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Archive for U.S. travel

A Halfway Point in Virginia

By Linda Tancs

Middleburg, Virginia, was established in 1787 by American Revolutionary War Lieutenant Colonel and Virginia statesman John Leven Powell, who named it Middleburg because it was the halfway point between two towns on the popular Ashby Gap trading route. Historically, it served as the site of two battles of the Gettysburg Campaign during the Civil War and counts more than 160 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Later, it became so popular for fox hunts and horse racing that it earned the moniker “Nation’s Horse and Hunt Capital.” It’s still a hotspot for equestrian events today, hosting an abundance of nationally renowned events. Equally popular are the vineyards, nestled scenically along a stretch of Route 50 dotted with old stone cottages and horse farms with the Blue Ridge and Bull Run mountains as a backdrop. You’ll find 20 wineries just 30 minutes away from this historic town.

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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.

Into the Woods in Idaho

By Linda Tancs

The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is the third-largest wilderness in the lower 48 states. Located primarily in Idaho (with a small portion extending into Montana), it comprises four national forests: Bitterroot National Forest, Nez Perce National Forest, Clearwater National Forest and Lolo National Forest. Part of its charm are the dramatic Selway-Bitterroot peaks spanning the Bitterroot Range along the Montana-Idaho border. Wild and scenic, it’s a must-do for hikers, backpackers and other outdoor adventurers.

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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.

A House Fit for a Duke

By Linda Tancs

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Duke Mansion is a North Carolina estate in Charlotte named for its most famous occupant, American industrialist James Buchanan Duke. He lived at the Colonial Revival-style dwelling during the last few years of his life. Following his death, the house saw additional owners and expanding uses, from a condominium complex to its current uses as a historic inn, meeting venue and leadership institute. The garden of the mansion is open to the public during daylight hours when the venue is not rented for a private function. However, if the gate on Ardsley Road is open, then feel free to enter for a stroll.

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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.

Honoring the First Ladies

By Linda Tancs

Canton, Ohio, may seem like an unlikely destination for a site honoring America’s first ladies, but you can thank former Ohio Congressman Ralph Regula’s wife for spearheading an effort to establish a center for research and education on the subject. The First Ladies National Historic Site consists of two properties in downtown Canton: the home of First Lady Ida Saxton-McKinley and an education center, housed in the historic City National Bank building. Hardly shrinking violets, the nation’s first ladies enjoyed impactful careers of their own, ranging from professional dancing (Betty Ford) to newspaper writing and radio broadcasting (Eleanor Roosevelt). The term “first lady” derives from Martha Washington, who was given the name “Lady Washington” by the press. She was also the first presidential wife to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp. Tours of the Saxton-McKinley home are given at the top of every hour, beginning at the education center.

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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.

The English Neighborhood

By Linda Tancs

Ridgefield, New Jersey, was once the hub of an area known as “the English Neighborhood” due to the influx of English immigrants as early as 1603. The entire area covered about 10 square miles from the Hackensack River to the Hudson River and from what is now the Hudson County line north to Englewood. George Washington retreated with the Continental Army through there from New York City in 1776. In 1793, Ridgefield became the site for the English Neighborhood Reformed Church, once standing in nearby Leonia before it was burned down by the British Army. Needless to say, headstones in the cemetery date back to the Revolutionary War. The church’s historical past includes active participation in the underground railroad during the Civil War, and it’s likely one of the oldest churches in the area.

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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.

A Premier Art Museum in New York

By Linda Tancs

Part of the State University of New York system at Purchase College, Neuberger Museum of Art is one of the nation’s largest university museums. In the spirit of its founding patron, Roy Neuberger, the museum is committed to promoting the works of contemporary artists. The facility also offers education programs introducing visitors to American art of the 20th century, traditional African art and contemporary art through visitor-centered experiences. Admission is free on the first Saturday of every month.

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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.

Washington’s Council House

By Linda Tancs

Following the Civil War, a series of townhomes sprung up on Vermont Avenue in Washington, D.C. One of them eventually became the residence of Mary McLeod Bethune, a world-renowned educator, civil rights champion, leader of women and presidential adviser. Her last home in the nation’s capital, it served as the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women. The site was a rallying point for programs designed to address issues such as desegregation, inadequate housing, racial discrimination, health care, employment and the preservation of African American women’s history. Formerly known as the “Council House,” it was declared a National Historic Site in 1982 and subsequently renamed the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. Guided tours are given by park rangers on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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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.

The Stone Chamber Capital

By Linda Tancs

Dubbed the stone chamber capital of America, New York’s Putnam County is awash in root-cellar type structures that some say number in the hundreds. The stone chambers are typically located near water sources and are on or close to colonial farm sites. There’s very little else that anyone can agree on. Some historians believe that they were built by the Druids to celebrate the solstice and equinox; others claim that they were used by 18th-century farmers as storage facilities. Hike the trail at Mt. Nimham, where you’ll pass two stone chambers on your way up to the fire tower and its panoramic 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.

A Legend in Glen Echo

By Linda Tancs

The Clara Barton National Historic Site in Glen Echo, Maryland, is the site of the Clara Barton House, the home of the woman who founded the American Red Cross. Her home for the last 15 years of her life, it boasts an unusual Steamboat Gothic interior with railed galleries and a suspended captain’s room. Tucked at the end of a quiet road, it beckons visitors with stained-glass red crosses on an upper-story window. Lacking the crowds of other nearby historic sites, it’s an off-the-beaten-path gem for history buffs. Guided, interpretive tours of the house occur at the top of every hour on Fridays and Saturdays.

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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.

Let Freedom Ring

By Linda Tancs

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence and freedom. Once housed in the steeple of the State House, it’s now ensconced in a glass chamber at Liberty Bell Center with a view of Independence Hall in the background. The bell rang out from the tower of Independence Hall in 1776, summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon. The center is located at 6th and Market streets in Independence National Historical Park.

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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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