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Wyoming Quick Facts
Uniquely Wyoming: the Fort Laramie Rendezvous in June
Must-See: Yellowstone National Park
Most Unusual: Shoes Made From Big Nose George in Rawlins
Highest Point: Gannett Peak, 13,804 feet
Food to Try: Elk jerky and fry bread
What to Do in Wyoming
1 Ski at Jackson Hole
2 Watch for moose in the Grand Tetons
3 Look for jackalopes
4 See the Ames Pyramid in Buford
5 Watch Old Faithful geyser erupt
6 View the great blue herons at Hawk Springs Recreation Area
Off The Beaten Path | Wyoming
Wyoming is a stunning state filled with destinations for visitors to enjoy. There are many places with an amazing rugged beauty. Throughout the state there are locations where one can find all sorts of outdoor recreation and fun. Here are a few of Wyoming's great destinations.
Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower National Monument is an amazing destination in Wyoming. The Devils Tower rises over 1260 feet above the Belle Fourche River. In fact, this area was the first National Monument, created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Visitors to the park can explore woodlands, grasslands and pine forests. Within these beautiful habitats there is an amazing range of wildlife to see, including prairie dogs. In addition, recreational activities about within the National Monument, including hiking on the paved Tower Trail and rock climbing.
Cheyenne Frontier Days
For visitors to Wyoming looking to enjoy some western fun, the Cheyenne Frontier Days is an excellent event to visit. Cheyenne Frontier Days has an amazing rodeo, through the duration of the festival. Visitors to the festival can learn all about the history of the west at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum. There are also parades, country music and lots of delicious food.
Bighorn Scenic Byway
This scenic byway crosses the Bighorn National Forest from east to west on US 14. The Bighorn Scenic Byway is an amazing way to explore some of the beauty of the Bighorn National Forest and other beautiful locations in Wyoming. Along this section of highway visitors can see the city of Shell, as well as Shell Canyon and Shell Falls among other amazing sites. Travelers on the byway will find many points to stop, hike, explore and have a great time.
Medicine Bow Mountains
Visitors to Wyoming can experience some wilderness in the Medicine Bow Mountains. The majestic peaks rise over the landscape, providing amazing views and an excellent destination for recreation and sightseeing. The Medicine Bow National Forest is an ideal place to explore some of the state's wilderness. Recreational opportunities include camping, fishing and more. The National Forest is also an amazing wildlife habitat and provides excellent opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
Buffalo Bill Historic Center
The Buffalo Bill Historic Center is a great destination for those visitors to Wyoming trying to learn about the history of the west and Wyoming. Within the center there are five different museums in one. Visitors can learn all about the history of Buffalo Bill at the Buffalo Bill Museum. In addition, the Buffalo Bill Historic Center includes The Draper Museum of Natural History, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Plains Indians Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum. Together this collection of museums make an excellent destination for those visitors interested in history.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Within this amazing recreational area is a most stunning landscape. The sheer cliffs tower 1000 feet above the Bighorn River. Visitors can enjoy all sorts of recreation including amazing fishing, even ice fishing during the winter. In addition to hiking in the beautiful terrain, visitors can boat on Bighorn Lake. The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area also preserves four historic ranches, which provide an interesting window into the history of the west. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular views the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area provides at the Devil Canyon Overlook.
Jackson Hole is a great all around destination in Wyoming. It is an excellent place to find year-round outdoor adventure. During the summer vacationers to Wyoming can enjoy plenty of beautiful camping, boating, hiking, rafting and much more. In the winter, there are many other recreational activities to enjoy skiing and snowboarding at world class resorts, as well as many more winter activities. Jackson Hole is also located in close proximity to both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
Wyoming | Fun and Funky Things to Do
The fantastic state of Wyoming has many amazing attractions and destinations. For those visitors that are looking for something on the fun or funky side, here are a few of the interesting destinations that Wyoming has to offer.
Located near Buford, the Ames Pyramid is a fantastic destination to for seekers of interesting roadside attractions. The pyramid stands along commemorating the Ames Brothers who played an influential role in the creating of railroads in the west.
Big Boy Steam Engine
Those visitors to Wyoming that love trains and those that do not will both be fascinated by this Wyoming attraction. The Big Boy Steam Engine, located in Cheyenne is the largest steam locomotive in the world..
This impressive amnion located in Laramie is an excellent destination to take a tour and learn about some of the history of Laramie as well as the fascinating history of the home. The mansion was built in the late 1890s by the Ivinson Family. The building later became a Girls School and today it is home to the Laramie Plains Museum. Visitors to this destination can enjoy tours of the historic home as well as learn about the history of Wyoming as well
Shoes Made From Big Nose George
Within the collection of Big Nose George artifacts at the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins, Wyoming there are a pair of shoes actually made from the skin of Big Nose George. Big Nose George was a horse thief and train robber, he was eventually caught and hanged. After his death a couple of doctors decided to study the body. Today there are is a large collection of Big Nose George artifacts at the museum as well as plenty of other fascinating local history.
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Travelers interested in prehistory will find the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis a fascinating destination. This center has many exhibits and many mounted dinosaurs for visitors to see and learn about the time period. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center even has fossils from around the world in the collection, and visitors can take tours of Dig Sites where fossils are uncovered.
Wisconsin Quick Facts
Wisconsin at a Glance
Uniquely Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dairy Farms, Wisconsin is the dairy capital of the United States
Must See: The House on the Rock
Most Unusual: The Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb
Highest Point: Timms Hill, 1951 feet
Food to Try: Cranberry Pie and Colby Cheese
What to Do in Wisconsin:
1 Visit a Wisconsin dairy
2 Take in the excitement at a water park in the Wisconsin Dells
3 Explore the shops in Door County
4 Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in New London
5 Visit Taliesin, the home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright
6 See the mysterious archeological site at Aztalan State Park
Off The Beaten Path, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a beautiful state filled with amazing natural features, art, culture and community. Throughout the state visitors will find unique and fun activities to participate in and places to enjoy. Here are a few excellent destinations that visitors can find in the great state of Wisconsin.
