Market, one of America’s

great historic food halls, is a favorite

with tour groups and Cleveland residents.

More than 100 tenants sell everything from

meats and fish to spices, nuts and baked

goods. Many stalls have remained under

individual family control for much of the life

of the market—a few dating back to its

1912 opening. Architecturally distinguished

by its vaulted, tiled ceiling and landmark

clock tower, the market makes a great

lunch stop. Many vendors offer free samples,

or your group can eat its way through

the market with Taste Cleveland Food

Tours and meet its colorful entrepreneurs

at the same time.

Fans of A Christmas Story will want to

visit the Christmas Story House, the restored

house used in the classic 1983 movie

about a 9-year-old boy who wanted an air

rifle for Christmas. The companion museum

across the street has props, costumes and

other movie memorabilia, including Randy’s

snowsuit and the family car.

Cleveland, as more and more tour planners

are discovering, comes as a neatly

wrapped package full of goodies for groups of all ages. While

the lakefront certainly has summertime appeal, groups will find

merriment here any time of the year.

For travel information, contact Positively Cleveland CVB,

positivelycleveland.com. LGT

Wander The Wonders of Wayne County

To discover what you have been missing

visit www.wccvb.com or call 1-800-362-6474

2013 WCCVB 094 061113

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 33

on location: northeast ❖

By Becky Neems

New Jersey’s

Southern Shore

Groups find fun, frivolity and

ocean breezes in the Wildwoods,

Cape May and Ocean City

The Southern Shore is a summer escape hatch

where vacationers frolic in resort communities

like the Wildwoods. Diversions range from

thrill rides and carnival games to sunbathing

and simple strolls along the boardwalk.

On the southeastern coast of New Jersey, the Wildwoods

are one of the Jersey Shore’s premier vacation

spots, a perfect destination for group travel with

plenty of options for relaxation and recreation. Known for its

boardwalks and beaches, the Wildwoods invites groups to

walk along the pier, go on rides, and enjoy the sand and surf.

The Wildwoods consist of three areas that cater to diverse

tastes: Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. Each

area has its own personality. The nearby towns of Cape May

and Ocean City also attract tour groups.

A recipient of many awards, the Wildwoods were selected

in 2013 as the Favorite Beach by NJ.com. They were named

“Best Beaches in New Jersey” in the 2012, 2011, 2010 and

2008 Top Ten New Jersey Beaches public survey. The 2012

list of TripAdvisor’s “15 Destinations on the Rise” included the

Wildwoods, and Home.com voted the Wildwoods one of

“America’s Top 10 Scenic Seasides of the Summer.”

Here’s a quick look at the Wildwoods and the southeastern



In the center of the vacation area, Wildwood offers five

miles of free beach and a boardwalk with more than 70,000

planks that stretches for two miles. Nothing is more New Jersey

than its boardwalks with saltwater taffy, carnival games

and eclectic shops.

Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks,

with three amusement piers on

the Boardwalk, is a great place to start a

Wildwood getaway. It boasts more than

100 rides and attractions and two beachfront

waterparks, one featuring a beach club with cabanas.

The Doo Wop Experience Museum is filled with neon

lights and funky designs recalling Wildwoods of the 1950s and

’60s. Bus tours from the museum spotlight the architecture of

seaside motels designed in the ’50s.

Wildwood Crest

At the southern end of the Wildwoods, Wildwood Crest is

known for its water sports and family-friendly environment.

Atlantic Parasail Inc. has sent riders on over 200,000 flights.

Starlight Fleet offers dolphin- and whale-watching cruises. A

20-block stretch of Ocean Avenue has examples of the Doo

Wop architectural style popular in the ’50s. Turtle Gut Park

and Memorial commemorates the site (near Sunset Lake)

of the only battle of the American Revolution fought in Cape

May County.

North Wildwood

Boasting New Jersey’s best sports beach, special events

Cape May County Tourism Photos

34 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

and a diverse nightlife, North Wildwood is

full of attractions. Night spots include 2nd

Street Annie’s, Beach Creek Oyster Bar

and Grill, Blue Water Grille at the Bolero

and Casba Comedy Club.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse features

free, award-winning gardens and a view

looking over the Atlantic Ocean along the

North Wildwood seawall.

Cape May

At New Jersey’s southernmost tip,

Cape May is another option on the Southern

Shore. Enjoy the beaches and Victorian

architecture of this classic seaside

resort town.

Climb 199 steps to the top of 157-foot

Cape May Lighthouse for views of the

Cape May peninsula. The beacon, still in

use, was built in 1859 with the original

bricks of the 1847 lighthouse.

Cape May Whale Watcher, serving

Cape May, Wildwood, and the rest of the

Jersey Shore, offers whale- and dolphinwatching

cruises on its new vessel, the

110-foot Spirit of Cape May. Bird-watching

and dinner cruises are available as


Another place to view wildlife is the

Cape May County Park and Zoo. The

free-admission park features some 250

species of animals and includes picnic

areas, nature trails, playgrounds and bike

paths. Nearby is Leaming’s Run Gardens

with its themed gardens and re-created

colonial farm.

The Cape May Lighthouse

dates from 1859.

Historic Cold Spring Village is an

open-air, living history museum consisting

of 25 restored buildings. Interpreters

demonstrate such 19th century crafts as

broom making and blacksmithing.

Ocean City

In the northern end of the Southern

Shore, Ocean City features beaches,

boating, sports and attractions. The Discovery

Seashell Museum displays cone

shells and bulk shells, among many others,

plus seashell art, jewelry, hermit

crabs and the opportunity to learn about

sharks, butterflies and plants. If looking

for spooky fun, look no further than Ghost

Tours of Ocean City. It sheds light on the

secrets of the Boardwalk, Flanders Hotel

and legend of the Jersey Devil.

For amusements and relaxation,

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Gillian’s

Island Water Park and Adventure Golf

are great destinations. The Wonderland

Pier is a pay-as-you-go park featuring a

Giant Wheel as well as 35 other rides. The

water park features the Serpentine Slides,

Lazy River and cabana rentals. LGT

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 35

on location: west ❖

By Susan DiLillo

Tourists admire Mother

Nature’s handiwork at

Canyonlands National Park.

Adventures in Utah’s


Outfitters and tour companies abound in little Moab, the gateway to two national parks

Utah Office of Tourism Photos

Stunning landscapes, along with outdoor activities from

water sports to land excursions, makes Southern Utah

one of the greatest spots for adventure trips in the

American Southwest. Whether it’s for one day or multiple days,

the red rock country will not disappoint groups looking for

recreational opportunities or sightseeing marvels.

