Top 10 Nashville at Night Attractions

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Nashville is a city in which creativity thrives.  Not only is it the epicenter of country music, it has evolved into a place where music of all genres is created, recorded and performed.  It is a natural draw for musical artists and songwriters and for talented people in other areas of performing  and visual arts.

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Visitors come to Nashville primarily for the music. Anywhere you go downtown, day or night, there’s live music playing.  It streams from bars, restaurants and clubs, and throbs through the walls of huge venues. Choices are countless, especially at night when the music scene transforms from its daytime vibe of mellow and fun to a high energy, rocking, dancing, sing-along place. While country music dominates the live music scene, Nashville has other great nighttime entertainment options.

This top 10 list includes options from traditional country music played in Honky Tonks to classic symphony performances at the Schermerhorn and other nighttime attractions.

  1. Nashville Night Tour. Nashville at night can be baffling to first time visitors. Rows of blinking neon lights beckon and wonderful venues call out.  Get a great overview of Nashville after dark on a 2.5 hour Nashville Night Tour aboard the Old Town Trolley.  Talented on-board guides make sure you have a great time during an evening of the evolution of music filled with wonderful stories about the legendary musicians who got their start here – past and present.   Get close-up looks of famous music places from big viewing windows – landmarks glowing against the dark sky, Honky Tonks on lower Broadway casting color and sound into the trolley, crowded Printers Alley, Music Row, Ryman Auditorium, The Station Inn, Ellson Place’s Rock Block.  Get off the trolley to catch a 30 minute performance in a live music venue, and again for a stroll across John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge for amazing skyline views and great photo ops. Find discounted tickets herenashville-at-night
  2. Lower Broadway. Most visitors walk packed lower Broadway to pop into some of the legendary Honky Tonks along the way.  All have live country music. Tootsies Orchid Lounge is a country music institution; Legends Corner is a classic honky; The Stage has great music and a big dance floor. Don’t miss all-American casual food and ambiance at retro Paradise Park Trailer Park Resort.
  3. Printers Alley. The narrow kitchy alley between 3rd and 4th Avenue and between Union and Church streets is a nighttime place. Not much is open during the day and the neon lights at night give the sometimes littered alley a cool, eclectic vibe.  It’s lined with bars, small restaurants and karaoke bars. Bourbon Street & Boogie Bar is a nice change from traditional country music. On-going renovation may change its unique character.
  4. 2nd Street Saloons and Clubs. Running parallel to the river, 2nd Street has lots of saloons and eateries. Three-level Wild Horse Saloon, a bar, concert site and dance venue boasts the largest dance floor in the city; George Jones Rooftop has great views and great wings; BB King’s Blues Club carries on the heritage of the King of Blues.nashville-ryman-auditorium-stage
  5. Ryman Auditorium. For first time visitors, attending a performance at the “Mother Church of Country Music” is a must. It was in this acoustically amazing music heritage site that the Grand Ole Opry radio show performed live from 1943 until the early 1970s.  Today, the beautifully renovated concert hall retains its magic, hosting entertainers of all genres.  Check out the Ryman calendar to see who’s performing during your visit.  Country music traditionalists should catch an Opry Country Classics performance featuring a celebrity host and guests.
  6. Grand Ole Opry. Head across the Cumberland River for a performance at the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry does not release final line-ups until the Wednesday prior to each performance, but get tickets ahead of time and be surprised.  Show line-ups are always awesome!  The music is rousing and being part of a live radio broadcast is a blast! grand-ole-opry-at-night
  7. Tennessee Performing Art Center and Schermerhorn Symphony Hall. These two remarkable venues demonstrate the depth and quality of the artistic talent in Nashville.  TPAC, located in the James K. Polk Cultural Center in downtown Nashville, has a several large performance venues – an auditorium, two theaters and a large hall.  It presents an exciting array of Broadway shows and special performances.  It’s also the venue for performances of the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Opera and Nashville Repertory Theater.  Schermerhorn Symphony Center is an architecturally grand concert hall known for the richness and diversity of performances held there.  The Nashville Symphony offers its Classical series with an amazing range of exciting performances. In addition to classical offerings, the Schermerhorn presents pops, jazz and music from all over the world.  For a special Nashville evening in a lovely venue, take a look at the schedule and attend.
  8. Belcourt Theater. Sometimes an indie film is just the ticket for a nice break from the live music scene and crowds.   This hidden gem in the Hillsboro Village District is the place to go.  Originally build in 1925, and recently renovated, it’s a small, pleasant cinema venue screening top indie films in a relaxed atmosphere.  There’s not a bad seat in the house to watch good American and International film, enjoy great drink selections, including cocktails, wine and local craft beer, and popcorn too!.
  9. Jackson Showboat Dinner Cruise. See the Nashville skyline at night on a leisurely riverboat cruise along the meandering Cumberland River.  Aboard the 300-foot paddle wheel riverboat, it’s an evening of dining and entertainment.  Massive decks offer plenty of places to see the skyline, awesome at night.  Full service bars, a pleasant dinner served at tables of six or eight guests and a music-filled, high-energy show make it a pleasant evening under the stars. Keep in mind that on the largest showboat in the world, you are in the company of a lot people.forever-connected-bridge-nashville
  10. The Gulch Nightlife. Located between downtown and Music Row, the Gulch is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Nashville for young locals. Warehouses in the old industrial area have been converted into upscale restaurants, cool loft spaces and unique stores. Go there for happy hour at some smaller places with names like Little Octopus, Moto, Hops and Craft, Flyte, Finn & Pearl. Spend the evening at local hotspot, Sambucca, for good food, classic cocktails and great entertainment or to Up, a Rooftop Lounge with a farm-to-table menu and great views downtown views.

Vacation Guide to Historic Philadelphia

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Philadelphia,  a city where the foundations that govern America to this day were established, is a memorable experience for both young and older travelers and especially history-buffs.  Being able to visit the places where the founding fathers met to discuss, debate and carefully craft the documents that led to the birth of America is awesome.

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Why Philadelphia Is a Historical Destination

To put it in perspective, beginning with the 1st Continental Congress in 1774, Philadelphia was chosen as the meeting place for representatives of the 13 colonies.  Considered a sophisticated city, it was selected for its accessibility, large port, number of buildings suitable for meetings and for the accommodations it offered to the delegates.  The list of attendees who traveled far and stayed for long periods of time included the most significant political figures of the America Revolution: Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Patrick Henry and George Washington.

As the location of milestone moments in American history, there is much to see in this historically rich city.  Iconic buildings, house museums, halls, churches, and ancient burying grounds where the nation’s early history unfolded are clustered in Independence National Historical Park which makes up Philadelphia’s Historic District.  Some historic sites are within a short distance of one another; others are within walking distance, but not everyone likes to walk, particularly in the heat of summer. Below is a list of must-see historic sites and various ways to get to them which will enhance your historic Philadelphia vacation.

