With Sunnier Days Approaching, It's Time to Book an Outdoor Adventure

By BT Editor
March 6, 2024
F Lkayak
Kayaking Florida's historic coast - courtesy of the Florida's Historic Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau

It's a great time of year to get outside; Daylight Savings is just around the corner, and that means more sunshine and warmer temperatures. Look ahead to the brighter months of the year and book a trip for a memorable outdoor adventure.

Journey through Utah's canyon country

A guided tour in Utah encounters pictographs - courtesy of GeoCultura

GeoCultura's 2024 tours offer its guests a journey through landscapes and an immersive experience led by knowledgeable guides and experts. Offering an insightful journey through the stunning landscapes and geology of Utah's canyon country, their southeastern Utah tour promises an unforgettable exploration of nature's wonders and human history. The first departure of this guided tour will be April 23 – 28, 2024.

Led by expert guide Russell Davies, participants are invited to delve into the mysteries of Utah's National parks and monuments, where dramatic landforms and geological phenomena await discovery. From the majestic Colorado National Monument to the iconic Arches National Park, visitors will unravel the secrets behind these breathtaking landscapes, pondering the processes that shaped them over millennia.

But the GeoCultura Tour offers more than just scenic vistas; it provides a window into the rich cultural tapestry of southeastern Utah. Delving into the history of Fremont, Ancient Puebloan, and Native American peoples, participants will explore cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and pictographs, gaining deeper insights into their way of life and enduring legacies.

The tour includes a glimpse into the challenges faced by Mormon settlers as they traversed the rugged terrain of southeastern Utah, showcasing resilience and ingenuity in taming the wild landscape.

Among the highlights of the journey is a visit to Monument Valley, renowned not only for its cinematic allure but also as the ancestral home of the Navajo people. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Navajo culture and tradition, gaining a newfound appreciation for this sacred land.

Throughout the tour, participants will meander through quaint desert towns like Bluff and Moab, each offering its own unique charm and character. From the sleepy streets of Bluff to the bustling adventure hub of Moab, visitors will experience the diverse tapestry of life in southeastern Utah.

The GeoCultura Tour is designed for both the curious traveler and the avid explorer, offering a balance of easy to moderate activities suitable for all levels of fitness. With comfortable transportation and accommodations providing a seamless experience, participants can focus on soaking in the sights and sounds of this captivating region.

Explore the ecosystem of Florida's Historic Coast

The beach near St. Augustine, Florida - courtesy of Florida's Historic Coast

Residents and visitors alike are charmed by the historic sites and natural beauty of Florida's Historic Coast. Cresting the Bridge of Lions, you're more likely to feel like you're descending into a Spanish village than a coastal town in Florida. This is thanks to St. Augustine and St. Johns County's incredible dedication to sustainability and preservation. It's a great region to explore the natural beauty and wilderness of Florida. Several businesses in the area also do an excellent job of reducing negative environmental impacts.

These lands have been the site of numerous historic moments, and their preservation is just as important. The natural environment of the area boasts over 40 miles of pristine beaches, tens of thousands of acres of maritime hammocks, marshes, oyster beds, and more. Both the Florida and National Parks Systems actively promote responsible environmental impact and sustainability practices to protect St. Augustine's historic buildings, like the Castillo de San Marco National Monument, and seashores, like Anastasia State Park. The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to provide stewardship, facilitate research, and educate the public.

Visitors are eager to learn about this spectacular environment that locals have grown up appreciating and protecting. Eco-tourism allows travelers to experience the natural habitat with tour operators that approach tourism ethically and sustainably. Outfits like St. Augustine Sailing, Florida Water Tours, St. Augustine Eco Tours, and GeoTrippin Adventure Company offer education-based tours that explore the ecosystem and its wildlife thoughtfully and non-invasively.

Many local attractions and businesses are committed to instituting environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices. Eateries like the Ice Plant Bar & Restaurant, Harvest & Reel, The Floridian, and Catch 27 Restaurant pride themselves on using locally-grown produce and ethically sourced meats and seafood in their restaurants. The St. Augustine Distillery, which produces craft spirits like bourbon and gin, has prioritized sustainability since its inception eight years ago. Its home, a repurposed ice plant built in 1917, has been recognized by the Urban Land Institute of North Florida for preserving as many elements of the original building as possible.

Several lodgings on Florida's Historic Coast, from major hoteliers like Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa to locally-owned enclaves like Carriage Way Bed and Breakfast Inn, have earned the Florida DEP's Green Lodging designation. The DEP has also awarded the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, St. Augustine Marine Center, St. Augustine Shipyard, and Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor with its Clean Marina Program, for their above and beyond efforts to protect the local marine ecology. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre has a landmark initiative known as Green Hands that reduces its impact through innovative processes, like utilizing a reusable cup deposit system.

Get off the beaten path in Arizona

Off the beaten path in Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona - courtesy of Petrified Forest National Park

Discover secluded areas within Petrified Forest National Park with eight new Off the Beaten Path guides that direct hikers away from busier areas to explore the park's hidden gem trails. Adventures include following old roadbeds, trekking into the wild badlands of the Painted Desert and hiking a path made by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The trails are open all year round and range from four to eight miles. The new guides are available at the park's visitor center.

Be one of the first to visit and explore Rockin' River Ranch State Park in Camp Verde, which just opened in February 2024. Spend the day at Arizona's newest state park and enjoy hiking trails, kayaking or fishing while you take in remarkable views of the cottonwood tree-lined Verde River. Then, have a picnic at this day-use-only park. After visiting, take the opportunity to explore the surrounding Verde Valley for even more outdoor adventures such as visiting Montezuma Castle National Monument and touring the area wineries.

Discover caverns and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia by Sarraf A - Unsplash

Spacious Skies Campgrounds is a fast-growing owner and operator of RV campgrounds with RV, tent, cabin and glamping sites across 15 locations from Maine to Georgia. The company’s mission is to offer a fun, relaxing and authentic campground experience in destinations with abundant outdoor recreation and attractions. Their locations in North Carolina and Virginia, around the Blue Ridge Mountains, happen to also be near some of the most beautiful caverns.

Head to their Hidden Creek location in Marion, North Carolina for an epic mountain adventure. The nearby Linville Caverns were discovered when a fishing expedition saw trout swimming through what looked to be a solid rock. Instead, it was an opening to a large cave complete with stalactites and stalagmites as well as a bat population. In late April, visitors can also enjoy the Fire on the Mountain festival in Spruce Pine, just a half an hour from Marion. The festival celebrates blacksmiths and their skill forging metal into useful items, art and functional art. Following that festival, in mid-May, visitors can catch another unique event in Marion. The WNC Bigfoot Festival welcomes both believers and skeptics who enjoy Bigfoot activities, educational panels, food and fun competitions.

