Things To Do In Alexandria, VA

The city of Alexandria is located in the US state of Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC – the nation’s capital. Alexandria is a lovely city that is rich with history. The city was founded in 1749. So, the city already existed before the United States declared its independence from Britain in 1776 and before the construction of Washington, DC was completed in 1800.

Former US president George Washington used to live in the city. Even though Alexandria lies in the shadows of the nation’s capital, it is still a destination that is worth visiting on its own. Here are the things to do in Alexandria, VA.

Mount Vernon

(Photo courtesy of Otherspice via Wikimedia)

Mount Vernon is located on Mount Vernon Highway at the southern end of Alexandria, overlooking the scenic Potomac River. That is the beautiful estate that George Washington owned and lived in. He lived there from 1732 until his death in 1799. He served as the US president from 1789 to 1797.

Mount Vernon was a generational estate that traced as far back as his great-grandfather, John Washington, when he bought the land in 1674. The residence was built by George’s father, Augustine Washington in 1726 after he bought the estate from his sister and George’s aunt, Mildred. George himself gained sole ownership of the estate in 1761.

During his sole ownership of the estate, George grew many kinds of crops on the estate’s sweeping farmland. These include, but are not limited to, tobacco, flax, hemp, cotton, silk, wheat, and corn. In addition to growing the many kinds of crops, George was a whiskey-maker who operated a whiskey distillery at his estate. He developed his own recipe for making the whiskey.

George was also known to operate other things at his estate such as a blacksmith shop, a stable, a smokehouse, and a spinning house. George owned his own African-American slaves who performed a wide variety of tasks at the estate from growing the crops to cooking meals to cleaning the rooms. The stately residence is constructed of yellow pine sliding designed to look like stone.

It is designed in the Palladian architectural style. The residence is shaped in a three sided manner. It is two and a half stories high with a total of 21 rooms. All of them can be toured and will give you a sense of what daily life was like during George’s time there. The scenery of the estate grounds is brimming with beautiful lawns, gardens, woodlands, and a few walking paths including a circle in front of the three sided residence.

When you arrive at the estate, you will notice that there are costumed guides there. That is meant to make you feel like you were there during George’s period back in the 18th century. They will help you explore all aspects of the estate’s history during your time there. The admission prices for Mount Vernon are $20 for adults and $12 for children aged from 6 to 11.

Those who are aged under 6 will get free admission. You can go here to buy your passes for the estate. Should you get hungry while you are there, you can dine at the estate’s onsite restaurant called the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant. Those of you wanting to shop for souvenirs will want to check out the Shops at Mount Vernon which is also located onsite.

Old Town Alexandria

(Photo courtesy of Ken Lund via Flickr)

In addition to Mount Vernon, you will want to make sure to visit Alexandria’s Old Town area. This is the historic heart of Alexandria. Its cobblestone streets are brimming with vivid colonial-era architecture. These are the same streets that George Washington used to walk around back in the 18th century when he lived in Alexandria.

There are hundreds of unique shops and restaurants in Old Town competing for your attention and dollars. Many of them are located on King Street which runs from west to east through Old Town. If you prefer to get somewhere in Old Town faster, then you can take a free trolley that drives on King Street. Old Town also boasts a waterfront.

So, I would suggest you to head there and soak in the views of the scenic Potomac River and the boats that come and go from the harbor. There are plenty of dining options on or near the waterfront. One such option is the Chart House.

This restaurant offers a menu of seafood fare and has a nice outdoors dining space where you can dine while at the same time taking in the beautiful views of the river and the many boats docked just south of the restaurant. If you are looking for a peaceful place to relax, there are a few parks available on the Old Town waterfront. These include Waterfront Park, Founders Park, and Windmill Hill Park.

Art lovers should certainly check out the Torpedo Factory Art Center which is also located on the waterfront of Old Town. It was once a naval munitions factory, but now it houses 82 studios and six galleries where 160 professional artists showcase and sell their work.

These are the things to do in Alexandria, VA. Also, if you are planning to cross the Potomac River into Washington, DC and visit a few world-class Smithsonian museums, I would suggest you to check out this post from last month for my suggestions.

Alexandria Hotels

If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at during your time in Alexandria, I am happy to help you out with this. Here are the two hotels I would suggest you to book with.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Alexandria-Old Town

This hotel is located on Diagonal Road just west of Alexandria’s Old Town. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. If you get hungry and/or want an alcoholic drink, you can head to the hotel’s onsite restaurant and bar called The Atrium Lounge. The hotel contains an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. There is also a fitness center available at the hotel.

All of the suites at the hotel come with WiFi, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $142 to $321. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria – Old Town

This hotel is located at the northern end of Alexandria’s Old Town area on First Street. There is an onsite restaurant at the hotel called Bistro on First Restaurant for you to dine at. The hotel is home to a hybrid indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool. There is also a fitness center at the hotel for your workout needs. Many of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with balconies which will allow for nice views of the bustling streets.

All of them come with WiFi and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $79 to $238. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you visited the city that George Washington called home back in the 18th century? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Wilmington, Delaware – The du Pont Family Estates

Wilmington is the largest city in the tiny US state of Delaware. The vibrant city, which is located in the northern portion of Delaware near the state border with Pennsylvania, is renowned for being home to a few gorgeous family estates. These belonged to the du Pont family. The du Pont family was a prominent Wilmington family responsible for starting up the chemical company, DuPont, in the early 19th century.

With the establishment and growth of DuPont, the wealthy du Pont family played a major role in shaping the growth of Wilmington. The family once lived in a few estates that aren’t just gorgeous, but are also now open to the public to enjoy. So, for things to do in Wilmington, Delaware, you will want to make sure to pay a visit to the family’s former estates.

Hagley Museum and Library

(Photo courtesy of TravelingOtter via Flickr)

The Hagley Museum and Library is located on Hagley Creek Road in the northwestern corner of Wilmington. It is in a scenic forested hill area fronting the Brandywine River. This is where the original du Pont family home is located. The first known du Pont family member to arrive was Eleuthere Irenee du Pont who immigrated to the US from France in 1800 with his family.

Around two years later, Eleuthere founded DuPont in 1802 by setting up mills on the estate property for producing gunpowder. Not only that, but he also built a village on property in order to house his employees so that they can work in the gunpowder mills. Today, you can tour the ivy-covered Georgian-style du Pont home and explore the history of the du Pont family.