What to See in Historic Philadelphia

In Independence Mall, snap a selfie in front the Liberty Bell, a stalwart symbol of American democracy.

At nearby Independence Visitor Center, pick up your free, timed tickets to tour Independence Hall, where momentous events took place.  To be able to see the two small meeting rooms where the founding fathers met in the Second Continental Congress (1775-1783) to define government’s reach and powers, gathered in 1776 to sign the Declaration of Independence, and again 11 years later to begin their challenging work to craft and draft the Constitution, is an impactful experience for everyone, especially children from 4th grade and up.

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Carpenter Hall, the stately Georgian-style building next to Independence Hall, is another historic icon. This is where the First Continental Congress met in 1774 to vote to support a trade embargo against England, one of the events that led the colonies on the path towards the American Revolution.

Visit Benjamin Franklin’s Gravesite in Christ Church Burial Ground, established in 1719. Benjamin Franklin is not the only American notable buried here.  So are Benjamin Rush, Joseph Hewes and George Ross, all signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Be sure to have some pennies on you as it is a tradition to toss pennies around Franklin’s gravesite: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Christ Church, at 2nd and Market, an area of tree-shaded brick paths and cobblestone streets, is a historic gem.  Founded in 1695, and constructed between 1727 and 1758, the church was the place of worship of many prominent people in the founding of America including George Washington, Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin. An active Episcopal congregation to this day, it is open for tours M-Sat, from 9-5; Sun from 1-5.  You’ll need tickets to tour, available for a nominal fee at Independence Visitors Center.

The tiny 1740 Betsy Ross House is a pleasant, quick visit, one that is relatable for children as most know her as the seamstress who made the first American flag.  The kid’s audio tour is great as it puts ordinary life in the 18th century in perspective.

A stop at the First United States Mint, the first and still active U.S. Mint, is fascinating to anyone who is curious about how our currency came about.  See the Mint Deed signed by President Andrew Jackson; the first coining press used to strike America’s first coins in 1792; and, if operating, watch coining in operation from 40 ft. above the factory floor coins are cranked out at the rate of 1 million per minute!

Step inside the National Constitution Center to see one of the rare original public copies of the United States Constitution.  Awesome high-tech exhibits, multimedia theatrical productions, interactive displays, artifacts and hands-on activities show how the Constitution impacts daily lives. Everyone gets a kick out of signing the Constitution under the scrutiny of 42 life-style bronze statues of the founding fathers, putting on judicial robes to render an opinion on Supreme Court cases, and taking the Presidential oath of office.  It’s engaging, compelling, and a great choice for kids and adults.

Historic Philadelphia’s sites are not limited to those related to America’s founding.  For a change of pace with a real creep factor, take the unusual tour of the historic Eastern State Penitentiary established in 1829.

Grab a bite to eat in the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmer’s market, Reading Terminal Market, established in 1892. Savor tasty food from authentic Philly specialties and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare to wonderful Soul food and Asian and Middle Eastern specialties.  It’s a vibrant place for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just for tasty snacks.

Best Ways To Get Around

Several narrated tours available at discounted prices through Trusted Tours & Attractions will not only take you by the important historic places, the history, facts and stories presented by engaging guides enhances your historic Philadelphia experience.  In this dynamic city, iconic historic sites are part of the experience.  Guided tours will also show you today’s Philly: world-class art museums, botanical gardens, antique galleries, shops, restaurants

A horse-drawn carriage tour is a unique way to see historic Philadelphia.  Philadelphia 20 or 30 Minute Carriage Tours or the 90 minute Deluxe Carriage Tour of Philadelphia make sightseeing a delightful and personalized experience. The easy pace and interaction with you informative guide make it memorable.

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Everything you came to Philadelphia to see is visible from inside seats on the lower level or from the open top deck on a narrated double-decker Big Bus tour with hop on/hop off privileges. Philadelphia Sightseeing Bus Tour takes you all around the city, stopping at 27 locations so you can hop off near historic sites and interesting attractions of today’s Philly to explore on your own. Hop back on the next arriving double decker bus and continue on.  Depending on the length of your stay, the 24 hour or 48 hour ticket will get you to the sites you came to see quickly and conveniently.

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The Victorian Trolley Sightseeing Tour is another great way to get around to see and explore the city. The 90-minute loop tour aboard a Victorian Trolley with big, open viewing windows weaves through both the old and the new Philadelphia, offering a detailed and interesting narration along the way.  Take advantage of unlimited all day hop off/hop on opportunities at 21 stops along the tour route to visit the sights and attractions.

 

 

Essential Nashville Attractions for Music Lovers

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Music is the heart and soul of Nashville. Its all-encompassing music vibe makes it the ultimate vacation destination for music lovers. As the epicenter of traditional and contemporary country music, music is everywhere. Singer-songwriters create it; musical artists play it; recording centers produce it. Museums honor it; legendary auditoriums and huge outdoor concert venues celebrate it.

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What’s great about visiting Music City is the ease of getting around to iconic places on every music lovers must do list. Most are congregated in the walkable downtown District. However, a great way to kick off your Music City vacation is on a Nashville Night Tour.

  • Nashville Night Tour
    With music and music-related venues everywhere, Nashville can be overwhelming, especially for first-time visitors. Get a great overview of Nashville after dark and have fun doing it on a 2.5 hour Nashville Night Tour aboard the Old Town Trolley. Talented onboard guides make sure you have a great time during an evening revolving around music.  Sit back and let them entertain you with wonderful stories about the legendary musicians who got their start here – past and present. Get up close-up looks at famous music places, see Honky Tonks on lower Broadway without fighting the crowds, check out Printers Alley, Music Row, legendary Ryman Auditorium, The Station Inn, Ellson Place’s Rock Block, and more. The tour includes a half hour performance at a live music venue and a stroll over Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge for amazing skyline views and great photo ops. Find discounted tickets here.

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  • Historic Ryman Auditorium
    For anyone seriously into country music, historic Ryman Auditorium, where music greats across all genres have performed since 1892, is a must. This is where America’s passion for country music got started when the Grand Ole Opry radio show began broadcasting live from the Ryman in 1925. People from all over the country tuned in and the audience grew. By reaching outside the region, the Ryman became the center of America’s music genre and put Nashville on the map. Walk through the beautiful legendary auditorium on a self-guided tour. Take a selfie with Opry legends Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl, realistically captured in bronze. Attend Opry Country Classics for a celebration of music led by celebrity hosts and performed by guest stars.
  • Johnny Cash Museum. Feel the presence of the “Man in Black” through a wonderful collection of memorabilia and video clips covering the range of creative work of this remarkable artist. See how his influence changed the direction of country music.

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  • Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Immerse yourself into two centuries of country music. As the keeper of country music’s historic treasures, the museum is filled with exhibits from its immense permanent collection of artifacts, recordings, photographs, stage costumes, musical instruments, and more. Its changing limited exhibitions are wonderful must-sees. Legendary RCA Studio B on Music Row, where music is made and recorded and where music greats like Elvis recorded, is a great add-on to the experience.

