This historic mansion and 27 acres of grounds along the Hudson River was the home of American author Washington Irving. Sunnyside is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and it is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The home is filled with Irving’s belongings, including his writing desk and books. Tour the house and gardens led by a guide dressed in the formal clothes of the times. Visit the old icehouse, root cellar, and wood and coalhouse for a taste of 19th century life in the country. The grounds are filled with beautiful trees, hills, winding trails, ponds, a rambling stream and a waterfall. Visiting families receive a gift bag, "Irving's Traveling Totes,” loaded with games for children, a scavenger hunt, set of 19th-century style dominoes, and a "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" picture book.
This 300-year-old manor includes a farm and a millpond. It was originally owned by one of the first citizens of the Sleepy Hollow area, Frederick Philipse. It is a National Historic Landmark. The farm has an 18th century barn, a garden, farmhouse and a working water-powered grain mill, which still turns grain into flour. Guides dressed in costumes of the time act out colonial life by doing chores, milking the cows, feeding the chickens and sheep and grinding grain in the mill. Visit the dairy, kitchens, bedrooms, warehouse rooms and parlor in the main house. In the working kitchen you can shell some beans or prepare a fresh tray of biscuits.
The Old Dutch Church
This church was originally built as the church on the property of Frederick Philipse. It was used as the church for the people who worked and lived on his property. The church has been in constant use since 1690, except for a few years during the American Revolution. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, the old churchyard is where the Headless Horseman ties his horse up every night “among the graves.” This is also the spot where Ichabod Crane hides from the Headless Horseman in the Legend. If you tour the burial grounds, you might find the headstone of the real Catriena Ecker Van Tessel, otherwise known as Katrina Van Tassel, one of the main characters in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. There is a storyteller on the property who will thrill fans with the re-telling of the Washington Irving tale.
Headless Horseman Bridge, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Although this is a great old bridge to visit, it is not the exact bridge where the Headless Horseman ran Ichabod Crane off the road in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The location of the old, wooden bridge where Ichabod fell off his horse in the story has been gone for many years. This new bridge is inside Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, across the Pocantico River. The bridge's roughly shaped wooden boards rattle like the sounds of horse hoofs when cars cross the bridge. Just like the days of Ichabod! The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery surrounds the Old Dutch Burying Ground, the place known in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as the resting place of the Headless Horseman. Visit the gravesite of Washington Irving at the southern end of the cemetery in a plot overlooking the old church.
Kykuit (The Rockefeller Estate)
If you have ever wanted to visit a true old-fashion mansion with beautiful grounds and gardens, Kykuit is a perfect one! Built in 1913, the 3400 acre estate has been home to four generations of the famous Rockefeller family. Overlooking the Hudson River, the mansion sits on the highest point above Sleepy Hollow. The building is six-stories high with two basement floors, with several interconnecting underground passageways and service delivery tunnels. Kykuit has a large collection of antique cars and horse drawn vehicles in the Coach Barn and private underground art galleries. The house and grounds have beautiful furniture, paintings and sculptures, terraces, fountains and formal gardens. Named a National Historic Landmark in 1976, Kykuit is open to the public for tours through the Historic Hudson Valley. Your guide will tour you through the estate and share stories of the history of the Rockefeller family.
Tarrytown Music Hall
Built in 1885, this National Historic Landmark Theater was home to concerts, town meetings and formal balls. The famous 843-seat Music Hall was beautifully built in the Art-Deco style and is the oldest theater in Westchester County. It is one of the few theaters left in the United States built before 1900 and was one of the first theaters to show silent films in 1901. In addition to many famous musical artists, Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson made speeches at the Hall. It has received many awards including "Best Music Venue" and "Best Kids' Theater.” A non-profit theater company for local children began operating in the theater in 1995 called The Random Farms Kids Theater. The “RFKT”, as they like to call it, still hosts performances and workshops to this day in the Music Hall. Check their local schedule to see if you can catch one of their amazing musical theater performances.
