Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for U.S. travel

Three Sisters in Florida

By Linda Tancs

Three Sisters Springs is a natural freshwater spring system in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in western Florida. The springs provide a critical habitat for the endangered Florida manatee because the temperature remains constant at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, aiding in their survival. In fact, the refuge (one of 566 national wildlife refuges) is the only one created specifically for the protection of the beloved mammal. It’s also one of the few places where tourists can legally swim with the manatees. Crystal River is located about 90 miles north of Tampa.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Surf City in Rhode Island

By Linda Tancs

Surfers flock to the tony enclave of Point Judith in Narragansett, Rhode Island, a place with reputedly the best waves in New England. The lighthouse there (operated by the Coast Guard and closed to the public) was constructed to guide mariners past the rocky shoals that claimed many a ship, a consideration no less relevant to wave riders. In fact, the south side of the point is best navigated only on really big swells. Onlookers can watch the action from a park nearby the lighthouse that offers stunning coastal views.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Crossing the Arctic Circle

By Linda Tancs

One of the northernmost roads in Alaska is the Dalton Highway, the only road in the United States to cross the Yukon River, the Arctic Circle and Brooks Range. Named for James William Dalton, a North Slope engineer, it was closed to public traffic for years, having been developed as a haul road connecting the Yukon River and Prudhoe Bay during construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Today it’s one of Alaska’s scenic byways and one of the remotest drives on earth. Some of the highlights along the way are signs of active gold mining in Livengood, mile marker 115 (where a sign indicates that you’ve crossed the Arctic Circle) and Atigun Pass, the highest in Alaska at 4,800 feet. The route begins in Livengood although the only place to rent a vehicle suitable for road conditions is Fairbanks. Over 400 miles long, the journey will take you to Prudhoe Bay, where you can overnight and rest before beginning the long trek back to Fairbanks. The highway is mostly a gravel road with several steep grades and no cell phone coverage. Extra supplies and spare tires are recommended. Due to weather and varying road conditions, the best time to travel is between June and August.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Simple Elegance in Albany

By Linda Tancs

Schuyler Mansion is a historic house at 32 Catherine Street in Albany, New York. It was home to Philip J. Schuyler, a Revolutionary War general, U.S. Senator and businessman. The Georgian brick mansion was once described as attractive in its simple elegance. Built on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River, the house was the site of military and political strategizing, entertaining and an active family life. In fact, the wedding of daughter Elizabeth Schuyler to Alexander Hamilton took place in the house in 1780. Today, visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the mansion as well as an orientation exhibition in the Visitor Center focusing on Philip Schuyler’s life.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s Tallest Waterfall

By Linda Tancs

It might not be the best known, but New Jersey’s Buttermilk Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state at around 90 feet. Located in Walpack Township, it benefits from being close to a viewpoint parking lot, so you needn’t even leave your car to get a good view. Part of the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, it includes the the Buttermilk Falls Trail, which begins with a climb to the top of the falls and an eventual connection to the Appalachian Trail.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

America’s Mountain

By Linda Tancs

Colorado’s Pikes Peak is affectionately referred to as “America’s Mountain” because, as the story goes, its summit inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen “America the Beautiful.” It certainly is an iconic part of the country’s landscape, soaring to a height of 14,115 feet. You can reach the summit with a ride on the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest cog railway in the world. Along the three-hour return trip you’ll see bristlecone pines, one of the longest-lived species on earth. In fact, some of those pines on Pikes Peak are estimated to be over 2,000 years old. The views are equally inspiring at the peak, where you’ll be rewarded with views including the Continental Divide, the Garden of the Gods and various cities like Woodland Park, Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. The railway’s base station is in Manitou Springs, a few miles west of Colorado Springs.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Alpine Glory Near Seattle

By Linda Tancs

The jagged peaks of Washington State’s North Cascades National Park are crowned by glaciers—more than 300, the most of any national park outside Alaska. The park’s ecosystem is diverse, from the temperate rainforest of the west side to the dry ponderosa pines of the east. Another of its charms is the concentration of old-growth western red cedar trees, some estimated to be over 1,000 years old. You can find them on hikes like the one to Big Beaver Trail, which will take you through a long, glacier-carved valley. During the summer months you’ll find a variety of companies offering tours of the area, including ranger-led tours. The park is located less than three hours from Seattle.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage

By Linda Tancs

A key attraction along New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage Trail, Cape May Point State Park is a respite from the bustling beach scene in Cape May. Home to Cape May Lighthouse, it’s also a well-known birding destination, especially in the fall during the premier hawk migration season.  Several blazed trails lead visitors to various pond, coastal dune, marsh and forest habitats of the park where wildlife can be viewed from observation platforms. If you’re able, climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the scenic Cape May peninsula. The park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs throughout the year.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Church of the Presidents

By Linda Tancs

Once a summer retreat for the nation’s elite, Long Branch, New Jersey, also boasts a chapel visited by no less than seven U.S. presidents. Known as the Church of the Presidents, the 1879 structure marries Greek revival and Gothic architecture. Now a deconsecrated house of worship, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places and located a block from the beach.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

New Jersey’s High Point

By Linda Tancs

New Jersey’s highest point is 1,803 feet above sea level. You can capture the panoramic view from that vantage point at High Point Monument in High Point State Park. What awaits you at the tower are farmland and forest, soft hills and lush valleys in three states, punctuated by the Delaware River. The park is no less spectacular. After all, the landscaping was conceived by the sons of Frederick Olmsted, who designed New York City’s Central Park. The park is located 7 miles north of the town of Sussex.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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