House on the Rock, Spring Green
Visitors to Wisconsin should visit the House on the Rock. The house and other buildings that visitors can explore today was built in the 1940's on top of Deer Shelter Rock. The House on the Rock started as a weekend home, today there are many buildings, exhibits and more. Visitors to the House on the Rock can explore the collections of the original owner.
Storybook Farm Llama Trekking, Phillips
One fun activity visitors to Wisconsin can enjoy is llama trekking. While Llama trekking visitors learn all about llamas, how to handle llamas and learn about the personality and disposition of the llama they are paired with. After learning about the llamas, visitors get to trek with the llama, and for the very adventurous there are also obstacle courses.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a great way to experience the beautiful state of Wisconsin. This Trail showcases the evidence of the Ice Age glacier that covered most of North America. Wisconsin's many lakes, hills, river valley and more are great evidence of the glacier. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail spans 1200 miles across Wisconsin. Visitors to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail can take day hikes, or hike across much larger parts of the trail.
Eau Galle Cheese, Durand
Wisconsin is famous for its cheese. One of Wisconsin's fine cheeses is produced at Eau Galle Cheese Factory in Durand. Visitors to the Eau Galle Cheese Factory have the opportunity to taste some of the excellent cheese produced in Wisconsin. The Eau Galle Cheese Factory also allows visitors to watch how their cheeses are made.
Taliesin, Spring Green
This stunning home is one of the amazing examples of the architecture and genius of Frank Lloyd Wright. Visitors to Wisconsin should make sure they take the opportunity to explore this amazing piece of American art. Throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall visitors to Taliesin can take guided tours of the Taliesin Estate. There are a variety of tours, and it is important to note that the Estate is privately owned and only accessible by guided tour.
Devil's Lake State Park, Baraboo
Devil's Lake State Park is one of Wisconsin's most popular state parks. It is an especially great destination from late spring to early fall. During these season's with good weather visitors can enjoy Devil's Lake, which is a stunning spring-fed lake. In addition to the beautiful lake, the park also has a great trail system, over 29 miles, that visitors can enjoy recreating on.
Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville
These beautiful gardens in Janesville are well worth a visit. Located on 20 acres the Rotary Botanical Gardens have amazing examples of plants and flowers throughout the world. Some of the gardens are focused on international gardens, including English, French, Japanese and more. In addition to the themed gardens there are more gardens for visitors to explore.
Fun & Funky, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a great state to enjoy a vacation. For those visitors looking for an attraction that is a little different, here are a few of the fun and funky spots in Wisconsin.
World's Largest Six Pack, LaCrosse
LaCrosse is home to the World's Largest Six Pack. This six pack are the tanks of the City Brewery. Today, visitors can see the painted tanks that make up the World's Largest Six Pack, and as it is an operational brewery, the six pack is full. For visitors looking for souvenirs, there are items available at the brewery's store.
FAST Fiberglass Statue Factory, Sparta
The FAST Corporation is a manufacturer of giant fiberglass statues. These statues are used at all different types of attractions and destinations. For visitors that are curious about where all those giant statues are made, a trip to the FAST Corporations Mold Yard in Sparta is in order. This is where the company stores all of its molds, and visitors can wander through the yard to see all of the different types of statues that they have made.
National Dairy Shrine Museum, Ft. Atkinson
Wisconsin is known for its dairy industry, so no trip to the state would be complete without learning a little about dairyland. The National Dairy Shrine is a great place to learn all about the dairy industry, from the history of ice cream to butter. Visitors can take a tour of the Visitor Center, which has tools of the dairy trade as well as information about the dairy industry in the past and present.
National Mustard Museum, Middleton
The National Mustard Museum started as the collection of just one man, today the National Mustard Museum has over 5,300 mustards as well as all types of mustard memorabilia. Visitors can lean all about mustard, and if they visit at the right time of year there is also a mustard festival held in Downtown Middleton.
Rock in the House, Fountain City
Visitors to Wisconsin that are looking for truly funky sights should stop at the Rock In The House. This is a home with a coin-shaped rock that rolled right into the middle of the house. One day, a huge rock just rolled into the bedroom of a home in Fountain City. The owners left the house with the rock in it, and now visitors can visit the house to see the rock and the destruction it caused.
West Virginia Quick Facts
Uniquely West Virginia: Hatfield - McCoy Trail System
Must-See: Civil War Discovery Trail
Most Unusual: Indian burial grounds at Moundsville
Highest Point: Spruce Knob, 4,863 feet
Food to Try: Apple butter
What to Do in West Virginia
1 Go rafting on the New River
2 Explore the indian burial grounds found in the state
3 Enjoy fresh apples at the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival
4 Take a scenic historic train excursion
5 Learn about West Virginia history at Harpers Ferry
Off The Beaten Path, West Virginia
West Virginia is an amazing state. Filled with the beauty of nature, a variety of wildlife, history and much more. Visitors to the state will find all sorts of attractions and destinations to explore. Some of these points of interest my be tourist heavy and some may be a little more off the beaten path. Here are a few worthy destinations in the great state of West Virginia.
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Visitors to this state park will have a glimpse into a time when steam locomotives were an essential part of West Virginia's industry. Much of the park is preserved as it was during the time period when steam locomotives were the main form of transportation for industry. Visitors have an opportunity to explore the park and learn about the history of steam locomotives. In addition, the park offers an excursion on the historic Cass Scenic Railroad.
Coal Heritage Museum
Located in Madison, West Virginia, this museum is a great way to learn about one of the regions important industries. Coal mining played an important role in the state. The museum has a wide range of exhibits about coal mining and the lives of West Virginia coal miners. These exhibits include mining tools, photographs, oral histories and much more, all telling the stories of coal miners throughout West Virginia.
