Fun Activities Around Bismarck, North Dakota For University Students
Fun Activities Around Bismarck, North Dakota For University Students
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail stretches across many Northern states of the US. As it reaches the Great Plains Region, the trail begins to travel up through the Dakotas. One of the bigger cities along the trail is the capital of North Dakota, Bismarck. Although it is the largest city in the state, the population is a comfortable size of a little over 74,000. For someone stuck in Bismarck during the school year it can be hard to find activities around Bismarck for university students.
Being one of the bigger cities in the state, it is home to a few respected colleges, like the University of Mary. Whether you are a freshman who is homesick or a bored senior who thinks they have seen everything, sometimes college life can quickly become dull. For those that are “Mary Marauders” studying in Bismarck, there is plenty to see outside of your dorms. Here are some activities around Bismarck for university students that need a break from studying or find they need a change of pace from campus life.
Nishu Bowmen Archery Club
There is more to the activity of archery than just hunting game. For those that grew up fans of the Avenger Hawkeye or could use a new outdoor hobby, they should try out the Nishu Bowmen Archery Club. Located less than 10 miles north of the university, you don’t have to travel to Hawkeye, North Dakota to become Hawkeye.
Since 1956, the Nishu Bowmen Archery Club has aimed to teach archery classes to children and adults. It offers both indoor and outdoor target practice, so those curious can visit even during the peak of winter. Archery lessons are one of the more unique activities around Bismarck for university students to pickup. It can help unearth a new passion or even lead to new friendships.
Open during every Bismarck summer since 1967, this old school family owned amusement park is a great spot to hang for the day during summer break. Whether you bring some friends or family, Super Slide amusement park offers a day’s worth of exciting rides and other activities like go-karting, minigolf, and bankshot basketball. After completing the grueling spring semester in school Super Slide Amusement Park can offer some of the most stress relieving activities around Bismarck for university students.
A trip to Super Slide Amusement Park on a warm summer day is perfect for those that enjoy the county fairs or homedays back home. The park is open until mid September, so it also serves as a cool homecoming activity at the start of the fall semester. For less than $30, students can enjoy every ride for a price even a college student can afford.
If you prefer activities that are open year long and in the toasty indoors on a weekend, then check out Midway Lanes in Mandan. Not only can you bowl on Thunder Alley on weekend nights, but you can also wet your whistle at the King Pin Lounge. After enjoying some of the 16 beers on tap, you can eat some pizza at their Fotza Grill & More. Between games of bowling you can also indulge in one of the 70 arcade machines they have at their Sparetime Arcade.
No matter how old or where you are, nothing beats late night bowling with good food. Weekend bowling and drinking are also easy activities around Bismarck for university students. Midway Lanes is a convenient spot for a meal or for some lowkey fun. After a hard week of classes and homework, maybe try out to unwind at the Midway Lanes.
The Dakota Zoo first opened in 1961. Since then, its 90 acres full of animals are visited by over 150,000 people per year. The zoo is home to 600 animals, birds, reptiles and fish representing 125 species, so there is bound to be someone’s favorite animal at the zoo. The Dakota Zoo has many seasonal events for people of all ages. They even have an adult theme Wine Tasting for Animals event in September. Wine tasting and a walk around the zoo is a great pair of activities around Bismarck for university students. Strolling around the zoo also offers a simple way to get some steps in while seeing the cool animals. Sometimes after bombing a test, the sight of a penguin might help forget about things for a moment.
Those who go to college in Bismarck are not only studying in one of the largest cities in the state, they are receiving their degree along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. There are plenty of cool things to do for any type of student in the area. It is important to stimulate the mind from the monotony of schoolwork. While you are in college, it is also essential that you take the time and fully appreciate the environment you’re in. So these were just a handful of activities around Bismarck for university students.
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When you think of Montana, you often think of vast open land, breathtaking mountains, and farms. Thanks to TV shows and movies, most of us associate rancher culture with life in Montana, so it would only make sense to fulfill these dreams on your vacation! There are many different ways to experience Montana farm life, ranging from low interaction, such as purchasing fresh produce from a local stand, to staying overnight on a farm and indulging yourself in the lifestyle. No matter what public Montana farm adventure you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered!
One activity we highly recommend participating in if you visit a public Montana farm is U-Pick! U-Pick is essentially what it sounds like. A farm will grow fresh produce like peaches or blueberries, and then they allow the public to come, pay a fee, and pick their own to take home! There are many options for U-Pick in Montana; here are two of our favorites:
Located by Rocky Creek near Bozeman, Rocky Creek Farm is run by the Rothsciller family. Though they have a wide variety of hands-on opportunities, one of the most unique is their U-Pick berries and apples! You can pick berries ranging from strawberries to raspberries, but most uniquely, the Aronia berry.
