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Tourist areas and what to see in the good old US of A.....


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My aunt and uncle, both gone now started this place and it was supposed to have been our destination last summer but that county was the first to get hit hard with covid. So maybe this year. I haven't been there since I was little .

 https://www.gunnisoncabins.com/about

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Enjoy the black hills of South Dakota. Their Governor is a big fan of freedom!!

You are very welcome in South Dakota. The amount of tourists in the "Hills" has been spectacular. Tourism is way up as people just want to get back to normal. Make the tour of the Badla

We went to Traverse City in Michigan  a few years back. Historic mental health facility remodeled into office/store space in part and a tour of the rest.    Miles of paved bike/walking trails. Yo

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On 2/26/2021 at 7:18 AM, Diesel Doctor said:

We had the opportunity to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and orchestra practice.

I am glad someone else mentioned this, because even though I have a picture of the HUGE golden organ inside of the Mormon Tabernacle, (rather blurry and 40 something years old), my cousin swears up and down that non-Mormons are not allowed inside, (maybe I stood in the door?)

Now that I have calmed down, I would go back and re-visit Traverse City, and the area around it.

The thing is, and as someone else mentioned, STAY OFF the Interstates as much as possible, and see REAL America.  There is so much new to see, plus I would like to go back to places I went through 40-45 years ago to see things that I might have missed, or at least to see these places again.

I also messed up by NOT taking the time to tour around Europe when I had multiple chances to do so.

 

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My first cross USA trip was in 1963 where I took a Greyhound trip from San Diego to Chicago via Nashville and Myrtle Beach SC.  Calluses on the butt from 2 weeks or Greyhound but now looking back after  a few years it was the greatest trips ever basically because it was before freeways! and you got to see places and things. If the driver was talkative he (all drivers were male) would keep me informed. One of those buses had a stewardess on board, she (all were female) would provide hot and cold drinks and wake me up at a bus stop.  

 

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My various friends from the West Coast seemed to rave about two things when they would come east: 

1) How green and wooded the landscape is.  While not that different in color from SW IA, you will likely be impressed by the wooded areas of the east.

2) Historical things seemed to be everywhere you turn. 

You could see a lot in three weeks from your part of the country with a trip to the east.  I would recommend taking a large loop from VA to ME and then come back to areas you particularly enjoyed as future destinations.  Everybody travels differently.  I like to travel in loops to keep the mileage distance down for each day.  Or stay in one place for several days and take day trips from that spot.

I will list a few things beginning in VA and north to New England. 

- Colonial Williamsburg, VA

- The Shenandoah Valley of VA

- The Skyline Drive (start by touring the Cyrus McCormick Farm)

- Civil War battlefields like Mannassas, Antietam, & Gettysburg.  Gettysburg has a nice museum and the battlefield driving tour on CD is worthwhile.

- Washington D.C. (walk the Mall from the Washington monument to the U.S. Capitol.  See as many Smithsonian museums as you care to...admission is free. American History has the IH 1486 and the IH turbine tractor in the basement)

- South Central PA (use Lancaster as a base for travel to sights in Hershey, Gettysburg, rural Lancaster County, Northern MD, and Philadelphia)

- New York City (if you love cities, you'll tend to love NYC.  If you don't love cities, steer clear and don't venture any closer than around I-287)

- Rural New England (Stay off the interstates and simply explore it with no particular destination in mind.  Gems appear everwhere.)

- Sturbridge Village (very similar to Williamsburg, VA, but roughly 50 years in the future)

- Boston's Freedom Trail  (follow the brick path on the sidewalk through Boston's extensive history including Paul Revere's house and the Old North Church)

- Portland, Maine to Acadia National Park (great scenic drive but can be brutal & infuriating during mid-June through Labor Day...and stop in Freeport to see L.L. Bean and the town of Camden)

- The Kancamagus Highway in Central NH  (While nice any time of the year but at autumn's color peak, it is just short of heaven)

- The Adironack Mountains of NY are lovely.

- Cooperstown, NY is a must for any baseball fan.

