Each year, Branson sees a drastic shift as struggling shows retire from the limelight of the 76 Strip and new offerings step in to try and stake their claim. And while there are already a handful of new offerings in motion to open this spring, with countless others sure to pop up as the spring/summer season draws near, there are two in particular that warrant mention even while still in winter. From year-round spectaculars at the Mansion Theatre to special holiday presentations at Sight & Sound Theatre Branson, read on to learn more about the new gems of Branson, MO!
Peter Pan the Musical at the Mansion Theater
As the name implies, Peter Pan the Musical at the Mansion Theater will highlight the magical story of Peter Pan and his travels through Neverland in grand musical fashion. What’s more, Olympic medalist Cathy Rigby will fill the tights of Peter Pan, bringing her renowned gymnastic abilities to the production! Whether you’re an avid fan of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook, and the rest or are simply looking for an atypical Branson production, Peter Pan the Musical at the Mansion Theater is a sure bet for your 2009 Branson vacation.
Last year, Sight & Sound Theatre Branson presented Noah the Musical during its initial season to near unanimous positive feedback. And while Noah will still be running through the majority of the ’09 season to ensure those that missed out still have the chance to enjoy the production, they are offering one new show come Christmas to provide fresh material for those that have seen Noah numerous times. That show will be Miracle of Christmas! Throughout the production, you’ll experience both the traditions of Christmas and the true meaning for the holiday. From a thirty-foot Christmas tree to the warming aroma of treats, the setting is sure to warm your heart. As for the actual performance, the birth of Christ will be re-told as only Sight & Sound can do for a show that is sure to uplift your spirits!
Myrtle Beach is a first rate vacation destination because of its beautiful beachfront and the scores of resort hotels that line the ocean. However, the city also boasts of several theaters which can provide a respite from the sunshine (or rain) and entertain visitors indoors. Myrtle Beach, in fact, has a variety of unique theaters that ensure that you will never get bored of having to experience the same movie in the same format over and over. Instead check out the variety of theaters that call Myrtle Beach home.
At the Alabama Theater check out One The Show, a fast paced dancing rendition that mixes foot stomping music with laughter inducing comedy to bring you a theatrical show unlike any other. This show will bring the audience to their feet with its incredible choreography and boundless energy.
For a truly momentous movie experience, come and view a movie on the giant IMAX Theatre screen. Whether it’s a deep sea adventure, a prehistoric voyage or the forces of nature, the IMAX will make you feel like you are right in the middle of the action with its towering screen and high quality surround sound.
Ripley’s Moving Theater Myrtle Beach
If you are looking for a movie that will literally have you rocking in your seat, try the Ripley’s Moving Theater, where you sit in hydraulic seats and watch the 3-D action as if you were there. Ride a snowmobile on a glacier without experiencing the danger, or experience a roller coaster ride without leaving your seat! You can even find yourself in the middle of a cartoon.
In Myrtle Beach you can have fun on and off the beach. If the sunshine gets too bright or a rain storm rolls in, you can always find shelter and entertainment at one of Myrtle Beaches many special theaters.
Savannah is a popular destination anytime of the year because of its Southern charm, its rich history, and its sense of mystery. Savannah is also the host city to one of the best annual music festivals in the country, the 18 day long Savannah Music Festival. Come experience the springtime in Georgia and listen to a broad array of musical styles including world beat, Latin dance, Cajun, blues, zydeco and so much more. With Bonnie Raitt kicking off this year’s show, the Savannah Music Festival is sure to a big hit!
While you are enjoying the world of sounds at the Savannah Music Festival, do not overlook the Savannah Theatre where you can catch live performances on stage. During the music festival, the Savannah Theatre will have appropriate offerings that will give you more ear pleasing excitement. In early spring, the All You Need is Love performance will feature great love songs. In April, Hooray for Hollywood:A Salute to 100 Years of Music from the Silver Screen!Will feature some of the greatest songs ever heard in Hollywood Movies. These musical renditions will be the perfect compliment to the Music Festival’s lineup.