For more caverns, head north to Spacious Skies Shenandoah Views in Virginia and visit Luray Caverns. Luray is the largest cavern in the eastern United States, and some rooms have ceilings 10 stories high.

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5 Fun Vacations to Book this Spring

Wondering where to go this spring? Whether you're looking for a family trip, outdoor adventure, or cultural experience, these destinations offer something for everyone. Book a family trip to South Lake Tahoe, California The area certainly has a split personality: part California, part Nevada — with the two meeting along the lake’s southern shore. High-end casino hotels (in Nevada) bump up against the base village for Heavenly (in California). Outdoor recreation, gambling and nightlife are equally accessible things to do in South Tahoe — while for others outdoor picnics and renowned restaurants and breweries keep everyone satiated. There is so much to look forward to, as spring represents one of the most beautiful and interesting seasons to visit. The weather is generally mild, sunny, and temperatures can even get warm on some days. Known as the “shoulder season,” spring in Tahoe is a time of warmer weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices, making it ideal for families to enjoy the region’s natural beauty and attractions. Here are some of the best ways to spend your spring vacation in South Tahoe: Enjoy spring skiing – Enjoy the sun and snow with South Tahoe’s famous spring ski scene. Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Sierra-at-Tahoe provide diverse skiing experiences suitable for all skill levels. RnR’s extended stay rentals offer convenience for families, allowing them to treat their vacation as a full ski season rather than a short getaway.Visit Taylor Creek Visitor Center – An educational and scenic experience awaits families at this center, where diverse wildlife can be observed in a natural setting. The center is a gateway to several self-guided trails, making it a great spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.Experience the beauty of Emerald Bay State Park – A must-visit location, Emerald Bay offers breathtaking views, kayaking, beaches, and hiking trails. It’s an ideal spot for family photos and outdoor adventures.Chase waterfalls – Spring is the best time to explore Tahoe’s waterfalls, thanks to the melting snow. Trails of varying difficulty levels, like the beginner-friendly Eagle Falls trail, offer families the chance to witness the beauty of nature up close.Kayak or paddleboard – Experience Lake Tahoe from a unique perspective by kayaking or paddleboarding. Clearly Tahoe offers year-round tours, including special glass-bottom kayak experiences.Hop on a bike – Whether you’re a mountain bike pro or just getting started, spring offers many amazing mountain biking trails. The website Localfreshies.com offers a trail guide that will get you pointed in the right direction. Our suggestion? The 7.5-mile Tahoe Mountain trek is perfect for beginner-intermediate riders. It’s usually one of the first trails to dry out in the spring. After a quick battle uphill, you’ll be greeted with views that make it worth it, and the option to either out-and-back, loop around or keep heading up the ridge.Go climb a mountain – There’s no better way to experience the natural beauty of the Sierras firsthand than on the beautiful hiking trails. One of our favorite South Shore spots is Eagle Falls. This link from our friends at All Trails lays out other prime options.Enjoy a Heavenly Village experience – The base of the Heavenly Mountain Resort Gondola is home to Heavenly Village, featuring a charming shopping scene, restaurants, live music, and various family-friendly entertainment options.Partake in family-friendly events – With the new Tahoe Blue Event Center comes a new venue for great family-friendly entertainment with the 2024 Spring lineup including the Harlem Globetrotters world tour and Paw Patrol Live!: Heroes Unite, sure to delight the youngest members. Get in some spring swings – With the snow at lake level melted away, it’s the perfect time to get in a few rounds on the links, most open May through October. There’s Lake Tahoe Golf Course (a public course in a mountain meadow), Bijou Municipal Golf Course (Tahoe’s oldest, a 9-hole executive course) and Edgewood Tahoe (a challenging, beautifully sculpted public course along the lake). Of course, there’s plenty of fun to be had at Magic Carpet Golf, a family-friendly goofy golf experience that’s sure to bring some laughs. RnR Vacation Rentals offers a wide selection of vacation homes, ensuring that families find the perfect base for their South Tahoe adventures. But remember, well-placed vacation rentals fill up quickly for spring break, so early booking is recommended. Ready for a family spring break filled with adventure and relaxation? Visit RnR Vacation Rentals at www.rnrvr.com/extendedstay or call (530) 208-5001 to start planning your South Tahoe spring break today. Go golfing in Williamsburg, Virginia An aerial view of Colonial Williamsburg by Eric Foster - Unsplash Head to the Historic Triangle of Virginia and plan for an epic, golf-filled vacation at the region's beautiful courses. Just as Colonial Williamsburg brings America’s history to life, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club honors the classic traditions of the game while still creating an entertaining challenge for today’s player. Designed by the father-and-son team of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Rees Jones, players will experience 45 walkable holes over three courses, surrounded by mature woodlands. The Gold Course is a classic reimagined. Recently renovated by “The Open Doctor,” Rees Jones, the Gold Course now features cutting-edge turf grasses, new grass on the fairways, updated greens and surrounding rough, and utilizes “Better Billy Bunker” construction. Tees have been re-leveled and resurfaced, and the expanded practice putting green and range gives golfers plenty of opportunity to work on their long and short games. Rees Jones drew inspiration from his father to create the acclaimed Green Course, which opened in 1991. Carved from the same beautiful parkland terrain, the Green Course is longer than the Gold Course, but also more forgiving, which creates an enjoyable challenge for golfers of every skill level. Perfect for networking or a quick golf getaway, the Spotswood Course is Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s updated version of the original 1947 Williamsburg Inn course. Called the “best short nine-hole course in the country” by Golf magazine, this par-31 course includes six par-3s, two par-4s, and one par-5 to test your entire game. Championship golf is the centerpiece of the Kingsmill Resort experience. It has hosted 38 PGA and LPGA events with golf legends Payne Stewart, Annika Sorenstam, Jack Nicklaus, Cristie Kerr, and Arnold Palmer among those who have played the famed courses. The Kingsmill Golf Academy offers expert advice for all levels of players. Pick between three renowned courses, The River, The Plantation, and The Woods. You can’t go wrong. The River Course, a Golfweek “Top 200 Resort Course,” was designed by prominent architect Pete Dye and is home to the LPGA Pure Silk Tournament. This course has welcomed Presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay designed the Plantation Course