Tourism Tuesdays October 20, 2015


  • The Americana Music Triangle frames the regional history of roots music
  • Alabama Tourism joins other southern states to pitch state as a tourism destination
  • International Journalist from 3 countries touring Alabama this week
  • When do the leaves change in Alabama? A guide to the state’s best autumn colors
  • Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail debuts new winter golf memberships
  • Flora-Bama Yacht Club chefs win spot in international competition
  • 50 states in 52 weeks: eat and drink the world in Alabama’s Pepper Place
  • A road trip to the 18 best barbecue spots in America
  • Barbecuing it up at Lannies Barbecue in Selma
  • GulfQuest welcomes area hospitality workers during a two-day “Welcome Aboard Hospitality Days”
  • Red Mountain Park welcomes goat herd to park property in long term efforts to eradicate invasive plants and promote forest health
  • The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will be temporarily closed for building repairs
  • Bill Dinan joins Intermark Group
  • Open call for Southern Maker applications
  • 2015 Welcome Center Retreat partners registration open
  • Alabama artists and craftspeople
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events


The Americana Music Triangle frames the regional history of roots music
Sonic Highways
By Emily R. West, Nashville Scene, Oct. 15

Standing under the blue-and-red glow of stage lights at 3rd & Lindsley’s, singer-songwriter Paul Thorn croons and captivates during a late summer show. He’s playing a mix of rock and blues that falls in line with Leiper’s Fork philanthropist and preservationist Aubrey Preston’s latest brainchild — the Americana Music Triangle, which launched in full earlier this spring. It’s basically a boosterism and cultural education effort. One that aims to tell the history and spread the legacy of American roots music by connecting the dots of incubators like Nashville at the northeast-most point, East Arkansas to the west and New Orleans at Southern tip, with landmarks like Oxford, Miss., Memphis, Tenn., and Muscle Shoals, Ala., in between.

Thorn is one of several musicians who’ve helped Preston launch the effort. His current tour — supporting his latest LP, Too Blessed to Be Stressed— is forged on the same route of the triangle.

“Nashville wouldn’t exist without the elements of the Americana Music Triangle,” Thorn tells the Scene. “Gospel, rock, black gospel, country was just the fertilizer you put on flowers.”

Dubbed the Gold Record Road, music enthusiasts who want to adventure out of Davidson  County can head down to Muscle Shoals, head west toward Tupelo, Miss., and make a turn to head south through Mississippi’s other haunts before reaching the end of the line 1,500 miles later in New Orleans. AMT organizers like Preston — a dedicated preservationist who was a crucial benefactor in the efforts to save RCA Studio last year and The Franklin Theatre in 2008 — want to frame the triangle and distinguish it in a similar fashion to Napa Valley, Calif.’s “Wine Country.” Preston & Co. hopes Americana Music Triangle becomes a well-known phrase that’s synonymous with the within-driving-distance birthplaces of American music.

“If someone has an interest in music, this is foundational,” Americana Music Association executive director and AMT key player Jed Hilly tells the Scene. “It’s pretty badass. I have done the trip many times.”

One such trip Hilly and Preston took was exactly where the AMT idea picked up speed. As Hilly recalls, the pair was heading down to New Orleans when Preston pitched him the concept. Four years later, the AMT has evolved into a slick website, full of driving maps, concert information and facts interlaced with historic timelines about the nine genres — from country to R&B — that it supports. Most of the history — like the evolution of instruments and how the banjo and fiddle bred to forge a new sound — goes back centuries.

“We see a lot of people that are supportive from tourism to education to different attractions,”
Preston tells the Scene. “[The AMT] defines it for people on a global basis in a simple way that
erases the border between the states and the cities to tell the true story of how it developed and
migrated throughout the United States and throughout the world.”

This CliffsNotes version of music’s migration throughout the South that contributed to American
music’s transformation will, its organizers hope, become more than just a Google search result for southbound tourists. Rather, it should be a one-stop kiosk for tourists to discover where they can learn about and experience that history in the flesh.

“I think it’s more than a website,” Hilly muses. “It’s a place. It’s something to be proud of. It’s the
ultimate American experience through this being a great melting pot that is filled with everything
from conflict to love.”

Preston said Nashville was the marketplace for AMT because the confines of Music City are where many artists find each other and collaborate to blend sounds that otherwise might stay within its own silo. In fact, Preston feels that Nashville artists have found themselves in a new music migration, creating a new renaissance so to speak with the convergence of genres.