While in Savannah enjoying the music festival, make sure to take a trip on the River Street Riverboat for a lunch or dinner cruise. You can take a sightseeing cruise, a brunch cruise, a cruise featuring gospel music, or even a mystery dinner cruise where you may solve a crime as you eat. Relax and pamper yourself with a cruise on the Savannah River.
Memphis, Tennessee has become almost synonymous with Elvis Presley. With Graceland, the Heartbreak Hotel and so many more Elvis sites in the city, Memphis is the ultimate vacation destination for Elvis fans in particular, and music fans in general. Spring time is the ideal time to come to Memphis to pay tribute to the king of rock and roll.
Any visit to Memphis should include a trip to Elvis’ famed Graceland Mansion. With the Graceland Platinum Experience you not only get to visit the mansion, but you will also gain entry to two museums, the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum and the Sincerely Elvis Memorabilia Museum. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to see the inside of Elvis Presley’s private custom made airplanes. In addition, you can commemorate the King by laying flowers upon his final resting place in the Meditation Garden. The Graceland Platinum Experience is the ultimate Elvis’ fan experience.
Situated right in the heart of downtown Memphis, Sun Studio boasts of giving Elvis Presley his start. Other artists that launched their careers here include Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Sun Studio is the only recording studio in the country designated a National Historic Landmark. Come visit and see rock memorabilia like the microphone used by Elvis in 1954 to record his first song. When you are finished touring the studio you can also enjoy food and drink at the 50s style Sun Studio Soda Shop.
If you are looking for a good meal in Memphis, look no further than the Hard Rock Café where you can dine surrounded by instruments and personal items from great performers like Bo Diddley, Janis Joplin, U2, and of course, Elvis Presley. You will find yourself very much at home as you dine and rock and roll at the Hard Rock Café.
This February 14 – 15, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center will be hosting the 10th annual Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival. In total, guests will find 600 wines from 150 wineries on-hand to sample, as well as a variety of cooking demonstrations from popular chefs including Andreas Viestad from Perfect Day and the Washington Post, Martin Yan from Martin Yan’s China, and Christina Pirello from Christina Cooks. Whether a connisuer of wine, fine dining or simply looking for an elegant way to spend your time in the DC area, there are a variety of reasons to attend the 10th annual Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival.
Even if you’re visiting the area solely to experience the International Wine & Food Festival, you’ll certainly want to find time to squeeze in at least a little sightseeing. Along the DC IT All! Tour you’ll visit a variety of historic DC sights including the US Capitol Building, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, FBI Building, Arlington Cemetery and numerous other renowned sites for an encompassing look into our nation’s capital.
Another sightseeing option, the DC The Lights! Tour offers travelers a route very similar to the DC IT All! Tour, but with one major exception: you’ll take to the street after dark to experience the sites of DC lit up! So whether you’ll be spending all day at the International Wine & Food Festival and will have no time during the day to get out and explore or are simply a night-owl, the DC The Lights! Tour is sure to appeal to a wide range of DC visitor.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in the United States. However, the Gatlinburg area has much more to see than just the Great Smoky Mountains. Indoor and outdoor adventure can be found in the Gatlinburg area with many exciting attractions to choose from. You can travel through an indoor rain forest, visit an aquarium, or take a romantic carriage ride.
Welcome to the jungle! At RainForest Adventures you can find yourself in the midst of an indoor rain forest that comes complete with a splendid 25 foot waterfall and is teeming with exotic wildlife like lemurs, tortoises, lizards, snakes and tropical birds. Educational presentations introduce you to the jungle animals and help make this adventure enjoyable and informative.
Descend beneath the water’s surface to explore life under the sea at the Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies. Visit exciting exhibits like the Shark Lagoon and the Coral Reef. Have lunch with stingrays at the Feeding Frenzy Restaurant, where you can watch the rays swim about as you eat.