They offer picking on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays during the same hours their Farm Stand is open. For the most up-to-date information, check on their social media pages!
Red Hen Farm
Red Hen Farm in Missoula focuses on providing local, and fresh produce and fruit to the community or visitors and peace from the farm for anyone to come enjoy. They offer various kinds of fruit to pick from, the most popular of which are strawberries and raspberries. Red Hen Farm offers many other amenities, including a CSA share. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is when a set of individuals pledge to support a farm operation. This makes that farmland more or less the community’s farm through mutual support and sharing. The share from Red Hen Farm comes with different benefits, from eggs to flowers. All in all, Red Hen Farm has a great homegrown feel!
If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, you may be interested in staying overnight at a public Montana farm for your vacation! This way, you can really feel what it’s like to see fresh dew on the field, have a rooster as your alarm clock, and live the simple, slow life. Here are some of the best overnight stays on farms in Montana.
ABC Acres, located in the Bitterroot Valley, offers four rental cabins for your perfect getaway vacation! You can stay at the Guest House, Gate House, Range View Cabin, or Yellow House. The Guest House has 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths and is located in the center of the farm. From your front porch, you will be able to experience wildlife, such as elk, as well as the farm staff keeping this public Montana farm running with daily duties.
The Range View Cabin is the way to go if you’re looking for something a little bit more simple. Range View is just 1 bedroom and 1 full bath, with a pullout bed sofa if needed. As for how the cabin earned its namesake, it is located at the highest elevation on the farm, combined with grand windows on the South and West, providing breathtaking views of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. Depending on the season you choose to stay at ABC Acres, they offer many different activities ranging from Fall Festivals and rodeos to skiing and farmers markets!
If you’re looking to experience a less structured or “normal” public Montana farm experience Bodhi Farms is the place for you! Bodhi Farms identifies as a boutique eco-resort and permaculture farm, offering activities such as glamping in tipis, saunas, massages, farming activities, and farm-to-table dining. They offer three different package types for tipi glamping, including Locals Staycation, Romance Package, and Your Bodhi. While you are more than welcome to reserve a tipi without these packages, they are helpful if you’re looking for something specific in your stay.
Those of you looking for a romantic getaway with your loved one should absolutely book the Romance Package! It includes a bottle to share, flowers, and a delicious treat after your dinner in the restaurant. All this, paired with a nearby creek singing you a lullaby while you stargaze, will make you feel like there is no one else in the world but you two. If you’re looking to have a bigger party, such as a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party of a family reunion, you can rent this whole public Montana farm plus amenities and adventures with the Your Bodhi package. If you decide to stick with a regular reservation, you still have many opportunities to explore all of these amenities, plus many more!
Fresh Produce Farm Stands
Maybe you don’t have time on your trip to directly participate in the homestead lifestyle on your trip, but still want to purchase local produce, not to worry! There are many opportunities to get fresh produce straight from public Montana farms!
Getting fresh produce from SweetRoot Farm is like borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor. As advertised on their website, they are open 24/7, all 365 days a year! They offer many different goodies at their stand, such as greens, potatoes, garlic, eggs, coffee beans, stir-fry packs, and much more. What they have to offer will vary from season to season, but you can double-check what is available via their social media.
SweetRoot wants you to come any time that works for you; seriously, they say even if they are sleeping, you can come in through the door and take what you need. As for payment, they accept cash, checks, or “please bill me receipts.” They have a purchase book you can tally your purchases on, change you can make for yourself if you need, or you can even just leave a note that you’ll be back later to pay or how they can reach out to you for you to pay. SweetRoot wants it to be easy for anyone to get fresh produce when they need it and trusts all their customers.
County Rail Farm
County Rail Farm and Field Five Flowers are both run by a queer couple in Huson, MT. They worked for many different farms before settling into County Rail. Their farm stand is open every day from dawn till dusk and is reliant on an honor system. All they ask is you take what you need and leave what you can, and you are able to pay with cash, Venmo, PayPal, check, or farm share credit. What they have to offer can vary from season to season but can include orange tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, and much more.
On top of their delicious fresh produce, County Rail Farm hosts many events such as Queer Dance Parties, Planting Parties, and Farm Dinners! County Rail pays their respects, acknowledges, and honors the tribes who originally owned the land their farm is on. However much time you can or want to spend on this public Montana farm County Rail is more than happy to have you!
Family Friendly Farms
If you’re thinking about bringing the kids on your trip, there is an abundance of public Montana farms that cater to a more kid-friendly environment! Children are never too young to learn the joys a farm can provide, as well as all the important goods and services they provide!
