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Archive for U.S. travel

The Revolution in Pawling

By Linda Tancs

From September to November 1778, George Washington based his military movements during the Revolutionary War in Pawling, New York. One of the places he headquartered in during that period was the John Kane House, the home of John and Sybil Kane. Located on East Main Street, today it serves as the local historical society’s main museum. Visitors will learn about the area’s indigenous and European settlers, Washington’s use of Pawling and the effect of the war upon the Pawling community.

Dwelling in the Wind

By Linda Tancs

Thomas Stone was the youngest member of the Maryland delegation to vote for the Declaration of Independence. He was also one of the politicians responsible for the Olive Branch Petition, a letter to King George III petitioning for the avoidance of conflict between Great Britain and the colonies. You can learn more about this peace-loving planter, lawyer and politician at the Thomas Stone National Historic Site near the historic town of Port Tobacco in Maryland. Take a 30-minute guided tour of the Thomas Stone House, unique not only for its blended architectural styles but also for the estate’s historical name, Haberdeventure. Although owners of the house over three centuries spelled it differently, the National Park Service chose to use “Haberdeventure” as the place name, which is generally agreed to be a loose variation of the Latin phrase “havitatio de ventus,” meaning to “dwell in or of the wind.” Living up to its name, the park area has endured a tornado, a derecho and the remnants of two tropical storms.

The Highway that Goes to Sea

By Linda Tancs

In 1912 millionaire Henry Flagler built what became known as the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad from Miami to Key West. An engineering marvel of its time, it fell into disuse after being badly damaged in a 1935 hurricane. It later served as the blueprint for the Overseas Highway, a span of U.S. Highway 1 from Key Largo to Key West boasting 42 bridges spanning the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. No wonder it’s dubbed “the highway that goes to sea.” The route is populated with coral and limestone islets comprising the Keys, locales that boast everything from yacht clubs to wildlife refuges. One of the best-loved spans of this idyllic road is its longest—the Seven Mile Bridge near Marathon, surrounded by water from start to finish. The highway was designated as Florida’s first and only All-American Road under the National Scenic Byways program, one of a short list of other roadways in the nation that have earned this prestigious title.

The Luckiest Fishing Village

By Linda Tancs

Destin, Florida, is known as the “world’s luckiest fishing village.” Situated along the closest access point to the 100-fathom curve in the Gulf of Mexico, anglers can quickly reach all depths of fishable water featuring 20 types of edible game fish. Snapper reigns supreme, including gray snapper, lane snapper, mutton snapper and red snapper. You’ll also find grouper and mahi-mahi. Not surprisingly, Destin Harbor has the largest charter fishing fleet in the country. But if you’d rather go solo, then try your hand at “sight-casting” off the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier.

Golf’s Hall of Fame

By Linda Tancs

The World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida celebrates golf and preserves the legacies of those who made it great. The facility is the centerpiece of World Golf Village in St. Augustine, a vacation destination featuring two championship golf courses and luxury accommodations. Museum exhibits include the Challenge Hole, a 132-yard island green reminiscent of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. A complimentary shot is included with admission and additional shots can be purchased onsite, so bring your A game. And you better hurry; in late 2023, the museum will close as a result of a merger with the United States Golf Association. Many of the facililty’s assets will be relocated to a USGA museum that will open in Pinehurst in 2024.

Fort D

By Linda Tancs

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fort D is the last remaining fort of four that protected the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, against Confederate attack during the Civil War. Local militia helped build all of the forts under the leadership of Lt. John Wesley Powell, who would later gain fame as an explorer of the Grand Canyon. Among the events taking place there are battle reenactments and living history events. A self-guided tour features original earthworks and 10 display panels that explore the history of the fort and those who served there.

Oregon’s Oldest City

By Linda Tancs

Overlooking the Columbia River, Astoria is Oregon’s oldest city as well as the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. A port city near the Pacific, its fishing and maritime history is recounted at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. One of its highlights is the Lightship Columbia, a National Historic Landmark, that once guided ships to safety at the mouth of the Columbia River. You can jump aboard it. Other area history is depicted on murals at the Astoria Column, a towering monument on Coxcomb Hill. Climb its 164 steps for panoramic views.

Eagle Watch in Minnesota

By Linda Tancs

The Upper Mississippi River Valley is home to hundreds of bald eagles. It’s the perfect place for an interpretive center, which is what you’ll find along the banks in Wabasha, Minnesota. Home to non-releasable bald and golden eagles, the National Eagle Center gives visitors a close-up experience to the nation’s symbol of freedom along with lectures on their care. You can experience their migratory patterns through field trips and habitat tours as well, or check out their high-resolution webcam stream at any time.

The City That Lit the World

By Linda Tancs

New Bedford, Massachusetts, was the 19th-century capital of the whaling industry. Most of the whale oil used in lamps derived from the locale, earning it the moniker “the city that lit the world.” Home to about 500 whaling ships during its heydey, the city also inspired Herman Melville’s classic, Moby-Dick. Its whaling heritage is preserved as part of New Bedford National Historical Park. One of its most impressive buildings is the U.S. Custom House, the oldest continuously operating custom house in the nation. Historically, whaling masters registered their ships and cargo at the two-storied, Greek Revival building; as the New Bedford office of the U.S. Customs Service, commercial fishing and cargo ships continue to log duties and tariffs there. The visitor center in the heart of the park provides orientation materials as well as information on city attractions.

The Lore of Fire Island

By Linda Tancs

New York’s Fire Island is a 30-mile-long barrier island separated from Long Island by the Great South Bay. Much of it is protected as Fire Island National Seashore, a United States National Seashore. It features a lighthouse, high dunes and ancient maritime forests. The most alluring aspect of the place, though, may be the supposed wreckage of the Bessie A. White, a Canadian schooner that struck a sandbar off the island 100 years ago. After Hurricane Sandy rolled through the area in 1912, a ship’s skeleton believed to be the schooner became visible in an area not far from Watch Hill, a popular visitor site within the National Seashore. As winds and waves shape the beach, the remains appear and disappear, so be patient.

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