Grave Creek Mound Archeology Complex
Within this complex visitors can see the burial mounds built by the Adena culture. The Adena people were one of the original cultures inhabiting the region that is now West Virginia. The mounds were built over many years from around 250 to 150 B.C. The Grave Creek Mound Archeology Complex also has a great museum with exhibits and displays about the burial mounds and their construction as well as the Adena culture as a whole.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
This delightful park and community is located at the point of convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Visitors to the park can explore the exhibits and museums in the historic community. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park also has trails to hike, including part of the Appalachian Trail. Another interesting feature of the park are the battlefields that visitors can learn about and enjoy exploring.
New River Gorge National River
The New River is one of this continents oldest rivers, and over 70,000 acres of land around this national river are protected and preserved for visitors to enjoy. The river passes through deep canyons and its power can be seen in the powerful white waters on the river. Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking, biking, climbing, whitewater rafting and more. Throughout this park there are historic sites, many opportunities to enjoy wildlife viewing and birding. Visitors can also visit a variety of points of interest within the park, including Sandstone Falls, the largest waterfall on the river, and the scenic overlooks in the Grandview area.
West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage
Starting at Blackwater Falls State Park, this event is a great way to enjoy all beauty spring in West Virginia has to offer. The state park acts as a launching point to explore the wildflowers and natural beauty in the surrounding area. Held annually, visitors can see a wide variety of wildflowers, wildlife, birds and the natural features of the region.
For visitors looking to recreate at any time throughout the year the Snowshoe Mountains are a great option. In the winter it is a great spot to enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Winter visitors will enjoy the 60 trails and slopes and four terrain parks on the mountain. However, this destination is also great for spring, summer and fall recreating. Visitors will also find excellent biking, golfing and more.
Fun and Funky, West Virginia
West Virginia is a fascinating state for visitors and residents. Those travelers that enjoy the more fun and often funky destinations in the places they visit should keep an eye out for these excellent attractions.
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine
One of the major pieces of West Virginia history is coal mining. Visitors to the town of Beckley can learn all about coal mining at a real coal mine. Although no longer in use as a coal mine, visitors can take tour tour with a veteran coal miner as a guide into the different underground areas of the mine. Visitors can also stop at the coal museum, the fudgery and more.
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum
This fantastic museum is an excellent destination for both adults and children. The museum, located in Wheeling has an amazing collection of toys and trains from many generations. Visitors will find a scale model of downtown Wheeling, as well as some fun train layouts.
Lost World Caverns
Located outside of Lewisburg, travelers that are interested in caves should stop and take a self guided tour of the Lost World Caverns. This attraction has a half mile loop, which takes visitors past a variety of amazing formations. In addition, visitors can stop at the museum, which has a fantastic collection of fossil replicas and more.
West Virginia State Farm Museum
The West Virginia State Farm Museum is an ideal destination to learn all about the farming history of the state. Many historical buildings have been moved to the museum to preserve their part in West Virginia history and for visitors to explore. The museum features a Blacksmith Ship, a schoolhouse, log cabins, a Carpenter Shop and much more. In addition the museum has a large collection of artifacts that tell the story of This part of West Virginia history.
World's Largest Teapot
Chester, West Virginia is home to the largest teapot. Those travelers that seek to see the largest things throughout the country should be sure to stop to see this example. While in Chester make sure to stop and get a postcard featuring the gigantic teapot.
Washington Quick Facts
Uniquely Washington: Geoducks, Orca Whales, Mt. Rainier
Must-See: Snoqualmie Falls
Most Unusual: Mt. St. Helens, sight of the 1980 eruption
Highest Point: Mt. Rainier, 14,410 feet
Food to Try: Clam Chowder and salmon from the Seattle Waterfront
What to Do in Washington
1 Ride the ferry boats
2 Hike in the rain forest
3 See a banana slug
4 Feast on seafood
5 Go whale watching
6 Sleep under the stars
7 Hike through a pine forest
Off The Beaten Path | Washington
Washington State is a great destination throughout the year. In the northwest region the weather is mild even during the winter, although there is quite a lot of rain. Summertime in Washington is amazingly beautiful with the warm sun and green plants. Visitors to Washington will find that although the eastern and western parts of the state are very different, there are all sorts of fun things to do on both sides of the mountains. Throughout the state visitors will find plenty of recreation, delightful towns, stunning island vistas and even ferry rides. Here are just a few of the state's amazing destinations in no particular order.
The little town of Leavenworth lies at the base of the Cascade Mountains. Leavenworth is an especially fun destination in Washington because the entire town has adopted a Bavarian Theme. Visitors to Leavenworth can enjoy the Bavarian homes, shops and even restaurants. Leavenworth is also a great destination for year-round recreation. The town is near to Lake Wenatchee, the Wenatchee National Forest and much more. It is a great rock-climbing spot, visitors can also try some ag-tourism to learn about the areas agriculture including berry farms and orchards. Leavenworth is also a great winter destination, the town has Bavarian themed holiday celebrations, and it is a great spot for cross-country skiing as well as many more winter activities. Visitors to Leavenworth may also want to take the short trip to nearby Cashmere, for a tour of the famous Aplets & Cotlets Factory and Country Store, where visitors can enjoy some of Washington's unique candy.
San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are an ideal northwest Washington vacation getaway. They are remote and filled with Washington's natural beauty. Located in the Salish Sea between Vancouver, BC and Seattle, there are over 700 islands, and less than 200 have names. Visitors will find that access to the islands is limited to ferry, private boat or plane, and only four of the islands are accessible by ferry. These four islands are Shaw Island, Lopez Island, Orcas Island and San Juan Island. Each of these four islands has unique character as well as unique geography. On the islands visitors can enjoy the extensive shoreline, wildlife and plenty of recreation. Visitors can enjoy biking, boating, camping and more. Each of these main islands also has a small town with unique shops, museums, local farms and the delightful local farmers markets. Whale watching is also a great activity that visitors to the island can enjoy.
