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Archive for U.S. travel

Maine’s Pumpkin Trail

By Linda Tancs

There’s plenty to see along Maine’s Pumpkin Trail beyond the signature feature: pumpkins! Along the 40-mile route you’ll find the Maine Maritime Museum, the small-town charm of Freeport, the antique rails at Boothbay Railway Village and, this weekend, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta. The trail awaits you through Halloween.

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Surrounded in Minnesota

By Linda Tancs

Thanks to a geographic impossibility aided by imperfect cartography in the 1700s, the tiny Minnesota hamlet of Northwest Angle became an American town surrounded by Canada. Known by locals as the Angle, it’s separated from the rest of Minnesota by Lake of the Woods, which would boast the longest coastline of any Canadian lake were it located entirely in Canada. A fishing mecca, some resorts offer boat and ice transport services that operate within Minnesota; otherwise, you can get there via car through a border crossing. Since 1925, a joint U.S.–Canada boundary commission has maintained the boundary, which represents the northernmost part of the contiguous United States. Sorry, Maine!

Life in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

Among its many collections, the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton offers a glimpse of life in the state from the 17th century to the present. Of course, those 13,000 or so artifacts in the cultural collection include the state’s agricultural heritage (it is the Garden State, after all) as well as representations of textiles, trade tools, furniture, maritime heritage and other artifacts documenting craft, work, play, community and family life. Within walking distance of the State House (the third-oldest state house in continuous legislative use in the United States), the museum enjoys views of the Delaware River.

A Tiny Piece of NYC History

By Linda Tancs

Outside a cigar shop in Greenwich Village at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Christopher Street is a small marker symbolizing a big dispute in the history of New York City. That’s where you’ll find a triangular mosaic set in the pavement in the 1920s, a memento of one family’s defiance of an order allowing for the seizing of property in the area in the early 1900s to widen the street for the Seventh Avenue subway line. Known as the Hess Triangle, it represents the Hess family’s refusal to sell to the city the one remaining piece of property erroneously omitted from the seizure order, a plot of land barely larger than a footprint. The family ultimately sold the parcel to the cigar shop, where the marker continues to be tramped on by passersby to this day.

Celebrating an American Fruit

By Linda Tancs

It may be unfamiliar to many, but the pawpaw is North America’s largest edible native fruit. Its custard-like consistency, often referred to as a cross between a mango and a banana, was favored by George Washington. No doubt he would’ve appreciated a pawpaw festival in his day. One of the largest in our times is the Ohio Pawpaw Festival. Now in its 21st year, the three-day event celebrates our native fruit with events like competitions for the best pawpaw, best pawpaw-related work of art, a cook-off and the pawpaw-eating contest. Taking place at Lake Snowden near Albany, this year’s event is September 13-15.

Bluegrass Cuisine

By Linda Tancs

You don’t have to wait until Derby season for a dive into Kentucky cuisine. Enjoy a taste of the Bluegrass State now through October 31 on the Culinary Trail across nine state parks. Each park on the trail is offering a regional meal, including favorites like goetta and burgoo. Pick up your culinary passport at your first stop, and start tasting your way through the state. Then mail your completed passport back to the Department of Tourism for a free gift!

The Top of Texas

By Linda Tancs

How can you view the top of Texas on foot? Take the Guadalupe Peak Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, site of the four highest peaks in Texas. Not for the faint of heart, the day hike (8.5 miles round-trip) climbs 3,000 feet and travels through a conifer forest to reach the top of Guadalupe Peak. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views to the west and to the south.

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