Turner Farms 406
Turner Farms was actually built from the ground up by a family. When the children wanted bunk beds, the parents told them they had to contribute to their funds. After setting up a little stand for extra produce grown that year, it soon became clear to the Turner family that this was something they wanted to grow. They have seasonal activities available, like their pumpkin patch, as well as their self-serve farm stand.
Most interesting though may be their farm tours! Tours are available to anyone from bigger groups, such as schools, to individual families. When they are all booked for tours, they still encourage anyone who is interested to come out and explore this public Montana farm on their own! Turner Farms has a great atmosphere for the younger generation who may be interested in learning more about what farm life looks like or how we all benefit from their hard work!
For a more unique public Montana farm experience, you may want to check out the Bison Range! The Bison Range focuses less on products and more on wildlife. They also focus on conservation, so rather than being a working farm, the range was made to show the beauty of this species that almost went extinct! You can drive through the range and watch the bison graze and live their everyday lives. The National Wildlife Refuge, along with the Salish and Kootenai Tribes, currently manage the range.
Seasonal Exclusive Public Montana Farms
Farms are heavily influenced by the change in seasons, whether it be the produce they can grow or the activities they can offer. This can also mean that you can have a unique experience if you visit in one season versus the next. Here are some of our favorite public Montana farms for seasonal fun!
Applestem Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch: Fall Winner
Looking for some fall fun? Applestem has got you covered! They are open for the general public, pumpkin patch, and corn maze Friday through Sunday. You do have to pay for admission, but once you do, you have access to their corn maze, duck races, corn tent, tube slide, farm animals, and many more fun activities! The pumpkin patch price varies on the pumpkin you pick. Classic fall fun mixed with the unique opportunities they offer and the beautiful changing leaves combines to make an experience you just can’t pass up!
The Ranch at Rock Creek is an overnight resort that offers many different types of stays, you can even stay in a homesteader wagon! They want you to be able to have a worry-free stay, so once you pay one of the rates offered, you don’t have to worry about paying extra fees once you are there. There are a few activities that have extra fees, but overall there are plenty to choose from for no extra cost! During the Winter, you could enjoy ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, or horseback riding. Summer, Fall, and Spring offer even more outdoor adventures, such as archery, fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, sapphire mining, and much more!
Montana is a great place to live out your farmhouse fantasy. Every location has something unique and fun to offer, so if you have time, visit as many as you can! The best part is all of these locations are along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, so if you want to visit a couple of places in a weekend, you can follow the trail and see many more sites. With all these opportunities and much more, there is something for everyone!
From Vintage Cars to Iron Art: Top Things to Do and See in Dayton, Washington
From Vintage Cars to Iron Art: Top Things to Do and See in Dayton, Washington
From Vintage Cars to Iron Art: Top Things to Do and See in Dayton, Washington
Sitting in the Heart of the Columbia Basin Lies This Little Town with a Big Personality and Endless Things to Discover. Here are your top things to do and see in Dayton, Washington!
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler of theLewis and Clark National Historic Trailor local to Washington and looking for a weekend getaway, the small town of Dayton, Washington has so much to discover and enjoy. Whether it be hiking, demolition derbies, rodeos, vintage car shows, or county fairs, this town has it all. This blog lists the top things to do and see in Dayton, Washington. Read on for local events, interesting spots, dining, and lodging!
Local Events & Festivals in Dayton, Washington
All Wheels Weekend Held annually every Father’s Day weekend from June 17th to 19th, All Wheels Weekend isn’t your usual car show! Popular and well-attended, the event features a parade of vintage cars, drag racing, poker, and even a golf tournament! It also features a demolition derby. With live music, food vendors lining Main Street, and a children’s play-zone, everyone can join in the fun!
Brix & Brew Benefit Auction Taking place every March, Dayton’s Chamber of Commerce hosts its own benefit auctionto fund local tourism projects. Visitors can bid on and taste various locally produced wines. Catering is provided by a sponsoring local vendor. Dine, make new friends, and bid on fine wines for a good cause! Christmas Kickoff Every Thanksgiving weekend from November 26th to 27th, Dayton welcomes the Christmas season with a real kickoff! The event features hayrides, a Christmas bazaar, a parade and tree lighting ceremony, and even an ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’ 5K jog! Whether you want mead or hot cocoa to warm you up, local food & drink vendors have you covered. Want to pet a live reindeer and Santa’s beard in the same night? This is the Christmas event for you!
