The New Year calls for more travel planning, seeking out authentic experiences, and trying something a little off the beaten path. 2024 promises just that with reasons to visit a new destination, iconic anniversaries, and festivals! It’s a leap year too which gives one extra day to plan the best trips. Below is a preview of what awaits travellers in our USA destinations (in alphabetical order).
Discover New England
New experiences and milestone anniversaries await travellers in New England this year.
Conway Scenic Railroad Celebrates 50 years
In 2024, Conway Scenic Railroad celebrates its 50th Anniversary entertaining visitors with seasonal rail excursions. This beautiful journey over the former Maine Central Mountain Division offers splendid views of the Mount Washington Valley as it follows the Saco River toward its headwaters at Crawford Notch. Since 1974, families have enjoyed the railroad’s classic 1-hour heritage Conway Train from North Conway to Conway over an old Boston & Maine branch line.
A new visitor centre opens in Maine at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Stacyville. The new centre will tell the story of the region through the eyes of Native Americans. The centre, now under construction and slated to open spring of 2024 is named “Tekαkαpimk” from the Penobscot Indian language meaning “as far as one can see.”
Newport Mansions in Rhode Island Offers “The Gilded Age Tour” inspired by the hit HBO Series. Arriving winter 2024, the guided tour brings fans on a fascinating ‘behind the scenes tour of locations used extensively for filming this iconic series by Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellows.
The Yale Peabody Museum in New Haven, Connecticut is set to reopen in early 2024 after a remarkable four-year renovation. The spacious and bright facility will exhibit 50% more of the museum’s vast collection of 14 million objects than ever before. The museum’s collection of natural history specimens ranges from enormous dinosaur bones to cultural artifacts. One of the museum’s central attractions is a forty-foot-long Tylosaurus fossil suspended in the main gallery.
Music is ingrained in the soul of Louisiana. The birthplace of jazz, zydeco, Cajun, and swamp pop, Louisiana has also inspired genres ranging from blues and country to hip-hop, gospel, rap, and rock ‘n’ roll. In 2024, visitors will see a grand celebration of musical genres across the state.
2024 Year of Music
Starting on January 1, Explore Louisiana will celebrate its “Year of Music,” putting a special emphasis on this huge part of Louisiana culture. In 2024, Louisiana will also launch its new Louisiana Music Trail. The trail has been crafted to share Louisiana’s musical history through museums, historic locations, performance venues and will also celebrate Louisiana’s artists, including legends throughout the state’s music history.
California Here We Come
Launching in 2024, Maverick Helicopters promises stunning rides over Hollywood and breathtaking views of the Californian coastline this New Year on a luxury helicopter experience.
The Coastal California tour departs from Long Beach and over the picturesque landscape of Orange County including the pristine shorelines of Newport Beach and Seal Beach, the dramatic cliffs of Dana Point, and the serenity of Laguna Niguel. The stunning panoramas continue with views of the iconic Huntington Beach Pier, Balboa Island, and Laguna Beach. California’s diverse marine life can be witnessed throughout the flight, in the glistening waters along the Pacific Coast Highway and world-renowned surf beaches.
The Hollywood & Beyond aerial tour takes visitors over iconic landmarks including Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and the stunning Pacific Ocean. This tour will soar over the exclusive Hollywood Hills and Bel Air, where legendary film personalities reside and views of the upscale Rodeo Drive, UCLA campus, Hollywood Bowl, and Universal Studios in the distance. The world-famous Hollywood Sign is best witnessed from the sky, followed by notable sights like Griffith Park & Observatory and Dodgers Stadium.
Ice Cream Museum Comes to Boston in 2024
An immersive experience awaits ice cream lovers visiting Boston in 2024. The Museum of Ice Cream will open its doors in Seaport allowing visitors to explore two floors of entertainment and discovery, inspired by the world’s favourite frozen dessert. This interactive and immersive attraction will be “dedicated to all things ice cream.” It will have an exhibit on the history of ice cream, a retro diner and a carnival atmosphere inspired by Fenway Park. Visitors can also jump in a “sprinkle pool” that features “hundreds of antimicrobial and biodegradable sprinkles.”
