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Latest Destination News and Travel Buzz

  • Georgians (and visitors) can explore more than 100 sites in person and online during Super Museum Sunday, Feb. 6. Experience the state’s history and culture as historic sites, house museums, art museums, and other points of interest throughout Georgia open their doors.

  • The first full weekend (Sat. and Sun,) of each month is Bank of America's Museums on Us. Enjoy one free general admission to more than 225 cultural institutions in dozens of cities across the US. Simply search for participating cultural institutions and upon arrival, present a photo ID with valid Bank of America, Merrill or Bank of America Private Bank (US Trust) credit or debit card.

  • Tennessee Songwriters Week supports music venues and generates awareness of songwriters’ contributions to Tennessee as well as inspires travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions, and venues. Qualifying rounds are underway through Feb. 12, followed by the Showcase Events, Feb. 20-26, with the finale at The Bluebird Cafe on March 20.

  • The Natchez Film Office, now affiliated with the city’s destination marketing organization, Visit Natchez, is pleased to announce a new film production for the city of Natchez.

“From Black” is a psychological thriller produced by Back Focus Entertainment and K7 Entertainment and will begin filming in Natchez in late February. The Natchez Film Office’s mission is to support film projects in the city of Natchez, provide resources for these productions and serve as a liaison for production needs to bring business and recognition to Natchez.

The film is produced by Kelly Frazier and Vincent Cardinale and written and directed by Thomas Marchese. The stars of the film will be announced in a few weeks.

  • Fourteen new attractions have been added to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail (USCRT) for 2022, bringing the total number of stops on the trail to more than 130 across 14 states. These historic destinations greatly enrich the trail experience for travelers and expand the deep and complex story of the Civil Rights Movement.

The new sites include:

  • National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, which celebrates African American contributions to over 50 genres and subgenres of music;

  • Stax Museum in Memphis, Tenn., the world’s only soul music museum;

  • I AM MAN Plaza in Memphis, which honors those who played a role in the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike;

  • Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., dedicated to celebrating the rich history of African American baseball;

  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Lafayette, La., which historically enrolled its first Black student in 1954;

  • Robert “Bob” Hicks House in Bogalusa, La., a family home turned civil rights base;

  • Camp Beauregard in Alexandria-Pineville, La., with an exhibit on an experimental unit of Black soldiers that was part of Gen. George Patton’s Third Army in World War II;

  • Canal Street in New Orleans, site of the city’s first sit-in at F.W. Woolworth’s;

  • Dooky Chase’s in New Orleans, a gathering point for civil rights activists;

  • McDonogh 19 in New Orleans, the elementary school desegregated by three first graders;

  • Bogalusa to Baton Rouge March Marker in Baton Rouge, La., adjacent to the Louisiana State Capitol where many civil rights marches ended;

  • Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La., a 1953 staging area for free rides to work during the nation’s first bus boycott;

  • S.H. Kress Department Store Lunch Counter in Baton Rouge, La., the site of downtown lunchcounter sit-ins;

  • Danville Fine Arts & History Museum in Danville, Va., which showcases the stories and moments in time important to the Civil Rights Movement.

The USCRT also recently launched a U.S. Civil Rights Trail podcast. The series includes half-hour interviews with historians and experts who explore some of the most significant events of the Movement that happened in each state. The first three episodes cover trail sites in Alabama. Over the next few months, trail sites in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee will be added. The podcast can be found on the top streaming sites, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon.

  • The Social Birdy, coming soon to Branson, Mo., will offer Pickleball, a pro style golf putting course and golf simulators. The 9,000-square-foot social venue, situated on Branson Hills Parkway, goes beyond golf with baseball, soccer and dodgeball and many more games. Bocci ball, pool, ping-pong, shuffleboard, darts and corn hole (bean bag toss) round out the activities at The Social Birdy. Trivia nights and other events are in the planning stages.

The Downing Street Pour House of Hollister will operate the site’s 200-seat restaurant complete with a patio and fire pits, outdoor games and more. Craft beer and bourbon will be highlights of the restaurant alongside wood-fired American comfort foods.

  • Florida Keys visitors and residents are again cycling, walking, running, rollerblading and watching sunrises and sunsets along a section of the famed Old Seven Mile Bridge that parallels the Florida Keys Overseas Highway in the Middle Keys.

Nicknamed "Old Seven," the oft-photographed 2.2-mile span reopened Jan. 2022, to pedestrian recreation, and marked 110 years since the bridge's original debut as the centerpiece of railroad magnate Henry Flagler's Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad, which connected the Keys with each other and mainland Florida for the first time.

The 2.2-mile span serves as the gateway to historic Pigeon Key, a tiny island nestled beneath the “Old Seven” that was once home to about 400 workers constructing the railroad.

Begun in 2017, the $44 million renovation is part of a 30-year agreement with a budget of $77 million ratified between the Keys' Monroe County, Marathon municipal officials and the Florida Department of Transportation to fund restoration along with a maintenance program to ensure the landmark's preservation. Restoration work included structural steel and spalling and bridge joint system repairs; new decking, pedestrian and bicycle handrails; and other physical enhancements to make the 2.2-mile span safer for recreational use.

Although vehicular traffic on the restored bridge is prohibited, an adjacent parking lot has been modified to accommodate up to 35 parked vehicles.

A new 60-passenger tram to take visitors back and forth to Pigeon Key is expected to be operational this spring.

photo credit: unsplash, photog Vanesa Giaconi


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