FAM and City Tour Options for Journalists
Visit North Carolina PreFAM ToursSaturday, March 3, 2016 | 2 p.m. - Friday, March 6, 2015 | 11 a.m.
Between the top speeds and competitive spirits, racing intersects with a lot of drama, especially for a sport based on driving in circles. Tap into the best stories on a journey that crosses paths with the greats – Junior Johnson, Dale Earnhart, Richard Petty and others -- on an itinerary that includes the highly interactive NASCAR Hall of Fame, the famous quad oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, race shops, museums and fuel for the body (i.e., food and drink connected with the world's most famous drivers).
Tour highlights include Charlotte, Concord, Mooresville & Lexington, North Carolina.
Kid-Tested Fun in North Carolina
Awaken the wonder of every traveler's inner kid. Imaginations soar on the breeze that blows across the pristine beaches of the Outer Banks, home of history's pirates and man's first flight. New Bern time-travels across the centuries with a riverside palace and the Birthplace of Pepsi to make the facts fun. In the state capital, creative play plus engagement in the arts and science underscores the city's reputation as the Smithsonian of the South.
Tour highlights include The Outer Banks, New Bern & Raleigh, North Carolina.
Soundtracks & Sidetracks
Follow the sounds of greatness. In Shelby, get a feel for the music of the Blue Ridge at the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, aregional history museum with fingers-on-frets experiences. Hear musicians take up the tuneful traditions carried on by Doc Watson in Wilkes County, home of Merlefest, the celebrated Americana festival. And in Mount Airy, get your feet ready as you step inside the Earle Theatre, where people come to listen, play and dance. Along the way, pick up engaging stories and the best playlist on the road.
Tour highlights include Shelby, Wilkesboro/North Wilkesboro & Mount Airy, North Carolina.
Optional Winston-Salem City ToursSunday, March 6, 2016 | 1 a.m. - 5 p.m.
If These Walls Could Talk: Historic Homes
Actually, the walls won’t need to talk on this tour of three historic estates, as expert docents regale visitors with descriptions of distinct transformations and tales of the notable residents who once called these grand estates home. We’ll enjoy lunch together and then begin our visit of these historic sites.
Graylyn International Conference Center, once the estate of Bowman Gray, Sr. (1874-1935), president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Here, you’ll take the Butler Tour and hear accounts of ghosts, intrigue and affluent individuals who imported complete rooms; paneling, furniture and ceiling tiles from Europe just because they could!
A neighboring manor has been transformed into the home of the Southeast Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA). This English Tudor-style home was originally the estate of another of Winston-Salem’s “captains of industry”, James G. Hanes (1886-1972), a progressive industrialist and president of Hanes Hosiery Mills Company, the forerunner of the Hanes Corporation. Mr. Hanes bequeathed his home and grounds for the “exhibition of art in a homelike setting.”
Across the street from the grandeur of Graylyn and SECCA, our “If These Walls Could Talk” Tour will take us to the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. This former home of tobacco baron R.J. and Katharine Smith Reynolds was built between 1912 and 1917 and it exhibits one of the finest public collections of American art in the South.
The Other Valley of the Grapes: Yadkin Valley Wine Region
Sometimes referred to as the East Coast’s version of Napa Valley, the Yadkin Valley Wine Region will be the superb sipping destination of this tour. Winston-Salem is considered to be the gateway to this region of 1.4 million acres that produces world-class, award-winning wines. In fact, the Yadkin Valley Wine Region was approved by the federal government as North Carolina’s first American Viticultural Area (AVA) appellation. The Yadkin Valley designation appears on bottles when at least 85% of the grapes used to make a wine have been grown in the same designated region.
Today, the Yadkin Valley Wine Region boasts more than 35 wineries, with growth coming so quickly that the valley even has a sub appellation – the Swan Creek AVA, which includes five wineries. “The Other Valley of the Grapes” Tour will take us to three winery stops within the Swan Creek AVA. After our lunch in this awe-inspiring area, we’ll visit Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery, and savor esteemed vino in a Tuscan-style Villa tasting room. An additional stop will be at Laurel Gray Vineyards, a boutique style winery that specializes in estate grown French wines. Rounding out the trio of tastings will be at Shadow Springs Vineyard, a family-owned winery featuring a 5,000 sq. ft., tasting room where knowledgeable and experience staff assures us there’s no need to be a connoisseur to enjoy the pours!
Meet the Moravians: Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Not sure what a Moravian is? No worries! The Moravians are alive and well and on this tour of Winston-Salem’s largest attraction, we’ll learn how these early Protestant settlers founded the town of Salem in 1766 and are the very fiber of what is now Winston-Salem. After a delicious, Moravian-inspired lunch, we’ll begin our “Meet the Moravians” Tour at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, where participants will experience authentic early American history brought to life through a tour of the best of Old Salem’s historic town and beautifully restored heirloom gardens. Costumed interpretive staff who share the stories of the Moravians will greet and introduce us to life in the early South. There will be an opportunity to experience MESDA, home to the finest collection of Southern decorative arts in the country, including early Southern furniture, ceramics, silver, paintings, textiles and other decorative arts. We’ll enjoy a preview of specialty tours for groups, which cover such topics as historic chocolate-making, historic cooking, hands on trades, music, gardens and more!
Art Immersion: Downtown Arts District / Make Your Own Masterpiece
Winston-Salem is well known for its arts heritage . . . from the very beginning (before the hyphen!) the Moravian town of Salem was the first city in the US where classical music was composed. We’re home to the first Arts Council in the country and paved the way for public-private support of the Arts, creating the model for Arts Councils nationwide. Winston-Salem is also the site of the first state-supported arts conservatory in the country, the internationally regarded University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Numerous galleries, performing arts groups, theaters and festivals, continue to attract and appeal to arts lovers worldwide. So begin your immersion in our unique arts scene with a stroll through the eclectic Downtown Arts District. On the “Art Immersion” Tour, we’ll start off with lunch in this colorful, “artsy” neighborhood and then we’ll “get our art on” at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art. Here, talented art instructors will guide participants through a “Taste of Art” session, where you’ll create your very own masterpiece keepsake! Then, we’ll return to the District for a visit to the Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery where the workmanship of more than 350 fine craft artists are on display and for sale.
Bowties, BBQ & Beer: RCR Museum / Foothills Tasting Room
You read that right, bowties . . . as in the Chevy bowtie! This fun outing, just down the road from Winston-Salem, will feature a Lexington-style BBQ lunch at the Richard Childress Racing Museum and a tour of the original No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolets that Dale Earnhardt piloted throughout his 17 years with Richard Childress Racing. The Richard Childress story begins with Richard’s childhood dream of becoming a race car driver while selling peanuts and popcorn at Bowman Gray Stadium and buying his first race car for $20, to eventually becoming owner of one of the most legendary organizations in motorsports history. Next, we’ll see what’s on tap at Foothill’s Brewing’s Tasting Room. Barley. Hops. Yeast. Water. On this brewery tour we’ll learn how these four simple ingredients get transformed into delicious craft beer. The tour will take us through the entire beer-making process, from milling the grain to bottling and kegging to, most importantly, drinking.