History buffs will want to make sure their trip to Bardstown, Kentucky, includes plenty of time to explore all the history contained in a collection of museums known as Museum Row. Your admission fee gives you entrance into all five venues and tickets are valid for two consecutive days so that you don’t have to rush through them. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow my own advice and we didn’t have enough time to go to all of them, but we enjoyed the two that we visited.
Old Bardstown Village
This village is a reproduction of a typical frontier village in [...]
El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a living history museum near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Spanish name translates to The Ranch of the Swallows. The authentic ranch dates back to the early 1700’s when it was a stop on El Camino Real, the trading route from Mexico City to Santa Fe. Today it is a fascinating place to learn about the southwest in both Spanish Colonial and Territorial New Mexico time periods.
The ranch sits on 200 acres about 15 miles southwest of Santa Fe. Many of the buildings are original to the property and others have been [...]
The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, isn’t just a place to learn about history; it’s a place to be inspired by history. Kid friendly? Not only is it appropriate for kids, it was designed with kids in mind. When it first opened in 1929, only schoolchildren could visit. Four years later it opened to the general public. Henry Ford was passionate about teaching kids about the past and present so that they could take the present to the future. The museum holds a wide range of diverse historic artifacts, but all are tied together by an overall theme of [...]
We get inspiration for our travels from a variety of sources, but the Barringer Meteor Crater marks the first time we’ve picked a vacation destination based on a video game. As we were driving out west for our Southwest Road Trip (Trip #5 from my e-book, How To Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips), my son asked me if I’d ever heard of the Barringer Meteor Crater and if I knew where it was. He had heard about it while playing Civilization V with a friend. I hadn’t heard of it, so I pulled out my trusty smartphone and [...]
Many of my friends who have seen my pictures of Great Sand Dunes National Park have the same reaction: “Really?! That’s in Colorado?! Where?”
It’s in south central Colorado. We stopped at Great Sand Dunes for a few hours on our way from Colorado Springs to Mesa Verde National Park. Combined with several hours of driving on both ends, that adds up to a full day. Before you head to the park, plan to stop at the Great Sand Dunes Oasis or in the town of Alamosa where you can rent a sand sled and a sandboard from Kristi [...]
We’ve all seen models of our solar system before, but I had not seen anything like the Lightspeed Planet Walk until we visited Anchorage, Alaska. Not only was the model made to scale, but the scale was selected such that a leisurely walking pace matches that of the speed of light. That means that it takes a person about eight minutes to walk from the model of the sun to the model of the Earth, just like it takes about eight minutes for light to travel from the real sun to Earth.
The place to start is the corner [...]
There is only one place in the United States where you can stand in four states at once: the Four Corners Monument. This is where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico all meet.
When we were planning our trip to the Southwest (Trip #5 in my e-book, How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips), one of my daughters was adamant that Four Corners must be on the itinerary. A couple of people discouraged me from visiting, saying there wasn’t much to it. We really wanted to go, and didn’t expect it to be an all-day type of [...]
When we were planning our trip to Amish Country, Indiana, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that touring a real, working Amish farm was an option. I definitely wanted to sign up for that. An Amish man named Kenny offers buggy rides as well as farm tours. We met him in downtown Shipshewana where he picked us up in a buggy.
He then drove us through town and out into the country. It was a scenic and relaxing ride accompanied by the clip clop of horse hooves.
Although most Amish people do not want to be [...]
Perhaps Jewel Cave National Monument doesn’t sound very impressive. After all, it’s just a National Monument, not at National Park, right? Wrong. Jewel Cave is the third longest known cave system in the world. And the key word in that sentence is “known.” New passages of Jewel Cave are still being discovered and mapped. Once it’s all mapped, it quite possibly could turn out to be the world’s longest cave. Scientists have estimated the volume of the cave using airflow studies. They measure how much air the caves exhales when the outside pressure drops and vice versa. The parts of [...]
I love South Dakota’s Black Hills region for all of its natural beauty, and not only is there gorgeous scenery above ground; there’s even more to be discovered below ground. As with most national parks, the place to start is the visitor center.
One word of caution: the park’s website warns you not to trust your GPS to find the visitor center. The website has a map and directions. I am one of those people who tends to trust my GPS too much, and it has gotten me into trouble more than once, so I wanted to point that [...]