Located along Lake Michigan, Grant Park is home to the Petrillo Music Shell, the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, and three different museums. The Art Institute, The Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium will thrill art lovers, future archaeologists and lovers of the sea. The highlight of the outdoor area is the Clarence Buckingham Fountain. Built in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. The four sea horses on their sides represent the four states that touch Lake Michigan: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Every hour there is a 20 minute water display featuring jets which shoot water 150 feet in the air. A proud Chicagoan, President Obama celebrated his election as President in Grant Park on the evening of November 4, 2008.
Stroll Through Millennium Park
This 24.5 acre park is in downtown Chicago and is home to the interactive Crown Fountain, Jay Pritzker Outdoor Music Pavilion, Frank Gehry BP Bridge and "the bean" Cloud Gate Mirrored Sculpture. The Jay Pritzker Pavillion is considered one of the best outdoor concert sites of its kind in the United States. The 925 foot long BP Bridge is made of brushed stainless steel and looks like a shiny winding snake connecting Millennium Park to Daley Bicentennial Plaza. The Crown Fountain has two 50 foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow 232 foot reflecting pool. The towers display digital pictures of the faces of 1,000 Chicagoans. Water flows through a water outlet in the screen to make it look like the water is spouting from their mouths. The Cloud Gate is a 110 ton kidney bean shaped stainless steel sculpture.
Museum of Science and Industry
Located in Hyde Park, the 350,000 square foot Museum of Science and Industry has over 800 exhibits and over 2,000 interactive units. Tour a World War II German submarine, the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke and the submarine USS Chicago. Climb aboard a Pioneer Zephyr passenger train, a full-size 727 airplane and the Apollo 8 Spacecraft. Take a trip into a coal mine shaft, view a 3,000 square foot model railroad, visit a fairy castle, or cruise through a 16 foot model of the human heart. Explore Farm Tech or watch baby chicks peck their way out of their shells in the Baby Chick Hatchery. Not enough? You can also watch toys being manufactured, check out the Swiss Jolly Ball (a 7 foot high classic "flipper" pinball machine), journey back in time to Main Street America, or visit the Whispering Gallery. Spend the whole day!
Visit the Lakefront
The City of Chicago sits on the shores of Lake Michigan. The twenty-six miles of lakefront and 33 beaches make it a great area for biking, walking, fishing and boating. There are 1.5 miles of bathing beaches and 19 miles of lakefront bike paths. Check out the boats in Monroe Harbor, play in the water at Oak Street Beach, and enjoy the scenery at Promontory Point in Hyde Park. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only of the five Great Lakes located entirely within the United States. The lakefront also offers world class museums, a zoo, and Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears football team.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station Historic Site
Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station is located in the village of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island. It was an active U.S. Coast Guard station from 1915 until 1954. It is now one of the only United States Life Saving Stations open to the public. All original buildings in the station still stand and daily rescue drills continue to run. The most highly awarded sea rescues in American History happened at Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station. The guards who worked at this station were called "storm warriors" because of their bravery. The most famous sea rescue occurred when the station saved the British tanker SS Mirlo in 1918. The restored Beebe-McLellan, the boat that was used to save the Mirlo crew, is on display at the site. Other exhibits at the museum include surf boats, artifacts, photographs and videos. Chicamacomico is the only place in the nation where teams of active duty U.S. Coast Guards reenact complete beach apparatus drills.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is more than 70 miles long and covers 30,000 acres along the coast of North Carolina. Founded in 1953, it was the first National Seashore in the United States and was established to protect the barrier islands along North Carolina's Atlantic coast. The Seashore is a wonderful place to relax and go shelling, bird-watching, kayaking and canoeing. Swimming is always an option along the seashore, but you should choose a beach that has lifeguards for safety. The beaches along Cape Hatteras National Seashore sparkle at night and the sand has tiny "dinoflagellates" (organisms often called "sea-sparkle") that make the sand glow with a blue-green light.
