Getting Personal in the Mid-Atlantic April 27, 2023 by MATPRA Admin Every destination has a unique story to tell, and these Mid-Atlantic luminaries are part of what makes their hometowns (native and adopted) one-of-a-kind. Learn about the artists, culinary dynamos, small business owners and more who make the Mid-Atlantic region pulsate with heart. Click here to view the photo gallery, and please provide photo credit to the appropriate DMO. A one-stop-shop for unique travel ideas, roundups, and in-destination experiences to uncover and explore across the Mid-Atlantic region. For more information on any of the following, contact the destination marketing organization listed below. For general information on the Mid-Atlantic, visit MATPRA.org. DELAWARE Kent Black Swamp Artisanal Market is located in the historic heart of Downtown Dover, Delaware. This unique shop brings you farm-to-table food and crafts from all across the Delmarva region, suitable to one central location. From herbal tea to gourmet cheeses, there is always something new to bring home with you! Delaware’s Quaint Villages, VisitDelawareVillages.com, Catherine Jenkins, [email protected] MARYLAND Allegany Sparking a love for both community and the great outdoors, Mandela and Jamie Echefu are the owners of outdoor retailer WheelzUp Adventures. The couple’s business model is dedicated to being inclusive and ensuring everyone has access to the outdoors, especially in Mountain Maryland … where Mother Nature is the star! Allegany County, The Mountain Side of Maryland, MDMountainside.com/Wheelzup-Adventures, Mindy Bianca, [email protected] Talbot Talbot County’s Chesapeake Bay setting beckons many entrepreneurs, including the Inn at Perry Cabin’s Chef Gregory James, Maryland Restaurant Association 2022 Chef of the Year, and owner of Josef’s Sweets cheesecake bakery; and Judy and Tom Bixler, owners/captains of the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, the oldest privately owned ferry service in the country. Talbot County Office of Economic Development and Tourism, TourTalbot.org, Krista Boothby, [email protected] Wicomico “A little ugly and a whole lotta delicious,” is how the culinary dynamos behind The Ugly Pie describe their creations. Their bakers aren’t interested in making immaculate works of art, they just care about using quality ingredients to make something like Grandma would. Their pie milkshake is a must-try! Maryland’s Wicomico County, WicomicoTourism.org, Kristen Goller, [email protected] PENNSYLVANIA Allegheny National Forest Region Odo Valentine was a daredevil piolet looking to make a name for himself. At the age of twenty-five, and with only a student aviation license, on July 4th, 1939, Odo hired a photographer to record the event and then he flew, rolling his place sideways, under the world-famous Kinzua Viaduct. Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, VisitANF.com, Linda Devlin, [email protected] Bradford Shore Sisters Farm Market on Route 6 in Wysox is a family farm market that offers visitors in-season products throughout the year as well as an opportunity to connect with the spirit of the region’s agricultural heritage. From produce to handcrafted items, from seasonal plants and flowers to great dining, a stop at Shore Sisters is like visiting family in Bradford County! Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency, Morgan Christopher, [email protected] Butler The best story in Heather Sprague’s tiny bread and bookstore – Novel Breads Co. in Mars, PA – is hers. One of combining passions for books and bread and developing partnerships it’s become the recipe for a business that’s been baking bread for customers and the community for six years. Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau, VisitButlerCounty.com, Jeff Martinelli, [email protected] Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania The farmlands of the Endless Mountains offer visitors countless ways to discover locally produced items that bring the “Farm to YOU!” Travel the byways of the Wyoming, Sullivan and Susquehanna County to sample and savor local wines, craft brews, maple products, produce and dairy products that share the rich agricultural bounty of the region. Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, EndlessMountains.org, Morgan Christopher, [email protected] Happy Valley Ady Martinez (from Venezuela!) operates Juana’s in Downtown State College, PA. Juana’s serves authentic FANTASTIC Latin American cuisine! Ady’s restaurant has a loving community-feel and dynamic atmosphere. Ady says that the most rewarding part is serving great food and getting to meet new people from all over the world! Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, HappyValley.com, Edward Stoddard, [email protected] Juniata East End Coffee Co. owners Ryan and Lillah Cherry have put their heart into crafting a great cup of coffee, but also creating a cafe that is a champion for the local art and music scene and encouraging fellowship and positive social proximity. The community’s heartbeat grows stronger thanks to the couple’s heavily attended First Friday and other events. Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, JRVVisitors.com, Buffie Boyer, [email protected] Lancaster Jim Cox, owner/operator of Chiques Rock Outfitters in Columbia, makes Lancaster County’s portion of the Susquehanna River come alive with activity. From its banks to its waters, he and his team get visitors hiking, biking, and paddling along this beautiful stretch and in touch with its interesting past. Discover Lancaster, DiscoverLancaster.com, Joel Cliff, [email protected] Laurel Highlands Keith and Lisa Welch describe Tall Pines Distillery as a “different class of hillbilly,” and the moonshine entrepreneurs live up to that motto. With more than two dozen flavors, a satellite location in Missouri, and a new 1800s-themed saloon, they are making sure folks take a shine to Tall Pines. GO Laurel Highlands, TallPinesDistillery.com, Eric Knopsnyder, [email protected] Potter-Tioga Home to Pennsylvania’s rich lumber industry, the artists and artisans of Potter & Tioga counties continue to capture the spirit of the region through creative work, crafts, and photography. The Potter County Artisan Center, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, and Gmeiner Arts & Cultural Center are a few spots to discover that work. Visit Potter-Tioga, VisitPotterTioga.com, Morgan Christopher, [email protected] VIRGINIA Hampton Hampton is driven by artists, entrepreneurs and historians that make this wholesome city shine! Hamptonians like Muralist and Artist Dathan Kane, Chef Justin Ramos, Author Tim Receveur, and many more capture the brilliance and excitement of our diverse community. Experience the heart of Hampton from the perspective of these luminaries! Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau, VisitHampton.com, Mahogany Waldon, [email protected] Harrisonburg Harrisonburg resident Jeremiah Bishop, an internationally recognized mountain bike racer and cross-country cyclist, is a 16-time member of the USA Cycling National Team, gold medal winner in the 2003 Pan American Games. He founded the popular 107-mile Alpine Loop Gran Fondo race around Harrisonburg featuring 11,000 feet of climbing. Harrisonburg Tourism and Visitor Services, AlpineLoopGranFondo.com, Jennifer Bell, [email protected] Norfolk Norfolk is the city of glass thanks to the incredible work of Charlotte Potter Kasic, Executive Director at the Barry Art Museum. She has championed the growth of glass art through the Glass Art Blowing Program at the Perry Glass Studio, where visitors can learn about and experience the beauty of glass blowing. Visit Norfolk, VisitNorfolk.com, Paige Hawsey, [email protected] Richmond The Richmond Region can call visionaries of industry like Michael Lindsey a native son. He’s a restauranteur with 7 eateries and counting, sees Richmond as a culinary playground for those who like to update and adapt cultural tastes with new and exciting cuisines from all over the world. Up next, he’s bringing a sports bar concept to the students at Virginia Commonwealth University. Visit Richmond VA, VisitRichmondVA.com, Katie Potter, [email protected] Stafford Uncover the lives and legacies of George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm in Stafford, VA. Experience George’s formative years and learn, “What Would George Do? The Rules of Civility.” Explore the worlds of Mary Washington, her daughter Betty, and the enslaved women who lived and worked at Ferry Farm. Tour Stafford Virginia, TourStaffordVA.com, Brittany Loving, [email protected] Staunton No matter where you pull up a chair, Staunton’s restaurant scene is lively. A fan favorite is The Shack with masterful cuisine creations from Ian Boden, a two-time James Beard nominated chef. Combining his Jewish Eastern European roots with traditions of the region, this is a must while visiting Staunton. Staunton, VA, VisitStaunton.com, Jessica Williams, [email protected] Virginia’s Blue Ridge Meet third-generation distiller Chris Prillaman when you stop in the Twin Creeks Distillery tasting room. Located in Franklin County, known as the “Moonshine Capital of the World” after the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935 (which indicted 80 people, including Prillaman’s grandfather), it’s also home to weekly mountain music jams. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, VisitVBR.com, Kathryn Lucas, [email protected] About the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance Our goal is to make your job as travel journalists easier! These once-a-month emails provide a one-stop-shop for unique travel ideas, roundups, and in-destination experiences to uncover and explore across the Mid-Atlantic region. We work directly with destinations across D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia to put together roundup stories. Understanding your timelines and lead time needs, we’ve preplanned hot industry and travel topics months readily available to you. We encourage you to reach out to each destination contact above if you’re interested in covering their story, and also welcome you to email us at [email protected] if you’re looking for a roundup on multiple destinations or a different story topic altogether. The Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information, visit MATPRA.org.