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The Surfing Clipart shown on this page illustrates just one of many fun things to do in America, which features all kinds of climates and topography for all kinds of activities.
Below is a list of interesting activities and attractions, one for every state. They were chosen based on the following qualities: 1) not necessarily the most obvious tourist destination, 2) a place where visitors often spend at least half a day, 3) ongoing for at least half the year, and 4) mass appeal.
Unclaimed Baggage Center
This Scottsboro outlet store is the place where anything lost at the airport can be purchased at a bargain price. The size of the store's inventory makes Target look like a 7-11. If and when you get tired of bargain hunting, check out the Unclaimed Freight Museum (photo below), which features unclaimed items so valuable, wonderful, or just plain weird that they’re not for sale.
Ultra-Dome Luxury Rail Cars
Rated as Alaska's number one rail experience, the Ultra Dome rail cars have set the standard for luxury rail travel in the nation. The train travels daily between Anchorage and Fairbanks from May through September, and the cars feature the largest domed windows ever built for a rail car. It also has the only open-air outdoor observation platforms on the Alaska Railroad. Passengers enjoy some of the most breath taking scenery in the natural world. Also available: Fine dining with authentic Alaskan cuisine prepared by top-rated chefs.
This is an assembled western town in Pomerene. A guy named Gammon spent 30 years driving all over the country buying buildings and other artifacts. Then he built a complete western town filled with authentic antiques. The site has been used as the set for several western movies.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
In the town of Murfreesboro you can visit the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public. For a small fee, you can dig for diamonds and keep what you find. A gem specialist at the info desk is available to analyze your gems for you.
An amazing little storybook village of a town just south of Monterey. Carmel is world renowned for its European style, white sandy beaches, performing arts culture, and dozens of shops, art galleries and restaurants. A bit "touristy," but the town's overall charm and lovely architecture are well worth putting up with a few cheesy souvenir shops. Carmel has been rated among the top ten destinations in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler.
While you're there, don't forget to surf the waves.
Just a few miles northwest of Aspen, the town of Snowmass is famous for its skiing and snowboarding. But Snowmass Village also features many unique and memorable activities for those of us who don’t feel like exerting ourselves. There’s an artist’s colony and several museums. There’s fine dining, guided nature tours, and musical entertainment. You can even take a ride in a snowmobile, a dog sled, a sleigh, or a hot air balloon, all of them offering outstanding scenery and wildlife viewing. There’s also paragliding, snowshoeing, and outdoor ice skating. Lots of cool shopping too.
This historic village on the west bank of the Connecticut River has a lot to offer in terms of Art, Antiques, Boutiques, Museums, Marinas, Inns, and Restaurants. Worth trying is the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride (available May-December). It features a trip on a 1920s train coach with an authentic steam locomotive, followed by a cruise on the river boat Becky Thatcher.
Little Italy (Wilmington)
A historic urban neighborhood, located around the area of Lincoln Street and 4th Street. It features several fine dining establishments, noted for their authentic flavors, alongside dozens of interesting retail shops.
Located in Coconut Creek (just east of Pompano Beach), this place claims to be the largest butterfly aviary in the world today. Stroll among thousands of exotic butterflies soaring in a tropical rainforest. Waterfalls, ponds, birds, orchids, and roses complete the habitat.
Features include a breeding laboratory, botanical gardens, a museum / insectarium, and a gift and plant shop. Other Coconut Creek diversions include miniature golf, bumper boats and navigating your way through a giant maze.
River Street Marketplace
Thanks to Savannah’s prosperous ports, Georgia is becoming a major center of global commerce. This is apparent at the bustling shops of the River Street Marketplace. Stroll this open-air venue and browse its unique selection local crafts and world goods, including items from Nepal, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Japan, Australia and China.
Polynesian Cultural Center
This beautiful Oahu attraction consists of seven Pacific island villages on 42 tropical acres. Featured activities include an authentic luau, Hawaii’s only canoe pageant, an elaborate evening show, a Polynesian art and handicrafts marketplace, and an IMAX theater.
Idaho Black History Museum
Yes, Virginia, there ARE black people in Idaho! This quaint Boise museum illustrates the history and culture of Idaho’s African American population, beginning with a slave named York, who accompanied Lewis & Clark on their historic journey west in 1805. The museum has many interesting exhibits, educational programs and special events. Because of Idaho’s bad reputation on the racial front, some jokers refer to this place as “The world’s first whites-only black history museum.”