Columbia County Fair Funnel cakes. Corn dogs. Waffle cones. Strawberry lemonade. Ah yes, you can already smell it, the Columbia County Fair! The Fair begins Fall from September 9th to the 11th. Popular to Southeast Washington, you can get a free single-day pass by donating 5 canned food items. Rodeos, eating contests, bouncy houses & rides, a craft market, and so much more can be found here.
Dayton Days From May 27th to 28th, visitors can expect live music, beer tasting, and a wild time at theDayton Days Parade and Rodeo! Art, food, and craft vendors cater to the public as marching bands and local dancers make their way down to the Fairgrounds. Dayton Days celebrates the city for everything it is!
Dayton’s Most Interesting Spots
Art & Museums Dayton, Washington is unique as the home of the Palus Indian tribe, known for living in the Palouse Falls region. The Palus Artifacts and Veterans Museum allows visitors to learn about their culture and involvement in tribal conflicts and the Civil War. To learn about Dayton’s location in the Lewis and Clark expedition, visitors to the Patit Creek Campsite. Here, visitors can see dozens of iron statues that depict what life was like on the Trail.
Outdoors Managed by theWashington State Parks and Recreation Commission, visitors to Dayton have 7 hiking trails to choose from! The most famous routes include Palouse Falls, Oregon Butte Trail, and Middle Point to Bluewood. Maps and seasonal information for these trails and more are listed here. Touchet River and Tucannon Lakes offer a fantasticfishing experience in pristine waters. Bluewood mountain offers a skiing experience like no other with ski resorts dotting the region.
Shopping Dayton offers many quaint, niche shops. For artisanal soaps, check out Biker B’s Bathworks. For something sweet, handmade candies from Mama Monacelli’s make the perfect souvenir gift! Local produce and meats can be found at the Blue Mountain Station and Dayton Mercantile. For local weavings and every trinket imaginable, make a stop in the city’s Main Street Marketplace!
Some of Washington’s Best Dining Experiences
Snacks For a speedy food stop, stop by the town’s General Store for ice cream, dry foods, drinks, and more. Need something more filling but no time for a full meal? Blue Mountain Station’s soups, sandwiches, and sweets have you covered there!
Brunch & Bakery Love cinnamon rolls but wish you could eat them on an antique sofa? Annie’s Attic and Cafe is the place for you with its eccentric but homey atmosphere. Locally Nourished is a great breakfast option for those seeking healthy, organic breakfast options. Offering all day lunch and breakfast options with baked bread, Moose Creek Cafe & Bakery is another great stop in historic Dayton.
Lunch & Dinner If you need to feed and please the whole family, Snake River Grill offers great menu picks for both kids and adults right on the Snake River. My Dad’s Place provides a warm Italian atmosphere in small-town Dayton, offering pizzas, calzones, salads, soups, and more!
Wineries & Pubs Red Band Cellars offers a wide selection of its home-ripened, regional wines with tastings running from noon until 5:00 PM. It also offers a wide selection of cheeses, fruits, and hors d’oeuvres. Need something filling to go with a beer? Check outChief Spring’s Fire and Irons Brew Pub for a pint and pizza or burgers!
Lodging: Feel Right at Home
Hotels Best Western Plus Dayton offers luxury accommodation with amenities like a swimming pool and a complimentary breakfast. Blue Mountain Motel is an affordable option conveniently located within walking distance of Downtown and Main Street. Weinhard Hotel is a fantastic lodging option for history buffs, with its Victorian design and classic decorating. Complete with period furniture, staying here is an experience itself!
Vacation Rentals & Cabins Hiromi’s House is a cozy, fully furnished vacation rental home that sleeps 6 in Dayton’s historic district. For larger groups that value privacy, Stonewood can sleep +20 people in a beautiful wooden cabin, perfect for personal & company events.
Campgrounds & RV Parks The Lewis and Clark Trail State Park offers beautiful views like no other, with 24 standard campsites and 5 RV campsites available. Note that you will need the Discover Pass to set up your campsite with some annual free days available to the public. Looking to do campfire cooking near your RV or a cabin? Cabin rentals, picnic tables, and safely maintained fire pits can be found at Lyons Ferry Marina Koa.
Dayton’s smallness and its passion for preserving its history are at the heart of its vibrant culture. This wholesome, creative community has opened its arms to the Nation by inviting you and I to gather in the fun of celebrating its unique personality. Whether you’re passing through on your travels or want to settle in for an extended holiday, Dayton showcases an array of interests to keep everyone wanting to come back for more. Whether you’re a fan of cars, hiking, rodeos, and more, this town delivers it. Don’t hesitate to add Dayton to your list of Destinations along the National Lewis and Clark Historic Trail!
