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Experience Jackson

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Experience Jackson

Jackson’s location is perfect for a quick stop or overnight stay in the heart of Michigan. Taste award winning wine throughout the Southeast Pioneer Wine Trail. Discover the past with a prison or museum tour. See the symphony or take in a show like the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. Explore Jackson’s outdoors with a round of golf, kayak excursion or bird watching. Whatever your itinerary find something to move your group with an experience in Jackson.


Member: ABA


Type: CVB
Tour Services:

  • Attractions
  • Lodging

Experience Jackson

134 W. Michigan
Jackson, Michigan 49201
Phone: (517) 764-4440
Phone: (800) 245-5282
Fax: (517) 780-3688
E-mail: rachel@experiencejackson.com
Web: www.experiencejackson.com

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The Henry Ford

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The Henry Ford
Make plans for your whole group today!
Make plans for your whole group today!

Henry Ford Museum covers 12 acres of tens of thousands of artifacts that bring American ideas and innovations to life. Collections include: airplanes, trains, automobiles, furniture, and more. Climb aboard our 600-ton Allegheny locomotive, build a full-size Model-T, explore the Dymaxion House, Rosa Parks Bus, Kennedy Limousine to name a few.

Greenfield Village represents 300-years of history. See 80 authentic buildings and workplaces representing the entrepreneurs that changed our lives. From Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, the home of the Wright brothers and Harvey Firestone 1880’s working family farm. Ride a Model T, watch world-class artisans, and choose your lunch from an 1850s menu and more.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour is not just the assembly line; it is the quality of the workplace and an up-close view of the award-winning environmental innovations. You will get a behind-the-scenes view of the factory’s remarkable internal framework: overhead conveyors, vehicle elevators and just-in-time parts-delivery systems that creates the most flexible and technologically advanced plant. The new Rouge – the standard by which all other factories are measured.


Member: ABA, NTA, Circle MI, OMCA, TIA


Attraction Type: Museum
Group Rates: $10-$20 (subject to change) Ask about special tour operator rates
Special Rates: Group Rates on IMAX tickets also available.
Hours of Operation: Tour Hours: 9:30am to 5:00pm. Business Hours: 8:30am to 5:00pm

Seasonal Dates: Open year round. CLOSED Thanksgiving & Christmas Days.
Seasonal Hours: Ford Rouge Factory Tour closed on Sundays.

Bus Parking: Yes
Bus Parking Fee: No charge.
Driver Rate: Complimentary.
Escort Rate: Complimentary.
Deposit and Payment Policy: 20% deposit.
Cancellation and Refund Policy: Basic products 100% refundable with 24 hour notice.


Nearby Attractions that Influence Group Travel:

  • Henry Ford Estates
  • Motown Museum
  • Elinor & Edsel Ford House
  • Fox Theatre

The Henry Ford

20900 Oakwood Blvd
Dearborn, Michigan 48124-5029
Phone: 313-982-6001
Phone: 1.800.TELL.A.FRiend
Fax: (313) 982-6225
E-mail: vickiee@thehenryford.org
Web: www.TheHenryFord.org

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Ready, set, let’s adventure

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Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, Mich. Credit: Samantha Hagerman Gaina

With such a varied natural landscape — from bayous and deserts to mountains and boreal forests — it’s no wonder the U.S. is home to thousands upon thousands of state parks. Recreation and outdoor adventure are at any travelers’ fingertips, and groups can find several ways to adventure through the nation’s beautiful and protected lands.

State parks have been especially enticing lately due COVID-19; fresh air and outdoor spaces offer safety, and many groups are taking advantage of this. California, Michigan and Alabama state parks are a great place to start and draw millions of visitors every year — including nature lovers, history enthusiasts and outdoor adventure seekers alike

California

California is ranked No. 3 for states with the highest percentage of state and national park coverage. At 280 state parks alone, it’s no wonder groups travel to California regularly for its natural scenery.

Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, San Bernardino, Calif. Credit: © California State Parks, all rights reserved

“California’s state park system has something for every outdoor enthusiast,” said Jorge Moreno, information officer at the California Department of Parks and Recreation. “Whether visitors want to hike or camp with friends or family; ride horses along designated trails or beaches; swim in rivers, lakes or beaches; view wildlife; ride off-highway vehicles in the state vehicular recreation area parks; or tour a historic building, our state parks are iconic and unforgettable destinations to create memories.”

