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US: Fredericksburg, VA – Bourbon Barrel Regatta at Distillery’s Father’s Day Fest

Father’s Day is a special day, so why not treat Dad to a fun-filled day at A. Smith Bowman Distillery, the home of World’s Best Bourbon 2016 & 2017, for their 7th Annual Father’s Day Festival.Bourbon Father's Day Festival

Admission is FREE to the festival and entertaining for the whole family.  Highlights include: Distillery tours on the half hour, tastings & cocktails, local beer & wine, Live music, mouthwatering food, vendors, games, and the much anticipated Annual Barrel Regatta.

Bourbon Barrel Regatta FB Deep Run Regatta CoverThe Annual Barrel Regatta is an amusing watery tradition. Taking place from  noon – 1pm, individuals or teams from around the create their own boats made from used bourbon barrels and race them in Deep Run. There will be prizes and awards for the two fastest finishes, most spirited and best sinking. You don’t want to miss the race.

No pets with the exception of service animals are allowed in the festival areas.

Location: A. Smith Bowman Distillery, One Bowman Drive, At Deep Run, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Date: Sat,  June 16th, 2018
Time: 11am – 5pm
Tel: 540-373-4555
asmithbowman.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfred.com

US: Daytona Beach, FL – A Memorial Day Tradition: Country-Music Loving Fans at Daytona Beach

Already a Memorial Day tradition, Country 500 draws 75,000 country-music loving fans to Daytona Beach for an unforgettable weekend of music, camping and summertime fun at one of America’s most iconic sports destinations.Monster Lounge28

Also called “The Great American Music Fest at Daytona,” the Country 500 festival features the biggest stars in country music spread over three days and nights, programmed on multiple performance stages—specially designed and built for the festival. Country 500 takes place on the infield of the world-famous Daytona International Speedway.

Florida Georgia Line8Featured artists: Sugarland, Toby Keith, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley and more. For Complete Music Lineup: country500.com/schedule/#/

Fans at the festival also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite country stars at artist meet-and-greets located in the garages. Numerous other features—a select festival menu sold from food booths and food trucks; carnival rides; arcade games; cooling water elements; country-and-western merchandise; and more—will all be a part of the festival, as Country 500 transforms racing’s greatest venue into a festival-goer’s dream.Night Life6

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 West International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Date: May 25 – 27, 2018 – Memorial Day weekend
Times: Various
Tel: 504- 410-4100                        Photo Credits: Douglas Mason
country500.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Walterboro, SC – A Fun-Filled Family Weekend in the Lowcountry of South Carolina

The 43rd annual Colleton County Rice Festival is a celebration of the rice planting heritage that helped found Colleton County.Rice Run 5KIMG_9990-Custom-1030x686

Enjoy a fun-filled week of family activities in the warm Carolina sun that includes a fireworks display, live musical entertainment, arts and crafts, 5k run, food concessions, corn-hole tournament, a BMX bike show with riders performing tricks and acrobatics, a crowd favorite DockDogs® a sport in which dogs compete in distance or height while jumping from a 40 foot dock into water, as well as cultural displays and performances depicting their local heritage.Rice Fest Car Showimage-03-10-18-08-52-49

Rice Festival 718-Large

They also claim to show off the worlds largest pot of rice along with a rice cooking contest.  Best of all Admission is FREE.

BMX Bike Shows – 3 shows daily

Rice Festival Parade  – Saturday, April 28 @11am

Rice Festival Dog Show– Saturday, April 28 @2pm

Palmetto Dock Dogs –April 27 & 28: Competition all day and finals on Saturday afternoonDock Dogs IMG_4499-Large

Rice Run/Walk– April 28 @ 8am

Chad Gainey Sculpture –Chainsaw Art by Chad Gainey -April 27 & 28: Hampton Street

Biggest Pot of Rice -April 27 & 28

Corn Hole Tournament
– Saturday, April 28 @4pm

Live Entertainment – throughout the 2 days

Fireworks – Saturday, April 28, 2017 8:45pm: Rice Festival finale

Location: Downtown Walterboro, Walterboro, SC 29488
Dates: Fri, Apr 27 – Sat, Apr 28, 2018
Times: Fri 10am -10pm, Sat 10-7pm
Tel: 843.549.1079
ricefestival.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: walterborosc.org

US: Annapolis, MD – Celebrate and Bring Awareness to Clean Up Efforts in Spa Creek

The 2nd annual Clean Water PaddleFEST in Annapolis is to celebrate and bring awareness to clean up efforts in Spa Creek while enjoying a day full of fun.paddleFest2016_paddlers

Paddle at your own pace or take a guided on-water tour of Spa Creek. Guided tours available at 2pm. See educational stops along Spa Creek detailing conservation efforts which aim to make it again fishable and swimmable. Afterwards attend the Eco-Fest with informative exhibits from area environment groups with plenty of activities for kids.

