Unique Places We’ve Visited
I don’t want to be a travel writer. I don’t write about how pretty that waterfall was or how majestic the mountains were at sunset. However, I really enjoy seeing these sights and one of the highlights of my life is to visit unique places. The good news... there are a gazillion unique places—often local, sometimes tiny, usually interesting, occasionally free, but always a bit different.
So, I'm sharing my list. Here is a tiny sampling of where we have been and what we have seen. I have gleaned out what I thought were the more unusual and/or exciting to me. Some are well known. Some are almost unknown.
[Author note… I receive lots of questions about why some well known places are not on my list. If it’s not here, it means I haven’t visited it yet or thought these were more unique. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like them. I would visit them all if possible!]
Click here to read Why We Visit Unique Places.
Do you have some neat places you've visited, if so, let me know at email@example.com
I tucked my great restaurants into the list. These are unusual. I placed asterisks (**) at the beginning of the entry. Some are top dollar and first class—$$$—others are low dollar and no class but all good. (Please, no comments about the health benefits of my food choices. This is my website. Start your own.)
Note… I strongly recommend you don’t print this page because the MSWord.doc used to organize this data was 30 pages long!
The USA list is sorted by state. The Canadian list is sorted by province. Enjoy.
- **Guy's Gumbo Shack… (just east of Mobile) A typical bar (inside and out) down an alley in the town of Fairhope. We had gumbo (and a beer) for lunch and it came with a side of white rice. The gumbo was spicy, wonderful, and inexpensive. There is NO room for RVs to park. Fairhope, AL
- Unclaimed Baggage Center... Over one million items pass through the 40,000 sq. ft. store annually. About 60% of the merchandise is clothing with the balance of the store dedicated to cameras, electronics, sporting goods, jewelry, designer optical, books and of course, luggage. The vast majority of items are from unclaimed baggage which, after at least 90 days of intensive tracking by the airlines, are declared unclaimed. However, unclaimed cargo is also available throughout the store. Scottsboro, AL
- Daisy Airgun Museum... A non-profit corporation with a mission to preserve and promote vintage products and artifacts of the historic Daisy company. A national tourism destination for Daisy fans and collectors. Rogers, AR
- Sedona… Landscapes, recognizable formations, and views of the city emphasizing the red rocks and rugged horizon. Be sure and take your car and drive the back roads around and just outside of town. Sedona, AZ
- Petrified Forest National Park… One of the world's largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood, enjoy the multi-hued badlands known as the Painted Desert, historic structures, archeological sites, and displays of 225 million year old fossils. Petrified Forest, AZ
- Lowell Observatory… Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. Often called "the people's observatory," you can get up close and personal with the various telescopes on site. Flagstaff, AZ
- Riordan Mansion… Built in 1904 for two Riordan families, Riordan Mansion is an impressive reminder of gracious living in a small, territorial logging town. The historic building is an Arizona treasure. The home has forty rooms, over 13,000 square-feet of living area, and servant's quarters. Flagstaff, AZ
- **Mad Greek... Truly, a surprise in the proverbial "middle of nowhere," this place had wonderful Greek food and a great selection. Near I-15, east of Barstow, CA, and near one of the entrances to the Mojave National Preserve, the Mad Greek is a place to stop. Plenty of parking for everything. 760-733-4354 72112 Baker Boulevard, Baker, CA
- Fern Canyon… A short, easy hike in Redwoods National Park takes you to Fern Canyon to view the lush, fern-covered, nearly-vertical walls reaching fifty feet high. Follow a narrow stream up and back. The canyon walls are covered by luxuriant ferns and mosses and dripping with moisture. This is an unforgettable natural wonder that Steven Spielberg chose as a location for “Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.” Crescent City, CA
- Charlie Brown and Peanuts Museum… The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center is a delightful look at some of our favorite cartoon characters. See Schulz’s early work, sketches, sculpture, a huge mosaic, and carvings of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and all the gang. Santa Rosa, CA
- Boudin Museum and Bakery Tour… Learn the history of how sourdough bread became a staple in San Francisco through video, dioramas, and a view of the real bakery. End with an actual tasting of various flavors of breads and toppings or dips. San Francisco, CA
- Death Valley National Park… One of the hottest places on the surface of the Earth with summer temperatures averaging well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. At 282 feet below sea level, it is the driest place in North America with an average rainfall of only 1.96 inches a year. Death Valley, CA
- Scotty’s Castle… An elaborate residence built in far northern Death Valley based on a mythical gold mine hidden in the green oasis of Grapevine Canyon. It was an engineer's dream home, a vacation home for the wealthy, and a hideout and getaway. Walter Scott—“Death Valley Scotty”—convinced everyone he built the castle with money from secret mines in the area. Northern Death Valley, CA
- Alcatraz Island… Welcome to the “Rock,” a historic and infamous federal prison long off-limits to the public. Visitors explore remnants of the prison, learn about the Indian occupation of 1969-1971, early military fortifications (the first U.S. fort on the coast), and the West Coast's first (and oldest operating) lighthouse. If you have trouble walking, ride from the ferry landing as the hill is steep. San Francisco, CA
- Luther Burbank Home and Gardens… The home, greenhouse, and gardens where the famed horticulturist, Luther Burbank, experimented with plants for most of his 50-year career. Santa Rosa, CA
- Charles Kellogg’s Travel-Log… See an early “RV” carved out of a 22-foot-long section of an 11-foot-diameter redwood tree and mounted onto a Nash truck chassis. Weott, CA
- Yosemite National Park… One of the most visited parks in the nation and a tribute to massive granite walls, waterfalls, and spectacular views. Yosemite National Park, CA
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park... Enjoy and be awed by the redwoods when visiting the various protected groves. Between the towns of Weott and Myers Flat, CA
- The Avenue of the Giants... a world-famous scenic drive. This is, by far, the most outstanding display of giant trees in the California redwood belt. Surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world, this 31-mile portion of old Highway 101 runs parallel Highway 101 and is accessible by most vehicles. Do not attempt this in your big RV.