F1 Arcade to open in Boston in 2024
The Formula 1 Experience is heading to Boston this New Year. The Boston location will feature 60 simulators alongside private rooms that can accommodate up to 200 guests. The venue is set for an early 2024 opening and offers visitors the ability to drive its unique F1 simulation inside Vesaro-built D-BOX-equipped motion cockpits, watch live races, eat from a globally-inspired menu and sip champagne – among other drinks.
The Good Housekeeping Institute named New Orleans a “must see city” for 2024 getaways. Here are a few of the reasons why:
New Exhibits and Hotels
Prospect 6 New Orleans is a citywide contemporary art triennial and the first exhibition of its kind in the US with a decade-long history. Every three years, they bring new art to an old city by inviting artists from all over the world to create projects in venues spread throughout New Orleans.
Caesars is investing in New Orleans properties promising a luxury experience for visitors. Nobu Hotel New Orleans and restaurant are set to open within the Caesars Hotel New Orleans. Caesars is investing $435 million to expand, renovate and rebrand the 450-room Harrah’s Hotel and Casino with the 340-room hotel tower and is expected to be completed by 2024.
With an extra day added to the festival in 2024, now expanding to 8 days and the news that the Rolling Stones are headlining, attending the New Orleans Heritage & Jazz Festival is established as a leading music festival on the world stage. Jazz Fest is an annual festival celebrating the music, art, culture, and heritage of New Orleans. The Rolling Stones are set to headline Jazz Fest on Thursday, May 2 – the band’s only festival appearance on their 2024 tour. The full festival lineup will be released in January.
In 2024, the Essence Festival of Culture will celebrate its 30th anniversary in New Orleans. Held over the 4th of July weekend at the Caesars Superdome and other venues in the city, this three-day party named for its founder and sponsoring magazine, combines high-octane music performances with inspirational speakers and provocative conversations about gender, race, culture, and art.
Tennessee promises unique and hands-on experiences in 2024 with new attractions, restaurants, distilleries, hotels, exhibits, iconic anniversaries, and impressive renovations.
Iconic Anniversaries in 2024
2024 marks the Franklin’s 225th anniversary and 10 years of Franklin’s Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival. Franklin also celebrates new additions like the luxury resort Southall Farm & Inn and world-class music venues like FirstBank Amphitheater.
The Tina Turner Museum at West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville marks its 10th anniversary where visitors can learn about the Queen of Rock through memorabilia, costumes, records and even her high school yearbook.
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, which honours the legendary Bristol Sessions recordings through immersive experiences, celebrates its 10th anniversary.
New Year, New Experiences
Northeast Tennessee – Visitors can escape to the enchanting night skies of Northeast Tennessee along the Tennessee Night Sky Trail, where 9 breath-taking spots await stargazing adventures.
Chattanooga – The River to Clouds Route (RCR) is a new 34-mile trail system connecting Cloudland Canyon State Park to the Chattanooga Riverwalk in St. Elmo perfect for biking, trail running and hiking.
Chattanooga – The newly renovated Hotel Chalet at the Choo Choo allows visitors to experience a night inside restored train carriages and blends historic and modern elements to offer an inviting and captivating atmosphere. Inside the property, Elsie’s Daughter is a parlour designed with history in mind and serves up classic cocktails and French-Belgian cuisine with a nod to Appalachia.
Knoxville – Southern Skies Music & Whiskey Festival returns to World’s Fair Park with a brand new TN Whiskey Experience, food trucks, craft beer, wine, specialty cocktails, Maker Market and performances by Old Crow Medicine Show, The Dirty Guv’nah’s and Maggie Rose.
Mississippi has been home to many musical and cultural legends, and in 2025 the State will be commemorating some significant anniversaries. Further details of key events will be available early in 2024.
September 16, 2025, will mark the 100th Birthday of BB King. Located in the heart of the Delta in Indianola, the B.B. King and Delta Interpretive Center, through exhibits, tells the story of BB King’s life and music. For visitors travelling through this region, it provides insight into the events of B.B. King’s time, including discussions about civil justice and race relations, and it also explains how King contributed to Mississippi becoming known as “The Birthplace of America’s Music. January 8, 2025, will mark the 90th birthday of Elvis Presley, who was born in Tupelo Mississippi and lived at various locations until he was 13.