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  • Grand Ole Opry. Nashville is all about the tradition of country music. Have fun being part of the audience at a live radio show at Grand Ole Opry’s permanent Opryland home, across the Cumberland River from downtown. Check out what really goes on backstage on a Grand Ole Opry House Backstage Tour.
  • Lower Broadway.  Stroll along lower Broadway, lined with Honky Tonk Clubs where legendary music artists got their start. All have live music, most of it traditional country. Admire iconic original posters of favorite music artists at Hatch Show Print, America’s oldest Letterpress print shops. Pick out a great reprint. It’s the perfect souvenir. Don’t miss all-American casual food and ambiance at Paradise Park Trailer Park & Resort. Music lovers, history buffs and vinyl collectors, a stop into Ernest Tub Record Shop is a trip into the world of vintage recordings and a one-stop shop for CDs, DVDs, and LPs of a wide variety of contemporary and classic country music.
  • Printers Alley. The narrow, kitschy alley between 3rd and 4th Avenues and Union and Church, is a nighttime place. Not much is open during the day, and the neon lights at night give the sometimes littered alley a cool, eclectic vibe. Check out the bars, small restaurants and karaoke bars. Bourbon Street & Boogie Bar is a nice change from traditional country music venues of lower Broadway.
  • 2nd Street Saloons and Clubs. Running parallel to the river, the 2nd Street strip is lined with saloons and eateries. Be sure to go to 3-level Wild Horse Saloon, a bar, concert site and dance venue all in one. George Jones Rooftop is the place to go for great views and great wings. For a change of music pace, BB King’s Blues Club carries on he heritage of the King of Blues.

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  • The Gulch. For a change of pace from the Downtown District nighttime scene, check out the Gulch. Located between Downtown and Music Row, the former warehouse area is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Nashville for young locals. Happy hour is fun at several smaller places with great names. Local hotspot, Sambucca, has good food, classic cocktails and great entertainment.

To check out who’s playing at Nashville’s 100 clubs, bars and venues during your stay, Nashville Scene has up-to-date info.

How To See Tampa in 2 Days

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Tampa is one of three cities surrounding vast Tampa Bay. The others are St. Petersburg and Clearwater, a short drive across major bridges spanning the bay.  Depending on your interests on a 2-day day visit to the Tampa, you can spend it all in Tampa or mix it up a bit on the second day by heading over to St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach.

Day 1 – Morning

Tampa is known for its pleasant downtown, interesting collection of small museums, the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens, a large theme park and zoo, and the historic warehouse district known as Ybor City, at one time  the location of a thriving cigar industry and now a popular nighttime destination.

Start out the day around Tampa’s attractive downtown in an area known as the Waterfront Arts District.  Of the suggestions below, the Glaser Children’s Museum is wonderful for kids. The others are excellent small museum that take less than an hour each to visit.

  • Tampa Museum of Art.  Take a pleasant stroll along Tampa Riverwalk  to a small gem located in an architecturally stunning building by the Convention Center.  It features dynamic and beautifully curated traveling exhibitions and a unique and growing permanent collection.  It’s a pleasant experience with just enough to see to begin a day.  The Museum’s SONO restaurant is delightful.
  • Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.  The 2nd and 3rd floors of the eye-catching glass building nearby, aptly called the “Cube,” are devoted to a tiny, compelling collection of rotating photography exhibitions from the museum’s permanent collection, primarily the works of local photographers as well as travelling exhibitions.
  • Glaser Children’s Museum.   If you are travelling with children, this museum, located next door to the Museum of Art, is a wonderful place where kids can imagine and create.  It consists of 3 floors of total interactive fun, activity, building and role-playing.  Interactive exhibits within multiple themed areas connect kids to everyday work people do.  They can make a movie, paint with light, make and fly a paper airplane, climb a wall, build a building, operate a crane, be a pilot, a harbor pilot, firefighter, meteorologist and more. It’s imaginative and fun!
  • Henry B. Plant Museum.   This small museum, located inside the distinctive Moorish Revival building topped by turrets, is now a part of the University of Tampa campus.  Through lifestyle exhibits in multiple antique-filled rooms, the Museum gives visitors an insightful glimpse into an interesting chapter in Tampa’s history during the Gilded Age the late 1800s. The opulent hotel rising out of the tropical Florida wetlands was built as an exotic tourist destination through the vision and wealth of railroad magnate Henry Plant who brought the railroad down Florida’s west coast.

Day 1 – Afternoon 

  • Ybor City.   Known as a hot nightspot, it’s nice to go there during the day to appreciate the architecture of old brick cigar factories and warehouses converted into bars, cigar shops, vintage clothing stores and restaurants serving authentic Cuban cuisine.  Plan to have lunch at the legendary Columbia Restaurant. If you can’t make it for lunch, go be sure to go back for dinner.  It’s the real thing!

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  • Florida Aquarium.  The Florida Aquarium, in the Channelside District adjacent to the Port of Tampa, is alive with action.  Small by mega-aquarium standards, it’s an engaging place to spend a couple of hours.  Exhibits are wonderful and can be experienced close up.  Kids really like it, as do adults.  Don’t expect dolphin shows.  The focus of the aquarium is on a range of aquatic animals found in Florida waters and all over the world.  See alligators moving through bogs, and magnificent wading birds of the swamps of Florida wetlands.  Journey into Madagascar to see lemurs and chameleons; watch seat otters frolicking and the life on a coral reef darting around in magnificent color.  It’s a special, approachable experience.

Day 2 All-Day Option:  Busch Gardens in Tampa

This theme park is a must if you are traveling with kids.  Plan to spend a day. Located about a 20-30 minute drive from downtown, it has everything kids wish for in a theme park – over 300 species of animals roaming over 65 acres,  thrilling roller coaster and other wild rides that twist, drop, spin, and invert.  There are animal shows, encounters, feedings, experiences, safaris and tours.  There are water play areas for tots, river rapids to experience and sky rides to take. As is the norm at many theme parks, general admission covers access to the park and many things to see and do.  However, most of the events, encounters and shows are an additional cost.

 Day 2: All Day Option: St. Petersburg

If you like art and also want to see some of the prettiest white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, a trip across the Howard Franklin Bridge from Tampa to St. Petersburg is well worth the 30 minute plus car ride.

