GTO Tour Director Portal is a Game Changer
February 6, 2023Read More
We’re back to holiday road trippin’ with Destination Dispatch. Let’s “wrap up” with our final favorite group destinations of 2022!
While New Orleans gets all the attention, Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras in America! In 1703, French pioneers who settled at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, celebrated their first Mardi Gras in the New World. By 1711, the first papiér-maché bull honoring Mardi Gras made its way down Dauphin Street (and is credited for being the first parade in America.)
You can dig a little deeper into this rich tradition of feasting and fun at the Mobile Carnival Museum. Find out more about the royalty and pageantry of Carnival here – you can even see photos of the celebration dating back to 1886!
Venice Beach in Sarasota County has the unique distinction of being the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” Ten million years ago, Florida was underwater and teeming with sharks. Now Venice Beach sits on top of a deep fossil layer. It’s packed with ancient incisors that wash up on the beach.
At its core, Nashville IS the Music City! The sights and sounds of country music are the essence and soul of this town. The Ryman Auditorium, known as the Mother Church of Country Music, is a must-see. Take in a show or take a tour and you’ll feel its history in every sound and step.
Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum for a nitty-gritty exploration of the roots of country music. Sidestep over to the Wildhorse Saloon for outstanding grub AND line dancing lessons! Of course, you can’t visit Nashville without a backstage pass to the famed Grand Ole Opry– you never know who you’ll run into!
Most people know Modesto-born George Lucas as the creator of the epic worldwide Star Wars saga. But in 1973, he directed the coming-of-age film “American Graffiti.”
The movie was set in 1962 Modesto and features an all-star cast including Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, and Richard Dreyfuss. It follows a group of teenagers and their adventures during the course of a night.
Nearly 50 years later, the Academy Award-nominated classic continues to be a legacy for the city of Modesto. Each June, Modesto hosts Graffiti Summer – an event packed with street fairs, open-air concerts, and all things American Graffiti.
You can’t talk about Pendleton without mentioning the Pendleton Round-Up. The Pendleton Round-Up has been around since 1909, when both Natives and pioneers alike went head-to-head bronco busting, cowboy racing, rounding up greased pigs, and generally having a fantastic time.
The tradition stuck and more than 110 years later, Pendleton is one of the most prestigious rodeos in North America.
I cannot tell a lie. Fredericksburg, Virginia is one of those rare places that immediately charms you with its quaint storefronts and tree-lined, cobbled streets. Its authentic, 1700s homes and beautifully preserved Main Street welcome you to another time in American history. And for the fans of the father of our country, Fredericksburg spotlights the Washington family legacy. It’s George Washington’s boyhood home!
Situated neatly between Dallas and Fort Worth, Grapevine is a charming little spot with walkable attractions, exceptional dining, winery tasting rooms, and galleries galore.
It’s also the Christmas Capital of Texas®! Grapevine sparkles as Santa’s favorite stop during the holidays!
Right at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers in the heart of downtown Winnipeg is The Forks. This stunning little slice of abandoned railyard turned vibrant destination has been a meeting place for more than 6,000 years.
Indigenous peoples traded here, followed by a host of European fur traders, Scottish settlers, riverboat workers, railway pioneers, and immigrants.
Today The Forks welcomes more than 4 million annual visitors to meet and experience its thriving shopping scene, exceptional dining, and eclectic entertainment and events. It’s a unique blend of natural, historic, and man-made attractions that will simply wow you!
Virginia City in the Reno Tahoe area is known for putting Nevada on the map in 1859 when a major lode of silver ore was discovered.
Virginia City is set steeply on the side of a mountain with countless mining shafts and tunnels running beneath. It’s brimming with western-style adventure, a nostalgic steam train, and lavish Victorian mansions.
However, this little town has become infamous as one of the most haunted in the U.S.!
Did you know that Disneyland was a dud (at first?)
Walt Disney’s dream of a place for families to have fun together took shape in just one year. It was exactly 365 days from the day construction began to the day the park opened on July 17, 1955.
However, the public opening was a disaster. It was so hot that women’s heels sunk into the freshly poured asphalt. Many of the 20 rides and attractions broke down, and refreshment stands ran out of refreshments. There was even a gas leak!
Fortunately, Walt got to work fixing his park and by the time the year ended, more than 4 million guests were enchanted by the Magic Kingdom.
Roughly an hour and a half from the hustle and bustle of London and tucked into the valley of the River Avon is the city of Bath. This World Heritage Site has been a center for health and wellness for more than 2,000 years thanks to its natural hot springs.
Here elegant Roman architecture and ancient spas mix with a vibrant modern culture that charms and enthralls its visitors.
Fun fact! There are 41 cities named Springfield in 35 U.S. states. But the only place to find all things Abe and other fascinating surprises are in Springfield, Illinois.
Grab your sneakers and make your way to one of the most interesting spots in Richmond. This 54-acre island right in the middle of the James River in downtown Richmond has a unique history.
Originally a Native American fishing village, William Byrd acquired the island in 1676. Here you’ll find the remains of an historic iron foundry, granite quarry, and even the remains of a turn-of-the-century hydroelectric plant.
However, Belle Isle is most noted for being the Confederacy’s largest military prison during the Civil War. In 1863, nearly 10,000 Union soldiers were imprisoned in a place that should have only been able to accommodate 3,000. More than a thousand died of starvation, cruelty, and other effects of the horrific conditions.
We’ve had so much fun exploring fantastic group destinations with you this year. Recap each one by clicking our Destination Dispatch YouTube playlist.
Oh – and be sure you plan to come along for a new adventure every Thursday at 2:00 EST in 2023!
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