Here is some of the exciting news from our clients looking ahead to Summer 2021 and beyond. From historical trails to world-class museum openings and new accommodation ideas, this is what we can expect to plan and enjoy over the coming years. Read on for round ups from Louisiana, Maverick Helicopters, New England, North Carolina and Tennessee. Hi-res images available on request.
The new Louisiana Civil Rights Trail will help tell the story of the role Louisiana played in the state and national Civil Rights Movement. Being unveiled this spring, it will recognize the achievements of individuals and the sites that served as a staging area for the movement.
On February 3, 2021, Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Tourism announced the launch of the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail and LouisianaCivilRightsTrail.com. The Louisiana Civil Rights Trail brings together the events of the 1950s and 1960s that placed the state of Louisiana at the centre of the national Civil Rights Movement and narrates the compelling stories and experiences of the people who dedicated themselves and their lives to making civil rights real in Louisiana. View a promotional video about the Louisiana Civil Rights Trail
In the upcoming months, markers will be placed around the state to honour the Civil Rights Movement. A Story of Pride. A Story of Courage. Louisiana’s Civil Rights Story. Be inspired at LouisianaCivilRightsTrail.com. Making rights real.
New Glamping Sites Unveiled at Louisiana State Parks – Fully-equipped campsites with safari-style tents are now available in eight Louisiana State Parks. It’s an innovative partnership expanding camping opportunities to new campers. Louisiana State Parks and Tentrr have set up more than 60 fully-equipped, safari-style tent sites throughout eight state parks. Each turnkey camping site was hand-picked for its unique, natural beauty, and proximity to recreational activities.
Glamping opportunities are available statewide; three are in north Louisiana (Jimmie Davis SP, Lake Claiborne SP, Lake D’Arbonne SP), one in central Louisiana (Chicot SP), and three in south Louisiana (Lake Fausse Pointe, South Toledo Bend SP, Fontainebleau SP).
Each site includes a spacious, safari-style, canvas-walled tent atop a raised platform located in a rustic area outside the park campground. The sites are outfitted with a queen-sized cot and memory foam mattress, a heating source, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, a grill, and a picnic table.
The Andouille Trail is a unique culinary byway that introduces this tasty contribution to Louisiana cuisine, born in the River Parishes with French and German culinary heritage. Be careful to not call it sausage – because of the coarseness of the ground pork, it’s not considered sausage by locals, it’s simply andouille. Special seasonings, the coarseness of the grind, and the very wood added during smoking, make every producer’s andouille product a unique culinary offering.
The Bayou County Crawfish Trail was announced in April 2021. The trail covers not just traditional boils done at the height of the season, but also the hearty crawfish dishes you can find year-round like jambalaya, etouffee, gumbo, etc. The trail offers a wide variety of places to go on an adventure with your taste buds through this this unique piece of Louisiana’s culture and cuisine.
Great River Road and Steamboat Museum – On a dramatic bend in the Mississippi River on the Houmas House estate, the Great River Road and Steamboat Museum serves to interpret the history and influence of the Lower Mississippi in the 19th century. The $6 million facility covers 28,000 square feet museum offers visitors a glimpse of what early life along the great Mississippi River was like. From the wealthy owners of great sugar empires to the humble lives of the enslaved, this museum details how each lived and survived by this powerful body of water.
The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience will explore the many ways Jews in the American South influenced and were influenced by the distinct cultural heritage of their communities, covering 13 states and more than 300 years of history – including Colonial, Civil War, World War II and the Civil Rights Movement. Multi-media exhibits will illustrate how Jewish immigrants and succeeding generations adapted to life in the South, forming bonds of deep friendship and community with their non-Jewish neighbours. The Museum will also address issues of race and anti-Semitism, and the many ways that Southern Jews navigated them at different times.
New Orleans – Opening in Spring 2021, Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans provides a luxurious gateway from which to access the vibrant culture of the city. The 34-story Hotel offers 341 rooms and suites. A signature restaurant by James Beard Award winning chef Alon Shaya overlooks lush gardens, while Chandelier Bar is the energized gathering point of the lobby level. An observation deck and exhibit feature the only 360-degree panoramic riverfront views of New Orleans.