  • Dali Museum.  Standing out distinctively along downtown St. Petersburg’s lovely Bayfront is an architecturally acclaimed building covered in triangular shaped glass panels.  Inside is the largest collection of the work of surrealist artist Salvador Dali outside of Europe.  It’s a sensational visual, optical and intellectual experience, whether or not you appreciate or understand his art.  The Museum also hosts world-class temporary exhibitions.  In recent years, those have included an amazing exhibition of the works of both Dali and Picasso curated side by side, and a special exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s work.  Have a quick lunch in the small café and visit the excellent gift shop.
  • Chihuly Collection.  In the downtown Central Art District adjacent to the Morian Art Center, the permanent collection of Dale Chihuly’s magnificent and masterful large-scale, vivid sculptures in glass are breathtaking. The art and architecture work together to create a spectacular visitor experience.
  • St. Petersburg Beach.  Head over to the beachfront community of St. Pete Beach for lunch and the afternoon. Escape into another era in the fabulous “Pink Castle,” the Don CeSar, an elegant beachfront historic hotel for lunch overlooking the Gulf in the Sea Porch Restaurant. For something more laid back, drive up the beach to Pass-a-Grille Beach. Check out the funky specialty shops and restaurants along Corey Avenue, a couple blocks off the beach.

Charleston in 2 Days

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The top sights to see in Charleston on a 2 day trip

Charleston is a charming, architecturally picturesque city filled with a treasure trove of magnificent antebellum homes, beautifully preserved churches and public buildings and hidden gardens down cobblestone lanes.  Founded in 1670, it is one of America’s oldest cities.  Most of its beautifully restored homes and buildings are in the Historic District, on what is known as The Peninsula, an area of low-lying land between the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Spend the first day of your 2-day visit to Charleston in the Historic District. On the second day, sample distinctively delicious Lowcountry cuisine on a food tour in the morning and take a short car ride from the Historic District to Ashley River Road for an afternoon spent touring remarkable antebellum plantation homes and spectacular gardens.

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Day 1 Historic Charleston

Throughout Historic Downtown Charleston, the unique combination of its heritage of the elegance of Restoration England and color of the West Indies give Charleston its wonderful ambiance.

For first time visitors, taking a walking tour is a must.  It’s the best way to see, appreciate and experience the history and essence of Charleston. Trusted Tours & Attractions offers tickets to Charleston Strolls History Walk, an engaging 2-hour walk through the narrow streets and down hidden lanes takes you to places you might otherwise miss. Find discount tickets here.

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After the tour, spend the rest of the day exploring on your own.  Start by visiting some of Charleston’s magnificent collection of beautifully restored homes and churches.

  • Heywood Washington House, a well-appointed Georgian-style double house built in 1772, was the town-home of Thomas Hayward, Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  It is richly furnished and the 1740s kitchen is the only one open to the public. George Washington used the home during his visit to Charleston in May 1791.
  • Joseph Manigault House is exquisite. Built in 1803, it reflects the in-town lifestyle of wealthy rice planters and their families. The tour also gives insight into the lives of African American slaves who lived and worked there.  From the amazing free-standing spiral staircase to room filled with elegant period furniture, the house tells the story of the prosperity, wealth and stature.
  • Nathaniel Russell House is one of America’s most important neoclassical homes. The 1808 home of prosperous merchant, Nathaniel Russell, whose fortune came from trading rice, “Carolina Gold”, indigo, tobacco, cotton, has been restored to its former grandeur.
  • Edmondston-Alston House, constructed in 1825, has a wonderful view of Charleston harbor and Ft. Sumter  On April 12, 1861, General P.T. Beauregard watched the bombardment of Ft. Sumter from the piazza, and in December of that year, General Robert E. Lee stayed in the home.
  • Aiken-Rhett House is unique. Built by merchant John Robinson in 1830 as a double house with central hallway and two rooms on either side, it was enlarged and renovated in 1833 into the palatial home of William Aiken, Jr.  A large number of African American slaves lived on the property to sustain the Aiken’s life style. The house and property, including the original outbuildings, have been preserved, not restored.

Countless steeples of historic churches of all denominations tower the “Holy City” skyline.  Seek out these early churches:

  • St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, the oldest congregation in Charleston, dating to 1681, is the best-known. The National Historic Landmark has an ancient feel inside.

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  • St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is massive, has beautiful wooden pews, stained glass, bells that date to 1764 and an organ that has been in the church since 1767.
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church, the house of worship of the oldest Lutheran congregation in the South, dating to 1742 has a stunning must-see interior.
  • The Unitarian Church congregation dates to 1772, and is the oldest Unitarian church in the South.  The lovely gothic church is another National Historic Landmark.

Day 2  Lowcountry Food Tour and Ashley Drive Plantation

Lowcountry Food Tour

Charleston’s culinary scene is exceptional. An abundance of great restaurants located in quaint cottages or trendy restored buildings, serving delicious regional Lowcountry dishes made with fresh locally-sourced ingredients, and prepared by a long list of award-winning chefs have made Charleston a popular culinary destination.

Spend a fun and tasty morning on a 2.5 hour food tour, sampling and learning about the origins and preparation of Lowcountry cuisine.  Take advantage of discounted tickets for Charleston food tours offered through Trusted Tours & Attractions.   Savor the Flavors of Charleston is all about learning the ingredients in Lowcountry food and sampling it at several restaurants. Chef’s Kitchen Tour is a favorite of serious foodies.  Visit several well-known restaurant kitchens to see how Lowcountry  menu selections are prepared, learn about the exciting renaissance of lowcountry cooking, and taste, taste, taste! Find discounted tickets here.

Ashley River Drive Antebellum Plantations & Gardens    

  • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.   Walk through lovely gardens and take a house tour for a glimpse of plantation life in the early 1800s. The expansive rice plantation was first settled by Thomas and Ann Drayton in 1676. Generations of Draytons took pride in their beautiful romantic-style gardens.  After the Civil War, the family’s focus turned to the gardens which grew to become the first public arden in America where plantings work with nature to create a harmonious landscape.  The house has undergone various renovations, and only its core dates to the Revolutionary War era, during which the grounds were occupied by both British and America troops.
  • Drayton Hall.  The 1738 plantation home of another member of the Drayton family is the earliest and finest example of Georgian Palladian architecture in the U.S.  Drayton Hall is not a house museum filled with antiques.  It has no furnishings.  Tours focus on the preservation of this architectural treasure.
  • Middleton Place.  Another Ashley River Road former rice plantation was the home of Declaration of Independence signer, Arthur Middleton.  Built in 1755, it’s known for its formal, landscaped grounds, the oldest in America. The elegant house museum is beautifully appointed in furnishings of four generations of Middletons.  In the Stableyards, demonstrations by costumed interpreters of skills once performed by enslaved people give visitors a sense of life on a Lowcountry rice plantation.

Twilight and Evening Ghost Tours     

An old city seeped in Lowcountry superstitions and buildings dating as far back as the early 1700s, are the perfect combination for ghostly haunts and paranormal activity. Find out for yourself on one of four fascinating and scary ghost tours offered through Trusted Tours & Attractions.  A walk through the Old City Jail on the Haunted Jail Tour is creepy; to hear what went on there is frightening.