“I think what Nashville is right now is hard to define,” he says. “And it’s hard to know when you’re in the middle of a tornado or historic moment, and it’s in the middle of a historic migration. We are right in the center of that storm. Everyone can kind of feel that, and we can feel it but cannot define it.”


To read this article online, go to:

Alabama Tourism joins other southern states to pitch state as a tourism destination

Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell and Regional Director Grey Brennan were in New York last week promoting Alabama as a tourism destination to almost 50 people from 17 companies.

The sales mission was a mix of private and group meetings and Food Network Magazine reception.

During the two-day blitz, Alabama Tourism met with the Associated Press, SirusXM, Allied T Pro, CTN Tours,

Destination North America, Five A Tours, Food Network / Hearst, GTA, Hotels4Groups, Kuoni Group Travel, Meeting Point North America, New World Travel, RMP Travel, Scripps Networks Interactive, TeamAmerica, Travaloco USA, and Visit America.

TeamAmerica, Kuoni Group Travel and GTA opened their doors to the Travel South team of states for extended meetings in which a conference room full of tour operator staff heard from each participating state.  Brennan gave the companies a full rundown on each of the Alabama’s destinations and an information packet that contains the latest tourism news, suggested Southern itinerary tours highlighted Alabama destinations, and electronic copies of the state’s most popular tourism brochures – Hank Williams Trail, RTJ Golf, Civil Rights Trail, 100 Dishes to Eat Before You Die,  Alabama Outdoor and Alabama Official Travel Guide.

The sales mission was part of a joint effort with Travel South member states; Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri.  South Carolina had planned to attend but canceled due to historic flooding in their state.

International Journalist from 3 countries touring Alabama this week

The second full week in October is proving to be a very popular week with international journalists.  Three tours of Alabama start this week with journalist from Australia, Italy and England.


From Oct. 14-18, a group of Australian journalists are touring Muscle Shoals, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile as part of a three state trip.  John Huley of Fairfax Media of Sydney; Georgia Rickard of Escape and News Ltd, two National Sunday Papers, Megan Arkinstall of International Traveller Magazine and Julie Miller of Vacations & Travel, both based from New South Wales, Australia are on the trip.  They will see music studios and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in the Muscle Shoals area; Barber Motorsports Museum, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelley Ingram Park in Birmingham; Dexter Ave King Memorial Baptist Church, the Dexter Parsonage Museum, Hank William Museum and the Alley Entertainment District in Montgomery; GulfQuest National Maritime Museum, Wild Native Sunset Delta Tour in Mobile.


Also arriving in Alabama on Oct. 14, are Italian bike journalists Carlo Ferrari and Giuliani Repetto.  They are visiting Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Anniston, Auburn/Opelika and Mobile to report on cycling in Alabama.  This special outdoor research trip will last 10 full days with the pair riding with bike clubs in many of the visiting areas.


Also visiting Alabama this week is Rob Lewis, an automotive editor for Sun Newspapers of the United Kingdom.  Lewis starts a multi-state USA trip in Birmingham where he will visit top Alabama car destinations; Barber Motorsports Park and Vintage Motorcycle Museum, Talladega Superspeedway and International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum, Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City; and the Mercedes Welcome Center and Museum at the assemble plant in Vance.  During his visit, Lewis is set to visit other sites including 16th Street Baptist Church, Gips Place, and the University of Alabama campus.

When do the leaves change in Alabama? A guide to the state’s best autumn colors
By Michelle Matthews,, Oct. 9

The temperatures have dropped, Halloween decorations are going up and it’s time to break out the sweaters and boots. Right now is the perfect time to plan a getaway – whether it’s a quick drive or a long weekend – to see Alabama in all its fall glory, as the trees turn from green to gold, red, orange and even purple.

The 2015 Farmers’ Almanac predicts that the best times to see fall color in Alabama are from Oct. 19 to Nov. 4. The book also says that experts are anticipating a truly spectacular season ahead.

Here’s how to make the most of it.

What you’ll need: Gas up, load up the family and go. If you have time and money to stay in a mountain cabin, do it. If not, a gorgeous drive is doable from almost anywhere in Alabama. Make sure you’ve got your camera or cell phone for photos, because you’re going to want to capture the fall wonder. You might also want to bring the hiking boots and bikes so you can hit the trails.

