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Archive for U.S. travel

Byway Explores Underground Railroad

By Linda Tancs

Former slave Harriet Tubman is the most widely recognized symbol of the Underground Railroad movement, leading hundreds of slaves to freedom. You can learn more about her legacy along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a 125-mile, scenic road linking historic sites and areas associated with Tubman. Meandering through Maryland’s Eastern Shore, it’s the only place in the world that preserves and interprets the places where Harriet Tubman was born, lived and labored and from which she fled. In addition to the visitor center, the lands associated with the area are part of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, affording visitors opportunities to hike, bike, paddle, shop, dine and attend events.

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A Rarity at Yale

By Linda Tancs

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University is one of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts. Just 90 minutes from New York in the city of New Haven, Connecticut, its lobby and mezzanine public exhibition areas are open to the public. That’s where you’ll find such gems as the Gutenberg Bible (the first Western book printed from movable type) and John James Audubon’s Birds of America, a series of hand-colored, life-size prints first published as a series in sections between 1827 and 1838. The building itself is a conversation piece. Built of Vermont marble and granite, bronze and glass, its exterior marble panels filter light so that rare materials can be displayed without damage.

Swamped in Florida

By Linda Tancs

Located just a few miles west of Daytona Beach, Florida, Tiger Bay State Forest comprises large areas of swamp with embedded pine islands and a large pine ridge area. It’s located among several publicly owned lands that create wildlife corridors for species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern. Named for its largest feature, Tiger Bay, this extensive hydric swamp forest is dominated by pine islands. It also contains two lakes and several ponds ideal for fishing. Other recreational activities include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, picnicking, boating, hunting and photography.

Minerals of New York

By Linda Tancs

Gems and minerals are just one of the many ongoing exhibitions at the New York State Museum in Albany, New York. Its collection includes specimens from several notable sites throughout the state, including 93 mineral species from the Balmat-Edwards mining district in St. Lawrence County (the only locale where tremolite is found), super garnets (the official state gemstone) from the Barton Mine in the Adirondack Mountains and Herkimer diamonds from Herkimer County, New York. In fact, the state museum has the world’s largest and most complete collection of New York minerals. Established in 1836, the facility also boasts the distinction of being the oldest and largest state museum in the country. Admission is free.

A Revitalized River in California

By Linda Tancs

The Los Angeles River is a 51-mile waterway, meandering from the San Fernando Valley to the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach. For more than 20 years various groups have been working to transform this California treasure into a continuous 51-mile recreational zone. Two recreation zones, Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone and Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone, benefit nature lovers with flourishing wildlife and natural habitats. Any member of the public is welcome to walk, fish, canoe and kayak in the recreation zones free of charge. You do not need a permit unless you are part of an organized group. Private vendors also offer guided trips at each of the locations as well as kayaks for rental.

Georgia’s Civil War Capital

By Linda Tancs

The city of Milledgeville, Georgia, takes its name from John Milledge, governor of Georgia from 1802 to 1806. It’s one of five capitals in the history of the state, the others being Savannah, Augusta, Louisville and the present capital, Atlanta. Besides Washington, D.C., it’s the only city actually designed to be a capital city, a decision that was made in 1804. Beginning in 1839 and ending in 1868, the Old Governor’s Mansion served as home to 10 governors and their families, including during the tumultuous Civil War period. Other attractions include the Old Capital Museum, located in the building where Georgia legislators voted to secede from the Union, and Andalusia Farm, a former cotton plantation and the home of celebrated author Flannery O’Connor.

Moon River

By Linda Tancs

It’s as if the moon dropped into a river. That’s what the giant ice disk in the middle of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine, looks like. Garnering worldwide attention, the rotating phenomenon is 300 feet in size, arguably the biggest ice disk on record. Take that, crop circles.

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