Jockey's Ridge State Park
Jockey's Ridge State Park is a 420 acre area in the town of Nags Head. It is the largest sand dune on the East Coast of the United States. The dunes change with every visit because of changing winds that are always shifting the sand. Visitors can hike, fly kites, watch hang gliders or stroll through the museum. From the top of the ridge, there are beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Roanoke Sound. There are beaches to visit on both the Atlantic side and on the side of the Roanoke Sound. The park also includes the Nags Head Wood Ecological Preserve, a 1,400 acre protected area made up of forests, swamps and ponds.
The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is located on Roanoke Island and is home to the first settlement of the "New World." British explorers and colonists set up the English Roanoke Colony in this area in 1585 and 1587. It was here that Virginia Dare, the first baby from English parents, was born in America. Virginia Dare and all the other colonists "disappeared" from Roanoke Island in 1587 and were never found again. Visitors can relive the story of the colonists by visiting the Waterside Theater and taking in the show The Lost Colony. This outdoor drama tells the story of the events leading to the disappearance of the English colonists. The show has music, dance, drama, action, and special effects with historical costumes and sets. Fort Raleigh is also home to nature trails, the Elizabeth Gardens, and a visitor's center.
Bryce National Park & Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park
Zion Canyon Visitors Center
This center is the best place to start your visit. The center has exhibits, maps, a bookstore, and shuttle bus starting point where kids can pick up booklets to earn a Junior Ranger Badge. The Zion Canyon Shuttle Loop stops at eight locations in the park. You may get on and off as often as you like. The shuttle travels along Zion Canyon Road, a 6 mile road that follows the northern portion of the Virgin River, and stops at overlooks, the starting points of walking and hiking trails and the Zion Lodge. If you would rather walk than ride, the visitor center is the place to meet up with one of the park's rangers for a tour. During the summer months kids can go to the Zion Nature Center for fun activities and programs.
The Court of Patriarchs Viewpoint
A great stop to hop off the shuttle bus is at this viewpoint where you can see three of the huge sandstone mountains named The Patriarchs. Other mountains also in view at this spot are the 5,690 foot tall Mount Moroni and the 7,157 foot tall The Sentinel. A short hike takes you to the base of these three sandstone monoliths.
This is an easy and popular one-mile walk along the Virgin River. While walking upstream, you can look up at the huge canyon walls. The trail ends at an area called The Narrows—a place where only the river can make its way through the canyon. The Riverside Walk is very scenic. The paved trail follows the Virgin River from the Temple of Sinawava, up to the entrance of The Narrows, under hanging gardens, past pools, brooklets and towering cliffs.
Emerald Pool Trails
These trails have easy, medium and hard hikes depending on how much walking you want to do. All trails lead to emerald green pools of water. At the end of the trails you will find spring fed pools, small waterfalls, and beautiful scenery. The beginning of the trail is across the highway from Zion Lodge. The easiest hike, to the Lower Emerald Pool, is paved and a little more than half a mile. The Lower Trail follows the canyon bottom to Lower Emerald Pool, which is located at the base of a cliff. Two small streams spread across the cliff face and trickle into the pools. The trail leads behind the falling water. You can see the reflection of surrounding cliffs as you look across these clear pools.
Weeping Rock Trail
This easy hike is a stop on the shuttle ride. This is one of the more popular trails in Zion Canyon. The hike is short and the scenery is spectacular, with views of the 6,744 foot Great White Throne, made of white Navajo sandstone, and parts of Zion Canyon. The trail leads you through beautiful flowers and water trickling down the cliffs. The water comes through the Navajo sandstone at places where it finds small openings. Hanging gardens of delicate plants cling to the cliff face. The end of the trail leads into an alcove, behind the curtain of water, where it is cool and moist.
