Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for U.S. travel

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.

*************

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.

*************

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.

*************

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.

On Edge in Hudson Yards

By Linda Tancs

If you’re into edgy experiences, then maybe New York City’s Edge is for you, touted as the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. Your adventure awaits 1,100 feet in the air on a glass floor suspended 80 feet mid-air surrounded by angled glass walls. It offers enviable 360-degree views of the city thanks to its location at Hudson Yards on the western side of Manhattan. At the Eastern Point of the lookout, one visitor at a time can plant their feet above the beating heart of NYC, enveloped by nothing but glass, air and sky. Every visitor to Edge will receive a free digital photo or you can upgrade to a personalized photo book.

*************

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.

Maine to Florida

By Linda Tancs

It makes sense that the East Coast, the country’s most populous corridor, should have a path for walkers and cyclists to experience all that the region has to offer. Enter the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile network connecting 450 communities in 15 states, Maine to Florida. Designed to encourage people of all ages and abilities to commute, exercise and tour, the trail network features destinations like the Scarborough Marsh in Maine (the largest saltwater marsh in the state), the Hudson River Greenway in New York City (running the length of Manhattan) and South Carolina’s Spanish Moss Trail, the focal point of which is the old Beaufort rail depot of 1901.

*************

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 First in Hyde Park

By Linda Tancs

The Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site is the only national historic site dedicated to a first lady. It’s located at Val-Kill, her beloved home in Hyde Park, New York. At this modest, pastoral setting the first lady and her husband entertained friends and political affiliates alike. It was also at this locale that Eleanor launched Val-Kill Industries, dedicated to reviving handcraft traditions such as furniture-making, metalwork and weaving. The National Park Service has assembled a comprehensive collection of furniture, pewter, tools and archival material related to this business venture. Visitors can tour the cottage and its gardens and grounds as well as enjoy an introductory film and a permanent exhibit on her legacy.

*************

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.

Texas Mound Builders

By Linda Tancs

“Mound builders” comprised various cultural groups responsible for building earthen mounds for religious, ceremonial, burial and residential purposes over thousands of years. One such group was the Caddo Indians known as the Hasinai, who built the southwesternmost ceremonial center for the mound builder culture in Texas. That ancient culture dating back more than 1,200 years is commemorated at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in Alto, where three earthen mounds are displayed. The Caddo were the most highly developed prehistoric culture known within the present State of Texas. In fact, the state’s name is derived from the Caddo word tejas, which means “friend.” Visitors can walk the 0.7 mile, self-guided interpretive trail that includes the grass house, mounds and borrow pit. The site is part of the Texas Forest Trail Region.

*************

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.

Root Beer Falls

By Linda Tancs

Michigan’s Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses close to 50,000 acres and stretches more than 13 miles. Waterfalls are the predominant attraction there, featuring the third largest vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Officially known as the Upper Falls, it spreads over 200 feet across and drops about 48 feet. Due to its amber color, the Upper Falls are affectionately known as “the Root Beer Falls.” Their distinctive hue is due to the tannins leaching into the Tahquamenon River from the cedar, spruce and hemlock swamps along its shores. The autumn leaves this time of year present a nice addition to the color scheme. Get a close-up look at the brink of the falls by taking 94 steps down to the main viewing deck, or you can take 116 steps down into the gorge for a panoramic view.

*************

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 Art of Trash in Sonoma

By Linda Tancs

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. You might invoke that thought when you visit the trash art in Sebastopol, California. Made from recycled trash like old cars, cookware, discarded pipes and aluminum trash cans, it’s an outdoor exhibit of outsized and outlandish figures adorning a three-block radius along Florence Avenue in this small Sonoma County town. Conceived by Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent, the works include a rat at the wheel of a hot rod, a tea-sipping Mad Hatter, a joy-riding skeleton on a chopper, giant birds and a mermaid.

*************

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.

African American History in the Sourlands

By Linda Tancs

Sourland Mountain is a ridge straddling the borders of Somerset, Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Among its charms is one of the most historic buildings, the 120-year-old, one-room Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Now known as the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, it recounts the culture and contributions of African Americans who lived in the Sourlands for hundreds of years.

*************

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.

%d bloggers like this: