Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 30, 2019

Beautiful Ann Arbor


Our armchair travels have taken us to the U.S. state of Michigan. The state is located in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions. Michigan is the largest state by total area located east of the Mississippi River. It is the only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. The peninsulas are separated one from the other by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel joining Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. The state has the longest freshwater coastline being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes and Lake Saint Clair.

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Our tour begins in the beautiful city of Ann Arbor which is home

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to the University of Michigan.

University of Michigan Museum of Art


The University of Michigan Museum of Art or UMMA was built in 1909 as a war memorial. It is one of the largest university art museums in the country and a top attraction. The museum is home to the Alumni Memorial Hall, the Maxine and Stuart Frankel, and the Frankel Family Wing. It features a comprehensive collection of over 19,000 artworks spanning different periods, cultures, and forms of media. The museum offers educational programs, workshops, and classes for students and visitors. Tours of the museum are available and unusual art-based events all year long.

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The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum has found its home in a historic firehouse. It offers imaginative and interactive learning experiences through which visitors can discover the worlds of science, technology, art, math, and engineering. There are over 250 interactive displays. Among the highlights are “The World Around You” where visitors can explore the Bubble Capsule, Climbing Wall, and Magnet exhibits. “The Lyon Country Store” offers a 1930s shopping experience, and “Michigan Nature” has an interactive nature walk, a native fish lake, and a soundscape from Michigan.

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The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is part of the university’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The museum is housed in the Alexander Ruthven Museums Building. There are four permanent exhibitions the Anthropology Displays, the Geology Displays, the Hall of Evolution, and the Michigan Wildlife Gallery. There is also a planetarium and a Butterfly and Pollinator Garden.

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Matthaei Botanical Garden and Nichols Arboretum feature an array of botanical and display gardens. There are a conservatory, natural areas with hiking and walking trails, and several research habitats.

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Among the display gardens, are the Great Lakes Garden,

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Bonsai and Penjing Garden,

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and the Gaffield Children’s Garden.

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The amazing conservatory is the largest university-operated display greenhouse in the U.S. It has a hothouse, temperate house, and a house for the world-renowned Bonsai Collection.

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The Nichols Arboretum is home to the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden. There are collections of native and historic plants.

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Kerrytown is a historic district in Ann Arbor known for its quaint brick streets, vibrant culture, and many different shops. The district was named after County Kerry in Ireland. It was established as part of the original town of Ann Arbor. Today there are markets, great restaurants, and locally owned shops that sell everything from clothing to jewelry, to handmade art, vintage treasures, and toys.

Exterior of Gerald F. Ford Presidential Library and Museum in Gr

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum is located on the north campus of the University of Michigan. This library houses important items of the life, career, and presidency of Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the U.S. There are also materials on U.S. domestic issues and political affairs during the Cold War Era, among them letters, memos, reports, multi-media, and other historical documents. There are also a stage and audiovisual-equipped auditorium, classrooms for lectures and meeting and a courtyard for periodic functions.

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The Leslie Science & Nature Center is a natural space with walking trails, birds of prey, and raptor enclosures, a critter house and much more. The center offers programs for children like field trips, Girl and Boy scout visits, overnight visits, and outreach programs at schools. The center also has summer camps and school break camps.

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State Street is known for its shops, restaurants,, and public events like festivals and fairs. The State Street Area Art Fair features the artwork of over 300 artists. There is also State Street Area Ladies Night when the ladies get discounts at many local bars, shops, and restaurants.

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The Creature Conservancy is an animal rescue and educational organization that is dedicated to rescuing animals and educating the community about them.

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There are several exhibits among them Aquatic Exotic that features apple snails, African claw frogs, and water hyacinths, McCalls of the Wild for macaws, Roo Room for kangaroos, and Vulture Club for vultures. The conservancy also offers educational outreach programs for homeschooling groups, nature centers, and others.

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The Petting Farm gives children the opportunity to learn about animals and the agricultural history of Michigan. It began in 1925 as a working farm. It was bought in the 1980s to be an office complex and its original red barn was moved across the road. The Petting Farm today is a fun and educational experience for families and school groups.

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The farm has farm animals like cats, chickens, cows, ducks, goats, horses, rabbits, sheep and other kinds of animals like alpacas, llamas, and peacocks. Visitors can feed the animals and there are pony rides.
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The Hudson Mills Metropark located 12 miles northwest of Ann Arbor is an outdoor park with dense woodlands, rolling meadows, and wetlands with wildlife and birds. You can enjoy outdoor activities like canoeing and kayaking on the Hudson River, shoreline and fly fishing, hiking, biking, and trekking. There are an 18-hole, par-72 golf course and two disc golf courses. Other sports include basketball, volleyball, softball, and soccer.

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Metropark also has picnic shelters, a playground, a canoe camp, tennis and shuffleboard courts and in the winter cross-country skiing.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 24, 2019

Traveling Around Wisconsin

Wisconsin oshkosh

Oshkosh a small town on Lake Winnebago is famous for two things – the popular line of children’s clothing and its place in the world’s air show circuit.

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The largest meeting of aviators, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh has been held in this town every summer since 1970. This is a weeklong event when the airport’s control tower is busy with up to 15,000 aircraft in all shapes and sizes. Visitors descend upon the town to watch the thrilling aerobic displays and flybys from vintage and contemporary military aircraft. There are also nighttime displays.