- Fort Point… Overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge from water level, Fort Point protected San Francisco harbor from Confederate and foreign attack during and after the U.S. Civil War. Beautifully arched casemates display the art of the master brick mason from the Civil War. San Francisco, CA
- Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area… A unique area, the Marin Headlands covers various histories from the Miwok Indians to the Military, including historic Fort Barry and Fort Cronkhite (the NIKE Missile site), and the 150 year-old Point Bonita lighthouse. Astonishing views of the coast and San Francisco. San Francisco, CA
- Submarine Force Museum… The only submarine museum operated by the United States Navy and is the primary repository for artifacts, documents, and photographs relating to U.S. Submarine Force history. Trace the development of the “Silent Service” from David Bushnell's Turtle, used in the Revolutionary War, to the Ohio and Virginia class submarines. The museum is the home of USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine. Groton, CT
- **Pipo's Cuban Restaruant… An excellent, small mom and pop operation serving only Cuban food. Lunch is cheap $5.00+ and you get a pile of outstanding food. The Cuban Sandwich is outstanding—get it "all the way." Black beans and rice, shredded pork, yellow rice—are all wonderful. If anything, there's less grease than most foods and virtually no fat. We've tried various beef, pork, and chicken dishes—the flavor is wonderful. It is not spicy-hot food at all. No peppers. 813-882-0184, 7233 W. Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL
- **Columbia Restaurant… Great upscale Cuban food but must get the "1905 salad" with dinner. I believe this is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Florida. They even offer a Flamenco Dance show and, while good, was too noisy for dinner in that room. They also offer Paella and it is excellent. You can have great seating in the bar. Tampa, FL (Ybor City)
- **Hoagie Heaven… West of Tampa, very close to Mango and Seffner, FL, hard to find at the corner of SR 92 and Falkenburg. Great sandwiches. One of the best Philly Steak/Cheesesteaks outside of Philly. Seffner, FL .
- **Sandy's… Makes the BEST Cuban Sandwich, period. It's hard to find as it is a 24-hour carry-out only and attached to the end of the M & M laundromat. No place to go inside - carry out only. 305-295-0159, 1026 White St., Key West, FL (at the M&M Laundry)
- **Goldman's Bagel Deli… a great sandwich place with traditional "boiled and baked" bagels—wonderful—like New England bagels. 305-294-3354, 2796 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
- **Conch Republic Seafood Company… A locals and tourist stop on the water in old town. With garage doors for walls (open or closed) their fish is fresh and the place is busy. They have a large bar that can easily seat 50 people, music (classic folk singer in the Jimmy Buffet style), and the place is busy, busy. Key West, FL
- **Ted Peters Smoked Fish... A hole-in-the-wall. The smoked fish is outstanding and the dinner entrees will feed two people. You eat on picnic tables inside or out. You can get a glass of wine or beer with dinner. 727-381-7931, 1350 Pasadena Avenue South, South Pasadena, FL
- **Watering Hole... Great steaks and not bad on price. They do not take credit cards—just cash. Be sure and take a look at the 14-foot real alligator they have there. 863-382-4554, 6813 US Highway 27 S, Sebring, FL
- NASA Launch... A variety of vehicles, launch sites on both U.S. coasts, shifting dates and times... the NASA Launch Schedule is easy to decipher by checking out our Launch Schedule 101 that explains how it all works! Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA and Kennedy Space Center, FL among others.
- Ybor City Museum… Experience the rich cultural heritage of one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida located in the 1923-era Ferlita Bakery, lush Mediterranean-style garden, and the "casita," representative of a typical cigar-worker's home. Ybor City, FL
- National Naval Aviation Museum... One of the world’s largest aviation museums with more than 150 restored aircraft, hands-on exhibits, and more than 4,000 artifacts representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviation. Watch the Blue Angels at practice air shows from March through November, ride in a motion-based or Top Gun Air Combat simulator, attend the IMAX Theatre, and dine in the Cubi Bar Café, also an exhibit. Pensacola, FL
- Fantasy of Flight… An aviation-themed attraction that takes visitors back to Early Flight, World War I, World War II and beyond. Restoration of antique aircraft and returning them to flight status is their goal. Daily guided tours take you into the actual restoration workshop. Polk City, FL
- Navy UDT - Seal Museum… Birthplace of the Navy frogman. An excellent museum on the history and life of Navy Seals. This museum is not on a military base. Fort Pierce, FL
- **Buckner's… Is a treat and an old family restaurant. Meals are one price, all you can eat—but it's not a normal buffet. The have large round tables each seating about 8 people. You will be seated with others. The center of the table is a large lazy Susan that contains the two meats, about 8 vegetables, bread, and one desert for the meal. Everyone turns the centerpiece to bring them the food they want. The food is served in bowls about the size found in a normal home. They quickly empty (depending on the crowd) and are refilled instantly. There are condiments in the center, a jar of fresh green onions, more napkins, and the tip jar. Leave a tip. Closed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday! 770-775-6150, (Drive past the Flying J, I-75, Exit 201, Jackson, GA)
- **Hudson Hickory House… Outstanding barbecue. We did take out two times. Large portions. They do not serve drinks. 770-942-4828, 6874 Bankhead Hwy, Douglasville, GA
- Country Boy's Cookin... Excellent ribs—some of the best I have ever had. He serves his ribs with NO sauce for competition but you can get sauce if you ask (judges cannot). Chicken, pulled pork, and brisket was great, too. 229-239-1397, (I-75, Exit 121, Unadilla, GA in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot)
- Pittypat's Porch... Related to the movie, "Gone With The Wind," when Scarlett visited Atlanta she always stayed with Aunt Pittypat. During those visits, Aunty Pitty would prepare her best recipes. This is southern cooking at it's finest with an unusual type of salad bar—wonderful. The upstairs bar is unique—all the seats traditional rocking chairs—different and comfortable. 404-525-8228
- Varsity Drive In... The world's largest drive-in restaurant serving customers since 1928. Great hot dogs served in a "take no prisoners" style. When you walk up to the counter, all you hear is, "Whadda ya want, whadda ya want, whadda ya want?" You better be ready to order, have money in hand, or take the abuse. They serve thousands of people quickly so do not worry about the crowds. We once pulled in behind twelve school busses! Try the "slaw dog."