You can also check out the beautiful Renaissance-era garden with terraces and statuary. You can then head to the gunpowder mills to get a better feel for how gunpowder was produced. There is also the employee village where you can learn about how the employees lived and worked.

The admission prices to visit the Hagley Museum and Library are $15 for adults, $11 for seniors and students, and $6 for children aged 6 to 14. Military members and those aged under 6 will get free admission. Should you get hungry, you have the option to dine at the onsite restaurant, the Belin House Organic Cafe. You can buy souvenirs at the Hagley Museum Store, also located onsite.

Nemours Mansion and Gardens

(Photo courtesy of Simon via Flickr)

The Nemours Mansion and Gardens is located on Alapocas Drive in northwestern Wilmington. The mansion was owned by Alfred Irenee du Pont who was the great-grandson of Eleuthere, the founder of DuPont. The mansion is designed to look like a French chateau. The mansion has approximately 77 rooms. The estate grounds contain neatly designed French formal gardens for you to check out.

The French formal gardens found at this estate are the largest of its kind in North America. There is a reflecting pool with a breathtaking fountain that reaches 12 feet in the air. The reflecting pool is connected to the mansion via a nicely landscaped area known as the Long Walk. It is lined on both sides by Japanese cryptomeria, pink flowering horse chestnuts, and pin oaks.

Whenever the fountain is turned off, the entire section of the Long Walk is reflected in the pool. You will also want to make sure to check out the chauffeur’s garage as it houses a nice collection of vintage cars that were once owned by Alfred and his family. Inside the mansion, you can find a collection of fine period antiques, rare oriental rugs, tapestries, and paintings from as far back as the 15th century.

One of the rooms you can check out is the Reception Hall. This is where the du Pont family used to gather to celebrate Christmas every year. It is one of the largest spaces inside the mansion. Another room at the mansion is the Drawing Room. On special occasions, the ladies of the du Pont family would gather in this room after dinner.

While in this room, the ladies gossiped, played cards and/or worked on their needlepoint while the men talked politics and finances over cigars in the dining rooms. These are just a few of the rooms you can tour inside the mansion. The estate was Alfred’s gift to his second wife, Alicia, who had a love for French chateaus.

The admission prices for this estate are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, active military members, and students, and $10 for children aged 6 to 16. Those who are aged under 6 will get free admission.

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library

(Photo courtesy of Robert Lyle Bolton via Flickr)

The Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library is located on Kenneth Pike in Winterthur, just northwest of Wilmington. It was built in the early 20th century by Henry Algernon du Pont and his son Henry Francis. They were the grandson and great-grandson of DuPont founder, Eleuthere, respectively. This du Pont family home was designed to resemble 18th and 19th century European country houses.

The mansion is also accompanied by a gorgeous 60-acre naturalistic garden which is among the best in the United States. The estate is surrounded by a preserve of rolling meadows and woodlands, making for a scenic setting. The mansion has an eye-popping 175 rooms. It houses a large collections of objects of American decorative arts – nearly 90,000 to be exact.

All of these objects were either made or used in the US between 1640 and 1860. They are all displayed in much the same way as they were when the du Pont family lived there. The admission prices for this estate are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students, and $6 for children aged from 2 to 11. Free admission is given to those aged under 2. You can go here to buy your tickets for this estate.

With the establishment and growth of DuPont in Wilmington came the growing wealth and prominence of the du Pont family. At least one legacy of the family is that their estates are open for you to explore. So, one of the best things to do in Wilmington, Delaware is to visit these gorgeous du Pont estates.

Wilmington Hotels

If you are looking for a hotel to stay at in Wilmington, I have got your back. Here are the two hotels I would suggest for you.

Courtyard by Marriott Wilmington Brandywine

This hotel is located on Rocky Run Parkway in northwestern Wilmington which should put you in close proximity to all of the estates. There is an onsite restaurant at the hotel called The Bistro. The hotel houses an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. A fitness center is also available at the hotel for you to use.

All of the hotel’s rooms come with WiFi and coffee makers while the suites will also have kitchenettes in them. The average rate for a standard room range from $118 to $254. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

Holiday Inn Express Wilmington North – Brandywine

This hotel is also located on Rocky Run Parkway in northwestern Wilmington. So, this is another hotel option for being close to the estates. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. If you get hungry, a few nearby options include Bonefish Grill, Corner Bistro, and Grub Burger Bar. The hotel houses a fitness center for your workout needs.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, and microwaves. The average rate for a standard room range from $110 to $211. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you looking to visit these beautiful du Pont estates in Wilmington? Feel free to leave a comment here.

Things To Do In Pittsburgh, PA – Carnegie Museums

Pittsburgh is a remarkably beautiful city to marvel at. Not just one or two, but three, rivers flow through the city with downtown being surrounded on three sides by them. Many bridges cross the rivers within Pittsburgh. The city also contain sections with steep slopes. All of this help to make for a pretty Pittsburgh scenery.

The Pennsylvania city is packed with plenty to do. One of the things to do in Pittsburgh, PA is the world-class Carnegie group of museums.

(Photo courtesy of Jiuguang Wang via Flickr)

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

(Photo courtesy of Dllu via Wikimedia)

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is located on Forbes Avenue in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It is located in a landmark building known as the Carnegie Institute and Library which is designed in the Beaux Arts architectural style. The museum is dedicated to explore the natural history of our planet. This museum is among the top five natural history museums in the US.

The museum is noted for its large collection of Jurassic dinosaurs. In fact, the museum is home to the largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs in the world. It is worth noting that most of the dinosaur skeletons showcased at the museum are actual ones, not replicas. A few of them include Apatosaurus louisae, Diplodocus carnegii, and T-Rex.

All of the dinosaur skeletons are found in the exhibit called Dinosaurs in Their Time. In addition to this exhibit, there are currently 17 other exhibits for you to check out at the museum. These cover other aspects of the Earth’s natural history from African wildlife to polar environments and from gems and jewelry to dinosaur-era sea creatures.

The admission prices for this museum are $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors, and $11.95 for students and those aged from 3 to 18. Free admission is given to those aged under 3. It is also worth noting that the passes will also grant you admission to the Carnegie Museum of Art which I will get into in a moment. You can go here to buy your passes.

