Monthly Archives: August 2008

Nashville Set to Celebrate with Fiddlin’, Brewin’ & Bar-B-Q’N

Nashville’s Fiddlin’, Brewin’, Bar-B-Q’N Cook-Off, set for September 28 & 29, is quickly approaching, and the event has certainly shaped up to be a huge success. It has been announced that Chef Bobby Flay, popular from such television shows as Iron Chef, Hot Off the Grill, Boy Meets Grill and BBQ with Bobby Flay, will take part in the festivities. In addition to his many television appearances, Bobby Flay has also penned several books chronicling his distinct style of grilling.

Aside from the presence of Bobby Flay, there is set to be an actual cook-off competition with $30,000 in cash prizes, with the grand prize winner receiving $13,000 and four VIP tickets to the Grand Ole Opry. The festival will also feature performances by Cross Canadian Ragweed, and Mickey and the Motorcars. The events for the Fiddlin’, Brewin’, Bar-B-Q’N Cook-Off will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort on both September 28 and 29.

Of course, a visit to Nashville just isn’t complete without a stop at the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry has long been not only a benchmark in Nashville area music, but country music around the world. In fact, many would argue that the Grand Ole Opry stands for all that country is. From long standing legends including Reba McEntire to current pop stars such as Dierks Bentley, the Opry members are a varied bunch with the common denominator being that they’re all quality country musicians. Even if you’re not a fan of country music, the Opry is an outright experience that must be taken in when you visit the Country Music Capital of the World.

Whether planning a full vacation complete with a visit to the Grand Ole Opry and other great Nashville attractions or simply passing through the Country Music Capital of the World for just one day, the Fiddlin’, Brewin’, Bar-B-Q’N Cook-Off is a great time to visit Nashville, TN.

Listen to Uplifting Music Throughout Dollywood with the Gospel & Harvest Celebration

The National Gospel & Harvest Celebration is taking over Dollywood this fall from October 3 – November 1. Throughout the entirety of the festival guests will find a variety of free gospel concerts, arts & crafts and numerous dining options for an authentic and fun view of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains region. Throughout the festival over 250 concerts will be held throughout the park, with highlights including The Isaacs, The McKameys, Brain Free & Assurance, Legacy Five, The Greenes and more.

Of course, travelers will still find all of the typical Dollywood attractions available during the National Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Thrill rides, play areas, live entertainment and a variety of unique attractions including the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame can all be found at Dollywood for an engaging, busy time of fun and entertainment in the Gatlinburg area. And as an added bonus visitors will be immersed in the beauty of autumn as it unfolds across the 125 acre, natural, park setting.

Dollywood exudes an atmosphere of down-home hospitality and southern charm year-round, but during the National Gospel & Harvest Celebration the genial demeanor and stunning beauty of the area are truly pushed to the forefront for a vacation experience that can be both relaxing and active. See for yourself this October with a visit to Dollywood during the National Gospel & Harvest Celebration.

Memphis’ Cooper-Young Arts and Crafts Festival Quickly Approaching

Memphis’ historic Cooper-Young District will once again be hosting its popular Cooper-Young Festival September 13. Now in its 20th year, the festival offers a wide display of arts and crafts with hundreds of artisans visiting from across the nation. Along with the amazing display of arts, visitors will also find a full schedule of live music filling the air throughout the festival as well. In particular, this year’s event is expecting to feature over 370 artists with over 60,000 visitors turning out for the one day event. And whether you’re a true craft fanatic or simply looking for where the party will be in Memphis on September 13, the Cooper-Young Festival is sure to be a lively time in Tennessee.

Those looking to turn the theme of master craftsmanship from the Cooper-Young Festival into a full vacation may be interested in experiencing the Gibson Guitar Factory Tour as well. From the likes of blues masters B.B. King and Eric Clapton to rock ‘n’ roll legends such as Buckethead and Tony Iommi, the list of who’s used Gibson guitars is a veritable legends list of guitarists. And with a tour through the Gibson Guitar Factory you’ll quickly come to realize why the best in the business choose Gibson.

Switching from the instruments the musicians use to the musicians themselves, the Sun Studio Guided Tour can offer a unique display at the music of the 50’s, and some of the biggest names to ever come out of Memphis. Sun Studio opened in 1950 and quickly launched to fame by being connected to artists including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Of course, while Sun Studio may be considered a landmark today that’s not to say that it has closed up shop. Current artists such as Tom Petty and U2 have recorded in the studio, offering a variety of musical insight when visiting.