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On the Ghost & Graveyard Walk, venture into the dark recesses of one of Charleston’s oldest cemeteries and listen to the shocking stories of love, loss and intrigue of the long departed. Go behind the scenes in The Dungeon for a frightful night on the Ghosts & Dungeon Tour.  Hear about the shocking and scandalous past of many of Charleston’s long departed residents on the Dark Side of Charleston Walking Tour.  Whichever you choose, you’ll  experience another side of the “Holy City.”

 

Memphis in 2 Days

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We’ve rounded up the top Memphis attractions & how to see them in 2 days.

Enjoy a two day Memphis vacation by experiencing the history, cultural richness and music of the city shaped by its location on the Mississippi River.

Memphis started out as a supply hub for river workers and settlers making the difficult westward journey.  By 1840, cotton growing and trading in Memphis had grown to such an extent that it became the largest inland cotton market in the world. Several important events shaped the city’s character: two devastating yellow fever epidemics which almost wiped out the town, the Civil Rights movement which found its voice in Memphis and the cultural impact of the Blues, the uniquely American sound that evolved from “field hollers, the chanting songs of slaves working the cotton fields around Memphis.”

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Day 1.  The History and Interesting Memphis Places

Historic Memphis Walking Tour.  Start off Day 1 with an interesting, comprehensive 2 hr. narrated walk through downtown Memphis.  Sites passed include those related to the city’s founding, the importance of the river, the cotton trade and important events that changed the character of the city. Engaging storytelling by excellent guides brings the city’s history and unique vibe to life throughout the walk along Main Street, historic Beale Street, and down side streets. Get a great view of the Mississippi from the rooftop of the Madison Hotel; stop for a cup of coffee and muffin at a local breakfast hangout.   The tour, offered by Trusted Tours & Attractions at a discounted rate, begins a 9:30am on Saturdays only March – November, and at 9:30am Monday- Saturday March – November.

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Memphis Mojo Tour.   If you’re not into walking, a great 90 minute narrated tour in a vintage 1959 transit bus is the ticket. The vibrant tour covers a mix of important landmarks that shaped Memphis, from Beale Street, Sun Studio, and Stax Music of American Soul to the Lorraine Motel , where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Check out discounted tickets for this great 90-minute ride through Memphis from Trusted Tours & Attractions.

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W.C. Handy House.  Visit the small, humble home where the “Father of the Blues,” W.C. Handy, grew up. In 1912, as the first to record songs based on the field hollers with their unexpected flattened “blue” notes, Handy began an art form.  He also published the first Blues song in America, “Memphis Blues.”  Tickets to the home are available through Trusted Tours & Attractions.

National Civil Rights Museum.  A compelling one-of-a-kind museum compound whose exciting permanent and temporary exhibitions and events focus on many aspects of the Civil Rights Movement. Exhibits focus on the history of a struggle that started centuries ago and on the hopes and challenges of a people.  Through 260 artifacts, more than 40 new films, oral histories and interactive media, visitors are guided through history from the beginning of the resistance during slavery, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow and the seminal events of the late 20th century that inspired people around the world to stand up for equality.  The second floor of the Legacy Building, exhibits focus on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated in 1968 in the Lorraine Motel across the street.

End a day in Memphis on an evening out in the Historic Beale Street Entertainment District where it all began and where clubs offer music 7 days a week.

sunset-at-beale-street

Day 2. The Music  

The unique Memphis Sound first recorded by W.C. Handy evolved as it was played in clubs and juke joints along Beale Street in the 1940s. It was also played on WDIA Memphis, the first radio station in the country with an all-black line-up.  During the 1950s and 1960s, some of the best of Memphis Sound was created.  Recording studios sprang up in the city.  Several terrific Memphis museums tell the story of the music of this period.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music pays homage to Memphis Soul and the Stax Record label.  The Smithsonian’s Memphis Rock n Soul Museum tells the story of musical pioneers, beginning in the 1930s, who overcame social, racial and economic barriers to create innovative music.  Both museums have wonderful exhibits, videos, stage costumes, photos, instruments and memorabilia, and admission to both is offered by Trusted Tours & Attraction at discounted prices. Find discounted tickets here.

stax-museum-night-lights

Memphis Sun Studio Tour.  In 1952, Sun Records came on the scene as an influential force in the diversification of the Memphis Sound into Rock n Roll.  Sun launched legendary greats Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Ike Turner. One of Sun’s greatest find was Elvis Presley who got his start there in 1954, recording “That’s All Right.” See tickets on sale at Trusted Tours & Attractions  for a unique journey through the birth of Rock n’ Roll and to experience how the “Sun Sound” was made in the studio, now a National Historic Landmark.  A highlight is listening to jam session recordings of legendary musical artists. Find discounted tickets here.

Graceland.  A visit to the Memphis home of “the King of Rock n Roll ” is a must.  See how Elvis was influenced by growing up in Memphis, surrounded by the Memphis Sound.  Before being signed by Sun, a young Elvis found his voice hanging around the sound, vibe and style of the musicians playing clubs along Beale Street.  He adapted it and made it his own.  The rest is history. Find discounted tickets here.

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There is much to see on the 14-acre property.  Plan to spend the afternoon there. Several Graceland tours available through Trusted Tours and Attractions offer different experience levels.

Elvis Experience Tour Plus Planes.  Start with an audio tour of the mansion, whose original 50s, 60s and 70s décor gives insight into the life the King of Rock n Roll.  Watch wonderful videos, see photos, personal mementos, movie memorabilia, and stage costumes.  Walk through his collection of 33 vehicles.  See his custom jet planes. Find discounted tickets here.

A Graceland Platinum Tour.  Sit back on the vintage Backbeat Bus for a music-filled ride to Graceland.  Once there, take an audio tour of the Mansion, the grounds, and the museum.  See Elvis’ private jets; watch a film about Elvis’ career.  Shop for Elvis-themed gifts, enjoy the restaurants.  The return ride to Memphis is just as fun as getting there.

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Elvis VIP Tour Plus Planes.   For true Elvis fans, this total immersion into the world of Elvis Presley is for you.  Begin with an audio guided tour of the Graceland Mansion and grounds. Go on self-guided tours of the following:  Presley Automobile Museum where his many cars and famous pink Cadillac are on display and Elvis’ Custom Jets.  See how the King’s provocative gyrations shocked the world and attracted fans in Elvis Memorable, hip-shaking, news-making story.  See how Elvis influenced pop culture in Elvis Lives: The King and Pop Culture Exhibit and in the Entertainer Career Museum and the ’68 Special Exhibit.  This day-long ticket also has VIP perks too: Go to the head of the line to enter the Mansion; experience a Special VIP Only Exhibit in the Mansion.

 

See LA with Go Los Angeles Card

Category: Los Angeles   Published by

Visit popular LA attractions and save money doing it with a Go Los Angeles Card!