Just pick and choose what interests you.  I would be happy to elaborate on any area.  I purposely kept silent on much of New England since there are better experts on this forum.  I can say this, it has been a habit of mine to take a short trip to New England once a year for much of my adult life.  There is so much to see.

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28 minutes ago, EquipmentJunkie said:

The Shenandoah Valley of VA

This is where I am located.....right in the Heartland!

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Been traveling your luverly country for almost 70 years, first trip was San Francisco in ‘52, still got the first pair of cowboy boots from then, did by plane, hog, camping and campers, got six states left to go, but out of every thing I’ve/we’ve seen is Pompey’s peak  in western Montana, message carved into the rock (sandstone) by Clark dated 1806, maybe it was just me, I’ve been to famous battleground areas, famous houses, ground zero, etc. But this just made me reflect on standing on the exact ground that a person responsible for the start of a western pilgrimage that included my family tree was quite astounding.

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All I can say is THANKS. Please keep any info coming, not just for me but for everyone who will get a chance to get out after things open up again. New England sounds right up my alley especially Colonial Williamsburg and Sturbridge. Being a wood worker and an admirer of the form and function of Shaker furniture I would like to see the Shaker museum also.

Washington DC, I used to work there, and agree the Smithsonian is a must see. 

NY City..... I tell people that everyone needs to go to NYC at least once so you will know why you never want to go back. A fascinating city for sure. I kick myself for never going to a Yankees game at the old Yankee Stadium. If for nothing else to see where some of the greats played.

Sounds like the UP is definitely on the list for future travels.

I've seen much of the west, especially Montana having lived there. I enjoyed both Dakota's.

Been to Idaho, Oregon, and Washington but just while passin' through.

Spent a short time in New Mexico.

I will loudly repeat what is the common concensus....stay off the Interstates as much as possible. People say they can't wait to get through Nebraska/Iowa. That's because they don't get off I-80. There is a he!! of a lot to see especially for a lot of the folks on this forum. Drive the two lane hiways and blacktop roads and you would be amazed at what is here. The Loess Hills (pronounced Luss) just west of me are a full one day drive just themselves. FYI... for those of you who farm rocks, you will see dirt, and nothing but dirt that is several hundred feet deep and dirt bluffs several hundred feet high. And not a rock in sight. If we want a rock, we have to buy one. 

Mike... regarding Livingston. My kids went to school there for a year before we moved just 20 miles north of there. I can probably guess the diner you ate at, but am not familiar with the motel you mentioned.

I will probably expand on Iowa and Nebraska later. (Lorenzo, I heard the museum at Minden was closed and much of the stuff sold. I that true? If so, that is a shame as it was/is well worth a visit.)

Keep those travel sites coming.

 

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I  would like to mention    Highway  101,,...the run up the West Coast  .....my first of five trips on that  Highway was in 1972......from slightly  west of Los Angeles right up into  Washington, ...a fabulous drive...albeit a little tense for this country boy  as approaching the big   ""GG Bridge"...had to be on full alert  for the relevant signage.......and naturally I managed to drop the 50cent  coin ..or whatever it was....for the toll... 

I realise that  ' Dads706'  is highly  unlikely  to be travelling down there..but back then...and my 1977  trip  ..that was one magnificant drive...and the seascapes  were impressive....(as a NZ'er  the sea   and the coast lines are all  within shouting distance of most of us......)...the trees ..those Redwoods, were beyond   impressive.....almost   a ''spritual''   experience to be around them......There were big logs on log trucks....neat little towns....  Always been a great fan of Zane Grey...thus stayed in Rogue River....where one of his novels was written about that river....  In   1993  it had changed a little...in 2008 it had changed a lot....In 2015....(The Livingstone  "experience " trip with one of my adult daughters.....).....sadly..it was darn near wall to wall  building  spreading out from each little town.....Still a great drive...but nothing like the "70's"   experience.....

I guess that is expected...like here in New Zealand....not progess to my mind...but you old blokes on here would remember  "Joni Mitchell "      (I think ?)  ...her song....."Find a piece of paradise and put up a parking lot"......and that folks is how once lovely ,scenic places get swamped ...smothered in bloody buildings...