Puppet Opera in Focus
It's a miniature Opera House in Rolling Meadows, where famous Operas are performed by incredible Puppets that look and move exactly like real people. It is completely amazing. And the elaborate sets look exactly like real places. The attention to detail is astounding. The invisible puppet orchestra is conducted by an Arturo Toscanini look-alike, and the illusion of real opera is even further realized by puppet spectators viewing the performance from balconies. Brilliant, unique, and EXTREMELY worthwhile!
This historic 80-acre homestead in Nappanee lets you experience the lifestyle of the Amish, where it seems that time stood still over a hundred years ago. Take a guided tour of the farmland. Visit one of the restaurants. Enjoy the musical theater, craft demonstrations, and quaint shops. A peaceful retreat from a fast-paced world.
This unique and beautiful town in central western Iowa is known for its castles and medieval architecture. In-town activities include swimming, racquetball, sauna and whirlpool at the Community Center. And there’s a skating palace, a bowling alley, a theater, tennis and volleyball courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields and practice fields. Also of interest is the world’s coolest Pizza Hut on the banks of a man-made lake. Enjoy your meal on the patio and feed the scraps to the many waterfowl who live there. And be sure to visit "Old Town," the original village at the north end of Ida Grove, built in 1871.
Wyandotte County Lake Park
1,500 acres of woods and a 400-acre lake nestled inside Kansas City limits. Boat rentals are available, and boating and fishing are allowed from March thru November, although permits are required. The park features a large children's playground, horse trail and a model railroad with free rides the second Saturday of every month from April to November.
Lost River Cave Boat Tours
This Bowling Green attraction is one of only a few caves that offer boat tours on an underground river. Open year round, but you can't go if the water is too high because of rain.
On Charles Street, just two blocks from the Mississippi River, Harry Anderson (magician, comedian, and star of a 90s TV hit called Night Court) runs a unique store devoted to freakery, sideshows, magic, and practical jokes. They sell runes, tarot decks, magic tricks, books, and more. His wife Elizabeth hand-crafts beautiful jewelry from antique dice and Mah Jong tiles. If you want to learn about Sideshows and their history, go visit the "tent." There is a video featuring freaks and geeks, a rare sideshow model of Schlitzie, and other sideshow performers of yesteryear painted by Harry himself. Harry enjoys demonstrating some of the tricks for sale.
Old Orchard Beach
This is a quaint, seaside town with its own Amtrak station, where the train stops daily on its way between Boston and Portland. Miles of sandy beaches, enjoyed by so many in the summer, are perfect for a mid day stroll on the nearly deserted sand in the winter. Horseback riding is available in the fall, when leaves transform into a kaleidoscope of colors that people from all over the world come to see. Great shopping and sightseeing all year round. Hayrides, sleigh rides, and many other seasonal activities are available. Spring and fall excursions feature beautiful weather, smaller crowds and off-season savings.
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Frederick’s 50-block historic district features breathtaking 18th and 19th century architecture (including the clustered spires that made it famous). Frederick is also home to hundreds of unique specialty shops, art galleries, antique dealers and restaurants, all within walking distance of each other. Evening entertainment is also available. Time your visit to coincide with one of the many special events produced there on more than 30 weekends throughout the year.
Jordan’s Furniture Store and Trapeze School
Yes, you read it correctly. This offbeat store in Reading features a town made out of jelly beans, a gigantic liquid fireworks display, and a trapeze school where anyone try it. Or you can simply watch experienced trapeze artists flip thru the air as you browse the fine furniture. There's even an Imax theater. And the popular Kelly’s Roast beef has a lunch counter inside the store.
Blandford Nature Center
Woods, ponds and streams are preserved within the city of Grand Rapids. Blandford’s trails and animal exhibits are open every day. Admission is free, but they do charge a fee for participation in seasonal programs on maple syrup production, pioneer history and crafts. Grand Rapids also features a wide assortment of fine restaurants, and exceptional shopping at the Woodland Mall.
Located just two hours from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul on the shores of Lake Darling, the resort offers year-round activities. In the warm weather there’s golf, swimming, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Winter activities include sleigh rides, snowmobile rentals, skating and ice fishing. All year round they offer a full line of spa treatments, and their crowning glory is Minnesota Big Splash, a 38,000 square foot indoor water park. Facilities are usually open to the public.
Old Town Bay St. Louis
Old Town in Bay St. Louis is the home of 200 resident artists. The streets of Old Town are lined with enough antique shops, art galleries, gift shops, boutiques, specialty shops and restaurants to please any appetite. And the local antebellum architecture is beautiful.
Take a guided tour of this seven-story underground natural wonder in Stanton (about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis). The Jesse James gang is supposed to have used the cave as a hideout. The park also has a restaurant, a gift shop, a motel, RV sites, tent sites, and a playground. Other activities include riverboat rides, canoe rentals and fishing on the Meramec River. Park and caverns are open year-round.
