National Trust for Historic Preservation Selects Muskogee, Oklahoma, as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2011
Public Encouraged to Vote for Fan Favorite Destination
Posted February 14, 2011 | Contact email@example.com or 202-588-6141
Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2011)—Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Muskogee, Oklahoma, one of its 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Muskogee, nominated by Downtown Muskogee, was selected for its unique role in American history, its diverse cultural heritage and its citizens’ dedication to protecting that heritage. From February 15 to March 15, Muskogee will be participating in a public online voting contest to select the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations Fan Favorite.
For 12 years the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across America that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from those found at the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and a commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.
“As the last stop for many who traveled the ‘Trail of Tears,’ the Muskogee area is a must-see for anyone interested in American history,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.” Muskogee’s celebrated multi-cultural heritage, fascinating museums, charming dining spots and many festivals make it the perfect place for the discerning traveler in search of a truly distinctive destination.”
Famous for its title role in Merle Haggard’s song, “Okie from Muskogee,” Muskogee has much more than just a song to bring visitors its way. When the Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced thousands westward, many Native Americans and African Americans who came with them ended their journeys along the “Trail of Tears” at the Three Rivers where Muskogee grew. As a result, Muskogee today claims a combination of Native American, African American and Euro American influences. In this town, visitors will find everything from the National Soul Food Cook-Off to family-owned boutiques offering western wear and decor and museums commemorating Native American heritage and Muskogee’s former role as the unofficial capital of Indian Territory.
- The Annual Azalea Festival in April attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.
- Five Civilized Tribes Museum and Bacone College’s Atoloa Lodge preserve and showcase the art, history and culture of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole tribes as well as tribes from the Southwest.
- Each year around the commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, the National Soul Food Cook-Off offers the best of soul food from around the country. Smokehouse Bob’s Barbecue, Dustbowl Diner and Sweet ‘n Sassy Café are just a few of the unique, local dining establishments that Muskogee has to offer.
- Historic Honor Heights Park dates back to 1909 and, at 132 acres in size, provides plenty of room for visitors to picnic, hold events, explore three trails and paddle around five lakes and ponds.
The public is invited to vote online to help determine which of the 12 destinations will be the 2011 Fan Favorite. From February 15 to March 15, any legal resident of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, can vote once per day for his or her favorite city or town on this year’s list. The winner of the popular vote will be announced on March 16, 2011. Voters are automatically entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America. No purchase necessary. Offer void where prohibited. Visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd for official rules, information about Historic Hotels of America, to learn more about this year’s destinations, and to begin voting!
To download high resolution images and video of this year’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, visit www.PreservationNation.org/press.
The 2011 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations includes:
Alexandria, Va. – Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country – and not just because it was home to the nation’s founding father, George Washington. An extraordinary blend of early America and modern chic, the city offers an eclectic mix of neighborhoods, historic sites, dining and shopping.
Chapel Hill, N.C. – From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and its bustling downtown area, Chapel Hill certainly lives up to its nickname as the ‘Southern Part of Heaven.’
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Colorado Springs can enjoy commanding views of Pikes Peak from just about any part of this vibrant, historic town.
Dandridge, Tenn. – With its idyllic natural setting in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a welcoming small town spirit and a charming historic downtown, Dandridge epitomizes the quintessential Southern Appalachian town.
Eureka, Calif. – Located on the Northern California coast, Eureka is a beautifully preserved Victorian seaport that features a lively Old Town, the Carson Mansion - one of the most photographed homes in America - and nearby forests of majestic old growth redwoods.
Muskogee, Okla. – Once the unofficial capital of Indian Territory, Muskogee’s storied past and Native American, African American and Euro American influences are well-preserved and the vibrant town has many unique festivals, museums, restaurants and more.
New Bedford, Mass. – Once one of the world’s largest whaling ports, New Bedford is awash in maritime history, as well as scenic beaches, abundant architectural and historical riches, diverse neighborhoods and a burgeoning arts community.
Paducah, Ky. – The heart of Kentucky’s Four Rivers region, visitors to Paducah will find thriving historic districts filled with turn of the century architecture and one-of-a-kind shops and eateries as well as a community that creatively celebrates its cultural and artistic heritage.
San Angelo, Texas – A frontier city with a rich past, San Angelo offers visitors an authentic Old West experience, a bustling downtown historic district and vibrant cultural offerings.
Saint Paul, Minn. – Known for some of Minnesota’s most famous historic buildings—including the Cass Gilbert-designed State Capitol and the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald—visitors to St. Paul can browse the quaint shops of Grand Avenue, dine in the strikingly restored warehouse district, or be awed by the stately mansions along Summit Avenue.
Sheridan, Wyo. – Set in “the shadow of the Big Horns,” Sheridan offers a vibrant Main Street commercial district, abundant recreational opportunities, and an authentic Western experience.
Sonoma, Calif. – Dating back to the early 19th and set amidst winding country roads and family-owned vineyards, Sonoma offers all the perks of being in the heart of wine country, with the added benefit of a laid back vibe that complements the award-winning wine and food.
2011 marks the twelfth announcement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations annual list. To date, there are 144 Distinctive Destinations located in 46 states throughout the country. To see a complete list and to vote for the 2011 Fan Favorite Destination, visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd. The title of Distinctive Destination is presented to cities and towns that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization. In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town’s character and sense of place.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.