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When you think about Kansas City, “steamboat” is probably not the first word to pop into your mind. But if you’re visiting Kansas City, the Arabia Steamboat Museum may just turn out to be one of your favorite experiences. The museum is located on the Missouri side of Kansas City at the City Market, a great place to visit on its own. If you go on a Saturday, the area will have booths set up in addition to the normal shopping and food choices. You can shop for crafts, flowers, produce, and food. There are plenty of things to sample here! It’s like a farmer’s market on steroids. And if you’re staying near the free KC Streetcar, hop on the streetcar at one of the stops and ride it to the end of the line. This is exactly what we did during our visit; it was a nice ride through…

The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle may very well be my favorite museum I’ve ever visited. As I researched our road trip that passed through Seattle, I encountered information on this fun museum over and over. The more I read, the more I knew my family would love it. The Museum of Pop Culture, also known as MoPOP, celebrates all things that have become America’s favorite obsessions–movies, stories, video games, and music, especially Seattle’s influential music scene. The museum opened in 2000 as the Experience Music Project. Founded by Microsoft’s Paul Allen, this museum has undergone changes and rebranding over the years, including adding the Science Fiction Museum and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame at one time. The museum became its current incarnation in 2016. Along with viewing great exhibits, visitors can also create music and participate in other interactive activities. The museum also hosts film…

When we began planning a stop in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the places Jeff was really looking forward to was the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. He is really into military planes and ships, so this was the perfect place for him to explore. I love history, so I was all-in, too.  And Kristin, well, she likes exploring just about anything. Our Plan for Charleston We’d already spent nearly two weeks away from home on this particular trip to Walt Disney World. On the way down, we spent some time in Memphis.  After that, we had several days at Disney. Before we headed home, we spent a couple of nights in St. Augustine, Florida. For a final stop on the trip, we decided to spend a night in Charleston for the first time. We left St. Augustine in good time, and we arrived in Charleston just in time…

When people think about places to see bison, or buffalo as I called them growing up, they often think about Yellowstone or maybe South Dakota. If you live in the Midwest, you probably know that bison can be found in various locations that don’t require a huge road trip to access them. Don’t get me wrong; you should definitely see Yellowstone or the Black Hills. But sometimes it’s cool to take a day trip to experience these animals. Woolaroc near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is one such place.  Why is this place called Woolaroc? In 1925, Phillips Petroleum founder Frank Phillips established a ranch in the Osage Hills of Oklahoma. He named the place Woolaroc for the area’s best features–woods, lakes, and rocks. Woolaroc.  Located just outside of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the ranch served as a country home for the Phillips family during Frank’s lifetime. They often hosted parties with diverse attendees. In…

If you’re planning a trip to Southwest Missouri, be sure to include a visit to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. This Civil War battlefield is located near Springfield and just about a half-hour from Branson. It’s a great experience for history lovers and those who love the great outdoors; it’s a great addition to your trip to the Ozarks. We’ve been a couple of times now, both in the summer, though not this summer. My summer advice is to always go early, if you can, to beat the heat. Begin Your Adventure at the Wilson’s Creek Visitor Center Like most places that are part of the National Park Service, the visitor center is a great place to learn a little background and orient yourself to the park. I love the park vehicles parked out front. You can also pay your visitor fees and purchase any souvenirs. My family always gets a…

We’d like to thank Visit Springfield for sponsoring our trip to Springfield! As always, all opinions are honest and our own. Last summer, we had the opportunity to spend a few days in Springfield, Illinois, to visit the Lincoln attractions and everything else Springfield had to offer families. If you’re looking for an awesome Midwest road trip destination for your family that mixes history, learning, and family fun, then Springfield is the place for you! First Things First: Head to the Springfield Visitors Center Before you do anything else, stop in at the Springfield Visitors Center in downtown Springfield at the corner of 6th and Adams St. They will give you schedules of any events happening, and they may have some great coupons! They will definitely answer any questions you have about the area. Be sure to also check out the display of Lincoln’s law office. The building is the…

No trip to Springfield, Illinois, is complete without a stop at the Lincoln Tomb at the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.  We’ve been to Springfield twice now, and strangely, this has been the first stop both trips due to timing. It’s not a bad place to start; it’s an attraction you can experience in an hour or less and it does provide some background to get you started. My family loves history and historic sites, and we also love learning about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. We consider the Lincoln Tomb a must-see on your Springfield trip. Arriving at Oak Ridge Cemetery The road leading up to Oak Ridge Cemetery is lovely in the summer. When you get close, you can’t miss the entrance. Just follow the signing to get to the tomb. Of course, you’ll be able to see it from a distance. It’s rather…

Last summer as we planned a short trip to Springfield, Illinois, we decided to take Kristin to see the Gateway Arch at the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. Kristin had never been to the top even though we often pass the Arch on our road trips to various destinations. It’s a right-of-passage for Missouri folk; Kristin was on her way. Arriving at Gateway Arch National Park It’s pretty exciting when you can see the Arch as you get closer to the park. We followed the GPS and signs to get to a parking lot nearby. I would suggest getting tickets to go up inside the Arch before you arrive; they may run out of available time slots for the time you are there. We happened to get ours online the night before. We guessed about when we would arrive. We had a pleasant stroll from the parking area…

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…

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