Mount St. Helens
On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted, sending ash all the way into eastern Washington and beyond. The eruption and a large earthquake caused the north face of the mountain to collapse and creating a devastation pyroclastic mud flow. The eruption lasted for nine hours. After the eruption, in 1982 the President and Congress created the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, which set aside 11,000 acres for research, education and recreation, and the environment was left to respond to the eruption naturally. Today visitors to the mountain can climb the mountain with a permit. Those visitors that climb the mountain can see the lava dome that was building, but which now appears to have stopped. Visitors to Mount St. Helens that want to climb the mountain should always check mountain conditions and warnings before going up as it is still an active volcano. Other features of the mountain include the Johnson Ridge Observatory, the Silver Lake Visitor Center and the Coldwater Lake Recreation Area, all of which are great places to learn about the history of the mountain, and seeing how the environment has responded to the eruption.
Bainbridge Island is located in the Puget Sound, just an easy 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle. A day trip to Bainbridge is a great way to enjoy the culture of the Puget Sound while getting away from the city. Visitors first have to take the ferry ride from Seattle to the Island. Riding the ferry is a fun way to see great vistas of Bainbridge Island and Seattle, you may even be lucky enough to see some whales on the ridge during certain times of the year. Visitors to Bainbridge Island do not have to drive their car, as the main town of Winslow is a very short walk from the ferry. Winslow is full of cute shops and plenty of local arts and culture. Visitors to Bainbridge Island will also find some excellent dining options. If you decide to drive on the ferry there are many more fun things to do on the Island. During the summer there are many nice beaches that visitors can have picnics and swim in the cold water. Bainbridge also has some very nice parks worth visiting including Fort Ward State Park on the south end of the island and Battle Point State Park, which has a nice walk and duck ponds.
The Methow Valley is a particularly stunning part of the North Cascades and it is a great destination for recreation. The Methow Valley extends from the town of Mazama to the town of Pateros, with Twisp and Winthrop inbetween. Visitors to the Methow Valley will find that Lake Chelan, the Okanogan National Forest and the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area are nearby. At the northern end of the valley is the town of Mazama which is just 30 miles from the Canadian border. Pateros is located at the southern end of the valley and is nestled in a curve of the Columbia River. Visitors will find all sorts of recreation and fun throughout the area. In Chelan visitors can try some great Washington wines. One of the longest cross-country ski trails in the world passes through Mazama, Cross-country skiers will love this 120 mile trail. Twisp, located at the confluence of the the Twisp and Methow Rivers is a great spot to enjoy some river rafting. The area is also a good spot to enjoy wilderness trips, golfing, hot air ballooning, hiking, biking, camping, nature watching, rock climbing, a variety of water sports and even winter sports.
Dry Falls State Park
As you may have guessed from the name, the Dry Falls no longer carry water. In fact, these amazing falls are the remnant of what was once the largest waterfall know to have existed on Earth. Visitors to the Dry Falls will see the 3.5 miles of sheer cliffs that drop 400 feet, which is a little over twice the drop of Niagara Falls. The Dry Falls were created by the collapse of one of the ice dams that held back the waters of the Glacial Lake Missoula. The flood that followed eventually created the Dry Falls. Visitors to Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park can learn all about the geological process that created these amazing falls at the Interpretive Center located in Sun Lake State Park in Coulee City. At the foot of the Dry Falls visitors will find over 73,000 feet of freshwater shoreline. Visitors to this area might also want to stop and enjoy some of the areas many lakes, as well as the Grand Coulee Dam and Coulee City.
The Dungeness Spit is the longest natural sand spit in the country, the spit extends five miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and it grows about 15 feet each year. The Dungeness Spit is located just north of the town of Sequim and it is encompassed in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has over 200 species of birds as well as many species of marine animals. The refuge is over 600 acres and is open daily from dawn to dusk, but access is limited to horseback or foot. Visitors may wan to take the hike out to see the New Dungeness Lighthouse, the lighthouse is located near the tip of Sandy Hook and has a great little museum. Also near the spit is the Dungeness Recreation Area, which has over 200 acres of shoreline which is a great destination for all types of marine recreation. Visitors to this area won't want to miss a stop in Sequim. This town has a great downtown area, and be sure not to miss breakfast or lunch at the amazing Oak Table Cafe. The Olympic Game Farm is also a great destination. Visitors will find a wide variety of animals during their drive through the farm, including zebras, bears, elk, buffalo and much more.
Washington | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Washington is a beautiful state, filled with natural wonders and interesting activities. If you happen to be a visitor to Washington and are looking for some places and attractions to visit that are a little out of the ordinary, here are a few ideas.
Wild Horse Monument
This delightful sculpture collection is located on the east side of the Columbia River near the town of Vantage in Central Washington. The large sculptures were made by local artist David Govedare. Drivers on Interstate 90 can see the large silhouettes on the hill above. If there is enough time, drivers should stop to see the sculptures up close. When exploring the monument, visitors can see that the sculptures are made from welded steel plates and that no two of the sculptures are alike.
Visitors to Seattle should take the time to to explore this amazing sculpture located under the Aurora Bridge. The Fremont Troll peers to the south from underneath the bridge. Visitors to Seattle have been enjoying the unique sculpture since 1990. The head and shoulders of the troll stand 18 feet tall. Visitors and residents alike love to climb onto the troll to pose for unique Seattle photos.
Grand Coulee Dam Laser Light Show
The Grand Coulee Dam features a laser light show daily. Visitors can best see the free light show from the parking lot. The laser light show is displayed on the face of dam, with the water cascading down. Throughout the show there are fun laser light formations, with music and the show is narrated by the Columbia River brought to life.
Ye Olde Curiosity Shop
Located on the downtown Seattle waterfront, the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop is a must see destination for all visitors to Seattle. The shop is filled to the brim with amazing and quirky curios. These curios are displayed throughout the store, some even hang from the ceiling. Visitors come away from the shop with unique souvenirs of Seattle. Be sure to keep an eye out for the shop's resident Mummies.
