What To Do On Mackinac Island Where Vehicles Are Banned

Mackinac Island is an island located in Lake Huron in the US state of Michigan. It is at the point where Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsula sections meet. Mackinac Island is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and history. One thing that makes this island unique is the fact that vehicles are banned from its roads.

That means that the only ways that you can get around Mackinac Island are by foot, horseback, horse-drawn carriages, and bicycles. So, if you are looking for an island destination that will take you back to a time when automobiles didn’t exist at all, then this is the island for you. If you are in search for what to do on Mackinac Island, here are some suggestions.

Downtown

(Photo courtesy of Mary McGuire via Flickr)

Mackinac Island is home to a charming waterfront downtown on the southern portion of the island. This is where a concentration of restaurants, bars, and shops are located. So, there are plenty of places to go to in downtown. Main Street is the commercial drag through downtown with many of the business being located there.

You can observe the downtown streets as they are bustling with a mix of pedestrians, bicyclists, horseback riders, and horse-drawn carriages. There is one thing you won’t observe on the downtown streets and that is the cars. Remember that Mackinac Island is car-free. You can also observe the ferries as they head in and out of the docks downtown.

Mackinac Island is renowned for its fudge offerings. So, you will want to check them out. There are numerous fudge shops downtown. There are a couple of them I would like to note. They are Murdick’s Fudge and Joann’s Fudge. Murdick’s Fudge is the original fudge maker on Mackinac Island. It has been in the fudge business since 1887.

Murdick’s Fudge still uses the same recipe and old-fashioned fudge-making techniques as it did when it first opened in 1887. Fudges are offered in three-slice and five-slice boxes at this fudge shop and there are 21 flavors to choose from. Joann’s Fudge is a third generation family business owned by the Nephew family.

This fudge shop uses a recipe in which the fudge is slowly cooked in traditional copper kettles over a gas flame. Once a certain temperature is achieved, the mixture is poured onto marble stabs to allow it to cool off for a specific time. The fudge is then hand paddled into loaves. This fudge shop only uses fresh heavy cream and butter in every fudge it offers.

All of its chocolate-flavored fudges use pure ground cocoa beans. Preservatives and powered ingredients are not used in any of the fudges at Joann’s Fudge. At the fudge shop, the fudges are offered in boxes of anywhere from one to five slices. There are 29 fudge flavors to choose from at Joann’s Fudge. So, there are considerably more options there compared to Murdick’s Fudge.

Bicycle Riding

(Photo courtesy of Gsgeorge via Wikimedia)

One of the joyous ways to soak in the beauty of Mackinaw Island is to go for a bicycle ride around Mackinac Island. Even though there are numerous paths on Mackinac Island where you can ride the bicycle, the best path to ride the bicycle would be Michigan Highway 185 (M-185). M-185 is noted for being the only state highway in the US where cars are banned.

The highway travels in a circle around Mackinac Island. For the most part, the highway hugs the shore of Lake Huron. That will ensure that you will get breathtaking views of Lake Huron for most of your bicycle trip. By bicycling on M-185, you will experience a variety of compelling environments from downtown and private Victorian-era residences to lush forests and limestones.

There is one interesting natural formation I would like to point out as you will be passing this during your bicycling journey on M-185. It is called Arch Rock. It is a natural arch made of limestones. It can be found on the southeastern section of Mackinac Island. It stands about 146 feet above the waters of Lake Huron.

(Photo courtesy of Viplav Valluri via Wikimedia)

It is arguably the most iconic natural feature on the island. So, be sure to look out for it as you bicycle along on M-185. You can rent a bicycle for the journey from the Mackinac Island Bike Shop located on Main Street in downtown.

This shop offers a large selection of bicycles grouped into categories such as Island Comfort Special, Kids Mountain, Tagalong, and Burley/Weehoo. The rates varies slightly depending on which bicycle you choose, but they generally range from $8 to $14 per hour.

Fort Mackinac

(Photo courtesy of Drdpw via Wikipedia)

Fort Mackinac is located just north of downtown on limestone bluffs overlooking it. This historic site once operated as a military outpost for Britain and the US. The British built the military outpost during the American Revolutionary War in order to gain control of a strategically important position in the Great Lakes.

The British used the military outpost until after the War of 1812 when they surrendered the military post to the Americans upon their loss during the second war between Britain and the US. The US then continued to operate the military outpost until 1895 when the operation ended for good. Today, Fort Mackinac is one of the few American Revolutionary War forts in the US that are still intact.

At the historic site, there are 14 original buildings in total such as Commissary Building, Post Headquarters, Soldiers Barracks, and Post Hospital. There are a variety of performances designed to resemble what it was like to be there when it operated as a military outpost. These include cannon blasts, rifle firings, and marching soldiers.

There are exhibits throughout all the 14 original buildings that explain everything from military training and battles to medical treatments to family life within the military outpost. The historic site will open for the 2020 season on May 1st and continue until October 25th. The admission prices for 2020 are $13.50 for adults and $8 for children aged 5 to 12.

Those under the age of 5 get free admission. You can buy your tickets here. But, the tickets for the 2020 season aren’t available yet. So, you can check back there as the 2020 season draws near.

The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World

If you are into butterflies and insects, then this conservatory is for you. It is located to the east of downtown. This conservatory houses 1,800 square foot of tropical garden that is filled with hundreds of live butterflies from four continents. The insect world section of the conservatory is home to large numbers of insects from the tropical regions of the world.

The types of insects you can observe include 14″ walking sticks, 6″ centipedes, spiders, and giant beetles. One famous insect you should keep an eye out is Goliath Beetle which currently holds the record for the world’s heaviest insect. The admission prices as of 2019 are $12 for adults and $8 for children aged 5 to 11. Those aged under 4 will get free admission. A gift shop is also onsite.

These are some suggestions for what to do on Mackinac Island. You can reach the island via a ferry. Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry will provide the ferry service. You can leave from either Mackinaw City or St. Ignace depending on which peninsula of Michigan you are coming from. The prices for the fastPASS ticket are $25 for adults and $14 for children aged 5 to 12.

The ticket is free for those aged under 5. You can purchase your tickets here.

The Hotel

If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at on car-free Mackinac Island, I have got your back. Here is a hotel that I would suggest you to stay overnight at.

Grand Hotel

(Photo courtesy of Vyn Raskopf via Flickr)

This hotel is located on Grand Avenue on Mackinac Island. This is arguably the most iconic building on the island. The hotel is famous for its porch which is the largest porch in the world. Many American flags are perched on the porch during the daytime. The hotel is built in the Glided Age architectural style. It sits on top of a sloping hill filled with beautiful gardens.

There are multiple onsite restaurants to choose from. A restaurant of note is Main Dining Room. This is the restaurant that overlooks the hotel’s famed porch. Depending on when you dine there, you may witness the bellmen perform the ceremony of taking down the flags for the day.

For these of you seeking out cocktails, there are plenty of onsite bars to choose including Cupola Bar, Geranium Bar, and The Gate House just to name a few. There are numerous stores onsite selling a variety of products ranging from jewelry to clothing to toys. The hotel is home to the Esther Williams Swimming Pool. The swimming pool is 220 foot long and shaped like a serpentine.

The pool is located outdoors and is positioned so that you can get a breathtaking view of Lake Huron. There are also two hot tubs and a sauna at the pool area. For those of you looking for a workout, you can do so at the onsite fitness center. There are clay courts for playing tennis and pickleball on the hotel’s grounds. Other onsite activities include golf and lawn games like croquet and bocce ball.

Each of the hotel’s rooms and suites are beautifully decorated individually with its own thematic design, furnishings, and ambiance. They are all designed by famed interior designer Carleton Varney. As a result, no two rooms or suites are the same at this hotel. Out of the hotel’s nearly 400 rooms and suites, more than 40 of them are given their names.

Some of the room and suite names reflect the lives of several American presidents and first ladies while others reflect various historic time periods, decorating styles, and prominent historic figures and events. All of the rooms and suites at the hotel have colorful wallpaper. They all come with breathtaking views of either the lake or the island’s interior.

All of the hotel rooms and suites come with WiFi, minibars, and coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room range from $475 to $1,084. You can go here to book your stay and/or check out some additional photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you planning on traveling back in time by going to Mackinac Island? Feel free to leave a comment here.

