Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 16, 2020

Lafayette Along the Vermilion River


Lafayette stretches along the Vermilion River in southwestern Louisiana.

lafayette acadian

Acadian Village is a 32-acre private park established in the 1970s. It was created to preserve Acadian history. You can see a 1800s Cajun village with eleven buildings, seven of them are authentic 19th-century homes. Tours are available and the grounds can be rented for different events.

lafayette art

The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum is associated with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The collections include over 4,000 art objects from the 18th to the 21st century. There are works of art from America, Europe, and Asia. You can also enjoy ancient Egyptian art, folk art, Japanese woodblock prints, and artwork by local artists of Louisiana.

lafayette children art

The Children’s Museum of Acadiana offers a hand-on experience with interactive exhibits. Offering children knowledge on various subjects like health, food, money, and other topics. The museum has found its home in the old Heymann Food Center. It also offers programs like classes, workshops, school field trips, and programs for Girl and Boy Scouts. There are also special events hosted throughout the year.

lafayette avery tabasco

Avery Island is home to the well-known MacIlhenny Tabasco Company. The island is located in the heart of the Louisiana bayou country. You can get a tour of the company.

lafayette avery restaurant-1868

Also on the island at the Jungle Gardens and Bird City you can enjoy great-tasting Cajun dishes at Restaurant 1868. The nature preserve lets visitors see flowers such as azaleas and camellias.

lafayette avery jungle birds

You can also delight in animals like alligators, deer, and egrets.

lafayette swamp champagnes-swamp-tours

Champagne’s Cajun Swamp Tours for a real thrilling adventure take a swamp tour. Guided tours will take you through the Lake Martin Cypress Island Preserve. You’ll see cypress trees, Spanish moss, and birds like herons, owls, and woodpeckers and reptiles like alligators, frogs, and snakes.

lafayette swamp tour

These are two-hour tours available in English or French. They also offer special tours like bird watching, photography, and night tours.

lafayetter food truck

Hop on board for the Cajun Food Tours The tours include learning about Cajun history and culture. You’ll head for locations where you can get a taste of Cajun dishes like boudin, cracklin,’ etouffee, gumbo, king cake, and fried seafood.

lafayette food donuts

Tours stop at the Cajun Market Donut,

lafayette food la-cuisine-de-maman

lafayette food shrimp

La Cuisine de Maman,

lafayette food poor boy fish

Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn, and others. These tours introduce visitors to the local cuisine available in Lafayette, which was voted the Tastiest Town in the South.

lafayette cypress lake

Cypress Island preserve has about 9,500 acres of protected cypress swamps and hardwood forest land. You can find lovely picnic pavilions. Take the Levee Trail that will lead you through the preserve and around the lake.

lafayette cypress birds

From January to June you can see many kinds of birds that come here to make nests among them little blue herons, roseate spoonbills, and several types of egrets like cattle, great, and snowy egrets.

lafayette vermillion 2

Vermilionville is a museum and a park that educates people about the culture of south-central Louisiana. It sits on the banks of the Bayou Vermilion. The park focuses on the cultures of the Acadian, Creole, and Native Americans between 1765 and 1890.

lafayette vermillion

The park has 19 attractions, 13 artisans showing the crafts of the early settlers, and seven restored homes. The park also hosts workshops and different events.

lafayette Longfellow-Evangeline_State_Historic_Site-1

Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site is the oldest state park in Louisiana. It focuses on the culture of the Bayou Teche area. The site explores various cultures of the region. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Evangeline,” tells the story of two Acadian lovers, Evangeline and Gabriel.

lafayette long evangeline-oak-saint

You can see the tree by which they met and Evangeline’s grave.

lafayette long evangeline statue

Tours are available of the Maison Olivier, a historic 1815 plantation home.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | February 9, 2020

Shreveport on the Red River

A welcome sign at the Louisiana State line.

In our armchair travels, we’ve arrived in the southeastern U.S. state of Louisiana on the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the state’s history is reflected in its Creole and Cajun cultures.

lou shreve river

Our travels begin in the city of Shreveport in the northwestern part of Louisiana on the Red River.

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The Sci-Port Discovery Center features an IMAX dome and hands-on science exhibits.

lou holiday

If you visit in the springtime don’t miss Holiday in Dixie which is one of the oldest and most historic festivals in the south It marks the beginning of spring and the significant Louisiana Purchase. Louisiana Purchase was a land deal between the U.S. and France in 1803. The festival lasts for ten days and includes a carnival and parade. You’ll enjoy fun activities and live music events.

lou davis

The Davis Homeplace dates from 1916. It offers you a look into how people lived in Louisiana in the days of old. The house includes many original items and period curiosities like oil lamps, transoms, and pocket doors. You can take a tour of the home with a docent.

lou betty park

Betty Virginia Park offers a lush green space to relax in. There are scenic picnic areas and walking trails. Children enjoy the playgrounds. Sports fans can play ball on the baseball and softball diamonds.

lou elvis

Walking along in Shreveport you might just spot a celebrity statue of Elvis Presley. The statue is bronze and stands in front of the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Back in 1954, Elvis was part of the famous Louisiana Hayride radio program and in remembrance of this, the statue was erected.

lou eldorado

The Eldorado Resort Casino is a premium gaming facility with over 50 table games, slots, and video poker machines. The casino also offers entertainment like live shows.

lou led belly

Huddie Ledbetter also known as Lead Belly statue stands on Texas Street. He originated from Mooringsport in Louisiana. He played many different instruments and had a great impact on a variety of musicians. He was one of the most famous musicians to come from the state.

lou j-bennett-johnston-waterway

The J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Regional Visitor Center is the place to get to know the story of the Red River in Louisiana. The center tells about how the river became navigable and became used for recreational activities. There are many exhibits including a theater and static and rotating exhibits. You can get a guided tour.

lou church

Holy Trinity Catholic Church is the oldest church in the city. It was built in the Romanesque style entirely of Italian marble. It has more than 60 stained glass window panes. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places.

lou barksdale

Barksdale Global Power Museum is part of the Barksdale Air Force base. The museum preserves the history of those who served in the Air Force. There is a range of exhibits telling about the heritage of the Air Force. You can see different aircraft on display and some antique Air Force artwork. Souvenirs are available at the gift shop.