See the Sights of Mount Rushmore and the Surrounding Scenery

From the magnificent homage to great president’s from America’s past to the inspiring scenery that covers South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore area offers a wide range of moving sights to awe visitors. And with any of the three tours featured you’re sure to gain an impressive view. Whether standing underneath the towering rock sculpture that is Mount Rushmore or peacefully cruising South Dakota’s natural expanse by train, there’s an experience waiting just for you with a Mount Rushmore vacation!

Mount Rushmore Tour

With the Mount Rushmore Tour you’ll not only experience the mighty Mount Rushmore, but also get a peak at some of the natural wonders and other impressive human constructs that cover the Mount Rushmore area. Guests will witness Sylvan Lake and Custer State Park on the way the famous rock sculpture of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt. You experience doesn’t end with Mount Rushmore though! You’ll also be taken to witness what is slated to be the largest mountain carving in the world once completed, the Crazy Horse Memorial.

1880 Train Tours

Those looking for a comprehensive view of the Mount Rushmore area will find the beautiful sights and nostalgic feel of the 1880 Train to be a great vacation activity. You’ll ride aboard an authentic steam engine as you travel the natural expanse between Hill City and Keystone, and back again. And to offer true convenience to all Mount Rushmore area visitors, you can catch the 1880 Train Tours from both Hill City and Keystone! Whether a train enthusiast or merely looking for a unique experience, the 1880 Train Tours can deliver.

Grand Ole Opry Schedule of Performers For August 29 & 30, 2008

Please Note: The Grand Ole Opry does not release final lineups until the Wednesday prior to each performance. This list will be updated weekly as new performers are confirmed and added to the lineup.

Friday, April 29 – Order Tickets

Jeannie Seely
Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
Jean Shepard
Luke Bryan
Jimmy Dickens
The Whites
Wylie & The Wild West
Bill Anderson
Connie Smith
Restless Heart
Riders In The Sky
Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
Darryl Worley

Saturday, April 30 – Order Tickets

7 p.m. performance

Jimmy Dickens
Jim Ed Brown w/ Helen Cornelius
Rhonda Vincent
Jeannie Seely
Jimmy C. Newman
Jamie O’Neal
Opry Square Dancers
Jean Shepard
The Whites
Cherryholmes
Bill Anderson
Connie Smith
The Time Jumpers

9 p.m. performance

Jimmy Dickens
Jimmy C. Newman
Rhonda Vincent
Jim Ed Brown w/ Helen Cornelius
Jamie O’Neal
Legacy Five
Jean Shepard
The Whites
Cherryholmes
Opry Square Dancers
Bill Anderson
Connie Smith
The Time Jumpers

San Diego’s Festival Del Mar Offers a Range of Cultural Sound

The city of San Diego almost always provides a fascinating view of the Pacific coast throughout the fall months, though during the end of September the sights are accompanied by sound with Festival Del Mar. The annual music festival, held this year on September 24 & 25, routinely features an eclectic gathering of musicians for a time that can offer something for everyone. This year’s gathering is certainly no exception to that rule with acts including Medeski, Martin & Wood, Common, Cake, Dialed Peoples, moe., and much more. Whether you’re looking to experience a particular performance or would rather sample all that the festival has to offer, Festival Del Mar will mark a perfect companion to the beauty of San Diego, CA.

If you’re truly looking to experience the natural beauty of San Diego during Festival Del Mar, then you’ll definitely want to look into the San Diego Harbor Whale Watch. You’ll be guided by a naturalist through the Pacific Ocean as you search for the California Gray Whale. Of course, with the San Diego Bay being a natural habitat for the magnificent creature, and the expertise of your guide, it should be no problem finding numerous views. Along with the California Gray Whale; dolphins, sea lions and various forms of birds are also known to frequent the coast of San Diego.

And for those looking to experience the sights from the skies, there is the 1920’s Open Cockpit Biplane Flight. Along this exciting journey you’ll explore the outlying areas of San Diego by way of retro biplane with one major twist – you’re flying the plane! Whether you’ve a pilot’s license or have never even traveled by plane, you’ll be given a quick rundown on all you need to know to keep safe, and then take to the skies. Of course, you’ll have a knowledgeable pilot flying right along beside you with his own cockpit should anything start to go wrong. More than sightseeing, you can fulfill your life’s dream with the 1920’s Open Cockpit Biplane Flight.

Cruise the Strip with Las Vegas’ BikeFest

Las Vegas will once again be holding its BikeFest this fall with dates set for October 2 – 5. The annual event always attracts tens of thousands of bikers and their prized possessions to the city of Vegas for a weekend that is filled with polished chrome and great times. Scheduled events for this year’s festival include a poker run, bikini contest, numerous custom bike shows and numerous other activities that are sure to keep the weekend varied while sticking to a central theme. And whether you’re looking to show off your own hog or merely would like to be part of the overall festivities, all are welcomed to share in the experience that is Las Vegas BikeFest.

