Enjoy these excerpts from previously published articles written by Sherry Jackson.

Unforgettable Boston

This article was originally published in the Simpsonville Sentinel and at Yahoo.

 

With all eyes on Boston over the past several weeks, many have connected and have come to admire the resilient people that live in this city steeped with our nation’s history. With strong ties to South Carolina, including the Greenville Drive’s Boston Red Sox affiliation and Fluor Field modeled after Boston’s Fenway Park, to the stones that built Fort Sumter direct from Boston area quarries, the Upstate has a close relationship with this amazing, unforgettable city.

BostonBoston is a great, walkable city; in fact it’s been nicknamed America’s Walking City, so no need for a rental car once you arrive. The T subway system is also pretty extensive so when you don’t feel like walking just hop on the subway to get to wherever you’re going. Unlimited 7-day passes are available for just $18.00 per person and you can either pick up a map or download one to your smart phone to figure out which routes you need.

Once you arrive, check in at the Nine Zero Hotel. Part of the Kimpton hotel chain, this sleek, modern hotel has been ranked as one of Boston’s top luxury boutique hotels. It’s conveniently located on Treemont Street, right across from Boston Common, America’s oldest public park. It’s also right on the Freedom Trail, close to the Theater District and Chinatown- in the heart of downtown Boston.

Boston 007Once you’re settled in, walking the Freedom Trail is a great way to get to know the city. Park Ranger’s lead free tours daily from the National Park Visitor’s Center at Faneuil Hall and other companies offer costumed guided tours or, you can pick up a brochure and take a self-guided tour.  The walking trail covers 16 sites that are significant landmarks in American Revolutionary history. Landmarks include Paul Revere’s House, Bunker Hill Monument, The Old State House and the Old Corner Book Store.

Boston Duck Tours are another fun way to sightsee around the city. These tours leave from the Prudential Center and are especially popular with families. Tour guides have nicknames like MackinQuack and make history fun as you ride in an amphibious vehicle. You’ll learn about the history of Boston’s Back Bay, see the gas lamps and brick sidewalks that define Beacon Street and plop down into the Charlestown River before checking out where the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironside, is docked.

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is another good way to immerse yourself in American Revolutionary history. This floating museum features live actors, high-tech exhibits and authentically restored tea ships. Upon entering the museum you will be given a feather and a card issuing you a new identity.  You will then be ushered into a room where you will meet new colonists like Paul Revere and Sam Adams. After proclaiming your independence from England, you’ll explore the ships and throw tea overboard just like the Sons of Liberty did on December 16, 1773.

Before checking out other attractions like the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and the Skywalk at the Prudential Center, get a CityPass. Many larger cities offer these handy booklets, with Boston being one of those, and are available at any visitor’s center and at several kiosks throughout the city. They contain prepaid admission tickets to Boston’s most popular attractions and offer almost a 50% discount. Some attractions also let you skip long lines with these passes so they are definitely worthwhile.

Bostons Little ItalyIn a city with a Dunkin Donuts on every corner, Boston has plenty of options when it comes to dining, but the North End, aka Little Italy, transports you into another country. When you cross over onto Hanover Street and enter the North End Historic District you feel like you are in Italy. Little, Old Italian women are busy sweeping the stoops in front of their restaurants and the smell of fresh baked bread is heavenly sweet. From cannolis at Modern Pastry (forget famous Mike’s where the lines are longer with tourists) to pizza at Regina’s, a no frill’s pizzeria that has been here since 1926, the dining possibilities are endless. With over 100 restaurants in this small (.36 miles) area, crowds line the streets on many nights so if you don’t have reservations there may be a long wait.

There are so many things to do and see in Boston. Be sure to stop into the Boston Public Library to see the amazing architecture, marble statues and painted murals. Take in the amazing city view from the Prudential Skywalk Observatory. Go shopping along Newbury Street, the shops at Prudential Center and Faneuil Hall. Sample food from the largest food court I’ve ever seen at Quincy Market and visit the seals and penguins at the newly refurbished aquarium that’s been under repairs by Raleigh Aquarium Maintenance for a few months.

