One of the Southeast’s most vibrant mid-sized cities, Columbia, South Carolina is home to the longest total solar eclipse on the East Coast for a metro area and will host Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C., a long weekend of more than 50 eclipse-related festivals and events, from Aug. 18 to 21, 2017. Plan your trip at http://www.totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com.
Dubbed the “Total Eclipse Capital of the East Coast,” where viewers can experience totality for up to 2 minutes and 36 seconds, Columbia, S.C., has been identified as one of the top places in the nation to watch the total solar eclipse by astronomy experts and media such as Fodor’s Travel, USA Today, Forbes, the Washington Post and more.
TIGERS Myrtle Beach Safari welcomed March in like a tiger, with the grand opening of its 34th season March 4, 2017.
Founded in 1983 by wildlife conservation expert Doc Antle, TIGERS (The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) is a wildlife education organization that promotes global conservation through its interactive Myrtle Beach Safari Wild Encounters Tour and Preservation Station.
TIGERS has been a hidden treasure in Myrtle Beach, but once discovered, the experience is life-changing for our guests. Here at TIGERS, you can reach out and touch, hold and feed from the more than 130 wild animals, including 60 tigers and their cubs, that live on the grounds of this 50-acre wildlife preserve. In the three-hour Wild Encounters Tour, you will meet the rare liger, the world’s largest cat; Bubbles the African elephant; our resident orangutan; apes; wolves; leopards; chimps and tigers as they swim, run and play in their natural habitat…
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New estimates released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 3.2 trillion miles last year. It is the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads throughout the nation, and underscores the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure.
The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 263.6 billion miles were driven in December 2016 alone, which is a .5 percent increase over the previous December.
The December 2016 report also includes seasonally-adjusted data, which is conducted by USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as a way to even out seasonal variation in travel and enable vehicle miles travelled (VMT) comparisons with any other month in any year. The seasonally-adjusted VMT for December 2016 were 269.3 billion miles. Compared with seasonally adjusted November 2016 data, December 2016 VMT fell slightly by .6 percent but rose 0.6 percent from December 2015. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.
At 2.9 percent, traffic in the West – a 13-state region stretching from California to Montana, and including Hawaii and Alaska – led the nation with the largest percentage increase in unadjusted VMT, and continued an uninterrupted series of monthly increases that began in October 2013. Mileage fell slightly in the Northeast and North Central states.
At 33.9 billion VMT, California accounted for more miles driven in December 2016 than the combined 33.8 billion miles of 22 states – Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming – and Washington, D.C.
At 5.8 percent, Louisiana led the nation with the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Utah at 5.2 percent and Nevada at 5.1 percent. At 6.2 percent, for the tenth month in a row, North Dakota led the nation with the largest unadjusted traffic decrease for the month.
With the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series only a few weeks away, The I-95 Exit Guide has just published it’s annual NASCAR schedule feature.
The new section lists the 2016 NASCAR schedule with links to the individual track websites. The feature also includes information on lodging near each track as well as in the immediate area.
You can find the 2016 NASCAR Schedule feature at www.i95exitguide.com/nascar-weekends/.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina continues to rank as one of the fastest-growing family and vacation destinations in the nation attracting annually more than 17 million visitors. Myrtle Beach also continues to prove that it’s worthy of the moniker “The Grand Strand,” receiving several recent accolades including being named one of the Best East Coast Beaches by TravelChannel.com, a Top 10 East Coast Beach Making a Splash by Tripadvisor and one of the Top 10 Beach Destinations in the U.S. for Honeymooners by Tripping.com.
This year visitors to the Myrtle Beach area will see additional events, new restaurants and hotels.The following are a just a few of the latest tourism developments in the region.
Brookgreen Gardens Gets New LEGOS ® Bricks Sculpture Exhibit
Brookgreen Gardens will host 12 larger-than-life LEGO® brick sculpture installations in its Native Wildlife Zoo from April 8 – September 5, 2016. Created by Sean Kenney, renowned artist and children’s author, “Nature Connects” is an award-winning exhibit currently touring the country. Made from almost 400,000 LEGO® bricks, the sculptures bring nature to life with a 6-foot tall hummingbird hovering over a trumpet flower, a deer family made from 48,000 bricks, a giant tortoise, a 7-foot long giant dragonfly, and more. The exhibit will be open daily and is included in garden admission. For more information, visit www.Brookgreen.org.
Extreme Trampoline Sports Center is Myrtle Beach’s first indoor trampoline park, opening in February 2016. It will feature 20,000 square-feet of bouncy canvas designed to host numerous sports and fitness activities. It will include a traditional open trampoline field, a trampoline dodge ball stadium, slack lines, basketball hoops, flying trapeze, a ninja warrior aerial obstacle course and Olympic size foam pits with 50,000 cubes of foam. It will join the XGym facility at the sports mall on George Bishop Parkway in Myrtle Beach. For more information, visit www.circustrix.com.
The Carolina Country Music Festival is returning for a second year to Myrtle Beach with new acts June 10-12, 2016. Artists that have so far been announced are Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Cole Swindell, Katie Ballerini and many others. This three-day festival typically features over 30 of the industry’s biggest stars, including national recording artists. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.carolinacountrymusicfest.com.
The inaugural Myrtle Beach Highland Games & Heritage Festival will take place March 18-19, 2016 at the Grand Park inside the Market Common District in Myrtle Beach. The games will feature displays of strength through a caber throw, hammer throw, weight throw and more. It will also feature Irish, Scottish and American whiskey tasting, ales, authentic food, a Celtic Marketplace, Clan Village, live Scottish entertainment and Southeast champion bagpipe and drum bands. One element that will set these games apart from others is they will allow patrons to play eight different events, only at a lower weight level. For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachhighlandgames.com.
Surfside Beach First Official Autism Friendly Destination
Located just south of Myrtle Beach, the town of Surfside Beach signed a proclamation in January making them the first autism-friendly travel destination with support of the Champion Autism Network. The town is working to raise awareness with restaurants and other hospitality businesses to be understanding and accepting of families with autistic children. Also, other weekend events are being planned throughout the year like barbecues, play dates, fishing from the pier and movie nights for those with autism. For more information, visit http://championautismnetwork.com/autism-friendly-travel.
The Myrtle Beach area, popularly known as the Grand Strand, stretches from Little River to Pawleys Island, comprising 12 distinct cities along the South Carolina coast. Home to 60 miles of sandy beaches, an assortment of entertainment and family attractions, Southern hospitality and world-class golf, the Myrtle Beach area presents the quintessential vacation experience.
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