This article is different from my usual post. As I was planning what to write about our Traverse City trip, I came across these photos of a beautiful sunset that really didn’t fit it with any of the other articles, but the sunset was so pretty that I wanted to share the photos. So, as an extra bonus this week, and as my final post about Traverse City, I’m sharing my favorite photos from that evening. These were taken on a beach on the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. I think it’s best to just let the photos speak [...]
While in Traverse City, we had the opportunity to explore the Old Mission Peninsula with a personal tour guide, Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager of Traverse City Tourism. Normally I don’t write about experiences that my readers can’t do themselves, and while you may not be able to have a personalized tour with Mike, you can certainly take a self-guided tour. This 16-mile-long finger of land protrudes into Grand Traverse Bay, dividing it into a West Arm and an East Arm. The peninsula is named for a Christian mission to the Native Americans founded in May 1839 by Rev. Peter [...]
One of my priorities for our trip to Traverse City, Michigan, was to get out on the water. When I saw that the Traverse Tall Ship Company offered sightseeing cruises on a replica of an 1800′s cargo schooner, I got excited and asked Traverse City Tourism if they could arrange a cruise. I am very grateful to Traverse City Tourism and the Tall Ship Manitou for offering me and my kids a complimentary cruise so that I could write this article.
Sails are offered three times daily. We took the 2-hour Moomers Ice Cream Sail which is an afternoon [...]
I think I will remember 2013 as the summer of animal encounters. By the time we visited Northern Indiana’s Amish Country, we had already been licked by wolves and fed a bear cub in other places, so when we were asked by the visitors bureau if we’d like a close encounter with bison, we jumped at the chance. The visitors bureau arranged a complimentary tour of Cook’s Bison Ranch for us. This 83-acre farm is located in Wolcottville, Indiana, and raises bison to sell the meat, a healthy alternative to beef. Tours start in the gift shop where you can [...]
One of the many things I love about my job is the opportunity to work with visitors bureaus to plan my trip itineraries because sometimes they come up with ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of myself. Going for a bike ride through Amish Country is a perfect example. AmishCountry.org made all the arrangements for my kids and me to enjoy a bike ride on the tranquil Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. This trail is a 16.5-mile route that connects the communities of Goshen, Middlebury, and Shipshewana in Northern Indiana. They arranged for bicycle rentals from Pumpkinvine Cyclery in Middlebury.
If you read my last post about The Stephen Foster Story, you may remember that this outdoor musical is performed in an amphitheater in My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, Kentucky. Why there? Because Stephen Foster was the composer of My Old Kentucky Home, the state song of Kentucky. The home that inspired the song is real and was owned by distant relatives of Stephen Foster, who visited there once, it is believed. Although no one can be truly certain this is the home that the song was based on, that is the claim.
The home is [...]
Bardstown, Kentucky, has long been known as the Bourbon Capital of the World. In 2012, it was also named the Most Beautiful Small Town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today. But what it probably isn’t known as is a place to take kids, so perhaps that is why they invited me and my kids to explore the family-friendly side of Bardstown. We saw several attractions in Bardstown and the attraction that tops my list is the long-running outdoor musical, The Stephen Foster Story.
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) is known as the Father of American Music. He was a [...]
To celebrate Presidents’ Day this year, I decided to take a look at the humble beginning of one our greatest leaders, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was born in a log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm on the Kentucky frontier near the current town of Hodgenville. The site is now a National Historical Park.
As with most national parks, I recommend starting in the Visitor Center. View a 15-minute film to learn about Abraham’s parents, Thomas and Nancy, where they came from, and about Abe’s early years in Kentucky.
After that, we perused the exhibits in the Visitor Center. The [...]
McMenamins is well known in Oregon for its hotels, pubs, breweries, and other businesses that are housed in historic buildings. I’ll admit, though, that it had been 20 years since I had been to Oregon and I hadn’t heard of McMenamins. I figure that if I wasn’t aware of them, then many of my readers might not be familiar with them either. The McMenamin brothers, Mike and Brian, opened their first pub in 1983, and now they own over 50 establishments in Oregon and Washington. We had the opportunity to stay one night in the McMenamins Old St. Francis School [...]
When I was planning our trip to Oregon, I turned to fellow Family Travel Blogger and Oregon resident, Amy Whitley of Pit Stops for Kids, for recommendations. I specifically asked for quintessential Oregon experiences. Amy thought we should experience the outdoors in the High Desert region and specifically recommended rafting on the Deschutes River near Bend, so when I contacted Travel Oregon to plan our itinerary, I requested a rafting excursion. Travel Oregon made arrangements with Sun Country Tours who offered complimentary admission for me as a member of the media. Travel Oregon split the cost with me for the [...]