- The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park… This world-class tribute to Infantrymen is the first of its kind in the United States. You will take an interactive journey through every war fought by the U.S. over the past two centuries in the 190,000-square-foot museum and a collection of more than 30,000 artifacts. Columbus, GA
- Museum of Aviation… Over 90 historic aircraft are a tribute to the thousands of miles flown by American aircrews in defense of freedom. Learn about aircraft, significant moments, and Georgians who blazed trails. Warner Robins, GA
- Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum… Beautiful Gardens. Atlanta, GA
- Andersonville National Historic Site… One of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Almost 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure to the elements. Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is the only park in the National Park System to serve as a memorial to ALL American prisoners of war throughout the nation's history. Andersonville, GA
- St. Marys Submarine Museum... Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base is one of two Trident submarine bases in the world and hosts an extensive collection of submarine memorabilia and display. St. Marys Submarine Museum is located right on the riverfront and offers visitors an opportunity to get up-close and personal with the history and operation of America’s most famous submarines. St. Marys, GA
- FDR Little White House... Franklin Delano Roosevelt built the Little White House in 1932 while governor of New York, prior to being inaugurated as president in 1933. He first came to Warm Springs in 1924 hoping to find a cure for the infantile paralysis (polio) that had struck him in 1921. Swimming in the 88-degree, buoyant spring waters was no miracle cure, but it did bring improvement. Warm Springs, GA
- Stone Mountain… See the Confederate Memorial, the massive granite carving completed in 1972. During the summer nightly laser shows paint a picture across the face of the mountain. At more than 1,000,000 square feet the steep north face of Stone Mountain is the world's largest projection screen. Stone Mountain, GA
- Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge… One of the oldest and best preserved freshwater systems is located in southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida. Called Okefenoka by native Americans—meaning “Land of the Trembling Earth”—earth, air, fire and water continuously reform the landscape. Guided boat tours take visitors through cypress forests, historic canals, and open prairies.Stay overnight deep within the 354,000 acre wilderness. Folkston, GA
- **Wolf Lodge Coeur D'Alene… Wolf Lodge Inn is the kind of place Grizzly Adams would take a date. Wonderful salmon and steaks grilled over cherry wood are featured at this roadhouse on Lake Coeur d'Alene. A vast red barn-board roadhouse just yards from the highway where tables are covered with oilcloth and the walls are packed with trophy animal heads, bleached bovine skulls, antique tools, old beer posters, and yellowing newspaper clippings of local-interest stories. Wolf Landing (Exit 22 off I-90), Coeur d'Alene, IL
- **Parthenon… Best, most authentic, great Greek food anywhere, period. I haven't been to Greece. I've been going here 30 years. The combination plates are outstanding with lots of great tasting food for a little money. The cold appetizer combo is made for two people with about seven different foods to try. The lamb dishes are the best. I've always thought they made the wine in the basement but I love the retsina (white) and roditis (red). Chicago, IL
- **Cafe Ba Ba Reeba! An excellent Paella. Not fast but excellent. They are also known for their tapas. The place is always busy. You can eat at the bar. Chicago, IL
- **Mr. Beef... One of Chicago's premier outlets of the great, sloppy, delicious Italian beef sandwich—shaved-thin beef, saturated with garlicky au jus, piled into a sturdy piece of bread. 312-337-8500, 666 N Orleans St. (between Erie St & Huron St), Chicago, IL
- The Field Museum… The world’s largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex named “Sue.” This is a first-class museum. Chicago, IL
- Museum of Science and Industry… The largest science museum in the western Hemisphere with over 2,000 exhibits, displayed in 75 major halls including several permanent, major exhibits such as the Coal Mine, the U-505 Submarine, a real Boeing 727 plane, a Fairy Castle, and The Great Train Story—a 3,500-square-foot model railroad. This museum is a “don’t miss” but you would have to live there to see it all. Chicago, IL
- The Super Museum... As we all know, Superman's home town was Metropolis. It is only right that Metropolis is home to the Super Museum. It is stuffed with over 20,000 items relating to the 60+ year old Superman saga. Across the street is the city building and in front, a 15-foot tall statue of the Man of Steel. This is a fun visit for fans of Superman. Metropolis is just across the river from Paducah, KY. Metropolis, IL
- **Elkhart Restaurants... On the north side, near the intersection of I-80 and US 19, various restaurants serve double the number of egg listed on their menu. So, pancakes with two eggs would actually be served with four eggs. A three-egg omelette will be made with six eggs. I don't know why. They just do and have done so for several years. No, you are not charged extra for this.
- **Sauk Trail Bar & Grille... This place is unique for two reasons. First, it is just 8 miles north of Elkhart, Indiana. Second, they smoke meat here. The meat is excellent and ranges from a prime rib to (very unusual) smoked corned beef. I had the corned beef (twice) and it was excellent. This bar is a tiny place in a tiny town. Look for it. 269-641-5708 15463 US Highway 12, Union, MI [cross listed since it is so close to Elkhart]
- **White Castle... I grew up in Indiana and White Castle was considered a real treat. I love these tiny burgers and get them whenever I can find one of their restaurants. They are located pretty well over the mid-west and a few other places. I recommend them.
- **Heinnie's Backbarn Restaurant... This is a local neighborhood bar/restaurant. Lots of great sandwiches and one of the best Buffalo Burgers I have had (and I've had several). There are several excellent dinner entrees and specials every night. All are just fine and the prices are good, too. Elkhart, IN
- **Da Vinci's Pizza & Restaurant... Excellent Italian food in northern Indiana. Nice portions, low cost, good salads. Get the garlic sticks with dinner (free). I have not tried the pizza here but saw several served to other tables—looked good. Elkhart, IN
- Tippecanoe Place... Built by Clem Studebaker from 1886-1889, the Tippecanoe Place mansion has a rich and colorful history. Today, the restaurant offers excellent food and drink in an atmosphere of unparalleled ambiance. When you visit there, ask to look around—especially upstairs—and enjoy the finest architecture of the time. South Bend, IN
- Goshen, IN Police Booth... Erected in 1939 on the courthouse square downtown, the booth was manned to protect the Maple City from gangsters who might travel along the old transcontinental Lincoln Highway. Goshen, IN
- RV Hall of Fame... Opened in new facility in 2007, the 56,000 square-foot building houses the RV/MH Hall of Fame honoring industry leaders, a museum of vintage units from 1913 to the 1970s, a Go RVing Hall showcasing the latest current models, an Exhibitors Hall where industry supply firms tell their company story, and the world's largest library of RV and manufactured housing related literature and photos. Elkhart, IN
- Amana Colonies… Established by German emigrants, it spreads across 20,000 acres of farm and forestland. It has developed a national reputation for its outstanding workmanship in textiles, but especially in refrigeration. The Amana brand is considered one of the most reliable in the country. Today, visitors enjoy history, art, architecture, and food—lots of food. Specialty bakeries, chocolate stores, meat markets, and restaurants tempt everyone. There is an excellent RV park on site. Amana, IA
- Birthplace of KFC... Col. Sanders opened his first restaurant here in 1932 in a small gasoline station just on the other side of the Dixie Highway, he rented this property for the restaurant in 1933. Exit 29 on I-75 and go east about one mile. Corbin, KY
- Kentucky Music Hall of Fame... Honoring Kentucky performers, songwriters, publishers, promoters, managers, broadcasters, comedians, and other music professionals who have made significant contributions to the music industry in Kentucky and around the world. Exit 62 on I-75 and go east about one mile. Renfro Valley, KY
- Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory... It takes a special place to craft the Official Bat of Major League Baseball. Since 1884, Louisville Slugger has put prime wood in the hands of the greatest players of the game. A visit to the museum shows you how the sport has changed between then and now, but the “crack of the bat” remains one of the sporting world's most thrilling moments. Louisville, KY
- Giant Omelette Festival… According to legend, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they decided to rest for the night near the town of Bessieres. Napoleon feasted on an omelette prepared by a local innkeeper which was such a culinary delight that he ordered the townspeople to gather all the eggs in the village and to prepare a huge omelette for his army the next day. In 1984, three members of the Abbeville, Louisiana Chamber of Commerce attended the Easter Omelette Festival in Bessieres, France and were later knighted the first of Abbeville's Chevaliers. Abbeville's Giant Omelette grows each year when there is one egg added to the “5,000 Egg Omelette.” This year there will be 5,026! The Omelette is served to the public free of charge, so come early, you wouldn't want to miss out. Abbeville, LA
- Avery Island… The home of world-famous Tabasco® Sauce, Avery Island, Louisiana, lies about 140 miles west of New Orleans. Surrounded by swamps and marshes, Avery Island is a mysteriously beautiful place where the pepper fields grow, the factory hums, and the McIlhennys and their employees continue to live and work much as they have for generations. Avery Island, LA
- National Cryptologic Museum... The National Cryptologic Museum is the National Security Agency's principal gateway to the public. It shares the Nation's, as well as NSA's, cryptologic legacy and place in world history. Located adjacent to NSA Headquarters, Ft. George G. Meade, the Museum houses a collection of thousands of artifacts that collectively serve to sustain the history of the cryptologic profession. Here visitors can catch a glimpse of some of the most dramatic moments in the history of American cryptology: the people who devoted their lives to cryptology and national defense, the machines and devices they developed, the techniques they used, and the places where they worked. Ft. Meade, MD
- **Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound... Okay, this is serious. This is the best lobster roll I've ever had the pleasure to eat, period. While I can't say it's the best in Maine (I haven't tried them all—yet), this is REALLY good. Just go there and do it. It's hidden, but not hard to find.