All human powered paddlers and vessels are welcome to attend. Bring your own craft or use a stand up paddle board or kayak from Capital SUP. There will be a mass paddle and foot show of support for clean water in Spa Creek at 12 noon, on and in the water around the Spa Creek bridge.

Fun activities and prizes for all ages. Kid and dog friendly. All proceeds benefit Spa Creek Conservancy.paddleFESTposter

Your ticket includes:

On-water guided or self tour
Food BBQ beverages
Wine and beer
Event tee shirt
Admission to EcoFEST
Dry Bags to first 200 ticket holders
Live Music from 1-3pm

Location:Capital SUP on Spa Creek, 808 Boucher Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403
Date: Sat, Sept 16, 2017
Time:  11  – 4pm
spacreek.net/index.php/events/special-events
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Providence, RI – Spend Quality Time with Dad on Scenic Boat Tour Around Providence

How about visiting Providence this Father’s Day and partaking in it from a new angle; by getting out on the water. This year, treat dad to a gift that will leave a lasting impression: a fun, family-friendly boat tour of  picturesque Providence waterways.Providence River Boat - guide

Forget the necktie this year and give Dad a gift that he’ll truly appreciate…a chore-free, relaxing Sunday with the family.  Spend quality time with dad on a tranquil boat ride narrated daytime tour or sunset cruise with the Providence River Boat Company’s Father’s Day Tours.Providence Riverboat Scenery86878

Enjoy this 45-50 minute entertaining and informative tour while friendly Captains expertly guide you throughout the waterways and cruise throughout the Providence River, Riverwalk, Waterplace Park and the Providence Harbor. Experience  unparalleled views  of the capital city while getting an overview of the city’s history.  A unique gift that the entire family will enjoy. BYOB or pick up a cold beer for Dad at the dock bar.Providence River Boat Hot Club

Tours depart at the top of each hour. The boats are uncovered, so dress appropriately. Hats, sunglasses & sunscreen are all recommended. Space is limited and reservations are required – 401-580-BOAT.

 

Location: Providence River Boat Company, 575 South Water Street, Providence, RI 02903
Dates: June 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Tel: 401-580-2628
providenceriverboat.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

 

Discover Parks (etc) in Canada for FREE

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by visiting the our home and native land. Parks Canada is offering all Canadians a FREE 2017 Discovery Pass so there will be no cost to visit any of their sites. You have the option of visiting 148 locations everywhere in the country. You probably think  they’re all about national parks but Parks Canada is way more than that – their mandate includes marine conservation areas and national historic sites.

You could visit the wreck of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in Nunavut, view Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan in Kluane National park, ice fields in Jasper, our country’s birthplace within the fortifications of Quebec, Alexander Graham Bell’s inventions,  walk amongst the flower pot rocks on the ocean floor in the Bay of Fundy, Haida Heritage sites, or even Anne of Green Gables‘ writer, Lucy Maude Montgomery’s house.

Here’s a challenge: See how many of their iconic red Adironack chairs you can find and Instagram them. If you want to drool – and – plan ahead, get copies of the National Geographic books Guide to the National Parks of Canada and Guide to the National Historic Sites of Canada.

Yes, you can camp, but you can also reserve a yurt, a goutte d’Ô which resembles a water droplet, a micro cube, large modern houses called oTENTiks or be one of the first to sleep in a hanging Cocoon in Cape Breton.

SBCocoon

www.parkscanada.gc.ca
Tel: 888-773-8888

guides

US: Folkston, GA – Canoe, Kayak, or Boat the Black Waters of the Okefenokee Swamp

Nature enthusiasts will relish the natural unspoiled and virtually unmarked by man Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge that was established in 1937 to preserve the Okefenokee Swamp. The refuge encompasses over 400,000 acres of canals, moss draped cypress trees and lily pads which provide sanctuaries for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.Kayakers on canal

Okefenokee has the great distinction of not only being a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but also the National Wilderness Preservation System. Swamp habitats comprise open wet “prairies,” cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lakes. Wildlife species include wading birds, ducks, alligators and other reptiles, a variety of amphibians, bobcats, raptors, white-tailed deer, black bears, and songbirds.

To assist you on your exploration, Okefenokee Adventures offers a full range of tour options and is located inside the refuge on the historic Suwannee Canal.  Canoe, kayak, or boat the mirrored black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp: You can join a regularly scheduled 90 minute guided boat tours, or reserve a 2 hour sunset tour or arrange a half or full day private excursion with an expert, professional guide. Their staff includes well-known authorities on alligator biology, wetland ecology, and Okefenokee cultural history. gator on log

Experience canoe camping in the back-country wilderness of the Swamp interior, or head out on your own in a canoe or kayak. You can bike or drive the Swamp Island Drive, visit an authentic Swamp homestead or walk the nature trails and boardwalk and  get bird’s eye views of the swamp from atop the observation tower.