Moab, a small town in Southeastern Utah, is located at the

foot of the La Sal Mountains and overlooks the Colorado River.

It is a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to natural

wonders in places like Arches and Canyonlands national

parks. The town, with about 5,000 residents, offers many lodging

options, including hotels, resorts, and campgrounds.

Moab is home to many adventure travel enterprises. Moab

Adventure Center, for example, offers a variety of packages,

some including lodging options. The outfitter’s travel packages

for church groups, business and school trips work for up to 19

people. Full-day and multi-day plans feature guided tours and

hikes, off-road safaris and river rafting.

Other outfitters, to name just a few, include Moab Cliffs and

Canyons, which explores Moab’s wilderness through rock

climbing and desert hiking; Canyon Voyages Adventure Co.,

which offers a variety of guided adventure trips in the Moab

area; Moab Rafting & Canoeing Company; and Western

Spirit Cycling (guided bike trips).

Arches and Canyonlands national parks, located just a few

miles outside of Moab, are two of the most scenic places in

Whitewater adventures on the Colorado River are offered by adventure

tour companies in Moab. Trips can be tailored to various abilities.

36 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

Obtain Utah visitor guides and itineraries and contact groupfriendly

suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info

Utah. Visitors come to view the red

sandstone formations and slickrock


Arches National Park, set high

above the Colorado River, has over

2,000 natural arches. Moab Adventure

Center offers hikes and bus tours that

allow close-up looks at Arches’ sandstone

creations. The Fiery Furnace hike

is a guided five-hour trek through the

twists and turns of Arches’ towers and

spires. The Tower Arch Trail is a 2.4-mile

trip that winds through sandstone formations,

providing vistas of the Arches’

most famous landscapes. There are

hikes for people of varying physical capabilities.

Bus tours give a view of the

Courthouse Towers, La Sal Mountains,

Petrified Dunes and other much-photographed


The Green and Colorado rivers divide

Canyonlands National Park into

three sections. These include Island of

the Sky, elevated 2,000 feet above the

rivers; the Needles, where colorful sandstone

structures tower over the land;

and the Maze, an area of flat rock walls

and abrupt drop-offs. Canyonlands offers

hiking, boating, camping, biking,

horseback riding and rock climbing.

Canyonlands is known for its great

mountain bike terrain, especially the

100-mile White Rim Road. Trips around

the Island take three to four days by bike.

The Green and Colorado rivers are perfect

for canoeing and kayaking. Island of

the Sky and the Needles have areas for

short walks, hikes and backpacking.

Many years of geological history

have made Dead Horse Point State

Park, located 30 miles outside of Moab,

one of the most photographed scenic

vistas in the world. In addition to the picturesque

red rock and 21-site campground,

Dead Horse has areas ideal for

mountain biking and bird viewing.

The state park has three hiking and

biking loops (one to nine miles) with

varying degrees of difficulty. The easiest

Dead Horse Point State Park showcases the splendor of Utah’s red rock country.

loop is Intrepid, followed by Great Pyramid

and Big Chief, the most difficult. bones display.

life, and a rock, mineral and dinosaur

For a risk-taking adventure experience,

Hell’s Revenge Trail, 10 minutes for adrenaline-seeking adventurers.

Southeastern Utah is a great place

east of Moab, offers ATV tracks with Whether your group is looking for a

challenging obstacles and steep slickrock

climbs for seasoned and beginning lenging bike ride topped off with sunset

breathtaking fall from the sky or a chal-

riders. Routes travel through the La Sal views of the landscape, red rock country

is the perfect place to experience it

Mountains and Arches National Park.

Moab’s dramatic landscape can be all. LGT

seen from a unique perspective while

falling thousands of feet from the sky.

Arches Air Sports offers tandem and

accelerated free-fall skydiving. The 30-

minute plane ride allows one to view all

the wonders of the area. Arches Air

Sports can accommodate up to 10 divers.

For a group activity that will build

trust, confidence and communication,

Moab’s Rope Course Adventure lets

one crawl up a 40-foot climbing wall, ride

a skateboard zip line and walk a 25-foot

balance beam. It offers one-, two-, threeand

six-hour rope course expeditions.

For a taste of the historic side of

Utah, Moab has a collection of museums.

The Moab Museum of Film and

Western Heritage takes you back to

the years of black-and-white film making.

The red rock country’s rugged terrain

has made it a great location for

Westerns such as Rio Grande and The

Comancheros starring John Wayne.

The Museum of Moab tells about

Moab’s past, featuring Ute Indian artifacts,

photographs of Moab’s pioneer

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 37

on location: west ❖

For a nostalgic ride back in time, groups can

hop aboard an authentic steam train from the

Nevada Northern Railway’s museum in Ely.




Scenic train

excursions highlight

a creative itinerary

in the Silver State

By Sue Arko

Nevada Commission on Tourism

Discover a region where mountains seem to touch

the sky, where clear rivers flow over polished rocks,

where wildlife abounds, and where the American

West is alive and well. Experience this and more when riding

Amtrak between Sacramento, California and Elko, Nevada,

and making vintage rail excursions in the Nevada towns of Ely,

Carson City, Virginia City and Boulder City.

The best way to begin the journey is in Sacramento, home

to the California State Railroad Museum. Located in Old

Sacramento, the museum features 21 lavishly restored locomotives

and railroad cars, some dating back to 1862. The

“Sierra Scene” is a large-scale replica of a construction scene

representing Donner Pass around 1867, featuring the locomotive

Gov. Stanford. Other exhibits tell the story of how railroads

changed life in America by interpreting the role of the

“iron horse” in connecting California to the rest of the nation.

Next to the museum’s main building on Front Street is

a reconstruction of the 1870s-era Central Pacific Railroad

passenger station, which houses historic and contemporary

railroad equipment. During the summer, the Sacramento

Southern Railroad, operated by the museum, takes passengers

on a 40-minute, six-mile roundtrip excursion along the

Sacramento River on a portion of the Walnut Grove branch of

the former Southern Pacific Railroad.

The next morning, board Amtrak’s California Zephyr, one

of the most scenic rail excursions in America. Whether seated

in the VistaDome, a private compartment, the dining car, snack

bar or in coach, breathtaking scenery can be found around

every curve while traveling over Donner Pass and along the

Truckee River. A late afternoon arrival in Reno allows for an

entertaining evening in “America’s Biggest Little City.”