- Schoodic Peninsula... Very close to Arcadia National Park. While lots of people will visit the park, some will miss this very scenic drive. From Bar Harbor, go north on SR 3 toward Ellsworth. Turn right onto US 1 and take this to West Gouldsboro. Turn right onto SR 186 and follow this around Schoodic Peninsula. That portion of the peninsula owned by the Park will be a one-way so you don't have to deal with oncoming traffic. Plan to stop often on the 6-mile drive to take advantage of the sights. Wonderful.
- FDR Campobello Island... FDR and his family spent summer vacations on Campobello Island over a period of fifty-six years. After he became President, FDR returned to his summer home for three brief visits: in 1933, 1936, and 1939. His love of the island and his long associations with its people left a lasting impression. This property is actually in Canada at the southern end of Campobello Island in New Brunswick, CN. It is just across the border from Lubec, ME
- **Sauk Trail Bar & Grille... This place is unique for two reasons. First, it is just 8 miles north of Elkhart, Indiana. Second, they smoke meat here. The meat is excellent and ranges from a prime rib to (very unusual) smoked corned beef. I had the corned beef (twice) and it was excellent. This bar is a tiny place in a tiny town. Look for it. 269-641-5708 15463 US Highway 12, Union, MI
- **Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub… A classy, excellent restaurant that is not overly expensive. They celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2009—an outstanding track record for a restaurant. Great cheese spread and home-made crackers are brought to the table. The Schuler Salad is my favorite with dinner. They have a variety of beef and fish including Lake Superior whitefish and Walleye—both excellent. Marshall, MI
- Dune Schooner Rides... Ride the sand dunes in an open vehicle. Bordering Lake Michigan, this area can only be reached by the Dune Schooner, a vehicle seating up to 18 people. There is lots to see including (of course) the dunes, Lake Michigan views, plus an opportunity to walk the sand just a bit. Fun. Saugatuck, MI
- Windmill Island Gardens... The peak time here is during the Holland Tulip Festival in the spring. They do have an authentic 248-year-old working Dutch windmill "De Zwaan" (meaning graceful bird). The windmill reaches 125 feet from the ground to the top of the blades, towers over 36 acres of manicured gardens, dikes, canals, and picnic areas. Over 150,000 tulips bloom in the spring. In the summer, annual plants and flowers decorate the ground.
- Fantastic Caverns… America’s “Ride-Through” cave. A 50-minute guided tour follows an ancient underground riverbed filled with massive formations. Because you ride and never walk, Fantastic Caverns is especially convenient for parents with small children, seniors, and physically challenged visitors. Springfield, MO
- Meramac Caverns… An excellent cave tour with an easy walk through some fascinating, natural, and wonderful formations. It was a hideout of Jesse James. Stanton, MO
- USS Cairo… First armed vessel in the history of warfare to be sunk by a torpedo (today, called a mine). Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MS
- Smokejumper Visitor Center... The Center is a unique opportunity to learn about this unusual, demanding, and dramatic occupation and is located on the largest active smokejumper base in the nation in Missoula, Montana. A free, guided tour of the facility is also available where you will visit the National Smokejumper Memorial, go inside a replica of a 1930's lookout tower, and tour the smokejumper loft, where the smokejumpers work when they are not fighting fires. You will also tour the ready room and load-masters room where the smokejumpers prepare for fire calls. Tours are available on the hour, are free of charge, interesting, there is a little walking, and plenty of time for questions. Missoula, MT
[Author Note… New Mexico Food Warning! One word of caution, New Mexican food is hot and spicy—not for the wimpy and it may stop you in your tracks even if you like hot foods but only have them occasionally. Just approach it with caution.
By the way, milk (or anything containing milk products like ice cream, sour cream, yogurt, butter, etc.) is the only thing to help calm down the fire (caused by an oil in the peppers called capsicum) of peppery, spicy foods. Beer, water, iced tea, soft drinks, etc. just spread the oils that cause the fire. So order a side of tortillas with butter to help cut the burn. Please note, I did not put this in to start a discussion on "my remedy is better than yours" to calm fiery foods.]
