destinations

Written by Jennifer Turner

Looks like we have some serious competition on our hands — and we need your help! As WITS ‘15 is quickly approaching, we are always looking ahead. In fact, planning for WITS ‘16 is already in the works.

The first thing required for planning WITS is a destination. Many ideas were placed on the table but there was no unanimous decision. Alas! But we had an idea! How about we create a contest for destinations to host WITS ’16? What a brilliant idea!

Our search went coast to coast — even internationally!

We asked ourselves:

Does this destination offer interesting activities, restaurants, and charm for WITS off-site events and tours?

Is it easily accessible to the airport?

And, most importantly, is there a pure and genuine enthusiasm and support for women travelers?

3 fantastic destinations fit that description and I am excited to announce our finalists! All attendees at WITS ’15 will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite spot to host WITS. We leave it in your hands.

Branson, Missouri

Branson pics

Branson is a little slice of heaven on a big slice of earth, with live entertainment and scenic beauty for miles. If Branson is chosen, you will be all smiles when you #shineinbranson. Whether in sessions or enjoying the endless opportunities for fun, inspiration is around every corner.

Known for fun vacations, the Ozarks provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable adventure. Your day starts with a breathtaking sunrise over a pristine lake. Sit back and be prepared to be wowed by the world-class live entertainment that shines every day in Branson. Nature also stars in its own show. You can enjoy a scenic hike, a leisurely float in a kayak or fly through the canopy on a zipline. Feel your cares melt away and spoil yourself with a relaxing spa treatment. Delight your palate with a choice from one the area’s eclectic menus. And finish the night off sipping on a Shine-A-Rita, mixed with locally crafted moonshine.

Irvine, California

Irvine

Irvine was master-planned to be the “safest city in America,” an iconic Southern California environment, an economic powerhouse and the most conveniently located center point from which to explore and experience everything that makes Orange County, California fun, exciting and postcard-worthy!

If Irvine is chosen, WITS attendees will find the year-round Mediterranean climate an invitation to enjoy outdoor or indoor activities. Stay local and enjoy the surprising urban adventures Irvine has to offer with the most open space in Orange County – 16,000 acres in all. Hike and bike miles of trails in Bommer Canyon, Shady Canyon, Turtle Ridge and Quail Hill or bird watch in the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. Or opt for practicing the art of world-class shopping and lifestyle entertainment at the Irvine Spectrum Center, the hip and trendy dining, shopping and entertainment experience, where one can peruse over 130 nationally-recognized retailers, laugh at the Improv Comedy Club, ride the antique-themed carousel and the iconic 108-foot tall Giant Wheel, a wheel custom-designed and hand crafted in Italy. And then there is the food – farm to table, locally sourced cuisine to authentic Asian to classic California tastes. And, if you exhaust these options, travel across the street a few minutes north to the world-renowned South Coast Plaza or south to Fashion Island to extend your retail and entertainment adventure.

And don’t miss our backyard adventures – the ones that make Southern California one of the world’s top travel destinations. A few minutes south and iconic California beach experiences await: whale watching, ocean cruises and Catalina Island. Or a few minutes north, spend the day at the original and most memorable Disneyland®, California Adventure or Knott’s Berry Farm. Add a few hours and maybe days before or after your trip and include the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, Hollywood, Universal Studios, and world-class museums.

Blogging or day-dreaming, shopping, dining or just basking in the warm California sun, enjoy being a kid and an adult in Irvine and our famous Southern California backyard.

Dunedin, New Zealand

Dunedin Pics

Dunedin is the only destination in New Zealand that provides cultural riches and architecture heritage, complemented by a natural environment, and rare wildlife all within an easy drive from central Dunedin. Nestled in the Otago Harbour, on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Dunedin’s surrounding beaches and inlets are numerous and spectacular. An endearing city of fine unspoiled Edwardian and Victorian architecture, Dunedin prides itself on being New Zealand’s center for learning, heritage, arts and culture and is renowned for being one of the world’s great small cities. Dunedin’s recent designation as a UNESCO City of Literature is an acknowledgement of the city’s cultural heritage. The colorful city center is safe and compact, with restaurants, curbside cafes, hotels and accommodation within walking distance and the city rise has many stunning views.

Dunedin has an iconic style, and is known for its culinary experiences where award-winning restaurants serve up fresh local seafood and delicacies. Quirky bars are found in intriguing alleyways, cafes filled with coffee purists and connoisseurs and an entertainment precinct that thrives on the vibrancy brought about by being a University City.

How it works

Now, I told you we have a serious competition! Voting will take place on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Each destination will be with us through the duration of WITS ’15, providing additional insight and doing their best to win your vote to host WITS ’16.

Happy voting!!