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It is interesting to visit the EAA AirVenture Museum.

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The Circus World Museum is located in the small town of Baraboo. It is an exciting place for children of all ages to learn about the activities of a working circus.

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There are many interesting displays and it is home to the world’s largest collection of circus-related artifacts. In the summer a Big Top is set up with regular shows. Baraboo was the former headquarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus.

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The Dells of the Wisconsin River or the Wisconsin Dells is an amazing five-mile gorge on the state’s largest river. There is a lot of natural beauty all around in the state park with unusual sandstone rock formations, canyons, and cliffs.

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You’ll see unique flora and fauna such as cliff cudweed which can be found in only one other location in the world and six species of dragonfly. To be able to see the beauty here access is by boat. There are regular boat tours and excursions available.

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Door County is one of the prettiest corners of Wisconsin. There is amazing natural beauty in this area which lies on a peninsula that overlooks Lake Michigan. It has become a popular vacation spot and there are many campsites. You can enjoy many outdoor activities like trout fishing, sailing, diving, swimming, hiking, and biking.

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There are lovely small towns to see like Sturgeon Bay with a beautiful old lighthouse

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and Ephraim, an old harbor with historic buildings.

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Washington Island is home to the country’s oldest Icelandic settlement.

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The Land o’ Lakes region is lovely and can be found between Boulder Junction, Eagle River, and Rhinelander in the northern part of Wisconsin. It is an area popular with water sports lovers. There are over 200 lakes in various sizes Campers and backpackers enjoy this area and it can also be explored by canoe or kayak. Among the highlights here are fishing and bird watching. If you’re lucky you can get a look at some of the few remaining white-tailed eagles in the area.

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Eagle River is a town which is a good place to begin exploring this region. You have your choice of activities like fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and swimming. In the winter there is cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

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The House on the Rock is one of Wisconsin’s most unusual tourist attractions. It sits on top of Deer Shelter Rock in Spring Green. This is the work of Frank Lloyd Wright whose famous Taliesin East home is nearby.

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One of the highlights here is the 218-foot-long Infinity Room which seems to disappear into the distance when you stand in it. This fun attraction is part of a larger complex, including a resort and an inn.

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Cave of the Mounds is close to Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. The Blue Mounds are two hills and the cave is located on the southern slope of the eastern hill. It has been designated a National Natural Landmark and is called “the jewel box” of caves in North America. It is known for its lovely limestone formations in the interior. There are walkways and lights that have been placed to highlight the natural beauty of the cave.

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Interstate Park consists of two state parks. One is in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. The parks are divided by the Dells of the St. Croix River.

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The gorge has natural beauty with deep potholes and amazing rock formations. You can explore the park from the towns of Taylor Falls, Minnesota, and St. Croix Falls.

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Cedarburg is a historic town on the banks of Cedar Creek in southeastern Wisconsin.

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This is a charming town with a covered bridge. You can see an old preserved grist mill. Visit the restored mill at Cedar Creek Settlement and enjoy the shops and restaurants and a winery

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Wisconsin Off the Beaten Path

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Jurustic Park  in Marshfield is a unique art park and hobbit house.

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Visitors can wander about and discover all this amazing park has to offer. This is the creation of amateur paleontologist Clyde Wynia who excavated and recreated the now extinct creatures that once inhabited the McMillan Marsh near Marshfield during the Iron Age.

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Peninsula State Park Fish Creek is Wisconsin’s third-largest state park. There are a

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variety of things to see that include the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and the White Cedar Nature Center.

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To get spectacular views of the surrounding area, climb the Eagle Tower. Camping is available

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Grandad Bluff in La Crosse offers amazing views of La Cross and the Mississippi River. This mesa stands nearly 600 feet high. The bluff can be seen from most points of the city so it hosts the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration, To make access easier there is a parking lot at the top.

Grandad Park opened in 1912. You can enjoy several bluff side hiking trails.

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Pewit’s Nest is a 30 – 40 foot gorge with cascading waterfalls and amazing rock formations. Within and above the gorge is forest dominated by red cedar, white pine, hemlock, and yellow birch. The Pewit’s Nest Natural Area is in Baraboo.–4

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 16, 2019

Beautiful Madison


Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The city sits on an isthmus between Lakes Mendota and Monona.


The Wisconsin State Capitol is located near the lovely lakeshore. It dates back to 1917 and has an impressive 284-foot dome. Inside you can see decorative murals and marble from France, Italy, and Germany.  Guided tours are available.

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The Chazen Museum of Art exhibits paintings, sculptures, drawings, print work, and photos. You can admire American and European art. Rotating exhibits feature artwork from around the region and abroad. Guided tours are available. There are also musical programs.

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The Olbrich Botanical Gardens are in bloom all year round with seasonal plants. The gardens opened in 1952. The Bolz Conservatory has indigenous foliage.

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There are lovely roses and the Sala, a picturesque pavilion was given to the gardens by the Thai government and offers a taste of Asia in Madison.

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The Wisconsin Historical Museum sits in Capitol Square. It lets visitors get to know about the historical and cultural significance of Madison. There are rotating exhibits and galleries as well as a fixed educational section.