The best accompaniment to a fall drive is something warm to drink – think hot apple cider or steaming hot chocolate – and fresh boiled peanuts, which you should be able to find along the side of the road.

What’s actually happening? “The secret’s in the sap,” according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.  Trees create chlorophyll, the chemical that helps them turn sunlight into the glucose they need to survive. Chlorophyll makes their leaves green in the spring and summer. But as the days grow shorter, trees release hormones that restrict the flow of sap to the leaves, and chlorophyll disappears. The residual sap in the leaves creates their change of color as it dries and concentrates.

Where to go: The Alabama Tourism Department’s website includes a Fall Color Trail as well as a circular tour that hits many of the highlights. readers on Facebook
 contributed lots of great ideas for places to see the leaves changing in Alabama. In no particular order, here are our readers’ favorites:

  • DeSoto State Park at Little River Canyon and and DeSoto Falls
  • Anywhere around Fort Payne. “Love the area and the people are super-nice!” one reader said.
  • Mentone on Lookout Mountain
  • Monte Sano State Park
  • Cheaha State Park on Mount Cheaha, the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 feet above sea level. The observation tower offers a panoramic view. A reader also suggests the Skyway Motorway.
  • Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham
  • The Natchez Trace, which cuts through the northwestern corner of the state
  • Cathedral Caverns Highway in Grant (from 431) – an overlook just past the town of Grant. “You can pull in and take awesome pictures there. It’s gorgeous up here, and in a couple of weeks it will be spectacular!”
  • Talladega National Forest
  • Tannehill Park
  • Springville toward Oneonta – scenic overlook
  • Lake Guntersville State Park
  • Sipsey Wilderness in Winston County/Bankhead National Forest
  • Boaz
  • Blount County, coming from Ashville on Highway 231 to County Road 24, which runs along a mountain. “You can see for miles and miles,” said one reader. Don’t forget the three covered bridges.
  • Green Mountain, Huntsville
  • Florence, where the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa’s 360 Grille atop Renaissance Tower offers beautiful views of the fall foliage. “Great weekend getaway.”

To read this entire article online, go to:

Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail debuts new winter golf memberships

As Old Man Winter approaches, golfers can now rejoice. Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is launching a new RTJ Winter Membership featuring unlimited golf November through February at nine RTJ locations. Golfers may purchase Winter Memberships in monthly increments for up to four months. Winter Memberships are $150 per month per person or $225 per couple per month. Tee times are scheduled within seven days of play. Carts are not required but are available for an additional fee.

“When snow starts to fall, snowbirds head down I-65 toward Alabama’s beaches,” said John Cannon, president of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. “Snowbirds and other golfers have a great reason to pack their clubs and experience some of the best golf on earth playable all year long,” said Cannon.  “RTJ has recently been named one of the best buddy trip destinations by Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella and this Winter Membership encourages golfers to come experience it for themselves. The Alabama courses played by the PGA TOUR and the LPGA are included in these offerings,” he said.  “You can play four months of unlimited golf on the RTJ Golf Trail for roughly the same price as one round at Pebble Beach, Trump National Doral or TPC Sawgrass. Golfers looking for great courses at affordable prices, come play RTJ this winter. Between the variety of golf courses, great BBQ and local craft beers, you might need to extend your stay.”

The RTJ Winter Membership offer runs between Nov. 1, 2015 and Feb. 29, 2016. Memberships can be purchased in one month increments and are available at the individual RTJ locations. RTJ Ross Bridge and the Lakewood Club are not part of this Winter Membership promotion, but will be available for play at discounted rates for all Winter members. Please make tee time reservations directly with the individual sites within seven days of play.

For more information on the Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail visit

Media Contact – Bill Lang –; 205.965.9574 – Images and interviews available.

Flora-Bama Yacht Club chefs win spot in international competition, Oct. 19

Flora-Bama Yacht Club is pleased to announce that chefs Chris Sherrill and Haikel Harris will be representing the restaurant, the Gulf Coast and its beautiful bounties in November at the World Food Championship in Kissimmee, Fla.

By winning the Zatarain’s Restaurant Challenge, hosted by the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce in conjuction with the National Shrimp Festival, they became a premier qualified entry into the world’s most coveted food competition.
The high-stakes, high-reward culinary competition will hit the Sunshine State from Nov. 3 through Nov. 10.
Sherrill and Harris will represent seafood at the World Food Championship where 450 other contestants from all over the world will be vying for the grand prize of $100,000.

