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US: Florence, SC – Go Nuts for Pecans in Florence and Snag some Free Swag

April is National Pecan month so why not celebrate by following a culinary trail dedicated to the pecan.

Julie Belle's - White Russian Pecan PieFlorence is home to the South Carolina Pecan Trail, showcasing 17 local restaurants and specialty shops offering pecan dishes or products, putting pecans in the spotlight. From pecan-encrusted grouper to pecan pie martinis, those venturing on the trail will experience a variety of originality.Rebel Pie - Danish Pizza

Pick up a passport at the visitors center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, or any of the participating restaurants to start the journey. Earn a stamp in the passport by feasting on the featured pecan item at each establishment.

Pecan Pie Martini - Victors

Return your passport to the Visitors Center in person or by mail for some sweet Pecan Trail swag. Show up with four stamps, and receive a charming metal nutcracker. Eight stamps will get you a drawstring bag and the nutcracker. Present a fully stamped passport and  walk away with a T-shirt, drawstring bag and the nutcracker. SC Pecan Trail

 

Get your stamps and enjoy tasty pecan offerings at these restaurants and specialty shops:

Block and Vino: Seasonal praline pecan cheesecake; candied pecan brie-stuffed chicken

Clay Pot Coffee Shop: Signature BIG cookie: Southern Maple Pecan Oatmeal Cookie

Dolce Vita: Double chocolate chip pecan muffin

Freeman’s Bakery: Assortment of baked goods, including cakes, Danish pastries

Julian Belle’s: White Russian pecan pie

The Library: Bourbon pecan pie

Rebel Pie Wood-fired Pizza: Danish pizza

Red Bone Alley: Chicken salad with pecans; apple crisp; chocolate chip cookie pie

Seminar Brewing: Pecans Gone Wild smoked brown ale

Struttin’ Turkey: Turkey salad with cranberries and pecans

Top Hat Special-Teas: Top Hat Pecan Scones

Town Hall: Braised oxtail ravioli, local sweet potato puree, espelette-spiced pecans and sage oil

Tubb’s Shrimp and Fish Co.: Sweet potato cheesecake

Venus Restaurant and Catering: Pecan (Belgian) waffle, Southern pecan pancakes

Victors: Pecan pie martini

Wholly Smokin’: Goat cheese salad, features warm goat cheese patty encrusted with local pecans

Young Plantations: Variety of flavored pecans

Location: Visitor Information Center, 3290 W. Radio Drive, Florence Center Upper Level, Florence, SC 29501
Time: Daily 9am – 5pm
Tel: 800-325-9005
visitflo.com

US: Wilson, NC – Whirligig Festival for Art in Motion, Touch-a-Truck and a Dive Into a Cake

Wilson, NC Exit 121: The North Carolina Whirligig Festival is a 2-day hometown annual arts and crafts festival features arts of the region, including the giant Whirligigs created by late local artist, Vollis Simpson. Like the whimsical outsider art, the Wilson Whirligig Festival,  in Historic Downtown Wilson, is a community celebration of people and art in motion.V. Simpson 2017-10-10_10-52-15

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is hosting their Grand Opening the Thursday before the festival weekend, Nov. 2nd starting at 4 pm.

With Over 200+ vendors, 3 stages of live entertainment, a showcase of local and interactive art,  delicious food, beer gardens, Non-Profit organizations, free Whirli-Kidz Zone, Special events, 5K Whirli-Run, Whirli-Kidz Stage & Choir, Cup Cake Challenge, Photo Contest. New this year is a Ninja Whirligig Warrior Zone where you can meet local American Ninja Warriors, watch them compete and get a chance to test out the course yourself.

Kids Stage2017-10-10_11-00-39

The ever popular cake dive is back, Sun @4pm: witness the festival’s messiest event, a “dive” into a large 10 ft x 10 ft anniversary cake for a variety of prizes.

Touch-A-Truck is a fun event for the whole family, allowing children three + an all access pass to explore, climb and touch city of Wilson trucks and emergency response vehicles. Kids can sit in vehicles, honk the horn and talk with the equipment operators. Horn free hours will be offered throughout the day for kids with noise sensitivity.Police Vehicles2017-10-10_10-59-06

Douglas Street will transform into a space to build, create, and envision. With Brick Scholars, Greenlight, and Imagination Station Science & History Museum. Kids five + will be able to make Lego creations, even a whirligig! Showcase your creation with the onsite photo booth.