New Attractions At Disney World

Disney World is a group of theme and water parks located in Orlando in the southwestern suburb of Lake Buena Vista. They are renowned around the world for their magical offerings. Even though Disney World opened to the public in 1971, it continually undergoes expansion in order to bring new magical offerings in addition to the ones that already exist there.

So, even if you have previously been to Disney World, it may be that you missed out on the new attractions at Disney World, especially those that opened during the past few years. If you are planning a visit to Disney World soon, you will want to make sure to check out these new offerings.

Pandora – The World of Avatar

(Photo courtesy of elisfkc via Wikipedia)

Pandora – The World of Avatar is located within the theme park of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It was built in 2017 and is based on the movie, Avatar. This attraction is home to Disney World’s take on the fictional moon planet of Pandora from the Avatar movie. The unique features of Pandora that you can see at this attraction include floating mountains, alien wildlife, and bioluminescent plants.

There are two major attractions within the Pandora attraction that you will want to experience. The first one is Avatar Flight of Passage. This is basically a 3D flying simulator where you can ride on the back of a Pandora flying creature called a mountain banshee. Once you hop on one of these mountain banshees, you will feel like you are flying throughout the breathtaking landscapes of Pandora.

It is considered a rite of passage within the fictional Na’vi tribe of Pandora for each of its hunters to bond with his/her own mountain banshee once he/she has reached a certain age. The second major attraction within the Pandora attraction is called Na’vi River Journey. This is where you can go for a boat ride through the Kasvapan River of Pandora. You will travel through caves and bioluminescent rainforest.

Along the way, you will observe and hear the exotic plants and creatures on both sides of the river as well as overhead. You will also join the Na’vi Shaman of Songs who will sing a song in the Na’vi language to demonstrate her deep connection to the life force of Pandora. There are also two performances at Pandora that you may want to check out. The first one is Swotu Waya Na’vi Drum Ceremony.

This recreates the Na’vi tradition of performing a drum ceremony in a circle. The second performance is Pandora Utility Suite. This is where a Pandoran conservation scientist, dressed in a mech suit, interacts with guests and educates them about Pandora. A few Pandora themed restaurants and shops are available onsite including Satu’li Canteen, Pongu Pongu, and Windtraders.

Toy Story Land

(Photo courtesy of Jaimie Michaels via Flickr)

Toy Story Land is located within the Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. This attraction was built in 2018 and is based on the Toy Story movie series. There are some things I would like to mention. The first thing is the Character meet & greets where you can meet and interact with Toy Story characters including Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and Jessie.

You can find Buzz Lightyear near the Toy Story marquee, Sheriff Woody and Bo Peep outside of Toy Story Mania!, and Jessie outside of Alien Swirling Saucers. Then there is the Green Army Men Boot Camp. This is where you can go and participate in a variety of boot camp drills, games, and chants with Green Army Men.

Green Army Men also provide drum performances, using a variety of drums, as the Green Army Men Corps. Another thing to note is Alien Swirling Saucers. This is where you ride in a vehicle driven by one of Buzz’s little green aliens. As you ride around a toy playset of outer space in one of those vehicles, you will get whipped around.

This vehicle ride attraction is themed after the playset that the character, Andy, won at Pizza Planet in one of the Toy Story movies. These are just some things that you should check out at Toy Story Land. There are also two Toy Story inspired restaurants located onsite at Toy Story Land.

The first one, Woody’s Lunch Box, is already open. The second restaurant, Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ, is set to open sometime this year.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

(Photo courtesy of Jedi94 via Wikipedia)

The newest attraction at Disney World is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This attraction is located within the Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Galaxy’s Edge was built last year and is based on the Star Wars movie series. The setting of Galaxy’s Edge is the village called Black Spire Outpost which is located on the wild frontier planet of Baluu. There are two major attractions at Galaxy’s Edge to note.

The first one is Star Wars: Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run. Here, you will ride in a 6-seat motion simulator designed to resemble the iconic Millennium Falcom from the Star Wars movie series. You will be going on a smuggling mission during this ride. Each guest on this ride will be assigned a crew role for the smuggling mission.

The characters Hondo Ohnaka and Chewbacca will make an appearance during your smuggling mission. The smuggling mission is set between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The second major attraction is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This attraction will draw you right into the middle of a major conflict between the Resistance and the First Order.

This is done by having four interworking ride systems in combination with Audio-Animatronics, practical sets, projection mapping, and screen-based media. This is one of the most complex and advanced attractions ever designed by Disney.

If you are looking for the iconic blue or green milk as seen in Star Wars, you can buy them at The Milk Stand. If you would like to create and buy your own custom lightsaber, head over to Savi’s Workshop.

You can go to Mubo’s Droid Depot to create and buy your own custom droid. There are multiple other Star Wars themed restaurants and shops onsite at Galaxy’s Edge such as Oga’s Cartina, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, and First Order Cargo.

These are the new attractions at Disney World that have opened during the past few years. So, you will want to make sure to check them out as soon as you pay a visit to Disney World. You can buy a Standard Theme Park Ticket for $104. That will allow you to visit one theme park within a day.

But, if you are planning on visiting multiple theme parks over multiple days, you will want to go with the 4-day Magic Ticket for $84.69 per day (or $338.77 per ticket). This will give you one theme park per day, allowing you to visit all four theme parks over four days. Either way, you can buy your Disney World tickets here.

The Hotels

If you are looking for a place to stay overnight at as soon as you visit Disney World, I have you covered here. Here are the two hotels I would suggest you to book with. Both of these hotels are located in Lake Buena Vista southwest of Orlando, so that you can be close to Disney World.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

This resort hotel is located on Broadway in Orlando. This gorgeous resort hotel is inspired by historic Saratoga Springs, New York during the late 19th century. The resort hotel is designed in the Victorian architectural style. The resort hotel is split into multiple sections. They are The Springs, The Carousel, The Paddock, Congress Park, and The Grandstand. There are two main swimming pools at the resort hotel.

The first main pool is High Rock Spring Pool. This pool is home to gushing waterfalls. It is gorgeously decorated with rocks, boulders, and babbling brooks. It has a 128 foot long waterslide that is built into the rocks.

Also, if you find yourself hungry for a little something to eat, there is a poolside place called On the Rocks Pool Bar. The second main pool is The Paddock Pool. This pool has a 146 foot long waterslide that flows down to the pool from the water tower.

During your time at this pool, you can buy something to eat from The Paddock Grill. In addition to these two main pools, there are three smaller, leisure pools throughout the resort hotel. Along with the pools are multiple hot tubs. There are jogging trails, basketball and tennis courts, and a fitness center available onsite to use. Golfers should check out Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, located onsite.

Those looking for a place to play games can head to Win, Place or Show Arcade and the Community Hall. Campfires and outdoors movie nights are also onsite activities worth considering. If you are looking for a restaurant to dine at and/or a bar for an alcoholic drink, there are multiple options.

The Turf Club Bar & Grill, The Artist’s Palette, and The Paddock Grill are a few options. Senses – A Disney Spa is the place where you can go for massages or other spa treatments at the resort hotel.

There are a few categories of accommodation options. They are Studios, Villas, and Treehouse Villas. There are a wide range of options for which breathtaking views you would like to have, depending on which accommodation option you choose to sleep in. Studios will offer mini refrigerators and microwaves.

Villas and Treehouse Villas will offer full kitchens, living and dining rooms, and separate bedrooms. WiFi will be available in all the accommodation options. The average rate for a standard room range from $358 to $1,178. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area

This hotel is located on Hotel Plaza Boulevard in Orlando. There is an onsite restaurant located at the hotel known as Palm Breezes Restaurant. If you are looking for an onsite bar to have an alcoholic drink, you can head to Palm Breezes Bar & Lounge. There is an outdoor heated swimming pool and hot tub onsite. There is a fitness center available for you to use 24 hours per day.

All of the hotel rooms are designed in contemporary decor with refreshing earth tones. There is WiFi, mini refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers in every hotel room. The average rate for a standard room range from $153 to $294. You can go here to book your stay and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you looking to check out the new attractions as soon as you visit Disney World? Feel free to leave a comment here.