Mima Mounds Natural Area
In the south Puget Sound, visitors to Washington can stop and visit one of the country's natural curiosities. Each mound is six to eight feet tall, these mounds are spread across the over 600 acres of the preserve. Visitors to the Mima Mounds Natural Area can walk along the interpretive trail to really see the repetitive pattern of the mounds. There is also an observation deck where visitors can see the mounds from above. There are many theories about the origins of the mounds.
Virginia Camping Quick Facts
Uniquely Virginia: Site of the surrender that ended the American Revolution
Must-See: Monticello, historic home of Thomas Jefferson
Most Unusual: The wild ponies on Assateague Island
Highest Point: Mt. Rogers, 5,729 feet
Food to Try: Brunswick Stew
What to Do in Virginia:
1 Visit Yorktown the city where Cornwallis surrendered and ended the American Revolution
2 Explore Assateague and Chincoteague Islands
3 Take a ghost tour in Richmond
4 Hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains
5 Learn about Virginia's geology while exploring the Luray Caverns
Off The Beaten Path | Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia is a beautiful state on the Atlantic Coast. Visitors can enjoy history, outdoor adventure, romantic getaways and much more. The Chesapeake Bay and the Blue Ridge Mountains shape the state and create habitat for the wide range of plants and animals in the state, and create an amazing place to enjoy adventure and excitement.
Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island located in Virginia and Maryland, is a bird watchers paradise. It was established in 1943 as a refuge for birds, primarily snow geese, but it is home to many species of birds and wildlife and is also home to the famous Chincoteague Ponies. Chincoteague Island is a beautiful resort spot. In addition to being close to the wildlife refuge, the island has many of its own charms. Visitors can enjoy their vacation exploring the beaches, marshes and forests of the wildlife refuge or exploring the local shops on Chincoteague Island. Scenic Chincoteague has many opportunities to hike, bike and boat, you can also go crabbing or claming. The town also offers pony rides on real Chincoteague Ponies.
Located on a mountaintop outside of Charlottesville, Monticello is an amazing place to learn about the history of our nation. Monticello was the home built by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. Visitors can now take tours of the personal home of one of the countries greatest historical figures. Tours include the first floor of the home, located on the 5000 acre estate, as well as tours that focus on different aspects of the plantation's history. Monticello is the only historic house in the United States on the United Nations' World Heritage List.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is 105 miles long, and it stretches from Front Royal to Waynesboro-Charlottesville. The Skyline Drive, the scenic drive through the park, is a fabulous way to enjoy the beautiful park. Shenandoah's visitor centers have plenty of fascinating exhibits, and the park has plenty of hiking opportunities. There are over 500 miles of trails, and much of the parks 196000 acres are open to back-country camping, nature viewing and more. Old Rag Mountain is also in Shenandoah National park, which happens to be a very popular, challenging and dangerous hike, great for the more adventurous hikers.
Warm Springs, Bath County
Warm Springs is a great location in Virginia to enjoy some relaxation. Visitors can find the very nice mineral waters in the village of Warm Springs on the western part of the state. The mineral waters are great for relaxation and are said to have healing qualities. The mineral waters can be enjoyed at the 19th century bathhouses. When visitors are not spending time at the bathhouses they can enjoy the delights of the village itself, including antiques, art galleries, crafts, the Bath County Historical Society Museum, live music and much more.
Located in Chesapeake Bay, the tiny island of Tangier is an excellent spot to enjoy some of Virginia's history. Visitors to the island can tour an bike or by Tangier taxis, which are golf carts used to tour the island. Some locals give tours of the island, which is a great way for visitors to learn about the island's history and present and enjoy the accent unique to the island. Visitors can also take nature tours which allows locals to explore crab pots and crab farms of the islands community.
This town is filled with significant Civil War battlefields. Visitors can go to Chatham, which is the only house in America that was visited by both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Chatham is widely known for the role it played during the Civil War, when it was both a headquarters for the Union Army and a hospital. Visitors to Fredericksburg can visit four battlefields at the Fredericksburg/Sportsylvania National Military Park, which includes Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and The Wilderness and Sportsylvania Court House.
Theater lovers will enjoy a visit to Staunton. The replica of Shakespeare's 17th century indoor theater, called Blackfriars Playhouse is an excellent location to enjoy the works of Shakespeare. Stauton is an old railroad town and the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson.
Virginia | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Virginia is a beautiful state, and it has many great attractions. Some of these attractions are very unique. If you are looking to enjoy some quirky and fun attractions during your trip to Virginia, here are a few great destinations to consider.
Drug Enforcement Administration Museum, Arlington
Located on the ground floor of the DEA headquarters. The museum contains a wide range of drug related artifacts, these artifacts represent all different time periods. Throughout the museum there are exhibits that illustrate different periods in time and culture. The DEA has much more that could be in a museum, however, many of these artifacts and photos are too shocking to be presented in a museum that gets such a wide range of visitors.
Dinosaur Kingdom, Natural Bridge
The Dinosaur Kingdom share its location with Professor Cline's Haunted Monster Museum. Visitors to Dinosaur Kingdom, will see the life-sized, hand crafted, fiberglass dinosaurs. Along the path through Dinosaur Kingdom, the large dinosaurs in combat with Union soldiers during the Civil War. Visitors to Dinosaur Kingdom can learn all about the story that brings together Dinosaurs and Civil War soldiers.
George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria
This memorial is a unique commemoration for both George Washington and the Freemasons. The ten story memorial was built by the Freemasons, and was built to resemble the Ancient 7 Wonders lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is also museum, with replicas and artifacts from important American leaders and Freemasons.
These interesting caverns are a great way to explore the underground and see the amazing formations. These caverns actually have elevator service into the caverns. Along the one-mile long trail there are all sorts of crystalline formations and large rooms.
The Natural Bridge in Virginia is a truly amazing sight. It is a naturally formed rock bridge. This bridge has a long history for America. It is included in Native American tradition, as well as involvement in the history of founding fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Visitors to the Natural Bridge can also visit the Natural Bridge Caverns. These caverns descend 34 stories into the ground, and have some amazing features such as the Colossal Dome, a dome shaped natural feature.