It’s a colorful 2-day celebration that sparks creativity in the people of Wilson, so get inspired and take part in the community’s largest celebration. (rain or shine)Logo 2017-10-10_8-27-06

Location: Historic Downtown Wilson,NC 27893
Dates: Nov 4 – 5, 2017
Times:  Sat, Nov 4 -10 am – 5 pm , Sun, Nov 5  noon – 5 pm
Tel: 252-289-9650
whirligigfestivalnc.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: wilson-nc.com

US: Ashland, VA – Enjoy Fresh Strawberries or Some in Delicious Recipes at Ashland Strawberry Faire

It’s strawberry season at the Ashland Strawberry Faire, a Strawberry Faire - Strawberries4-26-2017 2-40-54 PMcommunity and family-oriented event celebrating the strawberry harvest.Now in its 36th year,  The Ashland Strawberry Faire is held on the streets of Randolph-Macon College in historic Ashland, Virginia and draws approximately 40,000 to the Ashland region for fresh strawberries, food, music, arts, crafts, plants, antiques and games.

Ashland Strawberry Faire is a FREE family and pet friendly street party featuring Strawberry Faire Flyer4-26-2017 2-39-26 PMlive music and entertainment throughout the day, a Kid’s Zone  filled with fun activities such as a Cake Walk, Moon Bounce, Raffles, Arts and Crafts, and games ranging from Golf Putt, Bean Bag Toss, Lollipop Picking.  There will also be a strawberry pageant, pet pageant and a Kissing Booth (to benefit the Hanover Humane Society) – There are lots of prizes and treats for all. Proceeds from the event to aid the Hanover County non-profit organizations and scholarships – “Berry Good People making the Difference”.

Strawberry Faire - Pet Pagaent4-26-2017 2-38-20 PM

Location: 500 Henry Street, Ashland, VA 23005
Date: Sat, June 3, 2017
Hours: 10 -5pm
Tel: 804-752-8289
ashlandstrawberryfaire.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: town.ashland.va.us

US: Eulonia, GA – Buffalo Steaks Grilled to Perfection at Clay’s Sapelo Station

If you are looking for fresh local seafood near Coastal Georgia, head to Clay’s Sapelo Station, where the locals eat. Though this place is small in size they say its big in service and taste. Stop in the heart of historic McIntosh County and enjoy dinner in charming, rustic coastal ambiance.sapalo-station-ga

Your experience starts with the owner greeting you at the door. Treat your taste buds to the local seafood, including sweet Georgia shrimp, scallops, Sapelo Clams, oysters and a variety of fish. Or you can devour steam fresh crabs, freshly caught and steamed to order. The celebrated McIntosh County Buffalo Steaks are grilled to perfection, taking the South’s flavor and the North’s flair: Treat yourself to a tender buffalo steak and you’ll see why this is a house favorite.buffalo-steak-sapalo-station

Standouts are Boom Boom Shrimp, Pecan Crusted Fish, Shrimp and Grit Cake, Crab Stew, Fish Tacos and the LCB (low country boil). Eat in the dining room, the bar area or one of the porches. Often you can enjoy live music and that’s when the place gets packed with lots of dancing – and fun. Why not take a break from the road and savor their authentic warm Southern hospitality.sapalo-station-ga-shrimps

Location: Clay’s Sapelo Station – 15600 US Highway 17, Townsend, Georgia 31331
Hours: Wed – Sat 5pm – 10pm,
Sun 12pm – 10pm
Tel: 912-832-2013
clayssapelostation.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitdarien.com
mcintoshcountyga.com

US: Alexandria, VA – Alexandria Celebrates George Washington’s Birthday

This city throws a birthday party every year for its famous first citizen, George Washington, who lived here most of his life (when he wasn’t off leading a war or being first president of United States). He was born February 22. 1732 in Virginia and Alexandria commemorates with  George Washington-themed events throughout the month each February.George Washington's Birthday

In the spirit of the old cherry tree tale, from now until Feb 11th, Alexandria restaurants are challenged to a very cherry culinary contest. At participating restaurants diners are encouraged to vote for their favorite cherry drinks, starters, entrees and desserts.
(703) 829-6640 For participating restaurants and more info: washingtonbirthday.com/events-1/2017/1/29/cherry-challenge   Photo Credit: Tisara Photography

How about a Walking with Washington Tour. Walk in George Washington’s footsteps through his hometown, historic Alexandria. View some of the sites connected to the General, like where he filled his prescriptions or slept overnight. FREE
Begin your journey: Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Dates: Sun. Feb 5, 12, 19, 2017
Time: 2 -3:30pm
washingtonbirthday.com/events-1/2017/2/5/walking-with-washington