Take a romantic carriage ride with your special someone and enjoy the country picnic meal and keepsake picnic basket as you dine with your loved one amidst the grandeur of the Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy the carriage ride in any season. You can delight in riding through a winter wonderland, bask in the sun while flowers bloom in the spring and summer, or experience the brilliant fall colors in autumn.
Chicago, The United States third largest city, has many attractions for travelers seeking to explore one of the nation’s largest and liveliest metropolitan areas. Whether you fancy a lunch cruise on Lake Michigan, a narrated tour of the city, or an enchanting evening of great food and blues music, the Windy City is waiting for you to come and see the many faces of Chicago.
Field Museum Plus South Shore Tour
Learn about the history, architecture, and culture of Chicago with the Field Museum Plus South Shore Tour. The Field Museum features exhibits in human cultural anthropology and the most intact Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil in the world. After exploring the Museum’s many fascinating exhibits, see Chicago landmarks like The John G. Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field and Grant Park.
Experience the vibrant nightlife of urban Chicago’s blues music scene with the Blues by Night Tour Experience. Enjoy a jamabalaya dinner at Buddy Guy Legends before heading into uptown blues clubs like Rosas Lounge where you can sit back and sing the blues deep into the night right in the heart of Chicago.
Mystic Blue Lunch & Dinner Cruises
Hop aboard a ship and enjoy a delicious buffet meal out on Lake Michigan with a lunch or dinner cruise aboard the Mystic Blue. Enjoy your meal with the magnificent Chicago skyline towering above you as look back towards the city. You can hit the dance floor for fun or just kick back and enjoy the cruise from a comfortable spot on the deck.
Nashville is famous for its country music attractions such as the Grand Ole Opry Houseand Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, but the city also has many other star attractions including a quality zoo and The Hermitage, once President Andrew Jackson’s personal estate. So the next time you come to visit Nashville, in addition to the Grand Ole Opry, come visit the zoo, a museum or historical site as well by paying a visit to one or more of these great vacation ideas!
A trip to Nashville would not be complete without a stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where you can pay tribute to the performers that built Nashville. The building stretches across an entire block and includes a wall of honor that features every gold and platinum record to make it on the country music charts. During 2009, you can see a special tribute to Hank Williams and Hank Williams Jr. at the Family Traditions: The Williams Family Legacy exhibit. In addition, enjoy rare memorabilia and a unique gift shop where you can buy a variety of country music paraphernalia.
Tour the home of former President Andrew Jackson at The Hermitage. This remarkable estate includes a mansion, a log farmhouse and numerous other buildings. View the garden Andrew Jackson designed for his wife, the stables where he housed horses, and the Tulip Grove Mansion he made home.
For family fun, do not overlook the Nashville Zoo. Let your children explore the expansive Jungle Gym playground, which can accommodate 1000 children. Then check out feature exhibits like ‘The Meerkat Exhibit,’ which houses a family of meerkats, and ‘The Unseen World,’ which features 75 species of birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians that have special camouflage abilities. Each exhibit tries to display the animals in the most natural surroundings possible, making the Nashville Zoo an exceptional zoological experience.
The Williamsburg, Virginia area has long been recognized as one of the most historically significant regions of the country. From the first English settlement in the colonies at Jamestown, to the Yorktown battle site, and the Colonial town of Williamsburg, the area offers a great vacation destination for those who would like to learn about America’s past during their travels.
One way to explore the past is by immersing yourself in a recreated 18th Century village. Colonial Williamsburg allows you to travel back in time where you can view residents passing by in colonial attire, and the city is restored so much that you may feel you have literally traveled through a time machine back to the 1700s.
See the first English settlement in the colonies at Jamestown, where English settlers came during 1607. You will see board replicas of the three ships that made the voyage from England and costumed performers will recreate everyday life in the 1600s to make historic Jamestown come to life. A combination of films and living history performances will help you learn about the area’s past.
Yorktown, where colonial forces fought the British army, will come alive with galleries, films, and live interpretations that will entertain and enlighten visitors. Learn about the history of the Revolutionary War as it was fought in Virginia, and take time to enjoy this informative living museum.