Things To Do In Louisiana – Plantations Near New Orleans

If you are heading to Louisiana, chances are that you will head to New Orleans. But, if you are looking for something to do outside the city, one of the things to do in Louisiana you may want to consider is to visit the plantations. The state has a reputation for being home to many beautiful, grand plantations. Here, I will focus on a few of the plantations along the Mississippi River to the west of New Orleans.

Oak Alley Plantation

(Photo courtesy of kmoney56 via Flickr)

Oak Alley Plantation is located on State Highway 18 in Vacherie. This plantation is named for the famed quarter-mile entrance that is neatly lined up on both sides with oak trees that are over 300 years old. The plantation was built in 1837 by Jacques Telesphore Roman. The plantation was known for its production of pecans from the trees. The pecan production was mastered by noted slave, Antoine.

The plantation was also known to grow sugarcane. This plantation is designed in the Greek Revival architectural style. There are Doric columns on all four sides of the building. The number of Doric columns is the same as the number of 300-year-old oak trees at the plantation. The building’s exterior walls have a stucco finish to them are are painted white to make them look like marble.

High ceilings and large windows are also notable features of this plantation. There is also a formal garden which was designed in the 1920’s. During your time at the plantation, you can tour the inside of the main residential building which is known as the big house. There will be costumed guides on hand who will walk you through each room of the building and tell you of its history.

An exhibit known as The Slavery Exhibit will tell you the story about how slave labor was relied upon to keep the plantation going. The lives of the slaves who worked at the plantation are also documented in this exhibit. You can also visit the Sugarcane Exhibit & Theatre, located onsite, and learn the details of how sugarcane was grown and processed at this plantation.

You can learn about how the American civil war affected this plantation by heading to the Civil War Tent onsite. The Blacksmith Shop is where you can go and learn about the forging of metalwork that took place at the plantation. You can also wander through the oak trees, visit the 1920’s-era formal garden, and check out the wide pastures where a pecan grove once stood.

The ticket prices for this plantation are $25 for adults, $10 for youth aged 13 to 18, and $7 for those aged 6 to 12. Those who are aged 5 and under get free admission.

Whitney Plantation

(Photo courtesy of anthonyturducken via Flickr)

Whitney Plantation is located on State Highway 18 in Wallace. This plantation was built in the 1750’s by a Germany immigrant named Ambroise Haydel. Ambroise and his descendants owned the plantation until the 1860’s when Marie Azelie Haydel was the last descendant to own the plantation. Sugarcane and rice were the focus of cultivation at this plantation.

The plantation is designed in the raised Creole architectural style and is well known for its decorative wall paintings on both its exterior and interior. It is considered to be one of the best preserved Creole plantations in the area. The main residential building houses seven rooms on each floor along with a full length gallery in the front and open loggia in the rear.

In addition to the main house, there are many outbuildings at the plantation. These include a church, an original kitchen building, a saddle storage shed, a watering trough for mules, a mule barn and feed storage building, slave quarters, and more. During your time at the plantation, you will be learning all about the slaves that worked there and what their lives were like.

The slaves weren’t just limited to growing sugarcane and rice. They did many other things for the master and his/her family. They cleaned the main house. They cooked the meals. They built the outbuildings. They drove them around the plantation grounds. They served as midwives handling the births. These are just a few things that the slaves did for their master and his/her family.

Roles given to the slaves at this plantation were based on their gender. For example, the males would do the gardening while the females would do cooking. Also, each of the master’s children were given a personal female slave to meet their personal needs. There are three memorials at the plantation that honor the slaves who worked there.

The three memorials are The Field of Angels, The Wall of Honor, and Allees Gwendolyn Midlo Hall. The admission prices for this plantation are $25 for adults, $11 for children aged 6 to 18, $23 for students, seniors, and military members, and $15 for those of you who are residents of the parish where this plantation is located. Free admission is for those who are aged under 6. You can get your tickets here.

San Francisco Plantation

(Photo courtesy of Bill Badzo via Flickr)

San Francisco Plantation is located on State Highway 44 in Garyville. This plantation was built in 1856 by Edmond Marmillion. Even though the Marmillion family had success with growing sugarcane at the plantation, all was not well with the family.

During their ownership of the plantation, the Marmillion family was besieged by multiple family deaths of the wife and most of the children from a disease called tuberculosis. This plantation is built in the Steamboat Gothic architectural style. This plantation is known for its beautiful paintings of the ceilings and door panels. The exterior of the plantation also resembles a layer cake.

The plantation uses two different kind of columns. The first kind is the brick columns which are found on the first floor of the exterior. The second kind is the fluted wood columns with cast-iron Corinthian capitals found on the exterior second floor. In addition to the main house, there is also a 1830’s-era slave cabin and a 1840’s-era one-room schoolhouse. A gift shop is also located onsite.

The admission prices to this plantation are $20 for adults, $19 for AAA, $16 for military members, and $10 for students aged 6 to 17. Free admission is given to those aged 5 and under. You can buy the tickets by going here.

If you are looking for things to do in Louisiana just outside of New Orleans, you may want to consider venturing a little bit west of the city to check out these beautiful plantations. The grounds at all of these plantations are nice. These plantations are within around an hour drive west of the city.

The Hotels

If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at during your visit to Louisiana, I am happy to help you out with this. These two hotels are located in the far west New Orleans suburb of LaPlace.

Hampton Inn LaPlace

This hotel is located on Main Street in LaPlace. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast. If you get hungry, a few of the restaurants nearby are Frenier Landing Restaurant and Oyster Bar, El Paso, and Mabile’s Restaurant. There is an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center available at the hotel. All of the hotel’s rooms come with WiFi and mini refrigerators.

The average rate for a standard room at this hotel range from $103 to $234. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites LaPlace

This hotel is located on US Highway 51 in LaPlace. There is complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. If you are looking to dine out, you may want to consider Frenier Landing Restaurant and Oyster Bar, El Paso, and Mabile’s Restaurant. If you are looking to cook out, there are barbeque facilities available outdoors at the hotel. There is an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, coffee makers, and microwaves. The average rate for a standard room range from $112 to $197. You can explore your booking options and/or check out some photos by going here.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you looking to check out any of these gorgeous plantations? Feel free to leave a comment here.

Nashville, Tennessee Attractions – Historic Mansions

If anything comes to mind when you think of Nashville, it will most likely be the music. That is because Nashville is most well known for its connection to the music, especially country music. But, did you know that the city is also home to some beautiful historic mansions?

At least a few of them served as plantations during the 19th century while others simply served as private homes of well known residents of Nashville. All of these historic mansions are Nashville, Tennessee attractions that you can actually visit.

Belle Meade Plantation

(Photo courtesy of Colin1769 via Wikipedia)

Belle Meade Plantation is located on Harding Pike in Nashville. This historic mansion was built in 1807 by John Harding who was a well known thoroughbred breeder. This mansion served as a plantation for breeding the thoroughbreds during the 19th century. In fact, it was widely regarded as the best thoroughbred stud farm in the United States at the time.

This mansion was once home to Iroquois who was the first American bred thoroughbred to win the Epsom Derby. Another notable thoroughbred, Bonnie Scotland, was also housed there. African American slave labor was used during the 19th century for thoroughbred breeding at the plantation. This mansion is of the Greek Revival architectural style.

Today, tours are offered for the mansion. There will be tour guides there who will show you around as you learn about and immerse yourself into its history as a plantation. In addition to the main building, you will be able to tour the outbuildings including a dairy, horse stable, carriage house, mausoleum, gardens, and a log cabin. A restaurant called Harding House is available onsite.

If you are looking for souvenirs, you can head to the onsite gift shop at the mansion. The admission prices for the weekdays are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $13 for youth aged from 6 to 18. The weekend prices are $28 for adults, $24 for seniors, and $13 for youth aged 6 to 18. Those aged 5 and under will get free admission. You can purchase the tickets to the mansion by going here.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

(Photo courtesy of Jim Bowen via Wikipedia)

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is located on Rachels Lane in Nashville. This was the presidential home of Andrew Jackson who was the seventh president of the US from 1829 to 1837. This is one of the largest presidential homes in the United States. This mansion functioned as a plantation where cotton was grown. As was the case with Belle Meade Plantation, African American slave labor was used at this plantation.