Carnegie Museum of Art

The Carnegie Museum of Art is located in the same landmark building as the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. So, there is no need for you to leave the building just yet. The museum is primarily focused on contemporary art. This museum was established in 1895 and as such, it is believed to be the first museum for contemporary art in the United States.

Even though this museum is primarily concerned with contemporary art, this doesn’t mean there aren’t other kinds of art on display at the museum. You can find works of 19th century American art. There are also displays of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings at the museum as are works of European and American decorative arts from the 17th century to the present.

The Heinz Architectural Center, which is part of this museum, houses architectural drawings and models. It is home to the largest collection of plaster casts of architectural masterpieces in the country. The architectural center contains the marble Hall of Sculpture which resembles the interior of the Parthenon.

Carnegie Science Center

(Photo courtesy of Leslie Veen via Flickr)

The Carnegie Science Center is located across Allegheny Avenue from Heinz Field which is the home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. This museum is home to four floors of interactive exhibits. One place of note at the museum is the Buhl Planetarium. This is the place for you to explore the galaxy. One exciting way to do that is to take in the planetarium shows.

They are designed to make you feel like you are going on an outer space adventure. You will get to travel to at least a few places including the Moon, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto. Another place at the museum you will want to check out is called roboworld. This is the largest permanent exhibit in the world dedicated to robotics. You will be able to get up and personal with robots.

You will be able to get a sense for what the robots look like, how they think, and what they do. There are dozens of interactive exhibit stations within this exhibit. Oh and yes, you can even play against a robot in a game of air hockey. The general admission prices for the Carnegie Science Center are $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors, and $11.95 for children aged 3 to 12.

Those who are aged under 3 will get free admission to the museum. You can go here to buy your tickets. If you get hungry, there is an onsite restaurant called RiverView Cafe. There is also an onsite gift store called XPLOR Store.

Andy Warhol Museum

(Photo courtesy of Cbaile19 via Wikimedia)

The fourth and last Carnegie museum is the Andy Warhol Museum. It is located on Sandusky Street just north of downtown in Pittsburgh’s North Shore neighborhood. This is another one of the art museums under the Carnegie umbrella. This art museum is dedicated to a single artist, Andy Warhol. He was a famous artist who had a deep connection to Pittsburgh as he was born and raised there.

The art museum has seven floors housing 17 galleries in total. It contains 900 paintings, nearly 2,000 works on paper, over 1,000 published unique prints, 77 sculptures, 4,000 photos, and over 4,350 films and videotaped works. All of these artwork were done by Andy Warhol himself. In fact, this is the largest art museum in North American that is dedicated to a single artist.

The admission prices for this art museum are $20 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, and children aged from 3 to 18. There is free admission for those who are aged under 2. You can buy your tickets by going here. There is also an onsite restaurant called The Warhol Cafe, should you get hungry during your time there. Those of you looking for souvenirs can head to the onsite gift shop, The Warhol Store.

So, one of the things to do in Pittsburgh, PA is to visit these Carnegie museums. They are all worthy of your time.

Pittsburgh Hotels

If you are in search for a hotel to stay overnight at during your time in Pittsburgh, I am happy to help you out with this. Here are the two hotels I would suggest you to book your stay with.

Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown

This hotel is located on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh. The hotel is housed in a historic building that once housed a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. Should you get hungry, there is the onsite restaurant called 5:30 Kickback. Oh and haven’t I told you that you can also get a free popcorn and soda everyday in the hotel’s lobby?

The hotel houses an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. There is also a fitness center available for you to use. Many of the hotel’s rooms offer a nice view of downtown Pittsburgh’s bustling streets. They all have WiFi, microwaves, coffee makers, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $136 to $259. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Hampton Inn Pittsburgh/Monroeville

This hotel is located on Mosside Boulevard in the eastern Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville which is about 14 miles east of Pittsburgh near the junction of Interstate 376 and Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike). There is complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. If you get hungry, the hotel is connected to Outback Steakhouse.

There is an indoor heated swimming pool at the hotel. You can get your workouts at the hotel’s fitness center. All of the hotel’s rooms have WiFi and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $103 to $170. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you visited any of these Carnegie museums before? Feel free to drop a comment below.

Things To Do In Gettysburg, PA – A Charming Small Town Rich In History

Gettysburg is a town located in the scenic south central section of the US state of Pennsylvania near the state border with Maryland. It is a lovely town that is bustling with history, especially that related to the American Civil War and former US president Abraham Lincoln. If you are a history buff looking for a small town filled with charm, this is certainly for you. Here are the things to do in Gettysburg, PA.

(Photo courtesy of Bubba73 via Wikimedia)

Gettysburg National Military Park

(Photo courtesy of Sallicio via Wikimedia)

The Gettysburg National Military Park is an expansive piece of land occupying the southern reaches of Gettysburg. The park is famous for being the site of the Battle of Gettysburg which took place during the first three days of July in 1863 in the midst of the four year long civil war. It was the largest and most important battle of the civil war.

It was the Confederate Army’s most ambitious effort to invade the country’s north. The effort was led by its general, Robert E. Lee. Even though the battle didn’t end the civil war, it was a major turning point in the war. That is because not only was the Confederate Army badly defeated there, but it also defeated any hopes of them ever winning the civil war.

In total, there were more than 165,000 soldiers battling it out in a town that, at the time, had a population of 2,400. It was also the civil war’s bloodiest battle, resulting in the death, injury, capture, or disappearance of over 51,000 soldiers. Within the park where the battle took place, you will want to stop at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

This museum houses many of the 43,000 artifacts from the civil war. You will want to make sure to check out the big, beautiful oil painting within the museum called the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama. The oil painting is larger than a football field and as tall as a four-story structure.

It is presented through an overhead canopy and a three-dimensional diorama foreground featuring stone walls, broken fences, shattered trees, and a cannon. It is meant to heighten your sense of being in the midst of the Gettysburg battle. Entrance into the building is technically free, but there is a fee for entering the museum and the oil painting area.

The entrance fees are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and veterans, and $10 for youth aged 6 to 12. Those who are active military members or aged under 6 will get free admission. There are also guided tours of the battlefield’s most notable sites, including Little Roundtop, Devils Den, Cemetery Hill, The Angle, and Copse of Trees. You can choose to do the guided tours via car, bus, or bicycle.

You can buy your passes for the guided tours for $35 for adults and $21 for those aged 6 to 12. The guided tours will start at the building housing the museum and visitor center. You will also want to head to the Gettysburg National Cemetery which is also located within the battlefield park.

