As we approach our third month of lockdown, we can now explore our local world again, however as international travel is still a bit further away, our need for escapism is growing to new levels. In the hope that we can inspire audiences to continue dreaming of tomorrow’s travel and ease them through this difficult period, the TTM team have pulled together a rundown of how to escape to our destinations from home. From top films and books to iconic cuisine and virtual holidaying fun – dive in!


While exploring suggestions, try listening to the TTM Now That’s What I Call… A WFH Playlist?  The playlist has songs chosen by a mix of our colleagues across the destinations we represent and by our team too, designed to help remind you of your favourite trips. The playlist is available to download and stream from both Spotify and Apple Music.



What to watch

The BBC’s Rajan Datar explored the hidden desert city of Hegra, located in the Saudi Arabian region of AlUla. Click here to watch.

What to eat

The national dish of Saudi Arabia is Kabsa (also known as Makbūs and Kabsah) a spiced meat and rice dish where the water that was used to cook the meat is re-used to cook the rice, a method that blends all the flavours and spices. Ingredients used include saffron, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, black lime and rice. It can be made with chicken, lamb or fish.

Click here for other traditional Saudi Arabian dishes.

Virtual fun

AlUla’s magnificent heritage sites can be experienced virtually via 360 tours here.

Elephant Rock, Hegra, also referred to the modern Mada’in Saleh, and Desert X are among the famous sites and attractions of AlUla that are now available for the public to view through Snapchat

The Royal Commission for AlUla has worked with Snapchat to provide this feature through the Snapchat app with innovative lenses and with 360 videos available on


Discover New England

What to Watch

The New England states have been the setting and backdrop for iconic movies spanning decades of film production that are well worth a re-watch during lockdown.  Highlighted suggestions include Mystic Pizza (Connecticut), The Great Gatsby (1974 Rhode Island), On Golden Pond (New Hampshire), Good Will Hunting (Massachusetts) and Olive Kitteridge (Maine).

For a taste of all that New England offers check out this video:

What to Read

Many famous authors have hailed from New England; Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, Edith Wharton, John Irving and the master of horror; Stephen King.  Here’s a couple of suggested books to try during lockdown:

My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

Picoult moved to New Hampshire at a young age, and still calls the Granite State home. Many of her novels have been set in New England. My Sister’s Keeper, about a girl struggling with the decision to donate a kidney to her ailing sister, takes place in a fictional Rhode Island town.

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

Although non-fiction, Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir focused on the life and life lessons of Morrie Schwartz, a professor at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Olive, Again – Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge took readers to Crosby, a small coastal community in Maine. Now, with Strout’s sequel Olive, Again, readers are taken back to Crosby, which is based on the real and truly delightful communities of Brunswick and Harpswell.

What to Eat and Drink

New England is a food lover’s dream destination with lobster harvested all along the coast, oysters and clams; fish and game; cranberries, apples and blueberries; maple syrup, ice cream and artisan cheeses — these are just some of the taste treats for which New England is famous. Experience sophisticated dining in one of the region’s cities or a fresh-from-the-farm dinner amidst beautiful countryside. Then, there are the award-winning beers from microbreweries and an up-and-coming wine scene. It all adds up to a food scene that just gets better and better!

Here in the UK you can get a taste of New England with Shipyard beer; the perfect accompaniment to a summer barbecue:

Annie Mahle is the culinary force behind the fabulous meals prepared and relished by guests sailing on the Maine Windjammer the J&E Riggin. Her love of cooking and unique sense of style is expressed all summer long in the healthy, classic, country-style food. Annie gravitates to meals comprised of fresh, local ingredients from her garden, local farmers and food artisans. Annie is doing a cooking series featuring recipes such as Maine Blueberry Muffins and Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Mint Bars.

Virtual Fun

A full collection of virtual ideas and inspiration can be found here:

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod is holding webinars to share insight into their research.  Speakers include James Cameron, Fabien Cousteau and NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams.

@NewEnglandVisit #VisitNE



What to Watch

Little Women is based on Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel of the same name. The story follows the lives of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they grow from childhood to adulthood after the Civil War in America.

The movie is filmed in Massachusetts and boasts an elite cast of Oscar and Golden Globe winning actors including Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan.

In honour of the film’s release, Massachusetts Film Office has created a film tourism map featuring locations where filming took place.