Historic Alexandria “Open House” : In honor of the birthday of George Washington admission is FREE to the following sites on Parade Day.
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (134 North Royal Street, Alexandria, Virginia), 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friendship Firehouse Museum (107 S. Alfred St., Alexandria, Virginia), 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Old Presbyterian Meeting House (323 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia), 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Lyceum (201 S. Washington St., Alexandria, Virginia), 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Carlyle House (121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, Virginia), 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum (105-107 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria, Virginia), 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Christ Church (118 N. Washington St., Alexandria, Virginia), 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m
Date: Mon, Feb 20, 2017
Time: 9am – 4pm
washingtonbirthday.com/events-1/2017/2/20/historic-alexandria-open-house

Throughout the weekend, participate in public wreath-layings at the Washingtons’ Tomb, see 18th-century dancing demonstrations and character performances, and enjoy birthday cake with “General and Martha Washington.” Feb 18 & 19: Included in admission. Mount Vernon Photo Credit: Mount Vernon

On February 20, see the Official Observance Ceremony of George Washington’s Birthday, a special military demonstration, and a musical salute to the first president. The Pioneer Farm will also be open on this day. Admission is FREE
Photo Credit: Mount Vernon

The celebration continues on February 22 as Mount Vernon offers FREE admission on George Washington’s actual birthday.
Dates: Feb 18, 19, 20, 22, 2017
Time: 9am – 4pm
mountvernon.org/plan-your-visit/calendar/events/celebrate-washingtons-birthday-on-presidents-day/

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitalexandriava.com

US: Newark, DE – Courtyard Newark/Univ of Delaware is Pet, Disability and Ice Cream Friendly

This is a special Courtyard, located on the grounds of the University of Delaware, so you can take advantage of University fun. Check to see if you can catch a game or something exciting going on on the campus. The hotel works closely with the University Hospitality Program, helping to teach future hoteliers, and has always employed hearing-impaired staff. It’s not only disability friendly, it is pet friendly too – including small pet yard outside.courtyard-newark-outside

There is good reason why this hotel is the winner of numerous Trip Advisor and Marriott awards for excellence in guest service, as evaluated by direct guest feedback. With over 250 years of hospitality experience on the management team, Bill Sullivan and his award winning crew do an amazing job exceeding your expectations.

Enjoy modern accommodations, state-of-the-art technology, and impeccable service at the  four-story, 126-room Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware. The hotel offers all of the comforts of home for your visit – whether you’re in the area for business, or to visit the campus of the University of Delaware. Make yourself at home in the spacious, pleasingly designed rooms and suites, equipped with a well-lit work desk and ergonomic chair, free high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and comfy pillowtop mattresses.bedroom-courtyard-newark2

For an interesting dining experience, ask them about the unique student restaurant on the campus – and the student ice cream parlor too. It is truly farm-to-table, since other students learning about the dairy industry care for the cows, milk them and prepare the cream for the ice cream.  Sample healthy American fare and award-winning crab cakes at The Bistro, which also serves Starbucks® coffee. Squeeze in a workout in the fully-equipped fitness center, or take a swim in the indoor pool. Book today, this hotel won’t disappoint!

Location: Courtyard Newark: 400 David Hollowell Dr., Newark, DE 19711 (GPS use 200 New London Rd)
Tel: 302-737-0900
udel.edu/hotel
For Regional Restaurants & Accommodations: go-delaware.com/Newark-Delaware

US: Wilson, NC – Wilson Whirligig Festival and Cake Dive

The Wilson Whirligig Festival is a community celebration of people and art in motion held the first weekend in November, where everyone comes together for an energetic street festival focusing the whimsical North Carolina Folk Art, Vollis Simpson’s Whirligigs.

Don’t forget to check out the Cake Dive, the festival’s MESSIEST event, held on the Courthouse plaza on Sunday at 4 pm.  Participants  “dive” into a large10 ft x 10 ft anniversary cake for a variety of prizes.

whiligig-festival

With 35,000+ attendees , over 200 vendors, 3 stages of entertainment, arts & crafts
food vendors, FREE! Whirli-Kidz Zone and lots of Special events.

This commemoration is truly family-friendly and kid focused. FREE  live performances all day long with a wide variety of dance and demonstrations, from hip hop to lyrical, from clogging to ballet, from singing to karate. Play carnival games, create a craft, slide down a giant 26 foot slide or bounce in one of the many inflatable activities. Children of all ages can enjoy a variety of activities. Kids shouldn’t have all the fun! Demo’s available for 16 and up. Virtual Reality is not just for gamers anymore, it is everywhere. Learn more about this technology.

Location: Historic Downtown Wilson, 112 Goldsboro E ,Wilson, NC 27893
Date: Sat, Nov 5 – Sun, Nov 6, 2016
Time: Sat 10 – 5pm, Sun Noon – 5pm
Tel: 252-289-9650
whirligigfestivalnc.org

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: wilsonnc.org