This mansion is built in the Greek Revival architectural style. This mansion is now open to the public for tours. You can check out every one of the rooms at the mansion and learn about the life of Andrew Jackson, his family, and the countless visitors that Andrew received at his mansion. You can also learn about the slave labor that was used to grow the cotton at the plantation.

I would suggest that you go with the VIP Tour option as it is the best way to experience this mansion. An experienced guide will walk you around the main residence building, the grounds, the gardens, and the tomb of Andrew Jackson. You can also check out hundreds of items that belonged to Andrew. Best of all, you will get to go on the balcony to soak in the gorgeous views.

The VIP Tour goes for $50 per person. You can purchase the VIP Tour tickets here.

Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion is located on the northern portion of the Belmont University campus in Nashville. This is the largest house museum in the state of Tennessee. This mansion was built in 1849 by Adelicia Acklen who was the widow of wealthy slave trader, Isaac Franklin. She decided to build Belmont Mansion following the death of Isaac in which she inherited his plantations in Louisiana.

After Adelicia built Belmont Mansion, she used it primarily as her summer residence. During her days at the mansion, she was the wealthiest woman in the state of Tennessee. During her days, the mansion included rose gardens, gazebos, and a large collection of animals. They even served as the first public park and zoo for Nashville which was open to the public six days of the week at that time.

Even though this mansion never functioned as a plantation, it still relied on a large number of African American slaves in order to maintain it. The mansion is designed in a mixture of Greek Revival and Italianate architectural styles. In the present day, Belmont Mansion is open for tours to the public.

You can tour the building itself and the grounds and explore the mansion’s history, the life of Adelicia Acklen, and the slave laborers who helped to maintain the mansion. The admission prices are $16 for adults, $15 for seniors, $14 for military members, $11 for college students, $7 for ages 13 to 18, and $5 for ages 6 to 12. Admission is free for these aged 5 and under. You can buy your tickets here.

Cheekwood

(Photo courtesy of Russ Glasson via Flickr)

Cheekwood is located on Forrest Park Drive in Nashville. This mansion once served as the primary residence for the Cheek family of prominent businesspeople who owned and operated C.T. Cheek & Sons and the Cheek-Neal Coffee Company. Both of these companies were based in Nashville. This mansion was built in 1932 and continued to be in use by the Cheek family until the 1950’s.

The mansion was very expansive. In fact, it was expansive enough that the Cheek family could ride around the grounds on their horses. This mansion is built in the Georgian architectural style and draw inspirations from the grand English manors of the 18th century.

Unlike the other mansions that I have listed here, slave labor was never used at this mansion given the fact that slavery was already abolished in the US by the time that the mansion was built by the Cheek family. It is possible, though, that the Cheek family hired housemaids to perform chores at the mansion. This mansion now functions as an art museum and botanical garden that is open to the public.

There is also an onsite restaurant called the Pineapple Room. The admission prices for the art museum and botanical garden are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $16 for college students, and $13 for those aged 3 to 17. Admission is free for those aged under 2. You can buy the admission tickets by going here.

These historic mansions are the Nashville, Tennessee attractions that aren’t only gorgeous, but also can be visited as well. Some of these mansions were plantations while others weren’t.

The Hotels

If you are seeking out a hotel to stay overnight at in Nashville, I am here to lend you a helping hand. These are the two hotels that I would suggest you to stay overnight at.

DoubleTree by Hilton Nashville-Downtown

This hotel is located on 4th Avenue North in downtown Nashville. There is an onsite restaurant and bar called 4th & U. There is an outdoor area at the hotel, known as Patio 315, with large lawn games, fire pits, and TVs. Starbucks Coffee is also located onsite. There is also an indoor heated pool at the hotel. You can use the hotel’s 24-hour fitness center for your workout needs.

All of the hotel rooms offer WiFi, mini refrigerators, and coffee makers. The suites will also offer microwaves, stoves, living rooms and dining tables. All of the hotel rooms and suites will also offer breathtaking views of downtown Nashville. The average rate for a standard room range from $180 to $480. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Clarion Hotel Nashville Downtown – Stadium

This hotel is located on North 1st Street in Nashville’s downtown. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast. There is an onsite restaurant and bar at the hotel. The hotel offers an indoor heated swimming pool. A fitness center is also available for you to use. Some of the hotel rooms will offer sweeping views of downtown Nashville’s skyline.

All of the hotel’s rooms come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, and microwaves. The average rate for a standard room range from $113 to $320. You can book your stay and/or check out some photos by going here.

What are your thoughts? Have you been to any of these gorgeous historic mansions before? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Detroit, Michigan For Auto Enthusiasts

Detroit is a bustling metropolis located in the US state of Michigan. Even though there are many things that you can do during your time there, Detroit is best known for its automobile legacy. In fact, Detroit was where the automobile was invented in the early 20th century. As a result of the auto heritage, there are a few things to do in Detroit, Michigan that honors the city’s legacy as the birthplace of the automobile.

(Photo courtesy of Haljackey via Wikipedia)

The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

(Photo courtesy of unknown via Wikipedia)

The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is located on Piquette Street in Detroit. This is the birthplace of the automobile. The plant was used by automobile inventor Henry Ford to build the first automobile that was widely available to the public. The first automobile was produced at this plant in 1908. The first automobile was called the Ford Model T which was credited with pushing the mass use of automobiles.

This plant now function as a museum. The building itself still look the same as it did during the Ford Model T days. This is a three-story New England-style mill building with the same metal fire doors. The plank floors are the same as the ones used to assemble the Ford Model T automobiles. The assembling of those automobiles has left a mark on these floors.

During your visit to the museum, you can check out the room, housed inside the building, that Henry Ford used for his office. There are exhibits that focus on the beginnings of the automobile. There are rare cars from the first decade of the 20th century inside the museum. You can view these cars during your visit to the museum and learn about their fates.

The admission prices to the museum are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, veterans, and students, and $5 for those aged 5 to 17. Free admission is given to these aged 4 and under.

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

(Photo courtesy of Jasperdo via Flickr)

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is located on Oakwood Blvd in Dearborn which neighbors Detroit to the west. This museum isn’t necessarily focused on the cars alone, but there are plenty of things at the museum that will appeal to auto enthusiasts. There is a large collection of iconic cars, racing cars, and presidential limos from across the history available at the museum for you to check out.

You can learn about how the automobiles have evolved over many decades from the overall look of the automobiles to the safety features used in them. There are also demonstrations of how a Ford Model T car was built, at the museum. There are a few exhibits that you may want to spend the most time with.

They are Driven to Win: Racing in America, Made in America: Manufacturing, Driving America, and Presidential Vehicles. The admission prices to the museum are $25 for general admission, $22.50 for seniors, and $18.75 for these aged 5 to 11. You can buy the tickets by going here.

Automotive Hall of Fame

The Automotive Hall of Fame is located right next to the Henry Ford Museum for American Innovation in Dearborn. This museum is dedicated to honoring the men and women who have made notable achievements in the world of automobiles. There are currently over 800 honorees showcased at the museum.

A few of the types of hall of fame inductees include auto racers, engineers, dealers, inventors, and union officials. There are four types of awards given at this museum. They are Inductees, Industry Leader of the Year, Distinguished Service Citation, and Young Leaders & Excellence.

In addition to learning about the inductees and honorees, you will also learn about the contributions that automobiles have made to people’s lives. There are also over 200 iconic cars on display at the museum for you to check out. There is also a design showroom. You will also want to check out the 11-foot high and 65-foot long mural with over 90 paintings depicting the interactions between people and automobiles.

The admission prices to the museum are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and $4 for those aged 5 to 12. Those aged 4 and under will get free admission.

GM World

GM World is located on Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. This is a gorgeous showroom that fills five floors with showcases of the latest cars from General Motors. Also, throughout the year, there will be a rotating showcase of cars according to the car theme. As of right now, the theme is Eight Generations of Corvette. There are currently eight Corvette cars showcased during this theme.

These are the few things to do in Detroit, Michigan if you are fascinated with the world of cars. There is a good reason why Detroit is nicknamed the Motor City. This serves as a reminder of the city’s storied history with automobiles.

Hotels to Stay At

Are you looking for a hotel to stay overnight at during your visit to Detroit? If so, I am here to help you sort this out. Here are the two hotels I would suggest you to book with.

