TRAVEL DESTINATION DESCRIPTIONS
I was asked to rewrite 102 travel destination overviews.
The outside vendor handling that part of the website liked the new form, style, and length I proposed. They provided me with my most excellent assistant writer. I trained her, let her have at it on research, and edited her writing. She wrote 37 and I wrote 65.
Here are four that I wrote.
Old-fashioned southern charm meets cutting edge New South in this enduring land of sweet tea and skyscrapers. Lush canopies of trees, serene stretches of green grass, and elegant homes stand where Civil War battlefields once were. Atlanta is the hometown of Martin Luther King, Jr. You will find warmth, artistry, and vibrant nightlife in this beautiful metropolitan city.
Discover the Botanical Garden’s 80-foot mural of flowers with faces, colored lights artwork in winter, and 12-foot steel butterfly in the Children’s Garden. Catch family performances all year at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Settle in for live music and cooking demos at the biggest farmers market in Atlanta—it’s set up in Cathedral St. Philip out on Peachtree Road.
Atlanta offers food you won’t believe, so come and get it—barbecue shacks, craft urban eateries, southern-style chef breakfasts. Enjoy oyster bars, crab and shrimp houses, and just about any Asian or Latin cuisine you like. Check out the Improv Comedy Club in Buckhead. Find the secret entrance to Prohibition, a 1920’s speakeasy bar—be sure and dress the part.
In 1883, a railroad group interested in gold mines carved a route through the southern Oregon Rogue River Canyon, and the town of Medford took shape. Its rain-shadowed valley offers a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild winters. Discover many vineyards that grow purple, red, and white grapes you would also find in the Rhone region of southern France.
Take a drive to the sapphire blue waters of 2,000-foot deep Crater Lake. Go rafting on the Rogue River. Experience the Elizabethan Theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival beneath the night sky, surrounded by mountains thick with trees. Explore the forested canyon land and creeks of 93-acre Lithia Park. Or stroll Alba Park, named for Medford’s sister city in Italy.
Savor wild salmon at Pomodori Bistro, considered the best place for Italian food in Rogue Valley. Walk in beautiful vineyards and sip crafted wines at the Weisinger Family winery just south of Ashland. Relax in the Rising Sun Farms wine tasting room on a 28-acre farm overlooking the Siskiyou Mountains—try their fresh pesto sauces. Historic Willow-Witt is a 400-acre sustainable farming ranch, where you can go hiking with pack goats.
Austin exploded onto the national music scene in the 1970’s with local talent like Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Cowboys, counter-culture people, and business professionals converged for music and beer at iconic Armadillo World Headquarters. This quirky Texas town is cosmopolitan and unpretentious, high-tech and low-key, and a center of music and film. Discover also Austin’s natural spring-fed Barton Springs Pool. And hike along beautiful limestone cliffs on the Barton Creek Greenbelt hill country trails.
The South by Southwest Festival draws 25,000 people to Austin each spring to hear 2,000 performers play music in 90 venues all over town. Check out the Funniest Person In Austin Contest at the Capitol City Comedy Club. Catch live music any night at The Parish on historic 6th Street. Get your fried catfish and barbecue brisket Sunday Brunch at Stubb’s out on Red River Street, and eat to live Gospel.
Watch 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats emerge at sunset from under Congress Avenue Bridge. Two-step dance to country music at the Broken Spoke honky-tonk, with the big old oak tree out front. Find folk art of the Deep South at the Yard Dog Gallery. Take the children’s train around 400-acre Zilker Park Botanical Gardens. Enjoy a real Fried Green Tomato BLT from Hey!...You Gonna Eat or What? food truck.
Glacier Bay/Gustavus, Alaska
The town of Gustavus is located on Icy Strait in the northern part of the Inside Passage. Early 19th century settlers called it Strawberry Point for the abundant wild strawberry fields. 90% of Glacier Bay travelers come on cruise ships, which don’t dock in Gustavus. But the 10% who take the short flight from Juneau to Gustavus can encounter this town of about 500 residents, many of whom are artists.
Gustavus is the Gateway to 3.3 million acre Glacier National Park—15,000 foot mountains, glacier-covered fjords, 240 species of birds, mountain goats, moose, bears, and ancient forests with spruce and hemlock trees up to 200 feet tall. The park entrance is in Bartlett Cove, 9 miles from town. In summer you can camp, hike groomed trails, rent kayaks, or take a boat trip along the tidewater glaciers.
Walk the Nagoonberry Loop Trail from town to the beachfront, through woods and wild flower meadows. Relax later with a Thai or Shiatsu massage at Robin’s Song Acupressure. Gustavus Inn, on the grassy Salmon River meadow, serves a breakfast of pancakes with spruce tip syrup. Dinner at the Inn is salmon, halibut, Dungeness crab, raspberries, greens grown in glacial soil, and wild strawberry cheesecake.