Chef Chris and Chef Haikel collaborated on a special shrimp taco dish. The actual name of the dish is as extravagant as the taste was:  Blackened Alabama Gulf Shrimp “Pygmy” Tacos with Zatarain’s Root Beer Extract Infused Slaw and Charred Green Tomato-Habanero Remoulade.

The dish was blind judged and beat out 20-plus chefs to be crowned the best.

Chef Chris and Chef Haikel will travel to Kissimmee with their top-secret ingredients and go head to head with special challenges put in place to stump the chefs.

The Flora-Bama has heritage in both Alabama and Florida and the team will represent both states well seek to make the Alabama Gulf Coast and the Panhandle of Florida proud. Seafood is king in this area and their experience with a plethora of fish and shellfish will give them confidence regardless of the challenges they may face.

A main focus will be incorporating all things local into their dishes and presentation throughout the competition from the pottery and plating to all ingredients they can get access to in order to make a truly authentic and area inspired dish.

The World Food Championship is the largest competition in food sport, where champions of previous events convene for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of $300,000.

The World Food Championship platform ranges from live-event integration and activations to a robust multimedia platform that serves culinary stars, home cooks, brands and destinations. In three short years, WFC has awarded more than $1 million in prizes and money, spawned a TV series, garnered more than 5 billion media impressions and launched numerous professional careers for successful contestants.

Nowhere in the culinary landscape is the spirit of integration and engagement more alive than at the World Food Championship, where the world’s most creative food champions face off for pride and culinary glory. In 2014, the World Food Championship aired as a six-episode reality series on the A&E Network’s FYI Network.

To read this article online, go to:

50 states in 52 weeks: eat and drink the world in Alabama’s Pepper Place
By Eric Velasco, British Arirways high life, Aug. 27

Birmingham, Alabama might be best known as the cradle of the U.S. civil rights movement, but today, top chefs are cooking up a new image for the Magic City by blending a farm-to-table ethos with international sophistication — and nowhere more so than Pepper Place. Local writer Eric Velasco takes a seat at the world’s table.

Birmingham’s chefs have got an unusual level of attention recently for a small metropolis, thanks to the folk at the James Beard Foundation. Its awards for chefs are akin to Oscars for actors — it’s a big deal. Chef-owners Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega, Chez Fonfon) and Chris Hastings (Hot and Hot Fish Club and soon-to-open Ovenbird) have won prestigious awards, while several other local chefs and restaurants have been semi-finalists, some multiple times, for the nation’s top culinary honors.

A potent symbol of this ‘new’ Birmingham is Pepper Place, a complex of renovated century-old brick buildings, including a former Dr. Pepper bottling plant. Its Saturday-morning farmers market draws thousands of people (and their dogs) from April into December. You can also eat and drink your way across several continents while you’re there…?

The Market at Pepper Place is a social gathering as much as a chance to get to know the farmers who grew what you might be sampling for dinner. Some 100 Alabama vendors sell fresh-picked vegetables and fruits, meat, cheese and baked goods alongside honey, flowers, herbs and eggs. Chefs give cooking demonstrations. Musicians perform amid vendors selling crafts, pottery and clothing. It’s perfect to watch a cross-section of Birmingham’s people — and dogs.??

’s chef-owner James Lewis, a Beard semifinalist in 2012 and 2013, is passionate about authenticity and tradition in his Italian food. That devotion shines through in his Neapolitan pizzas, fresh pastas, house-made salumi and even antipasti accompaniments such as artichoke puree and mushrooms sautéed with house bacon.

Cantina Tortilla Grill offers an upscale take on street food from Mexico, South America and Cuba and 26 varieties of tequila on offer. The large patio is inviting; tall umbrellas shade tables by day, are festively lit at night. While its tempting to go straight for sure-fire favourites (carnita tacos, Cuban sandwiches, churrasco steak), don’t overlook the specials such as lobster tacos with jalapeno-corn cream.??

Chris Hastings is hot — so hot that his new venture Ovenbird (opened September 2015) has received regional and national media attention for more than a year. Alabama-sourced meat and produce will be cooked in the styles of Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Uruguay, all over wood fire on cast iron. Not only is it a nod to Birmingham’s iron producing past, but the red ovenbird is also Argentina’s national bird.

