See the skyscraper that inspired the Empire State Building

Model for Empire State Building

Model for Empire State Building

Winston-Salem is best known for the Moravian culture on display in its historic Old Salem community. But visitors passing through downtown often look at one of the city’s skyscrapers and have a feeling they’ve seen it somewhere before.

Winston-Salem’s Reynolds Building was the model for the Empire State Building, one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers. The connection is so strong that executives from the Empire State Building sent the Reynolds Building a thank-you card on its 50th birthday.

The Reynolds Building was constructed in 1929 by Shreve and Lamb, who would design the Empire State Building a few years later based on the same plans. The iconic shape of the two buildings is the same, though the Empire State Building has 102 floors whereas the Reynolds Building has 22.

For nearly a century, the Reynolds Building was the home office for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The Reynolds Building was named “Building of the Year” by the National Association of Architects, won the 1984 Art Deco Society of New York award for best restoration and was the tallest building in the South for 35 years. The building’s future is undecided and it may take on a new role as a luxury hotel.

(Reprinted from Visit North Carolina: Project 543)

World’s Luckiest Fishing Village

(Guest  Contributor & Photographer: James Richardson)

Destin FloridaDestination: Destin, FL

As you arrive in Destin, Florida, from the west, a sign welcomes you to the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” If Destin is your final destination, you will find out, while the fishing is great, that there is much more to do here than fish.

The Panhandle of Florida is a growing area for many reasons. The major reason is the convenience and accessibility of the Panhandle to the rest of the country. The guidebooks say that Destin is nearer to parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, than Destin is to Key West.

This area of Florida is commonly known as the Emerald Coast because of the white sandy beaches appearing green as seen through the shallow blue waters of the Gulf. Traveling to points beyond the Emerald Coast adds hours to a trip — valuable hours of soaking up the sun’s rays. Destin’s white sandy beaches are the major single attraction of the Emerald Coast.

(Click on Destination: Destin, Florida above to link to rest of article and great photos!)

Pinehurst Resort Named North America Golf Resort of the Year

 Pinehurst Resort has earned the distinction of Golf Resort of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).

Awards15-PinehurstResort-30oct14

“We are honored that IAGTO has recognized Pinehurst Resort as North America’s 2014 Golf Resort of the Year,” said Jack Bickart, senior vice president of sales. “Known as the ‘Cradle of American Golf,’ Pinehurst has hosted more single golf championships than any site in America, and made history once again with the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in consecutive weeks in June. From Hagan to Hogan to Snead to Nicklaus to Woods and now, to Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie, Pinehurst offers a legacy and history in golf no other resort in America can match.”

Pinehurst Resort features nine championship golf courses for guests to enjoy, including the famed Pinehurst No. 2. Opened in 1907, No. 2 was designed by Donald Ross, who called it “the fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed.” No. 2 is best known for its crowned, undulating greens, which are some of the most complex and widely hailed in the world. In 2010, the design firm of Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw began to restore the natural and strategic characteristics that were the essence of Ross’s original design.

About Pinehurst: Located in the North Carolina heartland, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, established in 1895, is a 2,000-acre property featuring an award-winning spa, nine golf courses, tennis, and activities for the family. Widely known as the Cradle of American Golf, Pinehurst has hosted more single golf championships than any other site in America, including the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup Matches, TOUR Championship and many others. In June, Pinehurst served as the site of both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in 2014 in back-to-back weeks.

 To reserve any of the wide variety of Pinehurst Resort packages, or for more information, visit Pinehurst.com or call (855) 235-8507.

Excerpted  from North Carolina Newslink (Dec. 3, 2014)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!

Let us not forget to be thankful for all the wonderful blessings we have.

A beautiful Thanksgiving morning in my back yard.

A beautiful Thanksgiving morning in my back yard.

The Southeast’s Most Magnificent Waterfalls

Looking Glass Falls, NC

Looking Glass Falls, NC

By James Richardson (Guest Blogger)

Waterfalls are always a great destination for travelers in general–hikers and photographers in particular.What makes a good waterfall? What makes a great waterfall?What is a best waterfall? For that matter, what makes for the Ten Best Waterfalls? First of all, what is best to one person may not be best to another.  I had to arrive at a definition for a best waterfall before I could compile my list. These are many good waterfalls in this part of the country and I wanted to give all an equal chance. Continue reading

Wilmington, NC, wins “Best American Riverfront” town.

Wilmington, NC, beat out 20 towns to be named the “Best American Riverfront”

The contest, hosted on USA Today’s travel site, pitted 20 American cities against each other for the title of “Best American Riverfront.” Since the poll opened in September Wilmington, NC, and Spokane, WA, were battling for the top position, but yesterday’s announcement officially confirms Wilmington, NC, as the winner!

(Photos by Sandra Chambers)

 

 

 

The Mexican Riviera at Its Best!

Barcelo Maya Resort 

Mexican Riviera luxury resorts

Barcelo Maya Beach Resort on the Mexican Riviera

Looking for a great romantic or family all-inclusive vacation–check out Barcelo Maya Resort on the Mexican Riviera about an hour south of Cancun. Unspoiled beaches with great snorkeling and diving, luxury accommodations, fine dining and loads more. Click on the link to read my story in Luxe Beat Magazine.