- **Duran Central Pharmacy… This is a real pharmacy with a small dining area. It's a small building that almost sits on the street and they serve breakfast and lunch - there will likely be a line for lunch. Lunch only, no dinner. Duran's has been around since 1945 and they serve authentic New Mexican dishes with world-famous chile. New Mexican food is different than the Tex-Mex. Duran's is not your basic tourist stop - it is a local place. Look for it. 505-247-4141, (in Old Town), 1815 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM
- **Sadie's Cocinita… This is a big place, full of locals and some tourists, with a 30 minute wait on a Thursday night. Sadie's was suggested to us by the manager of another steakhouse. We were not disappointed. Their specialty, Carne Adovoda - pork cooked forever and served in a red or green chili sauce - was wonderful. Yes, hot and spicy. You can get the sauce on the side. Great salsa - yes, hot and spicy. Albuquerque, NM
- **Standard Diner… Upscale restaurant, medium priced, in a restored 1930s gas station. Their specialty is a bacon-wrapped meatloaf and "beet box." I've gone back several times. One of the "Triple D" places. Albuquerque, NM
- **Sophia's Place… This place looks like a dump but has one of the finest green chili cheeseburgers I have had the pleasure to consume for lunch. They also specialize in breakfast with sort of upscale New Mexican food. Small, busy, try the special pancakes served only on the weekends. One of the "Triple D" places. 505-345-3935, 6313 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM
- White Sands Missile Range… The White Sands Missile Range Museum features the exploits of Dr. Wernher von Braun and his team of scientists including photos and early instruments used by this team while testing V-2 rockets at WSMR. Outside of the museum is Missile Park. Missile Park features approximately 30-40 rockets and missiles tested at WSMR throughout the years. There is a mix of both military hardware and civilian rockets, such as sounding rockets used to explore the fringes of space. White Sands, NM
- Rattlesnake Museum… Filled with (mostly) poisonous snakes from around the world, it bills itself as an “animal conservation” museum. Albuquerque, NM
- Very Large Array (VLA)… The largest and most powerful radio telescope in the world. Visitors can walk under one of twenty-seven antennas (satellite-dish-shaped). Each dish is larger than two average-sized houses (over 5,000 sq. ft.). The Plains of San Agustin forty miles west of Socorro, NM
- Balloon Museum Albuquerque... The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is the world's premier facility dedicated to the art, culture, science, history, sport and spectacle of ballooning. The balloon museum, which opened in 2005, features one of the world’s finest collections of ballooning equipment and memorabilia. Albuquerque, NM
- National Buffalo Museum... The National Buffalo Museum holds exhibits dedicated to the history of bison on the plains, as well as Plains Indians artifacts, artwork, 19th century firearms used by the buffalo hunter, remains of prehistoric bison, a children’s room featuring wildlife of North Dakota, and a video presentation about the history of bison. There is a live bison herd on the property. Jamestown, ND
- Liberace Museum… Filled with memorabilia of the entertainer’s stage and TV appearances, this museum is fun and entertaining. Las Vegas, NV
- Virginia City… Nevada’s famed Comstock Lode silver mining area including “The Way it Was” Museum, Nevada Gambling Museum, Julia C. Bulette Red Light Museum (honorable mention), and the Red Spite House. Virginia City, NV
- Nevada State Railroad Museum… Preserves the railroad heritage of Nevada, including locomotives and cars of the famous Virginia & Truckee Railroad, and other railroads of the Silver State. Many were bought from Hollywood studios, where they were made famous in movies and television shows. Carson City, NV
- National Automobile Museum… One of the largest and best collections of antique, classic, and one-of-a-kind cars to be found anywhere. Reno, NV
- Niagara Falls… One of the great natural wonders of the world with over one million gallons of water per second pouring over a 180-feet-high cliff that is nearly 0.6 miles wide. The incessantly pounding water forms a continuous spray that enshrouds the Niagara gorge in a perpetual mist decorated with shining rainbows. The best views are on the Canadian side. You can also visit the USA side near Niagara Falls, NY
- FDR Home and Library... Springwood was the estate that Franklin Roosevelt loved and the place he considered home. The first US Presidential Library was started by FDR here. Visit the Home of FDR and Presidential Library & Museum to learn about the only President elected to four terms. Hyde Park, NY
- Erie Canal Cruise... Perhaps the most well known of the four Canals, the Erie Canal averages 125 feet in width, with a depth of at least 12 feet and has 34 locks. Originally built as a major commercial waterway, this Canal is now a primary recreational resource and tourism destination. You will find places to visit, go across, and take commercial tours all across upstate New York
- **Skyline Chili...You will find these small restaurants tucked around the Cincinnati area and recently, showing up at Interstate Exits. This is NOT your normal chili in the traditional "soup-style" you are familiar with. Also known as "Cincinnati-style Chili," they start with a plate of spaghetti (normal spaghetti) and top that with secret-recipe chili and a mound of shredded cheddar cheese. This is called "3-Way." You can also order "4-Way" (with diced onions OR red beans) and "5-Way" (with diced onions AND red beans). Go for the "5-Way" and nothing larger than a "regular." Try one of their Coneys, too. Anywhere around Cincinnati, OH
- **Elinor's Amber Rose…Wonderful middle European food with "platters" of Hungarian, Lithuanian, and Polish foods. Wonderful, fresh, great portions, served fresh and hot. Dayton, OH
- **Tony Packo's… Wonderful cabbage rolls served in a neighborhood bar! If you were a fan of the M*A*S*H show on TV, Klinger often talked about Tony Packo's - it was real then and still going strong today. It's a wonderful local, neighborhood bar that serves outstanding Hungarian food (the cabbage rolls are great - we always take some with us and freeze them) and the hot dog they serve was made famous by the show. On the menu, they advertise the M*O*A*D (the Mother Of All Dogs) and it is one hell of a hot dog - wonderful. On the show, the group supposedly mails an order for XX hotdogs and somehow they are delivered to Korea - actually, Packo's was featured on the show seven times. In the customer area, there are large picture frames with autographed hot dog buns on display. Several presidents, many foreign dignitaries, every sports star you can imagine, the Hollywood elite, and anybody that is somebody has autographed a hot dog bun. Toledo, OH
- **Maid Rite Loose Meat Sandwiches… When visited the Garst Museum (below) and it was time to go to lunch, we asked one of the docents to recommend a local place. She didn’t hesitate for a moment and told us to walk to the “Maid Rite.” This tiny place is home of the famous Maid Rite Loose Meat sandwich—some local mixture of ground beef and whatever. What you get is basically a hamburger or cheeseburger made with loose ground beef—not a patty. But, it was wonderful. It tasted great! Cheap, too. The exterior of the Maid Rite was also unique as the brick outside is covered with wads of chewing gum from visitors since the 1930s! The story goes that parents would tell their kids they could not go in for lunch if they were chewing gum—but not to swallow it! Greenville, OH
- Garst Museum (Annie Oakley)... Built in 1852, the Garst House features exhibits about Annie Oakley (largest known collection of personal artifacts on public display), Lowell Thomas, Anthony Wayne, Little Turtle and the Treaty of Greene Ville, Zachary Lansdowne and USS Shenandoah airship, Lohmann Brothers telescopes, Iddings race car and other items of local interest. Greenville, OH