lou zoo

Jubilee Zoo is the place for animal lovers of all ages. There is a petting zoo where you can fee animals and the exhibits are interactive. There are carousel pony rides and a safari ride can take you around the zoo. Children can enjoy inflatable attractions and a playground.

lou logan

Take a visit to haunted Logan Mansion dating back to 1897. You can tour the house as guides tell you ghost stories about the place. There are also special holiday tours.

lou exhibit

The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum opened in 1939 and has exhibits about the Caddo Indians who lived in the area. On display, you’ll see local antique artifacts, frescos, and a historical dugout canoe. There are more than 20 different dioramas telling the story of Louisiana. The building housing the museum is architecturally impressive and built in a circle shape.

lou aqua 2

The Shreveport Aquarium will take you through tropical lagoons, dark ocean caves, shipwrecks, and coral reefs. You can get up close to see jellyfish, rays, sharks, and other creatures of the deep. There are also some touch tanks.

lou aqua turtle

The freshwater domed gallery shows a large amount of diversity and variety. Visitors can travel to the ocean depths to see strange creatures that hide in the dark of the deepest waters.

lou spring

The Spring Street Museum is housed in the oldest structure in the city dating back to 1865. It features cast-iron grillwork. The building has been home to a bar and a bank and still has the heavy vault door. The museum tells the history of Shreveport and is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are interactive exhibits and artifacts.

lou stars elvis ave

Stage of Stars Music Museum is located on Elvis Presley Avenue. The museum showcases artists like Elvis and Lead Belly. It shares stories of legendary places and people who had an impact on the music scene in America.

lou stars statues

It displays memorabilia from the Louisiana Hayride, a radio broadcast that helped launch musical careers.

lou touch better

The Touchstone Wildlife and Art Museum has more than one thousand stuffed and mounted animals on display with simulated natural habitats in the background. The museum displays a mix of war memorabilia, taxidermy, and Native Indian artifacts, and dioramas. You can get to see artists working on new displays. Other displays of interest are the Civil War, Bonnie and Clyde, and Star Trek.

lou nature

The Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park spreads across 160 acres of oak-pine-hickory forest. There are five miles of hiking trails with interpretive signage as you go. Exhibits feature live animals including deer and the Bird of Prey aviary. There is a visitor center with hands-on exhibits, live animals, and a play area for children. There is a covered picnic area and park staff offers educational programs all through the year.

lou red river

The Red River Brewing Company lets you take a look into the brewing and bottling process. From the taproom, you can view the downtown skyline. There are five to ten taps offering Red River beer. The brewery grew from five barrels to twenty. There are food trucks on the premises as well.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | January 30, 2020

Traveling Through Arkansas

arkansas whitaker point

Whitaker Point is a beautiful place in Kingston that has appeared in Disney movies. Through the generations, this old outcrop has seen many couples kissing.

arkansas whitaker Hawksbill Crag in the moonlight

The views all around are amazing. It is a wonderful place to visit but you have to be careful since the edge of the rock Is steep and narrow. It has become a popular hiking route.

arkansas roark bluff

Roark’s Bluff in northwest Arkansas with a trail along the Buffalo River. It offers wonderful views and during high water, there are two magnificent waterfalls – Roark Bluff Falls and V Notch Falls.

arkansas petit

Petit Jean State Park has 21 miles of hiking trails with untamed bluffs and caves. Throughout the area you can find log and stone facilities, It is a wonderful place to commune with nature.

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Mount Magazine in Paris stands over 2,750 feet tall. It’s the highest mountain in Arkansas. At the top are two peaks and below broad river valleys. There is a lot of birdlife among the trees here. You’ll find that popular activities include camping, hiking trails, overlooks, and a picnic area. The visitor center and lodge feature an exhibit gallery, a gift shop, and the Skycrest Restaurant with large bay windows. Those who enjoy extreme sports can rock climb, hang-glide, mountain bike, and horseback riding.

arkansas devil 2

Devil’s Den State Park is hidden in the Ozark Valley. It is surrounded by the Ozark National Forest and dissected by the Lee Creek. Lake Devil was created by a native stone dam.

arkansas lake quancita

Lake Ouachita has almost 1,000 miles of shoreline and 40,000 acres of pristine water. It is a great place for water sports and fishing. You can also water ski, dive, and go boating. You can explore the Ouachita National Forest.

arkansas buffalo river

The Buffalo River flows through Arkansas passing huge bluffs, craggy outcrops, and wild state forests. Along the river, you can experience the adventure of wild white rapids and calm ebbing pools. You’ll also find lovely waterfalls.

arkansas buffalo river kyle

Between Ponca and Kyles Landing you’ll find a section of the Buffalo River that has been deemed to be the most scenic. This stretch cuts through rough, mountainous terrain. There are sharp rock outcrops, massive bluffs, and lovely foliage.

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Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs in the Ouachita Mountains has old bathhouses that are still used

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and the historic Fordyce Bathhouse is now the visitor center. There is an observation tower, hiking trails, and different hot springs to experience.

arkansas garven

Garvan Woodland Gardens just about 10 miles south of Hot Springs is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, There are different plots, overlooks, and scenic structures.

arkansas garven peacock

To begin exploring stop by the Pratt Welcome Center and see the resident peacocks. Other highlights include the Evan Children’s Adventure Garden, the Chipmunk Café, and

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the Anthony Chapel with floor-to-ceiling windows.

arkansas mammoth

The Mammoth Spring State Park is located in the town of Mammoth. It is home to one of the largest springs in the U.S. In the park you can see a restored 1886 train depot and a Frisco Railroad caboose.

arkansas mammoth water

There is an interpretive hiking trail that includes a path across the dam. You can get a look a the out-of-service hydroelectric state. There are covered pavilions that can be rented for events.

arkansas thorncrown

Throncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs has a unique design of glass and wood and sits in a lovely natural woodland setting. The high glass walls look out over the forest. Sunday services are held here at 9 AM and 11 AM during the summer. There is one 11 AM service in the winter.

arkansas art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville has one of the largest collections of American art under one roof. There are temporary and permanent exhibits. Artwork by such notable artists as Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Georgia O’Keefe. The Crystal Brides has over three miles of trails and you can take a leisurely stroll along the Art Trail.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | January 22, 2020