Aloft Detroit at The David Whitney

This hotel is located on Park Avenue in downtown Detroit. This hotel is housed within the gorgeous David Whitney Building which had been restored to its origins. There is complimentary coffee offered at the hotel. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. A few of them include Wright & Company, Lafayette Coney Island, and Michael Symon’s Roast.

There is an onsite bar, called W XYZ, with billiard tables. There is a 24-hour fitness center available for you to use. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites have 9-foot ceilings and chic decor. There are sweeping views of Detroit offered from the rooms and suites at this hotel. There are luxurious beddings for you to sleep on in the rooms and suites.

WiFi, mini refrigerators, coffee makers, and bottled water are also offered in all the hotel’s rooms and suites. The average rate for a standard room range from $180 to $402. Feel free to go here if you are interested in exploring your booking options and/or viewing some photos.

Doubletree by Hilton Detroit-Dearborn

This hotel is located on Southfield Expressway in Detroit. When you first arrive at the hotel, you will be greeted with a chocolate chip cookie from a member of the hotel’s staff. There is an onsite restaurant called Grill39. The hotel also has a bar onsite. There is an indoor swimming pool and a fitness center at the hotel. This hotel also has not just one, but two hot tubs for you to soak into.

The hotel’s rooms offer WiFi, mini refrigerators, and coffee makers while the suites also offer living rooms and wet bars. The average rate for a standard room range from $128 to $192. You can head here to book your stay and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you a car enthusiast looking to check out these attractions in Detroit? Feel free to drop a comment below.

Things To Do In Ft. Worth For Cowboys And Cowgirls At Heart

Do you consider yourself to be a cowboy or cowgirl inside? If your answer is yes, then you will want to head to a bustling city called Fort Worth. The city is located in the US state of Texas which is the second largest state in the country by both area and population. Ft. Worth has a storied history as a major center of cattle driving and ranching.

Ft. Worth has received the nickname of Cowtown. The city’s motto is “Crossroads of Cowboy & Culture”. Here are the things to do in Ft. Worth for Western enthusiasts.

Ft. Worth Stockyards

(Photo courtesy of Mark Fisher via Wikipedia)

The Ft. Worth Stockyards is a historic district located to the north of downtown Ft. Worth. This district became a major center for livestock during the mid 19th century after the arrival of railroads. Cattle, sheep, and hogs were bought, sold, and slaughtered from the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century in a large complex known as the stockyards.

Today, the district preserves the Western feel to it. The buildings in the district are of the Mission and Spanish Revival architectural styles. This district has brick walkways and wooden corrals. The district is home to Western-style restaurants, shops, and saloons. The signature feature of the Ft. Worth Stockyards is the Ft. Worth Herd. This is the world’s only cattle drive that happens twice per day.

Cowtown Coliseum

(Photo courtesy of Shih-Pei Chang via Flickr)

The Cowtown Coliseum is located on East Exchange Road in the Ft. Worth Stockyards historic district. This is a 3,418-seat arena where the weekly rodeos play out. A few major rodeo events at the arena include the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, the Stockyards Pro Rodeo Series, and PBR Bull Riding. The rodeos at the arena happen every Friday and Saturday nights.

If you would like to see the schedule of rodeos and buy tickets for them, you can head here. The Cowtown Coliseum is a major breeding ground for some of the best athletes in the world of rodeo. The Cowtown Coliseum also houses the Bull Riding Hall of Fame where you can view and learn about the legendary bull riders and bulls who have made significant accomplishments in the rodeo sport of bull riding.

Stockyards Museum

(Photo courtesy of Steven Martin via Flickr)

The Stockyards Museum is located inside the historic Livestock Exchange building on East Exchange Avenue in the Ft. Worth Stockyards historic district. This is a museum that explores the history of the Ft. Worth Stockyards as a large marketplace for buying, selling, and slaughtering livestock.

This museum is home to an expanding collection of artifacts, photos, and exhibits that cover different areas of its history including the Chisholm Trail, the livestock market/stockyards, and the Swift and Armour packaging plants. During your visit to this museum, you will get a sense of how Ft. Worth got its nickname of Cowtown.

The museum also has a livestock auction center inside the building where you can see the cowboys (and cowgirls) checking out the animals on the monitors. The admission to this museum is $2 per person. Those who are aged 12 and under will get free admission into the museum.

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame

(Photo courtesy of Billy Hathorn via Wikipedia)

The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is located on Rodeo Plaza in the Ft. Worth historic district. This museum showcases the men and women of Texas who have made significant achievements in competition, business, and support of rodeo. This museum also showcases what life is like for cowboys and cowgirls in Texas. There are currently over 140 hall of fame inductees at this museum.

Each of these inductees have their own booths for displaying personal memorabilia. The hall of fame inductees for 2020 are Charles & Kit Moncrief, Lari Dee Guy, The Priefert Family, R.H. Steve, and Aaron Watson. In addition to the hall of fame, other exhibits that you can check out at the museum include The Sterquell Wagon Collection, The John Justin Trail of Fame, and the 1933 Cadillac.

There is also a gift shop inside the museum called Western Gift Store. There is also a place within the museum called Jersey Lilly Photo Parlor. This is where you can have a Western-style photo of yourself taken with costumes and backgrounds resembling the Old West days. The admission price is $4 per person. These aged 4 and under get free admission. You can go here if you want to make a reservation.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is located on Gendy Street in Ft. Worth. This museum is dedicated to honoring and documenting the impactful lives of cowgirls in the American West. There are currently over 200 inductees into the hall of fame at this museum. The hall of fame covers a variety of fields that cowgirls were a part of.

These fields include pioneers, artists, businesswomen, educators, ranchers, and rodeo cowgirls. This museum is home to over 5,000 objects that belonged to the hall of fame inductees. Examples of these objects include Annie Oakley’s wedding ring and gun, Dale Evans’s Bohlin saddle, and clothing and saddle designed by Nudie Cohn. There are currently two exhibits at the museum.

These two exhibits are Hard Twist: Western Ranch Women, and The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice. The museum also houses a few galleries with photos of the cowgirls who were inducted into the hall of fame. There is also an onsite gift shop called The Shop at The Cowgirl where you can purchase souvenirs.

The ticket prices for the museum are $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, military members, and first responders, and $6 for children aged 4 to 12. The admission is free for children aged 3 and under.

These are the Western-related things to do in Ft. Worth. The city is worthy of its Western heritage as demonstrated by its storied history and these attractions.

The Hotels

If you are looking for a hotel to book with during your Western inspired trip to Ft. Worth, I have your back. These are the two hotels that I would suggest you to book with.

Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Worth Downtown

This hotel is located on Commerce Street in downtown Ft. Worth. There is complimentary breakfast available at this hotel. If you are hungry, there are plenty of restaurants downtown to choose from. The Capital Grille, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, and Bob’s Steak & Chop House. There is an onsite bar at the hotel. The hotel houses a indoor heated swimming pool and fitness center.

The hotel’s rooms offers WiFi, mini refrigerators, and coffee makers. Microwaves are available in the hotel’s suites. At least some of the hotel rooms and suites offer sweeping views of downtown Ft. Worth. The average rate for a standard room range from $123 to $331. If you are interested in booking a stay and/or checking out the photos, you can go here.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Worth Downtown

This hotel is located on Commerce Street in downtown Ft. Worth. There is complimentary breakfast offered at the hotel. There is also an onsite restaurant for the hungry called the Market Bistro. Thai Tina’s is the hotel’s onsite bar. If you are looking for free alcoholic beverages, you can find them at the Evening Reception every evening. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool.

A fitness center is also available for your workout needs. All of the hotel’s suites have a bedroom and a living room. At least some suites will offer sweeping views of downtown Ft. Worth. All of the suites at the hotel will offer WiFi, wet bars, mini refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers.

The average rate for a standard room range from $155 to $325. Feel free to go here if you are interested in booking options and/or photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you feeling like a cowboy or cowgirl inside? Feel free to leave a comment here.

What To Do In Miami, Florida For The Super Bowl

The 2020 Super Bowl is almost upon us. The legendary big game in the National Football League will happen on Sunday, February 2nd, 2020. The Super Bowl itself will be played at Hard Rock Stadium which is located on Don Shula Drive in the Miami suburb of Miami Gardens. Hard Rock Stadium can normally seat around 64,767 people during football games.