- National Museum of the United States Air Force… Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Dayton, Ohio region are the birthplace of today's global aviation industry. Visit and experience history from the pioneering flights by the Wright Brothers to today's most advanced unmanned aerial vehicles! Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
- **FireHouse Restaurant… was the winner of the Oregon state clam chowder cook-off in 2003, 2004, and 2005. They did not enter the competition in 2006. 541-997-2800, 1263 Bay St., Florence, OR
- **Jake's Grill... An OLD (110 years old) famous restaurant that is excellent and primarily serves food from the Northwest. More fish than anything else - fresh, daily. Portland, OR
- **Oregon Electric Station… Dine in the romantic atmosphere of an historic railroad dining car setting inside the main section of the Oregon Electric Station—the original depot built in 1912. Eugene, OR
- Columbia River Maritime Museum... Experience what it is like to pilot a tugboat, participate in a Coast Guard rescue on the Columbia River Bar, and live in Astoria during the height of salmon fishing. Huge windows make the Columbia River a living backdrop for exhibits that are interactive and touchable, many accompanied by interviews with people involved in the events depicted. Astoria, OR
- Evergreen Aviation Museum and Spruce Goose... The Museum is home to Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, a single-hull aircraft with an all wood airframe and surface structure. At the time it was built in 1947 it was the largest plane ever built. McMinnville, OR
- Crater Lake National Park… The nation’s fifth oldest national park serves as a memorial to time and changes your perception of the color blue. Stories of this deep lake of indescribable blue can never prepare visitors for their first breathtaking look from the brink of this 6-mile wide caldera created by the eruption and collapse of Mt. Mazama, almost 7,000 years ago. Crater Lake, OR
- Cape Perpetua… Scenic views are spectacular since you can walk to the water and then drive to the overlook, the highest point on the Oregon coast at 803 feet. On Highway 101, Cape Perpetua (in the Siuslaw National Forest) offers incredible views of the coast. A non-handicap-accessible walking trail leads to the West Shelter. On a clear day, you can see approximately 150 miles north to south and 40 miles out to sea. There is a two-mile steep drive up to the viewpoint—don’t take your RV. Between Newport and Florence. OR
- Sea Lion Caves… Billed as “America’s Largest Sea Cave” this 125-feet-tall natural water cave is home to hundreds of sea lions. Visitors walk a short distance and take the elevator 300 feet down to the viewing area to see the wild sea lions in their natural habitat. This is not a zoo or aquarium. Florence, OR
- **Philly Cheesesteak... Trust me here, I am not from Philly but was introduced to these wonderful sandwiches in 1969. I have taken every opportunity to have one since then. The two places you see on TV (Food channel among others) were among the worst I have had and I'm not going back there. Try just about any local neighborhood place and you will likely be happy. These sandwiches are wonderful, cheap, and found in only one place—around Philly. I have tried them in many other places but they just were not the same. Some say it's the local water used to bake the buns. Whatever. They are better in Philly.
- **Philadelphia Hoagie... (Read about the Cheesesteak above and apply that here, too.) Hoagies are built-to-order sandwiches filled with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, topped off with a dash of oregano-vinegar dressing on an Italian roll. A true Italian Hoagie is made with Italian ham, prosciutto, salami, and provolone cheese, with all the works. It was declared the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia” in 1992. The most widely accepted story about how it got its name centers on an area of Philadelphia known as Hog Island and home to a shipyard during World War I (1914-1918). Italian immigrants working there would bring giant sandwiches made with cold cuts, spices, oil, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers for their lunches. These workers were nicknamed “hoggies.” Over the years, the name was attached to the sandwiches, but under a different spelling.
- Jimmy Stewart Museum... A museum celebrating the life and career of actor Jimmy Stewart. Indiana, PA
- Johnstown Flood Museum... On May 31, 1889, a neglected dam and a phenomenal storm led to a catastrophe in which 2,209 people died. Visit the Museum to learn more about this shocking episode in American history. Johnstown, PA
- **Marlowe's Ribs and Restaurant… Just down the street from Graceland (Elvis Presley's home), this restaurant was reputed to be one of Elvis's favorites for ribs. Whille I cannot confirm that, I can confirm that the ribs are excellent and so is the brisket and pulled pork. The place is busy, the price is right, the portions are large, and the food is fine. There are two RV parks close by and Marlowe's will send their driver and his pink Cadilliac to pick you up and take you home later. Memphis, TN
- Graceland Mansion... is one of Memphis' most popular attractions. Visiting Elvis Presley's Graceland takes you on a one of a kind journey through Elvis's humble beginnings and rise to superstardom with up-close and personal looks at the influence that forever changed our music and our lives. Experience rock 'n' roll and his life through videos, photos, personal mementos, artifacts, movie memorabilia, stage costumes, and the Elvis Car Museum, his custom jets, and Elvis Jumpsuits. Memphis, TN
- International Towing Museum… Here, you can walk among early towing and recovery history in the International Towing & Recovery Hall Of Fame and Museum. Enjoy restored antique wreckers and equipment, industry-related displays of collectible toys, tools, unique equipment, and pictorial histories of manufacturers who pioneered a worldwide industry. Chattanooga, TN
- **Katz's Deli… A true New York style deli in Austin that's open all the time. Their sandwiches are patterned from the Carnegie Deli in New York. Every table gets a bowl of their local potato chips and pickles. Good stuff anytime. Austin, TX
- **Threadgills… A lively place serving southern food (the chicken fried steak is great) with a giant selection (about 15) vegetables for sides. Inexpensive and good. Austin, TX
- **European Bistro… Just north and slightly east of Austin (12 miles), this restaurant is a winner. Classic Hungarian foods, appropriate portions, excellent prices. Try the Chestnut cake, too. Pflugerville, TX
- **The Salt Lick… One of the best, and busiest, barbeque places in Texas (not trying to start some argument here). It's out in the hill country about 20 miles (roughly) south of Austin. You get there through Buda, Texas - check your map. It's an All-You-Can-Eat traditional Texas barbeque with Beef Brisket, Pork Ribs, Sausage, BBQ Chicken served with Secret Recipe BBQ sauce, Beans, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw. It is BYOB and you will see everything from brown bags to big coolers being brought in. Great. Driftwood, TX,
- **Clark's Outpost Bar-B-Que... Their street address is a bit misleading as Tioga is a tiny town about 25 miles north of Denton. It is worth the drive as this is wonderful stuff. Tioga was the birthplace of Gene Autry. Tioga, TX
- **Czech-American Restaurant… The best cabbage rolls ever. This is a tiny, small town, mom and pop restaurant/bar and the food is great. It is located about 40 miles south of Ft. Worth on I-35. We generally get at least a dozen cabbage rolls to go and then freeze them. Two rolls feed us for dinner. Great food and cheap. 254-826-3008, 220 N Main St, West, TX (Note... "West" is a town south of Fort Worth, not a direction.)
