The Civil War may be the first thing that comes to one’s mind when thinking of Gettysburg, but a close second should be the food offerings available to the nearly 3.7 million visitors and thousands of meeting and conference attendees each year.

“Food is at the heart of all great meetings and conferences,” says Norris Flowers, president, Destination Gettysburg. “Destinations around the country aren’t just looking at food as simply meals that meeting attendees need, but rather experiences that are sometimes at the very core of their conference itself.”

Nestled in Adams County, the area has always had an abundance of options, but as of late, the more food-related tourism options have popped up. Visitors can peruse orchards, farmers markets and vineyards. Additionally, restaurants have started using local ingredients.

Two wineries have opened their doors in which meeting planners can advise attendees to visit. The opening of both was likely bolstered by the creation of the Gettysburg Wine & Fruit Trail, a collection of orchards, markets and wineries in the area. There is also a Savor Gettysburg Food Tour, a Savory Sweets Tour and a Gettysburg Wine, Cider and Dine Tour.

With all of the new tourism options, Destination Gettysburg has ramped up its marketing tactics, showing off the culinary experience as well as the area’s history and heritage.

“What’s most exciting about this development is that it defines our destination in its entirety—not just Gettysburg, not just the battlefield, but Adams County as a full experience,” says Jenny McConnell, sales director, Destination Gettysburg. “This experience is bringing meeting planners from their conference rooms into the farms, wineries and restaurants in several communities that surround Gettysburg, and that’s a victory for us all.”

“Beer City USA” mixes business and pleasure at meeting venues large and small.

Headquarters to more than 130 international companies—including such global giants as Amway, Steelcase and Herman Miller—and home to Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Michigan’s second largest city, Grand Rapids, ranks as a natural destination for corporate gatherings. What’s more, the city’s reputation as a center for fine and performing arts, outdoor recreation and craft beer lures plenty of leisure travelers as well. 

 

Saugatuck has long claimed boasting rights as one of the most stunning destinations in the country and a breathtaking setting for a corporate retreat. Now it’s official. Conde Nast Traveler has named Saugatuck one of “The 26 Most Beautiful Towns in America.”  The ‘tiny hamlet,’ the publication wrote, “is nestled among the sand dunes on the east coast of Lake Michigan, making it a playground for sunbathers, kayakers, and dune buggy-riders.

 

It’s hard, if not impossible, to beat the beauty of Michigan when it comes to leaf peeping and other autumn activities.