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Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center is the inspiration of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but he never saw it completed. It was built in 1997 using the designs of Wright. Visitors can tour the building and enjoy the rooftop terrace for awesome views of the city.

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The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art or the Madison Art Center is an impressive building that resembles the bow of a ship and spans three floors, fronted by amazing glass walls. Here you will find rotating galleries featuring both local and international works of art.

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The Henry Vilas Zoo opened in 1924.

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You can see many animals here including bears, lions, and a variety of ape species.

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Youngsters can join an educational program to learn about protecting local flora and fauna. There are interesting interactive displays and rides like an old-fashioned carousel.

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The Madison Children’s  Museum has many interesting and engaging exhibits for children. There are activities for different ages from toddlers to pre-teens. Each of the sections is dedicated to a different theme teaching children about the world around them.

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Lake Monona is fed by the Yahara River. It means “beautiful” in the local Chippewa language. This lake is known for being frozen for much of the year and used for ice skating. In the summer months, it can be used for fishing and boating.

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The University of Wisconsin campus spans over 1,000 acres and visitors can visit parts of the campus like the Arboretum which houses some of the oldest ecological communities in the world including prairies, forest, wetland, and savannas.

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It is famous for its signature lilac collection. You can get information at the Visitor Center.

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Lake Kegonsa State Park lies on the shores of lovely Lake Kegonsa. The park has forest lands, prairies, and wetlands. Visitors enjoy camping on the campgrounds

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and spending time at the beach along the northeast shore of Lake Kegonsa. You can enjoy hiking along the trails here or go boating, fishing, or water skiing on the lake. You can also enjoy swimming.

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The Aldo Leopold Nature Center or the ALNC was founded in 1994. It is dedicated to providing young visitors with interactive programs for families. There are educational programs you can join. You can see local Madison flora and fauna here.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 12, 2019

Milwaukee on Lake Michigan


Milwaukee sits on the western shore of Lake Michigan in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It is best known for its breweries. Milwaukee is also known as being the setting for two popular TV shows “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley”. The TV shows sort of made everyone want to live in the city.

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 Milwaukee RiverWalk is a two-mile-long walk along the Milwaukee River. Along the way, you can enjoy different restaurants and pubs.


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There are various public art exhibitions that make the River Walk like an outdoor art gallery. Colorful signs explain the history of the city and this is the venue for events like River Rhythms and the Milwaukee River Challenge.


The River Walk links three interesting Milwaukee districts – Downtown, Historic Third Ward, and Beerline B.

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The Lakefront Area is a beautiful downtown area. It has plenty of stores and galleries and places to dine right on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are many lovely walking trails so you can explore the city. Along the way, you’ll find parks and attractions.

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A prominent landmark is the War Memorial Center which commemorates the soldiers that gave their lives for their country during WW II and the Korean War.

Take a look at the Municipal Pier and the Henry Maier Festival Grounds where the famous Summerfest is held.

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The Milwaukee Art Museum is an impressive building with art collections that include American and European art from the 19th and 20th centuries. It was founded in 1888 and has over 20,000 artworks. This lakeside building resembles a cross between a sleek shop and an aircraft and has a tall, retractable structure on the roof which resembles wings. The museum offers free admission on Thursdays.

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The Charles Allis Art Museum displays American and European art from the 19th and 20th centuries housed in an impressive Tudor-style villa from 1911.

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The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum was built in 1923 as an Italian Renaissance villa displaying decorative arts from the 15th through the 18th centuries.

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The Haggerty Museum of Art has a collection of over 2,000 pieces of art including many Old Masters.

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The Grohmann Museum housed in the Milwaukee School of Engineering has an impressive collection of art that depicts the advancement and growth of human ingenuity related to work.

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There is an amazing rooftop sculpture garden.

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The Historic Third Ward is located south of downtown Milwaukee and is a top attraction. Today it’s a trendy Arts and Fashion District with boutiques, galleries, theaters, restaurants, and spas. It is home to the Third Ward Riverwalk,

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the Milwaukee Public Market,

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Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), and the Broadway Theatre Center.

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Discovery World Museum is also referred to as the James Lovell Museum of Science, Economics, and Technology. The museum has many interactive exhibits for both young and old. It is located on the lakeshore and has an impressive architectural design. Among the highlights here is the Reiman Aquarium and the tall ship Denis Sullivan. It also offers big-screen movie adventures and live theater experiences. You can see artifacts and find out about the Great Lakes and there is a huge scale model of the entire Great Lakes area.

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The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory or The Domes where each of the Domes offers a unique experience.

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The Desert Dome features the world’s greatest collection of shrubs, cacti and other desert plant life.

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The Tropical Dome has lush greenery, flowers, and fruit and nut-bearing trees.

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The Floral Show Dome has lovely gardens filled with flowers.

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The Milwaukee County Zoo is a woodland park that provides natural habitats for the 3,122 animals from 377 different species that make their home here. You can see mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Visitors enjoy seeing the polar bears, gorillas, and cheetahs.

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There are active educational programs and fun seasonal events. Among the highlights are the animal petting area, penguin viewing area, a walk-through aviary, camel rides and so much more.


