Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for U.S. travel

Wisconsin’s Ice Age

By Linda Tancs

One of only a handful of National Scenic Trails, Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail is a historical monument to a glacial retreat over 12,000 years ago. Located entirely within the state, the 1,200-mile route traverses private land, city parks, state parks, county forests and national forest. It supports hiking, backpacking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, among other things. You’ll find a variety of accommodation to relax and recharge on or near the trail, like inns, cabins and cottages.

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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.

Royalty at Saranac Lake

By Linda Tancs

Some people get treated like royalty at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival in New York. That’s because every year a town committee chooses a king and queen from among the village’s worthy residents to preside at the Ice Palace. Unlike other royal residences, you don’t need a special invitation to visit. The palace, located on River Street, is open to the public. The carnival, which also features torchlight skiing and fireworks, takes place from February 5-14 this 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.

A Cool Celebration in St. Paul

By Linda Tancs

Winter Carnival in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, has been staged since 1886. Marking its 135th anniversary this year, its two signature  events are the ice carving competition and the snow sculpture contest. Due to COVID limitations, they’ll be combined this year into a drive-through ice and snow sculpture park at the State Fairgrounds. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the oldest winter festival in the country, predating the Tournament of Roses Festival by two years. This year’s event runs from January 28 to February 7.

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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.

Battleship New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

Battleship New Jersey is an 887-foot-long, 45,000-ton ship that navigated the waters during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War prior to dropping its anchor in Camden in 2001. Now part of Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial, it offers tours of many areas, including the bridge, the crew’s mess, the communications room and a climb inside the massive 16-inch gun turret. Self-guided tours as well as guided tours of some areas are available. The venue is located on the Camden waterfront directly across the Delaware River from Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

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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.

Three Waterfalls and a Movie

By Linda Tancs

About an hour from Asheville, North Carolina, DuPont State Recreational Forest is known for its waterfalls, lakes and hiking trails. One of its most popular attractions is Triple Falls. Comprising three distinct cascades totaling about 120 feet in vertical drop, it was featured in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans. Surrounding it are 10,000 more protected acres with 86 miles of hiking trails. One of the shortest trails is the 3-mile trek to three waterfalls in the 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.

The American Spa

By Linda Tancs

Thermal water has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, joint pain, burns and skin disorders. Some of the most famous thermal baths in the world are found in Europe—most notably, in Budapest, the so-called City of Spas. If an international jaunt is not in the budget, then look no further than Arkansas. That’s right: in the heart of the Ozarks a thriving city (named, of course, Hot Springs) was built around the thermal waters that attracted folks of all walks of life in the 1800s. In fact, the success of the bathing industry led to the city being touted as “the American Spa.” Hot Springs National Park surrounds the north end of the city. There you can tour a historic bathhouse, hike forested trails and, needless to say, take a nice, hot bath.

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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.

Art and Nature in San Diego

By Linda Tancs

Art and nature are inextricably linked at Balboa Park in San Diego, California. On the natural side, who can resist the 100-acre San Diego Zoo? There’s also the Moreton Bay fig tree, one of the three largest Moreton Bay figs in the State of California, with a height of 78 feet, a crown width of 123 feet and a trunk girth of 486 inches. Illuminated during the Balboa Park December Nights celebration each year, it was planted as a small tree in a garden of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. That event also boasted The California Tower, an iconic city emblem and hybrid of architectural styles and artistic movements, including Baroque, Plateresque, Churrigueresque, Rococo and Gothic. You could spend days exploring the park’s rich and expansive environment. For the time-strapped, consider a ranger-led tour or stroll along at your own pace with a pre-recorded audio tour. There’s even a 35-minute guided bus tour that gives a good overview of the zoo.

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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.

Valley of Fire

By Linda Tancs

Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park owes its name to fiery Aztec sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes during the Jurassic Period. Established in 1935, the park comprises over 40,000 acres dominated not only by its iconic outcrops but also by creosote bush, burro bush and brittlebush. Consider yourself lucky if you spot the desert tortoise, a rare species protected by state law. Temperatures are mild this time of year, making it a preferred time to visit.

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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.

Key West of the North

By Linda Tancs

Dubbed the “Key West of the North,” Put-in-Bay is a quaint Ohio village off the shores of Lake Erie on South Bass Island. Maybe it’s the overall laid-back vibe that prompts the comparison, or the fishing charters, boating and watersports. Unlike its southern sister, however, you won’t find clothing-optional bars. What you will find are loads of golf carts, a preferred mode of transportation. Use one to visit sites like the lighthouse (circa 1897) and The Monument, a tribute to Naval Commander Oliver Hazard Perry’s defeat of the British during the War of 1812. The Miller Ferry or Jet Express will get you there in high season in a jiffy, or grab a flight into the airport, which is open year round.

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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 Garden

By Linda Tancs

The U.S. Botanic Garden is America’s garden, originally established on the National Mall in 1820. The facility is the product of a dream shared by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to create a resource for the study and collection of plants. One of the oldest botanic gardens in North America, it’s recognized as a living plant museum and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The  complex is now located along the north and south sides of Independence Avenue bordered by First Street and Third Street, SW. The Garden includes the Conservatory, housing collections of plants from subtropical, tropical and arid regions around the world; the National Garden, featuring the Rose Garden, the Butterfly Garden and the First Ladies Water Garden; and Bartholdi Park, where visitors will find a tapestry of theme gardens surrounding the historic Bartholdi Fountain.

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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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