While the Las Vegas BikeFest itself should offer more than enough to keep any visitor busy during its duration, there are numerous sights surrounding Las Vegas that can add adventure to even the most adventurous tales of BikeFest. With an Area 51 Photo Tour you’ll actually have the opportunity to dive into one of America’s most mysterious geographical areas as you search for what really is out there. Along the guided journey you’ll pass by various detection and camera devices, explore the famed deformed Area 51 Joshua tree and may even see a few men in black! Whether a true believer or looking for an immersive way to entertain yourself, the Area 51 Photo Tour provides great insight with the opportunity to bring home proof of the unknown.

Autumn Sightseeing in Savannah, GA

As October approaches, the weather is nearing perfection for touring. And in Savannah, you’re sure to find more than a variety of options for sightseeing. From merely strolling through the city streets to exploring complete themes encompassing the city’s history, there’s a tour just right for you and your travel companions during your next visit to the south. Below, we’ve highlighted a wide range of tour ideas to help get you started on planning your next vacation, and experiencing the beauty of Savannah in autumn.

Saunter in Savannah

Saunter in Savannah offers a general overview of the many sights of Savannah and their varied histories. Along the walking tour you’ll experience various architecturally important neighborhoods throughout Savannah, visit Forsyth Park and even venture to a few of Savannah’s famous ‘hidden gardens.’ Whether you’re a little unsure as to what the history of Savannah has to offer you while visiting the city, Saunter in Savannah is a great way to gain a varied understanding of Savannah and have an entertaining time.

Homemade Thunder Civil War Tour

War buffs and southern romantics alike will find the Homemade Thunder Civil War Tour to be an interesting look into the Civil War and Savannah’s role in the conflict. From hearing tales of natives, including General Moxley Sorrel, to visiting sites of significance, such as the Green-Meldrim House, the Homemade Thunder Civil War Tour offers an encompassing look into the Civil War from the perspective of a southern city for a unique experience all around.

Celebrate Film with the Boston Film Festival

The Boston Film Festival is returning to Boston Commons this year for another spectacular showing of quality film from around the world. Now in its 24th year, the Boston Film Festival is set to showcase a variety of shorts, feature films, documentaries and other genres of film from September 12 – 18. Festivals from year’s past have premiered numerous films, such as ‘Deliver Us From Evil,’ ‘A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints,’ and ‘The Last Kiss.’ And while this year’s list of films to premiere has yet to be announced, you can be sure that it will follow in the same epic line as the past twenty-two years of the festival.

Keeping with the theme of film, the Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the settings of some of your favorite movies. Along this unique sightseeing tour you’ll be guided past numerous recognizable sites that have been prominently featured in both film and television. The original bar featured in Cheers, Ally McBeal’s work office and the park featured in Goodwill Hunting are just a few of the many stops you’ll make along the way as you knowledgeable guide offers behind-the-scenes facts and anecdotes about the various locations.

And for those looking to experience film on its largest medium, the Simons IMAX Theater offers a fascinating variety of documentaries and educational programming on a 3D screen that stands six stories tall. From exploring the depths of the ocean to roaming African savannas with the king of the jungle, there’s an adventure just waiting to excite and educate your family.

Grand Ole Opry Schedule of Performers For April 22 & 23, 2008

Please Note: The Grand Ole Opry does not release final lineups until the Wednesday prior to each performance. This list will be updated weekly as new performers are confirmed and added to the lineup.

Friday, April 4 – Order Tickets

Jeannie Seely
The Whites
Rockie Lynne
Jimmy C. Newman
Daryle Singletary
Rebecca Lynn Howard
Jim Ed Brown
Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
Josh Gracin
John Conlee
Connie Smith
Sawyer Brown

Saturday, April 5 – Order Tickets

7:00 p.m. performance

Jim Ed Brown
Connie Smith
Jimmy C. Newman
The Whites
Riders In The Sky
Jan Howard
George Hamilton IV
Opry Square Dancers
Trace Adkins
Martina McBride
Wynonna
Lee Greenwood

9:00 p.m. performance

Jim Ed Brown
Jimmy C. Newman
Martina McBride
Trace Adkins
Connie Smith
The Whites
Jeannie Seely
Ernie Ashworth
Wynonna
Opry Square Dancers
Riders In The Sky
George Hamilton IV
Lee Greenwood