This is where more than 3,500 Union soldiers from the civil war are buried. This is also the site where Abraham Lincoln delivered his iconic Gettysburg Address in which he looked ahead to unifying the war-torn nation.

(Photo courtesy of Leslie Johnston via Flickr)

There are numerous monuments, memorials, and markers dedicated to the Gettysburg battle throughout the cemetery. That includes the cemetery’s centerpiece, the Soldiers’ National Monument, which is a 60-foot tall granite monument. You can enter the cemetery free of charge. You can go here to buy your tickets for all the paid attractions within the battlefield park.

Eisenhower National Historic Site

(Photo courtesy of Carl Grant via Flickr)

Eisenhower National Historic Site is the beautiful farmhouse that was the home of Dwight D. Eisenhower who was the president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Before he became president, he had a long career serving in the US Army. This included a stint as a five-star general during World War II.

Because he moved around a lot during his time in the US Army, he was never able to own a home until just three years before he became the US president. It was in 1950 when Dwight and his wife, Mamie, bought the 189-acre farmhouse for $40,000. During Dwight’s presidency, the house was used as a weekend retreat from the pressures of Washington, DC.

The farmhouse was known to host numerous high profile guests during Dwight’s presidency. That included former Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, whose country was the arch-rival of the US during the Cold War. With its scenic surroundings, including breathtaking views of the South Mountains, the farmhouse served as a backdrop for negotiations between the two leaders to cool down tensions between their countries.

After leaving the presidency, Dwight and his wife moved to live in the farmhouse on a full time basis. Today, you can enter the farmhouse and see it the way it was during the time that Dwight and his wife lived there. It contains gifts that were given to the couple by leaders of other countries who visited them there.

In addition to the farmhouse itself, you can check out the presidential putting green, acres of cropland, barns, and Angus-grazed pasture. The entrance fees are $9 for adults and $5 for those aged from 6 to 12. Free admission to the farmhouse is given to those aged under 6. You can head here to buy your tickets. The farmhouse is located on Eisenhower Farm Road southwest of Gettysburg.

Downtown Gettysburg

(Photo courtesy of denisbin via Flickr)

Gettysburg has a charming downtown filled with Federal-style architecture. It is brimming with plenty of compelling restaurants and shops to check out. Also located downtown are three attractions that has something to do with Abraham Lincoln. The first one is the Lincoln Train Museum which is located on Steinwehr Avenue.

Abraham Lincoln played a key role in shaping the nation’s railroad system. As a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, he dealt with cases that concerned the railroad. As president of the US, he believed that the railroad was the best way to connect a broken nation. He had travelled on the railroad himself at least a couple times, including his historic trip to Gettysburg.

So, the Lincoln Train Museum is inspired in part by Abraham’s relationship with the railroad. One key feature of this museum is a life-sized model of a train car. You can enter the train car and making use of digital technology, you will be taken on a Lincoln-era train journey. You will even get to sit next to a version of Abraham being played by a local actor who will narrate his love of the country as you go along.

Another thing to check out at the museum is a gorgeous model of railroad tracks with trains on them. You can watch as the trains move around the model area inside the museum. The admission prices for the museum are $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for seniors, active military members, and children aged from 5 to 12. Those aged under 5 will get free admission.

The second downtown attraction is the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station, located on Carliste Street. It was a train station in the 19th century. It is notable because this was the train station that Abraham Lincoln arrived at on his Gettysburg trip. It is now a museum containing exhibits related to Abraham and the role that the railroad played in Gettysburg’s history. The admission to this museum is free to everyone.

The third attraction downtown is the David Wills House. This is where former US president Abraham Lincoln stayed the night and put in the finishing touches of his iconic Gettysburg Address. He stayed there in November of 1863, some months after the battle was over.

The home that Abraham stayed at, was owned by David Wills who was a local attorney and school superintendent at that time. You can tour the home, including the bedroom that Abraham stayed in. The exhibits focus on the events surrounding Abraham’s historic visit to Gettysburg. The tours are priced at $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and military personnel, and $4 for those aged from 6 to 12.

These are the things to do in Gettysburg, PA. Also, if you are looking for somewhere sweeter to go to, may I suggest the chocolate-loving town of Hershey? It is only an hour drive northeast of Gettysburg and I talked about it in my previous post.

Gettysburg Hotels

If you are looking for a hotel to stay at in Gettysburg, I am happy to help you out with that. Here are the two hotels I would suggest for you.

Wyndham Gettysburg

This Federal-style hotel is located on Presidential Circle just east of US Route 15 in Gettysburg. The hotel houses an onsite restaurant called 1863 Restaurant. Those of you who are carving for an alcoholic drink can head to Lobby Bar which is the hotel’s onsite bar. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel. The hotel also houses a fitness center for you to use.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites have WiFi and coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room range from $81 to $246. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

Best Western Gettysburg

This is Gettysburg’s newest hotel, having opened in May of 2017. This hotel is located right next to the Lincoln Train Museum on Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg’s downtown. There is complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. Should you get hungry, a few nearby dining options include Dobbin House Tavern, Tommy’s Pizza, and Gettysburg Eddie’s.

The hotel houses an indoor heated swimming pool. A fitness center is also available at the hotel for your workout needs. All of the hotel rooms and suites have WiFi, microwaves, mini refrigerators, and coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room range from $98 to $204. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Are you planning to visit Gettysburg? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Hershey, Pennsylvania Attractions – America’s Chocolate Town

When you think of Hershey, you will most likely think of those tasty chocolate candy bars. But, there is also a town in the US state of Pennsylvania called Hershey. A suburb of the state capital of Harrisburg, Hershey is the birthplace of the iconic Hershey’s chocolates.

As a result, this tasty town has developed itself into a world class destination that revolves around chocolates. Here are the Hershey, Pennsylvania attractions to sweeten your time in this town of chocolates.

The Hershey Story

(Photo courtesy of The Hershey Story via Wikimedia)

The Hershey Story is located on West Chocolate Avenue in Hershey. This is a museum that is dedicated to telling the story of Milton S. Hershey. Milton was a famed chocolatier who invented Hershey’s chocolates in 1900. This museum explores all aspects of Milton’s life, including how he transformed Hershey’s chocolates into the iconic brand that it is today.