New Orleans – Virgin Hotel New Orleans is slated to open its doors in Summer 2021. Located in the Warehouse District at 550 Baronne Street, Virgin Hotel New Orleans is located in the Central Business District close to a growing number of new restaurants, galleries and shops. The property will feature over 200 chambers, multiple dining and drinking outlets such as the brand’s signature Commons Club and Funny Library Coffee Shop and a rooftop pool.
Still New to the Scene in New Orleans – One11 Hotel opened in December, the first new hotel to open in the French Quarter for 50 years. A former sugar warehouse, the 83-room property is located adjacent to the luxury shopping of Canal Place and provides expansive views of the Mississippi River from its rooftop bar. The Chloe opened last autumn on tree-lined St. Charles Avenue. The 14-room boutique hotel has a great restaurant and intimate spaces to enjoy a drink at the bar, salon, pool or on the front porch with the streetcar passing by.
Maverick Helicopters has launched two all-new Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon sightseeing and aerial experiences for 2021, Neon & Nature and Neon & Nature Sunset. Travellers will witness the majestic Mojave Desert and fly over Red Rock Canyon in a luxury helicopter, followed by a one-of-a-kind, exclusive landing overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and the surrounding mountain landscape.
Departing from Maverick Helicopters’ Las Vegas Strip terminal, passengers will enjoy scenic bird’s-eye views over Red Rock Canyon, one of Las Vegas’ natural gems. After admiring its fiery red sandstone cliffs, the helicopter will descend to a private vista for travellers to take in picturesque views of the Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas Valley and beautiful natural scenery. From this panoramic overlook 2,900 feet over the city, guests will enjoy a 30-minute landing with a champagne toast. The adventure concludes with a breathtaking flight over iconic landmarks such as Bellagio, Caesars Palace and the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium.
The Neon & Nature Sunset flight allows passengers to experience all the features of Neon & Nature with extended landing time to enjoy magic hour at the secluded viewpoint. Guests will return after sunset as the Strip shines bright and the city comes to life.
Discover New England
Six new National Scenic Byways have been designated in Discover New England’s member states and include three in Maine, three in Massachusetts and one in Rhode Island. The new byways include Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway, St. John Valley Cultural Byway/Fish River Scenic Byway and Bold Coast Scenic Byway; Massachusetts’ Battle Road Scenic Byway (All-American Road), Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway and Old King’s Highway (Route 6A); and Rhode Island’s Revolutionary Heritage Byway.
Martin Luther King Jr. in Connecticut Memorial in Simsbury: Unveiled in January 2021, the memorial serves to educate people about the struggles that existed, and continue to exist today, to obtain equal rights and how MLK dedicated his life to that cause.
Under Canvas Acadia will be the brand’s first ever Northeast location in Surry, Maine, near Acadia National Park. The glamping resort, set to open May 2021, offers 63 safari-style canvas accommodation tents on elevated decks with private baths within, situated on 100 acres and more than 1,200 feet of untouched Maine coastline. The season for this camp is May 13 – October 31.
Terramor Outdoor Resort opened August 2020, with 2021 being their first full season. The thoughtful retreat is committed to authentic, immersive experiences in nature, blending the romance of a camping adventure with the amenities of a luxurious getaway. The 60-acre property features curated experiences, 64 luxury canvas tents set among the trees, oriented around a lodge featuring a bar and restaurant and store.
The Kancamagus Highway/Scenic Byway takes you through a path cut through the White Mountain National Forest with breathtaking views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. he ‘Kanc’ (as the locals call it) rises to an elevation of just under 3,000 feet (914 meters) at its highest point, it takes an hour to drive without stopping. The Highway offers no comforts of the modern day world, no gas stations, no restaurants, hotels or other businesses.
Omni Mount Washington – a favourite New England retreat of presidents, poets and celebrities offering New Hampshire’s largest ski area, will be developing new guest rooms in the Presidential Wing set to open in 2021. The expansion of the Presidential Wing will feature 69 new rooms and suites, offering guests the chance to relax in opulent accommodations and breathtaking panoramic views of Mount Washington from private balconies.