The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum. It showcases permanent and temporary exhibits and is home to the first IMAX Theater in Wisconsin. Highlights include natural history displays of life-size dinosaurs and a reconstruction of a tropical rainforest. Visitors also enjoy seeing the past of Milwaukee in the “Streets of Milwaukee” exhibit. There are fascinating exhibits related to the continents of Africa, Asia, and the Arctic. There is a village with reconstructions of homes from Europe. The six-story Dome Theater has planetarium-type shows.

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The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is famous for two reasons – it was built by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright and second, it resembles a spaceship or a leering alien depending from what angle its viewed. It has a blue dome with a gold cross on tip. Visitors can take group tours and are welcome to attend regular church services.

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The City Hall is an important part of the city skyline. It was finished in 1895 and was one of the tallest 19th-century skyscrapers of its kind. It was built in the Flemish and German Renaissance Revival styles. Free tours are available and visitors can climb the bell tower and view the lovely interior.

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Historic Pabst Brewery offers guided tours that start at The Best Pub and relate the history fo the brewery from 1844. The tour includes a 16 oz. Pabst or Schlitz on tap. You’ll see the historic Blue Ribbon Hall and stroll through the preserved areas of the old brewery.

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The Pabst Theater is one of the city’s architectural gems. It was built at the turn of the 20th century and resembles a European opera house with an impressive Baroque interior with a chandelier and an Italian Carrara marble staircase. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers stage and musical productions.

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Another popular attraction is the Pabst Mansion near the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Campus. It was built in 1893 for the Pabst family and has period furnishings and décor. Free guided tours are available.

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Lakeshore State Park offers awesome views of the skyline and plenty of recreation along the shores of Lake Michigan. You can enjoy walking, biking, or skating along the paved trails. You can enjoy the lake kayaking or canoeing or take a boat out on the lake.

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The North Point Lighthouse Museum explains the role that Milwaukee had in the regional maritime activities of the Great Lakes. You’ll see illustrated stories of the keepers of the lighthouse and personal scrapbooks and artifacts from wrecks.

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The Lynden Sculpture Garden is a lovely lakeside park full of wonderful sculptures.

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The inside galleries have contemporary exhibits. There are educational programs available.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 7, 2019

Visiting Green Bay

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In our armchair travels, we’ve arrived in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The state is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin has a coastline along both Lakes Michigan and Superior. Its nickname is the Badger State.

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Our tour of the state begins in Green Bay which is a city that sits at the southern end of Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan. It is the hometown of the NFL football team The Green Bay Packers.

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Lambeau Field is the official home of NFL football team the Green Bay Packers. Visitors can take a tour of the stadium, including the Atrium, a private suite, and the player’s tunnels.

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You can take a look at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, which is located at the entrance to the stadium offering over 100 years of Packer’s history. Check out the Packers Pro Shop.

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The National Railway Museum was founded in 1956 and is one of the oldest and largest railroad museums. It offers visitors a look into the country’s rich railroad heritage and has a large collection of restored rolling stock and engines, photos, archives, and a library.

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One of the highlights is the Eisenhower collection where the centerpiece is the British Railways steam engine, Dwight D. Eisenhower, used during WW II.

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The Green Bay Botanical Gardens have a large variety of rare and unique plants. In all seasons something is blooming. There is a lovely children’s garden with a treehouse, maze, and slide and a beautiful Scandinavian-themed summer house to relax in.

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Tours, social events, and a series of educational programs are available. The blooms and the natural areas in the gardens represent the four distinct seasons in northeastern Wisconsin.

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The Walk of Legends is an art walkway that has 24 statues celebrating the legends and chronicling the history of football in Green Bay between 1895 and the present. The mile-long walkway belongs starts at Lambeau Stadium.

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The Packers Heritage Trail is a walking tour of important city landmarks that are associated with the Green Bay Packers. Along the way are 22 commemorative plaques with interesting facts and stats. The tour ends in the Packers Heritage Trail Plaza where you can see statues of the team’s founder and former star players.

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Heritage Hill State Historical Park is an open-air museum where you can learn about the earliest settlers in and around Green Bay. This living history park represents northeastern Wisconsin the way it was from 1672 – 1940. There are costumed interpreters that recreate life and times in the 1800s.

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You can tour 25 restored buildings. During the summer educational programs and workshops are available.

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At the historic Meyer Theater, you can see a comedy show or hear a concert performance. This venue hosts touring acts and regular original musical comedy performances by the house troupe, Let Me Be Frank Productions. The 1930s vaudeville theater has original light fixtures and the original pipe organ.

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The Bay Beach Amusement Park has a fun roller coaster and kids’ rides. It is the ninth oldest continuously running amusement park in the U.S. where most rides are only 25 cents.

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The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for nature and bird lovers. There are more than 250 species of birds making their home here. At the Nature Education Center, you’ll find interactive exhibits teaching about the environmental conservation of the area.

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You might also spot flying squirrels, wolves, and bobcats.

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Hazelwood Historic House Museum dates back to the early 19th century. You can see period pieces and memorabilia on display. There are 10 rooms decorated in the style that was common to Green Bay from the 1840s to the 1890a. You can also choose from a variety of fun tour packages including formal teas.