Ultimate Guide for Visiting Harpers Ferry WV: Hiking, Dining, and Civil War History
Ultimate Guide for Visiting Harpers Ferry WV: Hiking, Dining, and Civil War History
Looking for a small town with a big history? Add visiting Harpers Ferry to your bucket list. Located in Jefferson County WV, right on the point where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet, this town is full of things to do. While visiting Harpers Ferry, you can spend your time dining, shopping, and hiking, all while learning about the area’s rich Civil War history.
Hiking Trails in Harpers Ferry
There are many hikes stemming from the town, ranging from the Appalachian Trail to hikes with a view above historic Harpers Ferry. There is a trail for everyone, ranging from easy to strenuous, so be sure to plan a hike for while you’re visiting Harpers Ferry! The trails below are open during daylight hours, and are closed from sunset to sunrise.
Hikes With a View
1. Maryland Heights
Maryland Heightstrail features an overlook of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and the town of Harpers Ferry. The hike is considered moderate to Strenuous, and stretches 4.5 – 6.5 miles (7.2 – 10.5 km) round trip. The hike takes approximately 3-4 hours round trip, but the view from the overlook is worth every minute.
2. Loudon Heights
Loudon Heights is the most difficult hike on this list. It is considered to be strenuous, and is a 7.5 mile (12.1 km) round trip. The hike takes between 4-5 hours to complete, but offers views of the town of Harpers Ferry, both the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and valleys, and rock formations. This hike is special because it is the only view to the east into Pleasant Valley.
3. Sections of the Appalachian Trail
About 4 miles of the Appalachian Trail runs through West Virginia, and approximately 3 of those miles run through Harpers Ferry. This hike is a moderate 1-2 hour round trip that has the opportunity for additional side trails. Through this stretch of the Appalachian trail, you can see Jefferson Rock, Harper Cemetery, Lockwood House, and views of both the rivers. Be sure to check out the Harpers Ferry Appalachian Trail visitor center!
Less Challenging Hikes
1. Virginius Island and Hall’s Island trails
Virginius Island and Hall’s Island trails provide a fairly easy hike that is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) round trip, and takes about an hour to complete. The trails take you through riparian forest, and allow you to see the ruins from old mills and waterworks. Additionally, the trails take hikers past the site of John Hall’s Rifle Works, and offer views of the Shenandoah river.
2. Bolivar Heights Trail
Bolivar Heights trail is a short hike featuring an overlook of the Shenandoah valley and the Blue Ridge mountains. The short hike is considered to be easy to Moderate, spanning 0.3-2.4 miles (0.4-3.9 km) round trip. The trail includes optional side trails, and takes approximately 15 minutes to 1 hour to complete, and is a great option if you are looking for sights without doing much walking while visiting Harpers Ferry.
Local Rustic Dining
While visiting Harpers Ferry, there are many places to eat after your hike. These range from sit down dining in historic buildings to sandwich and coffee cafes.
Check out The Rabbit Hole while visiting Harpers Ferry for sit down dining ranging from burgers & pulled pork sandwiches to shrimp, loaded fries, and more. Seating options include both indoor and outdoor, with the outdoor seating overlooking the train station and rivers
2. The Anvil
1290 W Washington St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
The Anvil is a historic restaurant known for their signature crab cakes. They also serve meat & seafood courses, as well as sandwiches, salads, soups, and more. The restaurant includes a bar, dining room, and an outdoor garden and patio area. Reservations are recommended.
1. Cannonball Deli
125-129 Potomac St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
The Cannonball Deli serves courses such as sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and salads. The deli is known in the area for its friendly staff, and features both indoor and patio seating options.
2. Battle Grounds bakery & Coffee
180 High St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Stop by Battle Grounds Bakery & Coffee for sandwiches on fresh baked bread, salads, coffee and more. A great place for local breakfast and lunch options, and be sure to try their fresh house made bread while visiting Harpers Ferry.
The historyof Harpers Ferry begins before the Civil War. Between 1801 and the beginning of the war, Harpers Ferry was home to an armory that manufactured a majority of arms in the United States. This is even the armory that supplied Lewis and Clark’s expedition. Additionally, this was the first place interchangeable parts were used in manufacturing.
In 1859, the John Brown raid took place. This event is considered to be what sparked the Civil War. John Brown and his army attempted to sieze the armory and free the slaves with the overall goal of ending slavery in the United States.
The Civil war began on April 12, 1861, and lasted until April 9, 1865. The Battle of Harpers Ferry was fought September 12–15, 1862, as part of the Maryland Campaign of the American Civil War led by General Robert E. Lee. For a full timeline of Civil War events in Harpers Ferry check out: timeline of Harpers Ferry Civil War events, and read on to discover historic places to visit and learn more!
Historic Places to Visit
1. The 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry Museum
While visiting Harpers Ferry, there are many historic places to check out. The 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry Museumis a place to learn more about the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry, which was fought September 12-15, 1862 and was a part of General Robert E. Lee’s Maryland Campaign. This museum talks about the battle itself, as well as the factors that led to it and the aftermath caused.
2. John Brown’s Fort
John Brown’s Fort was originally used in 1848 as the Armory’s fire engine and guard house. During the Civil War, the Fort was used as a prison and a supply house. John Brown’s Fort was the only armory to survive the civil war. In 1891, the fort was sold, dismantled and transported to Chicago where it was displayed near The World’s Columbian Exposition. However, this exhibit was not very popular, so it was once again dismantled. In 1894,, a campaign was started to return the fort to Harpers Ferry, led by journalist Kate Field. In 1895, John Brown’s Fort was rebuilt on the Murphy Farm, located about 3 miles from the town of Harpers Ferry. In 1909, on the 50th Anniversary of John Brown’s Raid, the building was purchased and moved to the campus of Storer College located on Camp Hill in Harpers Ferry where it was used as a museum. Finally, in 1960 the fort was acquired by the National Park Service, and in 1968 it was returned to the lower town of Harpers Ferry. The fort currently sits approximately 150 feet east of where it was originally built, due to the fort’s original site being covered with a railroad embankment in 1894.
We hope this blog provided you with helpful suggestions for ways to enjoy this delightful town. As you can see, Harpers Ferry is full of history and great ways to spend a day: either for a perfect getaway, an insight into US ancestry, or a delicious food-stop. While visiting Harpers Ferry be sure to snap a picture and share it with us on our Instagram. For more information about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, be sure to check out our website, and read our other blogs for more trip inspiration!
Exploring Southern Illinois: Top 10 Things to do in Saline County
Exploring Southern Illinois: Top 10 Things to do in Saline County
Looking for a unique way to explore Southern Illinois? Curious to visit a place where you can take a rodeo lesson, catch a drag race, and wander through twelve acres of peonies all in one day? You might be surprised to learn that nestled in Southern Illinois along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a little area called Saline County. With six towns and a population of around 23,000, this midwestern county has a little something for everyone. Exploring Southern Illinois has never been easier!
Maybe you’re more into sports. Stop by the Shawnee Hills Country Club and play a round of golf. Are you a history buff? Check out the O’Gara Mine Tipple to marvel at this abandoned structure. Get hangry (hungry and angry) when there’s no good food around? Grab a warm homemade bread pudding topped with whipped cream from The Bar-B-Q Barn. Exploring Southern Illinois is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in midwestern culture. No matter what you’re into, Southern Illinois has a bit of everything!
When writing this blog, it was all too easy to find 10 amazing ways to spend your day in Southern Illinois. Saline County is a hidden gem in the midst of this state. Here are 10 ways to spend your day while exploring Southern Illinois.
1- Darnell Performance Horses
It’s time to channel your inner cowboy by visiting Darnell Performance Horses This top-of-the-line ranch boasts an impressive resume, having trained champions in numerous rodeo events. Stop by to take a barrel racing or calf roping lesson. Not in the competitive mood? No problem! This ranch also provides western pleasure riding lessons for beginners.
2- Shawnee Hills Antique Mall
In search of hidden treasures? Look no further than the Shawnee Hills Antique Mall Uncover vintage dolls, tea sets, or unique sculptures. Want even more options? This small business hosts flea markets throughout the year! Vendors’ items can range anywhere from baked goods to jewelry and everything in between. Not only is there a great selection of goods, but many booths offer reduced prices. The mall itself provides refreshments and gives guests the opportunity to win door prizes!
3- Harrisburg Food Tour
Are you the ultimate foodie? Southern Illinois has you covered! Start off your day at The Bar-B-Q Barn for the ultimate mid-western experience. Located in a barn, this restaurant has a little something for everyone, from eggs with smoked sausage to a delectable platter of apple pancakes, this restaurant has it all! For all you sweets lovers, check outAngi’s Eats and Sweets Stop in for a bite of pumpkin or raspberry cheesecake. The shop even sells gluten-free no-bake cookies! After a long day of exploring Southern Illinois, unwind at Morello’s Restaurant & Catering. This restaurant boasts a variety of alcoholic drinks as well as one of the most diverse menus around! Morello’s Restaurant & Catering is perfect for picky eaters. Try lasagna or a steak. Not satisfied? How about taco salad or barbeque nachos? There is certainly food for everyone while exploring Southern Illinois.