Great White Shark Museum Opening in Provincetown – Cape Cod is getting another great white shark museum. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy signed a lease to open the shark center on MacMillan Wharf in Provincetown, at the former home of the Whydah Pirate Museum. This will be the second shark museum on Cape Cod; the other is on Orleans Road in Chatham. Conservancy officials said the shark center will offer visitors an in-depth look at great white sharks through interactive exhibits, videos and displays, as well as provide insight into local research. The new Museum has also purchased a slip for a boat for shark tours. The museum aims to open before Memorial Day 2022.
Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport – Set to open by summer 2021 in South Boston’s Seaport District, the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport will be a catalyst to development in the area. The 1,055-room hotel features an all-day restaurant, French brasserie, signature Mokara Spa and fitness center, as well as an elevated pool bar and grill with Boston’s skyline as its backdrop.
The Blackstone Valley National Park – The Blackstone River powered America’s entry into the Age of Industry. The success of Samuel Slater’s (born in Belper England) cotton spinning mill in Pawtucket, RI touched off a chain reaction that changed how people worked and where they lived and continues to reverberate across the nation to this day.
Newport – The Brenton Hotel, which opened in July 2020, is a luxury boutique property that sits directly on Newport’s bustling waterfront and features 57 rooms and suites..
Newport – Hammetts Hotel Located on Hammetts wharf in the center of Newport’s seaport. It is a new kind of hotel, one that serves as a true reflection of the Newports’ past, present and future. It pays homage to working-class roots and turn-of-the-century mercantile wharves, yet is a modern landing spot whose design and décor convey both quality and simplicity. Opened in October 2020.
Providence – The Beatrice is a 47-room boutique hotel that offers a glimpse of history in the rehabilitated 1887 Exchange Bank Building in Downtown Providence. The hotels atmosphere defines elegance, sophistication and timelessness. Just footsteps away from the Providence’s Riverwalk where “Waterfire” and Le gondola provide a world class experience, Brown University, famed “Federal Hill” the city’s Italian neighborhood, and RISD Art Museum are a few famous sites.
Visit North Carolina
Outdoor NC Initiative Aims to Inspire Travellers to Enjoy and Sustain – With travellers craving open space as never before, Visit North Carolina and the N.C. Outdoor Recreation Industry Office have joined with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics on a campaign to inspire outdoor experiences and manage natural assets for future generations. With Outdoor NC, North Carolina becomes the first coastal state to partner with Leave No Trace, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the outdoors and inspiring people to use it responsibility. As people seek the relative safety of fresh-air spaces to escape confinements imposed by COVID-19, the partnership will focus on ways to welcome travellers and engage them in protecting the natural places they crave. The effort launches at Outdoor NC with details on how to explore nature responsibly amid the concerns of COVID-19.
N.C. Civil Rights Trail to Map Journey Toward Equality – From Nina Simone and Julius Chambers to Ella Baker and the Greensboro Four, North Carolina voices have swelled in the national struggle for equality. With the launch of the N.C. Civil Rights Trail in early 2021, the epic journey will be preserved and amplified from places where leaders and followers lived, learned and took a stand for social justice. Working with communities across the state, the N.C. African American Heritage Commission will designate up to 50 sites where trail markers will be placed by January 2023. An interactive web portal will highlight these places and others to guide people to history and experiences from the past.
Oyster Trail Connects Coastal Cuisine – the N.C. Oyster Trail, which highlights an industry whose colourful history includes a war against out-of-state poachers. Stops extend from the Outer Banks to Bald Head Island with oyster farm tours, exhibits, excursions and dining with inland markets and restaurants sharing the delicacy with their customers.
Raleigh – Two stars of the dinosaur world will take centre stage in Raleigh in fall 2022 with the opening of “Duelling Dinosaurs,” a permanent exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. The most complete fossils of a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops ever unearthed will be displayed as they were found, locked together as if duelling at the time of their death. The museum is building a state-of-the-art research centre, called SECU Dinolab, where the public can get a close-up view and meet scientists seeking to uncover secrets that were buried for 67 million years.
