Grand Ole Opry Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday to The Grand Ole Opry

Its that time of year again. The Grand Ole Opry is celebrating another birthday. And, as usual, you are invited to the party.

The 89th birthday celebration at the Grand Ole Opry will fill the Opry Plaza with festivities for all. Join in the fun for all the free activities at the Opry Plaza Birthday Party, October 11th. You’ll be treated to free live music, games and prizes, balloon artist, caricaturist, face painting and even free line dance lessons. The Pucketts Trolley will be available for tours, and you can find treats and beverages for purchase, like cotton candy and kettle corn.

The special birthday concert Saturday afternoon features Craig Morgan, who produced hits like International Harvester and Little Bit of Life. And the Saturday evening concert brings Trace Adkins and Clare Bowen to the stage, along with others.

Join in the celebration in Nashville, October 10, 11 and witness the 89th birthday of the show that made country music famous.

 

fall

Ozark Mountain Autumn

Nothing compares to autumn in the Ozarks. The air is filled with the sounds of critters storing up acorns for the winter and the smell of ripening walnut hulls. A few wisps of smoke from a hickory wood fire drifting up from stovepipes and mingling with the gorgeous colors of the changing leaves. In the woods around Branson, the vivid red of sassafras leaves and twinge of orange on the sugar maples is already hinting at the glorious display that these hills bless us with each fall. And with the abundant rainfall the region has experienced this year, the  show promises to be a good one.

For an absolutely stunning view of the magnificent fall foliage, take to the sparkling blue water of Table Rock Lake. From your serene position on the sapphire lake, you’ll have 360 degree views of the hills and hollers. Climb aboard the Showboat Branson Belle and in addition to the splendid natural show, you can enjoy the live entertainment and a delicious meal. You’ll have ample time to take in the view from the open deck for some postcard-perfect scenery.

San Antonio Grand Double Decker Tour

Get a Great View of San Antonio

Get up above the crowd for superb San Antonio sightseeing on an open-top, double-decker tour bus. You’ll tour downtown San Antonio with on a comprehensive, narrated tour.

The tour includes stops at The Alamo, The Tower of the Americas, The Spanish Governor’s Palace and nine other must-see sights in the city. The 50-minute tour will get you acquainted with the city and educate you about the history and culture of the area. Then, if you choose to, you can add a hop-on, hop-off pass and ride the tour during operating hours as much as you care to for 24 hours. Feel free to spend as much time as you need further exploring the Site of the 1968 alamoWorld’s Fair, Hemisfair Park. It is now a part of the University of Texas San Antonio, where you can explore over 50,000 square feet of exhibits representing 27 ethnic groups who settled in Texas. Or shop till you drop at El Mercado,  the city’s Mexican marketplace, where you can bargain for gifts from South of the Border and enjoy the many Mexican restaurants. Hop off for a taste of the Old West at the Buckhorn Saloon, San Antonio’s classic 1881 saloon and museum. Sip a refreshing drink as you stroll through 33,000 square feet of artifacts from Texas history and world record wildlife exhibits.

You can easily see all the most fun and colorful parts of San Antonio, and never worry about driving or parking when you take advantage of the Grand Double Decker Tour with the hop pass.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Walk with the Walking Dead

The scariest, most intense Halloween event in Anaheim this season is taking place at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Leave it to the sick and twisted minds that create the most frightening films and television series, to present the most horrifying Halloween scare mazes, ever.

Halloween Horror Nights 2014 will invade the Universal Studios Park weekends in October, from 7pm to 2am. And with 80-years of terrifying movies under their belts, Universal Studios knows how to do terror. Walk into your most blood-curdling nightmares in this year’s More Dead Than Ever!

Universal Studios HollywoodYou’ll experience seven hair-raising mazes featuring the creepiest characters from The Walking Dead, Alien vs. Predator, From Dusk Till Dawn and other horrifying productions. Ride the Terror Train: Invaded by the Walking Dead. Plus they’ve created five scare zones featuring Dark Christmas, Mask-a-Raid, and of course the Walking Dead. The Universal Studios backlot will be alive (or dead?) with urban movie sets serving as the backdrop for more grisly mazes than ever.

