The Civil War may be the first thing that comes to one’s mind when thinking of Gettysburg, but a close second should be the food offerings available to the nearly 3.7 million visitors and thousands of meeting and conference attendees each year.

“Food is at the heart of all great meetings and conferences,” says Norris Flowers, president, Destination Gettysburg. “Destinations around the country aren’t just looking at food as simply meals that meeting attendees need, but rather experiences that are sometimes at the very core of their conference itself.”

Nestled in Adams County, the area has always had an abundance of options, but as of late, the more food-related tourism options have popped up. Visitors can peruse orchards, farmers markets and vineyards. Additionally, restaurants have started using local ingredients.

Two wineries have opened their doors in which meeting planners can advise attendees to visit. The opening of both was likely bolstered by the creation of the Gettysburg Wine & Fruit Trail, a collection of orchards, markets and wineries in the area. There is also a Savor Gettysburg Food Tour, a Savory Sweets Tour and a Gettysburg Wine, Cider and Dine Tour.

With all of the new tourism options, Destination Gettysburg has ramped up its marketing tactics, showing off the culinary experience as well as the area’s history and heritage.

“What’s most exciting about this development is that it defines our destination in its entirety—not just Gettysburg, not just the battlefield, but Adams County as a full experience,” says Jenny McConnell, sales director, Destination Gettysburg. “This experience is bringing meeting planners from their conference rooms into the farms, wineries and restaurants in several communities that surround Gettysburg, and that’s a victory for us all.”

Northwest planners looking to take advantage of the experiential travel trend need look no further than Victoria, British Columbia, for their next meeting or event. Located on Vancouver Island, the provincial capital is a natural playground with boundless beauty, upscale comforts and casual elegance. “We know that organizations are looking for meetings and incentive travel options that can’t be replicated,” says Miranda Ji, vice president of sales for the Victoria Conference Centre and Business Events Victoria.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended that all gatherings of more than 50 people be cancelled or postponed for the next eight weeks, in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The recommendation covers events like parades, concerts, festivals, conferences, sporting events, weddings and more.

 

With more than 300 wineries, Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become a draw for oenophiles from all over the world. On the same latitude as Burgundy, France, the area is best known for pinot noir wines that are produced with an eye to value and accessibility, and, in pure Oregon fashion, a decidedly down-to-earth vibe.