Vermont Quick Facts
Uniquely Vermont: Vermont Maple Open House Weekend (held throughout the state in late March)
Must-See: the leaves turning colors in the fall
Most Unusual: Annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade & Festival in Brattleboro
Highest Point: Mt. Mansfield at 4,393 feet
Food to Try: Real maple sugar or Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from the flagship store
What to Do
1 Climb Green Mountain
2 Eat Vermont cheddar
3 Go ice fishing
4 Stay in a romantic B&B
5 Take a hike through the woods
6 Go maple sugaring
Off The Beaten Path | Vermont
Vermont is a state filled with rich history, beautiful natural landscapes and amazing culture. When you plan your trip to Vermont there are many sights and attractions that you won't want to miss. Here are just a few of the great places you can go during your vacation in vermont.
Bragg Farm Sugar House
One of the long traditions of Vermont is making Maple Syrup. Bragg Farm is a great place to visit to learn all about how maple syrup is produced. The farm is open year-round. Visitors to Bragg Farm can walk on the maple walking trail to see the harvesting of maple sap. Of course the best part of visiting the Bragg Farm Sugar House is the wide range of maple products that you can sample and enjoy. They have maple syrup tastings and even maple flavored ice cream shop.
New England Transportation Institute and Museum
This unique Museum in White River Junction illustrates the long history and importance of transportation in Vermont's upper valley. The Museum includes history of air, rail and river transportation. The exhibits span a period of over 400 years. Visitors will have a great time learning all about transportation in Vermont through the exhibits, equipment, memorabilia and artifacts.
Vermont Covered Bridge Museum
Another important feature in Vermont's history is its covered bridges. At one point Vermont had over 600 covered bridges, today there are over 100 that remain. Visitors to this museum will learn all about the history and importance to covered bridges. These covered bridges are an important aspect of the history and culture of Vermont, and through the exhibits at the museum visitors have the opportunity to learn all about these unique pieces of architecture and engineering. The Vermont Covered Bridge Museum also has exhibits on how visitors can find Vermont's covered bridges.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
This National Park opened in 1998, and is Vermont's first National Park. The park preserves a beautiful piece of Vermont property and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing landscapes. Visitors can stop at the Carriage Barn, which is now the visitor center. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park also preserves an amazing forest. Visitors can explore the forest, which is located on the slopes of Mount Tom, on the over 20 miles of carriage roads and trails throughout the forest.
Green Mountain National Forest
This beautiful Vermont forest covers more than 400,000 acres in southwestern and central Vermont. Visitors to this forest can enjoy the combination of forestry stewardship and back-country recreation. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Long National Recreation Trail and the Robert Frost National Recreation Trail all pass through the Green Mountain National Forest.
Quechee Gorge is located within Quechee State Park, and it is the deepest gorge in Vermont. Visitors to the gorge can look down into the gorge to see the Ottauquechee River, which flows 165 feet below the visitor viewing points. The gorge was formed over 13,000 years ago by glacial activity. The area that the park is located on, was once the recreation area for the mill that once owned the land.
Skiers visiting Vermont should stop to enjoy the slopes at Stowe Mountain Resort this winter. The resort is located on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, boasting and elevation of 4,395 feet. Stowe Mountain has well groomed trails, good cross-country options and offers backcountry skiing. The mountain is particularly well known for the "Front Four," the four runs on the front side of the mountain, known as Goat, Starr, Liftline and National. The "Front Four" offer some of the East Coast's most challenging skiing.
Vermont | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Each state has many unique and fun destinations that you may not hear about on average, but are certainly places where visitors can have lots of fun. Here are a few of Vermont's fun and funky destinations.
New England Maple Museum, Pittsford
This entire museum is devoted to maple sugaring. The museum is filled with educational materials, history and even murals about maple sugaring. Visitors can enjoy the large collection of sugaring artifacts, watch live demonstrations of maple candy making, taste delicious maple syrup, and much more. Of course visitors can also purchase delicious Vermont maple syrup, maple products and more.
Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour, Waterbury
Ice cream lovers will not want to miss a tour of the Ben & Jerry's Factory. The guided tour takes visitors to see a film about the history of the company. Next visitors have the opportunity to see a view of the production room while learning all about the process of manufacturing ice cream. Finally, the tour ends with a chance to try the sample of the day.
Billings Farm and Museum, Woodstock
Visitors to the Billings Farm have the opportunity to see an operating farm. There is also a museum that features the rural heritage of Vermont. At the farm visitors can see the animals, including sheep, cows, horses, chickens and more. The barns and calf nursery are open for visitors, and visitors can watch the afternoon milking of the herd. The Billings Farm is a great way to experience farm operation first hand.
Hope Cemetery, Barre
Barre is often called the "Granite Capital of the World," as the town historically supplied granite to the expert sculptors in the world. The town attracted many expert carvers. One place to view some amazing examples of granite sculpture is at Hope Cemetery. There are a large variety of stunning memorials throughout the cemetery.
Santa's Land, Putney
Santa's Land is a Christmas themed amusement park. Visitors to the park will enjoy the amazing variety of Christmas and Santa attractions and amusements. North Pole Village is a fun stop. Children will love visiting Santa in his home. The sweets at Santa's Sweet Shoppe are delicious. There is also an arcade, a variety of rides and slides, and many more amusements for families.
Quick Facts Utah
Uniquely Utah: the Great Salt Lake – you’ll float higher than normal
Must-See: the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
Most Unusual: World’s largest open-pit mine (viewable from space!): the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine. Tours are available.
Highest Point: Kings Peak, 13,528 feet
Food to Try: the fresh tortillas in Salt Lake’s La Frontera restaurants
What to Do
1 View the dinosaur bones at Dinosaur National Monument
2 Walk through Temple Square to see the holiday lights
3 Go mountain biking on the slickrock in Moab
4 Do some golfing in St. George
5 Ski in Park City
6 Take the Heeper Creeper sightseeing train
7 Walk on the salt flats
Off the Beaten Path | Utah
Many people believe that Utah holds the greatest number of natural wonders of any state in the U.S. It certainly has some incredible national parks, stunning mountain ranges, and breathtaking desert scenery. Here are just a few of Utah's greatest sights.
