Search for art. During the 1900s, glass floats were once used by fishermen to establish a reference point. Beachcombers could collect these glass floats as a hobby in the 1950s when the fishing industry began using plastic and styrofoam floats. During the first months of the year, Jekyll Island creates a treasure hunt around this unique part of fisherman history. Now until February 29, you can participate in Island Treasures at Jekyll Island where volunteers hide glass fishing floats all around the island for visitors to find. Island Treasures at Jekyll Island.
Birthday Bash for the King. Head to Memphis on January 7-10 to celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s birthday. Events include a celebratory birthday cake and coffee gathering, an auction with authenticated Elvis artifacts, and a Graceland Insiders Reception and Graceland Tour, which includes a private evening tour of the Graceland Mansion decorated for the holidays and a reception in the Graceland Plaza. Insider’s Reception and Graceland Tour starts at $49; Graceland.com
Start the New Year with a thrill. Curl up with a good book to start the year off right with a thriller about family and lies by Washington, D.C. native Carla Buckley. The Good Goodbye follows the life of Natalie Falcone and her daughter Arden. After Arden is suspected of starting a deadly fire that injures her and kills her friend, Natalie must dig deep to find out what Arden knows. $13.99; The Good Goodbye.
Reopening of a legend. The Lyric Theatre, a 102-year-old vaudeville venue, is back in business on January 14 in Birmingham, Alabama. The grand opening of the Lyric features local entertainers like Three on a String, Birmingham Sunlights, and a troupe from the Red Mountain Theatre Company. The entertainment is a little nod to the Lyric’s vaudeville tradition, which included variety shows featuring song, dance, and comedy. Tickets for the opening night start at $40; The Lyric.
Acoustics by the beach. The 7th annual 30A Songwriters Festival in South Walton, Florida, celebrates acoustic musicians and lyricists from around the country on January 15-17. More than 100 artists are scheduled to play the festival, including Southern-raised duo Shovels & Rope and Nashville trio Matraca Berg, Suzy Bogguss, and Gretchen Peters. Day pass starts at $100; 30A Songwriters Festival.
Practice your shucking. The 33rd Annual Low Country Oyster Festival takes place this year on January 31 in Mount Pleasant’s Boone Hall Plantation. Events during the festival include an oyster eating contest, an oyster shucking contest, and a food court showcasing local Charleston restaurants for those looking for cuisine that matches more of their taste. Tickets start at $17.50; Lowcountry Oyster Festival.
Take the plunge. The Blowing Rock, North Carolina, Winterfest on January 28-31 celebrates everything winter. Take the Polar Ice Plunge at Chetola, watch blocks of ice come to life in the Ice Carving Competition, and try your hand at the Chilly Chili Cookoff. Prices for events start at $27; Blowing Rock Winterfest.