Lovely Little Rock

ark welome

Our armchair travels have taken us to the U.S. state of Arkansas. The state borders the Mississippi River.

ark little rock

Our first stop is the capital city Little Rock on the Arkansas River.

ark central high school

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site was the site in 1957 that focused on the struggles over school desegregation. When these struggles were just beginning nine African-American teenagers entered the school for their first day of school. It was a pivotal event in the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division escorted the students into the school. Today this is still an active school but you can arrange a tour of the historic site with a ranger.

ark library

The Clinton Presidential Library includes an archival research facility and a museum with interactive exhibits. There are over one million photos and gifts that 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton received while in office, They’re displayed on all three floors of the complex. There are full-scale replicas of the Cabinet Room and the Oval Office. Throughout the year many events, speakers, and programs are hosted. Guided tours re available.

ark old state house

The Old State House is the original state capitol of Arkansas. It is a great example of Doric architecture in the southern states. On display in the museum, you can see decorative arts, inaugural gowns of the wives of governors, and historical displays that relate to state politics.

Ark pinnacle mountain

Pinnacle Mountain State Park is just 15 miles northwest of downtown Little Rock. There are two hiking trails that lead up to the summit offering amazing views. Many other trails will lead you through the state park. You can find boat launches and picnic sites.

ark capitol-building-little

The Arkansas State Capitol was designed after the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. It was built of white marble and granite, The front entrance doors are made of bronze and the cupola is covered in 24-karat gold leaf. Visitors can arrange for a scheduled tour, Highlights here include the Governor’s Reception Room, the Old Supreme Court Chamber, and the rotunda. Throughout the building, you’ll find permanent and rotating exhibits. Outside the landscaped ground have walking paths and commemorative statues.

ark river market

River Market is a year-round market offering many shops, stalls, and tables selling food items and other products, The market hall is an open concept building with food stalls, coffee vendors, groceries, and take-out.

ark arkansas-river-trail

The market gives quick access to the scenic Arkansas River Trail that is great for both walking and biking and passes by famous monuments like the Big Dam Bridge

ark clinton bridge

and the Clinton Presidential Bridge.

ark big dam bridge

Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian and cycle bridge in the U.S. It links more than 20 miles of trails that go along the river and is a connection between Little Rock and North Little Rock. You can walk or cycle along the bridge.

ark riverfront park

Riverfront Park stretches along the Arkansas River and is one of the favorite meeting spots in the city. The park has many walking trails and playgrounds for children. There are historical memorials and monuments like the Little Rock Civil War Marker

ark riverfront park history pavilion

and the Riverfront Park History Pavilion.

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The pavilion includes an Indian Head Statue carved by Peter Toth and represents a tribute to Native Americans.

ark riverfront park splash

You’ll also find a sculpture garden and in the summertime, there is a splash park for children.

ark old mill 3

The Old Mill is a scenic recreation of a grist mill in the 1800s. It is surrounded by landscaped grounds. It is a scenic place to spend the day. You’ll find sculptures by renowned artist Senor Dionicio Rodriguez and these sculptures have put the park on the National Register of Historic Places.

ark macarthurmuseum

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History is housed in the historic Tower Building that is part of the Little Rock Arsenal. The museum displays the military history of the state with artifacts, photos, documents, uniforms, weapons, and other items. This building is one of the oldest in the region and was the birthplace of General Douglas MacArthur.

ark macarthur foster pond

MacArthur Park surrounds the museum with contemplation gardens, veterans memorials, and the Arkansas Arts Center.

ark macarthur hostel

A fun place to spend the night is the IN Little Rock Firehouse Hostel and Museum.

ark zoo

The Little Rock Zoo has animals from 200 different species from all over the world.

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You can see elephants, giraffes, big cats, rhinos, and bears. The Arkansas Heritage Farm offers hand-on interaction with farm animals.

ark zoo penguins

There are fish-feeding and lorikeet landing stations

ark wildwood

Wildwood Park is a park for music and the performing arts. It was designed for indoor and outdoor performances. The park also has gardens. At the Butler Arboretum, you can see daffodils and native flowering trees, the Gertrude Butler Gazebo has a daylily garden

ark wildwood swans

and offers scenic views of Swan Lake. Bruce Garden has native perennials and decorative grasses and the Asian Woodland Garden has a ceremonial tea house and Japanese plants.

ark maritime

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is by the Arkansas River. It is a naval museum that includes two floating vessels from WW II. One is a tugboat that is recognized as a Historic National Landmark and the other a USS Razorback Submarine. Guided tours are available.

ark maritime river walk

The North Shore Riverwalk has memorials and a peace garden.

Museum of Discovery.

The Museum of Discovery is the oldest museum in the city. It has a collection of more than 14,000 items. There are displays of insects and animals as well as fossils. Many of the galleries are interactive as you learn about science and the natural world.

ark steetcar

The River Rail Electric Streetcar is a real authentic streetcar. The system runs for 3.4 miles through the city and crosses the Arkansas River. It was modeled after the original.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | January 13, 2020

Taking a Look At Missouri

missouri lake-of-the-ozarks

The Lake of the Ozarks is located in central Missouri in the northern part of the Ozark Mountains. It is a large reservoir that was created by the impoundment of the Osage River and tributaries. The slow and lazy curves of this lake have earned it the nickname of “The Magic Dragon”. It is one of the largest man-made lakes dating from 1931. It has become a vacation destination and a place for winter sports.

missouri lake state park

When visiting you can explore the Ozarks, visit the Lake of the Ozarks State Park

missouri lake Party-cove1

or stop by Party Cove. You can relax at the Lodge of Four Seasons and when you’re not boating on the lake you can even enjoy a round of golf.

missouri ha ha

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located along the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. You can explore the ruins of Ha Ha Tonka mansion that was built after the 18th-century European castles.

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There are 15 miles of hiking trails, caves, sinkholes, and natural bridges. You can choose to go boating, fishing, or swimming.

missouri katy

The Katy Trail State Park includes the Katy Trail that runs along 240 miles of the former Missouri-Kansas Texas Railroad. It stretches along the railroad tracks and the Missouri River. It is the longest rails-to-trails trail in the country. It is enjoyed by hikers, joggers, bikers, and tourists. Parts of this trail are also parts of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the American Discovery Trail.