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Titletown is a 45- acre complex with retail shops, entertainment venues, restaurants, and businesses. One of its key features is the large public park where football games and outdoor fitness activities take place. It is a great place to mingle with the locals and a get feel of the social side of the city.

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Oneida Nation Tour will show you the city’s Native American roots. You can take a tour fo the Oneida Reservation and see how the earliest settlers lived in the 1700s at the Oneida Nation Village.

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Buffalo Overlook has a herd of 125 buffalo.

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The Three Sisters Garden at Oneida Farm grows organic produce. Tours are available.

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Neville Public Museum is Green Bay’s largest museum where you can learn about the area and see a wide range of exhibits. It has a signature permanent exhibit “On the Edge of the Inland Sea” educating people about the history of the Great Lakes Region. Exhibits take people on a walk through history from the Ice Age to the present.

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L.H. Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve is located on the southwestern shores of Green Bay and provides a safe haven for dozens of species of birds. It is also an educational facility. At the Interpretive Center, you can learn about the native plant and animal life including species like Canadian geese and wild ducks. In the summer months, you can go hiking along the many trails and in the winter go snowshoeing or skiing.

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Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo or the NEW Zoo offers more than 40 acres of exhibits that are dedicated to the animals in the area. You can see grey wolves, mountain lions, and bears. Other kinds of animals include African lions and wallabies from Australia.

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Visitors can tour the zoo and see animals in replicas of their natural habitats and learn about their preservation and environmental conservation.

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The Grassy Island Range Lights are two preserved lighthouses that once stood at the mouth of the Green Bay Harbor. They once warned ships sailing in the channels of the harbor. Now decommissioned they have been moved to this location and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 4, 2019

Mississippi Off the Beaten Path

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The creator of The Muppets, Jim Henson was born in Greenville in 1936. As a boy, he played in the swamplands of Leland.

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This small town now claims that it is the birthplace of his most famous Muppet creation Kermit the Frog. The small museum is housed in two rooms in the Leland Chamber of Commerce and displays puppets and memorabilia honoring Kermit the Frog. Henson’s boyhood friend was Kermit Scott and is the one that the character of Kermit the Frog is based on.

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Once Leland had established this Muppet museum they were given the original Muppet figures of Dr. Teeth, The Swedish Chef, and Chester the Rat to display. When these puppets were returned to the Jim Henson Company the original Kermit the Frog puppet was donated by Henson’s wife. Visitors can have their photos taken with a giant stuffed Kermit.

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Rowan Oak in Oxford is a two-story Greek Revival home which was built by planter Colonel Robert Sheegog in the 1840s. This is the home where author William Faulkner wrote many or this legendary Southern gothic tales. Faulkner named his home in honor of the mythical rowan tree which is considered to be a tree of peace and security. The family lived in the home until Faulkner’s death in 1962.

This is where Faulkner lived when he won a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1972 the house was sold to the University of Mississippi. Today visitors can tour the house and the grounds.

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It was in the summer of 1969 when the farmhands on Egypt Plantation in Cruger were digging. Suddenly they dug up an old coffin that was made of cast-iron and glass and a body could be visible inside. It was the body of a young woman in a red velvet dress, white gloves, and square-toes boots. It was unusual that the body had not decomposed. The coffin had been filled with preservative alcohol and sealed. Local historians had no luck discovering her identity and she was reburied in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Lexington marking her birth date as 1835 and date of death 1969 the year discovered. People intrigued by this go to visit the grave of the Lady in Red.

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Clark Creek Nature Area in Woodville is an amazing place with more than 50 waterfalls, some over 30 feet tall. Here you can enjoy the beauty of nature, hike, and cycle.

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There are large beech and magnolia trees. It is a wonderful state park to explore. The hardwood forest has some rare flora which has been carefully marked.

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Sky Lake in Belzoni was occupied by Native American several thousand years ago. Here you can see some ancient bald cypresses.

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Sky Lake is an abandoned channel of the Mississippi River.

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 Mitchell Farms in Collins has been in business since 1960. This is a great place to visit where you can pick your own tomatoes and peaches.

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The farm also offers other fresh fruits and vegetables including peanuts.

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You can tour the farm and the on-site historic cabin filled with memorabilia collected through the years.

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The Noxabee National Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide variety of wildlife native to Mississippi. All around there is wonderful natural beauty. The boardwalk at Doyle Arm offers great bird watching and is a feeding area for migratory birds.

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This is a great place to see alligators in their natural habitat.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 29, 2019

Exploring Mississippi

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The Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches from Cat Island in Mississippi to the eastern tip of Santa Rosa Island in Florida. Even though most of the seashore is submerged, the barrier islands have white-sand beaches, coastal marshes, and dense maritime forests. Here you’ll find hiking trails, camping, and areas in which to picnic. There are also old forts and recreational opportunities such as kayaking and snorkeling. At the seashore, you’ll find several visitor centers. Fort Pickens has volunteers who can answer your questions.

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The USS Cairo is on display at Vicksburg National Military Park. It sunk the same year it was commissioned. After sitting under mud for almost 100 years it was salvaged. Now the restored ship is on display along with thousands of recovered artifacts.

