Things to Do in USA - page 4
Tropical foliage, black sand beaches, rushing waterfalls and incredible views are the calling cards of the legendary, winding Road to Hana. The famous roadway along Maui’s North Shore (also called the Hana Highway) includes 600 hairpin turns and more than 50 bridges and is known as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
This historic section of Albuquerque sits at the heart of town, its Pueblo-style patios beckoning to be explored. What was once a simple grassy plaza has expanded into more than 150 unique shops, restaurants, and galleries. Many feature authentic crafts produced by local Native American tribes.
With original adobe buildings and Spanish colonial architecture, the area is undeniably beautiful and rich in Southwestern culture. Grounded in history (it was first settled by Spanish settlers in 1706,) there are also five museums in this part of town which tell the city’s story. The main plaza is centered around the San Felipe de Neri, an old church that has remained since 1793. You can plan your day around specific sights, or explore the brick paths and alleys that lead through the historic area. When in need of a break, you’ll find open-air patios and gardens dotted with intricate iron benches that are perfect for relaxing in the shade.
Milwaukee’s waterfront got a recent upgrade when the new, ultra-modern addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The soaring white structure of the Quadracci Pavilion looks like the prow of a ship setting to sea, with its masts and sails flowing out behind it. Inside, the museum is equally impressive, a world-class art museum that got its start in the late 1800s, and today boasts 30,000 works of art ranging from antiquity all the way to the modern era—notable names include Monet, Picasso and Warhol. The exhibits are constantly rotating through 40 galleries across four stories. Visitors should especially make time to explore the museum’s collection of works from Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keeffe, one of the largest in the world.
Set on California’s central coast, Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf is famous for its ocean views, resident sea lions and sea otters, and sourdough bowls of clam chowder. Souvenir shops, candy stores, street performers, and seafood restaurants line the seafront and, nearby, you can watch as trawlers unload the day’s catch at Fisherman’s Wharf II.
Houston’s Downtown Aquarium is a fun and educational attraction, especially for families. Children can get up close and personal with more than 200 types of underwater creatures, including myriad fish, eels, rays in a touch tank, sharks, and white tigers. Kids also love the amusement rides and dining in the underwater aquarium restaurant.
Just an hour from one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the Napa Valley Wine Train in California distills the essence of the wine country into a single day of wining, dining, and riding through the countryside on an antique train.
Spend an afternoon shopping and people watching around the hip and vibrant Carytown neighborhood in west Richmond. The nine-block shopping area sits just south of the Museum District, only a couple blocks from the Museum of Fine Arts. Carytown boasts more the 250 shops, with everything from big name clothing stores to local boutiques and craft shops. You’ll find dozens of restaurants, cafés and bakeries, so there are plenty of choices when it’s time for a lunch break. Carytown is also home to the Byrd Theatre, a national historic landmark that is still in daily operation. Stop in to catch second-run movies for only $2.
Australian natives and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Bill and Dawn Williamson create their award-winning Sonoma County wines from a dozen of their own sustainably farmed vineyards strung along the Dry Creek Valley, which is famed for it’s wine friendly conditions. With vineyards across three different microclimates, Williamson Wines specializes in many varietals, including Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone style wines. Visitors looking to sample their wines don’t need to venture outside of Healdsburg however, as the winery’s tasting room is located downtown, where tasters can enjoy a complimentary wine sample, or reserve a table to try a more immersive experience, with artfully prepared food and wine pairings, including cheese plates dusted with Williamson’s famous truffle salt.
The Frazier History Museum offers a wide variety of exhibits about Kentucky’s history. See historic artifacts, get an in-depth look at the invention and distillation of Kentucky bourbon, and enjoy gallery talks. The three floors of exhibition space hold a variety of events ranging from whiskey tastings to performances by costumed actors.
Travel back in time to the year 1784 at Michie Tavern, a Virginia Historic Landmark. Owned originally by Scotsman William Michie, the site served as the epicenter of social life in Earlysville, Virginia. The Tavern offered travelers food, drink and lodging before the Commonwealth of Virginia purchased it in 1910. The Tavern operated in Earlysville until 1927, when the current owner, Josephine Henderson, moved it to its present location, a half mile from Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home.
Visiting Michie Tavern today feels much the same as it may have 200 years ago. Servers don period outfits and serve up both traditional southern cuisine and hospitality. Before or after dining, guests are invited to tour the oldest section of Michie Tavern to learn more about its history. In addition, guests can peruse any of four shops: the Tavern-Museum Shop, the Metal Smith Shop, the Clothier and the General Store.
More Things to Do in USA
As one of the oldest commercial ships in the United States, the whaleshipCharles W. Morgan is a living testament to the legacy of the American whaling industry. The ship—now a National Historic Landmark—is among the most popular attractions at the Mystic Seaport Museum and a must-see historic attraction for visitors to coastal Connecticut.