Then, it’s only a short motorcoach ride from Reno to Carson

City, Nevada’s capital and home of the Nevada State Railroad

Museum. Preserving the Silver State’s railroad heritage, the

museum features locomotives and cars of the famous Virginia

& Truckee Railroad and other lines. Many were bought from

Hollywood studios, where they were made famous in movies

and television shows. Guests enjoy train rides, handcar rides,

lectures, exhibits and special events at the museum, which has

an active research and restoration program.

Heritage Clubs Heads to Laughlin for 2014 Conference

Heritage Clubs International, America’s premier

bank travel organization, has selected

Laughlin, Nevada as the site for its 2014

Peer Group meeting. The event will be held March

10-14 at Harrah’s Casino and Hotel.

The conference brings bank travel club managers

together with the organization’s preferred tour operators,

destinations and travel industry suppliers for

networking, educational seminars and a trade show.

“We are so excited to go to Laughlin for HCI’s 2014

Peer Group conference!” said Diane Susong, Heritage

Clubs’ advisory board chair. “Nevada partners have

been fabulous to work with over the years and we look

forward to learning more about all of the fabulous

things the Laughlin area has to offer to our bank clubs.”

Laughlin is strategically located near iconic

touring locations, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon,

and just an hour-and-a-half drive to Las Vegas.

Member banks are also eager about coming back

to the area. Mary Jean Hagedorn from F&M Bank in

West Point, Nebraska said, “It's an automatic travel

for us every other year. There are so many things

to do – a huge shopping center, movie theaters

and live shows with good entertainment, plus the

Riverwalk along the Colorado River. Something for


Through networking, education, innovation and

industry expertise, Heritage Clubs provides its

members with the resources and opportunities to be

the most knowledgeable and successful in their field.

For more information about the 2014 Peer Group

conference, contact 877-881-0229 or visit


38 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

In the afternoon, ride the Virginia & Truckee Railroad to

Virginia City, either in an open-air car or the covered caboose.

The conductor presents the story of Nevada’s late 19th century

mining boom when Virginia City was the richest city on earth,

with more millionaires than anywhere else. As mining in

Virginia City began to decline in the 1880s, the railroad focused

more on transporting passengers than ore. After 1924, mining

had virtually stopped and ever-increasing use of the automobile

caused the railroad to close in 1950. In 2005, reconstruction

of the line started and today the Virginia & Truckee offers

rides using both steam and diesel locomotives. Highlights of

this excursion include:

Tunnel No. 4 – the last tunnel before Virginia City, one of

five built for the 1600-foot descent to the valley floor.

Comstock mines – transporting silver and gold from the

mother lode to the mills was the Virginia & Truckee’s original

purpose. Pass by eight mines.

Gold Hill – rich in history, where the Comstock Era gold

strikes began and the train depot was built at one of the few flat

places in town.

On the nostalgic “Toast of the Canyon” tour, guests sip

local wine and snack on hors d’oeuvres while gazing into the

valley, which has remained largely unchanged since the mining


Return to Reno by motorcoach for a late-afternoon, eastbound

departure on the California Zephyr to Elko. Follow the

path of what was a major Indian trail and the Humboldt River,

a path followed by pioneers and those with dreaming of striking

it rich in the mines. See dramatic geology, two distinct rivers

and unique Nevada communities along the way. Travel by

places out of Nevada’s past (Preble, Prince Royal and Star

City) and, depending on the time of year, enjoy a glorious sunset

before reaching Winnemucca, the town founded by Frank

Baud after he arrived in the early 1860s to work on the Humboldt


Arrival time in Elko is around 9:30 p.m. Many group-friendly

accommodations are available, and there is plenty of nightlife

in the casinos. A stop at Elko’s new California Trail Interpretive

Center is a must. It is a free attraction with multimedia

exhibits, life-size dioramas, original art and videos on America’s

westward expansion.

Continue by motorcoach to Ely and ride the Nevada

Northern Railway for a journey back in time when the iron

horse ruled the rails. This living, breathing, operating historic

railroad allows groups to experience a working 19th century

steam railroad. It’s gritty. It’s dirty. It smells of coal smoke, creosote

and sweat. It is the last of its kind, the sole survivor from

a grand era of railroading in the Silver State. An excellent museum

can be found at the depot, which is now a National Historic

Landmark and America’s best preserved short-line

railroad facility still in existence.

Obtain Nevada visitor guides and itineraries and contact groupfriendly

suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info

Scenic two-hour roundtrip excursions

operate on the weekends

from early April through January,

with weekday operations from Memorial

Day through September.

Special event excursions include

the BBQ Train, Wine Train, Chocolate

Train and Polar Express.

Finally, continue by motorcoach

to historic Boulder City, just south of


Las Vegas, and enjoy the Nevada

Southern Railway as it travels across the 1931 route to the

Railroad Pass Hotel and back. This 45-minute roundtrip features

three air-conditioned/heated cars, an open-air car and a

generator car, following the route that supplied materials to

Boulder City during the construction of Hoover Dam. There are

four scheduled trips each Saturday and Sunday departing from

the station at Yucca Street.

For groups yearning to experience the rhythm of the rails

and colorful narration by train personnel, along with spectacular

scenery, American history and a wide variety of entertainment

options, Nevada’s railroad destinations have just

the ticket. LGT

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 39

on location: northeast ❖

By Randy Mink

Must-See Boston

Compact and walkable, New England’s largest city is crammed with tour

attractions, many of them landmarks relating to the birth of our nation.

While Boston is inevitably linked to events that led up to the American

Revolution, it’s also a modern, youthful city at the forefront of the latest trends.

A good place to start explorations is along the famous Freedom Trail that winds

through central Boston. Marked by a red line made of brick or paint, the 2½-mile

path spotlights people and events right out of the history books. Some of these

colonial sights make our list of 10 must-sees on a tour of quintessential Boston.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Centered around historic

brick buildings, this festival

market is the perfect place

to shop, eat, people-watch and

absorb a little Revolutionary

history. Food stalls in the 1826

Quincy Market building abound with treats, from

gourmet cookies to fresh-shucked oysters. The cobbled

alleys bustle with pushcart vendors, and you’ll

find chain stores and specialty boutiques in the North

and South Market buildings. Pause to watch jugglers,

escape artists and other street entertainers, or pop

into 1742 Faneuil Hall, a meeting place where early

patriots gathered to protest British rule.


