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Dickens’ House in Town

By Linda Tancs

“My house in town” is how Charles Dickens referred to 48 Doughty Street, the London home that bore witness to some of the writer’s seminal occasions, like the birth of his two eldest daughters and the writing of such best-loved works as Oliver Twist. Now the Charles Dickens Museum, his only remaining home in London houses the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of material relating to one of the world’s greatest storytellers, with over 100,000 items including furniture, personal effects, paintings, prints, photographs, letters, manuscripts and rare editions. Christmas at the Museum is a particularly festive highlight. Bedecked with holly and ivy, what better place to experience the rich traditions of a Dickensian Christmas than in the home of the author of A Christmas Carol!

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The Merchant’s House

By Linda Tancs

New York City’s Merchant’s House is a National Historic Landmark as well as a state and city landmark. The 19th century row house is considered one of the finest examples of architecture from the period, boasting an 1832 late-Federal brick exterior and Greek Revival interior rooms. The house was purchased by Seabury Tredwell, a prosperous New York City hardware merchant, in 1835. The Tredwell family continued to live in the landmark building for nearly 100 years. Located at 29 East Fourth Street, the house tour includes four floors of period rooms furnished with the family’s original possessions – furniture, decorative objects, household goods, books and clothing. This remarkably preserved home has functioned as a museum for over 80 years now.

An Iconic Trail’s Highest Peak

By Linda Tancs

The Appalachian Trail stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, following the Appalachian mountain range through 14 states. The trail’s highest peak is Clingmans Dome in Tennessee (at 6,643 feet above sea level) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The observation tower on the summit offers spectacular panoramic views of the Smokies and beyond for visitors willing to climb the steep, half-mile walk. Better be quick about it, though. Although the tower is open year round, the road leading to it is closed from December 1 through March 31.

Tennessee Pink

By Linda Tancs

Built in 1797, Ramsey House is the first stone home in Knox County, Tennessee. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was built by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope, for Francis Alexander Ramsey. Constructed of Tennessee pink marble and blue limestone, it’s notable for its original interior and exterior architectural features and its period decorative art collection. Ramsey House also boasts the first attached kitchen in Tennessee, replacing the typical “dog-trot” style of the South where the kitchen was typically stand-alone with a breezeway between it and the house. The pet-friendly grounds are welcoming to picnickers!

Father of Oklahoma City

By Linda Tancs

Henry Overholser was an Oklahoma businessman and such an important contributor to the development of Oklahoma City that he’s often referred to as the “Father of Oklahoma City.” Among the treasures he left for locals to cherish is the Overholser Mansion, regarded as the first mansion built in the city. Constructed in 1903, the house was once eloquently referred to in the local paper as a “sermon on beauty.” It was built in the Queen Anne and Chateauesque architectural styles, a stark departure from the Mission, Craftsman and Prairie styles of the period. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home is now owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society. Located on the northwest corner of Hudson & NW 15th Street, it’s open for guided tours.

An Ancient Pueblo in New Mexico

By Linda Tancs

The history of New Mexico’s southwest Indians is centuries old. Acoma Pueblo, in particular, is regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, dating to 1150 A.D. Their mesa-top settlement is built atop a sheer-walled, 367-foot sandstone bluff in a valley studded with sacred monoliths. It’s the only Native American site to be designated a Historic Site by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You can learn more about the tribe at The Sky City Cultural Center and Haak’u Museum. Open year-round, the cultural center offers exhibits, guided tours, sought-after Acoma pottery and Native American crafts for sale by local artisans.

 

Best Ice Cream in Britain

By Linda Tancs

Birthplace of poet Dylan Thomas and the second largest city in Wales, Swansea is a vibrant coastal city offering sweeping views of Swansea Bay. On the bay’s west side is the seaside village of Mumbles, the source of seafood that ultimately finds its way to chic dining establishments in London and beyond. It’s also the source of premier ice cream parlors, hailed by some as the best ice cream in Britain. Why not enjoy some atop Oystermouth Castle and its spectacular view over the bay!

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