Red Cat
is a gourmet roaster and coffeehouse, where you can blends from Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala, while digging into a breakfast that nods to the US’ southern states (cheddar grits) and Greece (spanakopita or Greek spinach pie). The nearby farmers market provides fillings for their crepes, a house specialty.??

Beer and wine bottle store Hop City also sells draft beer to-go from 60 taps. Before filling a half-gallon ‘growler’, narrow your selection by sampling pints or half-pours at the bar. Alabama’s two-dozen breweries are represented, including Birmingham’s Good People, Avondale, Cahaba and Trim Tab.
To read this entire article online, go to:

A road trip to the 18 best barbecue spots in America
By Alison Murphy, Men’s Journal
Jim ‘N Nick’s – Montgomery

Alabama takes its barbecue pretty seriously, so it may come as a surprise that the winner of the ‘Bama BBQ Bracket (yes, they have one of those) is a chain. Jim ‘N Nick’s isn’t just any old chain, though. From their homemade BBQ chips to their addictive cheddar cornbread muffins, to their hickory-smoked pulled pork, everything at Jim ‘N Nick’s is made with pride in their product.

What to Order: Pig on a Bun (otherwise known as a pulled pork sandwich) and as many baskets of cheddar cornbread muffins as you can stomach. Or try your pulled pork in a tortilla on Taco Tuesdays.

To read this entire article online, go to:

Barbecuing it up at Lannie’s Barbecue in Selma
By Judd Davis, WSFA 12 News, Oct. 2

It’s been a barbecue hot spot for more than 70 years and it just keeps getting better. Lannie’s Barbecue was started by a woman name Lannie in the 1940s. They still have the same location making the same good barbecue and word is spreading across the country.

Recently the Alabama Department of Tourism put on the Alabama BBQ Battle. It had voters decide who was the best and Lannies won for the Legends category. When you ask the folks who work there why it’s the best, the answer is easy.

“The sauce,” said worker Al Hatcher. “I have people from New York and Massachusetts call and want our sauce. So I ship it.”

I asked a question but I already knew the answer. “So Al, what’s in that sauce?” After a long laugh, I got a one word answer: “Sorry!”

Miss Lannie passed the business down to her daughter Lula who still owns it. She’s retired now but lives close by so she can always check in.

“It’s not a big place but we have good service,” said owner Lula Hatcher. “Over the years so many restaurants have gone out of business. Big companies have gone out of business. But we’re still here. I know it’s not our doing. God kept us here.”

She’s kept the faith and the customers keep coming from all over. This latest award isn’t hurting business, that’s for sure.

“Everybody wants the barbecue,” said Al Hatcher. “I had a man from Mobile come by. He said he read about us on Facebook and had to come by and give us a try.”

Susan Black works in Birmingham but comes through Selma every Wednesday. She says Lannie’s is always a place she stops before heading home. She and her coworkers also voted online everyday to help Lannie’s win the Alabama BBQ Battle. Her reason is simple.

“It’s number one, they’re the best,” Black said.

You can read more on the Alabama BBQ Battle here

Here’s a link to Lannies Facebook Page

To read this article online, go to:

GulfQuest welcomes area hospitality workers during a two-day “Welcome Aboard Hospitality Days”

With tourism a major source of revenue for both Mobile and Baldwin counties, its no wonder the hospitality industry—hotels, retail, condos, entertainment, visitor centers and restaurants—employ a large segment of the population. The employees in the hospitality industry are critical to the tourist’s experience and are often ambassadors for the Gulf Coast region.

To that end, GulfQuest is hosting a two-day “Welcome Aboard Hospitality Days” during which those who work in the hospitality industry are invited to visit GulfQuest—at no cost—with proof of employment. “Welcome Aboard Hospitality Days” will take place Oct. 20-21, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

“Hospitality workers are the front-line people when it comes to tourism,” Brewer said. “They interact, in some way, with every visitor. They are tourism’s best ambassadors. The more they know about what Mobile and, in our case, GulfQuest, have to offer, the better for all of us. We are really excited about letting them experience GulfQuest first-hand.”

Located on the Mobile River, GulfQuest is one of the only interactive maritime museums in the United States and the only museum in the world dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico. With 90 interactive exhibits, simulators, theaters and displays, GulfQuest is a “Signature Attraction” for the Gulf Coast and a major educational attraction for Mobile, Baldwin and the state of Alabama.

