this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.
this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.
Every business has an online presence, including listings in business directories whether they set them up or not. Oftentimes, if your business has been around for a bit, someone might have already set up accounts on your behalf, from Google Business Profile to Yelp and any other relevant directories to your business and its industry. While it might sound like a good thing that the work has been done for you, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left for you to do.
To start, check the leading online directories, such as Google Business Profile, to see if there is a live listing for your business. If so, claim the listing so that you obtain control of the listing. This lets you verify the listing and ensure that it provides accurate information as well as enables you to reply to reviews.
If your business doesn’t yet have a listing, create your listing—your business can take advantage of the free marketing it provides so that you can get found online and get more customers.
To search for your business, claim an existing listing or create a new one for free, visit Google.
this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.
Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
New Bern earned a special shoutout in one of Virginia’s top travel guides which highlights voyage destinations all around the world.
Virginia Travel Tips, a site that focuses on travel beyond Virginia, shined a spotlight on New Bern as one of North Carolina’s top 20 best charming small towns to visit.
Related reading: 5 of New Bern’s most unique and rentable Airbnbs
The town’s recognition was gained due to the variety of attractions New Bern offers visitors, and of course, the surrounded history.
New Bern was described as a town that has cultural diversity, beautiful nature, history and is “technically classified as a city these days but still exudes that small-town feel and comfort.”
The travel blog also made note of New Bern being the second oldest European settlement and first Colonial capital in North Carolina located near eye-appealing water scenery. The historic town sits 40 miles north of Emerald Isle and is near Crystal Coast.
Natives and business owners in the area said they would have to agree with the blog’s viewpoint, but also feel New Bern continues to embrace several reasons the town attracts a diversity of visitors.
“There’s a visitor’s book we ask people to sign and we’ve had people from all over the world. It always amazes me,” said Julie McKeon, manager of the New Bern Farmer’s Market. “I hear it all the time. New people moving to New Bern say that the small-town atmosphere is why they move here.”
The town holds many historic buildings such as Tryon Palace, the first capital of independent and post-Revolutionary War North Carolina, and is also one of the top sites tourists add to their to-do list.
New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi and where the Birthplace of Pepsi Cola store is located was also highlighted as a reason for visitors to be drawn to the area.
Historical downtown, must-see attractions, and the town’s overall atmosphere are why business owners feel people will continue to make New Bern a travel destination.
“Even in our slow season, the hotel is full of people coming to spend some time in New Bern,” said Cindy Patton, general manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Bern Riverfront. “I think it has a lot to do with all the historical things to do. The word’s getting out more about New Bern and it’s growing options for people to do when they’re here, such as shopping.”
McKeon jokingly said she would like to keep New Bern small and even secretive.
“I think that we’ve got it good. The bigger it gets the worse it could get,” she said. “That’s the draw for tourists. People from neighboring towns come and spend the day because everything is right there. They can go to some of the places downtown like Tryon Palace, go shop and eat breakfast. They’ve got it all right there.”
McKeon and Patton both agree that big town visitors make their way to New Bern to have a change of pace, but additionally, the people are what makes it even better. Patton said she receives a lot of guests from Northern Virginia or New York who may want a change of scenery and a friendlier element.
“I think they just enjoy the vibe, downtown and it’s good friendly people that are here,” Patton said.
McKeon has lived in New Bern her whole life and said keeping that small-town charm is necessary.
“It’s the people I love the most,” she said. “A lot of the times when I ask people why they’ve come here, they talk about the people being so friendly. And I think keeping a town small benefits you to have a community spirit.”
Reporter Symone Graham can be reached by email at [email protected]. Have a story tip or idea? Send it her way.
There is no better time to explore our beautiful country than now. With vacation ideas constantly creating an itch and road trips being more popular than ever, you’re certainly thinking of new places to go and what to see. I recommend the small towns that make up the Mississippi Delta, one of the most unique regions in the nation.
I have visited the Mississippi Delta several times because I have family in Mississippi, and since the area is quite rural and windy, knowing where to go is important. Here are six Mississippi Delta towns, plus a bonus entry, to inspire your journey.