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Hannibal is the town where literary giant Mark Twain was raised. The town has preserved his house and has museums to commemorate his life.

missouri hannibal TwainBoyhoodHomeMuseum

Take a look at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Garden,

missouri hannibal huck-finn-s-house

the Huckleberry Finn House,

missouri hannibal becky-thatchers-house

and the Thatcher House. You can follow along with his colorful characters and take the raft ride with Huck and Jim or explore the cave that Tom and Becky explored. During the summer there are free music concerts.

missouri dogwood-canyon-bridge

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is great for day trips and overnight stays with camping and cabin rentals, You can go hiking, biking, or fishing. You can bike on the canyon floor, take a tram tour or cattle drive. If you like you can ride a horse through the park.

missouri st joe

St. Joseph or St. Joe is located in Buchanan County along the Missouri River. It was founded in 1843 by fur trader, Joseph Robidoux. During the Wild West days, it was the last supply point and rough frontier town. The town has seen the birth of the Pony Express, the death of infamous outlaw Jesse James, and in modern times is the birthplace of famous rapper, Eminem.

missouri st joe pony-express-museum

There is the Pony Express Museum and at the Heaton-Bowman Smith Funeral Home is a small museum dedicated to Jesse James. It displays the bullet hole from the final shot that killed the outlaw.

missouri welch current

Take a look at the amazing Welch Spring Hospital ruins that once offered healing waters.

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They are located in Jadwin. In 1913 a doctor having found spring water that had healing properties built a hospital over the mouth of the cave, Welch Spring. Today such a hospital could be called a health spa. However, since access to the area surrounding the Current River was limited there were not too many patients or guests. The healing complex was abandoned.

missouri current

Today the Current River is a popular place for canoe trips and camping.

missouri rock bridge

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park that is just south of Columbia, Missouri has what is known as the Devil’s Icebox. It consists of wooden bridges and pathways. The reason it was given this name is that it stays a cool 56 degrees all year round.

missouri Rock Bridge Icebox entrance

Visitors can explore the dark terrain underneath a natural rock bridge and explore Connor’s Cave. The Devil’s Icebox is a complex of caves that stretches for seven miles. At present, it is closed to the public to protect bats from the spread of white-nose syndrome.

missouri Laura-Ingalls-Wilder-Historic-Home-and-Museum-Mansfield-MO-1024x768

Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum is located in Mansfield. This features the concluding series of her life and is the place where she settled with Almanzo and their daughter Rose. It is also the place where she wrote her Little House books. Here you can see Laura’s homes, the historic farmhouse and the Rock House on Rocky Ridge, and Laura’s Vegetable Garden created to honor her passion for gardening. In the museum, you can see Pa’s fiddle, handwritten manuscripts for the Little House books, Laura’s needlework, Almanzo’s tools, and other keepsakes. Another part of the museum is dedicated to Rose Wilder Lane, who became an American journalist, travel writer, novelist, and political theorist.

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In the so-called wild goose capital of the world Sumner, Missouri

missouri sumner

you’ll find a huge goose called Maxie in the middle of a public park caught in mid-flight. It was installed in 1976 and is made of fiberglass.

missouri Sumner-MO-Wild-Goose-Festival

Sumner sits along a migration path and sees a large number of around 100,000 wild geese land in the local lakes every year.

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Pigs Aloft Museum in Linn is the only pig museum in the U.S. It contains one of the largest collection of pig items with more than 30,000 pieces. The museum has made its home in an 80-year-old barn. Visitors to the museum have added their own personal pig items to this collection.

missouri pig big

In addition to the museum, the Where Pigs Fly Farm has more than 500 live animals.

missouri pig horse

missouri pig cat

You can see the resident donkeys, horses, birds, cattle, and pigs. Annually the farm also rescues hundreds of cats.–directions.html

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | January 1, 2020

Kansas City


Kansas City is located in the state of Missouri on the border with the state of Kansas.

kansas national

The National World War I Museum is housed in a modern building with a glass walkway stretching over a field of red poppies. The museum has informative displays and cabinets full of weapons and uniforms. At the Liberty Memorial, you can get awesome views of the city.

kansas fun

The Worlds of Fun Theme Park has rides for all ages among them

kansas fun mamba

the legendary Mamba roller coaster that is one of the fastest and scariest in the world. Here you’ll also find the Dinosaurs Alive attraction featuring life-sized dinosaurs.


The Kansas City Zoo was founded in 1909. It is best known for its Kenya and Tiger Trail exhibits.

kansas city zoo Tigers

You can enjoy seeing lions, elephants, giraffes, orangutans, kangaroos, tigers and so much more.

kansas city zoo penguins

In the KidZone the highlights are the Polar Bear Passage and the Helzberg Penguin Plaza.

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There are five transportations options to explore the zoo – train, tram, Endangered Species Carousel, boat, and African Sky Safari.

kansas country club

The Country Club Plaza is the city’s premier shopping destination. You can admire the Spanish architecture. There are walking tour brochures available.

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There are interesting sculptures to see particularly the bullfight mural on Central Street and the Neptune Fountain.

kansas jazz

American Jazz Museum is a great place to learn about the history of jazz in the area like different styles, instruments, and famous musicians. The museum is interactive.

kansas nelson art

The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art has impressive art collections that represent North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The antiquities collection has Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern artworks. Additional galleries focus on Japanese, Chinese, and American art.

kansas nelson art 2

You can enjoy the lovely grounds and sculpture park where you can go for a walk, play sports, have a picnic, or take a guided audio tour.

kansas contemporary

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art displays the artwork of some of the worlds up and coming contemporary artists. There are free guided tours available. You can relax at the Café Sebastian.

kansas library

The Kansas City Public Library catches the eye with its Community Bookshelf outside of the main library building, The bookshelf consists of model book spines that measure 25 feet. Presently the library has an exhibition that showcases Shakespeare in his early years and has his first folio that is though to be one of the rarest and most valuable books in the world.

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals

The Kauffman Stadium is home to the Kansas City Royals major league baseball team. Tours of the stadium include access to the Royals Hall of Fame, an up-close look at the largest HD screen at any baseball stadium and an interactive kids area.

kansas Kauffman_Center_for_Performing_Arts

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is housed in an unusual building. It is the best place to see a musical or a play.