In addition to the exhibits that explore the life of Milton, this museum contains a couple areas of note. The first area is called the Chocolate Lab. This is the place where you can create your own treats made from chocolate. Whatever chocolate-based treats you create there is yours to eat and/or take home.

This process lasts for about 45 minutes and was inspired by Milton’s candy-making apprenticeship program and his love for experimentation. The Chocolate Lab requires a paid ticket to enter which you can get for $13.50 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $9.50 for youth aged 5 to 12. The second area of note at the museum is known as Chocolate Tastings.

This is the place where you can go and sample a wide variety of chocolate-based drinks from different parts of the world. The drinks range from fruity African chocolate flavors to Indonesian chocolate with caramel overtones. As is the case with the Chocolate Lab, this area will require a paid tickets to get into.

Tickets can be bought for $10 for adults and seniors, $7.50 for active duty military members, and $6 for children aged 5 to 12. The prices apply to the full flight of six. As for the museum prices, they are $13.50 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $9.50 for children aged 3 to 12. Active duty military members and children under the age of 3 get free admission to the museum.

Just for clarity, the museum tickets doesn’t include admission to either the Chocolate Lab or Chocolate Tastings areas. You can go here to buy your tickets. There is also an onsite restaurant called The Pantry Cafe. For those of you looking for souvenirs, the museum also houses a gift shop.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

(Photo courtesy of Hmich176 via Wikimedia)

Another sweet attraction you will want to go to is Hershey’s Chocolate World. It is located on Chocolate World Way in Hershey. It is located right next to Hersheypark which I will be talking about soon in this post. Hershey’s Chocolate World is basically a chocolate themed entertainment complex that is home to multiple attractions within.

The first attraction is called Hershey’s Chocolate Tour. It is basically a theme park-style ride through a chocolate-making factory. You can observe the chocolate-making transformation from cocoa beans into the iconic Hershey’s chocolates during your ride. The journey lasts for about thirty minutes. You will also get a free sample of a Hershey’s chocolate product upon completion of your ride.

The second attraction is called Create Your Own CANDY BAR. It is what it sounds like. You will be immersed into a factory setting where you will get to create your own candy bar working with a variety of ingredients. You will also get to design your own wrapper. This process will last for about 45 minutes. This is a ticketed attraction costing $26.95 per person.

The third attraction is the 4D Chocolate Movie. It is an immersive digital show in which you not only watch, but also help the Hershey’s candy-based characters to solve a mystery. There are over one hundred possible variations of the digital show. So, it will probably look different every time you experience it. This is another ticketed experience costing $7.95 for adults and $6.95 for children aged 3 to 12.

The fourth attraction is Hershey’s UNWRAPPED. This is the place where you can challenge your taste buds by tasting different kinds of Hershey’s chocolates. This is done in a theatrical manner. This is another one of the ticketed attractions which you can buy for $15.95 for adults and $12.95 for children aged 3 to 12. The tasting experience will run for thirty minutes.

The fifth and last attraction is Hershey Trolley Works. This is where you can go on a trolley tour of Hershey. There are a few variants of the trolley tour, but I would suggest the Original Trolley Show as this is the best trolley tour that they offer. Basically, they use a show of two actors to tell the story of Milton Hershey and the town that he helped establish as part of his historic journey in inventing Hershey’s chocolates.

The show is sprinkled with jokes and old songs to help make the show more entertaining. You can buy the tickets for $17.95 for adults and $14.95 for children aged 3 to 12. The Original Trolley Show will last for 45 minutes. Entering Hershey’s Chocolate World is itself free for everyone. However, as I noted, all attractions with the exception of Hershey’s Chocolate Tour will require a paid ticket to enter.

You can buy your attraction tickets by going here. There are also a few shops onsite offering a variety of Hershey’s treats from candies to milkshakes to s’mores. For those of you who are hungry for more than a treat or two will want to head to the Food Hall section of Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Hersheypark

(Photo courtesy of Paulo Ordoveza via Wikimedia)

If you are more into theme parks, then Hersheypark is for you. It is located on Hersheypark Drive in Hershey. There are at least a few things that makes Hersheypark stand out among all other theme parks in the United States. The first is the mascots. All of the mascots that you will encounter at the theme park are based on Hershey’s chocolate products.

These include Hershey’s Bar, Hershey’s Kisses, Ice Breakers, Jolly Rancher, Kit Kat, Milk Dud, Reese, Rolo, Twizzler, and York Peppermint Patties. You can have your photos taken with any or all of these mascots. They are commonly found in the Founders Way and Kissing Tower Hill areas of the theme park.

Another unique thing about the theme park is its height measurement boards which measures the height of guests before a ride to ensure that they are tall enough for that ride. Each height category is named for a Hershey’s chocolate product. In the order from shortest to tallest, the height category names are Miniatures, Kisses, Reese’s, Hershey’s, Twizzler, and Jolly Ranchers.

The must exciting thing that makes this theme park unique is the new themed area called Hershey’s Chocolatetown which is set to open this summer. As you can imagine, this area will be architecturally designed around the theme of chocolate.

This area will be home to attractions uniquely themed around Hershey’s chocolate such as the Candymonium roller coaster, the Chocolatier restaurant, and a Hershey’s Kisses fountain. All of these things combine to help give Hersheypark a chocolate feel to it. The one day ticket price for Hersheypark is $49.95 per person.

Also of note is that this ticket will grant you access to The Boardwalk and ZooAmerica which are the theme park’s onsite water park and zoo respectively. You can head here to buy your theme park tickets.

These are the Hershey, Pennsylvania attractions to sweeten your time in this chocolate-loving town. It is no wonder that Hershey is the sweetest place on Earth as its motto would indicate.

Hershey Hotels

If you are looking for a hotel to lay your head during your time in Hershey, I have got your back. Here are the two hotels I would suggest for you.

Days Inn by Wyndham Hershey

This hotel is located on West Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, close to all of the attractions I mentioned. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. Should you get hungry, a few nearby options for dining include Phillip Arthur’s Cafe, The Chocolate Avenue Grill, and Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. The hotel houses an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub.

There is also a fitness center available for you to use. All of the hotel’s rooms come with WiFi, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $67 to $289. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

Hampton Inn & Suites Hershey

This hotel is located on East Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, also close to all the attractions I mentioned. There is complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. Also onsite are BBQ facilities for cookouts. If you get hungry, a few places to eat nearby include Lisa’s Cafe, Babes Grill House, and Piazza Sorrento. The hotel has an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub.