Mississippi Blues Trail
For an unforgettable journey through blues history in Mississippi, the Mississippi Blues Trail tells the stories of the names and places that shaped the genre and speaks to generations of music lovers with historical landmarks and trails, music festivals, concert venues, and more. After journeying through the past, dive into the music of the present by visiting one of Mississippi’s many juke joints and blues clubs. Musicians bare their hearts and souls on stages across the state, and there’s nothing quite like listening to authentic blues performers in person.
A grand musical festival, and a new beach park should be worth a ticket to Mesa, Arizona next year.
Mesa Arizona is the First City Worldwide to Receive Destination Verified Seal from Wheel the World
As part of Visit Mesa’s ongoing mission to ensure the city is regarded as one of the America’s most inclusive and accessible travel destinations, the organization partnered with Wheel the World to provide travellers with advanced information on accessible experiences in Mesa and connect them with suggested itineraries based on their personal requirements. Through the Destinations Verified Program, Wheel the World sent trained Mappers to visit and assess destinations. Once the data is gathered, the organization provides recommendations to travel service providers on enhancing their infrastructure, along with offering them access to their E-learning platform to expand their knowledge of disabilities and accessibility. After the evaluation, Mesa became the first city worldwide to receive the Destination Verified Seal from Wheel the World.
The Mesa Music Festival, powered by Amazon and Visit Mesa, is the largest free emerging artist festival of its kind in the country and will feature over 200 performances from artists around the world. Attendees can look forward to enjoying a celebration of music, art and entertainment in downtown Mesa, April 18-20. In addition to live music, this festival also offers food trucks, art activations, and exciting opportunities to network with the music industry.
Surfs Up: Cannon Beach Coming Soon!
Mesa will soon be home to a 37-acre surf, shop, gym, and multi-use development project called Cannon Beach Revel Surf Park. Expected in Spring/Summer 2024, this unique combination will create a more natural surfing line-up with a peak wave rather than a right-session-only or left-session-only option as found in many of today ’s wave pools. This new technology and layout has gained the attention of the professional surf community due to its ability to cater to all skill levels.
Visit San Antonio
The city of fiesta promises a bigger party this New Year as more fun attractions in place for all.
Enter DC Universe 2024
This New Year, San Antonio’s Six Flags Fiesta, will be adding thrilling upgrades and three new family-friendly rides creating the largest DC Universe at any amusement park in actual universe! The new rides include – CYBORG Cyber Revolution, SHAZAM Tower of Eternity and METROPOLIS Transit Authority. Additional park enhancements feature the transformation of several existing attractions to include new Super Heroes and Villains including THE PENGUIN: Gotham City Getaway, Supergirl Sky Flight, POISON IVY Toxic Spin and more.
Morgan’s Wonderland Expansion
Morgan’s Wonderland, is the world’s first and only ‘hyper accessible theme park. In 2024 the park, who’s owners have just signed with Hollywood for a film about its amazing origin story will add attractions totalling $6 million in preparation for its 2024 season. Major additions will include a 4D cinema giving guests the sensation of riding a roller coaster; passenger boat ride across the park’s 8-acre catch-and-release fishing lake; Rocket’s Sky Flight Adventure, a four-seat zipline that soars above the lake, named after one of the super-hero mascots comprising the park’s Wonder Squad. Jette’s Magic Bikes, a wheelchair-accessible ride named for another mascot that’s in keeping with the park’s butterfly theme.
Tucson Museum of Art Turns 100
Originally founded in 1924 as the Tucson Fine Arts Association, the Tucson Museum of Art will celebrate its centennial in 2024. The museum plans to display retro exhibits from their archive to showcase their humble beginnings and the growth and development these past 100 years.
Honour for Barrio Viejo
One of Tucson’s downtown neighbourhoods Barrio Viejo, will receive National Historic Landmark designation by 2024. Barrio Viejo is the largest barrio in the U.S. and exemplifies Tucson’s connectivity to Mexico. In the past few decades, there has been a renewed focus on Barrio Viejo and its historic buildings, including the restoration of Teatro Carmen, a 300-seat theatre, and the adjoining building, the one-time home of the Black Elks Club.
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