What to Eat and Drink

From coastal Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, to the rolling Berkshire Hills, Massachusetts offers taste treats aplenty. Cranberries, for example, have been a staple crop both on and near Cape Cod since Colonial days.

The delicious dessert, Boston Cream Pie was first created at Boston’s Omni Parker House Hotel.  Discover its history here

Samuel Adams beer is readily available here in the UK until you can visit Boston for a brewery tour and tasting:

Virtual Fun

USS Constitution have started daily virtual tours of Old Ironsides.

The ship’s crew has given over 60 virtual tours aboard Old Ironsides on Facebook Live which have received more than 1.2  million views, since Saturday, March 14, when USS Constitution suspended public tours to reduce exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We’ve been proud to continue our mission of promoting this amazing ship and our country’s maritime heritage,” said Chief Petty Officer Elliott Fabrizio, USS Constitution public affairs officer. “Our live virtual tours are moving to Instagram for the upcoming week based on fan feedback and requests from our followers.”

The virtual tours will be available at

During each virtual tour, the ship’s active-duty Sailors take viewers through the ship, to include several areas normally closed to the public, and provide an opportunity for viewers to ask live questions.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has compiled a list over 50 places across the Bay State offering at home virtual experiences, from museums and aquariums, hiking trails and botanical gardens to historical landmarks and cultural destinations featuring renowned Massachusetts artists, authors, musicians and dancers.

@VisitMA #VisitMA


Maverick Helicopters

Virtual Fun

Whilst UK and Irish residents might not be able to experience a Maverick Helicopter flight right now to take in the Grand Canyon from the sky, they can still view one of the world’s most breathtaking locations online! The virtual tour includes over 75 interactive, 360 degree panoramic views of more than 400 miles of trails and the Colorado River corridor!

Alternatively, view the footage from some of Maverick’s tour videos online for inspiration.



New Orleans & Louisiana

What to Watch

Louisiana and New Orleans have been the backdrop to many a film, series, and documentary over the years! From cult classics like Easy Rider to recent Oscar winners such as Green Book were all set in the Bayou state. The incredible settings of plantations and swamps as well as the architecture and jazz of New Orleans have been hugely attractive to production studios throughout time.

So if you’re finding you have more time at home, put your feet up and transport yourself to the Deep South with some gems such as The Princess and The Frog, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood and 12 Years a Slave.

Or if binge-watching is preferred, why not try NCIS: New Orleans, the long running hit crime drama set in the Crescent City.

What to Eat and Drink

Cuisine is one of the many reasons people flock from far and wide to Louisiana and with good reason. What unites everyone in the state is the love affair with its traditional fare. Thanks to Louisiana Travel fans of this cuisine can bring the flavours to their own home table with some of Louisiana’s finest recipes. From Cajun and Creole recipes to the classic Southern style cocktails, find the perfect pairings here:

Hang out with some of Louisiana’s best chefs as they host online cooking demonstrations and classes for Seafood!  Join Louisiana Chef Jay Ducote, owner of Gov’t Taco, as he shows how to make blackened red snapper over corn maque choux with jalapeño relish.

Many of New Orleans most chefs and restaurants have also been sharing some signature recipes since the outbreak of Coronavirus, so that those at home can still enjoy those classic New Orleans dishes. Choose from including Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from Isaac Toups or maybe a masterclass in how to make American Orange Punch from Jewel of the South.

Virtual Fun

The south-west corner of the state is showered with gifts from natural beauty to nature’s bounty.  These virtual tours offer an opportunity to appreciate the incredible beauty and diversity of the state.

New Orleans have a virtual tour of the city that can be found online.  Ride in a streetcar down the picturesque St. Charles Avenue. Visit Cafe du Monde and Commander’s Palace, and then enjoy a plantation or swamp tour.

@VisitNewOrleans #OneTimeInNOLA

@LouisianaTravel #FeedYourSoul


North Carolina

What to Watch

North Carolina has a long-distinguished film history, and it continues to grow each year. The Tar-heel state has played setting to some of the biggest films over the last few decades and no wonder when you consider the stunning and diverse scenery. Some notable films include the classic Dirty Dancing, shot in the rolling Blue Ridge mountains and around Lake Lure.

Some of the most intense scenes of the 1992 adventure The Last of the Mohicans were shot on and around Chimney Rock, a 315-foot-long jutting rock formation, about 40 minutes east of Asheville. Additionally, the infamous District 12 in Hunger Games was set and filmed at the Henry River Mill Village in Burke County, North Carolina. Hollywood thought the abandoned village would serve as the perfect setting for the post-apocalyptic dystopia.