Van Gogh, Monet and da Vinci Experience to Travel to Biltmore – “Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore” will illuminate the lives of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Leonardo da Vinci in a yearlong series of multisensory experiences at the George W. Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate in Asheville. Grande Experiences in Melbourne, Australia, developed the technology behind the immersive displays of enormously scaled images of the artists’ masterworks, which gain power from a synchronized classical score.
Planetarium opens at Mayland Earth to Sky Park – Mayland Community College’s Earth to Sky Park adds another enticement for stargazers to visit the Blue Ridge Mountain campus in Burnsville: the 60-seat Glenn and Carol Arthur Planetarium, opening in 2021. A certified International Dark Sky Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the 6-acre Mayland park is home to the Bare Dark Sky Observatory and its 34-inch telescope, a viewing terrace, walking trails and gardens.
Pinehurst – A new equipment-testing facility, innovation hub, museum and visitors centre will become part of the landscape at the U.S. Golf Association’s “Golf House Pinehurst,” a second headquarters for the USGA. The developments also include a new 36-room boutique hotel at the resort. In announcing the plans and a 2023 target completion date, the USGA added U.S. Open dates for the famed No. 2 course at Pinehurst Resort.
Nantahala Outdoor Center Marks 50th Season – In a year that saw the 7 millionth guest escorted on a whitewater rafting trip, Nantahala Outdoor Center will celebrate its 50th season in 2021. America’s largest outdoor recreation company, NOC offers more than 120 different river- and land-based itineraries at its main location on the Nantahala River in Bryson City and along seven other Southeastern rivers. Special offerings for 2021 will include a women’s whitewater kayaking retreat and a “Week of Rivers” in five different national forests.
Restored ‘Green Book’-Era Property Will Soon Book Overnight Guests – Jackie Robinson slept here. So did James Baldwin, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Ike and Tina Turner, and other African American travellers who needed a place to stay in the Jim Crow South. The Magnolia House, whose listing in “The Negro Motorist Green Book” was starred as a recommended Greensboro site, faded after the motel closed in the 1970s. But steady progress on restoring the 1914 structure has been made since Sam Pass bought it in 1996 and created the Magnolia House Foundation. The Historic Magnolia House will open later in 2021.
High Hampton, mountain retreat has turned the welcome lights back on after a consummate renovation by the team behind Blackberry Farm with guidance from the N.C. Historical Preservation Office. The revitalization includes the 18-room inn and its restaurants, 40 cottage rooms and three separate cottages plus a redesign of the 18-hole golf course by Tom Fazio with new club amenities. Located at 3,600 feet on the edge of Nantahala National Forest, the 1,400-acre resort retains its hallmark rustic character with modern accents in the mix.
JW Marriott Charlotte, the first of Marriott International’s luxury flagship hotels in North Carolina, is poised to open this summer across the street from the Charlotte Convention Center. With 381 oversize rooms and suites, the property will feature a Spa by JW, rooftop lounge and pool, Dean’s Italian Steakhouse and Caroline’s Oyster Bar. The hotel is part of the Ally Charlotte Center project.
Raliegh – The arrival of boutique lodging downtown completes the appeal of a capital city known for stellar chefs, craft beverage, nightlife, culture and outdoor spaces. The latest opening is Heights House Hotel, a restored 1860 Italianate-style mansion that becomes a nine-room boutique hotel with indoor and outdoor spaces for private and community events. Promising “casual luxury,” Heights House features 15-foot ceilings, original hardwoods, 10 fireplaces and grand common spaces. It follows the 2020 openings of the 126-room Origin Hotel Raleigh and the 57-room Longleaf Hotel, a stylish reinvention of a mid-century motor lodge.
The Swag, an all-inclusive guest house near Waynesville, has joined the international Relais & Châteaux association of individually owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants. The Swag, whose name refers to a low-lying area connecting two ridges at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The all-inclusive hideaway has 14 rooms, each of them individually furnished and decorated with original artwork.
Greenville – A new boutique hotel in Greenville will open in summer 2022. Taking its name from the historic tobacco factory the hotel will occupy, The Ficklen will feature 70 rooms plus a community-focused food hall and market in the adjacent the Star Warehouse.
Tennessee Music Pathways – The statewide driving tour program highlights legends and hidden gem music events, locations and live music. Watch Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, “Country Music” and discover the places behind the stories.