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The Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the battle that took place in this town during one of the most decisive periods of the Civil War. Here General Grant was captured, giving Union forces control of the waterway.

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The park also includes Vicksburg National Cemetery where 17,000 Union soldiers are buried and another 13,000 U.S. military veterans have lost their lives in conflicts since then.

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The Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg is a registered National Historic Landmark. Exhibits include extensive antebellum and Civil War artifacts. There is a large portrait collection, Native American artifacts, and a teddy bear which was a gift from Theodore Roosevelt. You can look at the building and visit the McCardle Research Library with historical volumes and original documents from the region’s past.

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In Indianola, you’ll find a museum that focuses on the life and work of one of the most influential blues artist of all time B.B. King. At the B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center you’ll also learn about the birth of blues in the Mississippi Delta. The exhibits here are themed by era starting with the 1930s Delta and the time King was a farmer. Other exhibits follow B. B King to Memphis where he became the “Beale Street Boy” and was on the radio for the first time. There is a gift shop that sells blues and King-related souvenirs.

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The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport is a large research and rehabilitation center with an interactive museum, teaching people about ocean life. This is one of the only dolphin rescue facilities on the Gulf coast.

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Visitors can see dolphin presentations and learn more about them as they play with their trainers. If you like you can also get a dolphin encounter. The Discovery Room has touch pools allowing visitors to interact with sea stars, stingrays, sharks, and other marine life. You can learn about reptiles and birds while watching tropical animal shows.

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Beauvoir is a large estate that overlooks the Mississippi Sound in Biloxi. It was built in 1852 and was the home of the Confederate States of America’s only president, Jefferson Davis in 1877. Later from 1903 to 1957, it was a free veterans home for Confederate veterans. It became home to the Confederate Presidential Library and Museum. In the museum, you can see artifacts that once belonged to Davis and items from the former veterans home as well as Civil War artifacts. Visitors can tour the large estate which includes the home, guest cottages, and the Memorial Cemetery.

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The Biloxi Lighthouse was completed in 1848 and became the very first cast-iron lighthouse in the southern states. It was reopened for tours in 2010 after surviving Hurricane Katrina.

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Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in a two-room house that was built by his father in Tupelo, Mississippi. Today the home has been preserved and open to the public complete with period furnishings. Elvis’ interest in music began by listening to gospel music in church.

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The chapel that the family attended has been relocated to this same property. There is a museum that chronicles his early life and a gift shop with Elvis-themed souvenirs.

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The Rock & Blues Heritage Museum in Clarksdale has music memorabilia on display from the 1950s through the 1970s. There is a collection of original records that date back to a 1905 Edison phonograph and cylinders and examples of the 1920s 78 RPM acetate records. There are guitars that have been autographed by music legends like Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and others. You’ll find lots of interesting memorabilia.

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Two miles east of Biloxi you’ll find the town of Ocean Springs. This is a haven for artists and craftspeople with art shops and studios.

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There are also a number of historic churches from the late 1800s.

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One of the highlights here is the Walter Anderson Museum of Art which features the artwork of Walter Inglis Anderson and his two brothers. The collections include oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints as well as carvings and ceramics.

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The Mississippi Petrified Forest in Flora gives visitors the opportunity to see the enormous remains of what was once a massive forest and has turned to stone with time. There are nature trails to explore. The Earth Science Museum has exhibits that explain the science behind how this all came to be. There are many interesting displays among them whale bones. Children enjoy having their photo taken on “Caveman’s Bench” and looking for treasure in the gem mining flume.

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Dunn’s Falls was named after their creator, John Dunn who was an Irish immigrant in the mid-1850s. The stream provides a natural source of power via a working water wheel and then crashes seventy feet into the river below. You can enjoy fishing, canoeing, and swimming among the rugged landscape around the Chunky River.

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Ship Island was once a single island that was split into two land masses during a hurricane in 1969.

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Here you can find some fantastic beaches. The island is accessible by a 50-minute ferry ride.

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On the way, you can see Bottlenose Dolphins.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 25, 2019

Beautiful Jackson

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Jackson is the capital of the U.S. state of Mississippi. The Mississippi Freedom Trail runs throughout the state and includes historic sites which were significant in the Civil Rights Movement.

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The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science offers information about the state’s natural landscape and its inhabitants.

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There are wildlife exhibits and an aquarium with more than 200 species. Since the museum cares about preserving the nature of Mississippi there is an outdoor center as well. You can relax here and walk along the nature trails.

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The Old Capitol Museum has found its home in one of the most historic buildings in the state. This is a National Historic Landmark and has information about some of the most meaningful moments for both Mississippi and the entire nation. At this location the 1839 Married Women’s Property Act was passed, the 1868 and 1890 constitutions were drawn up here and Mississippi officially seceded from the Union here in 1861.

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The Mississippi Museum of Artis has many windows that let in natural light which illuminates inside. Some of the artwork found here are by American artists including Arthur B. Davies, Robert Henri, Reginald Marsh, and Thomas Sully. You can enjoy relaxing on the patio and terrace.

jack eudoraThe Eudora Welty House is a National Historic Landmark and was once the home of internationally acclaimed author Eudora Welty. Here you can see paintings, linens, furniture, rugs, and photos. There is an impressive collection of books. You can also tour the lovely gardens.