That could increase if temporary seating is added specifically for the big game. So, if you are out of luck for attending the Super Bowl game itself, there is no need to worry. There will be a few major events happening in Miami that you can attend to celebrate the Super Bowl. So, if you are a football fan looking for what to do in Miami, Florida to celebrate the big game, these events are for you.

(Photo courtesy of Wyn Van Devanter via Flickr)

Super Bowl LIVE

(Photo courtesy of Daderot via Wikimedia)

Super Bowl LIVE will happen from January 25th through February 1st, 2020 at Bayfront Park which is a peaceful waterfront park in Miami’s downtown area. This is basically an outdoors fan fest that is free to the public. In the Amphitheater section, there will be evening concerts happening. The evening concerts will be headlined by JPerry, Walshy Fire Miami Orchestra, and Nu Deco Ensemble.

The Huddle Down Community Stage will be where you can check out bands, specialty musicians, dance teams, and visual arts performances. These will be done by local artists, schools, and youth performers from the local area. These performances will take cues from the local area’s culture and diversity.

The Road to the 11th section will walk you through the history of each of the ten Super Bowls that Miami had hosted in the past. It is also here that you can take a photo of yourself with larger-than-life footballs showcasing the teams and their final scores for each of the previous ten Super Bowls. The Tailgate Town section is what it sounds like. This is where the tailgate party takes place.

The tailgate party will include food from celebrated chefs, tailgating concessions, decorative seating, and a variety of games to play. On the culinary stage in Tailgate Town, there will be live cooking demonstrations by celebrated chefs and celebrity guests from the NFL. There will be a variety of water shows happening during this event.

The water shows will include stunts and tricks performed on jet skis, flyboards, and water jetpacks in Biscayne Bay. The team performing the stunts and tricks is led by renowned pro freestyler, Chirs Anyzeski. If you are looking to learn about the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee’s environmental initiative called Ocean to Everglades, you can head over to the Environmental Village section.

On Friday and Saturday nights during the event, there will be evening parades involving 100 performers in two parade groups, Caribbean Carnival and Latin Parade. There will also be epic fireworks lighting the nightly sky on Friday and Saturday nights during the event. If you are interested in this event, you can register here.

Super Bowl Experience

(Photo courtesy of Alexf via Wikipedia)

Super Bowl Experience will happen from January 25th through February 1st, 2020 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach which is located just east of Miami on a barrier island. This event is the NFL’s take on an interactive theme park. There will be youth football clinics where children will have an opportunity to sharpen their football skills.

NFL players will be participating in autograph sessions with fans. So, this will be your chance to have something signed by a NFL player. There will be a section where you can compete in a 40-yard dash and vertical jump against NFL players shown on LED screens. There will be a Super Bowl Memorabilia Show which will showcase 53 Super Bowl rings.

You can view live broadcasts from the NFL Network at the event. There will be opportunities during the event to take a photo with the famous Vince Lombardi trophy. There will be plenty of other games and activities to immerse yourself in the world of the NFL such as EA Sports Madden NFL 20 Crucial Catch QB Scramble and Bridgestone Two Minute Drill.

If you are in search of compelling NFL items to buy, you will be able to do so at the NFL Shop which will be located onsite during the event. In order to have exclusive access to certain activities and games along with a chance to win prizes, you will want to register for NFL OnePass or download the NFL OnePass app on your smartphone or tablet.

One day tickets to the event is priced at $20 per adult for the first three days of the event and $40 per adult for the last three days. Multi-day tickets are also available for $50 per person. If you would like priority access to certain attractions within the event, you can buy multi-day tickets with priority access for $60 per person. Regardless of which ticket you decide to buy, you can do so here.

Taste of the NFL 2020

Taste of the NFL 2020 takes place on February 1st, 2020 at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood which is a suburb located north of Miami. This is the event where you can feast on the different foods created by some of America’s most noted chefs. There will be over 32 of the chefs during the event. Each one of the chefs will come from a city that has a NFL team.

They will each cook up their own signature dish which will in turn be available in food stations around the event. There will be over 35 NFL players, hall of famers, and legends at the event. You will be given an opportunity to hang out among them and obtain a photo and autography from them. Jeff Bridges, Alyssa Milano, and Bobby Flay will be the celebrity ambassadors for this event.

The ticket price for this event will be $700 per person plus fees. Proceeds from the ticket sales for this event will go to the food banks in each of the 32 NFL cities. You can buy the ticket here.

These are the events that you should go to if you are a NFL devout looking for what to do in Miami, Florida to soak in the excitement of the Super Bowl. Miami is a popular destination for hosting the Super Bowl. In fact, Miami is tied with New Orleans for hosting the most Super Bowls, having already hosted ten of them.

The Hotels

If you are heading to Miami to participate in these Super Bowl events, you may be in search for a hotel to stay overnight at. I am here to lend you a helping hand. Here are the two hotels I would suggest you book your stay at.

Aloft Miami Airport

This hotel is located on NW 36th Street just northwest of Miami International Airport. There is a snack bar at the hotel if you are looking for a little something to eat. If you are hungry for a meal, a few nearby options include El Pollo Inka Miami, Miyako Doral Japanese Restaurant, and Denny’s. There is an onsite bar called W XYZ Bar with pool tables at the hotel.

The onsite bar also leads into the patio where ping pong tables and an outdoor swimming pool can be found. There is also a fitness center available at the hotel. All of the hotel’s rooms will have at least WiFi, coffee makers, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $110 to $259. Feel free to head here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Cambria Hotel Miami Airport – Blue Lagoon

This hotel is located on NW 7th Street across State Highway 836 from Miami International Airport. This hotel sits on the shore of scenic Lake Mahar. There is an onsite restaurant called Social Circle at the hotel. The hotel’s patio and swimming pool are located outdoors and offers sweeping views of Lake Mahar. A fitness center is also available 24 hours per day.

All of the hotel’s suites offers WiFi, coffee makers, mini refrigerators, and microwaves. Certain suites at the hotel will also offer sweeping views of Lake Mahar. The average rate for a standard room range from $135 to $422. If you are interested, you can go here to check out some booking options and/or photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited about these Super Bowl events? Feel free to leave a comment below.

What To Do In Wyoming – Ranches To Visit

The American state of Wyoming is a state of natural beauty to behold. The state has the soaring mountain peaks, the national parks, and the wide open spaces that are sure to delight any nature lovers. Wyoming is a very sparsely populated state. So, there isn’t as much in the way of civilization.

One thing that brings out Wyoming’s appeal is the scenic ranches where animals such as horses and bisons graze peacefully. If you are a ranch lover asking yourself about what to do in Wyoming, you will want to check out these ranches.

(Photo courtesy of J. Stephen Conn via Flickr)

A-OK Corral Horse Creek Ranch

A-OK Corral Horse Creek Ranch is located on South US Highway 89 in Jackson, Wyoming. This ranch is owned and run by the Child family. This ranch offers horseback rides through mountain trails. This ranch offers a one hour, two hour, or three hour horseback rides. There are also half day and full day horseback rides available at the ranch too and they also come with lunch.

During your horseback ride, you can take in gorgeous views of the Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Teton Mountain Range. You will ride along the scenic Snake River and come across breathtaking wildflowers. You can also observe a variety of wildlife as you ride along. The horseback rides at this ranch are suitable for people regardless of their riding ability.

The prices for the horseback rides are $40 for one hour ride, $55 for two hour ride, $70 for three hour ride, $85 for half day ride, and $150 for full day ride. In addition to the horseback rides, the ranch offers what is called pack trips. These are basically camping trips that are done via horseback riding.

What happens is that you will stay at least one night at a camp, have home cooked meals that are prepared on campfires, go horseback riding, and go fishing in the streams. Where you will go and how long the camping trip is will depend on which package you choose.

For example, Package #1 will last for two days and one night. Package #1 will have you stop at Granite Hot Springs where you will have a chance to soak into one of the natural hot springs. Package #2, for example, will have you head to one of the high mountain lakes. Package #2 lasts for three days and two nights.