St. George is a city that is full of culture and history, it is also one of the larger cities in southern Utah. It is also a great gateway to many of southern Utah's treasures. St. George was founded by Brigham Young in 1861. The city is full of historic buildings, one of these is the St. George Temple. The city also has eleven nearby golf courses, great for golf enthusiasts. One the edge of town visitors can even find some dinosaur footprints. Within an easy distance of town visitors can find Snow Canyon State Park with its canyon and volcanic cones, as well as Sand Hollow Stat Park where visitors can dirt bike on the sand dunes. Zion National Park is also nearby, as is Bryce Canyon National Park and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. After visitors have had their fill of the culture and history in the city of St. George there are all sorts of recreational activities including camping, boating, hiking, fishing, golfing and rock climbing.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is one of Utah's most beautiful destinations. The park preserves many sandstone arches, created through millions of years of exposure to the elements. Visitors can explore Arches National Park by car, there are many paved roads and viewpoints. A car tour of Arches National Park is a great way to enjoy many of the parks amazing vistas and arches. The park also offers opportunities to get even closer to the most amazing arches in the park, visitors can even hike out and stand beneath the Delicate Arch. For an even better understanding of the parks features visitors can make reservations for one of the parks Ranger-Led Programs. The Fiery Furnace Tours are especially popular, and the program offers a more difficult hike too.
Heber Valley Historic Railroad
This train, also called the Heber Creeper Train dates all the way back to 1899. It was a train that served the pioneers who first settled in the valley. Today vintage coaches pulled by vintage steam locomotives and vintage diesel electric locomotives, across some of Utah's beautiful scenery. Over 95,00 people ride the 16 miles rail line each year. A round-trip on the train takes about three hours, during these three hours riders can see a variety of wildlife, Mount Timpanogos, the Cascade Mountains, Deer Creek Dam and Reservoir and much more. The railroad also has special trips held during different times during the year, including the Haunted Canyon Train during the month of October and the North Pole Express. From the end of November through December riders of the Heber Valley Historic Railroad can make reservations for the North Pole Express to drink hot chocolate, see elves and santa while enjoy the classic Christmas tale.
Moab is a great destination for recreation enthusiasts. There are plenty of areas to enjoy mountain biking including the Slickrock Trail. Moab is also a great spot to go white-water rafting on the Colorado River. Visitors to Moab will also find plenty of off-roading and rock-climbing. The town has much to offer its visitors as well, from fine dining to enjoying a spa day. The city also has a large number of annual events to delight the residents and visitors.
Antelope Island is the perfect place to view the Great Salt Lake. It is the largest of the Lakes nine islands and it is part of the Utah State Park System. Visitors can reach Antelope Island by boat or by crossing the causeway that extends west from the Layton area. The islands white sand beaches are perfect for sunbathing and plenty of beach recreation. Antelope Island also has plenty of hiking trails and biking options on its 28,000 plus acres. Throughout these many acres visitors can see a wide variety of wildlife while recreating, the island has the antelope which it was named for as well as a magnificent herd of American Bison which is managed by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.
Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch
This area is one of the best hiking destinations in Utah. Buckskin Gulch is the longest tributary to Paria Canyon. Paria Canyon is a long and narrow canyon that offers a challenging and interesting hiking experience. There are a number of hiking options in the area. If hikers want to hike in the canyon they should know that there is no trail, they simply have to follow the canyon to its end. The canyon is long with tall sheer walls, and it is very narrow at points a person can stand in the middle and touch both walls. For miles there is no exit from the canyon, hikers simply have to follow the canyon to its end. Hikers should be aware that hiking this canyon presents a danger of flash flooding. However, it is still a great hike, hikers can see a wide variety of birds and wildlife will wading throughout the muddy waters and many river crossings in the canyon.
Utah's Green River is a great place to enjoy white water rafting. The river runs from Flamingo Gorge National Recreation Area near Vernal to Dinosaur National Monument. It passes through some very remote landscapes and it meets with the Colorado River at Canyonlands National Park. There are several sections of the river that have good rapids and excellent options for kayaking and canoeing. The river passes through areas with unique geology, parts of the American Frontier and even Native American ruins. Rafting enthusiasts have a wide variety of options for rafting trips of different skill levels. The Green River Daily is a short trip on the lower part of the Gray Canyon, the nine mile stretch has seven mild rapids. The Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons is a great spot for canoeists, with stunning scenery and calm water. This stretch is 100 miles of peaceful waters, and if the run is timed right visitors can even watch the Crystal Geyser erupt. Desolation Canyon and Lodore Canyon, which is one of the most scenic trips with three of the best rapids on the river, are also great rafting options.
Utah | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Utah is a state filled with a rich history and beautiful natural features. For those travelers seeking some unique, fun and quirky attractions here are some of the truly unique sights to be seen in Utah. Some of these sighs celebrate the history of the state, some are unique natural features and some are just fun.
Bonneville Salt Flats
The Bonneville Salt Flats are one of Utah's most unique natural features. The landscape, which covers over 30,000 acres are completely flat, dazzling white and barren. It is said that when gazing out over the flats you can almost see the curve of the planet. Visitors come from around the world to see this amazing landscape, and it is also popular for high speed auto racing. During your visit be sure to follow the rules laid out by the Bureau of Land Management to preserve this truly unique spot.
Gilgal Sculpture Garden, Salt Lake City
This excellent sculpture garden is located in the middle of a city block, behind the surrounding buildings. Today it is a public park open to visitors daily. Throughout the park there are 12 unique sculptures and over 70 engraved stones. For visitors looking to find some truly unique art in a secluded location, the Gilgal Sculpture Garden is truly one of Salt Lake's hidden treasures.