If you are looking for a thrillingly macabre way to celebrate Halloween this fall, you won’t find a more authentic gruesome scene than this one. The park limits this chilling experience to those 13 and up, because its that ghoulish. Regular park admission does not include the Horror Nights experience.

wisconsin dells ducks

The Photographer of the Dells

Wisconsin Dells is known for its waterparks. It is the waterpark capital of the world, after all. But the Dells were famous and drawing visitors from all over the country and the world long before the first waterpark, Noah’s Ark Waterpark, opened in 1979. The stunning natural landscape of the Dells, Witches Gulch and Coldwater Canyon have been attracting humans for as long as humans have been there.

The Native Americans told a legend of how the Wisconsin Riverbed was formed by a great serpent, wriggling down from the north and his home by the Big Lake. As the legend goes, the serpent crawled over forest and fields and his huge body wore an immense groove in the land and the lake water rushed in behind him. When he came to the sandstone ridge of the Dells, he pushed his head into a crevice and pushed the rocks aside to create the narrow winding passage. The lesser serpents fled from him as he approached, which is the legend’s explanation for the formation of Coldwater Canyon and Witches’ Gulch.

wisconsin dells ducksIn 1875, early landscape photographer H. H. Bennett established a studio in the city and took many photos of the sandstone formations in the dells, including stereoscopic views. The rugged gulch was relatively inaccessible in those days, so Bennett reportedly trekked the area when it was iced over.  Carving steps into the ice as he traveled through the gulch photographing the incredible sandstone formations as he went. Prints of these photographs were distributed across the United States enhancing the status of the area as a destination for sightseers. While in Wisconsin Dells take some time to visit the H. H. Bennett Studio, a historic site operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Original Wisconsin DucksThe gulch today is just as scenic and unbelievably gorgeous, but easily accessed by a wooden walkway. Even if you come to the Dells for the waterparks, you would be remiss to not take the opportunity to explore this wilderness wonderland. There are a number of boat tours which include a walk through Witches Gulch, and they are absolutely the best way to go. In addition to the chance to walk the gulch, you can view the impressive rock formations along the Wisconsin River, and you’ll learn so much from the guides about the geological formation, the legends, the history of the region and fascinating tales about individual sandstone sculptures.

dThe Upper Dells Boat Tour features the famous ‘stand rock’ where H.H. Bennett took the very first stop-action photo, and you will witness a trained dog leaping the great chasm, in addition to visiting the Witches Gulch. The Wisconsin Dells Sunset Dinner Cruise includes a lovely dinner and beautifully painted landscapes as the sun sets over the Dells and moonlight walk through the glen. Still others, portraying the glen as a ‘spooky’ place, and playing on the name and legends, promise a scary time. the Ghost Boat Wisconsin Dells Boat Tour includes many a spooky legend and an after dark adventure along the winding boardwalk.

 

The Journey Museum in Rapid City, SD

Journey Through Great Western Plains History

The Journey Museum in Rapid City, SD, houses a wealth of collections and exhibits of prehistoric and historic significance. From the age of dinosaurs, to the culture and custom of the Lakota people, the pioneers and their impact, up to modern day, you can explore the region’s rich history in a fascinating and interactive fashion, as you learn about the people and customs behind the history of the Mt. Rushmore region.

The museum’s collection focus on recording and retelling the story of the Western Great Plains from several perspectives. The Museum of Geology displays dinosaur fossils and replicas in realistic settings. Educational exhibits show the geological history of the Black Hills, with geologists at work for your observation.

The Journey Museum in Rapid City, SDThe Archaeological Research Center lets you experience the cultures of the historic and pre-historic people. Visit an archaeological dig site, and see artifacts from ancient hunters to the area’s first miners. The history of the Lakota Nation is told through the exhibits in the Sioux Indian Museum, where you can learn what life was like for the tribe, how the worked, played and hunted. You’ll be amazed by the extensive collection of arts and crafts created by the Sioux and displayed among the collection of Native American Artifacts.

The Pioneer Museum chronicles the arrival of the European settlers to the Great Plains. Their tale is told through the artifacts from mountain men, military and miners. Learn the history and devastation of Wounded Knee, and meet the historic figures who played prominent roles in the area’s history, like General Custer, Sitting Bull, Wild Bill Hickock, and Crazy Horse.

Sun Studio

Sun Studio Guided Tour

Next time you’re in Memphis, TN, visit the site many credit as being the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Sun Studio. Stand amid the legacy of revolutionary music recorded within these walls and even get your photo with the actual microphone used by Elvis Presley, when he recorded “Thats All Right” in 1954.

