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Georgian Roots in Pennsylvania

By Linda Tancs

Historic Hope Lodge is a historic building built by Quaker merchant Samuel Morris. Located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, it was used by Continental troops during the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign of the American Revolution. An excellent example of early Georgian architecture, historians speculate that the architect of Independence Hall might have had a say in its design. House tours are available from April to October in addition to an annual re-enactment in November to commemorate the time from November 2 to December 11, 1777, when General George Washington and the Continental Army encamped in the Whitemarsh Hills.

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Enjoy a Free Garden Visit

By Linda Tancs

May 11 is National Public Gardens Day, and more than 150 public gardens across the country will participate by providing free admission. Participants include botanical gardens in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Tuscson Arizona, and the Getty Center and Villa in Los Angeles, where visitors can watch the annual release of ladybugs and praying mantis egg cases. Even scenic nature reserves are included in the event, like North Carolina’s Southern Highlands Reserve. Guests there can take home a free native plant as well.

Europe’s Renowned Pilgrimage

By Linda Tancs

For more than a thousand years, pilgrims have trekked over the Pyrenees from France into Spain via a network of trails that make up the Way of St. James—El Camino de Santiago—converging at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Originating as a spiritual pilgrimage in honor of St. James, the 500-mile trek offers intrepid travelers a cultural immersion as well with cathedrals, bridges, Roman roads, monasteries, palaces, stately homes and traditional regional architecture placed amidst varying landscapes like plateaus and mountains, meadows and coastline. Be prepared for a 30-day hike if you commit to the entire route from France to Spain. Shorter routes could take less than a week to complete.

Iconic Events in Reno

By Linda Tancs

Despite its competition, Reno, Nevada, has held on to its famous moniker “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Located by the Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe, it’s known for its casinos, nearby ski resorts and vintage cars, to name a few things. What you might not know is that the Reno Tahoe region boasts a series of events from May to October dubbed “The Iconics.” Those experiences include a rodeo, a Shakespeare Festival at Lake Tahoe, hot air ballooning, air races and a taste of Italy.

Prehistoric Paintings in Finland

By Linda Tancs

Opened in 2017 to celebrate Finland’s centenary of independence, Hossa National Park is the nation’s 40th national park, featuring crystal clear fishing waters and ancient rock paintings. An old Sámi hunting ground, Hossa’s oldest dwellings are almost 10,000 years old. The park also sports a series of rock paintings at Värikallio Cliffs dating back nearly 3,500 years, the largest prehistoric paintings in Finland. You’ll find a wide range of hiking and biking trails (almost 56 miles of them) and ample opportunities for canoeing and fishing like the first inhabitants.

Daniel Boone’s Homestead

By Linda Tancs

Daniel Boone may be best remembered as the man who settled Kentucky, but he also served in the Virginia Legislature, the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Boone was also a blacksmith and wagoneer and operated a tavern. He grew up in Pennsylvania’s Oley Valley in a one-room log cabin and spring house, where he lived until moving to North Carolina in 1750. Located in Birdsboro, the Daniel Boone Homestead is a historical site that explores Boone’s youth and the everyday life of 18th century settlers. Guided and self-guided tours are both available.

Australia’s Top End

By Linda Tancs

Australia’s Top End in the Northern Territory includes Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land. Tropical in nature, this month marks the start of the dry season, a good time to visit Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park in the heart of the Top End. About 16 miles south of Katherine, the cave system was carved naturally over millions of years, a limestone landscape covering over 3,700 acres. Guided tours run hourly, and you’re likely to see five species of bats, including the rare ghost bat. About 170 species of birds have been recorded within the park, including the hooded parrot and the endangered Gouldian finch. The park is accessible from Stuart Highway.

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