Fun things to do in United States of America

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    North Dakota – Flickertail State

    by grayfo Updated Feb 26, 2015

    North Dakota is a state that is located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S. It is also the third least populous, with 672,591 residents as of 2010. North Dakota was carved out of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889, at the same time as South Dakota. Must see cities and attractions include: the Theodore Rooseveldt National Park, Fort Mandan, the Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota Heritage Center and the National Buffalo Museum to name but a few.

    March 2011

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    Kansas – Sunflower State

    by grayfo Updated Feb 19, 2015

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    Kansas is a region of plains and prairie that is the breadbasket of the country, growing more wheat than any other state in the union. For thousands of years Kansas was home to a large variety of Native American tribes, those in the West were nomadic tribes who hunted the vast herds of bison whilst those in the East lived in villages along the river banks. Kansas became the first battlefield in the conflict in the American Civil War. Must see cities and attractions include: Rock City, Monument Rocks and Wichita to name but a few.

    May 2009

    See My Travel Page for more information.

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  • grayfo's Profile Photo

    Iowa – Hawkeye State

    by grayfo Updated Jan 27, 2015

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    Iowa the 29th state (as of December 28, 1846) is a state located in the Mid-west, part of the American Heartland. Iowa is one of the foremost farming states in the United States. One fifth of the nation's corn harvest is produced in Iowa. The Hawkeye State is so called because it was said to have come from the scout, Hawkeye, in James Fenimore Cooper's “The Last of the Mohicans” published in 1826.

    May 2010

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    Virginia

    by grayfo Written Jan 16, 2015

    Does it count that I've only flown into Washington Dulles International Airport, had a very nice meal and flown out again? The airport is located 25 miles (40 km) west of the central business district of Washington D.D., in Dulles, Virginia. Must see sights/attractions include: Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg, Arlington National Cemetery, Busch Gardens and The Natural Bridge to name but a few.

    April 2009

    See My Travel Page for more information.

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    Illinois – Prairie State

    by grayfo Updated Jan 14, 2015

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    Illinois was the 21st state admitted to the United States of America and is the home of the world's busiest airport and towering skyscrapers. Illinois also happens to have the greatest concentration of land, water, and air transportation facilities in the entire world. Must see cities and /attractions include: Chicago, Springfield, Peoria, the Mississippi and Route 66 to name but a few.

    May 2009

    See My Travel Page for more information.

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Central Park,NYC

    by gwened Written Jan 9, 2015

    this is huge, magical, the heart and lung of NYC, during my times here I even jogged and always came by car to the city and then walk.
    Central Park was it. If you come here you must be here. Many things to see too numerous these are here
    http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/

    a great map to help you not missed anything ouff is here
    http://www.centralparknyc.org/maps/
    A bit on it the size is 341 hectares (3,41 km², or around 4 km by 800 meters), located in the district or borough of Manhattan.

    It is divided into several sections such as the Great Lawn in the heart of the park by the metropolitan museum of art and the American Museum of Natural History , and cover by the Lower Reservoir,an area of 14 hectares. By the area of the W 72nd street facing the Dakota Building, Strawberry Fields Monument, honor the Beatles John Lennon, killed nearby. You have the Central Park Zoo, divided into 3 zones with more than 100 specie represented. The Conservatory Garden,a botanical garden that is by the 5th Avenue and the West 105th Street. From 1916, you have here the Shakespeare Garden.

    And my favorite area the Reservoir with the name of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis since 1994. it was built between 1858 and 1862 ,and covers a space between the west 86th and 96th Streets. It has a superficie of 42,9 hectares, and on some spot has a depth of 12 meters. The jogging here along it is wonderful and its about 2,54 kms around it. You ,also, have the Lake,and the Harlem Meer or Harlem lake,and the Pond.

    Other nice monuments here are the Belvedere Castle,located on the Vista Rock. A real castle of Scottish style built in 1869. Today the meteological services is home and you have a wonderful view from here on the park. Inside you have the Henry Luce Nature Observatory with samples of fauna and flora present in the park. Another curiosity is the Fountain Bethesda, located in the Bethesda Terrace on top area of the Lake. There are several sculptures around the park.

    For security the park has its own police dept. Very nice during the daytime and nightime if know the park well.

    Bow bridge a view over the lake to the skyscrapers the walk around Central Park
    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Museum Visits
    • Hiking and Walking

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    St Patrick Cathedral NYC

    by gwened Written Jan 9, 2015

    A wonderful building amongst skyscrapers and a symbol to the city. St ¨Patrick Cathedral is wonderful. Sitting in prime real estate in NYC

    All the religious and main events is done around this wonderful Cathedral and it's always a pleasure to visit it , or past by often while living in New Jersey across the Hudson river.