Moreno said that some of the more popular parks are located along the coast, although park locations are spread throughout the state — each with something different to offer.

Watch a beautiful sunset in Orange County at Bolsa Chica State Park or opt for a more secluded coastline adventure at Mendocino Headlands State Park — with miles of trails winding along coastal cliffs in Northern California.

Guided tours of Mitchell Caverns at Providence Mountain State Recreation Area offer a look into ancient limestone cave formations in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve.

Looking for a little more history? Schedule a tour at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and discover early life in the Mexican and early American period between 1821 to 1872. The park boasts restored original historical buildings that groups can tour.

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, Pine Grove, Calif. Credit: © California State Parks, all rights reserved

Many of California’s state parks are rich in Native American heritage. Make a reservation for a guided tour at Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park’s museum, complete with a Miwok village and ceremonial roundhouse. Chumash Painted Caves State Historic Park outside of Santa Barbara features some of the finest remaining rock art created by the Chumash people.

Groups can’t leave California without seeing some of nature’s biggest giants, coastal redwood trees. Redwood National Park is cooperatively managed with the state, as it shares land with Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast and Prairie Creek redwoods state parks. Take a guided hike or discover the several outfitters that operate more exnihilating adventures within these northwestern parks.

“California’s diverse ecosystem has something for everyone to enjoy,” Moreno said. “From the ancient redwoods along the north coast state parks, the elephant seal tours in the Santa Cruz area, the majestic sequoia forest along our central parks, the state beaches along the southern coast and the desert wildlife in our largest state park — Anza-Borrego State Park — these various locations are beautiful and pristine for group tours.” 

California Department of Parks and Recreation
800-777-0369
parks.ca.gov

Michigan

Palms Book State Park, Schoolcraft County, Mich. Credit: Ana Easlick

Michigan can credit several of its state parks to its namesake — coming from the Ojibwe word mishigami, meaning “large water” or “large lake.” Unsurprisingly, many of Michigan’s 100-plus state parks feature water, being a huge recreational draw to the state.

“State parks are at the heart of a true Michigan experience,” said Stephanie Yancer, social media coordinator at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “[Groups] have a chance to experiences the Great Lakes State and all the other great freshwater resources. The state parks are able to accommodate larger groups. Folks can get their heart pumping on a trail, explore historic sites or just relax at the beach.”

Home to one of Michigan’s most alluring attractions, Palms Book State Park’s Kitch-iti-kipi (located in the Upper Peninsula) is Michigan’s largest freshwater spring. The waters of the spring are crystal clear and offer a gorgeous view of the features below. Take a self-guided observation raft and see ancient tree trunks, lime-encrusted branches and fat trout.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise, Mich. Credit: Aubry Healy

Tahquamenon Falls State Park — also located in the Upper Peninsula — features one of the largest falls east of the Mississippi River. Several accessible overlooks offer views of both the upper and lower falls and trails run throughout the surrounding forest.

Dunes, forests, marshlands and an iconic lighthouse — Ludington State Park in lower West Michigan is a great destination for a beach day and some history, too. Tour on-site Big Sable Point Lighthouse and climb to the top for a unique view of Lake Michigan.

On the other side of the state just outside of Detroit is Belle Isle Park, located on the Detroit River between the U.S. and Canada. In addition to watercraft activities, the park features an aquarium, conservatory and much more.

Ludington State Park, Ludington, Mich. Credit: Aubry Healy

For groups seeking a wider variety of thrilling adventures, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the northwestern Upper Peninsula is the place to be. As Michigan’s largest state park, groups will love climbing Summit Peak to get views of the Lake of the Clouds, Lake Superior and the 35,000-acre old-growth forest. The visitor center offers interpretive programs, an exhibit hall and more. Fort Wilkins Historic State Park is another great option for outdoor enthusiasts and history lovers.

Yancer suggest groups make the most of Michigan’s hidden gems like Rockport Recreation Area on Lake Huron or Sterling State Park on Lake Erie. “Each park has its own individuality,” Yancer said. “You won’t find the same thing in every park, but there’s something unique about every one.” 

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
800-447-2757
michigan.gov/dnr

Alabama

During the pandemic, the Alabama State Park system saw a record number of visitors to its state parks — increasing from 5 million guests per year to 6.2 million.

Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Ala. Credit: Billy Pope

Alabama’s 21 state parks offer groups 48,000 acres of land and water to play in, from the sunny Gulf Coast beaches to the towering Appalachian Mountains. It’s no wonder these lands provided a respite for so many travelers looking to get away while staying safe over the last year and a half.