The prices per person for the pack trips are $475 for Package #1, $875 for Package #2, and $1050 for Package #3. This ranch also offers fishing trips via horseback riding. This will come with lunch. Also, if you are in need of fishing gear, they will have them on hand. If you are interested in a fishing trip, the price for that is $225 per person.

Hotel Suggestion: Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole

This hotel is located on West Broadway in Jackson. This luxury western-style hotel has an onsite restaurant called The Whistling Grizzly. The hotel’s beautiful lobby, called Grand Western Lobby, house a wood burning fireplace and wild life art by renowned artist Thomas Mangelsen. The hotel is home to a brand new indoor hot tub. There is also a fitness center, also called Fitness Room, at the hotel.

The hotel’s rooms and suites have a western feel to it with western furnishings. The hotel’s suites have gas fireplaces in them. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites offer breathtaking views of Jackson’s natural beauty. At the very least, you can look forward to WiFi, Keurig coffee makers, mini refrigerators, and microwaves in the hotel’s rooms and suites.

The average rate for a standard room range from $109 to $417. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Terry Bison Ranch

(Photo courtesy of Troy Cawley via Flickr)

Terry Bison Ranch is located on Interstate 25 Service Road East in Cheyenne, the state capital of Wyoming. This ranch is more than 100 years old and has some interesting history to it. Francis Emory Warren was the most famous owner of this ranch. He was the first governor of Wyoming in 1890 and served as Wyoming’s first senator during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt was known to have visited this ranch a few times during the early 20th century. US Army General John “Blackjack” Pershing was a frequent visitor to the ranch and it was there that he married Francis’ daughter. Today, the ranch is owned by the Thiel family. The ranch is now 27,500 acres and stretches into Colorado.

There are many activities to be had at this ranch. Arguably the best one is the Bison Train Tours. This is where you will ride the custom-built trains on a narrated tour to see the bisons roaming the ranch. In addition to the bisons, you will see other animals such as ostriches and camels. The price for this is $15 for adults, $7.50 for these aged 4 to 12. These aged 3 and under get a free pass.

The ranch also offers Sunday Lunch Train in which you ride and have lunch on the 0ld-fashioned train. The train will leave from the Trading Post located on the ranch. The price for this is $14 per person plus $13 for the meal. There are the one hour horseback rides available at this ranch. Small children can look forward to the pony rides.

The prices are $48 per person for the horseback rides and $10 per child for the pony ride. If you are looking for something more thrilling, you will want to consider the one hour ATV Tours. You will be able to go around the ranch property and see the countryside and the animals roaming around. The prices are $79 per driver and $69 per rider. Drivers must have a valid driver license in order to operate the ATVs.

There are also two onsite restaurants at the ranch. They are Senator’s Steakhouse and Brass Buffalo Saloon, and Tombstone Cafe. If you are looking for souvenirs, you can check out the Trading Post Gift Shop located onsite.

Hotel Suggestion: Fairfield Inn & Suites Cheyenne Southwest/Downtown Area

This hotel is located on West Lincolnway in Cheyenne. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast. If you are looking for somewhere to eat nearby, a few options include 2 Doors Down, Luxury Diner, and Paramount Cafe. This hotel also has a Bar-B-Q and picnic area outdoors. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub at this hotel. You can workout at the hotel’s fitness center.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, coffee makers, mini refrigerators, and microwaves. The average rate for a standard room range from $84 to $129. You can book your stay and/or check out the photos by going here.

Durham Bison Ranch

Durham Bison Ranch is located on State Highway 59 South in Gillette, Wyoming. The ranch has 55,000 acres of land. This ranch has owned and operated by the Flocchini family since at least 1930. It has a prairie landscape with a mixture of rolling hills and peaked buttes. There are many animal species at this ranch from elks to mule and whitetail deers to coyotes to badgers.

Over 80 species of birds have been known to roam the ranch. But the most notable of the animals at the ranch are the bisons. The bisons that roam the ranch trace their origin back to the Yellowstone National Park. This ranch is also famous for exporting some of the best meat, including bison meat, to some of the finest restaurants in the United States.

This ranch offers the Durham Ranch Tour. As a part of this tour, you will wander around the ranch and observe the bisons and other animals that also live on the ranch. You will learn about the history of this ranch from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to being one of the largest bison ranches in North America that is now home to more than 2,500 naturally raised bisons.

You will also learn about how the ranch makes wise use of its resources in its operations. You will get a sense of what life on the ranch is like during this tour. Also, during the tour, you will be served to a bison lunch at one of the few local restaurants that serves bison meat sourced from this ranch.

Hotel Suggestion: Wingate by Wyndham Gillette

This hotel is located on Cliff Davis Avenue in Gillette. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast. There are also barbeque facilities at this hotel. If you are looking for a nearby restaurant to dine, a few options include The Prime Rib Restaurant & Wine Cellar, Old Chicago, and Applebee’s. This hotel has an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. A fitness center is also available at this hotel.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites include WiFi, mini refrigerators, microwaves, and Keurig coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room range from $65 t0 $99. Head here if you would like to explore your booking options and/or browse some photos.

If you consider yourself a cowboy at heart and are wondering what to do in Wyoming, you will want to visit these ranches. What are your thoughts? Do you feel like a cowboy inside? Feel free to leave a comment here.

Things To Do In Montpelier, Vermont, America’s Smallest State Capital

Montpelier is a beautiful small town located in the US state of Vermont which is one of the tiniest states by land area. Montpelier has an estimated population of just 7,436 as of the 2018 census. That gives Montpelier the distinction of being the smallest state capital in the United States. Montpelier has been nicknamed “America’s Small Town Capital”.

Interstate 89, US Highway 2, and State Highway 12 are the highways that pass through Montpelier. An Amtrak train station is also located in the town of Berlin, just outside of Montpelier. The scenic Winooski River makes it way through Montpelier. Montpelier may be a small town, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do there. Here are the things to do in Montpelier, Vermont.

Vermont State House

(Photo courtesy of Justin.A.Wilcox via Wikipedia)

Perhaps the most stately of the attractions in Montpelier is the Vermont State House. This beautiful state capitol is located on State Street in Montpelier. The Vermont State House is one of the oldest and best preserved state capitols in the United States. The state capitol was built in 1833. The scenic wooded hills serve as a backdrop for the state capitol.

The state capitol’s outdoor area is also gorgeously landscaped. The state capitol is built in the Greek Revival architectural style. A defining feature of the state capitol is the gold leaf dome which is easily visible as one approaches Montpelier. During the warmer months, the state capitol will host concerts and other performances. The lawn can also be used to sit on, eat, and play sports.

Also, if you happen to visit the state capitol on February 14th, you may notice that the columns and the lawn are decorated with red paper hearts. That is done by the Valentine Phantom.

Vermont History Museum

(Photo courtesy of AlexiusHoratius via Wikimedia)

The Vermont History Museum is located on State Street in Montpelier neighboring the Vermont State House. This is a museum where you can learn about the history of Vermont. The museum includes a collection of over 20,000 artifacts. These include fine arts, crafts, household goods, clothing, agricultural tools, and industrial products from all periods of Vermont’s history.

The museum’s signature exhibit is called Freedom and Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories. A gallery known as Local History Gallery is also at the museum. There is also a mid-20th century mural known as Salute to Vermont created by artist Paul Sample. There is an onsite store at the museum as well.

The admission prices are $7 for adults, $20 for families, $5 for students, seniors, and children. These aged 5 and under get free admission to the museum.

Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

Morse Farm is located on County Road in Montpelier. It is basically a hybrid farm and museum where you can watch and learn how maple is produced. This attraction has been own and run by eight generation of the Morse maple producing family. Burr Morse currently owns and runs Morse Farm. Morse Farm consists of two buildings. The first building is The Woodshed Theatre.

This building is a unique structure that is made with walls of sugar wood. Inside The Woodshed Theatre, you can sit on the maple stump seats, check out the artifacts, and watch a video showing the process of maple production narrated by Burr’s father, Harry I. Morse Sr. The second building is known as the Sugarhouse.

While at the Sugarhouse, Burr gives a live presentation about how maple is produced and used. You can also sample a variety of food using the maple ingredient. These include maple syrup, jams, jellies, and more. There is also a onsite shop where you can buy crafts and gifts. The admission to Morse Farm is free.

