Celebrate Maple Season in the Adirondacks

February may be the shortest month of the year, but there is still time left to plan a quick getaway. There’s also the added bonus of special events for Black history month, Lunar New Year celebrations, and restaurant weeks that pop up around the country. Beat the spring break crowds, higher prices, and congested airports that come along with March and April, and head to the cities below for a quick romantic retreat, educational day trip, or a fun weekend getaway. Boston, Massachusetts
Meet Boston, the official destination marketing organization for the Greater Boston area, is partnering with Boston and Cambridge hotels this winter to offer visitors a $100 prepaid gift card and a $25 Legal Sea Foods gift card with bookings of two nights or more at participating hotels. This offer is valid for stays through March 15, 2024 (subject to availability).
“In Boston we embrace winter with a variety of activations – from strolling outdoor art installations to unrivaled dining experiences to ice skating across the city,” said Martha Sheridan, President and CEO of Meet Boston. “And, with a wide breadth of hotel offerings, we have experiences suitable for family adventures, friends getaways, wellness retreats and luxe escapes. This $100 pre-paid gift card is an added incentive for guests to get out and experience Boston for themselves.”
With the launch of Meet Boston’s new website, which includes a booking platform and itinerary builder, travelers can find all the resources they need in one place. They can book hotels, customize their stays and find information about upcoming events. Winter highlights in Boston include:
Boston’s incredible food scene, including Dine Out Boston beginning March 10, in which participating restaurants will offer prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner at a special price.Celebrate Black History Month in February by following the Black Heritage Trail or by supporting one of Boston’s many Black-owned businesses. Visitors can also celebrate the Lunar New Year with events and offerings in Chinatown and beyond, including The Chinatown Main Street Flower Market with colorful decorations and flowers to honor The Year of the Dragon, the Lunar New Year Cultural Village with lion dances, performances, singing and more, and the annual Chinese New Year Lion Dance Parade.Embrace cozy season with cocktails or cocoa fireside at hotels with beautiful fireplaces like The Lenox Hotel, The Newbury Boston, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Mandarin Oriental, Boston, and more.Ice skating rinks also abound throughout the city; a full listing is available here.Snowport in the Seaport includes shopping, rooftop igloos, outdoor fun and games like curling, and more.Winteractive is a free and walkable art experience featuring 16 artworks and interactive play elements, presented by the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District.Greenway winter activations are highlighted by whimsical Hatchling light displays and the Moki Sauna and Cold Plunge pop-up.
Memphis, Tennessee Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee by Thomas Konings – Unsplash
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a collection of churches, courthouses, schools, museums and other landmarks across 14 states that played a pivotal role in advancing social justice in the 1950s and 1960s, shifting the course of history. In Memphis, sites along the trail were pivotal in the movement and highlight legacy and the powerful reminder of the struggles and sacrifices made by activists to achieve equality and justice for all. These landmarks serve as a source of education and inspiration for future generations, ensuring the Civil Rights Movement is not forgotten and provides a space for reflection and remembrance.
This year, the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery is one of the newest sites along the trail. The new addition makes 15 Tennessee sites, including the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville and Green McAdoo Cultural Center in Clinton. Visitors can plan a Tennessee Civil Rights Trail road trip and explore the state’s pivotal role in advancing social justice.
Ernest C. Withers was an acclaimed photographer. Some of his most famous shots are those taken during his coverage of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968, which culminated in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through the power of photographs and stories, the Withers’ collection tells the story of Memphis and broader American history in the Civil Rights Movement.

“Having the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery on Beale Street added to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a significant honor for both the Withers family, and our destination,” said Kevin Kane, President and CEO of Memphis Tourism. “Ernest Withers’ photography captured impactful moments during the civil rights movement, highlighting the bravery and determination of those fighting for equality. We are proud to have his legacy as part of the Memphis and Beale Street story, and the museum’s collection recognized as essential to our city and nation’s history. This inclusion also raises additional awareness of the historic Beale Street site, encouraging locals and visitors to engage and learn from the powerful stories that the Withers Museum preserves and shares.”