Beach-loving families (and anyone else looking for accessible white sands with great wildlife-watching opportunities) can find it at Clearwater’s Sand Key Park. Situated on the northern end of the barrier island Sand Key, this small park boasts ample amenities, including a playground, bathrooms, and lifeguards during the summer season. On the Gulf of Mexico side, visitors can find a wide, welcoming white sand beach where sea turtles sometimes lay their eggs. The park also includes a salt marsh where birdwatchers can spot herons, roseate spoonbills and great horned owls, among many other bird species. Beach loungers and water sports fans can find equipment rentals on-site—everything from cabanas and beach umbrellas to kayaks and bicycles.
The laws of gravity may not apply at Cosmos Mystery Area. At this Black Hills attraction, you see water appear to flow uphill, discover that seemingly level surfaces aren't straight, and find tall people that seem tiny. Don't miss walking up a wall in the Mystery House, and try cracking crystal-filled geodes at the on-site mine.
Located inside the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City has a lively patio situated right on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Inside you'll find the classic American cuisine, cocktails, and music memorabilia that the Hard Rock Cafe chain is famous for. On the plate, the burgers, smokehouse ribs, salads, and locally inspired entrees are the stars, or simply grab a drink at the Gibson guitar-shaped bar.
Be sure to a look at the memorabilia wall and video exhibits, which showcase items such as costumes and musical instruments from legends like The Beatles, Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Hard Rock Cafe is always playing great music on its sound system, but also frequently brings in local musicians to play live on stage. The whole cafe is considered to be one of the best party spots in Atlantic City.
In the kitschy Smokey Mountain town of Gatlinburg, the family-owned and operated Mysterious Mansion is a haunted dwelling that has delighted in frightening visitors year-round since 1980. The three-story Victorian mansion on River Road, a block from the entrance road to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, incorporates antique shop finds, fake bloody skulls, live actors, fog machines and strobe lights to catch visitors off-guard. Tours of the mansion are always self-guided and not recommended for very young children.
The labyrinthine interior includes secret passageways, creaking staircases and rooms of gore carefully curated by the descendants of the house’s original owners. Visitors rave about the frighteningly passionate live actors, but lament that the scares don’t last longer – tours take an average of 15 to 20 minutes.
Explore more than a century of American automotive history, from the 1890s to the 2000s, at the AACA Museum. Located in Hershey, Penn., the AACA Museum features a collection of more than 150 vintage vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles, around 85 to 100 of which are on display at any given time.
Step back in time to the “age of homespun” (1789-1840) at Historic Cold Spring Village. Spanning 30 acres (12 hectares), Cold Spring Village is the largest open-air living history museum in New Jersey. See history come to life through its 27 restored historic buildings, costumed interpreters, demonstrations, and interactive activities.
The red sandstone Moss Mansion Historic House Museum and its tranquil grounds have been preserved to provide a time capsule of life in Billings, Montana, at the beginning of the 20th century. Originally built as the Moss family home in 1903 and inhabited until the 1980s, the mansion now holds historic exhibits, special events, and educational tours.
New York's Finger Lakes make up one of the state's most popular vacation destinations, and Cayuga Lake is the longest of the 11 bodies of water, stretching roughly 40 miles from Ithaca at its southern tip to the marshes of the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge at the northern end. Like all Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake is narrow, only 3.5 miles at its widest point.
The Fingers Lakes region is known for wine-growing and outdoor attractions, both of which draw many visitors. With forests, waterfalls, marshes and rivers, travelers visit to go hiking, boating, fishing and more. There are also museums in lakeside towns and historic attractions.
Experience military history at Mobile's Battleship Memorial Park, where you can step aboard World War II vessels. Highlights include theUSS Alabama battleship,USS Drum submarine, and dozens of military aircraft—as well as the on-site memorials where you can pay tribute to military veterans.
To learn about the 200 year history of the Erie Canal, head to the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. Housed in the Weighlock Building (which was built in 1850 and once weighed cargo passing through the canal), the museum holds artifacts, interactive exhibits, and a full-sized replica of an old canal ship.
The vast Yellowstone National Park, stretching over portions of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, was the first U.S. National Park when it was established in 1872. Famous for its scenery, wildlife, and geothermal activity—most notably, the geyser known as Old Faithful—Yellowstone covers almost 3,500 square miles (9,000 square kilometers) of mountainous countryside. The park boasts one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America (Yellowstone Lake), the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States (Yellowstone River), and even its own Grand Canyon.
Dating back to the 18th century, the Portland Head Light watches over the rocky coastline of Maine as the state’s oldest lighthouse. Its picturesque location also makes it the most photographed lighthouse in the United States. And the surrounding Fort Williams Park is a popular beach and hiking destination.
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