Boston Common

& Public Garden

Boston Common, starting

point of the Freedom Trail,

and the adjacent Public

Garden provide a green oasis in the

heart of the city. Boston Common,

the country’s oldest public park, dates back to 1634,

while the Public Garden was established as America’s

first botanical garden in 1837. Pedal-powered Swan

boats, accommodating up to 20, offer a leisurely

cruise on the Garden’s lagoon, framed by weeping

willows. Both parks abound with monuments. The

Garden has a majestic bronze statue of Gen. George

Washington on horseback. (swanboats.com)

USS Constitution

At anchor in Charlestown

Navy Yard, this threemasted

frigate is better

known as “Old Ironsides.” Part of

Boston National Historical Park

and a major stop on the Freedom

Trail, the world’s oldest commissioned warship

afloat was launched in Boston Harbor in 1797 and

saw action in the War of 1812. Active-duty sailors

show visitors around the ship. Just inland is the

USS Constitution Museum. National Park Service

rangers give free tours of the U.S. Navy base.

Nearby is Bunker Hill Monument.


Old North Church

Located on the Freedom Trail

in Boston’s North End, the

city’s oldest church (1723)

is famous for the role it played

in the American Revolution. Two

lanterns were placed in its steeple

to signal to horseback messenger Paul Revere that

British troops were coming (“one if by land, two if

by sea”). There are plaques and markers throughout

the church, one indicating the Revere family pew. In

adjacent Paul Revere Mall stands an equestrian

statue of the patriot and silversmith; nearby is the

1680 Paul Revere House, the oldest house in Boston.


Boston Duck Tours

From a vantage point

high above street level,

reconditioned World War II

amphibious vehicles provide a

rollicking ride through central

Boston, offering a good overview

of the city. Wacky guides (called

“conDUCKtors”) give lively narration as the

brightly-colored Ducks cruise by dozens of famous

sights, including Bunker Hill, Old North Church,

Boston Common and Quincy Market. Making a

splashdown into the Charles River highlights the

popular excursion. Group charters are available.


Fenway Park

Thick with legend, the home

of the Boston Red Sox is

a beloved pilgrimage site

for followers of America’s

national pastime. Built in 1912,

the oldest Major League ballpark

in the country features a handoperated

scoreboard and 37-foot-high left field

wall—the Green Monster. Year-round tours may

include a dugout, the press box, a walk on the

warning track and Red Sox Hall of Fame. Game

tickets for the coveted, but cramped seats are hard to

come by. (redsox.com)

John F. Kennedy

Presidential Library

and Museum

Overlooking Dorchester Bay

next to the University of

Massachusetts campus,

this shrine to our 35th president

captures JFK’s legacy. See clips of the Boston

native’s inaugural address and debates with Richard

Nixon, and view a replica of the Oval Office. Exhibits

spotlight Robert Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy

Onassis, the civil rights movement, space program,

and Cuban Missile Crisis, plus the 1963 assassination

and funeral. (jfklibrary.org)

Museum of

Fine Arts, Boston

The Art of the Americas

wing, which opened in

2010, has 53 galleries

showcasing about 5,000 works,

from pre-Columbian treasures to late 20th century

art, including silverwork by Paul Revere, colonial

New England furniture and18th century portraits

by Boston-born John Singleton Copley. Asian art

connoisseurs enjoy the tranquil Japanese Temple

Room and a large collection of Japanese art, plus

works from India and China. The world-class

museum also boasts superlative Impressionist

paintings. Ancient Egypt and Classical Greece are

also well represented. (mfa.org)

New England Aquarium

The centerpiece of this

waterfront attraction is the

Giant Ocean Tank, a coral

reef community that contains

sharks, turtles, moray eels and

hundreds of tropical fish, all visible from a ramp that

winds around the four-story structure. It’s fun to

watch the scuba divers at feeding times. Also popular

are the Amazon Rainforest and a penguin habitat. Just

outside the doors is the Atlantic harbor seals exhibit.

The aquarium also has an IMAX theater. (neaq.org)


Center Skywalk

The enclosed observation

deck on the 50th floor of

the 52-story Prudential

Tower affords 360-degree views

of Boston, Cambridge and beyond. See the gold dome

of the State House, parks of the “Emerald Necklace”

stretching into the distance and the Boston Harbor

Islands. Enhancing the visit are interactive exhibits

on Boston, an audio tour and the “Wings Over Boston”

video in the theater. Two floors up is Top of the Hub

restaurant and lounge. Lower levels of the Prudential

Center house an indoor shopping mall with a food

court. (prudentialcenter.com)

40 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

Arkansas’ brand

“The Natural State” is

quite fitting. Scenic

splendor abounds

with more than

600,000 acres of

lakes, 9,000 miles of

rivers and streams,

and mountains

covering half of the

state. Arkansas is

proud of its natural

beauty and puts it on

display at more than

30 state parks.

Whatever outdoor

interest guests might

fancy, they’ll enjoy

the experience in an

Arkansas state park.

From boating, fishing

and swimming to

biking, hiking and

equestrian trails, your

playground awaits.

Petit Jean State Park, near

Morrilton, abounds with

scenes of pristine beauty.


42 August 2013

State park options range from

hiking at Mount Magazine to

water sports at DeGray Lake.

on location: south ❖ dave bodle

For groups, three of the state parks have a lodge and 12

have cabins. Soon to become the fourth park with a lodge is

Queen Wilhelmina State Park, where renovations to both the

lodge and restaurant are scheduled for completion the latter

part of 2013. Located on Rich Mountain, Arkansas’ second

highest peak, and 13 miles west of Mena, the park has interpretative

programs that showcase the area’s unique fauna and


Located in the town of Paris, Mount Magazine State Park

is a six-hour or less drive from Little Rock, Dallas, Shreveport,

Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Memphis. Arkansas’

high-point state park (at 2,753 feet) provides absolute natural

beauty with abundant recreational opportunities. From sightseeing

to extreme sports, Mount Magazine has it all. The park’s

centerpiece is The Lodge at Mount Magazine. The recently

renovated facility is perfect for groups, including tour, reunion,

religious and corporate. Sixty guest rooms each provide a

spectacular view and amenities like high-speed Internet. The

Skycrest Restaurant serves three meals daily and provides

banquet meals in the meeting and conference space.

DeGray Lake Resort State Park is Arkansas’ only resort

state park. With 94 rooms and the Shoreline Restaurant, the

lodge appeals to groups of all types. Park interpreters provide

guided hikes, sunset cruises and snorkeling trips in-season

and eagle watch cruises on the lake from September-February.

An 18-hole championship golf course is located on site.

The two-night “DeGray Resort Lights & Lake” December

package combines nature and a visit to historic Hot Springs,

Arkansas’ first state park, Petit Jean State Park, and the

legendary mountain where it is located are historic in their own

right. They are named after the young lady who tragically lost

her life as a stowaway following her lover on his New World

exploring expedition. The park and its focal point, the Mather

Lodge, began construction in 1933 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s

New Deal and Civilian Conservation Corps.