Pick from over 30 great choices and pay one low price instead of standing in line to pay top dollar at each gate. Attractions and museums in Go Card include faves LEGOLAND California, Madam Tussaud’s, and Knott’s Berry Farm, plus museums, aquariums, and legendary Hollywood movie studio and celebrity home tours. Check out the 1-day and 3-Day Go Los Angeles Card available through Trusted Tours & Attractions. Whichever card you get, maximize your choices from where you are staying by using the distance from downtown LA guide below.

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DOWNTOWN LA for FAMILIES WITH KIDS

California Science Center IMAX Movie Exhibit . Explore science through dynamic interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, awesome films and innovative programs. Admission is free to the permanent exhibitions, however there are fees for the really cool, special exhibits. Go Card is your entry into the popular IMAX Movie Exhibit, a family favorite.
Natural History Museum. Another museum across the mall from the Science Center is also great for kids. The dinosaur exhibit is incredible; the spider exhibit has a definite creep factor. In addition to these, exhibits throughout the multi-level museum are filled with mammals, gorgeous gems, cool fossils, from huge to micro, butterflies and more.
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. Uncover the mysteries of the creatures of the Ice Age on a journey through an active dig site, right on Wilshere Boulevard! The La Brea Tar Pits, where extinct creatures roamed over 10,000 years ago is unique. Explore real tar pits, watch bubbles of methane burst in the air and smell the tar where gigantic ice-age creatures became trapped. Find out how they were preserved in the tar and are still being unearthed on site today; watch paleontologists work on recently dug up fossils and microfossils.

DOWNTOWN LA FOR MUSIC LOVERS

GRAMMY® Museum at L.A. Live. This small museum with areas focused on various music genres is a great place for music lovers to spend a couple of hours. Sound systems, visual displays, changing shows and a video show, featuring musicians sharing their knowledge, blends music of the past with contemporary sound.

HOLLYWOOD FOR THE STAR STRUCK

Legendary Theater, Studio, and Movie Star Home Tours. Whether you are a star-struck groupie, curious about celebrities, interested in movie history, or just want to check out the lifestyles of the rich and famous, Go Gard has several choices to experience the rarefied world of movie and TV stars.
Dolby Theater Guided Tour. Tour the theater where the glamorous gather for the Oscar Ceremony. It’s an interesting tour in the venue that is more intimate than it appears on TV.
Sony Pictures Studio Tour. Go behind the scenes of the historic studio lot to experience a working studio. The interesting two-hour guided walking tour takes you to the sound stages of iconic films and hit TV shows.
Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour (adults only). Get the full studio experience on the VIP tour led by engaging guides who know show biz ins and outs. Learn what takes place in back lots and on sets and sound stages used in popular movies and favorite TV shows. See props and movie and TV memorabilia. Learn how movies are made. See exhibits of blockbuster movies and Batman vehicles on display.
LA City Tours Movie Star Homes Tour. See the estates where legendary stars once lived and superstars live today on a fun bus ride through Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and along Rodeo Drive and Sunset Strip. Entertaining guides keep you engaged by telling great stories about the stars, where they live and places they frequent.
Celebrity Homes Tour by Starline Tours. See celebrity hotspots on Sunset Strip and Rodeo Drive and ride through exclusive neighborhoods of Beverly Hills and Hollywood Hills where stars live. Fun, knowledgeable on-board guides enhance the experience through the history,details and interesting trivia of the homes of celebrities, past and present.
Hollywood Behind the Scenes Walking Tour. On the easy stroll through Hollywood, tour guides lead the way past legendary movie and entertainment landmarks telling interesting stories of individual stars along the way. The popular tour allows time for great photo ops, including the iconic Hollywood sign viewed from a platform directly facing it.
Madame Toussauds. Since it’s hard to spot illusive celebrities, see them in wax form at this popular attraction. It’s a fun place for young teens and anyone who is into posting selfies. The wax figures are so realistic your friends will never know you are not posing with the real deal. Find discounted tickets here.

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LESS THAN AN HOUR WAY

Knotts Berry Farm. The 160-acre park of high-flying rides and activities located throughout 6 themed sections is just plain fun. High speed, big-drop, sharp-turn thrill rides, twisting, turning roller coaster rides are fun and western-themed shows, games and attractions lots of fun. There are plenty of food and shopping choices throughout the sections.  Plan to spend the entire day there as kids won’t want to leave. If you plan to be in LA with kids during the summer months, Knott’s Soak City Water Park is a blast! Be prepared to spend a day getting soaked in pools, on water rides, in lagoons, and down twisting and turning flumes.

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ONE HOUR FROM LA

Newport Landing Whale Watching. Head south down the coast to Newport Beach for an awesome 2 to 2 ½ hour boat ride to spot massive Grey Whales on their spring migration. April is the prime sighting time. May through November sightings of blue whales, finback whales, huge pods of dolphin, seals, killer whales and sharks are thrilling. The comfortable double decker 65 foot boat with outside decks and indoor seating departs daily, at various times depending on the time of year.

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Aquarium of the Pacific. Another Long Beach favorite is all about the Pacific Ocean, the planet’s largest and most diverse body of water. The relatively small, multidimensional aquarium is home to more than 11,000 ocean animals from the waters of Southern California, Baja, and the Northern and Tropical Pacific. Find discounted tickets here.

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Pacific Park Santa Monica Pier. Head north up the coast for an iconic SoCal experience. Pacific Park is a super fun place for roller coaster thrill rides, the world’s only solar powered Ferris wheel with amazing ocean views, mid-way games, souvenir shopping and pick-up foods in a carnival atmosphere. Young children enjoy the up-close experience at small Santa Monica Pier Aquarium .
Hop off/Hop on LA Bus Tour Yellow Route. Start the hop off/hop on tour on the double-decker bus at Santa Monica Pier. See Santa Monica highlights, head inland to Beverly Hills through Brentwood, Rodeo Drive, Century City, Fox Studios and more. Hop off to explore places of interested at stops along the route and hop back on the next available bus which passes stops every 40 minutes.

OVER ONE HOUR from LA

LEGOLAND. The amusement park built on those colorful plastic bricks kids love, over 1 ½ hours south of LA, is a multi-generational favorite! Younger kids love it. Beginning with huge, bright red Bronte (made of legos, of course), looming over the entrance, LEGOLAND opens up creative possibilities. Over 60 Lego-related rides, attractions and shows delight. Snack bars and shops round out a full day of fun.

A Complete Guide to Stone Mountain

Category: Atlanta   Published by

The sight of the singular mammoth boulder rising 825 feet above the ground, just 10 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, is mind-blowing.  The geological phenomenon was formed over 300 million years ago when an up-swelling of molten magma from within the earth’s crust solidified as it cooled.  Since its designation as a State Park in 1958, the combination of natural beauty, historical significance and family attractions, has made Stone Mountain a favorite Atlanta getaway.