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Visitors can watch a film that gives important background information and see the many exhibits.



The Mississippi Governor’s Mansion is an impressive example of Greek Revival architecture from the 1840s. This is the second oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in the country and a National Historic Landmark.

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The Russell C. Davis Planetarium is one of the top planetariums in the South. The dome features a digital cinema offering visitors a full-dome visual experience. Here you can learn all about astronomy, celestial navigation, and voyages through space. This is one of the largest facilities of its type in the country. It hosts film screenings, festivals, and fashion shows.

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The Mississippi Children’s Museum offers interesting and educational exhibits. Everyone can get hands-on experience with the interactive exhibits. There are also exhibits that are related to the culture and heritage of the state including its history and geography.

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The Oaks is a Mississippi landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the oldest residence in the city of Jackson. It was built in 1853 in the Greek Revival style.

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The Jackson Zoo is home to 380 animals and 202 species.

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There are ten endangered species among them leopards, spider monkeys, chimps, hippos, and lemurs.

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For kids, there is a splash pad where they can play in the water every day.

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LeFleur’s Bluff State Park is a green and lush park that includes a nine-hole golf course and a driving range. You can enjoy camping, hiking, and fishing. LeFleur was a French-Canadian explorer who set up a trading post in the 1700s on the Pearl River.

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The city’s original French name was LeFleur’s Bluff. It is a great place to escape from the noise of the city.

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Fountainhead is also called the J. Willis Hughes House and was designed in the Usonian style by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of only four Wright homes in the state.

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The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has interesting exhibits, memorials, and films that will take you from the end of the Civil war through the 1970s. Memorial include monoliths that are dedicated to lynching victims and multiple theaters show films about pivotal moments. There is information about the important role of the church in building community and stories about civil rights activists during the turbulent 1960s.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 19, 2019

Natchez on the Mississippi River


Our armchair travels have brought us to the U.S. state of Mississippi which is bordered by the state of Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east and west along with the state of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. The Mississippi Delta region is considered to be the birthplace of blues music.

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We begin with Natchez a city on the Mississippi River. It is known for its antebellum mansions and an old trade route, known as the Natchez Trace Parkway which is now a recreational road and scenic drive.

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The Auburn Museum & Historic Home is an antebellum mansion and listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is located in Duncan Park. The mansion was designed and built in 1812 in the Greek Revival style. It has an impressive two-story Greek portico and pedimented gable.

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Between the first and second floors is a magnificent unsupported geometrical spiral staircase. You can see antiques and period pieces on display.

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The Charboneau Distillery is a micro-brewery that is family-owned and operated. It produces many delicious rums. It is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Mississippi and produces both white and dark rums in small oak whiskey casks.

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The rum is bottled in distinctive bottles that show maps of the historic sugar cane growing territory along the lower Mississippi River. Guided tours are available.

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The Emerald Mound Site is an ancient archaeological site that dates back to the Plaquemine culture Mississippi period.

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It is also referred to as the Selsertown site. The historic mound is on the Natchez Trace Parkway and dated back to between 1200 and 1730 AD. It has a flat top with two smaller secondary mounds at each end. It is the second largest earthwork from the Pre-Columbian period in the country. It’s open to the public and listed as a National Historic Landmark.

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The Grand Village of the Natchez is a 128.1-acre site that includes an ancient indigenous village and earthwork mounds in south Natchez. It is also referred to as the Fatherland Site. This historic village dates back to about 1200 AD.

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It is named after the Natchez people who used the site in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is a National Historic Landmark and one of the top tourist attractions in the city. The museum has artifacts excavated from the site. You can see a reconstructed Natchez house, a picnic pavilion and many nature trails.

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Magnolia House is a lovely Greek Revival mansion and the last grand mansion built in downtown Natchez before the Civil War. It was established in 1858 by a wealthy merchant, planter, and cotton broker, Thomas Henderson and therefore is also known as the Henderson-Britton House. The house contains 19th-century antiques and an impressive collection of period costumes and vintage dolls. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours are available.

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Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens is a wonderfully restored historic antebellum house. Today it is a small luxury hotel with manicured gardens and grounds. A Greek Revival mansion, it is a National Historic Landmark. There are 30 rooms and suites, a restaurant, and an elegant lounge. Tours are available and there is a gift shop on the site.

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The Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture highlights the history of African Americans in the southern U.S. It was established in 1991. It is located in a former U.S. Post Office building dating back to 1904, There are many different displays that tell the story from the incorporations of Natchez through the present including slavery, the Civil War, the Reconstruction, 20th-century wars and the Civil Rights Era.

Natchez National Historic Park is a public park that commemorated the history of the city. It comprised three different sites – Fort Rosalie, the William Johnson House, and the Melrose Estate.

Fort Rosalie is the site of a former fortification later renamed Fort Panmure and controlled by Great Britain, Spain, and later the U.S.


Rosalie Mansion is also known as “Our Lady on the Bluff’ and offers amazing views over the Mississippi River. It sits on the former site of Fort Rosalie. During the Civil War, it served as the regional headquarters for the Union troops. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours are available.

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The William Johnson House was the home of the 19th-century African-American barber and Natchez resident William Johnson.