The lodge features 24 guest rooms and a restaurant, both

providing dramatic views of Cedar Creek Canyon. Cedar Falls,

a 95-foot waterfall, is a must see, while 100-acre Lake Bailey

offers fishing, kayaking and pedal boating. Park interpreters

offer numerous programs highlighting the nature and history

of the park that started what is Arkansas’ state parks system.

Little Rock Area

The Natural State has more than beauty to welcome

guests. There’s history, art and plenty of fun in the heart of

Arkansas, the Little Rock area. A good place to begin is the

North Little Rock Visitors Bureau “Concierge” for an itinerary

that’s designed specifically for your group.

Numerous options are available in North Little Rock. Along

the riverfront the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum/USS

Razorback features guided tours of the historic ship, along

with large exhibits and a theater. Close by is the Arkansas

Queen Riverboat, a historic paddle wheeler with sightseeing

and dinner cruises.

If you are a movie fan, you might recognize The Old Mill at

T. R. Pugh Memorial Park. With an appearance in Gone With


Combine the state parks’ natural splendor with sightseeing in the Little Rock area

Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism Photos

only 21miles away. The plan features a guided lake tour and

eagle watch, two dinners and two breakfasts, and a trip to

downtown Hot Springs for shopping and sightseeing. No visit

is complete without a stop at Hot Springs National Park. Catch

The Magic & Comedy of Maxwell Blade at the Maxwell Blade

Magic Lantern Theatre. Also visit the Gangster Museum of

America across from Bathhouse Row and tour Garvan Woodland

Gardens and the Holiday Lights presentation.

the Wind, the water-powered gristmill is a perfect photo opportunity.

To round out a day of heritage and history in North

Little Rock, be certain to include the National Guard Museum,

Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum and the 1890s military

installation Fort Roots.

Tuesday evenings come alive when you become part of

the popular “Tales From the South,” a unique radio show featuring

storytelling, Southern style. Every Tuesday the Starving

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 43

on location: south ❖

Obtain Arkansas visitor guides and itineraries and contact groupfriendly

suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info

Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism

Little Rock’s River Market District makes a good shopping stop.

Artist Cafe opens its doors at 5 p.m. and dinner is served

from 5 to 7. There’s always music, and the first of three scheduled

storytellers begins at 7. The show is broadcast later on

World Radio Network.

On the opposite side of the Arkansas River, Little Rock has

much to see and do. Regardless of your politics, the William

J. Clinton Presidential Center provides an extraordinary look

at both the man and the presidency. Although the library portion

exists to house the presidential archives, the majority of

guests come to view the exhibits, including “The Campaign,”

“Inauguration” and “White House at Work.”

The year was 1957 and it was the beginning of another

school year at Little Rock’s Central High School. However, it

was more than a constitutional struggle when the Little Rock

Board of Education decided to gradually integrate the city’s

schools. Turning ordered desegregation into violence, Gov.

Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the

entrance of African-American students to the high school.

President Eisenhower followed by ordering the 101st Airborne

Division to Little Rock. A large media presence in these early

days of television broadcast the events across the nation. The

National Park Service operates the Little Rock Central High

School National Historic Site and Visitors Center. Although

the original building is still an operational high school, tours can

be arranged by appointment.

There are many other attractions in Little Rock, including

the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Heifer Village,

Arkansas State Capitol, Old State House Museum and Historic

Arkansas Museum. The Arkansas Arts Center features

a world-class collection in addition to live theater, films

and dining. Sounds like you might need to plan an extra day,

or two. LGT



The Heart of Historic Hot Springs National Park

Let Julie Pennington show your group all

of Northwest Arkansas – Crystal Bridges

Museum of American Art, Clinton House

Museum, Botanical Garden, Butterfield

Stagecoach Route and much more. Her

enthusiasm for Fayetteville is contagious.

Experience it for yourself.




Relax at The Arlington

Thermal baths and spa.

A national park

outside any door.

Great dining choices.

Twin cascading

outdoor pools.

Championship golf.

Private beauty

and facial salon.


Contact Our Sales Professionals at 1-800-626-9768

Upstate New York's Turning Stone Resort Casino


Gaming resorts offer glittering nightlife

and the chance to strike it rich

By Randy Mink

Sumptuous buffets, rousing entertainment, the magnetic

allure of the casino floor – all ingredients for an electrifying

escape from the everyday. Include a casino visit

in the tour itinerary and you’re bound to have happy campers.

Besides tempting Lady Luck, guests at America’s top casinos

can choose from a number of diversions—from spending

a lazy afternoon at the pool to enjoying first-rate shows. Some

resorts offer tennis, golf, retail shops and spa treatments. Highlighted

here are some of the most group-friendly gaming properties

in America.

Mescalero, New Mexico

Las Vegas, Nevada

Inn of the Mountain Gods

Resort & Casino

Situated in the Sacramento Mountains, just outside of Ruidoso, the resort

is an enterprise of the Mescalero Apache Tribe. Guests enjoy Vegasstyle

gaming (830 slot and video poker machines, 37 table games), big-name

entertainment, championship golf, an indoor pool, top-notch accommodations

and a wide variety of restaurants. Recreational opportunities range from hiking

and biking to fishing and hunting. Original works of art throughout the

273-room property provide a tranquil setting evocative of the American Southwest.


Circus Circus

Located on the Las Vegas Strip, Circus Circus has over 101,000 square

feet of gaming in four full-size casinos. The resort’s 3,767 guestrooms

and 135 suites are housed in three towers and five, three-story buildings. Circus

acts perform twice each hour on the Midway stage; surrounding the stage

is a midway with carnival games. The five-acre Adventuredome, the largest

indoor theme park in America, has a roller coaster, swinging pirate ship and

20-plus other rides and attractions. (circuscircus.com)

Dice Photos Courtesy of Clipart.com

46 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Potawatomi Bingo Casino

Located in downtown Milwaukee, Potawatomi Bingo Casino offers nearly

3,000 slot machines in denominations from 1 cent to $100, a 1,440-seat

Bingo Hall and nearly 100 table games, plus the Off-Track Betting Room and

20-table Poker Room. Guests also enjoy six restaurants and headliner entertainment

in the intimate 500-seat Northern Lights Theater, which has booth

and table seating on the first level and traditional theater seating above. Coming

in late summer 2014 is an 18-story hotel. (paysbig.com)