Bragg Farm Sugar House & Gift Shop

(Photo courtesy of George Bayliss via Flickr)

Bragg Farm is located on State Highway 14 South in Montpelier. It is another one of the maple farm and museum hybrid attractions that you can visit. Bragg Farm has been owned and in operation by eight generations of the Bragg family of maple producers. Doug Bragg is the current owner and maple producer of Bragg Farm.

During your time at Bragg Farm, you can observe and learn about the process of maple production. You can also head into the nearby wood in order to check out the two thousand buckets that are hung there. You can also sample maple foods such as creemees, shakes, and sundaes. There is also an onsite store known as Maple Ice Cream Parlor and Gift Shop, at Bragg Farm.

Also, if you are an animal lover, you can observe and pet animals including goats and rabbits at Bragg Farm. The admission to Bragg Farm is free.

These are the things to do in Montpelier, Vermont. Even though Montpelier is a small town of just under 8,000, its status as a state capital brings with it a few places to go to.

Hotels To Stay At

If you are hungering for a place to lay your head overnight during your stay in Montpelier, I am here to help you with this. Here are the two hotels that you should stay at.

Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center

This hotel is located on State Street in downtown Montpelier. There is an onsite restaurant called J. Morgan Steakhouse and Lounge at the hotel. There is also a fitness center at the hotel for you to use if you are looking for opportunities to workout. The signature rooms at this hotel are called Vermont Dulexe Queens.

These rooms were just recently renovated. They are furnished with white maple furniture that are hand-made in Vermont. These rooms also feature local Vermont artwork. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, and Keurig coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room range from $153 to $206. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Comfort Inn and Suites at Maplewood

This hotel is located on Paine Turnpike North in Montpelier. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast. A restaurant is also located onsite as well. There is also a walking/jogging trail located onsite at the hotel. You can also make use of the hotel’s fitness center which is open 24 hours a day.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, microwaves, and Keurig coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room at this hotel range from $130 to $180. You can head here to book your stay and/or check out some photos.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you looking to visit the smallest state capital in the United States? Feel free to post a comment below.

Things To Do In Annapolis, Maryland, The Closest State Capital To Washington, DC

Annapolis is a charming city located on the shore of the breathtaking Chesapeake Bay in the US state of Maryland. It is the capital of the state of Maryland. There are a total of 50 states in the United States today, meaning that there are 50 state capitals.

Out of the 50 state capitals, Annapolis is the closest state capital to the nation’s capital, being only around 32 miles away. Here are some things to do in Annapolis, Maryland, Washington DC’s closest state capital.

Maryland State House

(Photo courtesy of Martin Falbisoner via Wikipedia)

The Maryland State House is located on State Circle in Annapolis. The Maryland State House is the state capitol building. So, the building houses the Maryland state legislature as well as the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor. This is the oldest state capitol that is still in use today.

In fact, construction of the state capitol began in 1772, although it wasn’t completed until 1797 due to the American Revolutionary War. The beautiful state capitol is of the brick Georgian architectural style. The state capitol has a wooden dome. This is the largest wooden dome in the US to be built without nails. The building is surrounded by beautiful landscaping in a circle.

The state capitol was also used by the US Congress when Annapolis was a temporary capital of the United States from November 1783 to August 1784. It was there that the US Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris that formally ended the American Revolutionary War. The state capitol was also used for the US District Court for the District of Maryland during the first decade of the court’s existence from 1789 to 1799.

US Naval Academy

(Photo courtesy of Rdsmith4 via Wikimedia)

The US Naval Academy is located on Blake Road in Annapolis. The academy sits on what was once home to Fort Severn. It is one of the five US service academies. This academy is primarily used to educate the brave men and women in order to be used in various roles in the navy and marine branches of the US military. There are public tours available for visitors to tour the beautiful campus.

During your tour of the academy, you will be given an opportunity to visit and learn about some of the most notable places within the academy. These include, but are not limited to, Bancroft Hall, Main Chapel, Parade Ground, Tecumseh Court, the Wright Flyer in Dahlgren Hall, and Foremast of the USS Maine. The tours will start at the Armel – Leftwich Visitor Center.

The price for the tour is about $30 per person and comes with a free souvenir postcard book. You can make a reservation to tour the US Naval Academy here. There is also an onsite gift shop at the academy where you can buy souvenirs.

Downtown Annapolis

(Photo courtesy of Rdsmith4 via Wikipedia)

Downtown Annapolis is brimming with 17th and 18th century charm. The downtown area sits on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Severn River. Annapolis’ downtown is home to some of the finest 17th and 18th century buildings in the country, many of which are open to the public.

The downtown area is lined with old brick sidewalks like these on Main Street from St. Anne’s Parish to the Chesapeake Bay shore and the streets surrounding the Maryland State House. There are many compelling restaurants to choose from. One restaurant that is worth mentioning is Dock Street Bar & Grill. This is a restaurant that is known to serve the famed crab cakes of which Annapolis is renowned for.

These crab cakes are sourced from the Chesapeake Bay. The historic building that houses Dock Street Bar & Grill, once housed the city jail. Restaurants in the downtown area are usually found on Dock Street, Main Street, and Market Space. There are also many charming shops to check out in the downtown area.

During your time downtown, you can also head over to the City Dock section facing the Chesapeake Bay. You can relax on the seawall and watch the sailboat races as they head towards the harbor. Annapolis is nicknamed “America’s Sailing Capital” for a reason. If you prefer to, you can check out the regular boats as they cruise along Annapolis’ famous Ego Alley.

These are some things to do in Annapolis, Maryland which is Washington, DC’s closest state capital. Annapolis itself was under consideration to be made the permanent capital of the United States when the nation declared its independence.

But, it was ultimately decided to build a whole new city about 32 miles to the west in order to serve as the national capital. That all new city would come to be known today as Washington, DC.

If you are interested in exploring Annapolis as a part of a guided tour, you may want to consider booking the Small-Group Explore the Heart of Annapolis Tour. This guided tour is provided by Urban Adventures. The price will be $29 per person for the guided tour.

Hotels To Stay At

If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at in this charming state capital, I have got you covered here. Here are the two hotels that I would suggest you to book with.

The Westin Annapolis

This hotel is located on Westgate Circle in downtown Annapolis. This hotel offers breakfast, but there is a fee of $15 or $20 in order to access it. There is an onsite restaurant at this hotel called Azure. There is an indoor heated lap swimming pool at the hotel. There is also a fitness center at the hotel that you can use 24 hours per day.

Some hotel rooms and suites will offer a scenic view of downtown Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites offer WiFi and coffee makers. There is also a fireplace in the rooms and suites at this hotel.

The average rate for a standard room at this hotel range from $168 to $496. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos. Be aware that you may also pay fees to access certain amenities like breakfast and WiFi.

Historic Inns of Annapolis

This hotel is located on State Circle in downtown Annapolis, just across from the Maryland State House. This hotel is technically divided into three sub-hotels across three historic brick buildings. The first sub-hotel is the Maryland Inn which was popular with statesmen, governors, and colonial and revolutionary war persona during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The second sub-hotel is the Governor Calvert House. This sub-hotel dates back to 1695 when it was the home to a prominent local family until the American Revolution. This includes Maryland’s colonial governor, Benedict Leonard Calvert who once lived and worked there from 1727 to 1731.

Today, this sub-hotel is popular with state legislators, given the fact that it is across the street from the Maryland State House. The third sub-hotel is the Robert Johnson House. This sub-hotel was once home to the Johnson family who were prominent city and state government officials from 1770 to 1880. The overall hotel has a 18th century feel to it with its decor and antique furnishings.

There is no onsite restaurants at this hotel. So, whenever you get hungry, there is obviously plenty of restaurants nearby. A few examples include Harry Browne’s Restaurant, Galway Bay, and Osteria 177. There is an onsite bar called Drummer’s Lot Pub at the hotel. There is a complimentary coffee service available at this hotel. The hotel also has a 24-hour fitness center available for you to use.

Some of the hotel rooms and suites have fireplaces in them. As I mentioned in this section of the post, this hotel has an overall 18th century feel to it. This applies to all of the rooms and suites. There is also WiFi available in all the rooms and suites. The average rate for a standard room range from $97 to $181. You can head here to book a night and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Has