Cable Car in Stone Mountain Theme Park

The scenic 3,200 acre State Park has something for everyone – hiking trails, fishing and boating on Stone Mountain Lake, large camping grounds for tents and RVs, and a popular theme park.

Before you go, there are a few things you need to know.

  • The park is open year-round, weather permitting, for hiking, camping in over 400 sites for RVs and tents, and fishing and boating in Stone Mountain Lake.
  • Park gates are open from 5am to midnight daily.
  • Theme park attractions are open seasonally (mid-March – the end of October) from 10am until 5pm.
  • During winter months (November – mid-March), with the exception of SkyRide and Discovering Stone Mountain Museum, attractions are closed.
  • November – February 25th, Stone Mountain theme park becomes “Snow Mountain,” a  winter wonderland filled with holiday activities  and events.
  • Check the park Attraction Calendar before you go for weather-related closings.
  • Entrance to the park year-round is a $15 per car parking fee which gives you access to camping, fishing, boating, hiking along nature trails, the children’s playground, and seasonally, to the LaserShow Spectacular.
  • There are additional fees for the attractions.
  • Adventure Pass gives you easy access to all the attractions open March – October. See the list of favorites below. Check out the savings offered by Trusted Tours & Attractions.
  • Except for major holidays, some, but not all, attractions are available for individual purchase.
  • Snow Christmas Pass is your wintertime entry into a magical place for family fun of snow, related activities, magical holiday lights and events from November 11 to January 3. Imagine a place where Rudolph comes to life in 4-D and live performances get you in the Holiday spirit. Everyone loves the sing-along Christmas Train and shopping for holiday gifts in Crossroads.  Kids eagerly wait for Santa to pass in the Christmas parade and love the thrill of tubing down Avalanche Alley in real snow and playing in Snow Zone. Purchase it and save at Trusted Tours & Attractions.
  • Snow Mountain All Access Pass.  Snow fun doesn’t end on January 3.  With the Snow Pass, it continues until February 25th.
  • Seasonal themed festivals take place in the park.  Check the calendar to see if one is going on during your visit.

FREE FAVORITES

stone-mountain-gardensWalk the Top.   A must-do for visitors who are comfortable walking 1.3 miles up a gradual incline with a steep slope (with a handrail) at the end. From the summit, views are spectacular.  It’s an easy ½ hour walk, do-able for the entire family.  Wear solid walking shoes as it can get slippery and stay on the trail marked with the yellow line.  Other nice hiking trails include the ¾ mile Nature Garden Trail through the hickory and oak forests, and the 2-loop, 2-mile Songbird Habitat Trails.

Covered Bridge and Grist Mill.  Both picturesque 19th century historic structures, which were moved to the park in the 1960s, are great photo ops. Located near one another in Stone Mountain Natural District, an undeveloped part of the park located on Stone Mountain Lake, there is parking nearby.

The Crossroads.  Browse through quaint shops and see craft demonstrations, candle making and glass-blowing of a simpler time in the re-creation of a small Georgia town.  Use the ticket in your Adventure Pass to challenge the family for a round of mini-golf!

Lasershow Spectacular. End your day at Stone Mountain with the state-of-the-art sound and light extravaganza projected five times larger than an IMAX screen against the backdrop of the giant outcropping and the Confederate Memorial Carving.  Light, music, lasers and epic fireworks create awesome effects.  Throw out a blanket on Memorial Lawn and enjoy the spectacle for free.  Or purchase Reserved Seating on several terraces.  Extra goodies come with the VIP Reserved Seating. Go all out! The Lasershow Dinner Package includes VIP treatment plus a buffet dinner. The Lasershow runs on Saturdays from April – May, daily from Memorial Weekend through early August, and on Saturdays August through October. Shows times:  Spring – between 8:30 and 9:00;  Summer – between 9:00 and 9:30; Fall – between 8 and 8:30.  Confirm dates and times on the park calendar.

FAVORITES FOR A FEE   

Summit SkyRide.  Riding the cable car on up the face of Stone Mountain is spectacular.  Open daily, weather permitting, from 10am to 5pm year-round, the views are amazing.  The close-up view of the massive, 90’ x 100’ Confederate Memorial Carving, the largest bas relief sculpture in the world and carved into the mountain’s face, is awesome. Note that if you Walk the Top and take the SkyRide down, or vice-versa, you will have to walk about a mile to the parking area.

Scenic Railroad Stone MountainScenic Railroad.  The seasonal 5-mile scenic train ride around the mountain base is a favorite of all ages.  The 1940s era locomotive pulling open-air cars and on-board narration make the 25 -30 minute ride interesting and fun.

SkyHike.   Navigating through a maze of suspended rope bridges and towering platforms way above tree level overlooking gushing geysers is a great family activity.

Camp Highland Outpost.  Not quite as high in the sky, this outdoor challenge of rock walls to climb, low rope courses to navigate and multiple line bridges to cross is fun for the whole family.

Historic Square.  Experience the diversity of 18th and 19th century life in Georgia on a guided tour of several original restored Georgia buildings built between 1793 and 1875. See period furniture, a working cookhouse and traditional gardens.  Kids love petting the animals and learning about farm animal behavior in the Farmyard.

Dinotorium. Kids really get into being totally immersed into the pre-historic world throughout four levels of dinosaur-related fun and games.

Discovering Stone Mountain Museum.  Learn how the history of the “Rock” as sacred ground, landmark, refuge, and meeting place has meant different things to different people throughout its history. Watch a feature film about the Confederate Memorial Carving.  Get a sense for the carving’s enormous size while standing by full-scale replicas of some elements. Open year-round.

stone-mountain-duck-tour-splashingDuck Tours. Rumble over land in an amphibious vehicle and splash down into Stone Mountain Lake for 45 minutes of fun, quacking as you go.  This fun family favorite is not included in the Adventure Package. Purchase tickets separately through Trusted Tours & Attractions or buy them on site at the Duck Hut.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

Food is part of the Stone Mountain experience.  Many choices are regional favorites. From simple favorites to full-scale restaurants, from food stations to campfire fare, there’s something for everyone.  Indulge in crispy fried chicken, ribs, pizza, vegan choices, s’mores and peach cobbler.  Grab to-go fresh snacks and complete meals in the open-air Marketplace. Or bring your own and enjoy a picnic lunch at shady tables scattered throughout the scenic park.

Enjoy a Stone Mountain vacation by staying more than one day.  Onsite, stay at Marriott Stone Mountain Inn or Evergreen Marriott Resort which has two championship golf courses.  Nearby are several chain hotels.  For a super close-to-nature family experience, rent a Safari tent, Yurt, or RV and stay in Stone Mountain Park Campground.

How to See Atlanta in 2 Days

Category: Atlanta   Published by

Atlanta is a dynamic business center and headquarters of major corporations whose residents are equally passionate about their sports teams and thriving arts scene.  Atlanta is trendy and urban with a distinct southern charm and confident vibe.  As the largest airline hub in the United States, visitors from all over the world pass through it.