You can get your workouts at the hotel’s fitness center. The hotel’s rooms include microwaves and mini refrigerators while the suites include a full kitchen and separate dining and living rooms. WiFi is available in all the rooms and suites. The average rate for a standard room range from $125 to $282. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or check out some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you been sweetened by Hershey before? Feel free to drop a comment here.

Washington, DC For Museums – Museums To Check Out This Year

The gorgeous city of Washington, DC is first and foremost recognized as being the capital of the United States of America. In fact, the city is home to the US Capitol, the White House, and the US Supreme Court – the iconic buildings that house the three branches of the US federal government. So, even though the city is most known for being the capital of the US, it is also renowned for being home to many museums.

Many of the museums in the city are administered by the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution currently oversees a collection of fifteen museums within the city. Nine of them are located on the iconic National Mall. Not only are these museums nice, but they can also be visited for free. So, I would suggest you to go to Washington, DC for museums. Here are a few museums to visit this year in the city.

(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Bassi via Flickr)

National Air and Space Museum

(Photo courtesy of David Bjorgen via Wikimedia)

The National Air and Space Museum is located on Jefferson Drive SW on the eastern section of the National Mall. If you are fascinated with both aviation and outer space, this is the perfect museum for you in town. An exhibit at the museum called 50 Years from Tranquility Base tells the story about Apollo 11 in which Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first humans ever to walk on the Moon.

That took place on July 20th, 1969. This exhibit houses artifacts from the historic journey to the Moon. These include, but are not limited to, the US flag that was planted on the Moon, the Omega Speedmaster chronograph that Neil used during his Apollo 11 mission, and an inflight exerciser for stretching and exercising the muscles during the mission.

Those of you who are looking for airplanes, rockets, and spacecraft on display should check out the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall exhibit. One of the airplanes on display is the Spirit of St. Louis which was piloted by Charles Lindbergh who became the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo in May of 1927. One of the spacecraft on display is the Explorer-1.

The Explorer-1 was the first successful orbiting satellite to be launched by the US. It was launched into orbit in January of 1958. Another exhibit at the museum is Explore the Universe. This exhibit explores the progress that we as humanity have developed our understanding of the universe in which Earth is just a small part of.

Our understanding of the universe has improved with the help of astronomical tools including telescope, photography, spectroscopy, and digital technology. These are on display within the exhibit. These are just a few of the exhibits you can look forward to upon visiting the National Air and Space Museum.

There are currently around nine exhibits to check out at the museum. There is also a cafe and a store onsite at the museum.

National Museum of American History

(Photo courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith via Wikimedia)

History buffs who are interested into American history will feel at home at the National Museum of American History. This museum is located on Constitution Avenue NW on the central section of the National Mall. This museum is home to over three million artifacts from throughout American history from the war for independence in the 18th century to the present day.

There are three categories of exhibits at the museum. The first category of exhibits focuses on transportation, technology, science, and innovation. This category covers the first floor of the museum. A few of the exhibits you can explore on this floor include Inventing in America, America on the Move, and Lighting a Revolution. The signature artifacts on this floor are the John Bull locomotive and the Vassar telescope.

The second category of exhibits at the museum is concerned with the American ideals. This category covers the museum’s second floor. American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith, Creating Icons: How We Remember Woman Suffrage, and Many Voices, One Nation are some of the exhibits that are available to explore on this floor.

A few artifacts from the second floor to note are the original Star Spangled Banner Flag, the George Washington statue, and the Greensboro lunch counter. The third category of exhibits at the museum shines a spotlight on the military, the public and private lives of presidents, entertainment, sports, and music. This category covers the third floor of the museum.

On this floor, you can explore exhibits such as The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, and Thanks for the Memories: Music, Sports, and Entertainment History. A few notable artifacts on the third floor include The Gunboat Philadelphia, the dresses of first ladies, and a car from the Disneyland ride called Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Should you get hungry, there are two onsite restaurants at the museum. They are Eat at America’s Table Cafe and LeRoy Neiman Jazz Cafe. Shoppers may want to check out Main Museum Store, Mall Museum Store, and The Price of Freedom Store – all of which are located onsite at the National Museum of American History.

National Museum of Natural History

(Photo courtesy of Melizabethi123 via Wikimedia)

If you are curious about how our planet, Earth, came to be, the National Museum of Natural History is the museum in Washington, DC to be. The museum neighbors the National Museum of American History to the east on the National Mall. The museum is home to the largest natural history collection in the world.

It contains a collection of over 145 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts. The museum is home to a total of twelve permanent exhibits for you to check out. I will go over a few of them. The first one is the Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals is home to a massive collection of gems, minerals, and rocks.

That include the Star of Asia Sapphire which is one of the largest sapphires in the world. Another notable gem to look out for in this exhibit is the Hope Diamond. Another exhibit to mention is the Hall of Fossils – Deep Time. This exhibit is notable for housing over 700 fossil specimens that showcase life as far back as 4.6 billion years ago.

These include fossils that once belonged to an Alaskan palm tree, early insects, reptiles, and mammals. Also of note are the fossils for a T-Rex dinosaur called Diplodocus and a giant woolly mammoth. The museum is notable for being home to an exhibit called Mega-toothed Shark. This is where you can see a giant shark that is suspended above you.

This model of the extinct shark measures at 52 feet long. The name of the shark is Carcharocles megalodon, but is referred to as just megalodon because of its giant teeth. There are two restaurants onsite at the museum – Ocean Terrace Cafe and Atrium Cafe. The museum’s onsite stores include Gem and Mineral Store, Gallery Store, Family Store, Dinos and More Store, and Natural History Kiosk.

So, these are a few museums that you should visit this year. The nation’s capital is a heaven for museum enthusiasts, especially those looking to visit the Smithsonian museums. So, I would suggest you to visit Washington, DC for museums.

Oh and before I move on to my hotel suggestion for you, I have something bonus to mention. There is that one beautiful building I would like for you to feast your eyes on and it is called the Smithsonian Institution Building. It is like a headquarter for the Smithsonian Institution itself. It is renowned for its red castle-like building design. That is how it received the nickname of The Castle.

It is built of red sandstone in the faux Norman architectural style. It is not exactly a museum in of itself, but it does contain a visitor’s center where you can sample the collections from the Smithsonian collection of museums as well as learn about the iconic building itself.