“From the lower Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf Coast, Alabama is home to the fifth largest number of plant and animal species in the United States,” said Jerry Weisenfeld, advertising and marketing manager at the Alabama State Parks Division. “The geologic variety, widespread water resources and suitable climate of the state all play a part in this biodiversity, and we encourage you to experience it firsthand in Alabama state parks.”

Off the beaten path lies Cathedral Caverns State Park in Woodville. With an entrance measuring 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, groups will enjoy a guided tour of the cave to see its marvelous interior formations.

“One of our most popular state parks is Gulf State Park located on the beach in Gulf Shores,” Weisenfeld said. “With two miles of beaches, a spacious campground and a new lodge and conference center, there is always something new to explore.”

Another popular park is Lake Guntersville State Park — located on the top of a mountain on the banks of the Tennessee River. The on-site zip line course offers adventurous opportunities for groups.

Oak Mountain State Park, Pelham, Ala. Credit: Chris Granger

Travelling from Birmingham? A short drive from the city, Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama’s largest park with outdoor activities to boot. The on-site interpretive center features interactive exhibits, too.

Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula, “The Bass Capital of the World,” borders a 45,000-acre lake and boasts a full-service restaurant and lounge. After a long hike, groups can sit down and relax with a hearty meal.

“Many parks have naturalists on staff to share information about the state’s rich natural history,” Weisenfeld said. “The Alabama state park system is 80 years old, and we strive to be recognized as one of the leading state park systems in the nation in providing quality outdoor recreation services and resources to the public.” From lodging located right on the park to accessible outdoor amenities like rental kayaks and canoes, Alabama’s state parks are a convenient way to plan outdoor-themed itineraries.

Alabama State Parks Division
800-252-7275
alapark.com

5 Reasons to attend Heartland Travel Showcase 2022

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The trade show season is upon us, and there’s still time to register for Heartland Travel Showcase, held Feb. 4–6, 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio. Heartland Travel Showcase is a group tour trade show that focuses on the Heartland region of the United States, providing tour operators the opportunity to meet via scheduled appointments with exhibitors from several different states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and the province of Ontario)

“After the show, tour operators will walk away having developed business relationships with exhibitors and other operators that will last a lifetime,” said Kelly Florian, communications manager at Ohio Travel Association. “Operators will have the opportunity to attend a brand new to Heartland educational session designed specifically for their business to help them add excitement to their tour offerings and reach their customers, and they will have several opportunities to network.”

The deadline for tour operator registration is Dec. 9, 2021. Here are just a few reasons to attend Heartland Travel Showcase.

1. You’ll be prepared for travel’s re-emergence

Travel will look different in 2022, and Heartland Travel Showcase can help you plan accordingly.

“Pre-COVID selling tactics won’t work in this new climate,” Florian said. “Business as usual will be replaced with new marketing strategies, a refresh of customer demographics, and creative ways to enhance and add excitement to your tours. This is why you don’t want to miss Heartland Travel Showcase! This showcase has the tools and opportunities needed to advance your business and itineraries.”

2. It’s designed to maximize your time and budget

“Heartland Travel Showcase has always been a compact, affordable show that keeps its attendees at the forefront,” Florian said. “In 2022, that is no different. We are committed to conducting a productive show in an atmosphere where everyone attending can feel safe.”

Heartland Travel Showcase operates on a condensed three-day schedule of Friday through Sunday. Because of Heartland Travel Showcase’s location in the heart of the country, it’s easy to get to, affordable and a draw for many suppliers you won’t see at other shows.

3. There’s a new education session that’ll help you boost your sales

Heartland Travel Showcase 2022 will include an exciting education seminar hosted by US Tours. The session will cover basic marketing strategies to help put more people on your bus, address customer demographics, identify ways to add excitement to your tours, tackle how to enhance your current tour products, identify how to reach new customers, and tips on how to build your mailing lists while reducing marketing costs.

4. You can participate in post-FAM and sightseeing tours

Creative and educational FAM tours help you build credibility with your customers.

For 2022, a newly added post-FAM (Feb. 6–9) offers a new look at Amish Country and features one-of-a-kind hidden gems, such as culinary experiences, artisans and the great outdoors. You’ll also have a Cleveland sightseeing tour to look forward to on Feb. 4. It includes fun excursions like “A Christmas Story” House, West Side Market and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

5. Networking opportunities are endless

Heartland Travel Showcase offers many opportunities beyond scheduled appointments to help you build relationships and learn about new product ideas.