Sun Studio was where Elvis got his start in the recording industry, as well as a number of other legendary artists, including Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, who had an impromptu jam session there one evening with Elvis. Can you imagine? The historic significance of Sun Studio is evidenced by the later artists who choose to record at the famous site. Artists like Def Leppard, U2, Matchbox 20, Tom Petty and many others come to Sun to record, for the heritage imparted by the only recording studio to be named a National Historic Landmark.

Sun StudioYou can experience the legendary heritage of Sun Studio on a guided tour of the facility, where you will hear stories about a number of artists and admire exhibitions of rare memorabilia and original historic recording cuts. In addition to the microphone used by Elvis, there are a number of pieces of Elvis artifacts on loan from the Presley Estate.

After your Guided Sun Studio Tour, drop into the ’50s-style Sun Studio Soda Shop and Record Store for some refreshments and an authentic ’50s atmosphere.

Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show

Thanksgiving, eh?

Did you know that Americans did not invent the Thanksgiving holiday? It may come as a surprise to many, but Canadians actually had Thanksgiving, with turkey and all the trimmings, 43 years before the pilgrims gave thanks in 1641 for the bounty that ended a year of hardships.

There are many similarities between the celebrations in these two countries. Aside from turkey and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving is a day set aside to celebrate and give thanks for the year’s harvest, to gather with loved ones and enjoy a feast as you reflect upon the blessings of the year. The major difference between the American and Canadian holiday, is the date. Whereas in America the holiday is the fourth Thursday in November, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. And we think that is an additional reason to be thankful, since you can easily have two Thanksgivings every year.

Oh Canada Eh? Dinner ShowWhy not plan to spend the weekend in Niagara Falls, for the October 13 Thanksgiving, and give thanks for our neighbors to the North and the beautiful Niagara Falls? Book a Weekend in Niagara Falls Getaway, for two-nights lodging in your choice of more than 50 hotels, plus admission to the All Canadian Tour, and the Oh Canada, Eh? Dinner Show.

With the All Canadian Tour you will encounter some of the most beautiful natural scenes at the falls. Check out the Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Giant Whirlpool and more! The breathtaking scenery will fill you with true awe and wonder.

In addition to your tour, you will also get to experience the Oh Canada Eh?! Dinner Show. This dinner show will entertain you as it pokes fun at various Canadian stereotypes through song. As the show continues, you will be introduced to many famous Canadian characters such as Anne of Green Gables, lumberjacks, and mounties. It’s a three hour comedy show that the whole family will love!

Two Thanksgivings? Now, there’s something to be thankful for, eh?

Bleu Wave

Catch a Bleu Wave

Its not quite ski season just yet, but there is still plenty of fun to be had in Lake Tahoe. Get out onto the lake for a sightseeing cruise aboard the Bleu Wave Yacht. It’s not time to wax up your downhill skis yet, but while you’re waiting for the first flakes to accumulate and become inches of powder, enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe from the lake.

The Bleu Wave Yacht has been around the world, and now she’s content to carry passengers from South Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay. While on board you’ll enjoy a lunch buffet of meats, cheeses, veggies and more. You can ride in the comfort of the cabin, where you’ll find a fireplace, private lounge and stateroom, or ride on the open party bow for fresh air and a spectacular view of the sparkling lake surrounding by forested mountains.

2The cruise will travel seven miles from South Lake Tahoe, to Emerald Bay where you will see Fannette Island, and the little tea house built there as part of the Vikingsholm Estate. The Vikingsholm Castle is just off shore, a 38-room mansion. The Emerald Bay area boasts a lovely sandy beach, and views of Eagle Waterfall.

Medieval Times

Get Medieval in Atlanta

Spend a weekend in Atlanta and a couple hours in Medieval Times. Vacations Made Easy has a great vacation package, Medieval Times Atlanta, which includes two nights lodging in your choice of more than 90 Atlanta hotels, and admission to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.

Enjoy a four-course meal fit for a king, while you are entertained by the jousting and sword-fighting of the valiant knights vying for the tournament championship. The Master of Horse and the Royal Falconer are both in attendance at the tournament to showcase magnificent animal performers. The Master of Horse and a team of Pure Spanish horses will demonstrate exemplary equestrian talent. Pure Spanish horses were prized by medieval royalty for their strength and skill. Medieval TimesThe Royal Falconer’s beautiful hawks and falcons will soar over the arena and amaze as they show their natural speed and agility.

After the rousing entertainment, head back to your amenity filled hotel for a relaxing rest. There’s still time while you’re in Atlanta to catch some other area attractions. The World of Coca-Cola or Stone Mountain Park.