4- Shawnee Hills Country Club
Put your golf skills to the test at the Shawnee Hills Country Club. Not much of a player? Gaze at a sprawling grass course. If you’re exploring Southern Illinois in the fall, marvel at the green, amber, orange, and red leaves. This beautiful country club is open for spring, summer, and fall.
5- Peony Hill Farm
For nature lovers, there is no better place to visit than Peony Hill Farm. Visitors are encouraged to stroll around the twelve acres of peony-covered land. Take pictures or buy cut peonies during the blooming season. To say this experience is relaxing is an understatement. The perfect way to explore Southern Illinois, this farm is great for all ages.
6- O’Gara Mine Tipple
History buffs will be delighted to marvel at the O’Gara Mine Tipple. Located roughly five minutes from Harrisburg, this abandoned mine tipple serves as a reminder of what once was. This building was said to have halted operation after the Ohio River flooded in 1937. An architectural wonder, visitors can gaze in awe at this impressive sight.
7- Saline County Fair
Planning your trip to explore Southern Illinois right now? Consider stopping by during the last week of July and you’ll be just in time for theSaline County Fair. This event is the perfect way to get a taste of Southern Illinois culture! Guests get the chance to watch a motocross race or a tractor and pull. Maybe even stay for the demolition derby. These ticketed events are reasonably priced, with each event costing $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Not sure what either of those are? Visit now and learn for yourself!
8- Shawnee National Forest
Discover the natural beauty of Illinois at the Shawnee National Forest. Between hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, and fishing, there is truly something for everyone in this beautiful forest. Try a hike in the Garden of Gods area featuring unbelievably unique natural rock sculptures. Since the Shawnee National Forest is a large, sprawling piece of land, hunters from around the country flock to this hidden gem. Ditch the commercial hotels for locally owned, cozy cabin lodges, and visit now!
9- Sloan Harrisburg Raceway
Spend an exciting evening at Sloan Harrisburg Raceway Come out to watch a bracket race for only $10 for adults and free admission for kids under 12! But sometimes watching is boring. That’s why you can participate in a Test and Tune event. These events allow drivers to test their vehicle on a racetrack just for fun! What can be better than driving down a racetrack on a beautiful day?
10- Saline County Area Museum
Experience the culture of Southern Illinois even more at the Saline County Area Museum. The first building was created in 1964. This was just the beginning, and now an impressive eleven buildings tell the story of Saline County’s people. The best part? Admission is completely free. Stop by on select days from 1-4 pm to learn more about this fascinating area.
Places to Explore!
Those are just some of the amazing events and activities you can attend while exploring Southern Illinois. For more ways to enjoy Illinois, visit our website. Learn more about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail here. Want more trip inspiration? Check out our other blogs.
10 Breweries in Pittsburgh with Pints Worth the Stop
10 Breweries in Pittsburgh with Pints Worth the Stop
Are there any good breweries in Pittsburgh?
When you’re traveling on the Lewis and Clark Trail, you probably aren’t expecting to find some good IPAs. However, the trail starts right at a hot-spot for brewing, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has always had a strong brewing culture, with America’s oldest brewer, D.G. Yuengling and Son, operating from Pottsville since 1829. Since then, the craft has only grown in the state, with it having the second-most breweries in the US in 2021. This has led to a wide variety of breweries operating, especially in Pittsburgh. If you’re a connoisseur of the beverage and got a week to burn, these 10 Pittsburgh breweries should be at the top of your list.
We’ll start our top 10 Pittsburgh breweries list strong with Penn Brewery. Penn Brewery has roots that go back to 1848, when German brewers from the Ober and Eberhardt families migrated to Pittsburgh. Penn Brewery officially started business in 1986, and has only grown since then. The Penn Brewery Complex is on the National Register of Historic Places, where three buildings from the Ober and Eberhardt stand. They added a restaurant in 1989, serving foods such as wurst, pierogi, and a wide variety of Pittsburgh favorites. With a rich quantity of IPAs to drown it down with, it’s no wonder why the business has seen such success. The website to Penn Brewery is here.
Since 2004, East End Brewing Companyhas been producing crisp beers,ciders, sodas. In 2021, they would add on to this package by adding a kitchen where they make thick-crusted, Sicilian style pizza. Their flagship beer, “The Big Hop”, is a malty beer that can only be enjoyed in person. A unique project East End began in 2019 that is still ongoing is the “You Are Here” beers. In this project, East End produces a beer for each of the ninety neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. This alone makes East End worthy of your time.