One such opportunity is the Four-Minute Meet, a unique bonus event where operators and exhibitors continue conversations outside of their regular appointments to maximize the opportunity to connect.

“At this unique event, exhibitors make brief introductions, highlight information about travel offerings and invite tour operators to continue the conversation later in the evening and throughout the weekend,” Florian said.

GrandStay Hotels

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GrandStay Hotels

7077 Northland Circle N, Suite 330
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55428
Phone: 320-202-7744
Fax: 888-864-2523
E-Mail: peggim@grandstayhospitality.com
Web: www.grandstayhospitality.com
Instagram: instagram.com/grandstayhotels/

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The 2022 Shopping & Gaming guide is available online

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2022 Shopping and Gaming guide
The 2022 Shopping & Gaming guide is available online

What’s inside >>

Shopping

Gaming

Group travel planners qualify for a 100% free subscription to Group Tour magazine.  Subscribe Today!

Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce

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Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce

6733 Maddox Blvd
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336
Phone: 757-336-6161
Fax: 757-336-1242
E-Mail: eshotwell@chincoteaguechamber.com
Web: www.chincoteaguechamber.com

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Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette

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Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette

Lafayette – West Lafayette is located one hour north of Indianapolis and two hours south of Chicago, off of Interstate 65. We are home of Purdue University and home of exciting attractions featuring art, architecture, outdoor adventures, clean energy, agritourism and history! Contact us to learn more!


Business Hours: M-F 9am-5pm (EST)


Nearby Attractions that Influence Group Travel:

  • Wolf Park, SAMARA (A Frank Lloyd Wright designed home), Purdue University, Wind Farm Tours, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum, Wabash and Erie Canal Interpretive Center, Inspired Fire Glass Studio and Gallery, The Farm at Prophetstown and Prophetstown State Park, People’s Brewing Company, Lafayette Brewing Company, Downtown Lafayette-West Lafayette, Wea Creek Orchard, RDM Aquaculture, the Feast of the Hunters Moon, Purdue Christmas Show and More!

Type: CVB
Tour Services:

  • Attractions
  • Lodging
  • Theater
  • Brochures
  • Transportation
  • Dining/Banquet
  • Slides/Photos
  • Shopping
  • Step-on-Guide
  • Itinerary Planning

Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette

301 Frontage Rd
Lafayette, Indiana 47905-4564
Phone: (765) 447-9999
Phone: (800) 872-6648
Fax: (765) 447-5062
E-mail: agregory@homeofpurdue.com
Web: www.homeofpurdue.com

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Cornwell’s Turkeyville USA

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Cornwell's Turkeyville USA

A Country welcome starts with delightful aromas from our specialty shoppes. Homemade fudge, fresh-baked breads and rolls, caramel corn and homemade pies are just the beginning of your Country Fun experience at Cornwell’s. Visit our restaurant, gift shoppes, ice cream parlour, Grandpa’s General Store, the Antique Barn, or come to entertain yourself in our Professional Dinner Theatre.

We also offer Antique/Flea Markets, Arts & Crafts fairs and special events such as: Marshall Home Tour, and Fall Festival. So step right in and browse, dine, shop, relax and enjoy!


Member: Circle Michigan


Attraction Type: Dinner Theatre; Restaurant with an all turkey menu.
Group Rates: $20 up

Seasonal Dates: Jan 15 – Dec 23

Bus Parking: Yes
Bus Parking Fee: No charge.
Driver Rate: $15
Escort Rate: 1 comp w/20 paid.
Deposit and Payment Policy: $100 deposit refundable. Payment day of tour.
Cancellation and Refund Policy: 30 days prior.


Nearby Attractions that Influence Group Travel:

  • Historic Marshall
  • Kellogg’s Cereal City

Cornwell’s Turkeyville USA

18935 – 15 1/2 Mile Road
Marshall, Michigan 49068
Phone: 269-781-4293 or 800-228-4315
Fax: 269-781-1209

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The 2022 North Carolina Group Travel Guide is available online

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The 2022 North Carolina Group Travel Guide is online
The 2022 North Carolina Group Travel Guide is available online.

Contents include itineraries on the following destinations:

Haywood County

Alamance County

Winston-Salem

Group travel planners qualify for a 100% free subscription to Group Tour magazine.  Subscribe Today!

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