    A bit on it as there is huge info all over on it . The Cathedral was built between 1853 and 1878, and it is located at the corner of 5th avenue and the west 50th street close to the Rockefeller Center and not far from the Central Park.

    It measures 123 meters long by 84 meters wide and its highest point is at 101 meters on each of its two towers in the western facade.

    The 135 years old Cathedral for the first time is going thru a renovation and cleaning with water and glass beads which will make it sparkle ,the work is to finish by end of 2015. I found a couple pictures circa 2009.

    Saint Patrick Cathedral closer to look at its spiral towers
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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    Quaint little museum in St. Marys, Georgia

    by Cho45 Written Jan 3, 2015

    Cumberland Island is Georgia's largest and southermost barrier island. It can be reached by the Island Ferry from the dock of the St. Marys waterfront, but when we got there the last ferry had already left. However, as consolation, we got to visit the Cumberland Island Museum which is located near the docks in the center of the town. The staff at the entrance was very friendly, and I spent nearly an hour inside the air conditioned museum which was a welcome respite from the summer heat outside.

    Exhibits at this museum focus on the island's natural and cultural history. Many original furnishings, artifacts and objects are on display, including uniforms worn in the War of 1812. As I like to learn about History I found all the exhibits quite interesting. In fact, I was the only visitor there at that time, although another couple came in just when I was leaving.

    The receptionist asked me to sign the Guest Book which I did so willingly. When she saw my entry she was very much surprised and asked me many questions about Myanmar, particularly about Buddhism. It seemed she was interested because one of her co-workers had recently converted to Buddhism. I really didn't want to go in too deep about religion but I tried to explain as much as I could.

    The town of St. Marys (referred to as the Gateway to Cumberland Island) was our last stop in Georgia before heading back home so we toured the downtown historic district and saw some of the Victoria inns, antebellum mansions, old churches and charming houses. There is also a Submarine Museum near the harbor which is supposed to be the fifth largest submarine museum in the country.

    The Welcome Center in downtown St Marys Sign near museum entrance Museum exhibit - Victoria luxury carriage Soldiers' uniforms from War of 1812 St Marys City Hall
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel

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    New York City

    by solopes Updated Sep 30, 2014

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    Capital of the world, New York is a large city with the secret of a new surprise each time we visit it, no matter the frequency or the dept of the visit.

    So far, I've been there five times, and keep hoping that, one day, I will discover New York. Though most of the sensations felt in New York are hard to express, my New York City VT page will grow. That's a promise.

    I hesitated a lot about which version of the picture should I publish - with or without the twin towers. Memories make people suffer, but erasing these memories seems a sort of treason. So, I decided to publish both versions, giving priority to people's feelings

    Manhattan - New York City - USA New York City - USA
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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    Oregon & Washington to California Trips, Part 1

    by glabah Updated Feb 18, 2014

    Several people a year write to the VirtualTourist forums asking about trips from Oregon and Washington into California. This tip is an attempt to consolidate the suggestions into a single location, as well as provide some useful links.

    First of all comes the transportation: how do you plan to make this trip?

    Car rental? One way rentals are quite expensive, and in fact during the peak tourist months many car rental agencies in Seattle will not grant one way rentals even to Portland, Oregon (let alone California), and those that do usually add quite a lot to the one-way rental fee. If you are able to find a one-way car rental then great! If not, then don't be surprised. Make sure there is a car rental that will work for you before you make firm plans, however as sometimes it isn't easy.

    Also, one-way rentals out of Vancouver BC into the USA, or vice-versa, are usually impossible. You will probably need to take local transportation (train, bus, boat or combination) for this part of the trip if you are planning it one way.

    Or, are you doing this without a car?

    You can take the train from Seattle to Los Angeles, through Portland and Eugene. However, it doesn't travel along the Pacific Ocean coast. It does travel along Puget Sound for a brief time and can be beautiful in that section. Intercity buses to California also take Interstate 5, which is the least attractive route. Therefore, if you want to see the scenery the coast or east of the Cascades, you will need to take local buses to, from and through those areas from the Interstate 5 corridor. This will add a bit of time to your trip beyond what you had planned for a direct through route.

    Oh, and about the time required for this trip: just for the Olympic Peninsula segment of Highway 101 some people are disappointed that they didn't leave more time for it, even if they took a week to do just that section. Therefore, for an entire coastal trip to "see everything" you are almost always going to have to decide what you like best and prioritize what you want to see as you won't have time to see everything, unless you have a month or so. See the section below about trip time.

    Second of all, but probably of primary importance: the weather.

    Please understand that the weather on the Oregon and Washington Coast is extremely unpredictable. Witness the photo above, taken at Tokeland, Washington in August of 2013. Generally there can be clear weather in summer months, but certainly it isn't guaranteed, and even if the weather is clear there is always a fairly cold wind blowing off the water. Even in Puget Sound, which is somewhat sheltered, there is a fairly cold wind on the water. Come prepared for some areas to be cold, and understand that you might get rain or fog even in summer, and generally a cold wind is a given. Any other time of year this type of weather is very likely to happen, and yet there are always a few spectacular days of sun every season that are amazing, especially in winter. When those days happen is anyone's guess.

