The Lewis and Clark Trail Offers History, Adventure, and Scenery

If you’re looking for a unique, historical adventure in the St. Louis area that is devoid of the noise associated with any large metropolitan area, then look no further than the Lewis and Clark Trail, and thanks to this travel guide from Midwest Living, it’s never been easier. From breathtaking scenery to fascinating stories of the early 19th century, this trail offers it all, allowing you to explore the history of America’s western frontier as you hike, bike, or drive your way along the trail. Learn all about Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s 1803-1806 expedition that opened up the west and changed history forever by traversing this trail today.

Part of the National Trails System, the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail is nearly 4,900 miles in total length, and it extends through the homelands of over 60 Tribal nations as it follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. In total, the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and traverses through a total of sixteen states to the Pacific Ocean. The trail extends through portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

While the complete trail is intimidatingly extensive to fully explore, Midwest Living suggests that if you are staying near St. Louis, Missouri that you check out the nearby portion of the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail, as it offers a lot of history, scenery, and peace without taking a three-year journey.

One of the best reasons to stop by the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail is to see the spectacular views of St. Louis, its landmarks, and the nearby scenery from the many vantage points that the trail offers. One such observable point is the mighty Missouri River. This is due to the fact that the trail follows the Missouri River from its confluence with the Mississippi River to the Mandan Villages in North Dakota. The trail is also a great place to simply enjoy the outdoors, as there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping along the way. And if you’re looking for a challenge, you can even try your hand at paddling a canoe or kayak down the river.

While traversing the trail, visitors can see many important historic sites, including the Council Bluffs where Lewis and Clark met with the Otoe-Missouria tribe in 1804, and Fort Mandan, their winter headquarters. Additionally, the trail offers an excellent view of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, as the landmark is a mere 33.6 miles away.

The Lewis and Clark trailhead is located on the east side of MO94, and once you approach the trailhead sign, you’ll notice that the trail is divided into two trails: the Lewis Trail and The Clark Trail. The ClarkTrail stands at a length of 5.3 miles, and it takes approximately 3 hours to traverse, so this might be the trail to take for the more inexperienced hikers. Alternatively, The Lewis Trail is recorded at a length of 8.2 Miles, and it takes approximately 5 hours to traverse, so this might be the hiking choice for those more experienced.

Outside of this trail, there are plenty of other places to visit near St. Louis to learn more about history and see fantastic sights. Nearby, visitors can explore the Museum of Westward Expansion, which tells the story of Lewis and Clark’s journey west. The museum features exhibits on Native American culture, pioneer life, and the natural history of the region. There is also a theater where visitors can watch a short film about Lewis and Clark’s expedition.

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Six Excellent Mountain Resorts for your Next Vacation

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or this is your first time in ski lodge country, there’s no denying the utter beauty of mountain resorts. In the United States alone, there are plenty of fantastic options to choose from. Thanks to this excellent travel blog post from Travel + Leisure, you can survey and explore six of the best mountain ranges in the United States. This list covers all sorts of different terrain so that you can find the perfect fit for your next hike, weekend trip, or wintertime vacation.

Under Canvas Moab, Moab, Utah

Under Canvas Moab is nestled in the heart of Moab, Utah nearby Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. This beautiful resort and town is surrounded by red rock cliffs and towering mountains, making it the perfect spot for Under Canvas Moab to offer luxury camping experiences with all the amenities of home. Each spacious canvas tent includes a king-sized bed, private bathrooms, and a deck with stunning views. Guests can enjoy on-site activities such as hiking, biking, and canoeing– as well as on-site programming that includes guided tours, yoga, and s’mores by the campfire.

The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Valley, California

Designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood in 1927, The Ahwahnee is a historic luxury hotel located in Yosemite Valley, California. The Ahwahnee is known for its grandiose architecture and spectacular setting, and has been featured in many films and television shows over the years for its decadence. If you’re looking to relax in style while also being in close proximity to Half Dome and El Capitan trailheads, you’re in the right place.

Jenny Lake Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge, Wyoming

Both Jenny Lake Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge are operated by the Grand Teton Lodge Company, and they’re two of the best mountain lodges in all of Wyoming, which is saying a lot. They offer stunning views of the Teton Range, as well as a variety of activities for guests to enjoy. Jenny Lake Lodge is located in Grand Teton National Park, and it offers a variety of accommodations, including suites, cabins, and cottages. The lodge also has a restaurant, bar, and gift shop. Guests can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and kayaking. Jackson Lake Lodge is also located in Grand Teton National Park, near Moran, and it’s seen as a complement to Jenny Lake Lodge, as both have similar amenities and rave reviews.