Flandreau, South Dakota

Royal River Casino & Hotel

Royal River’s casino floor features more than 350 slot machines, along

with blackjack, roulette and a dedicated poker room. Guests at the 120-

room hotel enjoy spacious accommodations with whirlpool bath tubs, plus a

swimming pool and hot tub. River’s Bend Restaurant is known for its sumptuous

buffet. The Royal Room features nationally known musical artists and

comedians. Group tours are welcome, with packages available for both day

trips and overnight stays. (royalrivercasino.com)

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Resorts Casino Hotel

Celebrating its 35th anniversary as the first casino to open in Atlantic City,

Resorts just observed a new milestone—the opening of a $35-million

Margaritaville casino and entertainment complex that includes the only yearround

beach bar on the Atlantic City sand. Spanning 11 acres at the northern

end of the Boardwalk, the resort features 942 guest rooms in two hotel towers,

a casino with more than 2,500 slots and 80 table games, two theaters,

six restaurants, an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, health club and spa, and

retail shops. (resortsac.com)

Verona, New York

Turning Stone Resort Casino

Located in Upstate New York, 30 miles east of Syracuse, the Oneida Indian

Nation’s destination resort boasts headliner entertainment, world-class golf

on five courses, a day spa and 709 guest rooms in four hotels. More than

120,000 square feet of gaming space features 92 table games, 2,200 gaming

machines, a poker room and bingo hall. The resort offers 19 restaurants and

convenience food locations, plus 10 retail shops. The Sportsplex, adjacent to

the Golf Dome, has tennis and racquetball courts. (turningstone.com)

Tulalip, Washington

Tulalip Resort Casino

Washington State’s only AAA Four Diamond-rated casino resort offers more

than 2,000 slot and video poker machines, plus 50-some table games and

a poker room. It boasts a variety of dining choices, world-class spa and multitude

of live entertainment. Located on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, 30 minutes from

downtown Seattle, the luxury resort has 370 guest rooms and suites that feature

premium pillow top beds and large walk-in showers with three body sprays. Shuttles

serve the nearby Seattle Premium Outlets. (tulalipresort.com)

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 47






© 2013 Casino Queen. Pending IGB approval.

Must be 21 years of age or older to enter casino.

48 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

East St. Louis, Illinois

Casino Queen

Casino Queen, located on the Mississippi River across

from downtown St. Louis, Mo., has more than 1,100

slot machines, plus tables for blackjack, baccarat, craps,

Caribbean stud, roulette and three card poker. Guests

enjoy three restaurants—Market Street Buffet, Prime

Steakhouse and Sevens, a sports lounge/nightclub.

Casino Queen Hotel, offering impressive views of the St.

Louis skyline, is located just steps from the casino floor

and has an indoor pool. (casinoqueen.com)

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 49

Biloxi, Mississippi

Palace Casino Resort

Sparkling from a recent expansion and renovation,

Palace Casino is the only smoke-free

casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It spacious

gaming floor offers 1,000-plus slot machines and 26

table games. The resort offers luxurious accommodations

and wide choice of restaurants—Mignon’s

Steaks & Seafood, Stacked Grill (gourmet hamburgers,

Palace Buffet, Palace Cafe & Bakery and

Contact Lounge and Sports Bar. Other amenities

include a spa and privileges at The Preserve Golf

Club. (palacecasinoresort.com)

Cherokee, North Carolina

Harrah’s Cherokee

Casino Resort

Nestled at the edge of Great Smoky Mountains

National Park, just a mile from the

North Carolina entrance to the Blue Ridge

Parkway, Harrah’s Cherokee recently completed

a $650-million expansion. The Southeast’s

premier casino offers 3,800 slots and

100-plus table games. Guests enjoy pampering

at Mandara Spa and have preferred access

to Sequoyah National Golf Club. The

21-story hotel has 1,108 rooms. Among the

10 restaurants are Chef’s Stage Buffet, Ruth’s

Chris Steak House and Brio Tuscan Grille.


Quapaw, Oklahoma


Resort Casino

The Quapaw Tribe’s resort in the northeastern

corner of Oklahoma, where the state

meets Kansas and Missouri, features two hotel

towers with 374 rooms, fitness centers, and indoor

and outdoor pools. Gaming facilities include

2,000 slots, 150 video poker games, a

poker room and table games. Guests enjoy

Las Vegas-style entertainment, including nationally

known acts, and restaurant options like

Red Oak Steakhouse and Spring River Buffet.

An 18-hole golf course is set in the foothills of

the Ozarks. (downstreamcasino.com)

50 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com


U.S. Museums

By Stephanie Bailey

Sam Kittner/Newseum

Every year, Americans troop into museums by the thousands. Whether your

group is intent on understanding the intricacies of times past or looking for

a quiet break between shopping trips, museums remain a popular and

enduring draw.

A good museum should be a complete experience, with something for every

member of your travel group. The best museums are more than just dusty collections

of the old and the priceless; they offer a window into history – or even a way

to become fully immersed in a particular time period, if only for a short time.

The Newseum’s Berlin Wall Gallery

Mashantucket, Connecticut

Mashantucket Pequot Museum

The Pequot Museum is dedicated to Native American arts, culture and local

natural history. Tribes from all over the U.S. and Canada are represented

by dioramas, live performances, artifacts and exhibits. While the steely modern

structure that houses the Pequot Museum may not be your idea of a traditional

building, it’s designed to be eco-friendly and to complement the local

landscape. Stay for lunch, and you can sample various Native American

cuisines at the restaurant. (pequotmuseum.org)

Independence, Missouri

Amy Elrod

Harry S. Truman

Library & Museum

The years between the end of World War II and the finish of the Korean

War brought massive changes to America. At the Truman Library and Museum,

your group can view the events from the perspective of a president.

The historical objects in this Independence museum, plus dozens of interactive

and hands-on exhibits, paint a picture of the life and times of Harry and

Bess, from their family life to world events. (trumanlibrary.org)

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 51

Austin, Texas

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Jeff Millies

Lady Bird Johnson

Wildflower Center

In 1982 the former First Lady joined with actress Helen Hayes to preserve

the native flora and fauna of central, southern, and western Texas. This

279-acre botanical garden is the result. Part of the University of Texas at

Austin, it includes cultivated gardens, wild meadows and verdant woodlands,

as well as local examples of architecture and sculpture, an observation

tower and a visitors center. The blooming season peaks March through

May. (wildflower.org)

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee might be famous for its beer, but art shouldn’t be far behind.

The 30,000 works in this world-class museum run the gamut from 15th

century European offerings to Haitian folk art to masters of American Modern.

