Here are 10 of the biggest attractions for 2016 for travelers:
Boeing at 100, Seattle
It’s Boeing’s 100th birthday, and the Seattle-based Museum of Flight (where the aerospace and commercial airliner manufacturer was founded) has been unveiling centennial plans throughout the year.
In late June, the museum unveiled a huge Aviation Pavilion, where a number of iconic Boeing aircraft will be on display.
The 3-acre, $23 million space will house the first all-metal airliner, Boeing Model 247 from 1933, and the first all-composite airliner created in 2007 to date, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Also included will be famous prototypes of the Boeing 727, 737 and 747 and the World War II-era B-17 and B-29.
Light City Baltimore
When the inaugural Light City Baltimore went live, 28 light art installations were illuminated a 1.5-mile path along the city’s Inner Harbor, with pop-up performances and musical acts adding to the festivities.
Organizers of the week-long event, which ran March 28 through April 3, shined a light on their beloved city’s creative and innovative communities. This includes artists picked in a local juried competition. The daytime Light City U featured sessions focusing on sustainability, health care, education and the city’s creative industries.
Alaska’s National Parks
Alaska’s 23 national parks offer territory where no tourists have set foot. Expect to see pristine landscapes as the National Park Service marks its centennial in every state. Visitors will enjoy the Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve, 450 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula—accessible only by air or sea.
There’s a revitalization going on in Cleveland with new hotels and restaurants along the Cuyahoga River with The Flats East Bank development, a $32 million Public Square redesign and the Republican National Convention in July.
Brewnuts started as a beer-flavored dough nut venture and is slated to become a flagship dough nut-themed bar where brews used in the baking will be available on draft. Of the unusual courses, maple bacon bourbon ale dough nuts will be served fresh from the fryer.
Located in the Gordon Square Arts District of the trendy Detroit Shoreway Court neighborhood, the bar is expected to be a remarkable success.
National Blues Museum, St. Louis
“From the Mississippi Delta to Canada, every place has its own unique style,” said Dion Brown, the museum’s founding executive director. Visitors to this 23,000-square-foot museum can create their own blues riffs and learn how to play in a jug band.
The museum’s performance hall will host concerts, and artists will perform at the museum during the day.
Though known for bourbon and horses, Kentucky’s second-largest city has branched out into craft beer and contemporary art.
Housed in downtown Lexington’s historic Fayette National Bank Building, Lexington Museum Hotels will open its fifth location as a contemporary art museum, restaurant and boutique hotel in one.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington
The African-American experience will have a home within the nation’s most prestigious collection of museums, after more than four years of construction on a 5-acre tract near the Washington Monument.
The final above-ground museum slated for the National Mall, the 400,000-square-foot building will feature an array of exhibits aimed at transcending “the boundaries of race and culture that divide us.”
Buffalo, New York
The renaissance of the upstate New York town of Buffalo will celebrate its past as a transportation hub and site of great architecture.
The western terminus of the Erie Canal—dubbed Canalside—is an all-season entertainment district where you can ride ice bikes and skate during winter.
Once a feature of one of the world’s largest grain ports, the enormous grain elevators are inspiration for the Silo City performance art space and a nightly Canal side light show.
For architecture buffs, the $50 million restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex will enable visitors to see more Wright work on tours. The boutique Hotel Henry (once the buffalo State Asylum) will exist near the Sweetness 7 local café.
Tennessee Whiskey Trail
With more than 30 distilleries across Tennessee, this state’s whiskey culture has grown far beyond Jack Daniels and George Dickel. Seven newcomers opened in 2015, with five more distilleries planned for 2016.
The elder statesman Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg is marking its 150th anniversary this year. Take a sampling tour and luncheon at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House.
Pearl Harbor at 75, Oahu
December 7, 2016 will mark 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II.
To mark the anniversary, the National WWII Museum has organized a 7-night educational tour from December 1-8 in Hawaii.
The trip includes a four-part symposium on the events leading up to the attack and site visits led by historians. Participants will also be guests at a ceremony at the USS Arizona commemorating the attacks. Bookings are required.
(Images from Author’s Collection)