Michigan welcomes Motown in London

Pure Michigan hosted a party of leading travel industry contacts at the UK premiere of the new ‘Motown the Musical’ on March 8.


The production at the Shaftesbury Theatre London showcases 66 Motown hits from legends like Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and The Jackson Five, and tells the story about how Motown was born in Michigan.

Pure Michigan’s guests walked the red carpet with Motown stars Smokey Robinson and Mary Wilson from The Supremes, along with one of the producers of the musical, Berry Gordy, who founded motown soul music and launched the Motown Record Corporation back on April 14 1960.

After dancing in the aisles during the show, Pure Michigan co-sponsored the VIP opening night party at 100 Wardour Street.

Pictured are: Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, Larry Alexander, President of Visit Detroit CVB, Toby McCarrick, Executive Director of Great Lakes USA and Berry Gordy Founder of Motown Records.


Film locations make capital

With the 88th Academy Awards now done and dusted the Capital Region USA, incorporating Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia, is highlighting the many Oscar-winning films made in the region.


The iconic monuments and memorials of Washington, DC, the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia all regularly feature in filming for blockbuster movies, historical dramatisations and binge-worthy television series.

For example, Steven Spielberg’s Civil War drama Lincoln was filmed solely in Virginia and visitors can get a feel of the period by signing up for the tour Walking in Lincoln’s Final Footsteps ( tour).

Similarly, House of Cards, the political drama TV series, was also set in DC, with much of the filming done in Baltimore, Maryland. Stop for a meal at Tio Pepe Restaurant or Wit & Wisdom inside the Four Seasons Baltimore: both served as locations for multiple scenes in the first and second seasons of the series.

Also filmed in the nation’s capital was Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the sequel to Night of the Museum. Many of the Smithsonian Institution’s artifacts had starring roles in the film. The Smithsonian also offers Smithsonian Sleepovers ( where families can experience their own night in the museum.

And fans of the Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn movie Wedding Crashers will want to visit Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore, the primary film location for the 2005 comedy.

They can stay at the Inn at Perry Cabin where the wedding reception scene was filmed, or take a ride on the Woodwind II, the boat that served as the sailing yacht for Christopher Walken’s character in the movie.

Purely Capital Region USA offers a special 10-night film themed self-drive tour priced from £1,195pp. It includes flights from Heathrow to Washington Dulles International, car rental, two nights at The George, Washington, DC; two nights at Morrison House, Alexandria, VA; two nights at Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke VA; two nights at Westgate Historic Resort, Williamsburg, VA; and two nights at The Monaco, Baltimore, MA on a room-only basis.


Pedal power first in Birmingham

Alabama's largest city, Birmingham, has become the first city in North America to install an electric pedal bike share system.


Visitors to the state capital can now benefit from 400 electric pedal-assisted bikes, which they can use to explore this history-rich city and its monuments, parks and museums.

Key attractions include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, McWane Science Center, and 16th Street Baptist Church, a National Historic Landmark. The church was the scene of a bombing in 1963 during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement.

For a 24-hour rental, Zyp bikes cost $6 (approximately £4), with a seven-day option at $20 (approx. £14).