United States of America Things to Do Tips by grandmaR Top 5 Page for this destination

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Docks of Tangier Island VA - United States of America

Docks of Tangier Island VA

A Small Town

To balance out the big city view, a visitor should also visit at least one very small town, and stay there longer than just driving through. The kind of town that has maybe one stop light in town. There are many many of these towns in the US. There won't be the night life and the museums and parks will be smaller or maybe non-existent. But the people that live there are still important.

Tangier where the main picture was taken is an island. There are two parallel streets, and not even one stop light. Most of the islanders get around on golf carts or bikes or they walk. There are very few cars other than the fire truck and the church's truck. There's no mail delivery to individual houses - you have to go to the post office to get your mail. But I bet just about every family has a boat.

The second picture is of Wickford a small New England coastal town in the small state of Rhode Island. The third one is of Oberlin the small town in midwestern Ohio. The fourth picture is of Deland, an agricultural area in the middle of Florida, and the last picture is of Frisco, a small town on the way to Hatteras in the Outer Banks of NC.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 15, 2008
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Chihuly glass floating in a lake - United States of America

Chihuly glass floating in a lake

American Art

America has many artists who have changed the world such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe

One of the artists who has changed one particular genre (the Studio Glass movement), is Dale Chihuly. I had a chance to see his exhibition in Fairchild Gardens in Coral Gables Florida. We went with my daughter and granddaughter who is in 2nd grade. It was our granddaughter's idea that we go - we had such fun finding the art pieces in the gardens and hot houses and floating in the lakes.

I'd recommend that you look on the website below to see where his work will be exhibited - and if you can see it in a garden setting, that is best of all.

Website: http://www.chihuly.com/schedule.html

Review Helpfulness: 2 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 28, 2007
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Facade of the State House - United States of America

Facade of the State House

Colonial History

Although the history of Europeans in the United States doesn't go as far back as the history of Europe, there are still interesting historical sites such as Roanoke Island NC (the Lost Colony), Jamestown, VA, Independance Hall in Philadelphia, and the Castello San Marco in St. Augustine, FL which will give an idea of how the country was settled.

One of the things that visitors to the US often want to see is the Capitol in Washington D.C. However, before 1800, Congress met in eight different places, sometimes more than once — Philadelphia, Lancaster and York Town, in Pennsylvania; Baltimore and Annapolis in Maryland; Trenton and Princeton in New Jersey; and New York City. Washington D.C. was the ninth place.

It is still possible to visit those places where the early Congress met. One of those places is the State House in Annapolis (first picture) which is the oldest building still in legislative use in the USA.

The Maryland State House was the first peacetime capitol of the United States and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation's capitol. The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784. During that time, General George Washington came before the Congress to resign his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War.

The Maryland State House is open Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on Christmas Day and no tours are given on Thanksgiving Day or New Year's Day.

The State House Visitors' Center is open daily, and tours normally are given at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m

Address: State Circle

Phone: (410) 974-3400

Website: http://www.hometownannapolis.com/tour_statehouse.html

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 7, 2005
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1762 NY Courtesy, Winterthur Museum - United States of America

1762 NY Courtesy, Winterthur Museum

Living in Colonial America

When we lived in Philadelphia in 1969, I visited Winterthur Museum. When this country was first settled, much of the quality furniture was imported from Europe, and most of the furniture collectors collected European antiques. But much elegant furniture was also manufactured in the colonies. H. F. duPont had an epiphany where he was struck with the idea that American antiques were equality deserving and he bought a massive collection of pre-Revolutionary American furniture.

He not only bought the furniture, but he bought the walls and surroundings right out of the house and displayed it as it would have been when it was new.

The first picture is of the parlour in the Hardenbergh House c. 1762 in Kerhonkson NY. Note the powder horn over the mantle and the wrought iron candle stand next to the fireplace. In addition to the fireplace and the furniture, the paneling and beams also came from the original house.

Other pictures depict the Richie House in Tappahannock VA c 1740 with crewel bed hangings, Blackwell Parlour from Philadelphia c 1740, A Maryland bedroom from Cecil County c 1730 also with crewel embroidery, and a Queen Anne japanned highboy from Massachusetts.

Winterthur Museum is worth visiting if you are interested in furniture. They had specialty tours, and I took two of them - one of them was about decorating with textiles, which is why I bought the slides with the crewel embroidered linens pictured.

Family-friendly tours are open to all ages. Adults, $20; students/seniors (age 62+), $18

Even if you can't visit Winterthur, there are many sites which have original furnishings which will give a visitor a good idea of how it was to live in the days when this country was a colony.

I have obtained permission from Susan I. Newton, Photographic Services Winterthur Museum and Country Estate to use this picture. The original slide has become red with age.

Address: Rte. 52 (Kennett Pike) in Delaware 19735

Directions: From Baltimore

* Take 95 North to Wilmington; take exit 7, which is Delaware Avenue/Rte. 52
* Travel three blocks to Rte. 52; take a left at light
* Stay in left-most lane to stay on Rte. 52 North
* Winterthur is on Rte. 52, six mi NW of Wilmington

Phone: 800.448.3883

Website: http://www.winterthur.org/about/garden_estate.asp

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 7, 2005
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My dad with my oldest 2 children at Yosemite c1966 - United States of America

My dad with my oldest 2 children at Yosemite c1966

New World Natural Wonders

One of the unique things about the United States are the natural wonders exemplified by the many National Parks. There are Caves, Coral Reefs, Fossils/Dinosaurs, Geysers and Hot Springs, Glaciers, Mountains, Volcanoes, Rivers, Seashores, Wildflowers, and Wildlife to see. There are parks in every state from Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hilo, HI. We also have National Seashores (Canaveral, Hatteras, Cape Cod)

Some countries may have more and bigger reefs or more glaciers or bigger mountains or more waterfalls but very few of them have as many different kinds of different natural landscape as we do.

Favorite parks of mine are Yosemite (first picture), the Grand Canyon, Carlesbad, the Everglades (second picture), Sequoia/Kings Canyon (third picture), and Yellowstone (fourth picture).

At least one park should be part of any trip to the United States. Since there are parks in every state, this should not be hard to arrange.

Website: http://data2.itc.nps.gov/parksearch/atoz.cfm

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 6, 2005
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San Francisco Hills c 1965 - United States of America

San Francisco Hills c 1965

See at Least One Big City

The United States has many wonderful large cities and in order to get a balanced view of the country I think a visitor needs to see at least one of them.

The first picture is of San Francisco, but other cities worthy of a visit based on size include
Philadelphia, PA and Boston, MA for their colonial history.
New York, NY - the largest and most famous city on the east coast
Chicago, IL - in the midwest
St. Louis, MO on the Mississippi
Miami, FL
and San Diego, CA and Seattle, WA on the west coast

Washington D. C. is also one of the places that one should visit but because it is the capitol, and not just because it is a large city.

These cities have both good and bad things that go with large size. Good things include museums, night life, and neighborhoods. Bad things include crime and pollution.

Cities that are large but that I don't consider as much of a tourist destination include:

Houston, TX
Detroit, MI
Dallas, TX
Phoenix, AZ
Baltimore, MD (even though it is my home town)
Minneapolis, MN
Pittsburgh, PA
Atlanta, GA

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 23, 2005
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