to test the skills of all types of players with its generous fairways, water hazards, and undulating greens. The Woods Course occupies a secluded corner of the resort and was recently opened to the public. Ranked #10 of Virginia’s Top Ten Golf Courses by Golf Week Magazine, the Woods Course is an instant hit with all golfers. Featuring the only Arthur Hills signature-designed golf course in Williamsburg, Colonial Heritage Golf Club is open to the public and offers an exceptional layout that winds through rolling hills, streams, and pine forests. This artfully crafted masterpiece emulates the classic beauty and refinement of the natural terrain of its southern Virginia surroundings. Thoughtfully planned bunkers, undulating fairways, and well-arranged water features create an enjoyable golfing experience for novices and experts alike. Each year since 2013, Colonial Heritage has been ranked “Best in Region” by Coastal Virginia Magazine. After sinking the last putt, the clubhouse’s Heritage Restaurant and Bistro Grille will be waiting so you can grab a bite from the menu of American classics. Kiskiack Golf Club is home to one of the top-ranked 18-hole golf courses in the state of Virginia. Designed by John LaFoy, it’s nestled along a ridge of a natural bluff in Williamsburg. Kiskiack’s public course features tree-lined fairways, gorgeous water features, and is easily walkable. While the course can be demanding even for the experienced player, the course’s open fairways and picturesque views will allow beginners to enjoy a round of golf as well. It’s the only golf course in Williamsburg with no homes on the course. The 18-hole golf course at Stonehouse Golf Club features 7,013 yards of golf from the back tees. Stonehouse was designed by one of the most innovative golf course architects in the business, Mike Strantz, a former protégé of Tom Fazio. Strantz envisioned a mountain-style course that disturbed nature as little as possible. With deep bunkers and wide fairways, the par-72 layout features dramatic elevation changes and enormous putting greens perched on the edges of natural cliff formations, with constant challenges for all levels. Williamsburg golf travelers looking for a unique experience will find it at Stonehouse. Located just minutes away from historic Williamsburg, Ford’s Colony Country Club offers some of the best resort golf in Virginia. This semi-private golf club features 54 holes with three distinct championship golf courses designed by Dan Maples. Blackheath is the most picturesque of the three courses with water coming into play on 13 holes. Every green on the course is guarded by bunkers, and the course also features many doglegs with rolling fairways. The Blackheath course is the only course at Ford’s Colony that plays to a par 71. Blue Heron is a continuous 18 that has long, challenging par-3s and par-5s. The Blue Heron has generous fairways carved out of dense wetlands. The course has new Champion Bermuda greens, which provide the smoothest surfaces throughout the year. Blue Heron is the longest of the three courses and contains many different species of birds, fish, and other wildlife. Marsh Hawk features traditional tree-lined fairways. It has small, undulating greens with strategically placed bunkers. The narrow fairways, well-placed bunkers, natural lakes, and elevation changes are the defenses of this course. Marsh Hawk was the host of the 1998 and 1999 Virginia State Opens, a Monday Qualifier for the 2005 – 2007 Henrico County Open, and a Monday Qualifier for the PGA Tour’s Michelob Championship for 12 straight years. Voted “Best Golf Course in Williamsburg” by the Virginia Gazette two years in a row, Williamsburg National Golf Club is an open-to-the-public private club that features two very different courses when it comes to layout and putting surfaces (Bermuda rather than bent grass). The Jamestown Course, developed by Nicklaus Design, is a 4-star Golf Digest winner. The par-72 course measures close to 7,000 yards from the championship tees, with five different sets of tees appealing to golfers of all skill levels. It has received several awards, including being named “One of the Ten Best Courses you can play in Virginia” by Golf Digest magazine. The Yorktown Course layout offers a great mix of classic course design with a few modern twists. In addition to being ranked No. 7 of the most-improved courses in the nation by Golf Advisor (now GolfPass) in 2018, it has the area’s most interesting back nine featuring three par-5s, three par-4s, and three par-3s. Bermuda fairways, bent grass putting greens, and a course full of fun challenges await, three par 4s, and three par 5s. Be sure to try one of the most creative casual dining menus in Williamsburg at Williamsburg Nationals' 1607 Grill which features daily specials, weekend breakfast, and patio dining. Immerse yourself in culture in New York, New York The meatpacking district in New York City by Bernd Dittrich - Unsplash Steps away from the High Line and Chelsea Market in New York City’s vibrant Meatpacking District, the Whitney Museum of American Art is the perfect destination for visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in art, culture, and all that NYC has to offer. The Whitney presents soaring views of the famous city skyline via four stories of outdoor balcony terraces and awe-inspiring architecture amid its collection of masterworks by leading American artists like Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, and Georgia O'Keeffe, along with cutting-edge exhibitions featuring today's most celebrated contemporary artists. From March 20th through August 11, 2024,, the Whitney Biennial, the Museum’s flagship exhibition and the country’s leading survey of contemporary American art, will return with a showcase of the most relevant art and ideas of our time. Plan your trip to experience this must-see exhibition and cultural event of the season, and be sure to include a visit to the newly opened Frenchette Bakery at the Whitney. Looking ahead, mark your calendars for Edges of Ailey, the first large-scale museum exhibition to reflect on the life, work, and legacy of visionary artist and choreographer Alvin Ailey, opening this September. The 2024 edition, Even Better Than the Real Thing, on view through August, features 71 contemporary artists and collectives working across media and disciplines. The artists featured are exploring and interpreting critical and timely issues. Don’t miss your opportunity to see tomorrow’s icons today, all in the heart of the lively Meatpacking District. The 2024 Whitney Biennial also features an incredibly robust lineup of live performances and film screenings. For the first time in Whitney Biennial history, audiences will be able to enjoy select films online, as well as during special screenings at the Museum. More information about the Whitney Biennial can be found at whitney.org/biennial. On view through May 19, 2024, Harold Cohen: AARON traces the evolution of AARON, the earliest artificial intelligence (AI) software for artmaking and one of the longest-running contemporary art projects. Featuring artworks produced by AARON, this mesmerizing exhibition highlights its drawing process with pen plotters live in the galleries for the first time since the 1990s. The Whitney houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a special focus on the most innovative artists of our time. Iconic works by