Bingham Canyon Mine
Visitors to Utah should all stop to admire the world's largest man-made excavation. This mine is over 2 miles accross and 3/4 mile deep. Visitors can stop at the visitor center from April through October to learn all about Kennecott Utah Copper's mine and see the amazing view of the gigantic hole in the ground. This mine is so big that it can be seen from outer space.
Moqui Cave in Kanab is a great place to learn about the history of the people's of Southern Utah. Visitors to the cave can also see artifacts, fossils, dinosaur tracks and a great collection of fluorescent rocks. This whole museum is located within the sandstone cave, so visitors can learn about history and enjoy Utah's interesting natural features.
St. George Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has played an extremely important role in the history of Utah. The St. George Utah Temple is the first operating temple, which was dedicated in 1877. Visitors can stop at the St. George Utah Temple Visitors' Center to learn about the history of the Temple. The temple is not open to visitors, but visitors can stop at the Visitor Center for a free tour, to walk through the grounds and look at the beautiful white temple.
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.
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.
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.
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.
South Dakota Quick Facts
Uniquely South Dakota: the town of Wall Drug
Must-See: Badlands National Park
Most Unusual: Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon
Highest Point: Harney Peak in the Black Hills National Forest, 7244 feet
Food to Try: Kuchen, a German cake
What to Do
1 Smell the ponderosa pines in the Black Hills
2 Watch for bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
3 See the presidents at Mount Rushmore
4 Stand in a place where Jesse James once stood
5 See the Mashed Potato Wrestling contest in Clark
6 Tour the Corn Palace in Mitchell
Off The Beaten Path | South Dakota
South Dakota is best known for the amazing Mount Rushmore. However, visitors to South Dakota will find many more attractions and destinations to enjoy. Throughout the state visitors will find parks with beautiful natural features, history and fascinating museums. Here are a few of the places that visitors to South Dakota should take the time to explore.
Sertoma Butterfly House
Located in Sertoma Park in Sioux Falls this is a great destination to enjoy in the city. The Sertoma Butterfly House has hundreds of butterfly's flying freely in the beautiful display. Visitors to the Butterfly House will see tropical plants, a pond and waterfall in addition to the many species of butterflies they will see freely flying throughout the exhibit.
This beautiful park is located within the city of Sioux Falls on the Big Sioux River. Visitors to this park can enjoy the Falls, from which the city got its name. The park covers many acres and remnants of some of Sioux Falls earliest buildings are located within the park. One notable feature within the park is the Queen Bee Mill, which was created to use the falls to produce water.
Badlands National Park
The Badlands National Park protects one of the most amazing landscapes in the country. Visitors to the park will see the millions of years of sediments and minerals exposed by the elements. The 244,000 acres of the park also protects one of the largest expanses of mixed-grass prairies in the country. Badlands National Park is a great place for hiking and camping, it also has a wide range of animal species. This park also has amazing deposits of fossils.
Visitors to South Dakota can enjoy the unique art at the Corn Palace. This unique destination features art and murals created from colored corn, grains and grasses. Originally created to showcase the thriving agricultural industry in the state, the Corn Palace has grown over the years and now has a different theme each year.
Jewel Cave National Monument
This cave has some truly spectacular underground sights. The cave is the second longest known cave in the world, measuring over 152 miles. Visitors to the cave will find all sorts of cave formations and calcite crystals. There are a variety of activities to be enjoyed on the surface at the park, but for visitors wishing to go underground there are a few different guided tours. All visitors wishing to enter the cave have to take a tour.
Circle B Ranch
Visitors to the Circle B Ranch get to take a trip back in time to an Old West town. The Circle B Ranch has Chuckwagon Suppers and Cowboy Music Show. Visitors can also stroll the streets of the Old West town, enjoy trail rides, gun fights, the petting corral and much more.
Custer State Park
This park is home to some of the country's wild areas. Visitors can drive the Wildlife Loop Road around the southern edge of the park, which has some spectacular opportunities to see the park's wildlife up close. Custer State Park is home to over 1,000 bison, and many other species of animals. In addition to the wildlife, the park has some other fascinating natural features. One feature in particular are the granite "Needles," which are slender rock outcroppings, which can be viewed from the Needles Highway.
South Dakota | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Beautiful South Dakota is filled with fun and sometimes funky destinations for visitors to explore. Here are a few of the state's fun attractions as well as some of the more interesting and funky destinations.
1880 Cowboy Town
Visitors to South Dakota that want to take trip back to 1800s South Dakota should be sure to stop at the 1880s Cowboy Town in Murdo. The town is filled with period style buildings, which are filled with authentic furniture and all sorts of relics and memorabilia. Visitors can take tours of the town and visit the diner, store and of course the gift shop.
Bear Country USA
Located in South Dakota's Black Hills near Rapid City, Bear Country USA is an excellent destination to see some amazing North American wildlife. Visitors take a drive through the park and can see all sorts of animals, including Badgers, Bighorn Sheep, Buffalo, Bobcat, Timber Wolves and Black Bears. In fact, this destination is known for its collection of Black Bears. Visitors will have a fantastic time exploring the exhibits with all of the animals.
Ingalls Homestead Laura's Living Prairie
Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House stories should be sure to stop at the Ingalls Homestead. This destination is a spot where Wilder wrote many of her stories and is a fun family destination as well. There are ponies, horses, pioneering activities and even covered wagon rides among other things. Located in De Smet, the Ingalls Homestead is an excellent destination to learn about the prairie and pioneering.
Petrified Wood Park
Found in Lemmon, the Petrified Wood Park displays an amazing collection of sculptures and buildings created from petrified wood, dinosaur and mammoth bones, as well as round river rocks. Visitors can see the conical sculptures, the castle and many more fascinating sculptures.
Porter Sculpture Park
Travelers that are interested in giant metal sculptures along the side of the road will love the Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose. This park is filled with amazing sculpture will be stunned by the creations of Wayne Porter. This park has over 40 sculptures, including the Bull's Head, a Chinese dragon, the Grim Reaper and many more.
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