Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for U.S. travel

The South’s Oldest Forest

By Linda Tancs

Rich in history, Ouachita National Forest is the South’s oldest national forest. Encompassing a staggering 1.8 million acres in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma, the land was originally known as the Arkansas National Forest when it was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. It’s framed by the Ouachita Mountains, once explored by the Spanish and French. In fact, “Ouachita” is the French spelling of the Indian word “Washita,” which means “good hunting grounds.” As you might imagine, the rugged mountain landscape (the only mountain range running east to west, rather than the north to south direction of the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains) makes trails a focal point. The premier trail is the Ouachita National Recreation Trail, spanning 192 miles across the forest’s entire length, with elevations ranging from 600 to 2,600 feet. Spur trails connect to various recreation areas and points of interest.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. 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.

Tennessee’s Cherokee

By Linda Tancs

Tennessee’s only national forest, Cherokee National Forest is the largest tract of public land in the state, separated into two parts by Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Covering nearly 630,000 acres in ten East Tennessee counties, it has a whopping 30 developed campgrounds, 30 picnic areas, 700 miles of trail, hundreds of miles of cold water streams and seven whitewater rivers, among other things. Recreational opportunities are plentiful, a popular one being ginseng harvesting. Ginseng is a native plant of Tennessee that grows mostly in cool, moist mountain forests. Keep an eye out for the permitting process in the coming months. The collection process is limited.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. 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 Knick in New York

By Linda Tancs

When it comes to the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City, you get the pleasure of staying not only at a luxury hotel but also of enjoying a storied building. Affectionately known as The Knick, the glamorous, Beaux-Arts style dwelling was built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor IV, scion of one of America’s most influential families. Of course, that means that it was “the” place to be for the cognoscenti and glitterati of the day. Indeed, it was home to world-famous tenor Enrico Caruso and his family and a popular meeting place for bigwigs like John D. Rockefeller and other financiers and industrialists. After Astor’s death on the Titanic, the hotel subsequently closed until its rebirth in 2015. Designated a New York City Landmark in 1988, it remains one of Manhattan’s premier luxury hotels in Times Square.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. 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.

Nashville’s Italianate Villa

By Linda Tancs

Belmont Mansion is Tennessee’s largest antebellum house, an Italianate villa in Nashville that once boasted an art gallery, a bowling alley and a zoo, among other things. Originally the summer home for Nashville socialite Adelicia Acklen and her family, the estate also served as temporary headquarters for the Union army during the Civil War and later as a women’s college. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971, the mansion features 36 rooms over 19,000 square feet. A guided tour takes about one hour.

UPDATE: Since the scheduling of this post, the Nashville area has suffered one of the most devastating storms in its history. Please consider donating to a relief organization and keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers.

Scaling the Heights in Monadnock

By Linda Tancs

The region of Monadnock in southwest New Hampshire is named after Mount Monadnock, the highest peak in the area. Although less than imposing at a height just shy of 3,200 feet, it’s remarkably touted as the most climbed mountain in the world after Japan’s Mount Fuji. Regardless whether you believe that claim, the views from the summit as far south as Boston attract novice and experienced hikers alike. The ascending and descending trails are both short at about two miles, but rangers generally recommend the White Dot Trail for climbing and the White Cross Trail for descending. The hike is popular throughout the year, even in winter.

A Gem in Savannah

By Linda Tancs

Wormsloe Historic Site is a gem to behold in Savannah, Georgia. The site was once the colonial estate of carpenter Noble Jones, who came to Georgia with James Oglethorpe and the first group of settlers in 1733. The ruins of Jones’s tabby house (built in 1745) represent the oldest standing structure in Savannah, but even more breathtaking are the mile-long rows of oaks with sweeping branches lining the avenue to the estate, covering the driveway like a giant arch. Along with costumed interpretation on the nature trails, the locale offers a short film on the founding of Georgia and great views over the Skidaway Narrows, where the house was built to defend the strategic section of the Skidaway River from Spanish invasion.

Florida’s Treasure Coast

By Linda Tancs

Florida’s Treasure Coast is located on the state’s southeastern coast. Comprising three counties (Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin), it might be best known (as its name implies) as the place where ship-wrecked coins wash up on the shores. That’s because over 300 years ago a fleet of 11 Spanish ships wrecked offshore between the St. Lucie River and Cape Canaveral while returning to Spain with riches from the colonies. You might still dig up a few gold coins today, but don’t miss the area’s other attractions, like beaches, tournament fishing and nature reserves including the nearly 12,000-acre Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

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