The Withers Collection Museum & Gallery joins three other new sites along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, including The International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, The Fredericksburg Civil Rights Trail in Virginia, and Holt Street Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.Chicago, IllinoisBuildings in Chicago by Cody Engel – Unsplash
Chi Town has a number of incredible events happening in February this year. The Chicago Auto Show, taking place from February 10-19, 2024, is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 116th edition. Held in McCormick Place, the Chicago show features multiple world and North American introductions and the complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars, trucks, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and experimental and concept cars. In total, the 2024 Chicago Auto Show boasts hundreds of different vehicles from more than two dozen different manufacturers. In addition, you’ll find numerous automotive accessories and auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles, project cars, antique and collector vehicles, and interactive exhibits.
Chicago Theatre Week (February 8 – 18, 2024) features value-priced tickets to more than 100 performances at theaters across the city, from musicals to improv to dramas and beyond. Experience everything Chicago theatre has to offer for just $15 or $30 (or less!). Chicago Theatre Week is presented by the League of Chicago Theatres in partnership with Choose Chicago. Now in its 12th year, this highly anticipated event allows visitors and locals to sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout the Chicago area.
Welcome the Year of the Dragon on February 18, 2024 with traditional lion dances, cultural performances, and more during this colorful celebration. The Lunar New Year Parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue and travel north on Wentworth towards the viewing stand at Cermak and Wentworth. The parade will feature traditional dragon and lion dancing teams, colorful floats, marching bands and marching groups.
Finally, don’t miss the Mac & Cheese Crawl, “Chicago’s Cheesiest Crawl,” on February 24, 2024. You definitely won’t go hungry as you crawl through Wrigleyville’s best bars eating mac and cheese while throwing back some drinks with friends. St. Augustine, FloridaA beach in St. Augustine, Florida by David Nicolai – Unsplash
Florida’s Historic Coast is well-known for its rich Spanish and British history, but it’s becoming even more recognized for its significant place in African American history. It spans centuries, from the arrival of black Spanish soldiers in the 16th century and the country’s original Underground Railroad in the 1700s to the birthplace of the first African American college graduate in 1824 to historic protests and sit-ins by Black activists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s, paving the way for the Civil Rights Act. In February, Florida’s Historic Coast recognizes Black History Month with a host of events, programs and historic spaces..

The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum at Flagler College hosts cultural and historical exhibitions to expand students’ artistic knowledge. Through February 21, the gallery will host “Golden Thread” by New York artist Ilana Harris-Babou. Lectures, cultural events and museums offer an array of activities, from lectures to historical reenactments, for an immersive experience. Head to downtown St. Augustine for the moving “I Lived Here, As Well – Together,” at the Ximenez-Fatio House. This historical performance offers a first-person perspective of an enslaved man and woman, from enslavement to freedom. This program is offered every Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning beginning February 8 and continuing through the end of the month.

The Lincolnville neighborhood is the epicenter of Black history in St. Augustine. Visitors interested in its history can visit the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center or walk the ACCORD Freedom Trail Project, which consists of 31 historic markers located at various sites significant to the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement. A cell phone audio tour is available by calling 904-335-3002.

The Fort Mose Jazz and Blues Series returns for two weekends, February 8 through February 17, and boasts performances by heavy hitters like Common, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Keb’ Mo’ and more. Live from the Waterworks, a series presented by the St. Johns Cultural Council and Gamble Rogers Music Festival, welcomes Grammy-nominated musician and songwriter Jontavious Willis on February 17 to the historic Waterworks venue.
Florida’s Historic Coast is a playground for foodies looking for unique and delicious experiences. In the extensive culinary landscape, there are plenty of Black chefs making their mark on the food scene. Executive Chef Denzel Aponte creates exquisite seafood specialties at The Reef Restaurant; the menu of Prohibition Kitchen features Southern comfort and bar dishes with a twist, crafted by Executive Chef Lashunta Harris and her team. Beloved local chef Tyrone Bennett is known for his philanthropy as much as his killer soul food at his food truck and brick and mortar, Heart and Soul Food Eatery. Growers Alliance Café and Gift Shop sources fair trade, pesticide-free coffee from around the world, serving a selection of beverages, whole beans and health baked goods. And don’t miss the food trucks! Chef Ibrahim Mahem churns out delicious Tanzanian cuisine at his African Love Kitchen, while The T.R.E.N. in West Augustine, with chef Natalya Axen at the helm, delivers fried specialties and soul food classics.

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