Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Archive for U.S. travel

All About Bones

By Linda Tancs

Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Orlando, Florida, the Museum of Osteology is a unique museum focusing on the form and function of the skeletal system. The exhibits feature hundreds of real animal skeletons (no dinosaurs!) designed to foster an appreciation for the diversity of the animal kingdom existing today. America’s only skeleton museum, it’s family-owned and open year round.

Advertisements

Old Wheels in Hershey

By Linda Tancs

There’s more to Hershey, Pennsylvania, than its chocolate-themed park. Indeed, just minutes away is the AACA Museum, an automotive museum dedicated to the preservation and presentation of vintage automobiles and their vast history. A Smithsonian affiliate, the facility showcases vintage vehicle displays and interactive exhibits featuring cars, buses, motorcycles and other vehicles from the 1890s through the 1980s. Permanent exhibits include the Cammack Tucker Gallery (the world’s largest display of Tucker ’48 automobiles and related artifacts), the Route 66 gallery exploring this iconic stretch of roadway and the Museum of Bus Transportation. Special themed exhibits and car shows are plentiful.

America’s National Road

By Linda Tancs

Authorized by Congress in 1806, the National Road was the first highway built entirely with federal funds. It linked the eastern and western states in the first half of the 19th century, running from Cumberland, Maryland, to Vandalia, Illinois. Known in many places as Route 40, its charm lies in the many historic stone bridges along its path and the quaint, untouched towns and villages that called the road “Main Street.” In fact, the road earned the nickname “the Main Street of America.” Of the many inns dotting the route, Mount Washington Tavern (adjoining Fort Necessity Battlefield) in Pennsylvania is an example of a typical stagecoach stop for early travelers on the National Road. Unlike those early settlers, if you drive straight through without stopping, you should be able to complete the route in about 13 hours.

Batty in Austin

By Linda Tancs

From late March through autumn, Austin, Texas, hosts North America’s largest urban bat population, a community that swells to 1.5 million by summer’s end. Their habitat is in the crevices of the Congress Avenue Bridge, where onlookers congregate before sunset to witness the spectacle of their flight to catch dinner. Be sure to face east on the bridge or catch the view from the lake below on a boat cruise.

The House Above the Falls

By Linda Tancs

In the 1930s wealthy department store owner Edgar Kaufmann commissioned renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build him a house in the woods in southwestern Pennsylvania. Not just any house, mind you. Positioned right over a waterfall in the Laurel Highlands in Mill Run, its cantilevered tiers assure that the man-made structure melds with its natural surroundings, which include a mature forest, sandstone boulders, a stream, a variety of plants and flowers and, of course, that waterfall. Appropriately named Fallingwater, the structure is a National Historic Landmark. Be sure to capture the trademark view from the clearing called, what else, The View.

The Town that Fooled the British

By Linda Tancs

St. Michaels, Maryland, is a tony waterfront town on the Eastern Shore. Perhaps better known for its quaint inns, crab shacks and boutiques, it’s also, as legend goes, the town that fooled the British. That part of the story dates to the War of 1812. When residents were warned of an oncoming attack by the British, they dimmed the lights and hoisted lanterns into the trees above the city, creating blackout conditions that fooled the British into overshooting the town’s houses and shipyards. The ruse was largely successful, resulting in a single cannonball shot to the Federal-style home built for shipbuilder William Merchant. That house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of many stops on the town’s historical walking tour.

The World’s Smallest Park

By Linda Tancs

You’ll often hear people say “sneeze and you’ll miss it” if a destination is a bit off the beaten track. Well, you could literally sneeze and miss Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon. Dubbed “the world’s smallest park,” this particular stretch of the city’s greenway is about two feet in diameter, a circular plot located on a median in the middle of busy Naito Parkway. And yes, it really is an official municipal park (since 1976), one of about 200 in the city, originally an empty hole where a light pole was supposed to be installed. Inspired by the neglected hole, an Irish journalist in the 1940s wrote of it as the fantastical locale for a colony of leprechauns. Not surprisingly, it continues to be the site of St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

%d bloggers like this: