When we saw people sledding down the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument last spring, I wanted to do it, too. So when we wandered beyond the Midwest again on another trip out west, we detoured back to White Sands, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Read more
Driving through the flat Texas panhandle, you’d never guess that only 25 miles south of Amarillo the earth opens to the second largest canyon in North America. Palo Duron Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, stretches 120 miles long, ranges from 6 to 20 miles wide, and is more than 800 feet deep. However, unlike the Grand Canyon, where you can reach the canyon floor only by mule or foot, you can drive right down to the canyon floor in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Read more
Two years ago Skip and I spent several weeks in Laughlin, Nevada, on a winter getaway. Why Laughlin? Laughlin’s casino hotels are inexpensive but decent, and we found lots of ways to eat cheaply, too. We’re not huge gamblers, so we looked around for other things to do in the area. We founds lots of places to visit, but one thing we couldn’t do was explore Christmas Tree Pass, one of Laughlin’s top rated activities. We had a brand new car with us, and we had read that the twelve-mile drive was rugged.
So this year, when snow clouds filled the Midwest skies and the temperature dropped to single digits, we hightailed it back to Laughlin. This time we went prepared with our fourteen-year-old SUV with 275,000 miles on it. We were ready to explore Christmas Tree Pass and Grapevine Canyon, which is located along the pass. Read more
Most Americans know that Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s sixteenth president, lived a modest childhood. He was born in a log cabin in Kentucky and moved with his family to other cabins in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois until striking out on his own when he was 22 years old. Over the past few years, we’ve visited five Lincoln home sites, all of which are designated state or national historic sites. Read more
Dark chocolate—it’s one treat I can’t pass up. A few years ago on a press trip we were tasting chocolate at a chocolate shop. I was skipping the milk chocolate and going right for the dark. One of my fellow travel writers said, “Even if I never meet you again, I will always connect you with dark chocolate.” Yep, that’s me. I’ve tasted a lot of Midwest chocolate over the past few years, and am sharing with you 11 of my favorites, in no particular order, plus two from beyond the Midwest. Read more
I used to avoid staying in bed and breakfasts. The pictures I saw of them were lovely, but I wasn’t sure of the etiquette. Do I knock when I get there? How about every time we come and go? Will coming in late at night be a problem? Will we have to share a bathroom with other guests? (Please—no!)
Then I went on a press trip, and they assigned us to a bed and breakfast. Oh no! What to do? Everything worked out just fine that weekend. The beautifully decorated Victorian mansion included a Jacuzzi tub in every room, and we were the only guests staying there that night. Since then, bed and breakfasts have become one of our favorite types of accommodation, and we stay in them often.
If you have yet to stay at a B&B for any of the fears I had, fear no more. Here are answers to 10 questions you may have about staying in a bed and breakfast. Read more
In 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, Milton S. Hershey opened the opulent Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylania. Hershey wanted the theater to rival any Broadway theater. He designed the grand lobby to resemble a Greek temple and the auditorium to simulate an outdoor Venetian scene. The beautifully preserved theater continues to be a popular entertainment venue today. Read more
When you think of Hershey, Pennsylvania, most likely the first thing you think of is chocolate. But there is more to Hershey than chocolate—like the AACA Museum. Any classic car enthusiast would love the AACA Museum. Cars range from a Chicago Benton Harbor, made in 1895, to a 2002 BMW Mini-Cooper that has been modified into a snowmobile. The museum exhibits a lot of awesome cars, but what particularly caught our attention was the collection of Tucker automobiles. The collection includes 48 automobiles, engines and memorabilia from David Cammack, Tucker historian and collector. It is the world’s largest Tucker collection in the world. Read more
We visited the National Civil War Museum last summer during our visit to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The museum tells the story of both the Union and the Confederacy, emphasizing personal human elements through stories, artifacts and dioramas.
Tension had been brewing between the North and the South for decades over slavery. Slavery was dominant in southern states. It was the backbone of South’s agrarian economy. Conversely, northern “abolitionists” felt slavery was wrong. They wanted to do away with slavery. Abraham Lincoln, who ran on a strong anti-slavery platform, won the 1860 presidential election. A month later, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Ten more southern states followed suit. Less than four months later, the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
Milton S. Hershey built the entire town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, over a hundred years ago to serve his Hershey Chocolate factory and the factory employees. Today, not everyone who lives in Hershey works for the chocolate company or its affiliated enterprises. However, Hershey attractions still dominate. According to TripAdvisor, four of the top seven Hershey attractions are Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens, The Hershey Story (The Museum on Chocolate Avenue) and Hershey’s Chocolate World. Hershey’s Chocolate World itself includes five separate activities. Read more