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Loose Park is the third largest park in Kansas City and the most popular. The park has a lake, water park, picnic area, and a rose garden with more than 4,000 roses.

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Within the park are Civil War markers that mark the locations where General Sterling Price once commanded his gunmen to situate themselves.

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The Independence Temple is located east of Kansas City in Independence. It is an unusual and impressive building. A house of worship and a place of education that dominates the skyline of the area and is the headquarters for the Community of Christ.

kansas union

Union Station was built in 1914. It closed in the 1980s as a transportation hub. It was later reopened with shops, restaurants, and other services.

kansas union inside

The building is one of the city’s main tourist attractions, It also houses the Science City, the Regnier Extreme Screen Theater, the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, and the City Stage Theater.


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Posted by: RasmaSandra | December 23, 2019

Amazing St. Louis


Our armchair travels have taken us to the state of Missouri in the Midwestern U.S. Our first stop is St. Louis along the Mississippi River.

miss gateway

The icon of St. Louis is the Gateway Arch standing 192 meters high on the Missouri edge of the banks for the Mississippi The arch honors the frontiersmen and women who ventured westward to discover the Great Plains, the Rockies, and made their way to California. To get awesome views of the city and the state of Illinois take the tramway to the observation floor.

miss market

Beside the Gateway Arch, you’ll find the start of Market Street. This is the main street and is lined with important buildings and halfway along opens out into the St. Louis Memorial Plaza.

miss busch

On the left side, you’ll see Busch Stadium which is home to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

miss city hall

Keep walking along Market Street and you’ll find the City Hall that has been modeled after the Hotel de Ville in Paris, France.

miss soldiers memorial

Farther along you’ll find the Soldiers Memorial Building commemorating fallen American soldiers.

miss old courthouse

On the right side of Market Street is a large domed building, the Old Courthouse that is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park. Today it offers exhibits from the Museum of Westward Expansion. In the courthouse, you’ll also find tickets for the Gateway Arch and Visitor Center.

miss cathedral

The Old Cathedral, the Catholic Basilica of St. Louis of France was built on the site of the first church of St. Louis. On the west side of the cathedral, you’ll find the Old Cathedral Museum where you can find out about the history of the city.

miss forest park bench

Forest Park sits on the site of the 1904 Worlds Fair.

miss forest jeff

On the north side is the Jefferson Memorial.

miss forest Missouri_History_Museum_-_Front_2012

Here you’ll also find the Missouri History Museum with historical exhibits about the state, St. Louis, and Charles Lindbergh. The City Art Museum has collections from prehistoric to contemporary artworks The St. Louis Zoo and St. Louis Science Center are also here.

miss picnic

Within Forest Park, people can picnic on Picnic Island

miss River_des_Peres_Lansdowne

and walk along the waterways of River des Peres with fountains and water features like the Cascades.

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For hiking, there is the Kennedy Forest.

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See the Cabanne House the oldest structure in the park and on the National Register of Historic Places.

miss science

The St. Louis Science Center offers exhibits based on biology, chemistry, and physics. There is the Mission: Mars exhibit showcasing the technologies used in cosmic explorations. An OMNIMAX theater shows science-related films.

miss art museum

The St. Louis Art Museum has artworks by world masters with permanent exhibitions that include the art of Manfredi, van Gogh, and Rembrandt. It also showcases the creativity of eastern schools from the Himalayas to the Orient, the Middle East, and North Africa.

miss zoo

The St. Louis Zoo has some of the top conservation and animal preservation facilities in the entire U.S. The exhibitions showcase the wildlife of the Caribbean with bamboo sharks and stingrays.

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Africa shows you pink flamingos, hippos, zebras, leopards, and lions.

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There are so many things to do and see that it has become one of the city’s top attractions. You can get around the park with the Emerson Zooline Railroad.

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The Missouri Botanical Garden also known as the Shaw Garden was named after the botanist and businessman Henry Shaw.

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There is a lovely rose garden, the unusual Climatron built for tropical plants,

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a Japanese garden, an aqua-tunnel under a water lily pool and an herbarium.

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The Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden has attractions like a prairie village and treehouse. Other special exhibits include the Cave Experience with a man-made cave and a wetlands area with a steamboat.

miss six

Six Flags St. Louis sits on the western edge of the city. It is a great amusement park for thrill-seekers with rides such as the American Thunder, Bonzai Pipeline, Boomerang, Fireball, and Ninja. Next to it, you’ll find a water park with many winding slides and splash pools.

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Anheuser-Busch Brewery is in the original place that Adolphus Busch chose to set up shop in the 1800s. Today it is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can tour the old cask rooms and see how the beer is brewed and finish in the tasting rooms.

miss delmar Blueberry_Hill_patio

The Delmar Loop is the city’s top entertainment area with many eating and drinking establishments. It also offers a great nightlife. You’ll find iconic clubs such as Blueberry Hill with 1960s garage and rock and roll, hookah lounges, and The Pageant for great theater shows.

miss Weldon Spring Conservation Area

The Weldon Spring Conservation Area along the Missouri River gets you back to nature. The park has lovely limestone cliffs, forests, grassy meadows, and river banks. Marked trails are great for walking. For hearty hikers, there’s the Katy Trail that will take you deep into Missouri, across the riparian plains toward Clinton in the east.

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The City Museum is housed in a former shoe factory. It is fun for both adults and children. Exhibits include a giant aquarium, architectural museum, art activities, participatory circus, and others.

miss magic house

The Magic House is housed in a lovely Victorian-style mansion with fun-filled exhibits. It is considered one of the top youth museums in the U.S. Here you can enjoy fairy-tale journeys, sandcastle sculpture gardens, and a huge Children’s Village.

miss Scott_Joplin_House

Scott Joplin House State Historic Site is the house where Scott Joplin the “Father of Ragtime” lived from 1901 to 1903. It is furnished in the period of the early 1900s and includes memorabilia and a player piano featuring the artist’s music and tours are available.

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You might get startled seeing a large decapitated head while passing through City Garden but it is a part of a typical stroll through this park.

miss eros

This massive sculpture known as Eros Bendato was created by artist Igor Mitoraj. It is the head of Eros, the Greek god of love and desire. The bandages that cover the face symbolize his imprisoned desires. People enjoy taking photos here and climb inside the huge head.

miss chuck

This small red brick house was once the home of rock and roll legend Chuck Berry. He is known as the Father of Rock and Roll and wrote such classics here as “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Johnny B. Goode”, and “Rock and Roll Music”.

miss chuck statue in the Loop

There is a Chuck Berry statue in the Loop.

