Travelrific® Travel Journal

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

Jade Green in Slovenia

By Linda Tancs

All destinations benefit from great reviews that boost tourism. That was certainly the case for Slovenia’s Zelenci Nature Reserve, when British scientist Humphry Davy wrote, “There is nothing more beautiful in Europe than this.” Apparently, he was attracted to the area’s lakes and waterfalls. No doubt he found the reserve’s centerpiece enchanting, which is its jade-green lake sourcing the Sava River (the country’s longest). You can view the lake and the 36-acre reserve through a series of well-constructed walkways. Along the way you’ll likely see some of the rarest plants in the region, like cottongrass, pygmy willows and alder trees. The reserve is also home to species like the whiskered bat, sand lizard and scarlet grosbeak. The reserve is less than 2 miles from the alpine resort Kranjska Gora near the village of Podkoren.

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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.

Pinballs in Budapest

By Linda Tancs

Pinball wizards, and fans, should flock to the appropriately named Flipper Museum in Budapest, Hungary, Europe’s largest ongoing interactive museum dedicated to pinball machines. Many of its 130 machines invite unlimited play by visitors for the price of the museum’s entrance fee. The facility features Humpty Dumpty, the first pinball ever made with flippers. Apart from play, a pinball history presentation and guided tours in English at prearranged times are also an option.

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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.

 

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.

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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 Republic Within a Republic

By Linda Tancs

Sandwiched between France and Switzerland, Saugeais is a micronation in eastern France. Established in 1947, the self-declared nation in the Haut-Doubs region comprises 11 communes, from Gilley in the north to Arçon in the south and from the Swiss border in the east to Crêt Monniot in the west. Its origins lie in jest, following a French official’s anointing of the area as a republic after jokingly being told he needed a permit to enter the region. Today, visitors are granted a permit to enter, evidence that a good joke is one you can use over and over. The unofficial republic boasts a Prime Minister, a Secretary General, two customs officers, 12 ambassadors and 450 honorary citizens throughout France and Europe who promote its charms.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

England’s Roaring Meg

By Linda Tancs

Overlooking an ancient crossing point of the river Wye, England’s Goodrich Castle was a thriving medieval household. It takes its name from an English landowner, Godric, who built the first castle in the late 11th century. In 1646 the castle was the scene of one of the most hard-fought sieges of the English Civil War. The Royalist garrison there surrendered after a two-month bombardment with Parliament’s locally made cannon known as Roaring Meg. The only surviving mortar from the war, it is now on display in the castle courtyard.

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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.

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