AS many have said here...get off the  dragstrips...those little by  ways  and the like,  reveal  so many memorable places....to capture the attention of a appreciative  Kiwi , travelling in the United  States  ...

Hope to get one more trip in .....who knows , though   with all the BS we have , these days

Mike

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On 2/26/2021 at 7:18 AM, Diesel Doctor said:

 

My next stop is the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, etc..

 

We did both those on our Rt 66 trip in spring 2013.  Original plan was to start at the Lake Front, Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, but winter storm Virgil delayed us a day, left Monday morning, not Sunday, and I don't drive downtown Chicago on weekdays, only Saturday & Sunday,  so we picked up I-57 in Bolingbrook, Ill. and headed south. The best part was just outside St. Louis  to just before Los Angeles. Oklahoma on the old original concrete pavement 16-17 feet wide was GREAT. 65 mph and hardly any traffic. We did 5 national parks total. But Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon are the best.  Make sure you remove ALL metal from your pockets before buying your tour tickets to the Dam. The tour guides push you through way too fast. There's all sorts of stairways running through the inside of the dam you can't get on but you see plenty.  We spent about 6 hours there total.  Spent an hour under the new arched bridge looking at the dam and down river.   We stayed about 50 miles straight south of the Grand Canyon. We get to the main museum early the next morning and there's absolutely NO parking available, we drive up river a mile or two and finally can park.  But the rude other tourists caused us to get back in the car and drive further up river. Wife wanted to leave but I parked and we walked along the edge of the canyon for an hour.  We were on the south side. We get home about 2 days and see a documentary about building a big glass horseshoe shaped walkway over the edge of the north bank of the canyon, on Indian owned land, you stand 1500 feet over the ground below. About a month later we read an internet news artical about it that says the $40 entry fee is the biggest rip-off of ANY tourist attraction. There's no bridge over the canyon, it was about a 4-5 hour drive to the glass horseshoe from where we took the walk.  We headed straight NORTH into Utah,  some of the most awesome landforms,  rock cliffs and towers,  Wife and I both agreed in the 5500 miles we drove in ten days, the #1 thing we wanted to go back and see more of was UTAH, and we didn't see things like the Salt Flats, Salt Lake City.  We spent a week in Breckinridge, Colo. a few years before,  been thru the sites in Colorado,  but didn't climb Pike's Peak for some reason, I wasn't driving.

   Growing up in the midwest those hills and mountains, rocks, etc. out west interest me. I've seen the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Needles,  folks took my sister and I there around 1968, I took my family out there about 1989.  We got to Devil's Tower, and Oscar's Dream World too.  But really, how many times do you need to visit Wall Drug of the Corn Palace?

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On 2/26/2021 at 7:18 AM, Diesel Doctor said:

 

My next stop is the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, etc..

 

We did both those on our Rt 66 trip in spring 2013.  Original plan was to start at the Lake Front, Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, but winter storm Virgil delayed us a day, left Monday morning, not Sunday, and I don't drive downtown Chicago on weekdays, only Saturday & Sunday,  so we picked up I-57 in Bolingbrook, Ill. and headed south. The best part was just outside St. Louis  to just before Los Angeles. Oklahoma on the old original concrete pavement 16-17 feet wide was GREAT. 65 mph and hardly any traffic. We did 5 national parks total. But Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon are the best.  Make sure you remove ALL metal from your pockets before buying your tour tickets to the Dam. The tour guides push you through way too fast. There's all sorts of stairways running through the inside of the dam you can't get on but you see plenty.  We spent about 6 hours there total.  Spent an hour under the new arched bridge looking at the dam and down river.   We stayed about 50 miles straight south of the Grand Canyon. We get to the main museum early the next morning and there's absolutely NO parking available, we drive up river a mile or two and finally can park.  But the rude other tourists caused us to get back in the car and drive further up river. Wife wanted to leave but I parked and we walked along the edge of the canyon for an hour.  We were on the south side. We get home about 2 days and see a documentary about building a big glass horseshoe shaped walkway over the edge of the north bank of the canyon, on Indian owned land, you stand 1500 feet over the ground below. About a month later we read an internet news artical about it that says the $40 entry fee is the biggest rip-off of ANY tourist attraction. There's no bridge over the canyon, it was about a 4-5 hour drive to the glass horseshoe from where we took the walk.  We headed straight NORTH into Utah,  some of the most awesome landforms,  rock cliffs and towers,  Wife and I both agreed in the 5500 miles we drove in ten days, the #1 thing we wanted to go back and see more of was UTAH, and we didn't see things like the Salt Flats, Salt Lake City.  We spent a week in Breckinridge, Colo. a few years before,  been thru the sites in Colorado,  but didn't climb Pike's Peak for some reason, I wasn't driving.