The house will become a museum and the center of an African-American cultural district to honor other former residents of the area such as Josephine Baker. Chuck Berry moved into the area the Greater Ville just as he was starting a family and bought his first electric guitar. The layout of the house remains as it was when Berry lived here.

miss Lemp_Mansion_2012

The Lemp Mansion is a historic house, There were three suicides by Lemp family members and the house is considered to be haunted.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | December 14, 2019

Traveling Around Illinois

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Ulysses S Grant Home State Historic Site in Galena is the former home of Ulysses S. Grant the Civil War general and later on the 18th President of the U.S. The home has been restored with its 1860s furnishings and has Grant’s personal belongings. Tours are available.

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Starved Rock State Park is located on the Illinois River southwest of Chicago. It was named after a group of Native Americans who were left to starve on one of the rocks by their enemies. The park has lovely canyons and amazing waterfalls. The trails are great for hiking and guided hikes are available. Other activities here include fishing, horseback riding, and boating.

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Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city. It is located right across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri in southern Illinois between East St. Louis, Missouri and Collinsville.


The site is home to 120 mounds that include the 100-foot tall Monks Mound. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is an Interpretive Center that tells the story of the Native Indians who built the area through artifacts, audiovisual presentations, and dioramas.

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Anderson Japanese Gardens are 10-acres of Japanese gardens in Rockford with ponds, waterfalls, streams, and rock formations. Here you’ll also find an authentic Sukiya-style guest house and tea room. There are areas for meditation and contemplation.

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The Six Flags amusement park opened in Gurnee in 1976. It offers a wide range of rides and attractions for all ages. Some of the highlights are the thrill rides like Goliath and the American Eagle. There are many different places to eat and a selection of souvenirs.


The Leaning Tower of Niles was built in 1934 and is a miniature version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. The village of Niles and the city of Pisa established a sister city pact in 1991. The tower was part of a 22-acre amusement park and originally intended to conceal a water tower. Today visitors come to take photos, have a picnic on the landscaped grounds or attend one of the open-air music concerts offered by the city.

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Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights include woodlands, wetlands, prairies, and a 10-acre lake. You can enjoy lovely gardens, and rent kayaks and canoes. Activities here are walking, jogging, and cycling along the trails. There are many different reptiles and animals in the nature center and you can find wild animals in their natural habitat.

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Buffalo Rock State Park in Ottawa offers fantastic views of the Illinois River. It features a herd of American Bison.

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There is a children’s playground, a baseball diamond, and live animal sculptures built out of the earth as a tribute to Native American culture. There are two picnic shelters one with a stone fireplace.

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The Shawnee National Forest is one of the most famous natural locations in the U.S.

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and offers the amazing 20-foot Burden Falls which is the tallest in Illinois. Here at the Burden Falls Wilderness bird watching is very popular. You can hunt and fish on the grounds. The main hiking trail goes through the forest and is 3.5 miles long.

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Matthiessen State Park is close to both Oglesby and Utica. The park is known for its unusual and beautiful rock formations. Here you can find a nice combination of forest, streams, and prairies. The park was named after Frederick William Matthiessen, a prominent industrialist, and philanthropist. You can enjoy an abundance of plant and animal life. There is a large white-tailed deer population. Children can enjoy the playground.

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Since it is close to the Plum Island Eagle Sanctuary sometimes bald eagles can be spotted in the park.

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Galena was named after a mineral that was mined by Native Americans. 85% of the town had been deemed to be a national historic district. Along six blocks of Main Street, you can enjoy Greek Revival and French Colonial buildings. Galena has become a popular tourist destination.

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Among the highlights are the Old Market House

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and the Historical Society and Museum.


You can go underground at the Vinegar Hill Lead Mine. Galena has been home to nine Civil War generals.

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Grosse Point Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful buildings in Illinois and is on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark. This spot is famous for being the place where Father Jacques Marquette landed in 1674 when he came to visit Native American tribes. The grounds are open to the public and tours are available. To get the top of the tower you have to climb 141 steps to the summit of the lighthouse.

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Rockford is the third biggest city in Illinois. It is often called the Forest City with its 20.000 acres of green space. You can find the oldest music club in the nation here the

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Mendelssohn Club. Other places of interest are Anderson Japanese Gardens,

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Tinker Swiss Cottage, and Klehm Arboretum.

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Visitors enjoy seeing Jane the T-Rex at the Burpee Museum of Natural History.

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Families enjoy Magic Waters.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | December 1, 2019

Visiting Springfield


Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois.

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Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden was officially begun in 1936 with Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops planting acorns that with time grew into large oak trees.

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Here you can find walking trails lined with wooden benches that have each been inscribed with quotes by Lincoln. .This memorial garden was designed to represent the landscape Lincoln would have been familiar with, in his lifetime, living in the Midwest. It has plants that are native to Illinois. Indiana, and Kansas.

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The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has become the most popular presidential center in the nation. The museum features exhibits on the life of Lincoln among them a rotating exhibit with important artifacts from the museum’s Treasure Gallery.

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The Old State Capitol was once the place of heated political debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. This is a Greek-revival style building. It id the fifth capitol building that was built for Illinois. From 1840 to 1876 it served as the statehouse. This was the site of candidacy announcements by Abraham Lincoln in 1858 and Barack Obama in 2007. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can take a 30-minute interpreter-guided tour or just view the rooms.

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Right across from the Old State Capitol you’ll find the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices housed in a historic building dating from 1841. This is supposedly the only surviving structure where Lincoln worked as a lawyer, He practiced law here on the third floor from 1843 to 1852. Visitors can see an educational video and get a guided tour of the rooms.

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The Illinois State Capitol is the highest building in Springfield. It contains the legislative and executive branches of the Illinois State Government. The building was designed in the shape of a Latin cross, aligned with major compass directions and sits on the 9-acres of Capitol grounds.

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The Springfield and Central Illinois African-American History Museum is dedicated to celebrating the African-American history of central Illinois. The museum features exhibits, presentations, and has a large collection of more than 700 oral histories from central Illinois residents.