“’Welcome Aboard Hospitality Days’ will be an opportunity for those front-line people to enjoy GulfQuest at their leisure,” Brewer said. “To experience GulfQuest in a way that will allow them to share their experiences with others. We are really excited to welcome them aboard!”

GulfQuest is open Tues. – Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For admission prices and more information about special events and field trips, visit

Red Mountain Park welcomes goat herd to park property in long term efforts to eradicate invasive plants and promote forest health 

As part of its Forest Restoration Program, Red Mountain Park has enlisted Goat Busters (Goodling Enterprises, LLC) to bring 200 goats to the property for the purpose of long term management of invasive vegetation.  The animals will eradicate invasive plants on a rotational basis, opening up the entire 1500 acre property for visitor enjoyment and setting the stage for native ecosystem repair.  The herd is protected by flexible electronic fencing and guard dogs that were raised with the goats from birth.

Red Mountain Park is located in Birmingham, just 3 miles west of I-65 (Lakeshore Parkway Exit #255).  The goats are stationed beside the Redding Hoist House, located one mile within the Park’s trail system. Please contact Katie Bradford for transportation from the Park entrance (2011 Frankfurt Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35211) to the location of the herd.

Bill Dinan joins Intermark Group

Bill Dinan, who has been account supervisor for the Alabama Tourism Department’s advertising account at Luckie and Company, joined Intermark Group yesterday in the same role, Lee Sentell says. Intermark, located in downtown Birmingham, became the tourism department’s ad agency of record on Oct. 1.

“We are delighted that Bill will continue to manage our agency’s relationship with our ad agency,” Sentell says. “Nobody understands our goals and objectives like Bill.”

His email is The office phone is 205-776-2233.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will be temporarily closed for building repairs

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is temporarily closing its doors to the public from Tues., Oct. 13, to Mon., Nov. 3, for water infiltration/remediation work.

According to BCRI President and CEO Andrea L. Taylor, “We apologize greatly for this abrupt interruption, but unfortunately the situation is beyond our control.  The contractors require full access for an estimated 10 days to two weeks. As a result, the galleries for tours and programs will be completely closed to all the staff and to the public during that time.” BCRI staff will temporarily work off site using technology resources.

“BCRI is working with all entities,” continued Taylor, “including the public, who may be impacted by this decision.  However, our building is 23 years old and the City of Birmingham and BCRI must address these key maintenance and repair issues promptly to better serve the staff and public. We have begun notifying all group tours and facility rentals that were scheduled during this time about our closure, and we anticipate scheduling for tours and facilities to restart on November 3, subject to completion.

Once again, we deeply regret this inconvenience,” Taylor added, “but this investment in our building will allow BCRI to continue providing award-winning programs and exhibitions for years to come.” For additional information about the building, please contact Carol Wells, BCRI Vice President of Finance and Operations, at 205.328.9696 x 227.

Open call for Southern Maker applications

Applications are available at from Oct. 1 through Nov. 20.

Southern Makers is an annual event that was founded by Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood in collaboration with southern Accents Architectural Antiques and takes place at the Union Station Train Shed, 300 Water Street, Montgomery, AL  36104.

The dates for 2016 are April 30 & May 1.

2015 Welcome Center Retreat partners registration open

The 2015 Welcome Center Retreat registration is open for partners around the state. The Retreat provides partners with direct access to Welcome Center employees from our 8 Alabama Tourism Department operated Centers.

Educational sessions include state tourism updates on social media, travel and health benefits.  The Retreat is November 8-10 in downtown Tuscaloosa at the recently opened Embassy Suites Hotel.

For registration, agenda and/or vendor information contact Tina Tones at the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission, 205-391-0957.

Alabama artists and craftspeople

Alabama is home to a vast number of talented and creative artists and craftspeople who produce a wide variety of items including, but not limited to, woodwork, paintings, ceramics, fabrics and a lot of food.

The Alabama Tourism Department is looking for information about these artists and crafters and their products.  We are interested in the home-grown cottage industries rather than the industrial giants.

Please send information about people and their products, including contact information, to Peggy Collins, or call 334-242-4545.

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

Nov. 8 – 10                              Welcome Center Retreat, Embassy Suites, Tuscaloosa


Tourism Tuesdays is a free electronic newsletter produced by the Alabama Tourism Department. It contains news about the state tourism department and the Alabama tourism industry.

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Alabama Tourism Department