Andy Warhol, Lee Krasner, Norman Lewis, Roy Lichtenstein, and many more are now on view in The Whitney’s Collection: Selections from 1900 to 1965. This multi-year presentation also features a panoramic installation of Alexander Calder’s Calder's Circus, which New York magazine calls “one of the most fun, beloved, and radical works of 20th-century American art.” As part of the Whitney’s reimagined food and beverage program, Frenchette Bakery, which opened in TriBeCa in 2020, opened a new flagship location, with its first-ever cafe in the Museum’s redesigned ground-floor restaurant space in November 2023. The new Frenchette Bakery at the Whitney offers a grab-and-go bakery with a selection of on-premises baked sweet and savory fare, as well as a sit-down, full-service cafe with pizzas, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts, and a carefully selected wine, beer, and cocktail menu. The restaurant features a new installation from artist Rashid Johnson, a steel-grid sculpture laden with plants and ceramics, extending from within the Whitney out to the plaza. The Museum's eighth-floor cafe space, featuring a new commission by artist Dyani White Hawk, will reopen this spring. All year round, the Whitney offers free art programming for kids and teens on weekends and a robust slate of public programs and events for visitors of all ages. Programs range from guided tours and artist talks to artmaking, performances, and so much more. Throughout the month of June, the Whitney will present a series of free, on-site public programs and events celebrating Pride. More public program information can be found online at whitney.org/events. The Whitney Museum of American Art is the cultural anchor of the Meatpacking District, a twenty-square-block area on the far West Side of Manhattan. A neighborhood where old New York meets the electric pace of the 21st century, today the Meatpacking District is bustling with numerous architecture and design firms, fashion boutiques, high-tech companies, innovative public parks, and some of New York's most notable restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels. The neighborhood is bordered by Chelsea, renowned for its art galleries, cultural organizations, and Chelsea Market. The Whitney is only a few steps from the High Line, one of New York City's most exceptional public parks located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, as well as Little Island and Gansevoort Peninsula. Day and night, the cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking District are alive with culture. The Whitney recently transformed the artist Roy Lichtenstein’s nearby Greenwich Village studio into a new permanent home for its Independent Study Program, creating a dynamic space for creativity and scholarship. Learn about the ocean in Daytona, Florida Visitors explore the Daytona Aquarium and Rainforest Adventure - courtesy of Daytona Beach Area CVB Often called home of the world's most famous beaches, Daytona Beach, Florida, continues to delight and surprise visitors with its diverse and growing array of attractions. The Daytona Beach area includes several cities and towns including Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Ponce Inlet, Holly Hill and South Daytona. The destination has long been known for its iconic beaches and rich auto racing history but today a slate of exciting new attractions, upscale lodging, a vibrant arts scene and an amazing collection of parks, preserves and outdoor activities are all part of Daytona Beach's year-round appeal. The Daytona Beach area has its first aquarium offering in the destination with the opening of the Daytona Aquarium and Rainforest Adventure, which provides an interactive educational experience featuring animals from both land and sea.The 55,000-square foot facility is located on the northwest corner of International Speedway Blvd. and Nova Road in the heart of Daytona Beach. Visitors can explore close to 40 separate exhibits including a 100,000-gallon shark exhibit and two touch pools including a 12,000-gallon stingray touch pool. There are also habitats for alligators, frogs, and lizards.In addition, the attraction will have animal meet and greets with reptilian animal ambassadors throughout the day with guests. “We're excited that this moment has arrived,” said Lori Campbell Baker, Executive Director for the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The destination's first aquarium is going provide another great must-do experience when visiting Daytona Beach area.” Phase 2 of the attraction, The Rainforest, is scheduled for opening in 2025 and will feature multiple species including primates, sloths, and tropical birds. Daily adult admission tickets are $28.95 and $24.95 for children ages 2-12. College students, military/police, and senior admissions (65 and over) are $27.95. Annual memberships are $100 for adults and $80 for children ages 2-12. The Daytona Aquarium and Rainforest Adventure is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. with the last admission available at 5:15 pm. For more information, visit Daytona Aquarium and Rainforest Adventure. Sip on fine wines in Detroit, Michigan The Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC) is excited to announce that from May 17-19, 2024, Detroit is set to be swept off its feet as Taste Michigan Invades the D, transforming the city into a haven for wine enthusiasts and gastronomic aficionados alike. This three-day extravaganza promises an unforgettable fusion of local flavors, exquisite wines, and unparalleled experiences.On May 17, embark on a journey through the heart of Metro Detroit as Michigan Wine Collaborative's renowned winery members collaborate with restaurants, crafting exclusive Michigan wine-paired experiences at select locations. Immerse yourself in the art of wine and culinary perfection as each venue unveils a symphony of flavors curated to tantalize taste buds across the Motor City. This is the premier chance to truly, Taste Michigan.The climax of the weekend unfolds on May 18 at Comerica Park, where Michigan Wine Collaborative, Vintage Michigan Wine Club, and Taste Michigan partner with Uncork Me Michigan Wine Festival. Brace yourselves for an unparalleled gathering of 30 wineries, all converging within the iconic stadium. Sip, savor, and celebrate the diversity of Michigan's finest wines, meticulously curated to delight even the most discerning palates. The invasion concludes on May 19th with The Royce's annual Michigan Wine Expo.Experience the best that Michigan has to offer in the world of wine and culinary arts by securing your tickets at TasteMichigan.org. Don't miss this opportunity to revel in a weekend of unparalleled indulgence and create lasting memories with friends and fellow enthusiasts. Taste Michigan is dedicated to showcasing the vibrant culinary and winemaking scene of the Great Lakes State. Through curated events and festivals, Taste Michigan provides a platform for locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Michigan's gastronomic delights. Visit TasteMichigan.org for more information and ticket details. The Michigan Wine Collaborative is the voice of the Michigan wine industry. Our mission is to enhance the sustainability and profitability of the Michigan wine industry by supporting wineries, growers and other businesses and individuals connected to the industry – today and for future generations.