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New Salem is a recreation of the town where Lincoln grew up and spent his first years as an adult. It is located about 20 miles northeast of Springfield. Living in a frontier village between 1831 and 1837 Lincoln made a living working different jobs. Here visitors can have hands-on experiences, enjoy interactive exhibits, and see a country store stocked with handmade items from the time period.

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The Vachel Lindsay Home was the birthplace of famous poet Nicholas Vachel Lindsay. It is a two-story house that was built before the Civil War. Lindsay was known in the early 20th century for his poetry, accompanying the artwork, and animated performances. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The Washington Park Botanical Gardens features over 1,800 species of plants. The gardens showcase a variety of special exhibits at different times of the year. There are perennial and annual flower beds, a rose garden, and many native evergreen tree varieties. Visitors can get a guidebook to learn about the many different varieties of plants. There is also an indoor greenhouse featuring warm-climate plants.

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Adams’ Wildlife Sanctuary is on land donated by Miss Margery Adams. It is an urban nature center with a system of trails. Visitors can walk the trails and see the wildlife.

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The Dana-Thomas House was built for Susan Lawrence Dana, a progressive socialite living in Springfield. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and has more than 35 rooms over 3 main levels and 16 varying levels. This house showcases Wright’s unique craftsmanship with glass door, terracotta creations, and an elaborate mural.

spring civil war museum

The Daughters of Union Veterans Civil War Museum was founded in 1885 and preserves many Civil War artifacts and history. There are medals, photos, firearms, drums, uniforms, and letters from soldiers fighting on the front lines.

Attached to the museum is the Dr, Benjamin Franklin Stephenson Library and Research Center with a rare complete set of official records from both the Union Army and the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

spring edwards place

Edwards Place is a museum that tells the social and domestic story of Abraham Lincoln’s life in Springfield. It includes the courting couch upon which Lincoln and Mary Todd sat during the early days of their relationship. It is also the place where important citizens and politicians enjoyed dinner parties, summer picnics, and political rallies.

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Elijah Iles House was designed and built in 1832 by William Vigal. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest surviving house in Springfield. Elijah Iles was one of the city’s earliest settlers and opening the first store. Some of the original furnishing in the house have survived.

spring the-great-western-depot

The Great Western Depot is the place from which on February 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln departed for Washington D.C. and made his famous impromptu speech. Springfield residents were gathered to say goodbye to the great man. Today the depot welcomes visitors but is no longer a hub for transportation.

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The Lincoln Home National Historic Site is the home that Lincoln, his wife, and four sons lived in. It is the only home that Lincoln ever owned. There are twelve rooms spread over two-stories. While living here Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives and later became the 16th U.S. President.

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The Lincoln Tomb is the resting place of Lincoln and his family except for his eldest son, who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This has been a National Historic Landmark since 1960. The tomb can be found in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The interior of the memorial was built of marble and has a rotunda and burial room. The cemetery also has memorials dedicated to Illinoisians who served their country from WW II to the Vietnam War,

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 18, 2019

Chicago the Windy City


Our armchair travels have taken us to the U.S state of Illinois. This is a Midwestern state that borders Indiana with the Mississippi River to the west. It has been given the nickname of  “The Prairie State”. All through the state, you can see farmland, forests, rolling hills, and wetlands.       

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One of the largest cities in the U.S. is Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. This is where we’ll begin our tour.

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The Art Institute of Chicago has a large collection of artworks. It is known for its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The main building was designed in the Beaux-Arts style and built foe the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. More buildings were added afterward.

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Millennium Park is part of Grant Park in downtown Chicago. The centerpiece of this park is the sculpture Cloud Gate. It has a polished mirror-like stainless steel surface that was inspired by liquid mercury.

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Another highlight is Crown Fountain. It is an amazing modern interpretation of the ancient gargoyle, giving the appearance of water flowing from the mouths of projected images of the residents of Chicago. Two glass brick towers face each other with LEDs displaying changing photographs. It is an interactive fountain and children enjoy playing here in the summertime,

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You can also catch a performance at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue

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and visit Lurie Garden.


Grant Park is referred to as “Chicago’s Front Yard” and stretches along the Loop on Lake Michigan. One of the top attractions is Millennium Park. The park is a great place to relax and unwind. It includes the Museum Campus Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, Maggie Daley Park, and Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears NFL team.

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Maggie Daley Park is the latest addition to Grant Park was named after a former first lady. Children enjoy the Play Garden with six different zones such as the Watering Hole with a giant beached whale and the Enchanted Forest with upside-down trees. There is an ice-skating ribbon, picnic groves, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and rock-climbing walls.

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Navy Pier opened in 1916 as an amusement area and shipping facility. Today it has become one of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions. There are 50 acres of gardens, attractions, shops, restaurants, concert venues, and parks. You can enjoy the 150 ft. Ferris Wheel and a historic carousel in Navy Pier Park. Among the other attractions are seeing a film at the 3D IMAX Theater, watching performances at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater or visiting Crystal Gardens, a six=story indoor botanical garden.

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The Museum of Science and Industry is located at the north end of Jackson Park. The museum is devoted to the application of natural laws in technological and industrial development. This museum is considered to be the first in the U.S. to incorporate hands-on exhibits. Visitors can interact with hundreds of displays. There is also an OMNIMAX Theater.

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The Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain was built in 1927 as a donation from the family. It is one of the largest fountains in the world designed in the iconic Art Deco style. The central fountain is surrounded by four seahorses representing the four states bordering Lake Michigan. Hourly the fountain burst to like shooting 15,000 gallons of water through 200 nozzles each minute for an impressive display. After dusk, the water show is lit up. It is the central focus point of Grant Park.

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Willis Tower was previously known as the Sears Tower and until 1996 when the Petronas Towers were built in Kuala Lumpur it was the world’s tallest office block at 110 stories high, However, the view is still spectacular and you can get a fantastic view over Chicago and on clear days 40 to 50 miles over four states from the Skydeck on the 103rd floor.

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Visitors can thrill to a glass box with a glass floor called the Ledge where they can stand and look straight down at the city below.

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At the John Hancock Center you’ll find an observation deck on the 94th floor the large glass-walled observation deck overlooks the Chicago skyline.