    Now, let us move on to your trip time: those of us who live on the Oregon and Washington coast for our entire lives have spent quite a lot of time exploring all there is to explore here, and still not seen everything. Trying to advise someone what to see in a matter of days, when you really need several months at minimum to "see it all" is really a difficult task. There are over 40 state parks on the Oregon coast alone, and each has their own unique features that make it the favorite of some people, while someone else has another park that is the favorite for another reason. Thus, trying to tell someone what is "best" is a long and time consuming task and really depends on the person doing the traveling. Therefore, it is really best that you do a bit of research into the various coastal towns and look through some maps to see what strikes your fancy. All of us here on VirtualTourist did so because we like being part of a community of travelers, but at the same time it is difficult to answer questions posed by those who haven't even started doing a bit of research, and don't even know the approximate distances and travel times or even the location of the roads. Please, help us help you and look at a map before making a general request to the forums, so that you can ask more pointed questions about locations that seem interesting to you.

    It is very very difficult for us who do not know you to decide what you would prefer to eliminate from your trip, and you will have to eliminate something as there is too much to see in a limited time.

    Which brings us to Route Selection:

    Many people who have asked about "Driving Down the Coast from Seattle to Portland into California" don't seem to understand that Seattle and Portland aren't even on the coast. Interstate 5 is likely your fastest option from Seattle to Portland and south into California, but it isn't very scenic for most of the way. (Seattle and Portland can both have nightmare level traffic jams on Interstate 5 so sometimes other options may have been better, but you won't know that until you are stuck in one for several hours.) True, it is where the population centers are, and if you are after cultural attractions such as music and plays rather than scenery this may be your best bet.

    The "Take Highway 101 down the coast" crowd hasn't looked at a map either. Highway 101 only goes down the Oregon and Washington coast in places, and in many others you will have to take lesser used and slower coastal roads if you want to truly stay on the coast and see the Ocean scenery. For example, between Tillamook and Pacific City, Oregon highway 101 only spends a small amount of time on the coast. Instead, from Tillamook you have to head west on local roads to hit the Ocean. Staying on highway 101 through there gives you a nice view of lots of trees that have been cut down and a bit of farm land, and that is pretty much it.

    There are, in fact, quite a number of different possible options for driving from Oregon and Washington into California. As an additional example, if you want to see some highland dry country (see photo 2 of this tip) it is possible to drive east from Seattle and head south on one of the eastern north-south roads, such as highway 97 or even 395 if you have the time to got that far east. You can take US Highway 2 or Interstate 90 to get to central Washington to head south, depending on what you want to see (Wenatchee? Yakima? Goldendale? Warm Springs? Bend? Klamath Falls?).

    Route selection does need to take into account the time of year and the weather, however. For example, the roads to Crater Lake are closed most of the year due to snow, as they are pretty high in the mountains. Roads over the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington require tire chains during the winter, most of the time. Sometimes even the low elevation route along the Columbia River between Portland and The Dalles requires tire chains. Roads between Interstate 5 and Highway 101 can be closed due to snow, and a couple of them close completely for winter. Sometimes, people get lost on remote forest roads and die there because they get stuck in a remote area. Also, keep in mind the east side of the Cascades has far fewer people, so there are some long distances with no gas stations or places to spend the night or other traveler resources. You will want to plan a bit more on these routes.

    However, as long as this time of year is taken into consideration and adequate time is allowed, there is no problem taking a very circuitous route and exploring the areas along highway 97, parts of Interstate 5, and parts of the coast as well. There aren't a huge number of roads between these areas but there are enough that you are not limited to one choice.

    With all these different options possible, you can begin to see how hard it is to advise someone without knowing even some of the basics of what they want to see (high desert east of the Cascades? The cities of the Willamette Valley and Puget Sound regions? The scenery along the Coast? A mixture?)

    It is not possible to even include all these into a single VirtualTourist tip limit of 10,000 characters. So, to continue this tip, please also see:

    My Road Trip Down the Washington Coast tip

    My Oregon Coast tip.

    Cold and Cloudy Coastal Summer Day, August of 2013 Stonehenge Monument at Maryhill, Washington Looking South from Cape Meares State Park, Oregon Olympic National Park is Best of Washington Coast
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    Philadelphia

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    I had only one day to visit Philadelphia, but with intensive and planned use, I think that I saw the essential. A very nice city, that I describe in Philadelphia

    Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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    Canyons

    by solopes Updated Dec 28, 2013

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    The western part of the USA is dramatically cut by a few rivers, creating depressions several hundred meters high. Remembering colonization it's easy to understand why it took so long, with so many deaths and sacrifices. Grand Canyon is worldwide known, but it is not alone, and for instance Brice and Zion canyons are also impressive.