Whew…and that’s only a fraction of what Boston has to offer. There are also world-class museums and many other historically significant sites. Each of Boston’s 21 distinctive neighborhoods has its own charm and vibe, making each one and the whole city truly unforgettable.

Artisphere Attracts Local and National Artists

ArtisphereRated as one of the top ten fine arts shows in the country, Artisphere comes to downtown Greenville for its ninth year on May 10th-May 12th.  This family-friendly festival showcases Greenville’s thriving arts and cultural community and attracts tens of thousands to the area each spring.

Artisphere invites both local and national artists and announced a record 13 local artists will exhibit at this year’s annual event.  The festival received applications from 854 artists in 41 different states competing for one of the 120 spots on Artist Row.  The artists selected to participate represent 24 different states and one international artist; 56 of the artists (47 percent) are new to the festival this year.

This article was published May 9, 2013 in the OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and online at See the South.

 

 

Making the Rounds in Moore County, Tennessee

Welcome Center in Lynchburg TN

Welcome Center in Lynchburg TN

Moore County, Tennessee is probably best known for its most famous resident, the Jack Daniels Distillery. But the small town of Lynchburg and the surrounding countryside offer up charm, history and other “spirits”.

This article was published in the April 2013 edition of the Simpsonville Sentinel and online at See the South.

 

 

Seaside Getaway on St. Simon’s Island

Shrimpin' on the Lady Jane

Shrimpin’ on the Lady Jane

Another seaside gem just off the Georgia coast, is St. Simon’s Island. The largest island in Georgia’s Golden Isles-four barrier islands that also include Jekyll Island, Little Simons Island and Sea Island-, St. Simons was formed by the Appalachians and settled by English Colonists in the 1700’s. As a former rice and cotton plantation, it’s steeped with history and tradition.  Building restrictions keep high-rise condos out of the picture and a strict no big-box retail policy keeps the island laid back and mostly residential, with locals who are warm and friendly and eager to share their island.

This article was published in the March 2013 edition of The Simpsonville Sentinel and at See the South.

 

Spotlight on the Mountain Lakes Business Development Corporation: Helping Entrepreneurs in the Upstate

MLBDC's Oconee Center

MLBDC’s Oconee Center

Working with a team of volunteers and in partnership with the Tri-County Technical College and Clemson’s Small Business Development Center, the non-profit Mountain Lakes Business Development Center (MLBDC) works to help budding entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality.

Utilizing mentors, offering education opportunities, and providing a cost-effective, shared-use business development facility, the MLBDC helps Upstate residents in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties start new businesses and grow existing ones.

This article was published February 28, 2013. Click here to read the full article.

North Carolina Wine Country

McRitchie Winery in Yadkin Valley of North Carolina

McRitchie Winery in Yadkin Valley of North Carolina

While Napa Valley in California may seem to get all of the attention, the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina is steadily gaining accolades thanks to a robust Viticulture program at the Surry County Community College and the fact that they are churning out some mighty fine tasting wines.

Southern wines haven’t had a good following until recently. Most weren’t that good and were mostly made from Muscadine grapes. But the 36 plus wineries in the Yadkin Valley are producing great-tasting, award-winning wines from a surprisingly large variety of grapes and being eco-friendly in the process.

The Viticulture program at the Surry County Community College sets the stage and is the entry point for many winemakers in the area. The program began in 2004 and has had about 25 graduates in the past five years, most who have gone on to run their own vineyard in the area.  There’s a bonded winery and vineyard on campus and program participants learn the grittiness of the job, including getting up at 4 a.m. to check the grapes and the never-ending process of growing, bottling and marketing their products.

Here’s a look at some of the Yadkin Valley Wineries and what makes them unique. Wine presented at Fort Collins Liquor Store and many others.

This article was published in the January 2013 edition of TravelWorld Magazine. For the full article, click here.

 

Celebrate Upstate International Month

Upstate International Festival

Upstate International Festival

March kicks off a month-long, multi-venue, multi-event celebration of all things international here in the Upstate. Events are hosted by Upstate International, a local non-profit organization that provides information, programs and services to foreign residents and immigrants for cultural diversity in our community.

