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When we took a trip to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, we decided to make a day trip out to see some surrounding states, just to say we’d been there. Who knew when we’d be back? On this day trip from Keystone, South Dakota, we drove to North Dakota, Montana, and ended up in Wyoming to see Devils Tower. (For people into punctuation, the site officially drops the possessive apostrophe in the title of the monument.) Why Did We Go to Devils Tower? I’ll be honest; I wouldn’t have even known about Devils Tower if it hadn’t been for the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind with Richard Dreyfuss. I’d seen the movie a few times growing up, so that’s what I associated with this National Monument, the first National Monument declared in the U.S. by President Theodore Roosevelt, to be exact. If you haven’t seen the movie,…

When some people travel, they search for things “off the beaten path” while avoiding tourist traps. Those people aren’t us. Sure, we like to experience places “as the locals do,” and we love finding those little known gems. But we also love those places that “everyone should see once” in their lives. The more cliche the better. And why not? We like to experience a little bit of everything. The Hollywood Walk of Fame area may not be for everyone, and I don’t know if I’d ever go back, but when we planned our Los Angeles trip, I knew I wanted to see it. Even if it’s only one time. I wanted to be able to say that I’d been there. With a preface like this, you may believe that the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a horrible experience. It wasn’t. Was it amazing? Again, no. Am I glad we…

If you’re spending time in St. Augustine, consider taking a tour of Flagler College, a liberal arts college originally known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel. This beautiful historic hotel sits in downtown St. Augustine, Florida, just a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. The history and architecture are worth a visit, and I’m so glad a spent a couple of hours here. When we drive to Walt Disney World in Orlando from Joplin, Missouri, we often take a few side trips on the way home. We often go to St. Augustine after a couple of weeks in Disney to relax and get some beach time in. We love the area, and there is so much to do. On one trip, I decided to take a Flagler College tour on my own. Family trips are wonderful, but every once in awhile, it’s okay to do something on your own. Jeff…

While you’re planning your trip to Springfield, Illinois, to see the Lincoln attractions, be sure to make time for the Illinois State Museum, especially if you’re traveling with kids. This museum covers the natural history and popular culture of Illinois, and it has a lot of great exhibits that kids will enjoy. There is even a hands-on section for kids to explore. We’d like to thank Visit Springfield for sponsoring our visit to the Illinois State Museum. As usual, all opinions are honest and our own. Where is the Illinois State Museum? The address for the Springfield branch is 502 South Spring Street. If you’re exploring attractions downtown, you will be in the right area. The capital building is nearby. Here is a closer look at the cool Lincoln Totem Pole out front. Exhibits Inside the Illinois State Museum Changes We started on the ground floor with the natural history…

A couple of years ago, my family visited Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, on our drive home from Disney in Florida. Since we make the drive from Missouri, I like to find some places on the way and on the way home to explore. On this trip, we spent one night in Charleston. Since I’ve been reading more, I’m finding that I’m making more connections in my life. I recently started reading The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far, I am liking it. If you’re wondering which book I’m referring to, here is an affiliate link. As I read, the book made reference to Sullivan’s Island near Charleston. While we were there, we ate at Poe’s Tavern at Sullivan’s Island, before taking a walk on the beach. I could completely visualize the area. Click here to read more…

We usually make at least one kid-free trip to the Lake of the Ozarks area each year. Since we’re fans of the Netflix show Ozark, we couldn’t resist pre-dinner drinks at a little bar along the strip down by the dam–Marty Byrde’s Bar and Grill. If you’ve seen the show, you know that Marty Byrde is the central character of the show played by Jason Bateman. How can you not check out this place? Just to be clear, we’ve never felt unsafe like the show may make you believe. You also won’t find casinos on riverboats. Sure, you need to exercise regular caution as you would anywhere, but the show is fictional. One thing I always like to do is take a drive down by Bagnell Dam to see the little strip of bars and shops, especially as the sun goes down. If you want to read more about this area,…

If you’re looking for a fun way to get out of the heat of the sun on a warm summer day, consider taking a cave tour. Cosmic Cavern, near the Eureka Springs and Branson areas, is a great choice when hoping to get a glimpse of the cave formations in the Ozarks. This cave hosts Arkansas’s largest private cave tour; it’s the perfect tour for summertime, even though it also holds the title of Arkansas’s warmest cave at 64 degrees year round! We’d like to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce for hosting our visit. As always, all opinions are honest and our own. Arriving at Cosmic Cavern As you drive out to Cosmic Cavern, you’ll enjoy a rural road over hills and through wooded areas. This cave attraction fits in perfectly with its surroundings; it’s not overly commercialized. Cosmic Cavern is just a great cave to explore. When…

If you’re looking for a memorable evening experience in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, consider adding The Great Passion Play and The Christ of the Ozarks to your list of family fun. Though the show is seasonal, you can visit all year long and partake in other activities.  We visited this attraction on a lovely summer night in July. While it was summertime, we weren’t uncomfortable. As the sun set, we found ourselves immersed in the story of Christ’s last week on earth. We had an amazing experience, and we hope you’ll have one, too! We’d like to thank the Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring our visit! As always, all opinions are honest and our own. Arriving at The Great Passion Play We arrived after an early dinner about an hour before the show. It’s a little outside of Eureka Springs proper, but it’s not too far. If time had…

If you’re exploring the Lincoln attractions in Springfield, Illinois, with your family, you may want to build in some experiences for the little ones where they can explore and burn off some energy. Kidzeum of Health and Science, the children’s museum in Springfield, is the perfect place for just that. We’d like to thank Visit Springfield for sponsoring our visit! Arriving at Kidzeum 412 Adams Street Since Kidzeum is located downtown and we were planning to visit several locations there from morning until at least early afternoon, we picked a place that was centrally located for our plans of the day. It was a warm morning in July. We decided to make Kidzeum our first visit of the day, so we arrived at opening, hoping to avoid any crowds. As we walked to the children’s museum, we noticed that a famers’ market was in full swing. Keep that in mind…

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