What to Read

You really can’t beat curling up with a book from North Carolina author Nicholas Sparks! All twenty of his released books are set within the state that he now resides with his family. His most iconic book ‘The Notebook’ has been adapted to the big screen but was originally centred in New Bern, North Carolina. Plus, once you’ve read the books of Nicholas Sparks, you can travel to the places that inspired them with this 3-day tour of locations on the south-eastern coast!

Virtual Fun

Visit North Carolina have released a variety of video and still Zoom backgrounds for users to enjoy on their next conference call or family quiz! Transport yourself to beautiful Nags head or the glorious skies in Asheville’s hot Air Balloons!

@VisitNC #VisitNC



What to Watch

Tennessee has been the backdrop to many famous films in recent times. Walk the Line, the biopic of Johnny Cash’s life, is set in various points around the state. The Blind Side starred Sandra Bullock, who won an Oscar for her performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy, the legal guardian of college football standout Michael Oher. The story is set around Memphis and chronicles Oher’s struggles through school and college in his quest to be drafted into the NFL, while Tuohy battles for Michael’s voice to be heard.

What to Read

While Tennessee might be more synonymous with music and songwriting, several books have been inspired by the Volunteer state. The most notable of which are The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss, The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan, Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall and My Love Story by Tina Turner.

What to Eat and Drink

Eating barbecue is a must in Tennessee. Memphis barbecue is best known for tomato and vinegar-based sauces. In some Memphis establishments, meat is rubbed with dry seasoning (dry rubs) and smoked over hickory wood without sauce. The finished barbecue is then served with barbecue sauce on the side. A famous sandwich from Tennessee is the pulled pork sandwich, which is served on a bun and often topped with coleslaw. Pulled pork is prepared by shredding the pork after it has been barbecued. You can try your hand at creating your own pulled pork sandwich here.

Meanwhile, A Taste of Music City is a digital collection of recipes from some of Nashville’s most beloved restaurants and chefs to download, enabling you to bring a taste of Tennessee to your home. Get cooking!

Virtual Fun

Chattanooga has many online puzzles and activities to keep everyone entertained during the time spent at home. The Tennessee Aquarium in particular have some engaging content that is worth checking out. Visit and get lost in the interactivity.

Also, the Country Music Hall of Fame has created a version of Words with Friends that revolves around country music! Access it at and play along with friends, family or solo.

@tnvacation #MadeInTN



What to Watch

Texas has a proud film history. Not only is it home to many of Hollywood’s well-known actors, but Texas is also the location (and occasionally the setting) for countless film and TV productions, many of which you can stream and watch from home.

The most famous TV series has to be the 80’s classic Dallas, all  thirteen series’ of which were filmed at North Texas’ iconic Southfork Ranch.

Cheer is a reality documentary series follows the cheer program at Navarro College in Corsicana, TX, and their quest to dominate nationals. Cheer is a gripping, unfiltered look at competitive cheerleading.

Friday Night Lights is the fictitious TV series based on H.G. Bissinger’s book of the same name, which chronicled the world of Texas high school football. In the series, Dillon High’s Coach Taylor leads his team with clear eyes and full hearts.

In The Highwaymen, Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson star as Texas Rangers on the hunt for the famous criminals Bonnie and Clyde.

The story of The Alamo has been told and retold in popular culture ever since the great battle took place. One of the most famous interpretations is John Wayne’s classic 1960 film in which he starred as Davy Crockett.

What to Read

Lonesome Dove is probably one of the most famous books set in Texas and remains one of the most memorable TV dramas of all time. The Pulitzer Prize–winning classic about the wild American west was written by Larry McMurtry and is about a Texas town in the nineteenth century with characters including cowboys, settlers, Native Americans and outlaws.

What to Eat and Drink

During his tour of Texas (view here), Gordon Ramsay announced that, “there is no country, anywhere in the planet that does a BBQ like the Texas state.” Those wanting to hone their grilling skills over the lockdown period and in time for summer, can take Aaron Franklin’s (from the world famous Franklins BBQ) online BBQ class:

Travel Texas have introduced #TacoTuesday, Texas style by teaming up with local chefs via Instagram to give you a taste of Texas at home. Learn how to make Grilled Chicken Tacos with Chef Mo Assi from Crush Taco in Frisco, Tomatillo Chicken Tinga Tacos with chef Lanny Lancarte of Righteous Foods in Fort Worth or Gulf Shrimp Tacos with chef Fernando Aguilar of F&W Culinary Adventure in Fredericksburg.

