Nickname: The Ocean State; Land Area: 1,045 square miles (2,707 square kilometers); Population: 1,050,788; Capital: Providence; Largest City: Providence
Often called "America's First Resort," Newport was founded in 1639 by refugees from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It quickly grew into a bustling seaport due to its location at the mouth of Narragansett Bay on Rhode Island (confusingly, the largest island in the State of Rhode Island is also called Rhode Island).
Starting in the early seventeenth century, wealthy visitors began to build summer homes in Newport, attracted by the sea and the beauty of the promontory on which the town sits. Then, in the 1880s, rich New York society families began to build enormous mansions (called "summer cottages") on Bellevue Avenue and Ocean Drive. These multimillionaires, and even billionaires, amassed their fortunes during America's "Gilded Age," through industry, railroads, shipping, farming, or mining. Among the most notable families who had summer cottages in Newport were the Astors and the Vanderbilts.
These society families tried to outdo each other in the opulence of their summer cottages, so each mansion had to be bigger and better than the one next door.
Nowadays, most of the mansions of Newport are museums which are open to the public, and are the biggest attraction in Newport, attracting more than 1,000,000 visitors per year.
The southern hospitality and charm of Kentucky are found from the heights of the Kentucky Highlands to the subterranean depths of Kentucky Cave Country. The natural wonders of Kentucky are punctuated with two metropolitan cities. Lexington, the heart of Bluegrass Country, is rich with Kentucky history and heritage. Louisville hosts the Kentucky Derby with two weeks of festivals and entertainment. Kentucky treasures such as grand mansions, historic sites and legendary horse farms are spread throughout the Bluegrass State. Experience sports and recreation in the natural settings of Western Kentucky. Hike, golf, bike, climb, sight see, explore underground caves, ride horses, canoe, raft, swim, or visit historical sights - the opportunities for adventure and relaxation are endless in Kentucky.
New Orleans especially at Mardi Gras is not to be missed. Visit the French Quarter, listen to Jazz and take a boat ride on the Mississippi. South of Lafayette is Bayou Country, many different swamp tours are available and the opportunities for fishing are excellent. The city of Baton Rouge is the state capital, with magnolias and antibellum mansions in abundance. Central Louisiana featured significantly in the American Civil War, and is full of historical sights pertaining to these times. Shreveport covers the northern part of the state. It is more traditionally southern in character than the Cajun south, and seems to be a blend of the deep south with the southwest. There are many classic plantations to visit and cotton fields everywhere. This region is famous for its country music.
See some great antebellum houses in Natchez. Feel like walking back in time and imagine how the rich cotton planters must have lived here over 100 years ago.
Cotton was the white gold of the region, with the plantations along the mighty Mississippi river. When the river flooded, in spring, the rich plantation owners moved to their big mansions in Natchez.
Some the houses can be visited, and you must at least see two or three to get an idea of that time.
More pictures and tips at our Natchez page.
Florida in March-but no spring break?
My wife and I are looking to get out of the cold of Minnesota in early March and we would like some warm weather and palm trees. We are tired of Arizona and California so we were thinking Florida. We've decided to stay in the States to keep it cheaper (Caribbean and Mexico too far and costly for a 5 day deal).
However, we aren't looking to be overrun with the spring break crowd. Are there any nice places in Florida on the coasts with things to do, maybe a beach, that aren't huge spring break destinations? What about Tampa and St Pete? other ideas?
Thanks for any help or hints you can provide.
RE: RE: Florida in March-but no spring break?
I have to agree with longboat key and seista key best on the gulf side.
RE: Florida in March-but no spring break?
West Palm Beach is very nice and quiet. There is a good choice of restaurants and shopping if you get tired of the beach. Also driving through what seems like an endless amount of mansions is interesting too, reminds me of the movie "Heartbreakers."