   Growing up in the midwest those hills and mountains, rocks, etc. out west interest me. I've seen the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Needles,  folks took my sister and I there around 1968, I took my family out there about 1989.  We got to Devil's Tower, and Oscar's Dream World too.  But really, how many times do you need to visit Wall Drug of the Corn Palace?

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11 hours ago, lorenzo said:

Darwin Minn

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Reminds me of old 66, draw cards of big cowboy boots, arrows in the ground, some “ripley” stuff, tourist draws up the wazzoo.

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On 2/27/2021 at 9:22 PM, dads706 said:

Being a wood worker and an admirer of the form and function of Shaker furniture I would like to see the Shaker museum also.

While not a woodworker myself, I have always appreciated the simple designs and craftsmanship that the Shakers employed.

The Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, KY (south of Lexington) would be a nice diversion on your way to VA.  The Village is a a large open area to stroll around and explore.

The Canturbury Shaker Village in NH was my favorite since I toured the buildings and got to see a lot of the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the furniture and building designs close up.  This village is a bit smaller in size, but had more things I found interesting.  While there, I could hear the roar of NASCAR testing at the nearby track at Loudon.

The Hancock Shaker Village in western MA is a working farm with a unique round, stone barn.

Each one of these villages could take as little or as much time as you want to spend.  I think that I spent about 3-4 hours at each.

 

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As someone who lives in the 1000 Islands region i think you would enjoy it here. Its all about what you want to see and do. If you are coming in the fall, I would recommend early fall, as weather gets a little dicey here after mid October. The fall foliage is spectacular, and there is lots to see and do here. It is also a big ag area so if you are looking to see corn harvest on large dairy operations, September is nice. Clayton and Alex Bay are both nice river towns with lots of shops and eateries but most shut down after late September. Lots of museums in the area, ag museums, wooden boat museum etc. The Eisenhower Locks on the St. Lawrence are a must see. If they open the border, can jump across to the Canadian side. Many wineries and distilleries in the area as well. pretty much anything you want to do is in the area, sandy beaches on Lake Ontario, excellent fishing and hunting. You could then scoot across Northern NY and take the ferry across Lake Champlain to Vt and head into New England where the foliage is usually a week or two ahead of us here. Give me a shout and I can point you in the right direction based on your desires.

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6 hours ago, ChrisNY said:

As someone who lives in the 1000 Islands region i think you would enjoy it here. Its all about what you want to see and do. If you are coming in the fall, I would recommend early fall, as weather gets a little dicey here after mid October. The fall foliage is spectacular, and there is lots to see and do here. It is also a big ag area so if you are looking to see corn harvest on large dairy operations, September is nice. Clayton and Alex Bay are both nice river towns with lots of shops and eateries but most shut down after late September. Lots of museums in the area, ag museums, wooden boat museum etc. The Eisenhower Locks on the St. Lawrence are a must see. If they open the border, can jump across to the Canadian side. Many wineries and distilleries in the area as well. pretty much anything you want to do is in the area, sandy beaches on Lake Ontario, excellent fishing and hunting. You could then scoot across Northern NY and take the ferry across Lake Champlain to Vt and head into New England where the foliage is usually a week or two ahead of us here. Give me a shout and I can point you in the right direction based on your desires.

I dunno why but “thousand island” sounds familiar, can’t quite place it.

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2 hours ago, Dasnake said:

I dunno why but “thousand island” sounds familiar, can’t quite place it.

Oh  dear......Jake....if you have ever had a  ''side salad '' on/ with a meal...you use  "Thousand Islands  " dressing ...or something of your choice.....