Plan an Astronomically Spectacular Vacation to Southeastern Canada

The Eastern Townships, a region in southeastern Quebec, Canada, is gearing up for an extraordinary astronomical phenomenon this year—the Total Solar Eclipse. This celestial display will occur on April 8, 2024, and while the experience will only last a few minutes, visitors will want to plan a whole vacation around this stellar event to enjoy the area's many activities and attractions. The moon will slowly pass between the sun and Earth, gradually obscuring the light until the sun's corona comes into view with stars in a darkened sky, following the trajectory of a full solar eclipse. This rare spectacle is best viewed from the International Dark Sky Reserve in and around Mont Megantic. Covering an area of 5,300 square kilometers it was the first of its kind in the world. In Quebec, the last total solar eclipse was more than 50 years ago, and the next one will not take place for another 80 years. A number of local enterprises throughout the region are in the process of establishing the best viewing areas. Details and locations are listed on eclipsequebec.ca. Whether you're the kind of person who loves good food, cultural events, adventure or just relaxing, in the Eastern Townships you're sure to find something that appeals to your passion. Enjoy dark skies in the "astronomy capital" of Quebec The Mont Mégantic Observatory in Lac Megantic, Canada by Patrick Boucher - Unsplash Experience the total eclipse of the sun at the base of Mont Megantic, the astronomy “capital” of Quebec and an area designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve. Mont Megantic National Park will be presenting a 4-hour, animated show on a giant outdoor screen, tracking the eclipse in real time (as well as being rebroadcast later). Tickets go online in December and the cost includes bus transportation to the site. Visitors will not be able to drive into the park. Places are limited, so reservations must be made in advance. Visitors can also watch the eclipse in Lac Megantic. The downtown area has plenty of parking, large public spaces, a jetty and a park – all of them offering easy viewing of this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon! Moreover, the Haut-Saint-François MRC is organizing an overflow circuit in several of its municipalities to allow citizens and visitors to observe the eclipse. If you're a nature lover, you can enjoy some spectacular vistas from Mont Megantic National Park, Mont Gosford or Station touristique Baie-des-Sables. Do you enjoy taking a road trip? The 193-km Summit Drive is flanked by breathtaking scenery and on April 8, drivers will be able to view the eclipse from one of 36 lookout points along the route. If you're travelling with the family, they'll love the Ferme des Petits Torrieux in Frontenac. Attractions include a sugar shack (where you can gather maple sap and taste maple products) and a visit to the farm animals. Lac Megantic boasts several great eating establishments: Musi-Café, the Café Bistro La Brûlerie, Citron-Vert restaurant, La Garnison microbrewery and the Kaline Resto-Pub, to name a few. Book a stay in a traditional yurt or a mini-home at Hébergement aux cinq sens in Piopolis. Benoit, an amateur astronomer, will lead the Soirées aux étoiles (“Evening under the stars”) during which he will explain the eclipse to visitors as they gaze at the skies. After the event, guests will be served chaga (mushroom) tea. Finally, a new inn is opening in Frontenac, Estello Suites & Spa. Situated in the heart of the International Dark Sky Reserve, it has 11 renovated suites and thermal facilities. Explore local culture and history in Sherbrooke and Coaticook Sherbrooke, Canada by Mathis Mauprivez - Unsplash In Sherbrooke, visitors can go to the Exhibition Centre, as well as a number of public spaces around the city. The student populace will be invited to attend various eclipse-related events at Bishop's University, Cégep de Sherbrooke and the Université de Sherbrooke. Only students are allowed to attend the gatherings at the educational establishments. In the Coaticook Valley, Mont Hereford is organizing a 13-kilometre (round-trip) hike from the East Hereford parking lot to observe the eclipse from the summit of the mountain. (By reservation only. Maximum 250 people.) Before and after the eclipse, there is plenty to do nearby. Downtown Sherbrooke is home to a number of museums: the Musée d'histoire de Sherbrooke, Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke and the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke. Follow along the Circuit des murales – a circuit of giant murals painted by professional artists, depicts scenes from Sherbrooke's history and a novel way to explore the city's attractive downtown. In Coaticook, the Musée Beaulne (a former private home) traces the history of Arthur O. Norton who made his fortune manufacturing railroad jacks. For a bite to eat, try Auguste and sample its unique version of poutine, the Siboire Dépôt microbrewery (local beers brewed on site and its oh-so-popular fish 'n' chips!) or the OMG Resto for a juicy burger. In the Coaticook Valley, it's well worth stopping at the La Station de Compton to taste their delicious cheeses. Wander around the Economusée (onsite), where you can learn all about how cheeses are made and matured. Hop Station, a microbrewery in Coaticook, is housed in a former railway station and it will soon be launching a new maple syrup beer to commemorate the solar eclipse. Sherbrooke has a number of inns and B&Bs such as l'Ile de Garde or le Marquis de Montcalm. In these intimate, privately-run establishments, owners are always willing to chat to their guests and to fill them in on what there is to see and do in their region. In Coaticook, at Auberge du Changement d'Ère adventurous souls can stay in yurts or suspended “pods”, in a stunning natural setting. Similar pods are also among the unusual accommodations offered by Mont Expérience Hereford Get active in Brome-Missisquoi and Granby Bromont, Quebec, Canada by Pierre Jarry - Unsplash Numerous activities will be taking place in the Brome-Missisquoi region. Visitors will have the choice of viewing the celestial event from Bromont's Place Publique (a public gathering place), the summits of Monts Horizon, Bernard, Spruce or at Bromont, montagne d'expériences. An amateur astronomer from the Fédération des astronomes du Québec will be on hand at these locations. Parc Duhamel (Bedford Township) has the capacity for up to 100 visitors and in the Granby region, there are a couple of places to observe the eclipse - the Granby Zoo and the Centre d'interprétation de la nature du lac Boivin interpretation centre. The Yamaska National Park will project images (in real time) from the ASTROLab, on a giant screen. If you love a good workout, you'll enjoy climbing the walls at BackBone Boulder in Bromont or the challenge of track cycling in the new indoor velodrome at the Centre national de cyclisme de Bromont (the only one in Quebec). Alternatively, you can put your body through its paces – Ninja warrior style - at the Motion parc évolutif, a training/exercise centre in Granby. The mountains of Sutton and Bromont, the Au Diable Vert mountain resort and the Yamaska National Park are also great places to exercise outdoors. At the end of an action-filled day, you can relax at the BALNEA Spa which has just added a new infinity pool to its facilities. Relax and enjoy the view over mountain-fringed Lac Gale. Foodies have the choice of several restaurants in the area that offer fine dining: la Maison Boire, la Table à Mo and the Bistro Kapzak in Granby, not to mention Le Chardo and Le Roux in Bromont. A number of wineries along the Brome-Missiquoi Wine Route will also be open to the public. The Eastern Townships, the “cradle” of Quebec's viticulture industry, produces over 60% of the wines made in the province. There are a number of great places to stay, including the Château-Bromont, Domaine Jolivent, le Pleasant Hôtel & Café, Huttopia, the Beatnick Hotel, and the Hotel St-Cristophe. Explore star-spangled events beyond the eclipse Constellations above Quebec, Canada by Arnaud Mariat - Unsplash If you didn't get enough of this “heavenly” phenomenon, don't worry, there are plenty of other astronomical events here in the Eastern Townships. The region is known as the perfect spot for gazing at the stars, no matter what the time of year! During the summer, Mont Megantic International Dark Sky Reserve attracts dozens of people who come to watch the Perseids (meteor showers) which, in 2024, will be at their peak on August 11 and 12. The 5,500-square-kilometre reserve was created to shield the starry sky from light pollution. This move was critical to the work of researchers and for the educational programs at the Observatory and the ASTROLab in Mont-Mégantic National Park, one of North America's leading astronomy sites. Au Diable Vert is a mountain resort in Glen Sutton, in the heart of another Dark Sky Reserve (the second largest in the Eastern Townships). This eco-friendly, outdoor centre offers a unique attraction – Observétoiles - an open-air, augmented reality planetarium, that allows star-gazers to observe the constellations and other heavenly phenomena. Other night sky activities take place elsewhere around in the region: hikes by moonlight in the Parc d'environnement naturel de Sutton (PENS), a sound-and-light experience at Foresta Lumina in the Parc de la Gorge in Coaticook, overnight stays at a campsite (or rustic shelter) at the summit of Mont Sutton, and photographing the night sky during Zenderfull, an event in Val-Racine.


