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Texas - El Capitan - Guadelupe Mountains

Texas Quick Facts

Uniquely Texas: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Must-See: the Austin Bridge bats
Most Unusual: Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in San Antonio
Highest Point: Guadalupe Peak, 8,749 feet
Food to Try: Tex-Mex chili and chicken fried steak

What to Do

1 Take a ride at Six Flags

2 Swim in the Gulf of Mexico

3 See the underwater creatures at the Texas State Aquarium

4 Take a step across the boarder

5 Go fishing on South Padre Island

6 Buy a ten-gallon hat

7 Shop at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, the Oldest and largest flea market in America

Off the Beaten Path | Texas

In this week's Off the Beaten Path we are exploring the great state of Texas. In Texas you will find a wide range of amazing attractions. You can enjoy the cities, the unique cuisine, the theme parks, natural wonders, and many uniquely Texan attractions. The following are only a very few of the truly fabulous places and things to see and do in the Lone Star State.

Austin Bat Bridge

This quirky attraction is also know as the Congress Avenue Bats, and it's located right in Austin. The Austin Bat Bridge just happens to be the largest colony of urban bats in North America. The colony of bats is composed of over 1 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats. If you stay on the bridge during the spring and summer at sunset, you will be able to see the bats come out from under the bridge.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The wonderful Lady Bird Wildflower Center celebrates the love that Lady Bird Johnson had for native landscaping and its preservation. When you visit this delightful attraction in Austin you will enjoy the wildflower meadows, the exhibits, the observation tower and the many, many other planting areas. You too will be able to enjoy the Texas Hill Country the way that Lady Bird Johnson did.

The Alamo

No visit to Texas would be complete without a trip to The Alamo. The Alamo was originally built as a Spanish Mission, but we all know it as the site of the infamous battle. A visit to the Alamo will allow you to soak in the legend and the truth about The Alamo and the battle that was waged there in 1836.

San Antonio River Walk

Located on the banks of the San Antonio River, the River Walk is an amazing shopping destination. In fact, as you walk within the city along the winding banks of the beautiful river, you will be able to enjoy some of the best shopping and dining that San Antonio has to offer. The San Antonio River Walk presents a truly unique, Texan, shopping experience.

Johnson Space Center

Most of us probably dreamed about going into space at one time or another in our lives. You will be able to enjoy all of the mysteries of NASA at the Johnson Space Center, which is NASA's official visitor's center. At the Space Center you can try some of the great simulations and really experience what it's like to be in space, even landing on the moon. Of course, don't miss a tour of the NASA Control Center.

Big Bend National Park

Located in Southwestern Texas, Big Bend National Park is an amazing place to experience the natural wonders of Texas. You can see the Chihuahuan Desert and the Rio Grande River as well as other environments. Within Big Bend National Park you can take the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive or enjoy the Old Maverick Road. The Castolon Historic District has exhibits and historic adobe buildings. Of course every visitor to the Big Bend National Park should stop at Santa Elena Canyon and go for a float down the Rio Grande.

The Houston Rodeo

No trip to Texas would be complete without a true Texas Rodeo experience. If you can make it to Texas during March, you can experience the Houston Rodeo. This is the largest rodeo in the world and it lasts for twenty days. These twenty days are full of parades, livestock, BBQ and, of course, bull riding. If you aren't the bull riding type, you can take in some of the amazing concerts.

Texas | Fun and Funky Things to Do

Texas is a state full of great places to visit and explore. Many of these places have historical significance or beautiful art. Visitors will also find places that are quirky and fun, that highlight some of the more funky parts of Texas culture and history.

Forbidden Gardens, Katy
Visitors to Katy should stop at the Forbidden Gardens. These gardens are a celebration of some of the most significant historical sites in China. The gardens have a replica of the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang-di, at one-third its original size. Visitors can see replicas of all 6000 pieces of the army. There is also a one-twentieth scale replica of the Forbidden City, among other scale replicas of other important historical sites. At the Forbidden Gardens visitors have the opportunity to see and learn about ancient chinese culture and history.

Austin Bat Bridge
This quirky attraction is also know as the Congress Avenue Bats, and is located right in Austin. The Austin Bat Bridge just happens to be the largest colony of urban bats in North America. The colony of bats is composed of over 1 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats. If you stay on the bridge for sunset you will be able to see the bats come out from under the bridge throughout the spring and summer.

The Salt Palace Museum, Grand Saline

Texas travelers can learn all about the salt industry at the Salt Palace Museum in Grand Saline. The town has a long history with the salt industry, in fact the town is built on top of a large salt deposit, and has a history of salt mining. The museum features the history of salt mining as well as the history of Grand Saline. Visitors can see salt mining memorabilia, a video of salt mining, photos and other items that demonstrate the history of salt mining and the history of life in the community.

Amarillo, Texas
A stop in Amarillo will take visitors back to the era of the Old West, the town is surrounded by many ranches that work nearly the same today as the did in the 1800s. Visitors to Amarillo should make sure to stop for a meal at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, which is no longer located on the original Route 66, but started its history along the highway. This restaurant still offers the free 72-ounce Steak Dinner for customers who can eat it in less than an hour. As you leave Amarillo keep your eyes peeled for The Cadillac Ranch. The Cadillac Ranch was founded by Stanley Marsh, 3, the Texas millionaire as a piece of art outside of Amarillo. Visitors are welcome at this historic piece of Texas art.

ArtCar Museum, Houston
This Houston museum focuses on contemporary art, and especially emphasizes art cars. The museum also includes other fine arts from artists locally, nationally and even internationally. Visitors to the museum have the opportunity to see a large collection of very fascinating art cars. After exploring the art cars visitors can enjoy the other exhibits with other art forms.