There’s a special emphasis on decorative arts, German Expressionism and

the works of Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keeffe. The building itself, with its

iconic sunscreen resembling a ship’s sail, has become a landmark on the

Lake Michigan shoreline. (mam.org)

Cleveland, Ohio

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Paducah, Kentucky

Rock and Rock

Hall of Fame and Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a perennial favorite for music lovers

and one of Cleveland’s premier tourist attractions. As you might expect

from this shrine to popular music, there are famous artifacts aplenty, from

Pete Townshend’s Gibson guitar to John Lennon’s jacket. There are also a

few surprises, including an exhibit dedicated to Midwestern music. The glasssheathed

building, on the shore of Lake Erie, was designed by the great I.M.

Pei. (rockhall.com)

Oshkosh Public Museum

Oshkosh’s Public Museum can rightly be called a museum-within-a-museum:

its home, a 1909 English Tudor Revival residence with interiors

by Tiffany Studios of New York, is located in a National Historic District.

Tiffany’s window series “Angels Representing Seven Churches” is an exhibition

that will be on display from Feb. 8 through May 11, 2014. The accompanying

Living With Tiffany exhibit will showcase decorative objects created by

Tiffany Studios for the home and everyday living. (oshkoshmuseum.org)

National Quilt Museum

Quilts as high art That’s the theme of the National Quilt Museum in historic

downtown Paducah, Kentucky. And the 160,000 visitors who stop

by each year experience how quilts can indeed be art, with styles ranging

from folksy to ornate to sleekly modern. Items come from places as far away

as Japan; there are over 320 quilts in the museum’s collection. Continuous

rotation in the main gallery ensures you’ll find something new on every visit.


52 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 53

Nashville, Tennessee

Country Music

Hall of Fame

Since 1967, Nashville’s Country Music

HOF has celebrated the 200-year-old

roots of country music and greats from Hank

Williams and Elvis Presley to Brenda Lee and

Carrie Underwood. The core exhibit, Sing

Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country

Music, features costumes, instruments, and

film and audio clips. Find your favorite artist’s

album on the Gold Record Wall. Reba: All the

Women I Am, opening Aug. 9 and running

through June 8, 2014, spotlights Reba McEntire.


Winter Park, Florida

Charles Hosmer

Morse Museum

of American Art

Louis Comfort Tiffany was arguably America’s

greatest artistic talent at the turn of

the 20th century; Charles Hosmer Morse

was unarguably his biggest fan. This museum

houses the world’s most comprehensive

overview of Tiffany’s works, including

more than 200 objects from Laurelton Hall,

his idyllic home in Long Island. There are

other American arts represented in the

Morse collection as well, including jewelry,

pottery, art glass and an entire chapel interior.


Tiffany at the


The Morse Museum houses the

world’s most comprehensive collection

of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

New Wing Now Open

445 n. park avenue winter park, fl 32789

(407) 645-5311 www.morsemuseum.org

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 55

Columbus, Ohio

Washington, D.C.

Little Rock, Arkansas

Sam Kittner/Newseum


Formally the Center of Science and Industry, this Columbus museum is

not your average look-at-things-in-display-cases type of place. It’s particularly

geared towards kids (both the young and grown-up kind), so there

are more than 300 interactive exhibits – all of which are science-based. Live

shows are presented throughout the exhibition areas. Interested in history,

laboratory science, outer space, the ocean or the workings of your average

farm It’s all at COSI. (cosi.org)


Over 250,000 square feet of history, as told through the news media, are

the focus of this Washington D.C. museum. From its handy location on

Pennsylvania Avenue, visitors can tour exhibits ranging from 9/11 news to

bits of the Berlin Wall. Other attractions include the front pages of Civil Warera

newspapers, Pulitzer Prize-winning photos, and even a section dedicated

to presidential pets. The Interactive Newsroom gives visitors a chance to play

the role of a reporter or photographer. (newseum.org)

Clinton Presidential Center

Bill Clinton’s presidency, as filled with drama and debate as any, is the

focus of Little Rock’s Clinton Presidential Center. Not only does it offer

an insider’s glimpse of the Clinton era via photos and artifacts, it’s also home

to the Clinton Foundation. There’s a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, plus

a White House Cabinet room reconstruction. Other exhibits show the splendor

of state events, holiday celebrations and how the Clintons made the White

House their home. (clintonpresidentialcenter.org)

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

National Czech & Slovak

Museum & Library

Every wave of immigrants has a story, and at this

Cedar Rapids museum the unique story of the

area’s Slovak and Czech heritage is on display. Exhibits

include a typical 19th century immigrant home,

Czech art and handicrafts, and a replica of a steamer

ship steerage section – the main mode of travel for the

poorer passenger. An exhibit dedicated to World War II

through the eyes of the Czechs and Slovaks rounds

out the offerings. (ncsml.org)


ockhall.com • 888 . 764 . ROCK

To book your group tour at the Rock and

Roll Hall of Fame and Museum or to receive

a Group Planning Guide, call 216.515.1228.

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 57

Cincinnati, Ohio

Millville, New Jersey

Kent, Ohio

Waterloo, Iowa

Dallas, Texas

Cincinnati Museum Center

at Union Terminal

Step aboard a side-wheel steamboat, view vintage cars, experience

Cincinnati during World War II in the Home Front exhibition and engage

with costumed interpreters at the Cincinnati History Museum. The Museum of

Natural History and Science and hands-on Duke Energy Children’s Museum

also make their home in Union Terminal, a former railroad station turned landmark.

In addition, the 1930s-era Art Deco building has an Omnimax theater

that shows movies on a five-story dome screen. (cincymuseum.org)


This complex, located less than an hour from Philadelphia, Atlantic City

and Cape May, shares the art and history of American glass and traditional

New Jersey crafts. It includes the Museum of American Glass, which

showcases objects dating as far back as the early 1700s to contemporary

works by artists such as Dale Chihuly. While there, don’t miss the demonstrations

of world-class glass being made first hand. Also see woodcarving

and ceramics studios. (wheatonarts.org)

Kent State

University Museum

Interested in fashion and design Then don’t miss the Kent State University

Museum, which holds one of the nation’s largest collections of 18th through

21stcentury gowns and decorative arts. It offers eight galleries that feature a

permanent collection of nearly 40,000 pieces along with changing exhibitions

of work by the world’s best designers. An extensive collection of American

glass, furniture, textiles and other decorative arts also give context to the

study of design. (kent.edu/museum)

Grout Museum District

The Grout Museum District focuses on different aspects of Iowa’s history

through its five distinct museums. The Grout Museum of History and Science

shares the area’s natural and cultural history while the Rensselaer Russell

House Museum and the Snowden House focus on life in the Victorian

age. The Bluedorn Science Imaginarium’s hands-on exhibits make learning

science exciting, and the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum honors

the sacrifice of Iowa veterans from the Civil War to today. (gmdistrict.org)

Sixth Floor Museum

Better known by its old name, the Texas School Book Depository, this museum

is located in the exact building from which President John F.