....that  vague thought  is what was   swirling around  in your old cranium......:rolleyes:.....looking to get out..but again....those old  'dot's " just wouldn't join up  ...sad ..very sad

Mike

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I’m seriously starting to think of retirement and was always going to spend a few years riding Canada and America and you all have contributed to places to see and of course steer clear of Mrs Patel’s motel...lol

Thx for the tip Mike your vivid recollection seems to have made a lasting impression 

Actually think I will buy a Tiny Mite trailer and camp the whole time

I remember years ago the topic came up and someone here farmed by Sturgis and has land next to the Buffalo Chip or other big campground with shows they watched for free and all the other nonsense going on

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I was looking thru some pictures and happen to think about this post.

Since you will be driving cross country I assume, you may want to make a stop part way across. In South Bend Indiana, you will find the Studebaker Museum. Lots of neat stuff, carriages, wagons, cars, trucks, you name it. One of the Studebakers started collecting things back in the 1800's, so they have been able to cover their history quite well.

Not that far down the road, you will also find the Auburn/Cord Museum. I had always seen the sign along the freeway, but never went. Finally did a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed it. The museum is in what was the Auburn I believe engineering dept. building. It is an Art Deco building, and is pretty cool on it's own. They have a pretty good collection of their own vehicles, plus a lot of earlier historical vehicles.

Then, just walking distance down in back of the ACM, is the National Auto and Truck Museum. Here you will find cars, trucks, FutureLiner, etc. This is set up more like a big storage garage than a museum per say, but there is a lot of cool stuff in there. If you go, make sure to go downstairs. It is not marked real well, and it's just kind of a narrow stairwell, but there are a lot of goodies down there also.

Studebaker Columbian Exposition Wagon and Plow, Auburn/Cord Museum, Car Truck Museum

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Sad to say, but if it has tires or an engine, my traveling partner is not the least interested. While I would spend all day there I may pay for it later. Though she did enjoy the WWII museum in New Orleans. Been there a couple times.

She and I do not share the same love for museums. She strolls and browses, while on the other hand I stop and read every plaque/poster/description/etc. Historic markers along the highway are a magnet for me. She has learned after 50 years that if it says anything that resembles history....we are pulling over.

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13 hours ago, dads706 said:

Sad to say, but if it has tires or an engine, my traveling partner is not the least interested. While I would spend all day there I may pay for it later. Though she did enjoy the WWII museum in New Orleans. Been there a couple times.

She and I do not share the same love for museums. She strolls and browses, while on the other hand I stop and read every plaque/poster/description/etc. Historic markers along the highway are a magnet for me. She has learned after 50 years that if it says anything that resembles history....we are pulling over.

If you are interested in a wheel or engine based venue ask around.  Lots of times you can find a steer towards a friendly alternative for the better half, but it may be shopping so you still pay for it 

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Us 50 from Reno Nevada to Holden Utah is an interesting drive. It crosses the center of Nevada and was named "The Loneliest Road in America" by Life magazine in 1968. There was a cattle guard at a Nevada Utah state line!

It's not for everyone but I really enjoyed it. Thx-Ace

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14 hours ago, dads706 said:

Sad to say, but if it has tires or an engine, my traveling partner is not the least interested. While I would spend all day there I may pay for it later. Though she did enjoy the WWII museum in New Orleans. Been there a couple times.

She and I do not share the same love for museums. She strolls and browses, while on the other hand I stop and read every plaque/poster/description/etc. Historic markers along the highway are a magnet for me. She has learned after 50 years that if it says anything that resembles history....we are pulling over.

If you are history buff, this area has a lot of historical places from the War of 1812. Sackets Harbor is a nice little tourist town with lots of 1812 history, battlefields, barracks etc. 

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I tend to look at the land after the Louisiana purchase, through the eyes of the indiginous ones, or the mountain men. I am not too inclined to look at stuff that man made, more inclined to look at the country before man changed it. There's not much of that left.

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12 hours ago, cobfly said:

more inclined to look at the country before man changed it. There's not much of that left.

Reckon you could get that message through to the people that make maps like this one?

a-biodiversity-treaty.gif

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