Whether flying into Atlanta or arriving by car, MARTA, Atlanta’s comprehensive mass transit system can get you around the sprawling metropolis to areas with attractions, museums, restaurants and shopping.  On a 2-day visit, minimize the time you spend on MARTA and maximize your Atlanta experience by visiting highlights clustered in three distinct districts. Be sure to check out Atlanta CityPass for discounted access to some of the highlighted attractions below.

 DOWNTOWN

There’s a lot going on in Downtown Atlanta.  Make a day of visiting  museums, historical sites and major sports/ entertainment arenas within close proximity of each other.

Atlanta Aquarium is spectacular.  It’s a must see when traveling with children.  Watch gigantic whale sharks, manta rays and countless other marine life cruise right past you from the vantage point of a huge panoramic window.  To attend popular timed dolphin, seal and penguin shows, reserve your seats in advance.  Enjoy baby ray encounters, experience jellyfish in 3D with 4D tingling sensation as they swim by and visit Ocean Explorer and Reef Tank exhibits for a mesmerizing experience.  Be sure to check out the excellent temporary exhibits featured during your visit.  (CityPass Attraction)

World of Coca-Cola is an engaging insight into the beverage known all over the world.  Get an up-close look at the vault where the secret recipe is kept.  Go behind the scenes to see how the bottling process works.  Travel the world through your taste buds by sampling more than 100 beverages made by Coca-Cola around the globe.  It’s a fun way to see how cultural customs influence the palate. Find a Coca-Cola themed souvenir, especially one in distinctive red. (CityPass Attraction)

The Center for Civil and Human Rights is empowering. As the world becomes more interconnected through technology, we become more aware of the fundamental rights of all human beings.  This compelling new museum focuses on this topic on a global scale.  See remarkable exhibits on the Civil Rights history and movement in America.  Check out exceptional and thought-provoking temporary exhibitions on such topics as how sports figures have used their celebrity status to focus attention on the issue of global human rights or the plight of forgotten women in times of war, from WWI to current global conflicts seen through the lens of a remarkable photographer. (CityPass Attraction)

CNN Studios Tours of the CNN worldwide headquarters are an interesting way to experience how newscasts are produced. What seems effortless to the viewer is a carefully orchestrated show involving a myriad of talented people and technology. (CityPass Attraction)

Sports are a big part of the Downtown Atlanta vibe.  The concentration of major state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arenas Downtown is spectacular.  The Brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium with a retractable roof is hosting the Super Bowl in 2019.  Throughout football season, home team Atlanta Falcons fills the stands of the exciting stadium which is also the venue of A-list super stars in concert. College football is played in Turner Field, the home of Georgia State. Indoor Philips Arena, home of exciting Atlanta Hawks basketball, is also an exciting entertainment venue.  With so many major sports happening Downtown, it’s no wonder that it’s a big part of the area’s nighttime and weekend action.

The College Hall of Fame is a must for families passionate about college football. Walk through the tunnel for your entrance into the Quad where over 760 college helmets line the walls in floor to ceiling color. Test your skills through obstacle courses, kick a field goal or throw a touchdown pass in the Indoor Playing Field.  Interact with hi-tech experiences in the Trophy Room.

MIDTOWN

Midtown, known as “The Heart of the Arts,” is the center of Atlanta’s art scene.  An interesting combination of sleek hi-rises and neighborhood feel give it a trendy urban vibe.  In addition to the High Museum of Art, Midtown has a large concentration of art galleries and performing arts venues.  Expansive Piedmont Park gives it a spacious green feel.  Midtown also boasts some of Atlanta’s best restaurants, ranging from high end cuisine to food carts.  Midtown’s nighttime scene is all about nightclubs, comedy clubs and upscale bars.

The High Museum of Art.  The premier art museum in the Southeast, The High has more than 11,000 works in its extensive permanent collection which includes a broad spectrum of paintings from European masters, of 19th and 20th century American art, decorative art, folk Art, African art, African-American art, modern and contemporary art.  After your art immersion, take the time to have soup and sandwiches in High Cafe or farm to table specialties in Twelve Eighty.  The museum gift shop is a great place for the perfect artsy whimsical souvenir.

Fox Theater.  A visit to the historic gilded “Fabulous Fox” is a wonderful Atlanta experience. The architectural gem is a gorgeous venue for headlining events from favorite Broadway shows to rock star concerts, classical music greats and stunning ballet performances.  Take a 60-minute tour of the lavish gilded interior filled with turreted ceilings, exquisite trompe l’oeil art and “Mighty Moe”, the 3,622 pipe Mohler Theater Organ; or purchase tickets before your visit for a great evening out.

Atlanta Botanical Garden is a wonderful escape into the world of flowers and plants.  Beautifully planted courtyards, formal gardens and raised overlooks create this Atlanta gem.  Walk through the Canopy Walk and wander through the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and Orchid House. Experience the surprise of coming upon sculptures and water features throughout the Gardens.  Take the time for an enjoyable lunch in Longleaf Café, either indoors or alfresco.

BUCKHEAD

Attention all serious shoppers! Buckhead, more commonly known as the “Beverly Hills of the East,” is for you.  Known as one of Atlanta’s upscale communities, it’s filled with luxury shopping choices, fine dining, lavish hotels and excellent art galleries.

STONE MOUNTAIN

If you are visiting with children, the natural beauty and family attractions in Stone Mountain State Park is an Atlanta favorite. The sight of the singular mammoth boulder rising 825 feet above the surrounding area just 10 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta is mind-blowing. Entrance to the park, located about 20 minutes northeast of Atlanta, requires a $15 parking fee.  This fee allows access to hiking trails, the lake and picnic areas.  A must do for anyone able to walk up a gradual incline with a steep slope at the end is Walk the Top, a 1.3 mile hike. It’s free and the panoramic view is amazing.  Stay into the evening for the seasonal free state-of-the-art sound and light extravaganza, Laserlight Spectacular.

Access to most Stone Mountain theme park attractions is seasonal and at an additional cost.  Check out the discounted attraction package offered through Trusted Tours & Attractions.  Taking a cable car to the top on Summit SkyRide is a must.  The Scenic Railroad ride around the base of the mountain appeals to all ages. Active families enjoy the navigational challenges of SkyHike, a maze of suspended rope bridges laced over towering trees.  Kids get totally immersed into the world of dinosaurs in Dinotorium.  Historic Square has something for everyone.  Experience life in 18th and 19th century Georgia through tours of homes furnished in period furnishings, craft demonstrations and Farmyard animals.

Inner Harbor Baltimore Travel Guide

Category: Baltimore   Published by

Stretching out along Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is an exciting place to visit, with enough to do for an entire vacation itinerary. It’s the happening place for history buffs, art enthusiasts, foodies, families and anyone who enjoys being around the water.
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