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The Melrose Estate was the estate of a lawyer, state senator, and planter named John T. McMurran.

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The Old South Winery is a family-owned and operated winery. There is a tasting room for visitors. It is owned by the Galbreath Family.

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The wines are produced with the finest muscadine grapes in Mississippi. The wines are red, white, and rose with varying sweetness as well as one blueberry wine.

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Stanton Hall is also known as Belfast House and is one of the largest antebellum mansions in the U.S. It was built in 1857 after cotton grower Frederick Stanton’s Irish ancestral home. The house is full of antique furniture. You can relax at the Carriage House Restaurant. This house inspired the famous Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

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Longwood is also known as “Nutt’s Folly”. It was built in 1858 with a large Byzantine-styled dome. It was built by Dr. Haller Nutt and is thought to be one of the largest octagonal houses in the U.S. The first floor is furnished with heirlooms and the second floor is said to be haunted by the ghost of Dr. Nutt.

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Natchez Trace Parkway is also known as “The Trace”  and is a tourist road that follows the line of the Natchez Trace which was an old historic route stretching for 444 miles from Natchez to Nashville, Tennessee. It was first mentioned in 1733 and was at its busiest between 1800 and 1820 when the crews of flatboats that had sailed down the Mississippi to Natchez returned home on foot or horseback. It is now designated as an “All-American Road” for its historic and scenic significance. It runs past the Emerald Mound. Other tourist attractions along the route include Mount Locust and the Chickasaw Village Site.

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A nice side trip is the small town of Port Gibson which offers many interesting attractions. There are many lovely pre-war antebellum houses.

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The First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson features a unique gold-leaf hand on the steeple which points skyward.

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Port Gibson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | June 11, 2019

Traveling in Alabama

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The Alabama Wildlife Center in Pelham is the state’s largest and oldest wildlife rehabilitation facility. The center was founded in 1977 and since then has helped over 50,000 wild animals.

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There are nearly 2,000 wild birds from over 100 species being taken care of here annually. This non-profit organization provides rehabilitation and medical care for the orphaned and injured birds of the state so that they can return to the wild.

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The primary services here are a wildlife helpline, a native wild bird rehabilitation clinic, and educational programs.

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The construction of Fort Morgan at Gulf Shores began in 1819 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was completed in 1834 and seized by the troops of the State of Alabama on January 4, 1861. Then in 1895, a new fortification system was begun. The brick fort was replaced by reinforced concrete batteries to protect Mobile Bay.

For 23 years Fort Morgan was the state’s biggest permanent military base and during WW II 2,000 troops were stationed here. The fort was permanently abandoned in July 1944.

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Today it offers a variety of outdoor activities. There are beaches, nature trails, and a boat launch.

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You can see the Sand Island Lighthouse which is a decommissioned lighthouse at the southernmost point of Alabama, near Dauphin Island, at the mouth of Mobile Bay.

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Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore features over 400 varieties of camellias in the wintertime, azaleas in the spring, hydrangeas, roses, and tropical plants in the summer, and chrysanthemums in the autumn. The 10,500-square foot home was designed by Mobile architect George B. Rogers and built in 1935.

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The exterior has handmade brick and ironwork from the Southern Hotel and it was built to reflect the region’s architectural history.

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The Southeastern Raptor Center in Auburn was founded by Dr. Milton in the mid-1970s. A raptor barn was built in the late 1970s through volunteer work and donations. Since its founding, this center has treated and released thousands of birds of prey into the wild.

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There is an educational unit that provides programs for civic groups, schools, and churches in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky.

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Alligator Alley in Summerdale is a farm that was established in 2004 and designed as a natural environment. The alligators that have found their home here have been rescued from places which presented a danger to them.

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Visitors can stroll on elevated viewing platforms from where they can see more than 450 alligators from babies to mature adults. You can also take a nature walk on the elevated boardwalk to see the animals in their natural habitat. Along the way, you can see turtles, ospreys, owls, and bullfrogs. At the gator station, you can hold baby alligators. There are feeding session three times daily and visitors can feed the alligators.

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The Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman is on the grounds of the only Benedictine Abbey in Alabama. It consists of more than 125 miniature reproductions of famous shrines, churches, and buildings all around the globe. This is known as ‘Jerusalem in Miniature” and is the life work of Brother Joseph Zoettl of St. Bernard Abbey. Born in Bavaria he arrived at the abbey in 1892.

Alabama Off the Beaten Path

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Turkey Creek Falls at the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the southeast. It is located in Pinson and the heart of the preserve is Turkey Creek Falls.

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Barton’s Beach Cahaba River Preserve offers gravel/sand bars, swamps, and ponds. It is an important nesting area for turtles.

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Lovely Rainbow Falls at Dismals Canyon is a natural conservatory. Its main feature is Rainbow Falls which cascades down the canyon over weathered rocks.

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Natural Bridge is a 60 ft. high, 148 ft,. long rock bridge that spans several natural areas and is the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies.

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Beautiful Parker Falls in Parker Canyon is located in the Bankhead National Forest which is Alabama’s largest national forest.

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Turkey Foot Falls is located in the Sipsey Wilderness area of Bankhead National Forest and is one of the two major waterfalls.

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The other is Mize Mill Falls.

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