Fam trips on tap for delegates

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Space still is available for Travel South's series of pre- and post-fam tours, according to Sheila Helton, the organization's marketing coordinator. There are two pretours that begin in Little Rock, Ark., on Feb. 20 and wrap up in Hot Springs on Feb. 23.

The first, called Boom: Southern Arkansas History Explodes, visits Little Rock, El Dorado, Old Washington State Park, DeGray Lake Resort State Park and other sites. While in the capital city, travelers will take in the Old State House, the Arkansas Museum and the current capitol building.

The Tennessee fam tour visits Beale Street in Memphis.Visitors will head to the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in Pine Bluff and then the town of El Dorado. Also on tap are trips to Texarkana, the only U.S. town located in two states, and Old Washington Historic State Park. Participants wrap up the fam tour with a diamond dig at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, a stop at DeGray Lake Resort State Park and then the Ouachitas region.

The second fam, titled Arkansas -- North by Northwest, explores Little Rock, the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs, Bella Vista and other cities. The trip kicks off at Murray's Dinner Playhouse, and the next morning, participants head to the Ozarks.

In Eureka Springs, guests will attend "The Great Passion Play," lunch at the Crescent Hotel & Spa and stop at the Thorncrown Chapel. Visits to the Wal-Mart Museum in Bentonville; the Daisy (B-B Gun) Factory in Rogers, and Thorncrown's sister, the Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, round out the itinerary.

There are three post-fam tours that visit Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Each departs from Hot Springs on Feb. 27 and wraps up March 3. The Louisiana and Mississippi itineraries return to Hot Springs and then take participants to the Little Rock Airport, while the Tennessee tour ends in Memphis.

The Louisiana Ladies, Legends and Lagniappe program heads to Natchitoches, Shreveport, Bossier City and Ruston. Travelers start at Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches, then head to Shreveport and Bossier City, where participants take in the museums, shops and local music scene.

The Over the River Delta and Through the Hills to Mississippi We Go tour takes visitors to Tunica, Oxford, Tupelo and Greenville among other cities. Tunica's casinos; Oxford, the home of author William Faulkner and the University of Mississippi, and Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, are highlights.

Participants will experience the music of the region with stops in Greenwood, Cleveland and Clarksdale. The Tennessee -- Sounds Good to Me: Memphis & Jackson tour is a three-city itinerary that begins in Humboldt to explore an art museum.

Next on the agenda is Jackson and its Casey Jones Village attraction. Participants will keep busy in Memphis with stops at the Mississippi River Museum & Park at Mud Island, the National Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studio and the Gibson Guitar Factory. The tour winds down with visits to the home of the king -- Graceland -- and Beale Street. The fam trips are priced at $50 per delegate, per tour.

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