Cleveland is where you’ll find the only Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles. The GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is chock full of interactive exhibits, a stage and instruments perfect for taking selfies and making videos, clothing from your favorite performers, and much more.
One of the most fabulous places, in nearby Merigold, is McCarty’s Pottery, a gorgeous and cozy house filled with cherished earthenware pieces. People literally come from around the world to buy these gorgeous collectibles.
Suppose you fancy a stay in the Mississippi Delta. In that case, I recommend the Cotton House Cleveland, a Marriott Tribute Portfolio boutique hotel with stylish rooms, a fabulous lobby, and two noteworthy restaurants.
Delta Meat Market serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (mainly on McCarty Pottery) and offers choice gourmet market items in the market. The second dining option, Bar Fontaine, is on the hotel’s rooftop. Both are owned by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Cole Ellis. If steak frites are available, you’ve got to try this perfect dinner entree. Finish up with Moonpie bread pudding.
Dockery Farms is often considered the birthplace of the blues, and a tour is crucial for fully understanding the way of life in the rural Mississippi Delta’s cotton fields. Charley Patton and Howlin’ Wolf were regular musical acts here.
Stop by Hey Joe’s Burgers + Beer, a lively and fun restaurant, at the end of the day for a nightcap, appetizer, or to play a round of trivia.
Greenwood (my favorite) is a Mississippi Delta town with a walkable downtown area with a world-class hotel and spa, a historic restaurant, and quite a few boutiques. The Alluvian Hotel, which has been featured in many major magazines and publications, is an excellent place to relax and unwind in the Delta. Take your physical and mental health to the next level with a massage or skin treatment from the Alluvian Spa.
The Crystal Grill, circa 1933, is one of the most well-known eateries in the Magnolia State, and trust me — it is fantastic. Whether you go for lunch or dinner, save room for mouth-watering desserts, namely pies. I recommend roasted turkey with celery dressing and cranberry sauce, but the spaghetti and meatballs are wonderful, too. Crystal Grill is currently closed Monday through Wednesday.
One of the most extraordinary things you can do in all of Mississippi is participate in a cooking class at Viking Cooking School, which you can do right here in the Delta. I’ve been to several. Learning how to prepare a new recipe, tasting the delicious results, meeting new friends, and cooking on world-class kitchen appliances is a fun time. Sign me up anytime!
Pro Tip: You can take a “Southern Specialties from Hit Movie The Help” three-hour cooking class every other Saturday for $99 at the Viking Cooking School.
Perhaps you will recognize Greenwood as soon as you arrive, especially if you’ve seen the movie The Help. Browse several of the filming locations around Greenwood, including the exterior of Skeeter Phelan’s home at 7300 County Road 518 (Money Road). The family is so kind to allow tourists to drive through their property for a photo-op, a testament to Southern hospitality. You’ll find more of the Greenwood The Help film locations in this helpful blog post.
My husband and I like to stop at casinos all across the nation, and Tunica is one of the best places to do so. There are four main ones to visit: Horseshoe Tunica (Caesar’s property), Sam’s Town, Hollywood Casino, and Gold Strike (an MGM property). These casinos and resorts are genuinely as impressive as any in the country, and you’ll have your own little Las Vegas getaway right here in the Mississippi Delta. Remember that the casinos feature touring headliner musical acts and performances, too.
Tunica also has two other prominent offerings: the River Bend Links, a Scottish links golf course, and a Delta blues museum. For golfers, there are 6,900 yards of perfectly manicured grounds with lakes, grass, and sand bunkers on this par-72 course. You may even spot some wildlife during your game. I haven’t been to the Gateway to the Blues Museum and Visitor Center, but I’ve heard and read good things about it.
Hungry? The Hollywood Cafe will meet your culinary needs for a lunch or dinner stop. Offerings include U.S. farm-raised catfish, a Mississippi must-try item.