The Grist Houseis a community project, with the founders drawing assistance from their friends and family to make their dream a reality. That dream has come true, with Grist’s products being sold in retail and winning the award for best barrel aged stout in America in 2018. The brewery is also an official Penn State affiliate, with Lion alumni always coming for their games. Their drink menu is constantly expanding, with new beers, ales, and sours getting made like hot cakes. New customers should go straight for “the Hopadelic”, a fantastic starting beer. This combined with the brewery’s partnership with local food trucks and dog friendly policy makes Grist a great place to have a great time.
Eleventh Hour Brewery is quite the sight, with its exquisite design making it very inviting. The beers are also a big draw, having twenty-four regular options, along with monthly, yearly, and premium choices. The brewery has happy hour specials for those trying to save a dollar, along with a rotation of food trucks serving quality dishes. Another great feature of the pub is its accessibility, having bus and bike access. The brewery is located in the Lawrenceville district, so when you’re done enjoying their beer, make sure to take a nice stroll along the nearby Lawrence Trail.
Coming in at 5 in our top 10 Pittsburgh breweries is Dancing Gnome. The Dancing Gnomehas its name for a reason, as it has options consisting of wines, IPAs, ales, and more. Starting business in 2016, their operations grew from a plumbing showroom to a space that can hold 35 people. Located on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, this brewery offers a welcoming environment alongside an always changing food truck rotation. When you go by there, make sure to oder the name sake “Lustra”!
The story of how Allegheny City got started is quite an interesting one. Three Pittsburghers named Al, Matt, and Amy, moved to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the late 2000s. During that time, the trio would get deep into brewing, even making their own personal brews. They moved back to Pittsburgh in 2013 and have been open for business since 2016. They have twelve choices of beers to choose from, with options for any taste. ABC partners with local food trucks so that there is always a place to grab a snack. They also have a beer garden that can seat up to seventy-five people. This, along with a wall covered with an ever expanding picture wall of patron’s dogs, makes Allegheny City Brewing a key stop.
Cinderlands Foederhouse derives its name for the city, being the land of cinder. The Lawerenceville brewery specializes in producing foederbier while also producing IPAs, lagers, ales, and sours. However, this is not all they offer, as they also serve Pennslyvania spirits, wines, and ciders! Their flagship and most popular beers are the hazy ale known as “Squish” and the “Tracks Again” pilsner. The restaurant in the brewery is a fine dining experience emphasing on Belgian style cuisine and a rustic farmhouse style atmosphere best suited for a cozy night out. The Foederhouse has monthly beer pairing dinners, Foederbier tastings and trivia on Sundays. All these elements combine to make Cinderlands Foederhouse brewery that has to be experienced first hand to fully appreciated.
Two Frays Brewery gets its name from its two owners, Jen and Mike. The couple met over a beer and have used their experience with brewing over the last seven years to launch their business. They would open up their brewery in 2020, with the goal of bringing quality beer to the Steel City. They have a powerful seven-barrel and four-fermenter system that is capable of creating these beer. They have a wealth of options to drink. The brewery offers a rotation of food trucks and often does collaborations with other businesses. The small business is also dog-friendly, is developing plans for tours of the brewery, and even offers service to Korean speakers. If you’re looking for a place that is warm and welcoming, this is the place for you.
Trace Brewing is a young brewery, opening business during the COVID-19 pandemic. They took the challenge in stride, with business growing daily. Dave Kushner, the owner of Trace and Massachusetts’ Remnant Brewing, moved to Pittsburgh to open the brewery. The building they work out of used to be a brass foundry, giving an unique interior design.The exterior is unique as well, with the outside of the building having a wall where spray painters can paint freely. The staff favorite drink is “the Keller”, a smooth pale lager. The brewery always have something going on, from music, food trucks, weddings, and drag shows. Their tap options are always changing, so freshness is not a problem. They also have a coffee and pastry shop inside. If you’re looking for a youthful and lively spot, Trace is the place to go.
Last but not least, one of our top 10 breweries in Pittsburgh is Hitchhiker Brewing. Hitchhiker Brewing is a fifteen-barrel brewhouse that opened in the Sharpsburg district in 2014. Their facilities work out of an old brewery boiler house of Fort Pitt. Their drink options are ridiculous, having a hundred IPAs alone to choose from! For food options, they usually have a rotation of different food trucks that cycle through the week. For seating, they have seating options for those who want to stay indoors or those seeking fresh air. While they have a no dog policy, they do offer happy hour specials,live entertainment, and free parking, so be sure to give this pub a look before you leave Pittsburgh.
And there you have the top 10 breweries in Pittsburgh, but there’s even more waiting to be discovered. You can find all these places soon on the interactive map on our website. So when the Lewis and Clark Trail eventually leads you to the 412, be sure to give ‘em a shot! Send pics of yourself enjoying some of these brews to our Instagram and Facebook pages. Don’t forget to follow us while you’re there!