Walls for Women celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage and Tennessee’s place in history ratifying the 19th amendment with original art created by all-female muralists in cities across the state.
Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Music and Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
Downtown Memphis’ newest hotel is walking distance from many of the city’s premiere attractions: AutoZone Park, Beale Street, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and more. Canopy by Hilton also features Curfew, a classic tavern showcasing Spanish, American and Italian flavors courtesy of celebrity chef Fabio Viviani.
Graceland and Elvis Presley’s Memphis have introduced 10 immersive new experiences that allow guests to interact with the King like never before. Create your own Elvis album cover or movie poster and share it with your friends! Try on a digital sequined jumpsuit, tour the grounds of Graceland in a virtual golf cart and much more.
The Memphian, a Tribute Porfolio Hotel – Take a few steps off the beaten path at The Memphian, set to open April 2021. Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, truly capturing the free spirit of the storied art district and Overton Square.
Memphis – The Memphis Chess Club, founded in 1877, has been reinvented to include a full service café with great food and Southern hospitality where you can observe, play and learn chess.
Gatlinburg – Anakeesta’s $6.5 million expansion includes the new AnaVista observation tower in the Vista Gardens, a new Clifftop restaurant in Black Bear Village, Treeventure Challenge Course, and new shopping and dining options.
Gatlinburg – The Gatlinburg SkyTrail is a scenic walkway that will connect each end of the SkyBridge featuring an elevated boardwalk and unique views of the SkyBridge and panoramic Smoky Mountain vistas. Later in the spring, there will be rope bridges, elevated viewing platforms and a smooth walking path for a one-third-mile walk.
Sevierville – The Central Hotel, a boutique hotel inside a renovated bank building, also features Honeybee Coffee Co. on the ground floor. Nearby, visitors to downtown can enjoy shopping and restaurants, including the new Hickory Cabin BBQ & Grill, Graze Burgers and The Appalachian, a new fine dining restaurant.
Pigeon Forge –Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool and hot tub, , picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals and a retail store.
Pigeon Forge – Appalachian Springs Outdoor Resort & Trout Farm, opening Spring 2021, takes camping back to its roots to revitalize connections with family, friends and nature without sacrificing comfort or amenities of a memorable getaway.
Pigeon Forge – Camp Margaritaville resort, opening spring 2021, will have an upscale RV Park with 160 full hook-up sites, full service lodge with over 70 guest rooms, pool, pickle ball court and games area, camp store, restaurant and bar.
Knoxville – Three levels of crystal barrooms wait to be discovered downtown. Bernadette’s barrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
Knoxville – The Aslan Foundation is in the final stages of restoring the Candoro Marble Building, built in 1923. Tri-Star Arts will oversee programming along with a new gallery space and studios.
Knox Brew Hub, under the same ownership and Knox Brew Tours, serves many local brews on tap and is considered a “beer concierge,” pointing visitors towards local brews to try.
Element Knoxville West will opened January 2021 with Marriot Knoxville Downtown set to open late fall 2021. Other new places to stay include Graduate Knoxville, Cumberland House Knoxville, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Aloft Knoxville West and Tru by Hilton Knoxville West Turkey Creek.
Chattanooga – The Chattanoogan Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton, in the heart of the city’s Southside is within a mile of downtown, offers a full-service spa and rooftop bar called “High Rail” to enjoy scenic views of the city.
Chattanooga – Nic & Norman’s. Director Greg Nicotero and actor Norman Reedus from “The Walking Dead” opened their second restaurant, focused on great food and community, within the Chattanooga Choo Choo in a renovated and restored space.
Chattanooga – Songbirds is creating a new interactive learning experience and performance hall inside the former Songbirds Guitar Museum. The guitar-centric educational space will feature hands-on STEAM based exhibits for all ages, Chattanooga music history, and rotating exhibits featuring stories from pickers, producers, and players. The space will also serve as a music venue, featuring big-name artists in an intimate setting. The new Songbirds is set to open in Fall 2021.
Chattanooga – The Trust for the Public Land is working on the last mile to complete the 12 miles of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, which will connect to the Tennessee Riverwalk, creating a 25-mile loop around the city in 2021.
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