Obsessed with Breakfast? Celebrate National Pancake Day and Book a Stay Here

Wake up and smell the pancakes! From the brand whose pancakes pack the same punch as their iconic waffles, comes this humble ab-ode to flapjacks. Eggo® is celebrating its other favorite breakfast staple with the ultimate Eggo experience in honor of National Pancake Day — celebrated today, on February 28th. Beginning today, you can now book the first-ever Eggo House of Pancakes, a literal "pancake house" complete with a stick-of-butter-shaped chimney and breakfast-inspired decor, available for rent exclusively on HomeToGo. It's here just in time for spring break to rescue families and fans from the chaos that comes with planning a vacation for the whole crew.Visit the "Pancake Capital" in the Smoky Mountains Enjoy the view of the mountains from the Eggo House of Pancakes - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo Located in the Pancake Capital of the South – Gatlinburg, Tennessee – fans will be able to book a unique stay at the Eggo House of Pancakes and enjoy this short-stack-shaped home-away-from-home in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. Flapjack-loving fans and families visiting this unique vacation destination will be transported into a pancake paradise from the moment they step inside. Breathe in the scent of sweet syrup-infused mountain air. Get cozy in the fluffy pancake beds and bean bag chairs. Toast up Eggo Mini Pancake s'mores at the fire pit overlooking the Smokies. Pour it on thick at the maple syrup fountain. Dive into game night in the basement gameroom, complete with an Eggo pancake-fied pool table and more. Enjoy the game room in the Eggo House of Pancakes - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo The best part? Parents can actually relax because vacationing here is easy, from start to finish. First, HomeToGo's seamless booking process ensures your pancake-filled vacation begins effortlessly. Then, Eggo's array of products ensure you don't have to worry about breakfast once you're there. That's right. We've packed the freezer full of Eggo pancakes for chaos-free mornings throughout your stay. Expertly crafted and irresistibly fluffy, Eggo pancakes are a convenient, ready-in-30-seconds breakfast classic that come in a variety of flavors and sizes: Buttermilk, Blueberry, Chocolatey Chip, Minis & Chocolatey Chip Minis. All you need is a microwave… and butter and syrup. "Eggo and waffles are an iconic combination, so much so that fans might forget about our pancakes. That's why we're flipping our focus with this unexpected experience that celebrates Eggo pancakes as a breakfast go-to that's equally good at making parents' lives easier and making breakfast delicious," said Joe Beauprez, Senior Director of Marketing for Frozen Foods at Kellanova. "Plus, we know that planning a family vacation can be chaotic, so we're helping parents check one more thing off their to-do list for spring break season with this deliciously fun house."The kids room features pancake wallpaper - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo The Eggo House of Pancakes will be exclusively listed on HomeToGo.com, a vacation rental marketplace specializing in making incredible homes easily accessible to everyone. According to HomeToGo data, Gatlinburg not only tops the charts as the most-searched destination in Tennessee, but also ranks as one of the top ten most searched destinations in the entire U.S., making it the perfect pancake haven for this mouthwatering collaboration. "At HomeToGo, we're on a mission to make vacation planning as delightful as the trips themselves. And, we love pancakes. That's why we are thrilled to partner with Eggo to bring their House of Pancakes to fans of unique vacation rentals," said Danielle Finch, Director of Customer Experience at HomeToGo. "We look forward to inspiring adventure-seeking families to embark on unforgettable journeys, all while showcasing the simplicity of booking their dream stays using HomeToGo. We believe booking a vacation rental should be as easy as a pancake breakfast with Eggo: without any chaos and full of fun." How to book your stacked stayThe living room of the Eggo House of Pancakes - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo Families and fans can request to book one of four different three-night stays at the Eggo House of Pancakes beginning on National Pancake Day, February 28th, at the chaos-solving cost of $0 a night, by visiting www.hometogo.com/EggoHouseofPancakes. And yes, you can bring the whole crew, as the House accommodates up to 8 guests. Set your alarms! Bookings will be available throughout the month of March. The first weekend opens for booking on National Pancake Day (2/28 at 12 PM EST) and the rest will open on Mondays at 12 PM EST on a rolling basis through Monday, March 18th.* Guests are responsible for their own travel to and from the Eggo House of Pancakes. See below for exact booking dates and openings. *The four 3-night stays are not a contest. The stays will be available for booking as follows: Wednesday, Feb. 28: March 7-10 open for bookingMonday, March 4: March 14-17 open for bookingMonday, March 11: March 21-24 open for bookingMonday, March 18: March 28-31 open for booking


