Optional Activities

Your registration fee is inclusive of many activities.  However, there are several optional activities that are available first come-first registered or fundraisers which require a separate registration.  You may purchase tickets in your Marketplace Passport or with Marketplace registration.

SIGHTSEEING TOURS

Saturday, January 30, 2021
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Registration to open on September 23.

PRE-FAM TOURS

Wednesday, January 27 – Friday, January 29, 2021
Eligibility | All Registered Tour & Bus Operator Delegates
Cost | Included but Limited to First Come, First Registered

Registration to open on June 1.

Pre-FAM Tour 1: Explore the Underground Railroad on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Henry Highland Garnet are some of America’s most influential and notable abolitionists and were all born in close proximity on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The entire shore lies along the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay, which meant that in the antebellum period, Marylanders’ lives revolved around the water – and that connection still remains strong today. We invite you to visit the places that bring the Underground Railroad to life. Anthony Cohen, noted historian, author and explorer of the American past, will lead this tour and provide thoughtful insight as you journey the Underground Railroad. You’ll experience notable stops along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Scenic Byway. At the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, you will see exhibits of her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and her work as freedom fighter, humanitarian, leader and liberator. Visits will include the Bucktown Store, where Harriet displayed her first public act of defiance against slavery; Linchester Mill, an 1800s era mill that provided fertile yet  dangerous ground for those slaves seeking freedom; and the Webb Slave Cabin, a hand-hewn log cabin, where JameWebb lived with his enslaved wife and their four children. Then discover places that helped shape Frederick Douglass into the abolitionist, leader, writer, orator and the great thinker he became. Experience the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the developing Frederick Douglass Park, overlooking a wide bend in Tuckahoe Creek. At the Henry Highland Garnet School, you’ll learn the story of Isaac Mason.

PARTNERS: Caroline County Office of Tourism, Dorchester County Tourism, Kent County Office of Tourism & Talbot County Office of Tourism

Pre-FAM Tour 2: Southern Maryland-Where Time & Tide Meet

Immerse yourself in Southern Maryland charm and hospitality. Travel back in time to walk in the footsteps of important historical figures including Native Americans, missionaries, colonists, revolutionaries, assassins, spies, slaves, merchants, farmers, arsonists and everyone in between. In Calvert County, you will experience the Chesapeake Bay Railway Museum that showcases the interesting history of the railway line, depot and former amusement park. The Calvert Marine Museum features paleontology, maritime exhibits and live, local Chesapeake Bay aquatic life including fish, seahorses and two adorable otters onsite.  In St. Mary’s County, visit Historic St. Mary’s City, a living history museum on the site of Maryland’s first capital.  Decades of research are the foundation of the living history exhibits assembled across the landscape, along the water’s edge, and amongst the old farms and plantations. If more modern history is what you’re looking for, explore the Patuxent  River Naval Air Museum, the only naval museum dedicated  to aviation research, development, testing and evaluation.  In Charles County, you will see Port Tobacco, the 17th century  town that was one of the nation’s largest international seaports  prior to the American Revolution, and the Thomas Stone NHS,  a tobacco plantation with a five-part colonial mansion and  19th century farm buildings. The tour will conclude at the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House, home of the doctor who set John Wilkes Booth’s leg after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  In addition, sip and savor your way through three days of delectable local cuisine.

PARTNERS: Destination Southern Maryland (Calvert County Tourism, Charles County Tourism & Visit St. Mary’s)

Pre-FAM Tour 3: Historic Sites & Savory Bites

A culinary and historic tour full of intriguing stories and savory dishes. Learn about unique medical innovations from the Civil War, sample local craft brews, organic roasted coffee, some famous Maryland crab, and indulge in afternoon tea at a historic mansion.  At the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, tour the home of the first American-born saint, see the original 1770s farmhouse and the beautiful basilica. In Frederick, take in elements of “Docs & Hops” with visits to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Monocacy National Battlefield and Flying Dog Brewery, Maryland’s largest craft brewery.  Discover how coffee is sourced and produced to make the perfect cup of joe on a roastery tour at Mayorga Organics.  Then, it’s off to the C&O Canal, often described by many  historians as one of the finest canal features in the United  States; and the National Capital Trolley Museum, featuring  exhibits on streetcar history and a display of historic trolleys.  This tour is sure to leave you craving more!

PARTNERS: Visit Frederick & Visit Montgomery

Pre-FAM Tour 4: D.C. Days & National Harbor Nights

Maryland provided the land for our nation’s capital and provides a great opportunity for guests to visit by day.  Then, stay the night at National Harbor, with four diamond accommodations and amazing Potomac River views, and see the area’s newest attractions.  During the day, explore what’s new in Washington, DC,  while you visit exciting and novel attractions, including:  Museum of the Bible, International Spy Museum, National  Museum of the United States Army, National Law Enforcement  Museum, National Museum of African American History  & Culture and Artechouse.  At night, unwind and celebrate magnificent Maryland evenings. A special event at TopGolf, a ride on the Capital Wheel, and dinner at one of National Harbor’s finest restaurants will have you wanting more.  Then, finish off your night by relaxing at the incredible Gaylord Resort National Harbor.  A great way to see all of the latest sites near our nation’s capital.

