State-of-the-art developments will enhance the lovely Western region of the United States


California officials and tribal leaders just announced an initiative to drive up tourism in native communities across the state, which has the second-most federally recognized Indigenous tribes (109) in the country. The Visit Native California initiative, set for an official rollout in March 2023, and its accompanying website are funded by a $1 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Act. One tribal site promoted by the campaign will be the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza in Palm Springs, which will open next year with the 48,000-square-foot Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, a trail and a spa at the sacred Agua Caliente mineral hot spring.

The Jelly Belly factory tour in Fairfield has expanded with the new Jelly Belly Museum. The experience begins with a short ride in a Jelly Belly Express passenger train (weather permitting) from the visitor center to the museum entrance. With decorative jelly beans hanging from the ceiling, the museum presents the evolution of candy-making equipment and growth of the family-owned Jelly Belly Candy Company. (

SeaWorld San Diego’s highly anticipated roller coaster, Arctic Rescue, is set to open in spring 2023. The longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast will invite guests to hop on a snowmobile and launch at up to 40 mph on a chilly adventure as they race through the unpredictable arctic climate to help animals in danger.

Seaworld Dolphins in San Diego

Enjoy spectacular shows as your group learns about ocean life at SeaWorld San Diego.

The Little Italy Wednesday Market takes place year-round in the newly opened Piazza della Famiglia in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Created to be the destination “where the chef’s shop,” the mid-morning market also provides a place to explore for visitors looking for fresh food from California farmers, fisherman and artisan foodmakers. Adding to the authentic Italian ambiance is live entertainment on select street corners. (

The Chicken Ranch Casino & Resort in Jamestown, California will feature SageGlass smart windows surrounding the casino on three sides, bringing sweeping mountain vistas directly to the gaming floor. The use of SageGlass solves a major design challenge for the project: providing guests with views of the outdoors while supporting day-to-day operations by minimizing glare on gaming devices and security cameras thanks to the automatic tinting properties of smart windows. The nine-story, 190+ room resort will include a luxury day spa, fitness center, dynamic rooftop pool and event space in addition to the new casino floor with 30% more gaming devices and an increase in the number of table games. Located near the western gateway to Yosemite National Park, the new casino resort is expected to be an even more popular stop for visitors and bring a new wave of economic development to the region. The expanded Chicken Ranch Casino & Resort is slated to open in spring 2024. (

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating tram car-travels over two-and-one-half miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the pristine wilderness of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. During your approximately ten-minute journey, tram cars rotate slowly, offering picturesque and spectacular vistas of the valley floor below. Once you reach the Mountain Station ­elevation 8,516 feet-enjoy two restaurants, observation decks, a natural history museum, two documentary theaters, gift shop and over 50 miles of hiking trails. (

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has broken ground on the 5.8-acre Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza in downtown Palm Springs. The site will open this year and will include a new museum that will celebrate the history, culture and modern times of the tribe. The iconic intersection is home to the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring, a 12,000-year-old water source that has been instrumental in shaping the Palm Springs area. The new cultural plaza will include The Spa at Séc-he which honors the tribe’s rich history as the guardian of this healing mineral water.

The new Orange County Museum of Art just opened at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The state-of-the-art, 53,000-square-foot building is double the size of the museum’s former location in Newport Beach. (

Old Faithful Yellowstone National Park

Visit Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, and more.


New for 2023, Collette Tours is offering an itinerary where groups can explore Montana featuring Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Step outside, take a deep breath in, and look towards the mountains – you’re in the big sky country of Montana, now. Explore both the Northern and Southern Loops of Yellowstone National Park, and visit Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, and more. Venture to Helena, the “Queen City of the Rockies.”


The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, the state’s only accredited art museum, is undergoing a $60 million expansion that will be completed in early 2025. The three-story, 50,000-square-foot addition will include exhibition space, an Education and Research Center allowing expansion of programs for school groups, an expanded library, an architectural and art bookshop, a restaurant with Tiffany-style stained-glass windows and a rooftop sculpture garden with mountain and skyline views. (

The first of eight refurbished and historic neon signs has been installed as part of the continuing Las Vegas Boulevard Improvement Project. The signs will be installed over the next several months, and all will be officially lit next spring. The signs will join the existing eight classic neon signs already installed in the Las Vegas Boulevard median from Sahara Avenue to just north of Washington Avenue. The signs celebrate the history of vintage Vegas and create a neon trail to The Neon Museum. The Par-A-Dice Motel sign is the first of the new signs to be installed.

Nevada Museum of Art exterior

Nevada’s Museum of Art is not only a wonderful experience for art lovers, it’s also sure to peak the most casual of interest.


Food-hall fever has taken root in Salem at Fork Forty, the capital city’s first food hall, located downtown in the historic Gray-Belle Building. Enjoy Asian-fusion plates cooked up by Chubby Panda Bao House, noodles at Ojisan’s Ramen or Aleppo-style cuisine from The Syrian Kitchen. La Lucciola Pizzeria serves up classic pies, and Rex Prehistoric Patties has stand-out burgers. A scoop from Slick Licks ice cream is the perfect dessert. Beer fans can grab a pint at The Best Goose, a lively bar located in the back of the building. (


Noir Lux Candle Bar, a new business in Seattle’s hip Belltown neighborhood, offers private pouring sessions for groups of up to 30. Guests choose from over 50 fragrances and design a label in creating a custom candle. Groups may bring in their own food and beverages. (

Main photo: Jelly Belly Museum bean art