Flavorful Culinary Experiences to Indulge in this Spring

Foodies looking for inspiration on where to travel will find a slew of restaurant weeks, festivals, and unique culinary events across the country—and beyond—this spring. Below are some of the most exciting, flavor-forward experiences coming up during the spring months. Go beyond at "Flavors Beyond Borders" in Costa Rica The award-winning Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas - courtesy of Casa Chameleon/xhibition The award-winning Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas has announced the inaugural Flavors Beyond Borders culinary extravaganza, a four-day gourmet experience from March 6-10, 2024, featuring culinary stars trained at the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America (CIA). During the multi-day event, Chefs Dara Yu, Sophia Ruiz, Evelyn Garcia, and Sarah Thompson will offer master classes, special tastings, and thematic dinners showcasing their expertise in the culinary arts and the signature flavors of Costa Rica. Proceeds from the event will benefit CIA student scholarships. Flavors Beyond Borders offers an exclusive and intimate setting for guests looking to broaden their culinary and cultural horizons. Hosted throughout Casa Chameleon's restaurants, bars, and public spaces – including Sentido Norte, La Pampa Grill, Grotto 12°, and Green House – the event's daily itinerary opens with a wellness activity, like yoga or meditation, before the day unfolds with food-driven immersive initiatives anchored by each meal of the day: For breakfast, guests may participate in a Barista Experience, brunch with a pastry chef, or indulge in a tortilla station, followed by a hands-on cooking class with a CIA chef.Capped at 10 guests per session, Flavors Beyond Borders cooking classes showcase the best local and seasonal ingredients paired with techniques and insight provided by a CIA chef.Mid-day meals are leisurely, allowing guests to experience Casa Chameleon's signature bars and restaurants. Served a la carte, these leisurely experiences showcase the incomparable setting of Casa Chameleon, perched above Las Catalinas with views of the Pacific Ocean.From a catamaran tour to a Latin dance class and Margarita station, afternoons at Casa Chameleon offer cultural immersion on land and in the ocean.Each afternoon, guests can experience the iconic Costa Rican sunsets on one of the majestic settings in the destination, Casa Chameleon's pool deck. Accompanied by inventive sundowner drinks like Tinto de Verano, gourmet aperitivo-hour small plates serve as a warm-up for the culinary highlight; dinner.Assisted by Casa Chameleon's culinary team, Chefs Dara D Yu, Sophia Ruiz, Evelyn Garcia, and Sarah Thompson prepare a nightly feast that reflects their expertise and approach to fine dining. Using locally sourced ingredients, chefs offer guests insight into the rich traditions and cultural richness of their background with themed dinners like 'The Road Less Traveled: An Introduction to Local Foraged Food' and an 'Ancestral BBQ' at Casa Chameleon's newly unveiled restaurant, The Green House. While Casa Chameleon, a Relais & Châteaux property, maintains a firm dedication to sustainability, exceptional cuisine, and personalized service, the property's commitment to culinary excellence truly sets it apart. Holding a strong emphasis on sourcing ingredients locally and forging connections with nearby farmers and fishermen, the hotel ensures the freshest and most sustainable ingredients across each dining option. Boasting four dining options, guests can expect unforgettable gastronomic experiences at any of Casa Chameleon's culinary locations. The Sentido Norte Restaurant showcases the flavors of Costa Rica's rich culinary traditions using the finest local ingredients. It boasts a combination of bold flavors and authentic dishes, perfectly harmonious with the restaurant's incredible open-air setting, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The Grotto 12 offers a well-curated selection of wines from around the globe in an intimate wine cave atmosphere. The Green House is an intimate dining spot that celebrates Costa Rica's rich culinary heritage with dishes crafted from freshly sourced ingredients. La Pampa Grill showcases the soul of Costa Rican flavors, featuring slow-cooked, sea, and field-to-table feasts, offering insight into the destination's culinary heritage. Seasonal produce sits on the menu alongside classics such as signature fall-of-the-bone ribs, embracing the beauty of old-school, open-fire barbecue. The Flavors Beyond Borders culinary event price starts at $10,995 per couple (subject to tax and fees). It includes four nights' accommodation in a private villa with a plunge pool, daily breakfast and lunch, four thematic evening culinary experiences, cooking demonstrations, daily activities, and social programming. Pricing is inclusive of all wine and drinks. For more information and to book Flavors Beyond Borders, please visit this website. Get a "Taste of Alpharetta" in Georgia The Taste of Alpharetta - courtesy of Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau Metro Atlanta's most anticipated culinary event, the Taste of Alpharetta, will take place in Alpharetta, Georgia, on May 9, 2024, from 5 – 10 p.m. Admission is free, and food samples are between $1 and $8. The Taste of Alpharetta isn't your average foodie festival. Named a Signature Event of the Southeast Tourism Society, this culinary event has occurred since 1991. On the streets of Downtown Alpharetta, you'll find vibrant entertainment and delectable food offerings, all in one location. Attendees can look forward to a flavorful journey across Alpharetta's favorite dishes from over 60 restaurants. Restaurants will be announced in early 2024. "This event welcomes over 40,000 locals and visitors to enjoy an evening relishing in delicious bites, great music and fun as we celebrate Alpharetta's dynamic hospitality industry,” said Janet Rodgers, President and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Event highlights includes: Gourmet Tastings: Indulge in a culinary adventure with dishes crafted by Alpharetta's top chefs, showcasing the best of the city's diverse food scene.Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Bring the whole family for fun and entertainment, with activities for all ages, including a Kidz Zone, live music and the locally Grown hands-on education area.Sip and Savor: Quench your thirst with various beverages around downtown. “There's more to Taste of Alpharetta than just culinary creations. This year offers 'Locally Grown' an educational area with hands-on activities from organizations contributing to the local food system,” said Hilary Lew, City of Alpharetta Special Events Supervisor. "We want our attendees to leave with not only a satisfied appetite but also with a deeper appreciation for our local food culture." Restaurant applications will be available through the Taste of Alpharetta website on January 22. Interested sponsors may contact Steph Mold at steph@premiereventslive.com. Please visit www.tasteofalpharettaga.com for the most up-to-date information regarding this event, including a listing of all participating restaurants. Taste of Alpharetta is produced by the City of Alpharetta in partnership with the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Drink up on the Laurel Highlands' Pour Tour in Pennsylvania Pour Tour 4.0 - courtesy of Go LH Recently launched is a new version of the popular Laurel Highlands' Pour Tour in Pennsylvania, which includes partnerships with 52 craft beverage makers including breweries, distilleries, wineries, cideries and a meadery spread across Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties. The new trail showcases the region's rich heritage, agricultural diversity, and entrepreneurial spirit. Craft beverage enthusiasts can pick up a Pour Tour 4.0 Passport at any participating location throughout the Laurel Highlands or download the all-new GO Laurel Highlands app. “We are excited to implement the new app,” said Jennifer Benford, GO Laurel Highlands' senior director of marketing. “The app will make it easier for participants to digitally stamp their passport, provide a leaderboard for some friendly competition, and – my favorite part – not only showcase our craft beverage makers, but also all of our partners in the Laurel Highlands, such as nearby hotels, restaurants and retail shops that are near their favorite Pour Tour stops.” Two of the newest stops on the Pour Tour have been built on a long and proud history in the region. Ponfeigh Distillery in Somerset reflects Maximilian Merrill's passion for whiskey and history. The Laurel Highlands is the birthplace of rye whiskey, and Merrill wanted to pay tribute to that. “I knew I had to do a distillery in Somerset County to bring back the history,” Ponfeigh's president told a group at the distillery, which is housed in a former 84 Lumber building on Stoystown Road. Merrill plans to add a whiskey museum to honor the region's legacy along with a tasting room with indoor and outdoor bars, a cigar lounge and an amphitheater for 2,000 fans to enjoy live music. At full production, Ponfeigh can distill 3,000 barrels per year, making it the largest distillery in Pennsylvania. In addition to talks with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to have Ponfeigh sold in state stores, Merrill has been working with an e-commerce site, which he said should have his product available in 42 states within the next few years. Ponfeigh started selling bottles of its Westylvania Rye in Somerset late last year, which is the culmination of a distilling process that started three years ago. “We drove five tractor-trailer loads of Somerset County rye to a sister distillery called Southern Distillery, where I was trained on that equipment for a couple of weeks,” Merrill said as he spoke inside the massive distillery space. “We laid down those 200 barrels that are stacked up over there, using