Virtual Tours

John Steinbeck once said, “Texas is a state of mind.” It’s a line that resonates as much now as ever with all of us currently staying safe at home. While you may not be able to travel to Texas just yet, you can keep the Texas spirit alive by bringing a little piece of the state into your home with these virtual tours. They’re a great way to prepare for your next Texas adventure when the time is right.

@traveltexas #TexasToDo #Texplorer


West Virginia

What to Watch

With stunning scenery and miles of outdoor space, it is no surprise that West Virginia has been the location to many films through the years. Matthew McConaughey starred in We Are Marshall, the story of the 1970 Marshall University plane crash that led to a resurgence in community spirt and the rejuvenation of the college sports program. The Mothman Prophecies is based on the Mothman legend of Point Pleasant. Some of the most stunning backdrops in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! were filmed at the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville.

What to Read

There has never been a better time to cozy up with a tale from the Mountain State.  From Homer Hickam’s Rocket Boys (an anagram for October Sky, the movie it inspired) to Denise Giardina’s Storming HeavenFor children, introduce them to the dog named Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

Check out more West Virginia reads here:

What to Eat and Drink

Farm-to-table food culture is prevalent in West Virginia, thanks to the vast acres of green space and rich soil. Ramps (or spring onions as known in the UK) are one of the most densely harvested crops in West Virginia and are found in many recipes. West Virginia restaurants highlight this state favourite every season. Bluegrass Kitchen in Charleston has dishes like ramps with pasta or Johnnycakes, and sister restaurant Tricky Fish has served up steak tacos in corn tortillas topped with a mix of grilled peppers and pickled ramps. Just down the road, Starlings Coffee and Provisions created a sourdough pizza with a Parmesan Alfredo sauce, bacon, asparagus, and ramps.

Other restaurants put a fancy spin on the traditional foraged food, like Fish Hawk Acres in Buckhannon, which sometimes has a “Fancy Ramp Dinner” with dishes like a cornmeal-crusted West Virginia rainbow trout with citrus brown butter and ramp vinaigrette.

Pepperoni Rolls are also synonymous with West Virginia. Originally created by an Italian immigrant in Fairmont for miners down the pits, this tasty snack was created as a no-fuss option for them to sink their teeth into. As simple as it sounds, it is a soft, dinner-style roll wrapped around savoury pepperoni. Delicious!

To wash down those tasty treats, West Virginia is well catered for the craft beer lovely. With 25 breweries located across the state, there will be plenty of options to choose from.  The most well-known being the Mountain State Brewing company in Davis, home of the Cold Trail Blonde Ale and the Almost Heaven Amber Ale. If cocktails are the order of the day, then try whipping up a Scofflaw. This drink uses Smooth Ambler Spirits’ Old Scout Straight Rye Whiskey in a refreshing, vintage cocktail that gets its name from its Prohibition-era roots. To make, combine 1.5 oz. Old Scout Straight Rye Whiskey, 1 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth, ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, and ¾ oz. Jack Rudy Grenadine with ice in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy.

Virtual Fun

Rosalie Haizlett is an illustrator who was born and raised in the Appalachia Mountains of West Virginia. She specialises in creating watercolour paintings of her surroundings and nature that surrounds her in the Mountain State. For those looking to while away the hours by learning a new skill, or perhaps advancing an old one, then Rosalie is hosting an online masterclass called Watercolor in the Woods. This is 13 video lessons where those taking the tutorial can paint along with Rosalie to help hone their watercolour skills. The class is available here, along with a short introductory video.


@wvtourism #AlmostHeaven #PlaceIBelongWV





For media enquiries and further information, please visit, or contact the following:

Kirsty Dillury: PR and Communications Director –

Anna Watt:  PR Manager for Travel Texas and Experience AlUla –

Sadia Begum: Communications Manager for Discover New England, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism-

Alex Keelan – Communications Executive for Louisiana Office of Tourism, Maverick Helicopters, New Orleans and Company, Visit North Carolina –

David Venables – Communications Executive for Tennessee Tourism, West Virginia Tourism Office –

For any other enquiries, please contact or call +44 (0)208 313 1717