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The newest feature is known as “Tilt” which offers visitors an unusual view from over 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile as they’re tipped outward at an angle to look straight down, The building has apartments, offices, and shops. An exhibit on the first floor has information about Chicago and the construction of the building/

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The Field Museum of Natural History was founded in 1893 to display the biological and anthropological collections of the World Columbian Exposition. In the beginning, it was known as the Columbian Museum of Chicago and the name was changed in 1905 to honor the owner of the department store Marshall Field, an art patron and major benefactor of the museum. The permanent collection has about 20 million artifacts and specimens. The permanent collection has displays on Ancient Egypt, and the cultures of North, Central, and South America.

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You can also see “Sue” the world’s largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. All through the year there are rotating exhibits.

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Michigan Avenue is one of the most attractive boulevards in the U.S. The Magnificent Mile is a section of this avenue north of the Chicago River where you can find many galleries, boutiques, and luxury shops. Among the attractions here are the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower. At Madison Street it splits between North and South and this district is known for its theaters that host touring plays, musicals, and comedy acts.

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Michigan Avenue Bridge is an official Chicago landmark that opened in 1920. It is a trunnion bascule bridge that conducts Michigan Avenue over the main branch of the Chicago River. Taking a closer look at the north and south pylons you’ll see that they have bold reliefs depicting scenes from Chicago’s past. The south pylon depicts Defense and Regeneration and the north pylon depicts Discovers and Pioneers. The southwest bridge house is home to the McCormick Bridge House & Chicago River Museum chronicling the history of the bridge and the Chicago River.

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The Chicago River runs through the heart of Chicago parallel to the lakeshore. There are many moveable bridges with 18 bridges in just two miles each allowing large boats to pass.


The McCormick Bridge House & Chicago River Museum lets tourists have an up-close look at the mechanisms of the famous Michigan Avenue Bridge where you can see the gears moving.

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The Riverwalk is home to many dining options and special events all year long. Cruises and river tours depart from here.

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The Lakefront Trail is fully paved and offers fantastic views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, It is open to pedestrians and lined by parks, gardens, and recreation areas as well as beaches, Along the trail as many city attractions like the Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, and Soldier Field.

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Lincoln Park is a six-mile stretch of green space stretching along Lake Michigan and is the biggest park in the city.


It is home to the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

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You’ll also find the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum


and the Chicago History Museum here. This is a great place to get outdoors with playing fields, bike trails, jogging paths, and beaches. You can see many significant statues and


pieces of public art like the Standing Statue of Lincoln by Augustus Saint Gaudens.

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Lincoln Park Zoo dates back to 1868  and is one of the last remaining free admission animal parks in the U.S. You’ll find over 1,100 animals here in their natural habitats. Visitors enjoy the polar bears and African penguins in their revamped enclosure.

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The Regenstein Macaque Forest opened in 2014 where Japanese macaques can bathe in hot springs as they do in the wild. Among the favorites here is the Kovler Lion House, Helen Brach Primate House, seal pool, and family petting zoo.

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Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is a masterpiece of landscape architecture in Lincoln Park, The pond is named after its designer, Alfred Caldwell, who worked on it in the second half of the 1930s. Since 2006 it has been a National Historic Landmark with winding stepping stone paths, circular benches, plants native to the Midwest, a waterfall, and waterside pavilion.

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Wrigley Field is home to the Chicago Cubs and was built in 1914. It is the second-oldest Major League Baseball Park in the U.S. Ballpark tours are available when no game is played and you can visit the press box and field as well as the dugouts.



The Rookery Building was designed in 1888 by architects Daniel Burnham and John Root but the lobby in the interior and the patio were remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907. This 12-story building has a Roman Revival and Queen Anne-style façade. The highlights of the building are the central light court and the ornamental ironwork of the impressive staircases. The Rookery was named after the many pigeons that once frequented the building, It is on the list of National Historic Places. The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust gives tours of the building,

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Chicago Cultural Center was once the home of the Chicago Public Library. In 1991 this neo-Classical building in The Loop became the first free municipal cultural center in the U.S. Every year there are over 1,000 exhibitions and programs offered. You can catch theater, dance, music, film screenings, lectures, and family-orientated event for free. It is an impressive building to take a look at.

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There are two impressive domes. The south dome is the largest stained glass Tiffany dome in the world. The one on the north side is the larger Renaissance-style dome with 50,000 glass panels.

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Shedd Aquarium is an indoor aquarium that has 32,500 aquatic creatures from all over the world.

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There are many things to see and enjoy like Amazon Rising where you can see caimans, anacondas, piranhas, and freshwater stingrays in tanks among the roots of rainforest trees and the Caribbean Reef with a rescued green sea turtle, the Wild Reef has four varieties of sharks and the historic Waters of the World with colorful starfish and seahorses. Stingray Touch lets you feel a cow nose ray or yellow-spotted ray and in the Oceanarium, you can see sea lions, penguins, and sea otters.

illinois picasso

Chicago Picasso in the mid-1960s Pablo Picasso created this monumental piece of public art for Chicago. It can be found at Daley Plaza. It has become a city landmark. It is now a well-known meeting place and a backdrop to events like the Christkindlmarkt at Christmas.

illinois cathedral

Holy Name Cathedral is a Gothic Revival Catholic cathedral by Chicago Station on the Red Line. It was completed in 1875. It has impressive bronze doors that have been cast to resemble wood planks. A bit of Chicago gangland history remains outside of the cathedral where a cornerstone inscription was chipped when mob boss and Al Capone rival Hymie Weiss was murdered in 1926.

illinois tribune-tower

Tribune Tower was built in the mid-1920s for the Chicago Tribune. It is an iconic Gothic Revival skyscraper on the Magnificent Mile. Today it has become condominiums. Embedded in the stonework are pieces from famous monuments all over the world like the Hague Sophia and Taj Mahal among others.

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Brookfield Zoo is just a metro train ride out to the suburb of Brookfield. The zoo has over 450 species of animals. It opened in 1934 and pioneered the use of moats and ditches instead of cages. It was the first in the U.S. to have giant pandas.

Among recent additions is the Great Bear Wilderness and Wild Encounters where tame goats can be petted, you can walk through a wallaby enclosure and see one of the largest free-flight parakeet aviaries in the world,

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