Known as the “Birthplace of the Blues,” Clarksdale is the Delta town to experience mind-blowing live music 365 days of the year. Settle in for a night of fun and pulsating music. Ground Zero Blues Club, co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman, is the most famous place in the Delta to experience the blues. This world-famous institution has been featured on dozens of TV shows, voted one of the top nightclubs/bars in America, and is used for filming purposes. Check out the Blues jam on Thursdays.
Fun Fact: A few months ago, a second Ground Zero Blues Club opened in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Pro Tip: You can see live blues-streaming of Clarksdale music events in the comfort of your living room via Live from Clarksdale.
Yet another museum to explore the Mississippi Delta region and culture is the Delta Blues Museum of Clarksdale. This museum was opened in 1979, branded as a stand-alone in 1999, and is the oldest music museum in the state.
Grab a barbecue meal (ribs, pulled pork, or beef) or famous Mississippi tamales from Abe’s Bar-B-Q, serving delicious eats since 1924.
Again, my husband and I are gamblers, so we spent some time at Trop Casino Greenville, which proved lucrative, but the one thing you can’t miss in Greenville is the world-famous green frog. Jim Henson hails from Greenville, where you will find a darling little stop, the Birthplace of Kermit the Frog, with a treasure trove of all things Muppets and even some of Henson’s earlier and lesser-known works. You can buy souvenirs, let the kids play and read books, and see the craftsmanship behind these lovable characters. Be sure to check out Deer Creek behind the museum, where you’ll see some bonus Jim Henson nuggets.
Leland has several museums to add to your travel itinerary, including the Highway 61 Blues Museum.
Home to legendary B.B. King, you’ll find B.B.’s burial site and collection of his career at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center.
Another biggie in Indianola is the Indianola Pecan House, which creates those gourmet specialty packaged pecans. Before I visited the Mississippi Delta, I ordered them online and sent them as gifts. Try the key lime for a sweet snack or the cajun roasted for more unique flavors. Sugar-free options are available, too.
In Greenville (though at 30,000 residents, it’s a little over what qualifies as a small town) you’ll want to see Winterville Mounds, a National Historic Landmark on the site of “a gathering place and ceremonial site for Mississippian Indians” who inhabited the area from 1000 to 1450 A.D. Also in Greenville, Delta’s Museum Mile has a hodge-podge of museums to check out, including the River Road Queen Welcome Center and Museum of the Delta, which resembles a Victorian riverboat.
Downtown Greenville has a few shops to browse through and a farmers market Wednesdays and Saturdays from June through September.
Greenville is also not far from Lake Chicot State Park — about 20 minutes away across the bridge into Arkansas. It is a great space for bird-watching, fishing (bass and crappie, in particular), or boating and has an exceptionally photogenic bayou-like environment with elegant cypress trees and wildlife. There are also 14 cabins at Lake Chicot State Park for making an overnight of your Delta visit. You can also visit the 16-acre Greenville Cypress Preserve for more of that same beauty and take a hike along the natural area, complete with benches for resting.
Pro Tip: October brings the Delta Hot Tamale Festival to Greenville, a three-day event with local and regional artists, musicians, and of course, tamale makers. Greenville is the Hot Tamale Capital of the World. In case you aren’t familiar, hot tamales are savory meats and spices wrapped in corn husks. Caution: You unwrap to eat; the husks are inedible.
All of these small towns have Mississippi Blues Trail markers denoting locations and fun facts about the talented musicians from this unique area. A few to seek out are the birthplaces of Muddy Waters (Rolling Fork), Sam Cooke (Clarksdale), W.C. Handy (Tutwiler), and John Lee Hooker (Vance).
Hostels have long attracted globetrotters on a budget who enjoy mingling with like-minded travelers, and group travel has provided benefits ranging from planned itineraries to a sense of community and camaraderie.
Now, young adult travelers from 18 to 35-year-olds can get both.
A new venture, “Roamies,” was announced in December by Hostelworld, part of the Hostelworld Group, a global Online Travel Agent (OTA) that represents hostels in 179 countries, and G Adventures, a small group adventure tour operator.
The collaboration launched with a collection of 38 trips in 15 countries. Small groups of 16 to 24 travelers will be able to join adventures from less than a week to 34 days.