Somerset County rye, on the same equipment we have here today. Now, we're producing that same spirit with the same barrels and the same rye on the same equipment to catch up to that 3-year-old spirit (that we have produced).” In addition to Monongahela rye, Ponfeigh plans to begin distilling a Maryland-style rye, rye-aged rum and rye-aged gin. SanaView Farms and Winery also has longstanding ties to local history. Nate McKee, who owns SanaView along with his mother, Janet, said the 52-acre historic landmark is the oldest farm in the area. The McKees purchased the property in 2012. It now hosts weddings and other events and features lodging in its farmhouse and bunkhouse. Eventually, Janet encouraged Nate to become a vintner with an eye toward the same high standards that they demand at their organic farm. “She said, 'You love drinking the stuff, why don't you figure out how to make it?' ” he recalled. He did just that, studying the winemaking process in California, by reading books and meeting with industry insiders, who told him it wouldn't be possible to make wine naturally. He disagreed and set about finding a way to make a great-tasting wine that doesn't use chemicals in any step of the process. “What we're doing is natural wine with low, low, low intervention,” Nate McKee said. “We're letting Mother Nature do the work. That's why you've got to start with really high-quality ingredients. … You've got to be exceptionally clean with every step of the process.” Mike Fahy, one of the owners of Forbes Trail Brewing in Stoystown, understands McKee's passion for crafting delicious beverages the right way. Fahy is the brewmaster at Forbes Trail and while he loves traditional beers, he isn't afraid to try new things, such as the blackberry raspberry marshmallow beer currently available at Forbes Trail. That kind of innovation has helped make Forbes Trail a popular stop on the Pour Tour, and Fahy loves how the program helps beer lovers discover his brewery. “The Pour Tour brings in so many people that I don't think ever would have found us,” he said. With a qualified purchase, participants will receive a sticker from the beverage maker for verification in the printed passport or choose to stamp their passport digitally via app. Passports can then be redeemed for prizes with a Tier I prize for 15 stamps, Tier II at 30 and Tier 30 for 45 stamps as part of Pour Tour 4.0, which runs through Dec. 23, 2024. The passport and app cannot combined, participants must choose one method to use throughout their tasting tour. Last year, more than 2,200 Pour Tour prizes were redeemed by participants from 10 states, including as far away as Florida, Colorado and Washington. Encounter Caribbean flavors at the Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week Food from Carlisle Bay at the 2023 restaurant week - courtesy of Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has announced the list of celebrity chefs and culinary arts professionals participating in the second annual Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week (ABRW) starting May 4. During the two-week-long celebration, visitors and nationals can enjoy a variety of special and discounted dining and event experiences designed to showcase the twin-island nation's delicious and diverse food, restaurants, art, and culture. This year also makes the return of Chef Andi Oliver who will headline events at the “The Pepperpot Rum Shop,” a100-day food and cultural pop-up. “The Restaurant Week annual celebration highlights the best culinary experiences we have to offer–from favorite casual spots to multi-course menus at the finest restaurants,” said Shermain Jeremy, Special Projects and Events Manager at the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “Given the fantastic lineup of Caribbean celebrity chefs and guests confirmed for this year, we expect to draw record-breaking participation from food loving locals and tourists. We're excited, too, to showcase the diversity of food from our twin-island nation, especially with an elevated twist.” As ABRW grows in its second year, the event will feature a lineup of celebrity chef and beverage professionals exclusively of Caribbean heritage. Highlights include: Chef Kareem Roberts. Born in Leicester and raised in Antigua, Kareem first set foot in a professional kitchen at 26. He began composing salads at a small café in St. John's, Antigua, and quickly moved to the high-volume kitchens at Sandals Grande Antigua. Over the next decade, he would hone his skills in a variety of kitchens in the United Kingdom, ranging from fine dining establishments to hotels to gastropubs. He worked his way up to his most recent position as Head Chef of Trinity, a contemporary British restaurant in Cambridge. Roberts attributes his development as a chef to the foods and cultures he's experienced, along with the fresh seafood he was exposed to as the son of an Antiguan fisherman. His creativity and passion were showcased recently on the BBC's cookery competition “The Great British Menu.”Cookbook Author Althea Brown. Althea Brown is the creator and voice behind metemgee.com, a blog about Guyanese and Caribbean recipes and traditions. She offers simplified recipes, made accessible with diet specific tweaks. She is the author of the bestselling cookbook Caribbean Paleo. You can often find her on social media sharing stories about traditional Guyanese food and culture, and how she remixes dishes to fit her dietary needs. Born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana, Althea now lives in Aurora, Colorado, with her husband and three children.Chef Angel Barreto. Chef Barreto is a three-time James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist and finalist, StarChefs Game Changer (2022), and a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” (2021). His highly-awarded culinary career spans more than a decade, with exceptional experience in both French and Korean cuisines. He's best known for his contemporary Korean cuisine at Anju in Washington, DC. Barreto is of Puerto Rican heritage and will be honoring Boricua cuisine at ABRW.Chef Shorne Benjamin. Lucian born and New York-based, Chef Benjamin is known for his ability to infuse Caribbean food with a modern flair. Classically trained in French cuisine, he gained international acclaim as a guest chef at Mimo's in London. Career highlights include an annual presentation at the James Beard House, competing on the Food Network's “Beat Bobby Flay,” becoming a finalist on Chopped and winning the 2017 Jamaican Jerk Festival Celebrity Chef Throw Down. Most recently, he opened Fat Fowl in Brooklyn, where he crafts new age inspired dishes to showcase the richness and depth of Caribbean flavors through a healthy and imaginative lens. Chef Digby Stridiron. A native of St. Croix, Chef Digby is inspired by ingredients indigenous to the Caribbean and the history of regional recipes. He is best known for his work as chef of award-winning restaurants Balter and Braata in St. Croix, where he earned recognition as one of USA Today's 10 Best restaurants in the Caribbean and Food & Wine named his food “the new heart of Caribbean cooking”. A community leader, Stridiron served as a culinary ambassador for the U.S. Virgin Islands, having showcased West Indian cuisine at the James Beard House, and also received the 2014 Chef of the Year award from the Caribbean Tourism Association. Currently he is chef/partner at Latha Restaurant & Bar in Phoenix, Az. Chef Digby is also the founder of the West Indian Chefs Alliance.Sommelier Nadine Brown. Born and raised in Jamaica and Puerto Rico, Brown fell in love with the hospitality industry after moving to the United States and started her career as a restaurant host in Washington, DC. Twenty years later, she's an acclaimed industry veteran and award-winning Sommelier. Nadine worked as Wine Director at Charlie Palmer Steak for more than a decade. Owner of At Your Service, a wine consultancy, she is a wine writer, judge and educator. Nadine sits on the board of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and the Verasion Project, a non-profit that works to help more people of color enter the wine industry. Nadine curates a popular dinner series called, "Re-"Imaging Wines', where she collaborates with chefs, exploring wine pairings with cuisines from the Caribbean to the Philippines “We are seeing more and more travelers around the world choose Antigua and Barbuda as a vacation destination,” said The Honourable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation and Investment. “Building on the success of 2023, Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week will continue to raise the visibility of our culinary excellence in the region and around the world, and we are certain our guests will delight in immersing themselves into our food and our culture.” The schedule of events for Restaurant Week will include Prix Fixe menus and discounted dining packages ($25USD - $75USD) inclusive of lunch, dinner, wine, and cocktails from more than 20 restaurants. Dishes to suit all tastes and dietary requirements will be available, and guests will also enjoy live music, entertainment, and children's' activities throughout the festivities. ABRW will coincide with the run of The Pepperpot Rum Shop, a 100-day pop-up destination created by The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Treehouse Beach Club, and British chef, television and radio broadcaster Andi Oliver, who has ancestral roots in Antigua. Pepperpot is the national dish of Antigua & Barbuda, and the concept was born after the successful 2023 release of Oliver's recipe book, The Pepperpot Diaries: Stories From My Caribbean Table. For 100 days from the end of April, the pop-up will host curated cultural content and events spanning food and drink, music, art, and film in its stay-all-day sustainable and eco-conscious setting. For the latest information on Restaurant Week menus and packages, visit www.antiguabarbudarestaurantweek.com.