Bryce Canyon National Park
This is a great place to see the hoodoos up close at eyelevel. Here the canyon rim is covered in Ponderosa Pine forest where deer, jays, turkey, chipmunks and squirrels make their homes. As you hike into the canyon below, walk through different habitats including areas of Douglas Fir forest and large groves of pine and juniper trees. Fairyland Canyon is the best place in the park to see cool creatures such as mountain lions, foxes, bobcats, and even Great Basin rattlesnakes. This canyon is also a great place to take in all the beautiful wildflowers in the park.
Mossy Cave & Mossy Cave Trail
This easy 1-mile roundtrip trail leads past a waterfall and up to a cave, with views of hoodoos along the way. Mossy Cave is in the northern section of the park. This part of the park is also a great place to see hoodoos and windows. This trail forks about a quarter mile in. If you follow the right fork in the trail you will follow the stream until you reach a small waterfall. The left fork leads you to the Mossy Cave. Mossy Cave is actually a grotto, created by an underground spring.
Hop off the Shuttle Tour at Bryce Point, one of the most scenic vistas of the full amphitheater and all its amazing scenery. Bryce Point is famous for its extraordinary sunrises. From here you can watch the tops of hoodoos set alight as if by fire from the first rays of the rising sun. Like fire, the orange light quickly spreads driving shadows from all but the deepest recesses of the amphitheater.
Sunset Point offers vistas of some of the most famous and breathtaking of Bryce Canyon's hoodoos. Directly below the point and to the south, the Silent City rises from the canyon floor, a maze of hoodoos and fins packed in tight formation. Just below the overlook on the northern edge, Thor's Hammer, a huge Hoodoo, stands alone and is one of the most famous Hoodoos in the park.
Check Out The Night Sky
Bryce Canyon is the best place to see the stars at night due to the park's high elevation and because the sky is so dark so far away from the bright lights of cities. There are few better places on planet Earth for astronomy! The night sky at Bryce is so dark you can see 7,500 stars on a moonless night! The astronomy rangers, also known as Bryce Canyon's "Dark Rangers" and volunteers are very talented and can help you with your stargazing. With big telescopes available, on a clear dark night, you can see 2.2 million light years or 527,000,000,000,000,000 miles to the Andromeda Galaxy. Don't forget to check out the fun and educational multimedia shows, Astronomy and Night Programs, Full Moon Hikes and Solar Viewings through the Park Rangers.http://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/astronomyprograms.htm
Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour
The enormous 73,000 square foot Future of Flight Aviation Center is located in the town of Everett, just 25 miles north of Seattle. Inside the Future of Flight Center, there is a 28,000 square foot gallery where you can see aircraft hang overhead from the ceiling. Along the gallery floor is also a 200 foot long runway painted with the nose section of a Boeing 727. The nose is positioned as if it's taking off from the runway. The Future of Flight features interactive programs to design your own aircraft, learn about flight control systems, and sit in the cockpits of old 727's and future 787 Dreamliners. Learn about the history and future of flight as you explore real engines and walk through the inside of both historic and new planes. The Boeing Tour which departs from the Center features the only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America. Go behind the scenes for a 90 minute tour of the plant where you can watch 747's, 767's, 777's, or 787 jumbo jets being assembled right before your eyes.
Take a Ferry Ride to Bainbridge Island
Traveling by ferry is a great way to see some of Puget Sound's most historic and scenic sites. Views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, the Seattle cityscape and the green shorelines can all be seen from the water. Board the Puget Sound Ferry Ride at Pier 52 and travel to Bainbridge Island. Only a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle, Bainbridge is one of the larger islands in the Puget Sound at five miles wide and ten miles long. Two Washington State Parks are also located on the island: Ford Ward and Fay Bainbridge. Fort Ward State Park is a 137 acre park with 4,300 feet of rocky shoreline along the Puget Sound. The park is also home to dense forests and views of the Olympic Mountains. Fay Bainbridge State Park is a 17 acre park with over 1,400 feet of sandy shoreline. From the park there are views of the Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier and Mount Baker. The Island is also popular for its hiking trails, delicious ice cream, bakeries, local charm and a Kids Discovery Museum.