PARTNERS: Experience Prince George’s, Visit National Harbor & Mid Atlantic Receptive Services         

POST FAM TOURS

Wednesday, February 3 – Friday, February 5, 2021
Eligibility | All Registered Tour & Bus Operator Delegates
Cost | Included but Limited to First Come, First Registered

Post FAM Tour 5: From Beach to Bay-Taste of the Shore

Cross over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for an adventure from shore to shore. From tranquil waterways and scenic farmlands, to a national seashore and a favorite beach, this tour will have you anticipating summer. Experiences focus on two of the shore’s staples – water and agriculture, mixing in the excitement of gaming and a glimpse of the wild ponies.  Receive a warm Eastern Shore welcome and an opportunity to explore the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, home to a variety of non-releasable birds of prey, and the Salisbury Zoo, the best little free zoo in North America.  Later, explore the world’s largest decoy collection at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, and dine on locally produced craft beer and wine, Perdue chicken, fresh oysters and Smith Island Cake.  At the Assateague Island National Seashore, you’ll enjoy a drive through this barrier island park, known for its migrating wild horses and sandy beaches. Then, enjoy the amenities of a fourdiamond resort hotel with views of the Ocean City Boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean.  From lump crab cakes to oysters on the half shell, Maryland is known for its fresh and flavorful seafood. Here you’ll savor the delicious cuisine on Kent Island, the evolving food scene of Berlin and a sampling of local faves in Salisbury.

PARTNERS: Ocean City CVB/Tourism, Queen Anne’s County Tourism, Wicomico County Tourism, Worcester County Tourism

Post FAM Tour 6: Transportation West-National Road and the C&O Canal

Stretching 184.5 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, you’ll experience a portion of America’s first federally funded highway, established to broaden trade, improve communication and further the country’s expansion to the west. You’ll also learn about the new C&O Canal National Historic Park Visitor Center.  As you travel the Historic National Road Scenic Byway to Western Maryland, your guide will share stories of the byway and the various Main Street communities along the way.  You’ll explore the arts, breweries, world-class restaurants, and historic downtowns that grew from the Maryland towns situated along these two marvels of innovation.  You will see the National Road Museum, the Roads & Rails Museum and browse the shelves at Nora Roberts’ Turn the Page Bookstore. At the C&O Canal NHP, see the recently completed restoration project at the Cushwa Basin including the stabilization of the Conococheague Aqueduct. In season, visitors can ride boats across the aqueduct and through a working canal lock.  After two days and nights of the sights, sounds and tastes of these historic towns, you’ll be ready to plan a return trip.

PARTNERS: Visit Frederick, Visit Hagerstown & Star-Spangled Tours

Post FAM Tour 7: Stagecoach to Motorcoach-Traveling the Old Post Road

This tour will take you from the Upper Chesapeake Bay to the Brandywine Valley. You’ll travel through the ages of our region, from historic mills, charming small towns and manor homes to modern day destinations. This tri-county region was a bustling transportation route during the colonial era and beyond. Wares and travelers arrived at and departed from our ports then traveled along our dusty roads.  Begin your journey along the Old Post Road, where stagecoaches once transported travelers to and from their destinations.  Explore historic waterfront towns, such as Havre de Grace, the Decoy Capital of the World, where you’ll see the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum and the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum. In the Town of North East, experience shops filled with gifts, fashion, antiques, and specialty foods surrounded by award-winning local restaurants along a friendly main street.  Step back in time at Hagley Museum and Library, the historic DuPont Company’s impressive black powder complex and the first DuPont family home, gardens and office in the United States. Next, see the colonial capital of Delaware in New Castle. This captivating town founded in 1651 is steeped in history.  Along the way, enjoy delicious regional dining, including a crab feast, colonial fare, and more during your Old Post Road adventure. Try your luck at Hollywood Casino, visit Fair Hill International, and see Chesapeake City, a 19th century village along the banks of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.  Even our country’s founding fathers often rode their steeds along our Old Post Road. Today, our shared transportation route is I-95, offering easy access to our fabulous regional attractions.

PARTNERS: Cecil County Tourism, Visit Harford and the Greater Wilmington CVB

ABA FOUNDATION AFTERGLOW

Monday, February 1, 2021
9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Eligibility | All Registered Delegates
$50 Advance Tickets/$60 Onsite

The annual ABA Foundation Afterglow is a fundraiser for the ABA Foundation and supports the motorcoach, travel and tourism industry through scholarships and research programs.  Join the fun and don’t miss one of the best parties of the week!

BUS WORLD NORTH AMERICA

Bus Operators interested Busworld North America must register separately.

All current ABA associate (product and services members) are eligible to exhibit at ABA’s Marketplace. The Marketplace Networking Floor is focused on travel and tourism products/services. Product and service members with a focus on the motorcoach industry should consider exhibiting at Busworld North America for greater access to motorcoach, transit, corporate and school bus Buyers.