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SEP-OCT 2013

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3 E UGENE A ND T HE OR EGON C OA S T From hiking to spectacular waterfalls to biking through wine country, outdoor adventure is the headline on most tourism brochures luring visitors to Eugene and the surrounding Oregon Coast. "Don't be timid about the kayak tours," said Molly Blancett, public relations and social media manager for the Eugene, Cascades and Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Te waters on the Siuslaw River — it feeds into the Pacifc Ocean — are calm. Te wildlife is spectacular." Blancett stated that dune buggy rides at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area are for all ages. "Sometimes you are 500 feet high. You feel like you're in a diferent country," she said. Expect to be wowed inside the Sea Lion Caves, nature's home for wild sea lions and seabirds. "You frst travel 12 stories down through solid rock and are welcomed by the roar of the sea lions," said Blancett. Tere are opportunities to bike through this area's famous wine country and enjoy horseback rides over sandy and wooded coastal trails during sunset. And don't miss a visit to Heceta Head Lighthouse, recently opened to the public. "Tis circa 1894 lighthouse beams 21 miles out to sea," said Blancett. "A tour with a wildlife expert is perhaps the best way to experience one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country." 4 5 O R EG O N 3 By Natalie Inouye, courtesy Travel Lane County DAUP HIN I SL A ND AL ABAMA Bank groups will discover why Forrest Gump loved the sea at Dauphin Island, the area where this classic movie was flmed. "We are the birdiest island on the Gulf Coast, and we have the freshest of fresh seafood and wildlife galore," said Tricia Kerr, president of the Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce. "We are also known as the sunset capital of the Gulf Coast — no wonder Forrest never wanted to leave." Home to seven miles of beaches, the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium, Dauphin Island has several venues that specialize in nature. "In the spring and the fall, this is the last land mass birds hit on their fall and spring migrations," said Kerr. Te Dauphin Island Sea Lab features a Living Marsh Boardwalk, interactive exhibits and the Estuarium, where groups experience the world underwater. Kerr suggested groups enjoy an ecotour aboard the Duke, a water vessel that showcases the island's lighthouse and more. "While bank groups are usually familiar with our gorgeous Bellingrath Gardens, their river cruises on the Fowl River promise to ofer the sounds and sights of osprey, pelicans, blue herons and egrets." M Y R T LE BE AC H SOUTH CAROLINA Known as the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach stretches for 60 miles and includes 12 communities and two state parks. "Te 312-acre Myrtle Beach State Park ofers a nature center, a wildlife habitat and a pier for fshing," said Kimberly Miles, public relations representative for Visit Myrtle Beach. "Rangers ofer fun and fascinating programs about this natural environment." Tis park and the Huntington Beach State Park are known to be the best bird-watching locations on the East Coast. "Te Huntington Beach State Park, a prime habitat for more than 300 species of birds, is located on Murrells Inlet, the seafood capital of South Carolina," said Miles. "It features a lagoon, maritime forest and the most well-preserved beach on the Grand Strand, as well as Atalaya, the former home of American sculptor Anna Huntington. Her works are displayed at nearby Brookgreen Gardens, considered the fnest outdoor presentation of American fgurative sculpture in the world. "Brookgreen Gardens is one of my favorite places to visit. Groups should plan for an of-road trekker tour that takes them to places not open to the public." Groups might also want to spend an afternoon at Hopsewee Plantation. Built 40 years before the Revolutionary War, this property is located on the North Santee River and ofers tours of the main house and the landscaped grounds. 5 Courtesy Myrtle Beach Area CVB 4 Top Left: Oregon's Heceta Head Lighthouse Bottom Left: Secluded Dauphin Island Right: Sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens in Myrtle Beach Courtesy Dauphin Island Chamber of Commerce B A N K T R A V E L M A N A G E M E N T. C O M 39

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