More than 50 hostels are the home-base “to both hang out and kick-start adventures,” the organizers said, and all trips have the support of an expert “chief experience officer.”
“When young people travel, they want to do more than just see places – they want to make meaningful connections and have new experiences that positively change their perspective on themselves and the world,” Gary Morrison, chief executive officer of Hostelworld Group, said in a statement. “Our mission is to help hostellers meet other travelers they want to hang out with while traveling, so partnering with G Adventures to offer a combination of hostelling and adventure travel made absolute sense.”
Morrison said Hostelworld was attracted to how G Adventures created “tailored group trips that put meeting new people and supporting local communities as the focal point, something our customers are extremely passionate about.” Roamies will offer them “an entirely new type of planned backpacking adventure in 2022,” he added.
Currently, trips are planned in Albania, Austria, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Peru, Thailand, and Vietnam.
For example, for 17 days on the “Gotta-See Europe: Germany, Austria, Italy – Amsterdam to Rome,” adventure, participants will take in Berlin’s history and vibrant art scene, the “jaw-dropping architecture” of Prague and Vienna,” and hike around “a ridiculously scenic mountain lake on the way to Salzburg.” Hostel stays on the tour include the Czech Inn in Prague.
“The pandemic gave us the opportunity to act like a start-up again. As we learned more about Hostelworld’s business, we realized there was an opportunity to create something special by bringing our brands together to create the perfect mix of backpacking and organized travel,” Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, said in a statement.
“Together we’re creating a new style of travel for our customers that will allow them to have a better travel experience and support our model of community tourism, which is based on investing in as many local and small businesses as possible,” Poon Tip added. “There is no better representation of that than in the hostel market, of which many are family-run businesses.”
Departures start on May 08, 2022.
Rethink where you stay, shop, and eat.
As travel transitions from wanderlust wishes to booked flights, we have an opportunity to make a difference simply by the way we plan our trips. In all corners of the world, businesses have been hit with pandemic-related revenue losses that may continue to have an impact for years to come. The good news is that we can help. Our travel choices can support and sustain our global community at large, as well as in the specific communities we visit—even something as simple as a quick souvenir stop can contribute to someone else’s livelihood.
Tourism Cares is just one organization that has made it easy to support local entrepreneurs with its newly launched “Meaningful Travel Map,” which highlights businesses that promote sustainability, diversity, and local economic growth. Here are a few more ways you can find and support small businesses when you travel.
While the internet gives us practically all the information we can think of and then some, there’s nothing more valuable than an insider tip that reveals a place or experience you wouldn’t have otherwise known about: an unnamed shop that sells local jewelry; a food market that’s only open off hours; or a business owner who makes a positive impact in her neighborhood. That’s why, in addition to my often obsessive wish list of restaurants to try in new places, I also keep a list of businesses to support, with tips straight from locals like hotel concierges, taxi drivers, and restaurant staff.
The most meaningful travel experiences I’ve had over the years have come from word of mouth, like when a concierge told me about a shop, blocks away from the touristy Marrakech souks, that sold the most intricate rugs crafted by a third-generation weaver, or when my taxi driver in Puerto Vallarta shared the secret of his favorite food truck, run by his family friends who served the juiciest carne asada taco I’ve ever tasted. So instead of heading straight to that street flooded with souvenir shops, consider asking for suggestions from a local first.
If you’re not traveling and still want to support small businesses around the world, Local Purse offers live virtual shopping experiences. From the comfort of your own home, you can tour spice shops in Marrakech with a beauty and wellness expert, or visit a store in Buenos Aires that specializes in handicrafts, such as colorful ponchos, pottery, rugs, and wooden artifacts made by native communities from all over Argentina.
Sign up for a walking tour led by a local to get an authentic history lesson on your destination. Along the way, you’re likely to make connections with your guide and other people you meet that can last years. I typically rely on Google or TripAdvisor to find walking tours in the city I’m visiting, and some of my favorite results have included bespoke cultural tours with Curated Kyoto in Japan and Little Africa Travel in Paris. Walking tours are so popular that you can find just about any theme to fit your travel personality—including culinary tours that let you sample various street foods and art-inspired walks that highlight murals and galleries.
