A trip that satisfies your group’s wanderlust, as well as their spirits, is just a drive away.
From a replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky to natural, cultural and American history museums across the South, America’s faith-based attractions offer a wonderful variety of travel experiences.
These sites will deliver entertainment and quench the thirst for knowledge while providing one-of-a-kind experiences that feed the whole person: body, spirit and soul.
Kentucky’s largest attraction is getting even bigger.
The Ark Encounter is home to the largest timber structure in the world — a 510-foot-long replica of Noah’s ark. And the enormous, have-to-see-it-to-believe-it theme park inspired by the Genesis flood is adding plenty of things for guests to see and do.
Repeat visitors can expect new additions like a custom-built Italian carousel, new residents to its Ararat Ridge Zoo and more to come.
Plus, the Ark Encounter will again host the biggest Christian music festival on the planet: 40 Days and Nights of Gospel Music, which takes place from August 2–September 10.
“I’m thrilled our music event is returning this summer to the ark after last year’s wonderfully successful 40 Days and Nights Festival,” said Ken Ham, Ark Encounter and Creation Museum founder.
The theme park, which is among Kentucky’s most popular attractions, is getting easier to visit, too. Bouncer passes now allow visitors to return up to three times in a seven-day window, as well as spend one or two of those three days at its sister attraction, the Creation Museum, just 40 miles down the road.
Groups of 15 or more enjoy discounted rates, check-in assistance and booking services.
Where else can you find a Bible-affirming natural history museum with botanical gardens, zip lines and dinosaur exhibits? That’s a rhetorical question. For hands-on, family-friendly fun, get your group to the Creation Museum.
Petersburg, Kentucky, is home to this institution that is part natural history museum, part Bible school and part theme park. The 75,000-square-foot facility invites visitors to understand history as revealed by the Bible. More than 100 exhibits feature ferocious dinosaurs, heroes of the faith and the world of the Bible. Plus, guests can enjoy a new theater with immersive displays and presentations, a planetarium, a petting zoo and nature trails.
No matter what aspect or area of the museum receives the focus of your group’s visit, the destination embodies the telling of biblical history, from the first creation of light in Genesis to the return of Christ in Revelation. Prepare to have your faith edified and your understanding of science tested.
Recently, the museum’s Legacy Hall Auditorium was renovated and expanded.
This new state-of-the-art auditorium will host daily presentations, from dynamic speakers on a wide variety of topics to fascinating animal encounters with museum staff, and special concerts and events.
The Ark Encounter’s bouncer pass is also applicable to the Creation Museum. Groups of 15 or more can take advantage of planning assistance and discounted rates.
Museum of the Bible
If you like history, archaeology and ancient artifacts set in a modern experience, you’ll love the Museum of the Bible.
The nation’s capital is home to a bevy of excellent museums, and the Museum of the Bible is no exception. The destination is more a modern experience than a simple collection and offers a unique approach to the history of the Bible and its impact on humanity.
Your group will be astounded by the scope of exhibits and unique experiences, from the Nazareth of Jesus Christ to the treasures from the Vatican. Groups can easily spend the entire day feasting on the interactive exhibits. Inspired by the design of the Tabernacle, the World Stage Theater immerses guests in a Scripture Experience daily from noon until 2 p.m. Check the schedule ahead of time to see which productions best suit your group, and choose among live performances, lectures, presentations, Bible readings and musicals. And while the museum has endless exploration options on each floor, don’t forget to ascend to the sixth floor for great views of the city.
The museum introduces new exhibits every year. Starting in September and lasting until January 2023 is a collection of artifacts titled “Samaritans: a Biblical People.”
Groups enjoy special rates, advanced booking, early access, designated motorcoach zones and planning assistance.
Billy Graham Library
Charlotte, North Carolina
“A message of hope, by every means available,” was the mission of Billy Graham in his nearly eight decades of ministry. The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, remembers the legacy of America’s pastor and his lifelong mission of bringing people to Jesus. In tandem with its exhibits, the Graham family homeplace, Ruth’s Attic Bookstore, Graham Brothers Dairy Bar, the Memorial Prayer Garden, and soon the refreshed library will deliver that same message to visitors through its freshly revamped “Journey of Faith” tour.
Since 2007, nearly 2 million people have visited the library. Now, 15 years later, Journey of Faith will incorporate multimedia enhancements, updated exhibits and new technology. Billy Graham’s story will come alive to visitors — from his public life as a global preacher and counselor to world leaders to his private life with his family.
The library will reopen by August 1, when these exciting changes will be on display.
Admission is free, and group planners can augment their visit with stops at local historic sites important to the formation of Graham as a speaker and leader. Tour operators can book experiential tours that can last up to a day.
Sight and Sound Theaters
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Branson, Missouri
Incredible sets, performances with gusto, powerful music — Sight and Sound Theaters mount productions to rival anything on Broadway.
With the original location in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and a twin in Branson, Missouri, the Christian theater organization welcomes more than 800,000 guests annually. With meticulous and outsize stage designs, immersive special effects and Hollywood-quality performances bringing Bible stories to life, it’s no wonder audiences keep coming show after show.
Whether you choose to visit the Pennsylvania location or make a trip to the stage in the Ozarks, the experience promises to be second to none. Theaters seat up to 2,000, without a bad seat in the house. That’s thanks to Sight and Sound’s 40-foot-tall, wraparound stage with live, cinematic and enhanced computer graphic elements. Plus, actors and trained animals flood the aisles to perform just a fingertip away from most seats.
In 2023, the Branson campus will introduce a brand-new show: “Queen Esther.” “Moses” returns for just one season at the same time in Lancaster.