Topnotch Resort, Stowe, Vermont

Looking to hit the slopes this winter? Then you’ll want to check out Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vermont. Ranked as one of the best mountain resorts in the country, Topnotch offers superb skiing and snowboarding conditions on its world-class trails. But it’s not just the slopes that make Topnotch a top pick for winter vacationers. The resort also boasts luxurious accommodations, outstanding dining, and a wide range of family-friendly activities. So whether you’re looking to hit the powder or simply relax and enjoy the winter scenery, Topnotch Resort is sure to please.

Viceroy Snowmass, Snowmass Village, Colorado

Viceroy Snowmass is a AAA Four-Diamond resort in Snowmass Village, Colorado that features ski-in/ski-out access to Snowmass Mountain, as well as a number of luxury amenities and services. Guests can enjoy on-site dining at one of the resort’s three restaurants, relax in the spa, or take advantage of the 24-hour fitness center. Viceroy Snowmass also offers a variety of event and meeting spaces, making it the perfect place for weddings, conferences, and other special occasions.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado is one of the best mountain resorts in the United States. The resort overlooks the city of Colorado Springs and is situated at the base of Cheyenne Mountain. The Broadmoor offers a variety of accommodations, including suites, townhomes, and villas. The resort also features an award-winning spa,championship golf courses, tennis courts, and several restaurants.

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Thanksgiving Travel Ideas

The Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching and if you haven’t already confirmed your travel plans or your destination, now’s the time. Luckily, if you’re scrambling to figure out what to do with your November holiday, it’s certainly not too late. The good news is that there are plenty of destinations to travel to over the Thanksgiving holiday without spending a lot of money. In this travel blog article from Travel + Leisure, you’ll find a great list of destinations that won’t break the bank as well as some advice on how to book last-minute deals so you don’t get stuck with high prices.

Many people have a tough time finding time to plan their Thanksgiving vacation in advance. One of the most stressful parts of this process is booking plane tickets, rental cars, or train tickets considering how expensive they can be near the holiday season. According to a survey from HomeToGo, 2022 prices of holiday flights are expected to reach the highest rates in the past five years. How do travelers adapt accordingly? Simply substitute your high-end vacation destinations like Cape Cod or Maui for versatile and magical destinations like Carolina Beach, which was recently named for having one of the best beaches in the state of North Carolina, or you can even substitute Isla Mujeres,which is located just off of the coast of Cancun.

Killington, Vermont

Killington is one of the best places to book an affordable last-minute Thanksgiving vacation; this is due to the fact that the town is located in the heart of the Green Mountains and is home to Killington Resort, the largest ski resort in New England.

Thanksgiving is clearly the optimal time to visit Killington, as the town is decked out in holiday lights and decorationsfor the annual Vermont Holiday Festival. This festival features nearly 100 beautifully decorated Christmas trees for families to enjoy as well as a slew of festive events. The town also has the annual Killington Turkey Trot 5K, which takes place on the morning of Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for some fun activities to do during your stay, Killington has plenty to offer; in addition to skiing and snowboarding, there’s ice skating, dog sled tours, snowmobiling, and more. And when you need a break from all the outdoor adventure, you can check out some of Killington’s top-rated restaurants and shops.

Carolina Beach, North Carolina

If you’re wanting a warmer area of the country than the ski paradise of Killington, then you ought to consider Carolina Beach, North Carolina for your Thanksgiving vacation destination this year. With its lovely weather and sandy shores, Carolina Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the holiday. Plus, there are plenty of affordable hotels and vacation rentals available. For a budget-friendly option, check out the Ocean Dunes Resort & Villas. This resort offers oceanfront suites and villas at an affordable price. Another great option is the Hampton Inn & Suites Carolina Beach Oceanfront. This hotel provides guests with complimentary breakfast and a stellar view.

While staying in town, there’s no shortage of things to do in Carolina Beach. Stroll along the waterfront, enjoy a delicious seafood dinner, or explore the town’s many shops and boutiques. Be sure to visit the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, where you can ride the Ferris wheel, play some arcade games, and enjoy some tasty treats.

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is a great place to book an affordable last-minute Thanksgiving vacation. The city has a number of hotels and resorts that offer special rates for Thanksgiving weekend, making it a great option for those looking to save money on their holiday travel. Additionally, Greenville is home to a number of attractions and activities that are perfect for families or couples looking to enjoy some time together during the holidays. Thanks to its central location, Greenville is also a great jumping-off point for exploring the rest of South Carolina or taking a day trip to North Carolina.

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The Best Barbecue Restaurants in the American South

The United States is a big country, and that means there are a lot of barbecue restaurants to choose from. But which ones are the best? Thanks to this excellently researched travel blog post from Southern Living that counts down the 50 best barbecue restaurants in the Southern United States, there’s never been a better time for a barbecue road trip. From Texas to Tennessee, these restaurants will satiate your cravings for slow-cooked barbecue, savory side dishes, and southern hospitality. So whether you’re looking for ribs, pulled pork, or brisket, be sure to check out this list before your next BBQ road trip.