    Brice Canyon - USA Grand Canyon - USA Brice Canyon - USA Brice Canyon - USA Grand Canyon - USA
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Hawai: Oahu

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Dec 18, 2013

    A suggestion for an Oahu intinerary:

    - Honolulu & Waikiki Beach
    - daytrip to Pearl Harbor
    - hiking to Diamond Head
    - my favourite beaches were Kailua and Lanikai - there are true Hawaiian dream beaches !
    - Shark`s Cove is a great snorkeling area
    - on close-by Turtle Beach (do not confuse with Turtle Bay) you will surely see huge sea turtles
    - the japanese Byodo-In temple

    For more detailed tips, see my Hawaii VT Page!

    Oahu

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    Hawai: Honolulu/Waikiki area

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Dec 18, 2013

    In my humble opinion Honolulu and Waikiki should be visited, but the rest of Oahu deserves more time than the greater area of the capital city. Nonetheless, there are many interesting things to see and do even here:

    Honolulu:
    - strolling through downtown Honolulu with its impressive skyscrapers
    - taking in the vista from the panoramic viewing tower at the Aloha Tower shopping centre
    - the only royal palace in the United States !
    - the golden statue of King Kamehameha, in front of the courthouse

    Waikiki:
    - Waikiki Beach ("been there, done that!")
    - hiking to Diamond Head (great view of Waikiki Beach from here)

    Pearl Harbour: To me, the most intense memory. I spent a whole day here, there is lots to see (USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin submarine, the USS Missouri Battleship which saw the capitulation of Japan 1945 AND the Gulf War, an warplane museum, movies and exhibitions on the Pearl Harbour raid. This is the one place you must visit if you are interested in history.

    Downtown Honolulu

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    Hawai: Big Island

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Dec 18, 2013

    A Big Island itinerary could include the following activities:

    - the Volcanoe National Park in the southeastern corner of the island is a must-see
    - Green Beach in the southwestern corner of Big Island
    - the "Place of Refuge" open air museum with historic Polynesian buildings
    - Manta Snorkeling near Kailua-Kona
    - basically ALL beaches north of Kailua-Kona
    - horse-riding with "Paniolo Adventures", northwestern part of Big Island
    - hiking or canoeing to the Cook monument - the best area for snorkeling !

    For more detailed tips, please see my Hawaii VT page. This is just a suggestion of an itinerary.

    Place of Refuge

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Comments (1)

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    As I was writing some tips for a city just west of where I live this morning I found out about this interesting event happening in June this year.

    I wanted to let anyone who lives in the United States and any visitors to the U.S. this summer that there is a very unique event going on. Lincoln Highway is not as well known as its other old U.S. Highway (Route 66), but is actually older (1913 vs 1926) then its road cousin and actually does travel through the middle of the country from coast to coast (New York to San Francisco). Route 66 actually starts in my hometown of Chicago and heads to California.

    Anyway here is a link and a bit of a description for anybody who is interested. www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/tour/2013.com

    "Join fellow historians and tourists for the Official Lincoln Highway Centennial Tours, headed for Kearney, Nebraska from each coast, for the centennial of America’s first paved transcontinental road: the Lincoln Highway. Antique cars, Classics, muscle cars, ’50s cars, trucks, motorcycles, street rods, and modern cars are welcome to participate.

    You will travel the original alignments of the Lincoln Highway covering many miles of two-lane history, four-lane progress, and even gravel scenic beauty. Travel from America’s urban centers, through pastoral farm lands, over breathtaking mountains and rolling prairies.

    Travelers from the East will start at Times Square, the heart of America’s most vibrant city. You will travel through ivy-covered college towns such as Princeton, New Jersey, and the Amish country of Pennsylvania. From Pittsburgh’s steel and beer brewing industrial history, you will travel through Ohio’s diverse agricultural and commercial mix. Indiana takes you through more Amish farm land, South Bend’s Notre Dame and automotive history and on to Illinois. From Illinois you will travel to Iowa’s farmland across the Mississippi River into the prairies of Nebraska and on to the Centennial celebration in Kearney at the Great Platte River Arch Museum.

    Western travelers enjoy beginning their journey in the urban centers of San Francisco and Oakland, California. After traveling through the state’s agricultural Central Valley you are exposed to the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains and Donner Pass before dropping into the deserts of Nevada and the Great Salt Lake of Utah. Climbing the mountains out of Salt Lake City, you will enter the wide open spaces of Wyoming and on to historic Cheyenne for an overnight stop. This is followed by your easterly trek into Nebraska and eventually joining the rest of the travelers from the east for the grand parade of cars into Kearney on opening day."

United States of America Things to Do

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