Although our favorite hotels guarantee comfort and familiarity, part of travel is exploring something new and that includes accommodations. There are numerous benefits to bedding down at locally owned places, such as more personalized service or a design that reflects the culture and aesthetic of a destination, like the riads of Morocco.
One of my favorite boutique hotels, the Ivy, is located in the heart of Baltimore. Set in an 1889 mansion, this historic property is a feast for the eyes, with paintings throughout by local artists and students from the Maryland Institute College of Art. If camping is more your style, Harvest Hosts is a membership service that lets RVers book stays at unusual overnight spots, like wineries, museums, and even an alligator ranch.
Chances are you enjoy a good glass of wine and meal while traveling, so why not get hands-on with an instructional experience too? By signing up for a cooking class or winetasting lesson, you’ll not only support a local expert, but you’ll also be able to take those skills back to your own home kitchen—and add to your wine collection. Sites like Eatwith, Local Purse, and Airbnb have a number of hands-on activities to choose from, and it never hurts to ask for suggestions from your hotel concierge, locals you meet while traveling, or staff at restaurants and bars you fall in love with along the way.
Browsing a farmers’ or flea market is a great way to enjoy fresh food and artisanal products, often for less than they’d cost at a store. Even better, by investing your dollars into public markets instead of a chain grocery store or mall, you’re helping local farmers and artists generate income on a consistent basis—and show that their services are valuable and needed in the area.
Websites including Local Farm Markets or the National Farmers Market Directory are handy for pinpointing markets if you’re traveling in the United States; for overseas trips, a quick Google search will lead you in the right direction, and if you find a new favorite restaurant once you land, ask the chef where they shop.
Though a number of American chain restaurants find their way onto streets geared toward tourists around the world, it’s always worth skipping the familiar to try something new. A meal in a locally owned restaurant can bring you closer to the place you are traveling with each bite. A helpful app to find U.S. local eateries is ChefsFeed, which provides dining recommendations directly from chefs. Your fellow diners are a good source of information too. I travel solo often, which frequently leads to conversations with diners at nearby tables and waitstaff. Those encounters always lead to more suggestions.
Gratuities go a long way for many who work in the tourism industry—and tipping is one of the easiest ways to support local businesses when you travel. Especially these days, when service workers have lost so much income due to the pandemic, I make it a point to offer what I can, and if I’m not sure what’s customary, I just ask. The magic number can vary from country to country, but in general, I’ve found this international tipping guide from Western Union helpful, as well as AFAR’s own guide to tipping in Europe. In general, I at least round up the bill.
Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. AFAR may earn a commission if you buy through our links, which helps support our independent publication.
Just outside of Columbus, German Village provides a relaxing respite and a chance for visitors to immerse themselves in the history and ambiance of a quaint community with European roots. Stroll along the cobblestone streets, admire the brick houses, grab a cup of coffee or a pastry, sample authentic German cuisine, walk around Schiller Park and scour the shelves at The Book Loft, one of the largest independent bookstores in the United States.
Where to stay:
CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – The Crystal City is being recognized for its role in supporting members of the LGBTQ community.
Corning was recently named one of the top 22 most LGBTQ-friendly small cities in the United States by Vacationer Magazine. The publication recommended Corning as a place that is “worth your time, attention, and tourism dollars” if you’re an LGBTQ person who doesn’t want to travel to a large city such as New York City or Miami.
Areas of interest considered in the list included nightlife, entertainment, adventure, art, culture, and safety.
Corning is recognized as one of the best cities for corporate inclusion by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Due to this distinction and its proximity to the southern Finger Lakes region in New York, it has become a popular destination for the gay community. Every year, Corning hosts a Pride Car Parade and Pride Festival in June. The regions’ wineries and the picturesque landscapes keep the tourists coming back for more.
Other communities on the list include New Hope, Pennsylvania; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; and Asbury Park, New Jersey.