- **Meyer’s Elgin Sausage... Located in Elgin, Texas, just east of Austin and a comfortable drive, this place produces excellent sausage and the other normal BBQ meats found in Texas—brisket, ribs, etc. Good stuff. Elgin is pronounced with the letter "G" as in "get." This is a true sausage factory and you can buy in bulk, also. Elgin, TX
- Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum... The “Story of Texas” with three floors of interactive exhibits, a special effects show entitled “The Star of Destiny” in the Texas Spirit Theater, and Austin's only IMAX Theatre, featuring the signature large-format film, “Texas: The Big Picture.” Austin, TX
- Commemorative Airpower Heritage Museum… The museum focuses on the complete history of World War II military aviation culture and the material culture of the World War II era. It is one of most complete collections of World War II aviation culture in the United States and represents all of the axis and allies that participated in the air wars of World War II. You will be fascinated to see how they trained future bombardiers to use the top secret Norden bomb sight. Midland, TX
- Frontier Texas!… A newer (and excellent) museum dedicated to the Old West. Visitors are entertained with holograms where you'll meet and hear stories from the men and women who lived and died on the frontier. Learn how this area of Texas was transformed from open prairie—populated by buffalo and Indians—to the ranchlands and towns of pioneer Texans. Abilene, TX
- West of the Pecos Museum… See where Judge Roy Bean dispensed frontier justice and fed beer to the bear, see bullet holes from a shootout, and memorabilia from the 1800s. Pecos, TX
- Petroleum Museum… Learn the myths and truth about locating and drilling for oil through numerous displays, genuine oil rigs, and video. Midland, TX
- Heritage Museum of Big Spring… A unique museum containing a Victrola room, a Doll room, and a display of longhorn-steer horns including the world’s record Texas longhorn-steer horns. Big Spring, TX
- American Precision Museum... The Museum preserves the heritage of the mechanical arts, celebrates the ingenuity of our mechanical forebears, and explores the effects of their work on our everyday lives. The American Precision Museum, housed in the original Robbins & Lawrence Armory, now holds the largest collection of historically significant machine tools in the nation. Learn about the early manufacture of military rifles—and here was among the first to use interchangeable parts. Windsor, VT
- Vermont Country Store... This is a real store located in a small town. They specialize in what seems like everything "old"—that is, products that you used to be able to buy but probably thought they no longer existed. This is where Sandy (wife) gets her "Pant's Stretchers" (read the article on Pant's Stretchers and you will understand). It will be tight parking for a large RV. Weston, VT
- President Calvin Coolidge Home… Unique in American history, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President by his father, here in his boyhood home on August 3, 1923. In this family homestead, a vacationing Vice President Calvin Coolidge received an urgent message about the untimely death of President Warren Harding. By the light of a kerosene lamp, Coolidge took the oath of office from his father, the local notary public. Plymouth Notch, VT
- Naval Undersea Museum… An official Navy museum with the mission: To preserve, collect, and interpret Naval undersea history, science, and operations for the benefit of the US Navy and the people of the United States. Learn about the “First Kiss,” how sailors actually live aboard ships, and see a real “Navy” shower. Keyport, WA
- Boeing Museum of Flight… Visualize dozens of full-size aircraft flying in formation six stories above you, sit in the cockpit of a real SR-71 Blackbird or F/A-18 Hornet, board America's first presidential jet—Air Force One, climb aboard the Concorde, and step back 95 years in the magnificently restored Red Barn where Boeing aircraft were initially produced. Seattle, WA
- National Museum of Health and Medicine… is a division of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and was founded as the Army Medical Museum in 1862 to study and improve medical conditions during the American Civil War. The Museum houses a collection of over 24 million items including archival materials, anatomical and pathological specimens, medical instruments and artifacts, and microscope slide-based medical research collections. The collections focus particularly on the history and practice of American medicine, military medicine, and current medical research issues. This museum is nearly hidden in the massive Walter Reed complex. Washington, DC
- World War II Memorial… This memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people. The Second World War is the only 20th Century event commemorated on the National Mall’s central axis. Washington, DC
- Post Office Museum… The National Postal Museum is divided into galleries that explore America's postal history from colonial times to the present. Visitors learn how mail has been transported, emphasize the importance of letters, and spotlight the creation and wondrous diversity of postage stamps. Washington, DC
[Author Note... Check back, there are many more Canadian sites coming!]
- Frank Slide… Not far from Calgary, Alberta, and just east of the Crowsnest Pass, lies the small, bustling town of Frank, Alberta, nestled on the floor of a deeply-glaciated valley. Nearby is Turtle Mountain. Also nearby is a scene of a destruction of such magnitude that it has never been equaled! In the early morning hours of April 29, 1903, Turtle Mountain collapsed, resulting in the greatest landslide in North American history. In 100 seconds, at least 76 people were buried alive under tons of massive limestone boulders, three-quarters of the homes in Frank were crushed like balsa wood, over a mile of the Canadian Pacific Railroad was completely destroyed, and a river became a lake. Yet, few people have ever heard about it. Frank, AB
- Banff National Park of Canada… In 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway construction workers stumbled across a cave containing hot springs on the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains. From that humble beginning was born Banff National Park—Canada's first national park and the world's third. Spanning 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers, Banff National Park is one of the world's premier destination spots. Banff NP, AB
- Columbia Ice Fields… The Columbia Ice Field Glacier Experience reveals the most unique attraction in the Canadian Rockies. Massive “Brewster Ice Explorers,” bus-like transportation devices especially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Located between Banff NP and Jasper NP, RVers can park overnight in the large parking lot away from the hotel. Just put your money in the Iron Ranger. You will likely be lonely but it is a great place to boondock. Banff NP, AB
- **Caribou Grill… When we were there, caribou steaks were on the menu. I would definitely order that meal again and it’s on your way to Vancouver when you leave Jasper NP. Valemount, BC
- Giant Dump Truck… Learn about the breathtaking efficiency of 21st Century coal mining, with a tour of one of Canada's largest open pit mines. Pre-register at the Visitor Centre by the giant dump truck. It is an amazing sight. Sparwood, BC
- Capilano Suspension Bridge and Treetops Adventure… Follow in the footsteps of the millions of visitors who have crossed Capilano Suspension Bridge since 1889. Treetops Adventure is the first venue of its kind in North America, offering a squirrel's eye view of a thriving coastal forest. You climb steps to go up into the trees and then from tree to tree on bridges. It’s sort of like a Swiss Family Robinson adventure. Vancouver, BC
- Hopewell Rocks… At low tide, explore quiet coves with flowerpot-shaped rock formations bearing such curious names as “Mother-in-Law,” “ET,” and “Lover”s Arch.” Then, as the tide gently shifts, experience the wonder of nature as 100-billion tons of salt-water slowly fills the Bay of Fundy. Hopewell Rocks, NB
- Reversing Falls… The phenomenon of the Reversing Falls is caused by the tremendous rise and fall of the tides of the Bay of Fundy, which are the highest in the world. The natural southward-facing opening of the Bay of Fundy receives the onrushing ocean tides directly—like a funnel. The tidewater is normal when it enters the bay at its widest point. But the farther up the bay it travels the more it changes. It is, in effect, squeezed by the ever-narrowing sides and the constant shallowing of the bottom forcing the water higher up the shores. The low tide running out of the bay collides with the new, incoming high tide, combining forces to make a higher wave coming in. St. Johns, NB
- Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo… Billed as the world's largest annual indoor show. With over 2,000 world-class Canadian and international military and civilian performers, the Tattoo continues to live up to its reputation as one of the world's premier cultural and entertainment events. Featuring military, police, and civilian performers, the show is a true partnership. You will see and hear pipes and drums, military and civilian bands, historic re-enactments, dancers, acrobats, choirs, military displays and competitions, drama, comedy and more.This is one excellent and unique show. Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site... This is the largest reconstructed 18th-century French fortified town in North America. Ramparts, streets, households, a busy waterfront tavern, and interpreters help create the look, feel, and mood of another century—as if you stepped back in time. You will want to take several hours to walk around. The Fortress of Louisbourg is located just outside the modern town of Louisbourg on the island of Cape Breton in northeastern Nova Scotia.