Red Lodge Historic District
The town of Red Lodge, just north of the Wyoming border, features late 19th century architecture from the coal mining boom. The downtown area has a wide variety of restaurants, motels, and shops. Remnants of the ethnic groups that settled Red Lodge are preserved in Hibug Town, Finn Town and Little Italy.
Fremont & Elkhorn Valley Railroad
This historic railroad, owned and operated by the Nebraska Railroad Museum, runs on 17 miles of track from Fremont to Hooper, Nebraska. The tour includes a half-hour stop in the village of Nickerson. Caboose and climate controlled group coach charters are available year-round. If you ride to Hooper, you can visit the town's 1890's Main Street, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Black Canyon River Raft Tours
Take a journey on the Colorado River by raft. See hot springs, waterfalls, stunning geological formations, other-worldly desert plants, and abundant wildlife. The raft gently travels through 12 miles of the pristine Colorado River. And this is just one of Boulder City’s many unique features. Unlike the rest of Nevada, Boulder City is alive with trees and greenery. It’s also the only city in Nevada where gambling is illegal. But if it’s gambling you’re after, the busy city of Henderson is only 10 minutes away by bus.
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No one knows who built this maze of stone chambers, walls and ceremonial meeting places in what is now known as North Salem. Over 4,000 years old, America's Stonehenge is most likely the oldest man-made construction in the United States. Built by ancient people well versed in astronomy and stone construction, it has been determined that the site is an accurate astronomical calendar. It was, and still can be, used to determine specific solar and lunar events of the year. Inscriptions can been found throughout the site, in several ancient languages. Dr. Barry Fell of Harvard University researched these inscriptions, and they are detailed in his book America B.C. Friendly alpacas roam the 105-acre property year round for visitors’ enjoyment. A unique gift shop and bookstore carry items such as rocks and minerals, greeting cards, music, t-shirts, candles, jewelry, incense, and a great selection of books, including a few out of print titles.
Historic Smithville & Village Green
Just fifteen minutes north of Atlantic City, this restored colonial village has cobblestone paths lined with beautifully restored colonial architecture. Dozens of unique and curious craft & collectible shops line the narrow streets, and there are many nice restaurants to choose from.
Melanie Hot Springs is a fantastic set of natural springs alongside a remote portion of the upper Gila River, north of Silver City. Bathing opportunities include three small rock pools and a small, warm waterfall. Delightfully undeveloped.
However, if you prefer to be pampered, try Ten Thousand Waves just outside of Santa Fe. It’s a Japanese-style hot mineral water health spa that offers an incredible variety of spa treatments and bathing options.
In northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, which overlooks the Hudson River, the Cloisters is a magical place devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Approximately five thousand works of art, dating from about 800 A.D., with particular emphasis on the twelfth through fifteenth century, are exhibited here. Renowned for its architectural sculpture, The Cloisters also rewards visitors with exquisite illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and tapestries.
African American Cultural Complex
A unique collection of artifacts, documents and displays of outstanding contributions made by African Americans are housed in several buildings along a picturesque nature trail in Raleigh.
An authentic old west town with modern shopping and wild west style entertainment. Features include museums, a children’s playground, historical presentations, guided tours, and buggy rides. Other outdoor activities include biking, hiking, horseback riding, and golf.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Experience one of the oldest, longest, and most scenic excursion railways in the country. Journey through the heart of beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park, along the Cuyahoga River and the historic Ohio & Erie Canalway between Cleveland and Akron, and then on to Canton. Choose from a variety of different excursions and special events available throughout the year.
Arbuckle Trail Rides
Wolfe Ranch Quarter Horses in Sulphur offers half day and full day trail rides for recreational riders in the Arbuckle Mountains area of southern Oklahoma. They have permission to ride on some of the biggest and most historic ranches in the area, many of them with great photo opportunities. Each ride is arranged to suit the recreational goals and riding experience of each group. Operational year round.
Peterson Rock Gardens & Bend
Four acres of miniature castles, ponds, and bridges all made of various Central Oregon rocks, in a park-like setting in Redmond, which is just north of the spectacular town of Bend.
Only moments away from mountains, rivers, lakes and desert, Bend is uniquely balanced with an urban nightlife, fine dining, and many cool places to shop.
Penn's Cave in Centre Hall is America's only all-water Cavern & Wildlife Park. An informative guide leads you through the caverns by boat. See breath-taking rock formations and other natural mysteries for a truly amazing and unique experience. You can also ride in an open-air bus throughout some of the 1500 acres of the Penn's Cave Farm . Bears, Wolves, Elk, Bison, Texas Longhorns, Deer, Bobcats & the new African Animal Museum are all part of this tour.