Kennedy was shot in 1963. Explore JFK’s presidency, death and the timeline

of events following the assassination through videos, artifacts and forensic

evidence. The sixth floor holds permanent exhibits dedicated to the former

president, while the seventh floor has temporary exhibits regarding the social

culture of the ’60s and the Kennedys’ impact on America. (jfk.org)

58 August 2013 LeisureGroupTravel.com

On Marketing

❖ dave bodle

Hopping Aboard the

Social Media Bandwagon

I’M ABOUT TO get serious with social

media. This past May I was privileged

to be on a Media FAM hosted by the

Georgia Department of Economic Development

and their partners, Georgia’s

Lake Country and Northwest Georgia.

During the trip, quite a few writers

were taking pictures with their smartphones

and posting those images on

their blogs and websites. I too have a

smartphone, although admittedly I’m

not the most technologically gifted. So,

when some of these folks came up for

air, I’d start a conversation to find out

what they were doing.

I discovered that those posting regularly

were mostly writing messages

directed at family travelers. There was

a certain immediacy to their posts,

Looking ahead to our


• Religious Travel

• Fall Foliage

• Alumni Travel

• Colorado

• Idaho

• Oregon

• Wisconsin

• Mississippi

• Alabama

• Louisiana

• Vermont

• New Hampshire

• Culinary/Agritourism

• Europe

See our page-flip edition & past issues at


We can help showcase your business

to groups. Call us 630.794.0696 or


almost like “Here’s what’s going on the

next few weekends.” Of course, what

we author at Leisure Group Travel is

directed to the group tour industry.

We’re a trade publication and

although our readers may be delighted

to hear what’s going on this weekend

in Northwest Georgia, there’s little they

can do about getting a group there.

Granted, I do post on my personal

Facebook when I return from a trip.

The delay is necessary because if my

friends knew I was out of town, I might

be missing a few Adirondack chairs

upon returning home.

Seriously, there has to be a way for

a trade publication to become proactive

in social media. Almost weekly we

have a writer, editor or publisher on

the road. We travel nationally and

internationally to some of the coolest

destinations in the world. It might be up

to six months to even a year before

those trips appear online or in print.

I honestly believe many of our readers

would find our travels interesting.

I do not mean we’d burden them with

1,000-word articles on social media

sites. What I am implying is posting

regular short snippets along with a photograph

of things we find of particular

interest in a destination. A more in-depth

story would follow online or in print.

There is just one minor problem with

this whole idea. I do not have a clue

how to do all these things. All I know is

that I am primarily writing about the

Southeast and I’m fortunate to travel to

some really great places. I’d like to

share some of the experiences.

Enter Lance Harrell to save the day.

Lance is the director of online media

here at Premier Tourism Marketing.

He’s probably forgotten more about

online then I ever knew. In particular,

he understands social media and how

it can benefit our readers.

By the time you read this column

in the August 2013 issue of Leisure

Group Travel, it’s my hope you’ll already

be following us on our Facebook

page – “Group University” and our

Pinterest page – “Group Traveler.” You

can always follow me on my personal

Facebook page, but remember I do not

post until I return home. I have to keep

an eye on those Adirondack chairs.

At Premier Tourism Marketing we

are fortunate to have Lance lead our

online efforts. Not every company is so

privileged. However, a few words of

advice are in order. Social media is

here to stay and becoming more and

more a part of the business world.

No longer can we afford to ignore

social media, or worse, handle it like

a second-class media. Gone are the

days that the college intern handles

this important duty. It’s now time to hire

a professional. You may want to start

by hiring an outside group to handle

your social media, just like you might

have an advertising company help with

traditional media.

Regardless of how you approach

social media – with either a dedicated

employee or outside agency – remember

two basic points: First, do not put

social media off any longer. And most

importantly, if I can figure it out, you

certainly can.

Contact Dave at 843-997-2880

or email dave@ptmgroups.com.

LeisureGroupTravel.com August 2013 59


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❑ Center of Science & Industry, Columbus, OH

❑ Champaign County CVB, IL

❑ Charles Hosmer Morse Museum, Winter Park, FL

❑ Chicago's North Shore CVB, IL

❑ Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, OH

❑ Cirque du Soleil, Las Vegas, NV

❑ Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN

❑ Downstream Casino Resort, Quapaw, OK

❑ Effingham CVB, IL

❑ Elko CVA, NV

❑ Experience Columbus, OH

❑ Fayetteville Area CVB, AR

❑ Grout Museum District, Waterloo, IA

❑ Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Independence, MO

❑ Inn of the Mountain Gods, Mescalero, NM

❑ Kent State University Museum, Kent, OH

❑ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, TX

❑ Laughlin CVB, NV

❏ Yes! ❏ No

❑ Mashantucket Pequot Museum, CT

❑ McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ

❑ McHenry County CVB, IL

❑ Milwaukee Art Museum, WI

❑ Mississippi Gulf Coast CVB

❑ Nacogdoches CVB, TX

❑ National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, IA

❑ National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY

❑ Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

❑ Newseum, Washington D.C.

❑ Ohio Has It!

❑ Oshkosh Public Museum, Oshkosh, WI

❑ Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Milwaukee, WI

❑ Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ

❑ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, Cleveland, OH

❑ Royal River Casino, Flandreau, SD

❑ Shoreline Sightseeing, Chicago, IL

❑ Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Dallas, TX

❑ South Jersey Cultural Alliance, Pleasantville, NJ

❑ The Outlets at Assembly Row, Boston, MA

❑ Tulalip Resort Casino, Tulalip, WA

❑ Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, NY

❑ Washington County Tourism, PA

❑ Wayne County CVB, Wooster, OH

❑ Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center, Millville, NJ

❑ William J. Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock, AR

Please have suppliers contact me via: ❐ Mail ❐ Email ❐ Phone

Please send more information on companies in the following categories:

❐ Attractions ❐ Casinos ❐ Cruise Lines ❐ Destinations ❐ Hotels

❐ Restaurants ❐ Theaters ❐ Tour Operators ❐ Travel Insurance

Send information on the following regions.

❐ Northeast ❐ Midwest ❐ South ❐ West ❐ Canada ❐ Europe

❐ Asia ❐ Canada ❐ Europe ❐ Asia ❐ Central/South America




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