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Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 2700 Suwanee Canal Rd, Folkston, GA 31537 , Tel: 912-496-7836 or 877-860-6787

Location: Okefenokee Adventures, 4159 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, GA 31537
Hours: Open: ½-hour before sunrise every day,
Closed: 7:30pm – March 1 through Oct 31, Closed: 5:30pm – Nov 1 through end of Feb
Tel: 912-496-7156, 866-843-7926
okefenokeeadventures.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitkingsland.com

US: Annapolis, MD – Plunge In to the Boating Season at Annapolis Sailboat Show

Head to Annapolis City Dock at the end of April and catch the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show.  Set in the historic seaport of Annapolis,  the sixth annual in-water sailboat show kicks off the boating season with displays: catamarans, mono hulls, racing boats, family cruisers, day sailors, and inflatables—a total of over 100 new and brokerage boatsAerial Annapolis Sailboat

The sailboat show is for experienced and novice sailors alike, showcasing every new model present in the market, on display in the water and on land, allowing you opportunity to talk to the industry experts about buying and owing a boat. Shop for the latest in marine equipment, electronics, clothing and boating accessories at more than one hundred on-land nautical exhibits.First-Sail-Workshop

Cruisers University features hands-on workshops providing lessons from professionals and firsthand experience. The event will also include in-water demos, and the 3rd Annual Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta, where on April 29th at noon regional high school sailing teams will compete for the traveling cup.SPRINGSAILSUNDAYLarge (2)

Take a break from touring boats to enjoy live music, continuous entertainment, free food and beer and wine tastings, prizes, plus magnificent water views.

This venue is a one of a kind opportunity for sailors to be with sailors. There are very few places where you will find so many sailors congregated; the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show is one of them.

Location: City Dock, Annapolis, MD (GPS address: 1 Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401)
Date: April 28 – 30, 2017
Hours: Fri, Sat  10 – 6 pm, Sun 10 -5 pm
Tel: 410-268-8828
annapolisboatshows.com/annapolis-spring-sailboat-show
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Illuminated with Holiday Magic from Ground to Rooftops

The  23rd Annual Nights of Lights festival turns the city of St. Augustine into a dazzling holiday display, glowing with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. Selected by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Night of Lights features three millions tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city.

Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 450-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories.nights-of-lights-lightner-museum

Many historic landmarks and locations are beautifully ablaze during Nights of Lights. The waters of Matanzas Bay glow from the nightly reflections of lights strewn along the bay walk and displayed on the Bridge of Lions. The Plaza de la Constitucion shines from the top of trees and throughout the famous center of St. Augustine’s historic district. The Guilded-Age Hotel Ponce de Leon, now the campus of Flagler College, is outlined in lights. And the Lightner Museum, once a resort hotel also built by Flagler, is lit so brilliantly that it is a favorite among visitors.nights-of-lights-bridge-of-lions

The trains and trolleys offer special seasonal tours that take you through the best areas of Nights of Lights, and there are also a variety of specialty tours; everything from walking to horse-and-carriage tours, and even tours to see the lights from the water and from the air. This holiday season don’t miss St Augustine’s Night of Lights.

Photos Courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com

Location: Plaza de la Constitucion, 106 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Dates: Daily until Jan. 31, 2017
Tel: 800-653-2489
floridashistoriccoast.com/nights-lights
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

US: Fort Lauderdale, FL – It’s 12 Miles of the “Greatest Show on H20”

Christmas is that special time of year when winterfest-parade-fireworkslights illuminate the night sky. In South Florida, they have an annual tradition of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel Winterfest Boat Parade where privately owned boats and yachts take over the intracoastal waterway and display all of their Christmas glory.

The Boat Parade sets sail for 12 miles starting in downtown Fort Lauderdale heading North to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Approximately one million spectators view the parade, along with millions more via television and the internet, bringing national and international recognition to South Florida. The event is the Top 20th Parade in the World and considered the Greatest Show on H2O.

Private boats to the giant showboats and corporate mega yachts will be adorned winterfest-parade-boatswith hundreds of thousands of lights, music, entertainment, decorations, celebrities, musical groups, beauty queens and many other exciting entries. Parade highlights: Grand Marshal Showboat, Galleria Mall Reindeer Barge and the Santa Showboat.

Fun, Family entertainment. Free admission along the Rwinterfest-boat-parade-logo2iverwalk.

Parade Route: Downtown Fort Lauderdale on the New River, heading East to the Intracoastal then North to Pompano Beach
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Time: 6:30PM to 11:00PM
Tel: 954-7670-0686
WinterfestParade.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: sunny.org