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Search Campgrounds and RV Parks in Tennessee

Search for Campgrounds and RV parks in Tennessee

Tennessee Quick Facts

Uniquely Tennessee: The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville
Must See: The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis
Most Unusual: The Lost Sea in Sweetwater, which is the largest underground lake in the U.S.
Highest Point: Clingmans Dome, 6,643 feet
Food to Try: Hame and Red-Eey Gravy and Stack Cake

Things to do in Tennessee:

1 Learn about the history of the Towing and Recovery at the International Towing and Recovery Museum in Chattanooga

2 Take in the musical atmosphere in Nashville, "Music City"

3 Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park

4 Experience Civil War history on top of Lookout Mountain at Point Park

5 Enjoy some of Tennessee's excellent rock climbing and zip lining

6 See the splendor of Fall Creek Falls

Off The Beaten Path | Tennessee

Tennessee is a state full of amazing attractions and destinations. Throughout the state, visitors will find museums, history, nature and much more to excite the imagination. Here are a few, and only a few, of the amazing places you can explore when you plan a visit to Tennessee. From Graceland to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you won't want to miss a single one!

Nothing says Tennessee like a visit to Graceland in Memphis. There is no better way to enjoy the rich musical history of the state. The home of Elvis Presley is open to visitors for tours that will take you through the life and rise of Elvis. The home has an amazing collection of Elvis memorabilia. Tours can extend beyond the mansion into the rest of the estate, including the trophy building and the Elvis Presley Car Museum.

Fall Creek Falls State Park
This park is one of Tennessee's most beautiful. Filled with all sorts of natural wonders, including waterfalls, forests, streams, gorges and more. The park gets its name from Fall Creek Falls, which at a height of 256 feet is the highest in the eastern part of the country. Fall Creek Falls is not the only falls in the park; there are a few other amazing falls that visitors can enjoy as well. Recreational opportunities include biking, boating, camping, fishing, hiking and more.

Museum of Appalachia
In Clinton, Tennessee you will find a great collection of Appalachian history and culture. This museum is widely recognized as one of the country's more impressive collections of Appalachian art and culture. The Museum of Appalachia's collection includes baskets, pottery, quilts, furniture, war exhibits and much more. Visitors can also enjoy some of the amazing events held throughout the year. The Fourth of July celebration at the Museum is a particularly excellent annual celebration. Revelers will enjoy bluegrass and folk music, arts and crafts demonstrations, and most exciting, the anvil shoot.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an amazing place to enjoy the natural splendor of Tennessee. Visitors can hike over 800 miles of trails as they check out the wide array of flora and fauna. The park is home bears among other animals. During the spring and summer the mountains host a beautiful range of wildflowers, well worth the visit to the park. The hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains ranges from short day hikes to challenging back-country backpacking. For non-hikers there is also biking, fishing, camping and more options.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Nashville has plenty of amazing destinations and the celebration of Nashville's music is not to be missed. Located along Music Mile is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. At the Hall of Fame you can learn about important figures in the history of country music as well as about the history of country music in the United States.

The Lost Sea
Near Sweetwater, Tennessee visitors can take a tour of the Lost Sea. The Lost Sea was discovered in 1905, deep within the Craigshead Caverns. These caverns have been used by people for hundreds of years -- there are amazing artifacts from the Cherokee Indians throughout the caverns. Prehistoric remains have also been found within the caves. Visitors can also learn about the use of the caves during the Civil War by the Confederate Army. The Lost Sea was re-found by a 13 year old boy in 1905, and the full extent of the Sea still has not been determined. Divers and scientists have mapped 13 acres of water. Visitors to the Lost Sea can tour the caves, see the unique geological features, and take a ride on the glass bottomed boats on the Lost Sea.

The Parthenon, Centennial Park
The city of Nashville has many delights, one of which is the Parthenon in Centennial Park. Right in the city there is a full sized replica of the actual Parthenon. It was originally built as the centerpiece for the Centennial Exposition in 1897. Within the Parthenon visitors will find plaster replicas of the original Parthenon Marbles, (the originals are located in the British Museum in London). The Parthenon is also Nashville's art museum. It has a nice permanent collection and has temporary exhibitions.

Tennessee | Fun and Funky Things to Do

Tennessee is a beautiful state. Visitors can find all sorts of excellent attractions. Here are a few of Tennessee's interesting, fun and funky attractions.

Ruby Falls, Chattanooga
Ruby Fall is an amazing underground waterfall, this 145 foot waterfall is located over 1,000 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain. Visitors can see a variety of attractions while visiting Ruby Falls, including the falls itself, as well as Rock City and the incline railway.

The Grand Guitar, Bristol
Visitors to Tennessee looking to experience the musical culture of the area should stop to see the World's Largest Guitar. The guitar is 3 stories tall and 70 feet long. Built in 1983, this guitar is an excellent quirky Tennessee destination and a great place to take a fun photo.

Jack Daniel's Distillery, Lynchburg
Lynchburg is home to the Jack Daniel's Distillery, and it is an interesting attraction for all visitors. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the process of creating Jack Daniel's whisky, as well as hear the stories about the creation of the whiskey.

Dinosaur Walk Museum, Pigeon Forge
This museum doesn't just have dinosaur skeletons or fossils, instead its filled with life-sized sculptures of dinosaurs, from the largest to the smallest. In addition to the sculptures, visitors will find replicas of fossils and much more. In addition, there are plenty of activities for the entire family.

American Museum of Science & Energy, Oak Ridge
The American Museum of Science & Energy is a great destination to learn all about the different types of energy resources. When the museum was first founded the museum was called the American Museum of Atomic Energy. Today visitors can explore exhibits with information about the Manhattan Project, there was information about Y-12 and National Defense and information about nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage.

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