There’s no denying that the South has some of the best barbecue food in the country. The following are just a few of the reasons why the South has the best barbecue in the United States. First, the proof is in its history. Barbecue has been a part of Southern culture for centuries, and it’s something that locals take great pride in. When it comes to barbecue, the South simply knows what they’re doing. Secondly, the flavor; southern barbecue is all about slow-cooking meats over low heat to get that perfect balance of smoke and flavor. This cooking method lets the natural flavors of the meat shine through, and results in some of the most delicious barbecue you’ll ever taste.

Thirdly, there are the excellent side dishes. No Southern BBQ meal is complete without a heaping helping of coleslaw or baked beans on the side. Lastly, the hospitality is simply unmatched. When you eat barbecue in the South, you can expect to be treated like family. Whether you’re at a casual roadside stand or a fine dining restaurant, southern hospitality will make you feel right at home.

If you find yourself in Texas wanting to seek out some excellent barbecue, you’re in luck. The state is home to some of the best barbecue restaurants in the country. Franklin Barbecue: Located in Austin, Franklin Barbecue is widely considered to be one of the best barbecue joints in Texas (and the country). The line to get food here can be long, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Elsewhere in Texas, be sure to check out the Pecan Lodge. A favorite restaurant of Dallas, the Pecan Lodge has won numerous awards for its delicious barbecue, and its notable brisket. Lastly, Texas has Killen’s Barbecue, which is located in Pearland (just outside of Houston). Killen’s Barbecue has been voted one of the best barbecue restaurants in Texas by multiple publications.

Mississippi has no shortage of excellent barbecue restaurants. In particular, one of the prides of the state and Ocean Springs, Mississippi is The Shed Barbecue & Blues Joint. This restaurant has been serving up some of the best barbecue in Mississippi for over 25 years. The Shed is known for their pulled pork, ribs, and chicken, and they also have a great selection of sides and desserts. Located in the Mississippi towns of Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Ocean Springs is Murky Waters Blues and BBQ. This restaurant is also a vibrant blues club that serves up an authentic Mississippi atmosphere alongside its world-class smoker.

If you’re looking for some of the best barbecue in Arkansas, look no further than Sims Bar-B-Que in Little Rock. While the original restaurant was started in 1937, the modern-day Sims is still satisfying customers with its world-famous Sims Bar-B-Que Sauce. Check out Sim’s pork shoulder, as it’s slow-cooked to perfection and smothered in a tangy, slightly sweet sauce. Another can’t-miss barbecue destination in Arkansas is Whole Hog Cafe, also located in Little Rock. As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in whole hog roast, and it’s definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of pulled pork. The meats are smoked over hickory wood for hours until they’re perfectly tender, and the resulting sandwiches are absolutely awesome.

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Don’t Miss an Opportunity to Visit Washington State

With its diverse landscape, a multitude of natural resources and rich history, Washington State is the perfect destination for anyone looking to get away and experience the absolute most. From Seattle’s busy cityscape to the Pacific Ocean beach towns of the coast and Olympic National Park’s lush rainforest, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit Washington State. In fact, this handy guide from the travel blog The Culture Trip details the numerous “Reasons Why You Should Visit Washington State,” so consider referring to that resource the next time you’re planning a vacation to a destination with a lot to offer.

San Juan Islands

One of Washington State’s best-kept secrets from the rest of the country has to be its stunning San Juan Islands, which are a group of islands in the northwest corner of Washington State that are known for their natural beauty and spectacular views. The San Juan Islands are accessed by Washington State Ferries, which depart from Seattle via the San Juan Clipper, which will bring you straight to Friday Harbor. Alternatively, you can take the Puget Sound Express from Port Townsend to Friday Harbor, or you can take a seaplane from Seattle, Everett, or other locations in the area. The majority of the San Juans consists of uninhabited islands; however, approximately 700 people live on San Juan Island year-round, and for good reason! The sparse population leaves plenty of space for boaters and hikers seeking peace and solitude while exploring this beautiful part of the world.

A Collection of National Parks

Washington State is home to 18 national park sites, including Mount Rainier National Park, which is a famous icon in the Washington Landscape, an active volcano, and one of the most picturesque mountain ranges in the world; this is because it’s home to some of the highest peaks in Washington—including Mt. Rainier itself at 14,411 feet (4,392 m). While there are many hiking trails that offer incredible views, perhaps one of the best ways to experience this national park is by taking advantage of its proximity to water activities like kayaking or rafting on rivers like the Nisqually Riveror White River. Also in the state is the impressive  Olympic National Park, which is a park heralded for its immense diversity in terms of precipitation, elevation, and wilderness. Olympic National Park boasts more than 75 miles (120 km) of coastline along its 1 million acres, making it one of only three U.S parks with an ocean view from every point within its boundaries—and includes beaches like Third Beach near Forks where you can watch humpback whales offshore.

