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Biltmore Blooms event kicks off in April

Biltmore Blooms, Asheville, N.C.
Credit: Biltmore

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Thousands of tulips, an immersion into the world of Monet and Impressionist painters, rarely displayed artworks and Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday will combine to create a memorable Biltmore Blooms, Biltmore’s annual springtime celebration. Beginning April 1, 2022, Biltmore will welcome the start of an ever-changing array of spring color emerging across the estate’s 8,000 acres. Biltmore Blooms runs through May 26, 2022.

New this year at Biltmore and beginning May 6, Biltmore House will have extended evening hours for tours. Sunset on the grounds will be more spectacular than ever with live music in the Walled Garden and outside Biltmore House on the Library Terrace. The extended hours run through July 8.

Cruise the Great Lakes to focus on environmentally conscious cruising in 2022

CHICAGO — Cruise the Great Lakes, a coalition of states and provinces, cruise lines, ports, convention and visitor bureaus, and others working together to promote cruising on the Great Lakes, have signed a pledge committing to promoting four environmentally conscious cruising and destination stewardship efforts starting with the 2022 cruising season.

The four areas of focus:

  • Destination stewardship – three commitments
  • Air emissions & carbon reduction – nine commitments
  • Wastewater – two commitments
  • Recycling – five commitments

“Every member of the Cruise the Great Lakes coalition has already been doing its part to preserving the natural beauty of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and our port cities, but we felt that signing this pledge would further demonstrate our commitment to being responsible stewards of our beautiful region,” said David Lorenz, vice president, Travel Michigan, and Chair of the Cruise the Great Lakes board of directors. “We feel this intentional effort will resonate with travelers who prefer environmentally responsible practices.”

Great Lakes cruises are unique in both experience and impact. Because vessel size is limited by the St. Lawrence Seaway’s lock system, the ships themselves are small and provide a more intimate guest experience. The largest cruise vessels in operation on the Great Lakes can hold a maximum of 400 passengers, with an average size of fewer than 200. Oceangoing cruise ships, by contrast, carry an average of 3000 passengers, or 15 times more than those cruising the Great Lakes.

Additionally, Great Lakes ships handle waste and emissions responsibly. No unlawful discharge occurs to Great Lakes waters, and solid waste is retained on board until a port of call where it can be handled by local municipal waste providers.

Crater of Diamonds celebrates 50 years as an Arkansas State Park

Crater of Diamonds State Park, Murfreesboro, Ark.
Credit: GTM/David Hoekman

MURFREESBORO, Ark. — Crater of Diamonds State Park celebrates its 50th year as an Arkansas state park this year and will hold an anniversary celebration on April 22–23. Crater of Diamonds State Park has managed North America’s only public diamond mine since the State of Arkansas purchased the 37.5-acre deposit of diamond-bearing ore and 800 surrounding acres in March of 1972.

Over the past 50 years, more than 4.5 million people have come from all over the world to search for diamonds in Arkansas. Celebration activities on April 22–23 will include guest speakers, treasure hunts, games, prizes and a special exhibit of Crater diamonds. All activities are free with purchase of admission to the diamond search area.

“Crater of Diamonds State Park has become one of the most recognizable ambassadors for Arkansas,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “In many cases, if people outside our state know little else about us, they know that you can come to Arkansas and search for diamonds. We are proud of this unique feature and look forward to celebrating this important milestone for the park in April.”

America’s Black Holocaust Museum reopened in February

America’s Black Holocaust Museum, Milwaukee, Wis.
Credit: VISIT Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Last month, America’s Black Holocaust Museum reopened to the public, returning a true icon to Bronzeville, the historic economic and social center of Milwaukee’s African American community.

The new facility, located at the corner of Vel R. Phillips and North Avenue, boasts new galleries that take visitors on an emotional journey through the more than 400-year history of Black people in America, beginning with pre-captivity and concluding in the present day. The museum fosters and promotes education, critical conversation, reconciliation and healing from the wounds caused by centuries of atrocities forced upon America’s Black population.