- Peggy's Cove... A tiny fishing village known for it's spectacular sunsets. The quaint buildings line one inlet, stacks of real lobster traps are so perfect they remind you of a movie scene, and the sun sets directly in the middle. Spectacular. Peggy's Cove is one of the busiest tourist attractions in Nova Scotia on the Lighthouse Trail scenic drive. Officially known as the Peggys Point Lighthouse. Peggy's Cove has a classic red-and-white lighthouse still operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. Located 40 km (25 mi) from Halifax.
- Lighthouse Route... is a scenic roadway that follows Nova Scotia’s South Shore from Halifax to Yarmouth 340 km (212 mi). There are over twenty lighthouses along the route from Peggy’s Cove to Yarmouth’s Cape Forchu light. Halifax to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
- Acadien Museum and North Cape… Picturesque fishing and farming communities, Summerside's historic architecture, secluded beaches, non-stop festivals, and events—just some of the highlights awaiting visitors touring Prince Edward Island's North Cape Coastal Drive. Add to this unspoiled natural wonders, fresh seafood, and an area rich in Acadian culture and you have a first-rate tour of the Island's northwest region. For a taste of one of the Island's other founding cultures, drive a few minutes to the west to La Région Évangéline. Here, Prince Edward Island's vibrant Acadian culture thrives. A visit to The Acadian Museum in Miscouche will set the scene, followed by a tour around this French-speaking area. Miscouche, PEI
- RCMP Heritage Centre… The RCMP Heritage Centre opened in 2007 to share the RCMP story with the world. Located on the grounds of the RCMP Academy, “Depot” Division—the story of the RCMP is appropriately told where Cadets are trained and the story begins. Housed in a breathtaking stone, glass, and concrete building designed by world-renowned architect Arthur Erickson, the RCMP Heritage Centre tells the story of the RCMP using state of the art exhibits, multimedia technologies, and engaging programming and tours., Regina, SK
Vancouver Island, BC
[Author Note... We thoroughly enjoy Vancouver Island and have been there several times. Plus, we plan to go back. This shot was taken on the docks in Victoria.]
- Chemainus… A small city with a large number of murals painted on buildings. The murals depict the history of the area with a major focus on logging. A guided walk is easy to follow. Chemainus, Vancouver Island, BC
- Duncan… A small city with a large number of totems. The totems reflect the influence from the first settlers in the area. Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC
- BC Forest Discovery Centre… Featuring “Treen” - an old English word that refers to objects made “from a tree,” a train ride through a lush forest, and one of the first prefabricated buildings. Duncan/North Cowichan region, Vancouver Island, BC
- Butchart Gardens… Fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display, spectacular views, and expansive lawns. In 1904, Jennie Butchart began to beautify a worked-out quarry site left behind from her husband's pioneering efforts in the manufacture of Portland cement. The Gardens were designated in 2004 as a National Historic Site of Canada. Tod Inlet (Victoria), Vancouver Island, Canada.
- Craigdarroch Castle… A beautiful historic Victorian-era mansion, built in the 1890s by wealthy BC coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Rising 87 stairs up through the 4 1/2 stories, there are 39 rooms, most of which are furnished lavishly in the 1890s–1900s period. With over 20,000 square feet of space, the house and gardens are being restored exactly as they were originally built, and you will find artisans working on restorations most days. Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC
- **Crêperie Bretonne in St-Sauveur... A wonderful and unusual treat. We were taken to this restaurant that specializes in crepes. You can have your crepe filled with a wide variety of goodies ranging from breakfast foods to desserts. You can also watch them cook your crepe. It is cooked paper-thin on a hot grill, the fillings are cooked off to the side (if needed), and placed in the center of the crepe as it is done. Then the crepe is folded into this "package" and served hot. Ultimately, it takes up the whole plate and is excellent. I highly recommend it! 450-227-5434 396, Rue Principale, Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, Canada
That was just a sampling of places we visited in the past few years. We “meander” the USA and Canada—four or five days in one place is a long time. We are willing to stop anywhere at anytime to see anything. There is no “master plan” for our travels. I don’t have this scheduled years in advance. Most of it isn't scheduled weeks or even days in advance.
We never try to see everything on our loosely planned route and always assume we'll be back. Plus, we stumble onto some really neat places by accident. One excellent example of this was Greenville, Ohio…
We were at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (I’m retired military, have this privilege, but that’s another story.) and visiting the Air Force Museum. I was online looking for other interesting places in southwestern Ohio and stumbled onto the Whirlpool Corporation. Their plant in Greenville manufactured the Kitchen Aid mixer and they offered factory tours. We both cook so a tour seemed like a different thing to do.
I called. The woman suggested the afternoon factory tour and use the morning to visit the Garst Museum in Greenville. I’d never heard of this place so I called them. To my surprise, this museum had a major exhibit about Annie Oakley!
We arrived at the Garst Museum early, had a great visit, and were impressed with the Annie Oakley exhibit. At lunchtime, we asked a docent to recommend a local place.
She didn’t hesitate and told us to walk to the “Maid Rite.” This tiny building is home of the "Maid Rite Loose Meat Sandwich"—a local mixture of ground beef and whatever. What you get is simply a hamburger that is made with "loose" ground beef—not a patty—served on a bun. It is simply wonderful and cheap, too. I'd go back.
Visiting by Accident
Our visit to Greenville was totally by accident. We had a wonderful time there and learned where to save big money on appliances. I would definitely order that sandwich again and the Annie Oakley exhibit was outstanding. We even considered moving our coach to Greenville for a couple of days but we didn't—I don't remember why. Likely, we found something else to do or some other unique place to visit. Hey, it's what we do.