Nearby Apple Orchards

If you’re in the mood for something less hiking or water traversal-intensive, then look no further than the sheer joy that comes along with exploring the apple orchards of Wenatchee Valley and Yakima Valley. In the Wenatchee Valley and Yakima Valley, you can find some of the largest apple orchards in the United States. These valleys are home to more than 3,000 varieties of apples, including Honeycrisp (named after its sweet taste), Grimes Golden (which has an exceptionally long shelf life) and Winesap (with a deep red flesh that is juicy and flavorful). If you visit these areas during harvest season (fall into winter), you’ll see workers picking apples by hand at night by torchlight to avoid damaging them during transport. You’ll also notice large tractors moving bins full of apples along conveyor belts before they’re transported via rail car or truck to be sold as fresh fruit or processed into juice or cider products around the world.

Breathtaking RainForests

The Hoh Rainforest on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S,and it’s guaranteed to take your breath away. The Hoh Rain Forest was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re in Washington if not only for the sights of “a lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous species [and] mosses and ferns that blanket the surfaces add another dimension to the enchantment of the rainforest.”

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American Attractions That You Shouldn’t Pass Up

Whenever you’re traveling across the United States of America, you might have the proclivity to visit the notable and famous landmarks that make this country iconic, outstanding, and special such as Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, Nevada’s Hoover Dam, or South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore National Monument. The only problem is that because these are some of the most notable tourist attractions in the country, countless other travelers will have already beaten you to the destination, which can lessen the experience. Thankfully, TravelPulse has compiled a list of the most underrated American attractions to be found in each state in the country, allowing you to explore unforgettable hidden gems like peculiar rock formations, often-forgotten national parks, and one-of-a-kind museums without a crowd of tourists at your heels.

While the total list features one American attraction per each of our fifty states, below is only a snippet of a few locations that each stands out from the pack in terms of iconography, natural majesty, and peculiarity. Be sure to independently look into any attraction before setting off to visit, as many have specific visiting guidelines and operations hours.

Downtown Oklahoma’s “Center of the Universe”

Located on the street north of Tulsa’s Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is an attraction that is said to be the “Center of the Universe.” In reality, this is a quirky acoustic anomaly that looks pretty unremarkable; it’s a small concrete circle located within a larger circle of bricks, but it’s the auditory sounds of this attraction that make it a must-visit for whenever you’re in Tulsa. When someone stands in the center of the circle and makes a noise, the sound is then echoed back several times louder than it was initially made, remarkably creating one’s own private echo chamber.

Pennsylvania’s Magic Gardens

The Magic Gardens of Pennsylvania aren’t just cutely-named; they are the features of truly transcendent ecosystems of beauty, wonder, and life that you’re able to visit and feel as though you’re in another point in time entirely. The Magic Gardens is a triple-threat: a non-profit organization, folk art environment, and gallery space that’s located on Philadelphia’s South Street. Spanning three city lots, the Magic Gardens is an expansive collection of works created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, encompassed in the form of indoor art galleries, a large outdoor labyrinth, and bounding collections of botanical gardens. Outside of the city, you can step foot into iconic centers of flora and fauna spectacle by visiting the 50-acre public garden and National Historic Landmark at Bartram’s Garden; over 1,077 acres of woodlands, gardens, and meadows at the Longwood (botanical) Gardens; or the other-worldly grounds surrounding the 17th Century-style home and nationally-ranked garden at West Fairmount Park’s Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

Clear Lake, Iowa’s Surf Ballroom

Supplied with Ames, Des Moines, and the actual Field of Dreams which is located in Dubuque County, the state of Iowa has a lot of attractions worthy of a pitstop or full-intentioned visit. Despite this, there’s only a singular location in Iowa, specifically the town of Clear Lake, that is in and of itself a Historic Rock and Roll Landmark that could honestly be considered the setting of “The Day the Music Died,” otherwise known as the final performances of Rock and Roll titans Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. These three greats all performed for the last time on February 2, 1959, in Clear Lake’s The Surf Ballroom, which is a destination that you can step foot in to see just what Don Mclean was singing about in the ubiquitous ballad “American Pie.” Inundate yourself in Rock and Roll history by touring the Surf Ballroom, a venue that has monumental importance to an entire genre indebted to it the next time you’re considering a trip to Clear Lake’s waterfront.

 

All of these American attractions are definitely worth the trip.  For more travel-related news and information, click here.