So, you will want to be sure to visit the building, even if just to appreciate its beauty. It is located on Jefferson Drive SW on the eastern section of the National Mall.

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Peschard via Wikimedia)

Washington, DC Hotel

Now on to my hotel suggestion for you. If you are in need of a hotel to stay at in the nation’s capital, I am here to help you out. Here goes my hotel suggestion.

Washington Marriott – Metro Center

This stylish hotel is located on 12th Street NW in downtown Washington, DC just a short walk north of the National Mall. The hotel houses an onsite restaurant called Fire and Sage. There is also an onsite Starbucks Coffee available. The hotel offer two breakfast types. The first one is Continental breakfast for a fee of $16. The second type is Full American with a fee of $25.

The hotel contains an indoor heated swimming pool for you to enjoy. The hotel’s fitness center is available 24 hours per day. Many hotel rooms and suites offer a nice view of downtown Washington, DC’s bustling streets. They all come with WiFi and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $171 to $516. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you been to any of these Smithsonian museums in the nation’s capital? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Things To Do In Augusta, Maine – The Small Town State Capital

The US state of Maine is notable for its scenic beauty, especially along the state’s famed coast. But, if you look a little bit inland from the coast, you will discover Maine’s state capital of Augusta. Located on the scenic Kennebec River about 55 miles north of Maine’s bustling seaside city of Portland, Augusta is the state’s capital and a quaint small town at the same time. Here are a few things to do in Augusta, Maine.

Maine State House

(Photo courtesy of MonsieurNapoleon via Wikimedia)

The Maine State House is located on State and Capitol Streets in Augusta. It was built in 1832 which is about one year after the state capital was relocated to Augusta from nearby Portland. It was designed by renowned architect Charles Bulfinch of Boston who was responsible for designing the Massachusetts State House.

With the passage of time, the Maine State House went through successive projects of enlargement and renovation. The most recent renovation took place in 2014. The state house has a Greek Revival architectural design. It is built using locally sourced granite. The state house’s dome is made of copper and has a brownish appearance. It stands at around 185 feet high.

Located on the top of the dome is a glided gold-clad copper statue of Lady Wisdom which stands at around 13 feet high. The state house has three wings to the north, south, and west. It house the office of Maine’s governor, Janet Mills, along with two chambers of the state legislature. Inside the state house, there are art exhibits for you to explore along with collections of Maine battle flags.

There are also portraits throughout the state house of governors and other men and women who have served Maine throughout its history as both a province and a state. If you head to the state house’s visitor’s center, you can check out the state’s collection of butterflies. The state is connected to the Kennebec River via the scenic Capitol Park. Entrance to the Maine State House is free of charge to everyone.

Maine State Museum

(Photo courtesy of Stilfehler via Wikimedia)

The Maine State Museum is located on State Street just south of the Maine State House in Augusta. This museum is dedicated to exploring the history of Maine. One of the exhibits you can check out at the museum will have you exploring the struggles that Mainers endured in their battle to establish Maine as an independent state from the state of Massachusetts in the early 19th century.

You will learn about the difficult decision that needed to be made in establishing Maine as an independent state because doing so meant that slavery would also expand westward to new states in the US west of the Mississippi River in what is called the Missouri Compromise. The exhibit I just talked about is known as Maine’s Path to Statehood.

Another one of the exhibits at the museum is Back to Nature. In this exhibit, you will explore aspects of Maine’s nature, including its seasons, environments, animals, birds, and plants. This exhibit also houses a collection of gemstones that are found in Maine. They are displayed in both their original and faceted forms. Made in Maine is another exhibit that is available at the museum.

In this exhibit, you will hear stories about Mainers at work and the variety of products that they created. You can explore a variety of historical settings within this exhibit such as a sewing room, blacksmith shop, wood carding mill, and shops for making furniture, shoes, and fishing rods. The exhibit is also home to a working water-powered woodworking that has three floors.

These are just some of the exhibits that are available for you to check out, but that should give you a better idea of what you can expect at the museum. The admission fees for the Maine State Museum are $3 for adults and $2 for children and seniors. Those who are aged under six get free admission.

Downtown Augusta

(Photo courtesy of Dave Dostie via Wikimedia)

One place you will want to check out, especially if you are looking for a place to eat, is downtown Augusta. The historic riverside downtown is brimming with Victorian architecture. Water Street is the main drag in downtown Augusta, running just west of the Kennebec River. It is home to some of the delicious restaurants that the state capital of Maine has to offer, including a few new ones that opened in recent years.

One such restaurant is called Cushnoc Brewing Co. This restaurant is known for serving wood-fired pizzas. These are called pies at this restaurant. So, take care not to confuse these for dessert-oriented pies. Also, if you are looking for something alcoholic to drink, this restaurant also offer a variety of locally crafted beer.

If you are looking for a restaurant that offer gorgeous views of the Kennebec River, you will want to check out Otto’s on the River. This restaurant specializes in seafood, pasta, and vegan cuisines. There is an outdoor patio overlooking the river at this restaurant.

Once you are done with a restaurant, I would suggest that you take a short walk on Front Street from Water Street toward the river just behind the downtown buildings. That way, you can get up and personal with the river. There is a brief riverside sidewalk that travels along Front Street.

These are the things to do in Augusta, Maine that I would suggest you to take on. With a population of 19,136 as of the 2010 census, Augusta is the third smallest state capital in the country behind Montpelier, Vermont and Pierre, South Dakota.

Augusta Hotels

If you are in search of a hotel to stay at in Augusta, I have got your back. Here are two hotels I would suggest you to book with.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Augusta

This hotel is located on Western Avenue in Augusta. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. If you are looking for a nearby restaurant, a few options include Cloud 9 Restaurant, Texas Roadhouse, and Domino’s Pizza. There is an indoor heated swimming pool at the hotel. The hotel also houses a fitness center for your workout needs.

All of the hotel’s suites come with WiFi, full equipped kitchens, and dining and living areas. The average rate for a standard room range from $126 to $304. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

Senator Inn & Spa

This is arguably the nicest hotel that Augusta has to offer. The hotel is located on Western Avenue in Augusta. There is complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. If you get hungry, Cloud 9 Restaurant is the hotel’s onsite restaurant. There is also an onsite lounge with oysters in the half shell. The outdoor and indoor areas of the hotel each have their own heated swimming pools and hot tubs.

