I’m always surprised at how many neat places get overlooked because they are in the shadow of more well-known attractions and visitors never hear about them. So today I thought I’d share some interesting stops you shouldn’t miss on your way to the big attraction down the road.
Gettysburg – We have paid many visits to Gettysburg over the years and spent days exploring the historic battlefield, and I know we’ll go back again. However, just 30 miles to the east, York, Pennsylvania is known as the Factory Tour Capital of the World. Here you can watch Harley Davidson motorcycles being made, tour the Utz potato chip factory, and tour the Sunrise Soap Company and Bluett Brothers Violins, to name just some of the most popular tours available.
Old Tucson – You can’t spend much time in this sun drenched Arizona city without knowing all about Old Tucson, the historic movie set where hundreds of well known Western movies and TV shows have been filmed, and it’s certainly worth spending a day wandering the dusty streets, watching the stuntmen perform and the dance hall girls kicking their heels. But while you’re in the area, be sure to check out the wonderful Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, a fascinating collection of miniature buildings accurate to the tiniest detail, a world of whimsy, and a trip back in time and to the land of fairytales, all in one. Give yourself lots of time when you visit, because the detail in the displays here is amazing and there is a lot to see.
Branson – Everybody knows about all of the great shows in Branson, Missouri, and you could easily spend a month there and wear yourself out tapping your toes and clapping your hands every night. But have you ever been to the excellent Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks, in nearby Hollister? Sometimes called the "Smithsonian of the Ozarks," the museum is home to a fascinating collection of exhibits centered on the Ozark region, and items on display include the original vehicle used in the old Beverly Hillbillies television series, firearms, Kewpie dolls, antiques, and artwork.
Mammoth Cave – Besides a variety of underground tours, Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky offers miles of hiking trails, camping, kayaking, and a variety of programs presented by Park Rangers. That’s all a lot of fun, but if you appreciate fine automobiles, travel 25 miles south to Bowling Green and tour the National Corvette Museum. Corvettes are America’s sports car, and the museum has the finest collection of them to be found anywhere, as well as displays on how these powerful automobiles are designed and manufactured.
Disney World – The Magic Kingdom is supposed to be the happiest place on earth, but tell that to somebody’s who’s been stuck in one of the massive traffic jams getting into or out of the theme park, or a harried mother and father shepherding a bunch of kids who are tired, cranky, and high on sugar and adrenalin. For a break from all things Mouse, take a drive east to Titusville and the excellent American Police Hall of Fame & Museum. Displays included police cars and motorcycles, weapons exhibits on police procedures and investigations, and lots more.
Those are just five examples. Don’t you wonder how many others you have missed in your travels? Trust me, they’re in every corner of America. You just have to take the time to look for them.
Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Ohio town in 1951. It’s narrated by Eric G. Dove, one of the best storytellers in the industry. Many people tell me this is my best book ever, and I have to admit that it’s my favorite. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Eighty percent of success is showing up. – Woody Allen