This article was published by OurUpstateSC.info

Take a Hike: Five Great Places to Go Hiking in the Upstate

Table Rock

Table Rock

The Upstate is an outdoor lover’s paradise with abundant trails, waterfalls, lakes and mountains. And while it may not seem like it, February is an ideal time to get outdoors. Spring allergies haven’t quite hit, the weather is still cool and the views are even better through the leaf-bare tree limbs. From waterfalls to mountains, here are five easy hikes the whole family can enjoy.

This article was published in the February 14, 2013 edition of the OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and at See the South.

 

Luxurious Weekend at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

The beach on Kiawah Island

The beach on Kiawah Island

When February rolls around, I begin fantasizing about the beach; the sound of rolling waves washing across the sand, the seagulls belting out their never-ending harmonies and the feeling of sand squishing between my toes. I want a beach weekend and I want to be pampered and feel like a Queen (or King). South Carolina’s the best beaches are those in the Charleston area and no one does luxury and pampering like The Sanctuary at Kiawah.

This article was published February 2013 on SeetheSouth.com and in the Simpsonville Sentinel.

There’s Always Something Blooming in Greenwood

Arts Center in Greenwood

Arts Center in Greenwood

Goats and trains and the Revolutionary War all come together in this city “where there’s always something blooming.”  Located on the shores of Lake Greenwood, the 11,400 acre lake is obviously a big attraction but there’s more here than just the water. Uptown Greenwood has a revamped downtown area with “the widest main street in the world” and is home to great museums, an old-fashioned drive-in movie theater and an amazing goat farm.

This article was published January 2013 at OurUpstateSC.info and at See the South.

 

 

Warm Up in One of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns

Winterfest in Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Winterfest in Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Nestled high in the North Carolina Mountains is the quaint village of Blowing Rock. Pretty any time of the year, winter – when the town is blanketed in white fluffy snow – is the best time to visit. Travel and Leisure agrees, having named Blowing Rock one of “America’s Prettiest Winter Towns” in their December issue. At 4,000 feet with some of the best mountain views in the state, Blowing Rock embraces winter activities, with skiing nearby, outdoor adventures, shopping and an annual Winterfest event.

This article was published January 2013 at Deep South Magazine.

The Pickwick – A Family-Run Business for Generations

Pickwick Soda Fountain

Pickwick Soda Fountain today

Tucked away in a non-descript strip center on the outer edge of downtown Greenville, this family-run business has been serving the local community since 1933. It’s a landmark on Augusta Road, and with a restored soda fountain, personal service from the pharmacy (they will deliver prescriptions to you) and a variety of local items for sale (including their own BBQ sauce), this local business is poised for the future.

This article was published in the January 10, 2013 OurUpstateSC.info newsletter and website and at See the South.

Kansas City, More Than BBQ and Blues

Tank at the WWI Museum in Kansas City, Missouri

Tank at the WWI Museum in Kansas City, Missouri

 

BBQ and Blues may be what put Kansas City, Missouri on the map and yes, the city certainly does have its share of great BBQ joints and jazz clubs. But this town is passionate about the arts with a vibrant arts culture, world-class museums and a robust performing arts center. I recently spent a couple of days touring the city and was truly amazed at this gem of in the middle of the U.S.

This article was published on Yahoo and in print in the January 2013 edition of the Simpsonville Sentinel, Kansas City More than BBQ and Blues and February 2013 in Global-Writes.

Colombia, Where the Only Risk is Not Wanting to Leave

Santa Cruz del Islote

The most densely populated island in the world-Santa Cruz del Islote

Once considered the “bad boy” of South America, Colombia is trying hard to change the world’s perception of the country. Where once drug cartels made the news and headlines, today’s Colombia is considered a safe, emerging global travel destination. From the capital city of Bogota, located high in the mountains, where history and cultural attractions are plenty, to the historic Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias. Here are a few highlights from my trip and things not to miss when you plan your own visit to Colombia. This article was published January 2013 on Yahoo.