The hotel also houses a sauna, a full service spa, and a gift shop. If you are looking for a place to exercise, you can do so at the hotel’s fitness center. There are four categories of rooms and suites, most of the categories have government themed names. They are Spa Luxury Rooms, Presidential Wing, Congressional Wing, and Legislative Rooms.

The first category is the most luxurious offering, coming with amenities including spa privileges, gas fireplaces, and jacuzzi jet tubs. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $82 to $142. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or view some photos.

What are your thoughts? Have you been to Maine’s small state capital before? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Museums Of The US To Visit For Women’s History Month

We are well into the month of March now. As at least some of you may know, March is Women’s History Month in the United States. It is the time when we honor the women who have contributed to or shaped the US and the world at large one way or another. So, I would like to take the opportunity to suggest a few museums of the US that you can check out to celebrate women.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

(Photo courtesy of Michael Barera via Wikipedia)

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is located on Gendy Street in Fort Worth, Texas. You may have heard about the cowboys, but have you heard about the cowgirls too? This is the museum where you can go and learn about them. This museum honors women who have contributed to or shaped the American West.

There are currently 238 women who are inducted into the hall of fame at this museum for the significant impact that they had on the American West. They come from a wide range of disciplines such as writers, artists, business women, ranchers, and rodeo cowgirls. Here are a few women I would like to note.

Sacagawea was a woman from the Lemhi Shoshone tribe who helped to guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition in their exploration of the previously uncharted American West in the early 19th century. Another woman to note is Georgia O’Keeffe. She was a renowned painter who lived much of her life in the western US state of New Mexico. She was known for her inspiring paintings of New Mexico landscapes.

Sandra Day O’Connor grew up on a large cattle ranch in the western state of Arizona who would go on to become the first woman to be appointed as a justice in the US Supreme Court. These are just a few women being honored in the hall of fame at this museum. In addition to the hall of fame, there are a few exhibits you can check out at the museum.

This includes a brand new exhibit called Kit Moncrief Galleries and It’s Never Just a Horse. This exhibit explores the special bonds formed between the horses, women, and the West. The admission rates for the museum are $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, military members, and first responders, and $6 for children aged 4 to 12. Admission is free for those aged under 4.

Hotel Suggestion: Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Worth Downtown

This hotel is located on Commerce Street in downtown Fort Worth. There is complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. If you are looking to dine out, a few options include The Capital Grille, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, and Bob’s Steak & Chop House. If you are looking to order alcoholic drinks, you can do so at the hotel’s lobby bar. There is an indoor heated swimming pool available to use.

There is also a fitness center available if you are looking for a workout. If you are looking to relax by the fire, you can go to the hotel’s outdoor fire pit. Some rooms and suites will offer breathtaking views of downtown Fort Worth. All of the hotel’s rooms will have WiFi, coffee makers, and mini refrigerators while the suites will also offer microwaves and wet bars.

The average rate for a standard room range from $146 to $331. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

(Photo courtesy of AgnosticPreachersKid via Wikipedia)

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is located on New York Avenue NW in Washington, DC, the capital of the US. This museum celebrates women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This is the only major museum in the world for this purpose. This museum is home to a collection of more than 4,500 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative arts.

The collection spans multiple time periods from the 16th century to the present. There are nearly one thousand women artists represented at this museum. Among the historic women represented include Mary Cassatt, Lavinia Fontana, Clara Peeters, and Elisabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun.

As for the modern and contemporary women represented at the museum, a few of them include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Chakaia Booker, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Joana Vasconcelos. There are four exhibits currently on display at the museum. They are Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico, Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits, New York Ave Sculpture Project, and Linda Nochlin: The Maverick She.

The admission prices for this museum are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Admission is free for youth aged 18 and under. You can buy your passes by going here.

Hotel Suggestion: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

This hotel is located on New Jersey Avenue NW in Washington, DC just a short walk north of the US Capitol. Article One – American Grill is the hotel’s onsite restaurant. The hotel’s onsite bar is called Article One Lounge. There is an indoor swimming pool on the hotels rooftop. Connected to the pool is the outdoor sundeck that offers breathtaking views of Washington, DC’s bustling streets.

StayFit is the name of the hotel’s fitness center. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites have contemporary decor. Many of them will offer breathtaking views of the city’s vibrant streets. All of the rooms and suites at the hotel will have WiFi, coffee makers, and mini refrigerators. All of the suites will have separate bedrooms and dining/living areas. At least one type of suite will offer full service kitchens.

The average rate for a standard room range from $191 to $713. You can head here to browse your booking options and/or view some photos.

National Women’s Hall of Fame

(Photo courtesy of DanielPenfield via Wikimedia)

The National Women’s Hall of Fame is located on Canal Street in Seneca Falls, New York which is located in New York State’s scenic Finger Lakes region. The hall of fame at this museum inducts women who have made significant contributions toward the social, economic, and cultural aspects of society in the US and the world at large.

Inductions into the hall of fame at the museum happen every odd-numbered year. The names of the women being inducted into the hall of fame are announced in the spring, usually in March which is Women’s History Month. The induction ceremonies will then happen during the fall of the same year.

A few of the women inducted into the hall of fame in 2019, the most recent year, are Gloria Allred, Angela Davis, and Sarah Deer. During your time at the museum, you can read biographies of women and learn about what makes each of their achievements so significant as far as efforts to improve society in the US and the world is concerned.

There are currently 276 women inducted into the hall of fame. The pricing for admission to the National Women’s Hall of Fame is currently listed as “TBD”. There is also a gift shop located onsite at the museum.

Hotel Suggestion: Hampton Inn Seneca Falls

This hotel is located on Balsley Road in Seneca Falls. There is complimentary breakfast available at the hotel. Should you get hungry, a few nearby restaurants include Penny’s Place, Woodys Bar & Grill, and Connie’s Diner. There is an indoor heated swimming pool at the hotel. A fitness center is also available for you to use.

All of the hotel’s rooms and suites offer WiFi, coffee/tea makers, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $103 to $281. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or browse some photos.

These are the museums of the US you will want to check out to honor women. All of these museums showcase women who have contributed to or shaped the country and the world in some form. Women’s History Month would be the ideal time to honor women by visiting these museums.

What are your thoughts? Are you planning on visiting any of these women-related museums? 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.

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.