Tiverton Four Corners
This area was placed on the National Historic Register in 1974. It’s a rural village that dates from the 17th century, and is a center for antiques, fine art, gourmet food, distinctive crafts, gifts and clothing. Pastoral landscapes and old-fashioned stone walls create a quaint backdrop for shops and historic buildings, such as the 1865 Union Public Library, still serving the public. Four Corners is 1.5 miles from the beach and an hour drive from Newport, Providence, Boston, Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts.
Sea Pines Forest Preserve
A 605-acre paradise on Hilton Head Island offering guided tours. The preserve features towering loblolly pines, majestic live oaks, and southern bayberry, and is home to many species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and various other creatures. Points of interest include a 4,000 year old Indian Shell Ring and a Wildflower Meadow. Fishing is allowed with a permit and The Sea Pines Resort Recreation Department rents fishing equipment. The Nature Center displays hands-on, live animal exhibits.
The Roo Ranch
An impressive collection of about 40 well cared-for kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos in the unlikely location of Deadwood, South Dakota. The animals are kept in clean activity areas and seem happy and well. A guide conducts tours and answers questions. If your timing is lucky, you may even get to pet a baby roo.
Clarksville Downtown Historic Architectural District
The district contains a fine collection of 1870s period architecture. Local activities include dining, shopping, sightseeing, and various forms of live entertainment. The downtown area was devastated by a tornado in 1999, but has since been revitalized.
Located on Galveston Island, attractions at Moody Gardens include The Aquarium Pyramid, featuring aquatic life from the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and North and South Pacific Oceans; The Rainforest Pyramid, alive with the lush greenery and wildlife of the world’s rainforests; and The Discovery Pyramid, displaying the world of science. The site also has a Ridefilm Theater (a passenger ride featuring a 180 degree spherically-curved screen), a 4D Special FX Theater complete with sights, sounds and smells, and an IMAX® 3D Theater. The Moody Gardens Hotel features spa treatments, a water park, and 242 acres of botanical gardens.
Sundance is a year-round mountain community at the base of Mount Timpanogos in the north fork of Provo Canyon. Day visitors and overnight guests enjoy skiing, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, art workshops, concerts, dining, shopping and more. The 6,000 acre property features incredibly beautiful mountain scenery.
Charlie Horse Sleigh Rides
Enjoy the breathtaking views of Hyde Park while relaxing in a sleigh or enjoying a hayride. Winter recreation in the area also includes tubing, sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating, and skiing.
Known for its abundance of migratory birds and wild horses, this area is perhaps the most beautiful of the many small islands dotting Virginia's Eastern Shore. World famous for its oyster beds and clam shoals, this picturesque island is the also the gateway to Assateague Island National Seashore. Guided tours are plentiful. For those who would rather stay in town, try exploring the unique shops and eateries. Chincoteague Island is the home of many outstanding craftsmen and artists. In-town trolley service is available during the summer months, but it’s a beautiful place all year round.
Nestled in the heart of Downtown Spokane, this urban 100 acre park features beautiful lush green meadows and a cascading river. Activities include miniature golf, carousel rides, and scenic gondola sky rides over the Spokane Falls. The park also features a giant screen IMAX theater, a seasonal ice skating rink, and many events and festivals.
Berkeley Springs Mineral Baths
Near the Potomac River at the northern part of the Eastern Panhandle, practically within shouting distance of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington DC, Berkeley Springs has welcomed weary travelers since George Washington discovered its sparkling mineral waters in 1748. The town's healing waters and spa treatments continue to define its inviting character. But you’ll also find a lively arts community, with many nice galleries and shops, as well as free summer concerts in the state park.
Located on that skinny peninsula near the northeastern tip of Wisconsin, Sturgeon Bay is a year round attraction well known for its magnificent sunrises and sunsets. Summer months offer swimming, fishing, and sailing. Play golf, pick your own cherries, visit a lighthouse, or tour an art gallery. Fall is a golden season, filled with roadside stands and farmers' markets. Tromp through leaf-covered trails and take a leisurely boat ride along the colorful shoreline. In winter you can discover holiday treasures in specialty shops, and cozy up in front of a crackling fire at one of many charming bed & breakfast inns. Springtime enlivens the landscape with thousands of colorful blossoms such as cherry, daffodils, trilliums, and lady slippers.
Grand Teton National Park on Horseback
For a feel of the real West, try a guided horseback ride of varying duration through Wyoming’s northwestern wilderness. Wagon rides are also available. Winter activities include snowmobiling, but the mountain meadows of the high Rockies are world famous for their stunning wildflowers in spring and summer.
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